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The Millbrook Independent

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Let’s elect one of our own
Written by News Desk   
Thursday, 10 July 2014 14:59

artparkerBy Art Parker, Editor

For the first time since the general election of 1974, Elmore County citizens will have an opportunity to elect an Elmore County resident to serve in the Alabama Senate. That date precedes the first time I could vote, which was the 1976 General Election, and today I'm on the brink of sixty years old. That's a long time.

The last Elmore County resident to serve in the Alabama Senate was Senator Jerry Powell, who served during one of George Wallace's administrations, the one that began in January of 1975, when most current voters were not yet registered to vote. The then 48-year-old Powell, lived in Eclectic and owned retails stores in Eclectic, Wetumpka, and Tuscaloosa.

Prior to Senator Powell, a young Sonny Hornsby of Tallassee was elected to serve in the Alabama Senate in 1962. He later became Elmore County's only resident ever to be elected to serve as a justice on the Alabama Supreme Court, serving as its Chief Justice from 1989 to 1995.

Why has Elmore County been the victim of ineffective representation in the Alabama Senate for almost 40 years? Here's the reason. Beginning with the reapportionment that took place following the 1980 federal census, and likewise with the three ensuing federal censuses (1990, 2000, and 2010), Elmore County has been carved up geographically worse than a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving to satisfy the political hunger of our surrounding counties, thus destroying effective representation for Elmore County. In the past Elmore County has shared non-resident representation with remote counties like Talladega, Butler, Crenshaw, and Pike. Even today, Elmore County remains a part of two different senate districts, 30 and 25, that serve 6 counties other than Elmore County.

Next Tuesday, July 15, will be the day that residents of Elmore County can change a trend that has not been in our best interest. The "new" Senate District 30 does not include all of Elmore County but at least we are not a minor player. Elmore County will have close to the same number of votes as Autauga County, and the two together hold the lion's share of the total votes, the balance of which is spread between the southern part of Chilton County, all of Coosa County and a very small portion of Tallapoosa County near Alex City.

I lived in Prattville for quite some time before moving to Millbrook. I clearly remember that a political mission of the Prattville power was to always deny Millbrook and Elmore County whenever possible. In other words those on the east side of I-65 were entitled to the crumbs, not the feast. We got a break four years ago when Paul Beckman, a fine man from Prattville, was elected to our House of Representatives seat. Beckman kept his word before the election and has treated Millbrook and Elmore County fairly, and that is probably the biggest reason that Beckman will be re-elected without opposition.

Next Tuesday, July 15, we can take another step toward being treated fairly. We can elect one of Millbrook's favorite sons, and a lifelong resident, to the Alabama Senate.

The Independent endorsed the candidacy of Harris Garner prior to the Primary Election. The Independent reaffirms its endorsement in the July 15 runoff. Since the last endorsement Garner has made a very tough stand against Common Core, the standards that the Federal Government desires for us to follow in our schools, which will diminish our state's rights and, in my opinion, contaminate the minds of our future leaders. Garner's opponent, Clyde Chambliss of Prattville, said several months ago that the decisions regarding Common Core should be left to our State Board of Education. Chambliss is well bankrolled by the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) the standard bearer of Common Core along with former Governor Bob Riley.

When you mention the names of Riley and the BCA you also get the name of Mike Hubbard, the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives, and the target of an 18-month investigation by a Lee County Grand Jury that has already produced two indictments related to the Speaker. The Speaker is the primary meal ticket for Riley and the BCA because he can control legislation and that means money can be controlled.

Furthermore, Riley has been pushing to have the current District 30 Senator, Bryan Taylor of Prattville, installed as the new Director of the Alabama Ethics Commission. Riley and Taylor need all the Senators they can get because the Senate confirms the appointment of the Ethics Director.

So, here's the bottom line. We do not need Bob Riley and his regime any longer. They have done enough damage to this state. We do not need an idea like Common Core in our schools. A vote for Chambliss is a vote for Riley, Hubbard, Taylor and Common Core.

I strongly encourage you to vote for Harris Garner next Tuesday, July 15, at your usual polling location. Let's vote for Harris. He is one of us.

 
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