Reader’s Comment

 

 

BY: JEFF MARTIN

It is always welcomed when someone takes the time to comment on something I have written, whether the reader is in agreement with me or not. When someone takes the time to read my thoughts and respond, I owe the same to them and sometimes it’s worth sharing.

 

Jeff,

I’m a longtime subscriber of the Montgomery Independent and most of the time I enjoy reading it very much. I believe you have characterized Judge Roy Moore incorrectly. Could it be that he is just a man of strong Godly principle and simply believes as he does based on other authorities such as the Holy Scriptures and his good conscience? If the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others had not bucked the bad laws, then where would Civil Rights be today? Judge Roy Moore has sacrificed a lot for his beliefs and you should recognize that.

Doug Jones will not win because he and the Democratic Party are totally out of touch with the majority of Alabamians. As long as their platform remains the way it is regarding abortion, homosexuality and other ungodly beliefs as prepared by Hillary and Bernie Sanders, I predict that Democrats will not win any more statewide races in Alabama.

Because of space and time I’ve over simplified my thoughts and position but I’ve said enough for you to recognize where I am coming from and I think that represents about 60% of all Alabamians.

Sincerely, ……

Mr. ……

First, I appreciate you taking the time to write regarding my last column.

I have no issue with Roy Moore, the candidate or individual, expressing his bigoted believes. However, in his former capacity as Chief Justice, violating court orders and not recognizing Federal law shouldn’t and can’t be tolerated from a sitting Judge in our democracy. That is the significant difference between the example you provided with Martin Luther King, Jr., who was 1) not an elected official, 2) jailed numerous times for his civil disobedience and 3) often harassed, threatened, beaten and eventually murdered for ‘bucking’ not bad laws, but unconstitutional ones. While many might think or prefer the Holy Scriptures rule our country, they do not. The Constitution of the United States does. Again, I think it is perfectly fine for Roy Moore to express his beliefs as a candidate for U.S. Senate, as I exercise my right to disagree with him.

Having said that, it might surprise you to know I would prefer a Roy Moore in the Senate as opposed to Luther Strange because while I don’t agree with Judge Moore, I do consider him to be an honest man, unlike Strange. And let’s face it; both candidates are in similar agreement on social issues like same-sex marriage. Also, I don’t disagree that your opinion represents 60% of Alabamians and probably even more of the Montgomery Independent’s readership. I don’t ask readers to support Doug Jones in my column as much as I suggest they consider him as a viable option.

I will be voting for Doug Jones in December.

I think you would agree that my column would be pretty boring if I only wrote what everyone agreed with, instead of poking the hornet’s nest most weeks. As John B. Oakes, longtime editor of the NYT’s said in 1954 “The minute we begin to insist that everyone think the same way we think, our democratic way of life is in danger.” And might I add, if people never read opposing viewpoints or consider candidates from all persuasions, they will never learn to think for themselves or feel comfortable outside their insulated environment.

Opposing opinions, as well as agreeable ones, are always welcome at The Montgomery Independent and I appreciate you sharing yours.

 

Sincerely,

Jeff Martin

 

Tuesday, September 26th, is Election Day to determine the GOP candidate for United States Senate between Roy Moore and Luther Strange. If you are registered to vote and did not vote in the Democratic primary, please remember to exercise your right and Vote Tuesday. Tuesday’s winner will face Democrat Doug Jones in the special General Election to be held Tuesday, December 12th.

Tax dollars spent on the campaign trail

Jeff Martin

By JEFF MARTIN

I don’t feel my tax dollars should be used to support the election of any political candidate and it really gets my goat when full-time elected officials spend more time campaigning for political office than doing what we elected them to do. Especially when it occurs during a weekday when they should be working.

It isn’t anything new, but with the abundance of social media nowadays, some don’t even care to hide the fact that they aren’t working. A few even flaunt it. Two examples would be Secretary of State John Merrill and Public Service Commission (PSC) President Twinkle Cavanaugh. One only has to follow them on social media to conclude they are usually out campaigning and backslapping, instead of performing the job we elected them to do.

As President of the PSC, Twinkle draws a six-figure state salary, but I’m beginning to scratch my head as to why, because over the last several months she seems to be everywhere but working at the PSC.

