Monday, January 25, 2010

Joseph O. Patton: Introducing Alabama’s next Attorney General…

  In case you missed it, Mobile District Attorney John Tyson (D) announced he was running for the office of Alabama Attorney General today. I know, it looked like he was being appointed as Bob Riley’s new anti-gambling crusader head henchman, and that‘s what the press release contended, but in truth he was laying the groundwork to get elected AG, to go a second round with Troy King in November.

  No one has forgotten the slime-throwing embarrassment of the 2006 AG’s race, especially Tyson. For a man with his crime-fighting record, he should have stomped King flat with his eyes closed and one hand tied behind his back. But as Deep South custom dictates, the very people who always tout their so-called family values - King and his cronies - managed to ride a trail of their own slime past Tyson and back into office when the polls closed, slinging every variety of muck they could scoop up with their hands.

  And I’m no fortune-teller… hell, I can’t even tell you what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow, but you can bank on the following drama unfolding over the next few months, folks:

Act I: Tyson utilizes his new position as chief of the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling to raise his public profile statewide, underscoring his reputation as a bad-ass crime-fighter. Along the way he enjoys the double-whammy of wagging his finger at Troy King, making himself appear more active and effective at fighting so-called illegal gambling in Alabama than the very office-holder who happens to be the state’s top law enforcement official. All the while, his stock among Republican voters shoots through the roof. After all, Democrat though he may be, he can’t be all bad if he’s fighting side-by-side with the two-term Republican governor. Meanwhile Riley's overzealous anti-gambling crusade looks less partisan since he has a card-carrying Democrat leading the charge for him.

Act II: Tyson announces he’s seeking the Democratic nomination for attorney general, and though some party loyalists may question his loyalty to the party, there’s no one to speak of in the party with comparable law enforcement credentials and experience seeking statewide office… so Tyson easily steps past any token opposition he may encounter in the primary. With the race set, presumably between Tyson and King (assuming King can overcome a challenge by Luther Strange), Riley crosses that sacred party line and endorses the Democrat Tyson. After all, with Riley leaving office and with no other potential campaigns on his horizon, what harm would it cause him?

Act III: Tyson - armed with a combination of all the Democratic votes he received in 2006 plus the votes he peels away from King by virtue of Riley’s endorsement and ongoing feud with King, also coupled with Tyson’s new bipartisan reputation earned by virtue of working with Riley, we won’t even need to count the votes in this race since Tyson will smack King around in such a humiliating fashion… and ironically enough considering the subject matter, you can bet on that!

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

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