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The Millbrook Independent

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Make parties pay for their own elections
Written by News Desk   
Thursday, 04 April 2013 19:07

art webRecently came a bill before the Alabama House of Representatives that would address the issue of primary elections and the cost of such elections. Currently the taxpayers foot the bill for the parties to have primaries and run-off elections. Representative Mike Ball of Madison County is sponsor of the bill.

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The bill doesn't really address money as much as it does the percentages to be used to determine run-off elections with the intent being to cut off run-off elections with low participation. The way to do this, according to the bill, would be to lower the requirements in the primary to determine the winner. In other words, someone could be an outright winner with only 35% of the votes instead of a true majority.

In a recent column Independent publisher Bob Martin said this is bad legislation. I completely agree. So, what is the solution? In my opinion parties should pay for any election that is limited to its party voters. In other words, let them pay for their own election.

I'm sure both parties hate this idea because they don't want to cough up the money to fund their own elections. They would much rather keep their money to spend on talking bad about and lying about their opponent in the other party during the general election. My answer to this is, too bad, manage your own money instead of spending ours. Let's see how good parties do when they don't have the public's money to pay for everything.

Or, I say to the parties, come up with more innovative ways to elect your representative to the general election. Just think, the Republicans could have a long debate determining who is telling the truth about seeing another Republican in a casino drinking a beer and gambling. Surely, those who are found guilty of such could never represent the GOP in a general election, even though the number guilty would probably be close to 100% of the GOP. And the Democrats? Well, they could see who is a slave-holding, murdering, adulterous, baby-raping, incestuous ... kin folk type (kind of like Dem House member Joe Mitchell described in his recent email to a constituent). That would most likely disallow a similar person from representing the Democrat party.

And if those methods fail to bring about a top candidate for the general election then both could go to Phase Two. That would be mud wrestling. Let's face it, any candidate that is either a Republican or Democrat needs to be a competent, ferocious mud wrestler. That's what they do when they run for office...get down in the mud. That's where politicians belong.

Finally, if neither of the first two internal primaries work then the parties could do the real acid test Phase Three: The Liar's Contest. To be either a Republican or Democrat candidate despite the number of thieves, church goers, murderers, gamblers and snaggle-tooth people you have in the family, you must excel at the Liar's Contest. The true test to see if you can hold elective office in Alabama is your ability to successfully lie to the people. From my standpoint that is what we the people have paid for all of these years-to have someone to lie to us.

The parties should pay their own primary election bills and present a person for office and that person must meet all qualifications like anyone without a party. Maybe one day we can elect someone with no ties to a party whatsoever. I think that would be great. The worst that will happen is that we will be no worse off, and I'm convinced that is the truth.

My sincere thanks to the leadership and members of East Chapel Methodist Church on Airport Road for a wonderful early morning Easter service this past Sunday. My friend, Elmore County Probate Judge John Enslen was the guest speaker and presented splendidly the facts surrounding the trials of Jesus Christ in his final days. I've never heard a detailed presentation about those days in legal terms only and I found it to be both enlightening and disturbing. Thanks again to the church and Judge Enslen.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 April 2013 15:16
 
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