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State nets dubious national recognition

By Staff
MONTGOMERY– Since I can't write about the run-off election in Alabama, let me write about another election in a faraway state…the state of Alaska. It may make you wince.
Gov.Tony Knowles, a Democrat, nears the end of his second term and cannot seek re-election. Lt. Gov. Frank Ulmer is the leading contender among Democrats to succeed him and he faces a tough challenge from Republican U. S. Rep. Frank Morkosky.
A pro-Republican political action group known as the Americans for Job Security has launched a TV blitz in Anchorage, Fairbanks and
Juneau attacking the record of Knowles, claiming he has led the state to the brink of economic disaster and warning that the election of Ulmer would be a catastrophe.
The commercials call attention to a ranking of the 50 states which alleges that Alaska is the most "poorly managed state" in America except for one–Alabama.
I don't need to tell you the closing words of the commercial:
"Thank God for Alabama."
Alabama may be a hotbed for stockcar racing fans but you couldn't tell it by the number of orders received for automobile license plates that saluted the various drivers.
Last fall the state began taking orders for the specially designed tags that would pay tribute to racing legends such as the late Dale
Earnhardt Sr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and the Alabama Gang. Tags honoring more than 30 drivers were available.
After 11 months only 182 tags had been ordered, far short of the 1,000 required to begin production.
State Sen. Gerald Dial, D-Ashland, the chairman of the License Plate Oversight Committee, said the poor response left the state with no alternative but to cancel the program.
The Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) has filed suit seeking to recover more than $65 million it lost when Enron collapsed.
In addition the suit is seeking not less than $210 million in punitive damages. RSA General Counsel Bill Stephens said the awarding of punitive damages would "send a message" that the misleading of investors will not be tolerated.
The suit was filed in Montgomery Circuit Court.

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