• 70°
Hartselle Enquirer

A “curious” judicial appointment

The Alabama Scene

In a June 25 editorial titled “Gov. Riley’s curious judicial appointment,” The Dothan Eagle suggested the governor’s appointment of State Rep. Ben Lewis’ to a vacant district judgeship in Houston County tied in too closely with his position against electronic bingo legislation before the legislature.
The newspaper likened his appointment to the vacant judgeship to President Barack Obama’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize – “premature, to say the least.”
“This should in no way reflect badly on Lewis; it’s Gov. Bob Riley’s words and actions that cast a cloud over what should be a positive moment,” the newspaper wrote.
In a statement announcing the appointment, Riley said Lewis was chosen for his “background and experience” but according to the Eagle he has little of either and other more-qualified lawyers had sought appointment to the position.
Lewis, who just happened to side with the governor in the debate on bingo legislation and who testified before a federal grand jury investigating gambling in Montgomery, suddenly found himself in a more lucretave public position.
It was courtesy of a governor obsessed with giving the Native Americans a monopoly on electronic bingo in Alabama; making them billionaires and advancing poverty in Alabama’s Black Belt.
There was, of course, no connection with Rep. Lewis supporti of the governor’s position on bingo which precipitated the appointment
That’s the way many judges get appointed in Alabama and elsewhere across the land.
The man who would have been Lewis’ opponent in the upcoming November election said he believes the appointment was not about qualifications, but politics, claiming the appointment was payback for Lewis siding with Riley in opposition to electronic bingo.
“This is a prime example of cronyism,” said Merritt Carothers, the Democratic nominee for the House District 86 race. “I feel it is disrespectful to all of the qualified attorneys in town who have applied for the job and been overlooked in place of someone who is, with all respect, wet behind the ears.”
“It’s unfortunate that the judicial appointment made by a governor embroiled in a controversial war on electronic bingo was given to a member of the Alabama House who held the pivotal vote that killed a proposal to put the electronic bingo question before the voters,” the newspaper editorial concluded.
Is there a judgeship awaiting Tyson?
And speaking of judicial appointments, consider what the payoff will be for Mobile District Attorney John Tyson Jr., Riley’s Black Belt bully who has helped the governor put over 6,000 Alabama workers out of jobs.
It has been suggested in Goat Hill circles that Tyson will be appointed to the State Court of Criminal Appeals if current Criminal Appeals Judge Kelli Wise is elected to the State Supreme Court and the governor can persuade her to resign a few hours early from her current position so he can seat Tyson in a cushey high-paying state job. Not bad for a fellow who has helped Riley push the state’s unemployment to new heights.
Bobby: “No to Nancy”
U.S. Rep. Bobby Bright says he won’t vote for Nancy Pelosi for another term as Speaker, according to The Hill newspaper.
Bright, a Democrat from Montgomery, also said he would not vote for Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner as Speaker, and would support a “centrist” for the position.
“The leadership of both parties is too divisive, and our country is paying the price,” Bright said in a statement.  “Neither the Speaker nor the Republican leader has displayed the type of bipartisan cooperation required to build consensus and move our country forward.”
The freshman congressman is trying to hold off a challenge from Republican Martha Roby for the 2nd Congressional District seat.
He is indeed right about the debilitating partisanship which is tearing the Nation apart. Everybody should just sit down and take a deep breath…particularly the politicians.

Bob Martin is editor and publisher of The Montgomery Independent. Email him at: Bo @MontgomeryIndependent.com

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Challenger Matthew Frost unseats longtime Morgan Commissioner Don Stisher

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Cheers to 50 years  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Scott Stadthagen confirmed to University of West Alabama Board of Trustees 

Editor's picks

Hartselle graduate creates product for amputees 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Tigers roar in Athens soccer win

Danville

Local family raises Autism awareness through dirt racing  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Three Hartselle students named National Merit finalists  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan chief deputy graduates from FBI National Academy

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle students collect food for good cause 

Falkville

Falkville to hold town-wide yard sale next month

At a Glance

Danville man dies after vehicle leaves Hudson Memorial Bridge 

Editor's picks

Clif Knight, former Hartselle mayor, Enquirer writer, dies at 88

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Utilities reminds community April is safe digging month 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Teen powerhouse invited to compete in international strongman event

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Azaleas: An Alabama beauty 

Decatur

Master Gardeners plant sale returns in April

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan leaders honored at annual banquet

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Local students selected for 2024 Blackburn Institute Class

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle sophomore represents Civil Air Patrol in D.C.  

Editor's picks

Hartselle council hires architect for new fire station, library and event center

At a Glance

PowerGrid Services in Hartselle evacuated for bomb threat

Morgan County

20 under 40: Trey Chowning

Falkville

20 under 40: TJ Holmes

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

20 under 40: Spencer Bell

x