Twinkle on a Tuesday morning on the road to meet with South Baldwin Republican Women

Twinkle has been traveling the state attending Republican political gatherings for months as a candidate for higher office and even if she loses, she has two-years remaining on her current term.

John Merrill isn’t much better. Known for his continuous, nonstop campaigning. Merrill has never met a camera he didn’t like. Maybe if he were in the office more he wouldn’t have botched last year’s ballots by omitting language on a constitutional amendment, costing the state around half a million dollars in reprints.

Merrill attending a Friday mid-day campaign rally for a friend.

Sure there are exceptions and an elected official by right and privilege will be invited to speaking engagements from civic organizations and such…but no event should be political or exclusive to one political persuasion.

I’m not claiming Cavanaugh or Merrill have violated any laws. I will assume they aren’t dumb enough to use a state car or resources (other than their salary) when out campaigning in the middle of the week. But it doesn’t pass the smell test and it’s time they be called out for doing so.

 

Hurricanes, Fires, Nuclear War & a U.S. Senate race

 

By JEFF MARTIN

The month of September started off with some exciting football victories and great Labor Day activities, and the weather didn’t disappoint for those of us in Montgomery. But, amongst all of it, Texas is just beginning to assess the destruction and begin the recovery efforts caused by Harvey, which killed at least 60 and has left billions in damage. California has been battling the largest wildfire in the city of Los Angeles history. Once again we are under the threat of another monster Hurricane that is barreling towards Florida. And we are on the brink of a possible Nuclear War.

That is a lot to digest.  And President Trump is not to blame for any of it. I only pray he, along with Congress provides the necessary relief for those affected by the several natural disasters and that a peaceful solution can be reached preventing war with North Korea, because if the bombs start flying that devastation can’t be undone.

Scary times indeed, especially the thought of Nuclear War. So scary, that the next time the radio and television stations air their emergency broadcast system, we’ll all pay close attention hoping it is only a test.

Speaking of disasters.

It’s down to two in the GOP U.S. Senate runoff scheduled for September 26th. Former Chief Justice Roy Moore and current U.S. Senate placeholder Luther Strange easily finished one-two in the primary several weeks ago. If polling is any indication, it is Roy Moore’s race to lose, however we are still a few weeks out and Strange will have the odd mix of Washington insider money and a Presidential endorsement on his side.  The winner will face Democrat Doug Jones in December.

The December winner will fulfill the few years remaining on A.G. Jeff Sessions term.

I can’t support either GOP candidate for United States Senate. I voted in the Democratic primary for the first time in several election cycles because the only Republican running for Senate that I would have even considered voting for was my friend, state Sen. Trip Pittman, from south Alabama.

I’m looking for a candidate that can go to Washington and work well with others. Someone who is beholden only to the people and interests of Alabama and will take those beliefs to Washington and work to get something done.

I don’t believe Moore or Strange is open-minded or unselfish enough to serve in the Senate.

Roy Moore has already proven he believes his opinion is above the law, having been removed not once, but twice for ignoring the law that he was sworn to uphold as Chief Justice.  Were he to be elected, even his Republican colleagues would ostracize Moore for his antiquated beliefs on same-sex marriage. He would be an ineffective member of the Senate and has proven time after time he doesn’t have a grasp on the issues our Nation currently faces.

But, option 2 is not any better.

Strange is nothing but a “Yes” man to the Washington insider crowd. His campaign promises to “drain the swamp,” but do your homework Alabama voters. Strange lives and thrives in the swamp and what’s best for Alabama will always come second to what he is told to do by those in Washington who are financing his campaign. Elect Strange and we’ll never see him again, except come election time.

So, let me just suggest that over the next two months you at least do a little research and consider option 3.

Doug Jones is a Birmingham attorney and former U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.  Yes, he is a Democrat, and as a Democrat in Washington it might be a little tough to get much accomplished right now, but we have Senator Richard Shelby for that and the Senate won’t remain Republican forever, heck it might not be majority Republican next year.

All I’m asking is that you get to know Doug Jones and not from the 30-second political ads.  He is a viable option come December and one I think is worthy of consideration. It’s all I ask.

Everyone stay safe this weekend as Hurricane Irma approaches and lets all pray for a peaceful solution with North Korea.