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Sunday, September 3, 2006
PoliColumn II (The District 54)
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 7:21 am

On a two-fer Sunday, here’s another piece from me from today’s Press-Register:

State Democratic Party narrowly avoids electoral shame
Sunday, September 03, 2006
By STEVEN L. TAYLOR
Special to the Press-Register

The Democratic Executive Committee recently avoided a public relations nightmare, and — more important — also righted an injustice that had been made by a lower-level party committee days before. But the closeness of the vote (95-87) suggests that there is an unsettlingly large number of party leaders who would have preferred to stick with the unjust outcome.

The issue at hand was the primary for Alabama State House District 54, which pitted Gaynell Hendricks, an African-American, against Patricia Todd, a lesbian, for the party’s nomination for an open seat.

It should have been a win-win for state Democrats: The district had no Republican candidate, so the seat was as safe as it could be.

However, because the primary itself was for all practical purposes the actual election, the stakes were high and things got nasty.

(more…)

Filed under: My Columns, Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Saturday, August 26, 2006
State Dems Reinstate Todd
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 3:35 pm

Via the AP:  Alabama Democrats reinstate gay candidate for Legislature

The Alabama Democratic Party Executive Committee voted 95-87 to reject the ruling of a subcommittee that had voted to disqualify Todd, who is white, and her black opponent, Gaynell Hendricks, in the race for the House seat from Birmingham’s District 54.

Todd defeated Hendricks by 59 votes in the July 18 party runoff election.

This is the just outcome.

Further, the state Democratic leadership had to know what a PR nightmare they had on their hands (not to mention a possible drawn-out legal set of problems had they let the sub-committee’s ruling stand).

Of course, the racial and power-broker politics of the event will likely resonate into the future:

The committee vote pitted vice chairman Joe Reed, a powerful black political leader, against other party officials. Reed had written a letter to black leaders in Jefferson County before the July 18 runoff asking them to support Hendricks so that a black would be elected from the majority black district.

Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Friday, August 25, 2006
Rule Used by Dems to Disqualify District 54 Candidates was Never Approved
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:02 pm

So reports Jeff Vreeland at Politics in Alabama:

the 1974 rule was not pre-cleared by the Department of Justice. There is record of the DOJ receiving the motion for pre-clearance of the rule change and a record of the response from to the DOJ requesting more information; but there is no record of the approval of the change of the Alabama Democratic Bylaws. The letter sent by the DOJ to Robert E. Vance was requesting more information before the approval could be made. There was no record of receiving any of the requested information from the Alabama Democratic Party or of the bylaws change being approved.

Which should mean, if I understand the rules, that the rule used to oust the candidates never was in force, and therefore could not be used to disqualify them.

Kudos to Jeff for doing the research and reporting on this issue-although Wheeler at Alablawg isn’t sure if this matters or not.

Regardless, this whole affair is an embarrassment to the Alabama Democratic Party-indeed, to the state itself.
My previous post on this topic is here.

Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Gay Politics and the Alabama Democratic Party
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 7:21 pm

The race for Alabama House seat District 54 (in the Birmingham area-see this map) has turned ugly.

The race made headlines in July, because it appeared that the winner of the Democratic run-off, Patricia Todd, would be the first openly gay member of the state legislature (there is no Republican candidate running for the seat).

However, yesterday, via the AP we find that: Dems use ignored rule to oust gay candidate with the kicker being that it was (as reported by the NYT):

a rule that, by party officials’ own admission, has not been enforced in nearly 20 years.

The rule has to do with the filing of financial disclosure forms (again via the NYT):

The accusations against Ms. Todd are that she failed to file campaign finance reports with the party chairman in a timely fashion. But candidates no longer submit such reports to the party, instead they send them to the secretary of state. Ms. Todd did miss the deadline for filing her final report, however, which Ms. Hendricks said was an effort to conceal a $25,000 contribution from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a national group that supports gay candidates. The report also showed that Ms. Todd made payments for consulting services totaling $10,750 to two primary opponents who later supported her in the runoff.

Ms. Todd’s opponent also failed to comply with the rule (and the challenge was filed by the opponent’s Mother-in-law). But because the complaint was filed against Todd, her opponent, Ms. Hendricks, could be named to replace her, even though she also violated the rule.

