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Hartselle Enquirer

Baxley battles own party for airtime

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY – Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, the Democratic nominee for governor in the November General Election, unveiled an ambitious platform last week in a whirlwind tour of the state. The highlights: raise the minimum wage in Alabama to $6.15 an hour and end annual property tax appraisals in the state.
Baxley said to raise the minimum wage was the “humane thing” to do, noting that Alabamians now working for that wage earn $5,000 less a year than the federal poverty level.
The proposition to assess property for tax purposes every four years rather than annually was a clear shot at Gov. Bob Riley. It was during his administration that the state Revenue Department began appraising property annually. He insists state law requires this; Baxley disagrees.
While Baxley was garnering the headlines with her platform she had to share that attention with a group of Democratic legislative heavyweights who came out with what they called their “Covenant of the Future.” They got almost as much play in the media as Baxley. Their timing could have been better.
The legislative leaders, calling themselves the Alabama Legislative Democratic Leadership Council, also made a tour of the state and backed up their appearances with full-page ads in many Alabama newspaper.
Among their goals: Stop PAC to PAC transfers of campaign funds; eliminate the state sales tax on food; and, like Baxley proposed, return property tax reappraisals to every four years.
Interestingly, the legislators who unveiled this plan have historically been hugely supportive of Dr. Paul Hubbert and the Alabama Education Association.
It is inconceivable that he would agree with them on their proposal to exempt the sales tax on food because such an exemption would likely cost the Special Education Fund hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Predictably, the promises made by the Democrat leaders brought little more than ridicule from the opposite side of the aisle in the Legislature.
House minority leader Rep. Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, said the positions taken by the Democrat leaders are “the worst case of political plagiarism in Alabama history.”
Hubbard said that Republicans have sought these changes for years but, in session after session, the Democrats killed them all.
Her narrow win in the run-off over Gaynell Hendricks has since been contested on the grounds that she did not report all of her campaign contributions.
But the evidence is overwhelming that those seeking to deny Todd the seat are far more concerned about her pigmentation than her sexual orientation. She is white and the district she will represent is predominantly black. (There is no Republican opposition in the November General Election.)
Even Joe Reed, head of the Alabama Democratic Conference and the chief architect of the re-districting plans that created black districts, is very much involved in the effort to throw out Todd's nomination and give it to Hendricks, who is black.
Hoffman died at the age of 97, and his death came only a few weeks after he argued a case in court in Mobile. A graduate of Emory University Law School, Hoffman practiced law for an incredible 75 years.
He was most certainly the most recognizable barrister in Mobile courtrooms. He always wore suspenders, a bolo tie and wingtip shoes.

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