Stop the Tax! Newsletter


Cries From the Wilderness


Hugh McInnish

I attended recently a meeting of highbrow (a few of us excepted) hard-core conservatives in New Orleans. It was so hard-core that I assume the group was salted with government agents on the lookout for sedition. Among the non-government attendees was Peter Brimelow.

Peter, himself an English immigrant, is in the vanguard of those fighting against uncontrolled immigration. He is the author of the definitive immigration book Alien Nation. He is also the author of The Worm in the Apple, a blistering critique of the National Education Association, and which contains numerous delightfully unkind comments regarding the Alabama Education Association. Moreover, Peter [send him e-mail] is also the editor of the website Readers not familiar with this marvelous conservative site should hasten to make acquaintance with it. Peter, incidentally, also writes for Forbes magazine. Now to the point.

Because of his intelligence and erudition, and his familiarity, not just with the internet, but also with book and magazine publishing, I found his evaluation of the internet unusually interesting. "It used to be," he said, "that I would say the internet is the greatest invention since Gutenberg. But now I say it's the greatest invention since writing."

This is perhaps stating it at its maximum, but Peter's point is well made. The internet is an invention with great power. Just as the machine gun destroyed the effectiveness of massed infantry charges, so this modern invention is blunting the assaults of the mainstream media. Today anyone can wield the weapon of a computer, and everyone can be a writer, can be a publisher. His voice can be heard from the wilderness, or from the mountain top.

What you have before you is an example of this. We have no investment in a printing plant, have no staff, buy no newsprint, or pay postage for delivery. Yet these modest writings are technically capable of reaching anyone at any spot on the globe.

Working on this website has been a good experience. And one of the most pleasing rewards has been the response of our readers, such as those received after our last newsletter. Their comments and opinions enrich and fortify this site. Read below and you will see what I mean.

Readers' Letters

Further Diligence Is Necessary

Dear Hugh,

Further diligence is still necessary -- you probably saw the recent headline in the, "never saw a tax I didn't like" Huntsville Times, that proudly announced "a majority of Alabamians'' wanted a new tax plan", which of course is a code word for higher taxes.

The Huntsville Times and Ricky Thomasen will not stop until they get taxes increased, period --- and they are continuing to expound their propaganda regularly not only in their editorials but in the 'regular' news articles, (dressed up propaganda).

This is an issue you might want to keep us informed about as it develops.


They Still Don't Get It

Dear Hugh,

AMEN! It's amazing how many people, especially those in education, still do not fathom what the vote meant. I see from the AP story in the Dothan Eagle today, the one about the AEA's poll, that Dr. Hubbert hasn't "gotten it" either.

I recently read a speech by Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Senior Associate Commissioner of the Massachusetts Dept. of Education, given at a U.S. Senate Hearing in September of this year, in which she said, "The kind of history curriculum that our public schools have is a matter of public policy and, ultimately, drives public support for our public schools." (I have added the emphasis.)

Wouldn't the inverse also be true? If the public doesn't support the curriculum, they won't likely hand over additional money to teach things of which they disapprove. Could that be part of what we heard with the two-to-one "no" vote?

Alabama parents, taxpayers, and most teachers all want the same thing-- textbooks and teaching techniques which reflect traditional American values and which actually begin by helping the students master the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. And they expect, as they should, that our graduates will know at least the fundamentals of science, algebra, and geometry, as well as American and Western literature. In addition, they expect them to be knowledgeable of American and world history and have a working knowledge of our Constitution and other important documents, as well as our economic system.

When our taxpayers are confronted with graduates who can't read, write, or do basic math, and who do not have any real appreciation of our American heritage or our free enterprise system, they aren't likely to plead, "Tax Me More!"

Betty Peters

Betty Peters is a member of the State School Board, and has been a stalwart in standing firm for traditional American values. She is perhaps the most courageously outspoken person in public office in Alabama. She deserves our support.

Alabama GOP a Yankee Organization

Dear Hugh,

Lesson 5: Alabama must have a recall mechanism. The fight to establish one will move the battlefield to favorable terrain and permit our land barons to attack rather than hide out like cowards while the spear carriers do the real fighting. All of the rest is simply a gross waste of time and money.

Lesson 6: The Alabama Republican Party is a Yankee organization controlled by carpetbaggers. It needs to be abandoned and destroyed.


Good Message

Dear Hugh,

Good Message!

Thank you!

