April 8, 2018

What Alabamians Deserve

This has been a week where we have debated on debates – who’s going to attend and who’s not. Why they’re going to attend and why they aren’t.

It’s been fascinating. It’s like a chess game. We make one move forward and somebody else jumps and moves laterally.

We’re working to have a debate where Governor Ivey attends and the three challengers attend. Ideally, we’d like to have more than one debate, to be able to bring the campaign to residents in different parts of the state. But with the Governor’s reluctance, even one full-field debate for the citizens of Alabama seems remote.

Our feeling is that a campaign is more than sound-bites and clever, empty phrases. Campaigns are made to talk face-to-face to the people of Alabama about what we’re doing and what our vision is, to enable them to hear all the ideas and to make an educated choice when they file their ballots.

A few weeks ago, the Governor and her team’s story was she is, “happy to discuss her record” in a debate.

Now, that story changed to, “I’ll stand on my record.”

We have reminded people of the retro days, back in 1982, when Kay Ivey was running against Jan Cook for state auditor. Cook would not debate, so Kay Ivey held a press conference on the steps of the State Capitol, standing next to an empty chair, and began, “The people deserve…”

Well, we think the same thing that was true in 1982 is true in 2018.

It’s an interesting decision for her to stand on her record. Her record as governor is 12 months old. She’s had 30 years as part of a state government that has so often been dysfunctional and corrupt. She spent eight years as state treasurer, and that’s a record everybody needs to look at. She spent eight years as lieutenant governor, which made her the nominal head of the legislature, and where it was hard to get things done and where there seemed to be no leadership.

On the other hand, we’re running on a 10-year record of achievement in Huntsville – 10 years of jobs and employment and building a community that gets along and can work for the common good.

We have ideas to translate this into an effective state government, but sadly we won’t be able to sit down with all the candidates in one place and with Alabama citizens tuned in, to have a conversation about those ideas.

We’ve been busy on the campaign trail. We’re continuing to crisscross the state to meet new friends. Mrs. Battle has been on the road three or four days a week, and we’ve been to Gadsden and Anniston this past week.

Meanwhile, we’ll keep working for a debate. It’s what the people deserve.