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Hartselle Enquirer

Holmes garners more press

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY– I have an idea that if somebody took a poll to determine the best known member of the Alabama Legislature it wouldn't be the president pro tem of the Senate (Sen. Lowell Barron, D-Fyffe) or the Speaker of the House (Rep. Seth Hammett, D-Andalusia.)
My guess is that the winner would be Alvin Holmes, the diminutive and often times pesky member of the House from Montgomery.
One reason for his widespread notoriety is nothing more than longevity–he has been a member of the House for almost three decades.
Another reason is that Holmes is the most outspoken member of the Alabama Legislature, and especially on controversial issues. If there is not a fight brewing somewhere, he will start one.
Holmes was up to his old tricks again last week…getting headlines in the newspapers and sound bites on television.
Some months ago, upset at what he thought were some unjustified no-bid contracts being awarded by Gov. Siegelman, Holmes issued a statement calling the current administration "the most corrupt in my years at the Capitol."
For a black Democratic legislator to make such a charge caused Siegelman to wince while it delighted GOP gubernatorial nominee Bob Riley.
In fact, last week Riley unveiled a new TV spot which featured the front pages of several newspapers, all of them with bold headlines calling attention to no-bid contracts.
One of those newspaper clippings including a photo of Rep. Holmes.
Holmes quickly responded, demanding that the ad be cancelled or that his picture be deleted from it.
In a tart letter to the Riley forces he said that no candidate had the right to run his picture without his permission.
At the same time the unpredictable Holmes said that despite his feelings about corruption in the Siegelman Administration he still intended to vote for the governor in November.
Brace yourself for more political ads on TV than you have ever seen.
For one reason, the race is close so both Riley and Siegelman will be making a near-desperate effort to sway the voters.
For another, both candidates have an unlimited amount of money to spend.
Attack ads will be the norm, so many and so mean that by election day the voters may wonder if either man is worthy of the office.
Sadly, that's the way the game is played.