Mike Baker

In Total Agreement

Dear Hugh,

Again this is a very well done document. I agree totally with everything you say. Here is the problem. The same big name Politicians, newspapers, AEA, Alabama Power, and the Business council including our Governor are working hard behind the scenes to change our constitution. If they succeed in changing the constitution the people no longer will matter to the heads of state. This is real and the people will not wake up to that one fact, and seem to be rather complacent. Thank God for those old gentlemen who wrote that constitution. It is the only mechanism that stands in the way of all the liberals to raid the pockets of the people of Alabama in the name of "Our Children's Education."

Don Tolbert

Politicos in Shelby Missed Message

Dear Hugh,

As always, great words of wisdom, insight, and principle.

Here in Shelby County (as elsewhere) we found that the local politicians did not get the message of Sept 9 (nearly 71% voted NO on amendment one) and they have set for referendum a 9 mil property tax increase.

The fight(s) continues.

Freddy Ard

Riley a Democrat

Dear Hugh,

Thanks for the update. Our governor has just proposed a $1 billion tax increase scheme that incorporates many of the same principles found in Alabama's failed tax increase plan. Our governor is a democrat. Riley is a republican. Wallace was right..."not a dime's worth of difference."

Matthew L. Chancey

Poll Shows Truth of Chamber Support

Dear Hugh,

Once again you are right on target. Your comments on the Chamber of Commerce were appropriate and were proven here in Decatur during the recent fight against the "Riley Billion Dollar Tax Increase."

Several members of our Decatur Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) group paid for and tasked a phone poll of Decatur Chamber members. The results were enlightening given that the "Chamber Chieftains" had wholeheartedly endorsed the tax. The members were overwhelmingly against the tax, 55% opposed, 17% for, and 28% undecided. This made the front page of the Decatur Daily, and unfortunately, but true, the Chamber Executive Director, John Seymour, suffered a heart attack. I assure you that was not part of our plan.

Terry Smith
President, Decatur CSE

Need Correction on Chamber Support

Dear Hugh,

Great job! I would like to correct one issue. While the Chambers of Commerce did support the tax plan, the membership did not. As evidence, a poll conducted by the Decatur CSE indicated that the majority of their Chamber members were opposed to the tax plan.

I had hoped to do more with this issue during the tax debate, but simply ran out of time. It is good information to keep tucked in the back of your head for round two, however.


Riley/ Hubbert Have Plans B, C,...

Dear Hugh,

This is an excellent Lesson Learned.

I assume you read in the Hsv Times polling as to what voters wanted and what taxes they would vote for, and the Riley/Hubbert have Plans B, C, . . . for revenue.

I think the next to the last word in the forth line of Lesson 4 should be more and not less.

Vaughn Yost

Vaughn is correct. The word should have been "more."

Need to Stay United

Dear Hugh,

I have heard talk of a more narrowly focused Tax measure. A Tax attack on one, should be taken as an assault on us all, else we will be vulnerable to being picked off one at a time. Leaner times for an overfeed government, who's main interest is increasing the wealth of the wealthiest among us at the expense of the working middle class, is a good thing. We should limit the intake of the governmental cancer that drains our pocketbook and increases bureacratic hasles as a function of increased revenues. Thanks for your efforts. Keep us informed and united against constitutional reform and taxation by any other name.

Name Withheld

Cut Money to Curb AEA

Dear Hugh,

AEA has the support of the Legislature not because it has good ideas, but because it has a lot of money to give out to the Legislators. The only way to curb the power of the AEA is to cut out its supply of money. The money supply comes from teachers and other AEA members who make "voluntary" contributions by way of membership dues, which are withheld from their salaries.

Here is the kicker: each local school board is required by law to provide the bookkeeping, accounting, and overhead expense required to implement the salary deductions, account for the money, and send in the dues to AEA. This is all done at taxpayer expense. The local board of education is required by Alabama Code Section 16-22-6 to use its own resources (that is to say, OUR resources) to collect money for a private organization, the AEA. Section 94 of the Constitution of Alabama prohibits the use of public funds for private benefit.

It seems to me that the statute which requires the Board of Education to collect AEA dues is unconstitutional and should be attacked in the appropriate court as being unconstitutional and the local boards of education in the State of Alabama should join together to seek damages from the AEA which would compensate them for the manpower and expense over the past several years which have been expended by the Boards of Education to collect and disburse this money to the AEA.

The reason the AEA has so much money is because the local Boards of Education are required by law to collect AEA dues!

