Back last summer when the State School Board took a vote to endorse Amendment One, the proposal for the largest tax increase in Alabama history, a majority of the Board voted "yes," and the Board added its name to the list of political pickpockets reaching for your wallet. But Stephanie Bell was one of two Republican members who voted "no."
We owe her a lot, and now we have just the right opportunity to make a small payment on our debt. Stephanie has three opponents in the June 1 Republican primary, the principal one being a man named John Draper.
But before going further I need to touch on an important philosophical point. I promise this diversion will be mercifully brief.
Back when the Alabama Republican Party was still a fledgling and we were struggling to get members and candidates, we took without hesitation anyone who called himself a Republican. And we had this thing called the "11th Commandment," which demanded that we never let a critical word directed at another Republican pass our lips. This seemed appropriate in earlier days, but things have changed.
Today the Party dominates certain areas of the State, and to get elected in those areas a candidate must run under our banner. This means, inevitably, that we will attract impostors, people who pretend to be conservatives, but are not. After all the time, energy, and money, to say nothing of the blood, sweat, and tears, we have invested in building the Party, it would be the height of stupidity for us to cling to the outmoded idea of the 11th Commandment and allow our Party to be infiltrated by the liberals, the very people for whom we exist to defeat.
After all, the 11th Commandment was not given to a prophet high on a mountain, nor was it brought down from the mountain graven in stone. It was written on paper, the work of mere practical men, and we of today, being practical ourselves, are free to erase it.
I hope, then, that you will join me in renouncing all commandments after the 10th, and that together we will expose the impostors.
John Draper is the Executive Director of CLAS, Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, an umbrella organization for 11 organizations of school administrators. (Just in case you are curious, the list includes AASSP, AAESA, AASA, AASCD, AAMLA, and CASE. Also AAAS, AACNPD, AASPA, AASBO, and ACTA.)
Draper and CLAS were mainstays in the late campaign to pass Amendment One, the largest tax increase in the history of our state. CLAS gave $5,000 to the Alabama Partnership for Progress, the political committee that funded the tax campaign.
In a "Dear Principals" letter, Draper wrote, "CLAS, several affiliates, and the Alabama High School Athletic Association have worked together to send flyers for home football games to middle and high school principals across the state. These flyers say 'Vote Yes' and should be passed out by volunteers according to local board policy." He reminds the principals that they are free to campaign for the tax increase.
With these credentials it is obvious that Draper is a liberal educator of the Paul Hubbert stripe, and is about as far from a conservative and a genuine Republican as Hubbert himself is. It is altogether clear that he is a fake Republican. If elected, we can count on him to consistently support the Hubbert agenda. And that would be a monumental disaster.
The loss of Stephanie's steady, conservative voice would allow the Board to move further toward the political correctness that has so grievously infected our schools.
What can we do to help? Just this: First, forward this newsletter to your list in order to spread the alarm. Then, if you live in her district don't just vote for her yourself, but find a few friends and remind them to do likewise. And whether you live in her district or not send her a little money. Here is the address:
Stephanie Bell Campaign