This entire situation stinks: it reeks of petty racial politics (Ms. Hendricks in black and the district is majority black), the worst of power-broker politics (Democratic Vice-Chairman and powerbroker Joe L. Reed is at the heart of much of this) and anti-gay prejudice. If that’s not a trifecta of shame for the Democratic Party of Alabama, I don’t know what one would look like. And, above all else, the ruling violates the democratic rights of the district, as Todd has received the most votes in both the first and second rounds.

Birmingham Blues has some photos from yesterday’s hearing.

Alablawg looks at the actual law and then comments on the results of the hearing.

Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | Comments (5) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

The World Around You » Blog Archive » You knew they would find a way… linked with [...] **UPDATE: Steven Taylor at Poliblog is on this story too. Posted Alabama Politics on Friday, August 25th, 2006. [...]
PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Rule Used by Dems to Disqualify District 54 Candidates was Never Approved linked with [...] Kudos to Jeff for doing the research and reporting on this issue-although Wheeler at Alablawg isn’t sure if this matters or not. My previous post on this topic is here. Filed under: US Politics | |Send TrackBack [...]
Thursday, August 3, 2006
Delay will probably lose any further appeals, too
By Brett Marston (guestblogger) @ 4:24 pm

It’s always dicey to predict what appellate courts will do, but Rick Hasen argues that the U.S. Supreme Court is not likely to be persuaded by Tom Delay’s attempts to get off the ballot in the good old Texas 22nd:

But I would rate the chances of a further appeal being successful as very small. The reasoning of the 5th Circuit opinion is solid (the meat of the ruling, on page 20 of the pdf reads: “The intersection of § 145.003, which requires that proof of ineligibility be conclusive, and the Qualifications Clause, which requires inhabitancy only ‘when elected,’ presents an extraordinary burden to declaring a candidate ineligible on residency grounds prior to the election. This is because it is almost always possible for a person to change their residency: to move to the state in question before the election, thereby satisfying the Qualifications Clause.”).

Apparently, Delay’s lawyers are bypassing en banc review by the 5th Circuit and going straight for the gold (see Lyle Denniston here.)

Aside from the Qualifications Clause issue - about which the 5th Circuit holding seems reasonable enough to me - a contrary ruling would reward attempts by Delay and his party to game the primary system.

Filed under: Courts/the Judiciary, 2006 Elections, Elections: 2006 | Comments (2) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Saturday, June 24, 2006
RileyLeads Baxley in Polls
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 10:35 pm

Via Angus Reid Consultants: Riley Holds Upper Hand in Alabama Ballot

Incumbent Bob Riley could earn a new term as governor in Alabama, according to a poll by SurveyUSA released by WKRG-TV, 51 per cent of respondents in the Yellowhammer State would support the Republican, while 40 per cent would back Democratic lieutenant governor Lucy Baxley.

A separate study by Rasmussen Reports gives Riley a 14-point lead over Baxley.

Hardly a surprise. Indeed, I ultimately expect Riley to win by fve to six points.

Friday, June 9, 2006
MeTube 2
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:08 pm

Here’s a second clip, which is lengthier and contains a discussion of the Alabama GOP’s race for Supreme Court candidates, the Moore candidacy and the Democratic contest for a gubernatorial candidate:


Filed under: General, Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | Comments (2) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Politics In Alabama » Blog Archive » Dr. Steven Taylor on Alabama Public TV linked with [...] Dr. Steven Taylor on Alabama Public TV Dr. Steven Taylor, author of Poliblogger and friend of mine was recently on Alabama Public TV (on Tuesday, Election day), and he has the v [...]
Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Screen Cap from Last Night
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 5:39 pm

Here’s me on APTV’s For the Record from last night (and yes, they spelled my name incorrectly):

Filed under: General, Alabama Politics, photoblogging, Elections: 2006 | Comments (19) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Pros and Cons » Our own Dr. Taylor, TV star! linked with [...] or of Alabama’s debate. Not to toot his own horn, OK, well he does, but I admit that he cuts a good figure on TV. Seriously, well done. Would that more talking heads were like him. I’d wa [...]
Moore/Parker Slate Loses in Bid for SC
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:21 am

All of the candidates for state Supreme Court who were allied with Moore and Associate Justice Tom Parker lost (including Parker’s bid to become Chief), Incumbents win four Alabama Supreme Court races:

_Chief Justice Drayton Nabers Jr. beat Associate Justice Tom Parker 215,809-144,085 votes, or 60 percent to 40 percent, for the top administrative position in Alabama’s court system. Parker is a close ally of ousted Chief Justice Roy Moore, who lost his GOP primary race against Gov. Bob Riley by similar margin.