Calvin Poole III

These are good observations. The AEA is vulnerable on a number of counts. What we need is a strong will to mount the attack. I like that work "attack." We so frequently wait for our opponents to start an offensive, then try to counter it. We need an offensive of our own. Of course, it usually takes money, and that is our frequent stumbling block.

Divorce Riley From Party

Dear Hugh,

Do not allow Gov Riley to be associated with the Republican Party any longer. If he chooses to run for an additional term he should do so as a member of some other party.

This should be made clear and PUBLIC now.

John Moore

Truth Needs to be Aired

Dear Hugh,

If you need me to help stop the growing socialistic tendencies in this state, please let me know. I'll help where I can. I consider it imperative to the future of this state and our nation to air the truth about some of the people in power. Their intentions are anything but American.

James Caudill

Watch Out for Constitution Reform

Dear Hugh,

My husband and I worked long and hard to defeat Amendment One: yard signs delivered to others and put out personally; I mailed 132 of the postal cards; we used the internet and other occasions to speak against that tax hike.

BUT---neither we nor you nor the Tax Accountability Coalition would have had the OPPORTUNITY to speak, much less VOTE AGAINST that redistribution-of-the-wealth amendment IF IT WERE NOT FOR THE 1901 ALABAMA CONSTITUTION. Alabama citizens owe the defeat of Amendment One to those old gentlemen long deceased who wrote it.

The ACCR and other bleeding heart liberals in this state are already meeting and planning to "reform" our State Constitution. "Reforming" the Constitution means exactly what tax "reform" did: RAISING TAXES. If the Constitution-changers succeed, we won't get to vote on sending our property (income) to the state. They can merely take it at will.

Ellen Williams

New Leadership Needed

Dear Hugh,

Thank you for a great follow-up on the vote of the people in the most liberal tax proposal in the history of this state. You are right on all the issues you commented on, and the need to change our legislature and our unquestioning allegiance to a party that has moved to a tax and spend direction, and supporting a corrupt union and it's agenda.

We need new leadership in every county where we have elected officials who are only interested in staying in office and accumulating more power and benefits for themselves. I am with you on your agenda and am grateful for your zeal in not letting this momentum die or fade into the liberal media led agenda.

Thank you.

Doug Haskew

Former Democrat Mad With Riley

Dear Hugh,

Let me introduce myself, my name is Millard g. Mann, I am a WW 11 vet. also a Baptist minister for over 50 yrs, and with regret I admit that I voted for bob riley. he lied to me stole my vote through deception.

I was angry because of this, and for him to climb in bed politically with Paul Hubert was appalling and insulting to my Integrity and I am also southern Baptist, then to use the church to try to get the absurd tax bill passed was stooping to a new low by Mr. RILEY. To express my out rage I put out, put up, handed out, and distributed over 1100 vote no sign and I thank god we in cullman county defeated that absurd tax package by 85+%.

Mr. mcinnish I am a former democrat, but many years ago I come to realize that the Christian thing to do was pray and vote for the person and not the party, I also learned how deceptive a man can be by our present governor.

I have picked up and saved several of the vote no signs whereby when the next gov. Race comes up I will have them to put a big no on them concerning bob riley unless the one running against him is like don sigleman.

Though. I am almost 79 yrs old I feel that I done my duty to country and my state by defeating in part the riley Hubert absurdity in the Sept. 9 vote. No doubt they are now as I speak planning a new attack on the tax paying citizens of our great state and if the people are not properly informed these men Paul Hubert and gov. Riley will blind side the public, but it will be harder the next time around although they can be very deceptive.

Mr. mcinnish keep up the good work of informing the people and what a great radio station IOI.I f.M the source was in informing the people, without them the tax package might have passed.

rev. Millard G Mann

This is one of our more colorful, and obviously heartfelt, reader responses.

Conners Best Chairman Ever

Dear Hugh,

My name is Brad Unruh. Throught this whole tax debacle I have received and read all of your Stop the Tax Message e-mails, I have agreed with many of the points and observations that you have stated in them and including this one. I-am NOT a elected official on ANY level and I-am beyond a shadow of a doubt a Conservative Republican. I also have no plans to ever run for office, ever at this point. Having said that, There are two things that I question you on. One of which I adimittly disagree with. It is the following:

First, I have read in your previouse e-mails containing words of disdain for Chairman Marty Connors. You have either implied and or lapooned him over this tax issue as well as many other issues! You have in the past, implied that he was not a good chairman etc. However in this e-mail you don't name him, it is masked by saying big name party members. I take offense to you or anyone EVER stating or implying that Marty Connors isn't a great leader and chairman!