_In the race for Place 1, Associate Justice Champ Lyons defeated Opelika attorney Ben Hand 188,011-130,716, or 59 percent to 41 percent.

_Associate Justice Tom Woodall led Hank Fowler, a staff attorney for Parker, 221,355 votes to 89,484, or 71 percent to 29 percent, for Place 2.

_Place 3 Associate Justice Lyn Stuart lead Alan Zeigler, a Birmingham attorney, 229,955-95,718, or 71 percent to 29 percent.

_Civil Appeals Judge Glenn Murdock had 194,324 votes, or 62 percent — more than enough to avoid a runoff in the three-way race for Place 4. Former Associate Justice Jean Brown had 81,616 votes, or 26 percent, and Prattville attorney Tracy Gwyn BirdSong trailed with 39,595 votes, or 13 percent.

Of course, the fun part is that Parker still has two years left on the Court as an Associate Justice:

Parker will remain on the court in his associate justice slot, and Nabers said the nature of their working relationship after a tough campaign was “a good question.”

“I can promise the citizens that the Alabama Supreme Court will get its work done and get it done on time,” said Nabers.

Parker pledged to both support the Republican judicial ticket in the fall and work with Nabers and other members of the court. “We will work together to work through our differences,” he said.

Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | Comments (4) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Pros and Cons » Alabama had primary elections today. linked with [...] race, click here. Here’s Dr. Steven Taylor, on the same race in California, and on Alabama Judicial and Gubernatorial races. Jo, of Jo’s Cafe has this on Alabama’s Marriage Amendm [...]
It’s Riley v. Baxley
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:17 am

Via the AP: Riley tops Moore in Alabama GOP race for governor

Republican Gov. Bob Riley turned back Alabama’s ousted Ten Commandments judge, Roy Moore, in the GOP primary Tuesday. On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley defeated former Gov. Don Siegelman, who spent election day standing trial on bribery charges.

With 99% of the vote counted, Riley trounced Moore 67-33 and Baxley crushed Siegelman 60-36.

Riley should be viewed as the clear favorite for November.

Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | Comments (2) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Pros and Cons linked with Alabama had primary elections today.
Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Gay Marriage Amendment
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 10:25 pm

Not surprisingly, the anti-gay marriage amendment is winning in a landslide: 81-19.

Up-to-date numbers here.

Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Outside The Beltway | OTB linked with Riley Beats Moore in Alabama GOP Primary
It’s Riley
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 10:04 pm

With 36% of the precincts counted, the AP has called the GOP for Riley:

Riley 65.42%
Moore 34.58%

They haven’t called it for Baxley as yet, but she is cruising for a big win as well, it would seem.

Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Statewide Results
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:14 pm

Here.

With 6% of the vote in, Riley has a 39 point lead.

Baxley is up by 9.

Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Alabama Election Results
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:03 pm

So far there are no serious results as yet, but I will post info as I find it.

According to one local TV station the results have been unusually slow so far.

Filed under: General, Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Even More on the Judicial Fight
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 5:15 pm

From an editorial in today’s Montgomery Advertiser: Parker deserves colleague’s criticism

It is extremely unusual, if not unprecedented, for a sitting state Supreme Court justice to hold a press conference to support one of his colleagues and oppose another. But that is what Alabama Supreme Court Justice Mike Bolin did this week.

Bolin not only spoke out in favor of the candidacy of Chief Justice Drayton Nabers, but he openly was critical of Associate Justice Tom Parker, who is running against Nabers in the Republican Party’s primary on June 6.

Usually justices not up for re-election do not get publicly involved in another justice’s race, and it is almost unheard of for a justice to publicly criticize another justice with whom they have to work.

Bolin, who was elected to the Supreme Court in 2004, said he has worked with both candidates for chief justice for the past two years.

“While Tom Parker’s tenure has been marked by divisiveness, an activist judicial philosophy and an inability to do his job, Chief Justice Nabers is a hard worker and strong conservative leader who runs the court fairly, effectively and with integrity,” Bolin said.

This really is a wild race-and one can’t help but think that the working relationships at the Court will be quite damaged by Parker’s choice to challenge Nabers.

Bolin ran against, and beat, a Moore-allied candidate in 2004.

Filed under: Elections: 2006 | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
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