If you were at the convention that was held in August down in Orange Beach, You Mr. McInnish would have seen LEADERSHIP on display. It was Chairman Connors leadership and conservative values that helped defeat this tax package as well, and probably more so than anyone person! After the vote was over as to whether or not to adopt the endorsement of the resolution on the tax hike, I personally witnessed the verbal, profane assaults that he took for sticking to his conservative values and principles.

He never ONCE let the Govornor or anyone else push him around and lower his principles for which the party stands for on this issue! Never Once! It made me so angry and outraged at the things and language used directly to his face, that it was all I could do to hold back. If you don't believe this, just ask one particular man how it felt when I got in his face and he thought he was fixing to be knocked into next week! But, Chairman Connor's, the statesman that he is, interceded and told me to stop and told me that person had a right to say what he felt.

He is, no doubt the best chairman I have seen yet, to EVER serve as the Alabama Republican Party Chairman! The record speaks for it's-self. Let me make it very clear. I-am not one of his "henchmen" or one of his associates in any way shape or form. I know who he is, and have talked with him before. Beyond that, I have never seen him exept at Republican Functions and or maybe in passing at the Party Headquarters, which I could only count the number of times I have been there. Not many. Then some of those very few times, he wasn't there or at least I never seen him, since all of my visits there have been very short.

My point that I-am making here is that I have no reason to "kiss up" to him as some would say. I just stand up for people that stand by there principles in the heat of the battle and never, ever bend or budge from there core beliefs. It would be complete slander for anyone to say that Chairman Connors did any of those from the beginning to end of this tax fight. Also I believe that credit is to be properly given where credit is due!

Where have YOU been in that regard, Mr. McInnish? I have yet to see you put out one single statement or otherwise crediting or supporting Mr. Connors for his stand and fight against this tax hike! If you have I stand corrected. I have seen plenty of your critiscims of him, many of which made me want to puke!

My second issue is that you state that the Party or Republican Candidates should NOT accept any money from Hubbert. I beg to differ. I agree with the point you are making all the way! However, President Ronald Reagan did the same thing. He simply stated that when these type groups and people give him contributions, they are buying into his beliefs. I say take all the money we can possibly squeeze out of them! If we don't, it goes to the Democrats or some other wacko group.

The problem is with the Elected Republicans who even remotely entertain supporting and then voting for their agenda(s). They are the very individuals we should come down on like a ton of bricks when they tower to Hubbert and other groups/people associated with left wing agenda's. I know this is very controversial, but I also believe that we should have Party discipline.

When the public sees a clear distinction between us and the Democrats..... we win! I agree with you in that regard. In the same token, we should give star treatment to the TRUE Republicans who do not budge from there values and principles for which the party stands for.

By the same token when Republicans who accept money from those groups and tower to them, they need to feel completely isolated and be made to feel shamed and scared to show their face at any Republican event there after. I know this sounds harsh, but I don't buy into all this cocka-ma-me belief that we should be a Party of quote "inclusiveness". If we do that, What do we stand for? Let me emphasive, I do understand that there are negatives that would sometimes exceed the positives of party discipline.

In closing, I want you to know that I agree with many of the points you have made in the past as well as present. I do feel strongly that it is high time that You give credit to where it is highly overdue to Chairman Marty Connors! I have yet to see where you mentioned Chairman Connors receiving the Dragon Slayer Award from the Americans for Tax Reform aka ATR. It is almost becoming clear that while you are fighting these liberal-left wing Democrat issues, it also all about YOU!! Also, it is like you are hesitent to give anyone credit for a job well done, as that would take the spotlight off of YOURSELF!

I truely welcome your resonse and stand corrected if any thing I have stated above is not correct. The two issues above are the main issues that I felt needed to be addressed. Other than that I appreciate your tenasity in the battle for Conservative Republican ideals to prevaile.

Brad Unruh

Brad has a good point in regard to Chairman Marty Conners. He did indeed stand up to the establishment though under great pressure, and he got a resolution passed by the State Committee condemning the tax proposal. Unfortunately the vote in the Committee was only 55 percent in favor, further disquieting evidence of the lack of strong devotion in the Party to conservative principles.

I think Marty is a good chairman, and don't recall having said anything bad about him.

13 Dec 03