Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Our Stand: Alabama Legislature should not be used like a temporary, extramarital lover

  It would be easy for any observer to view the antics of the Alabama Legislature and justifiably assume that many of its members think of their role as a joke. And after a total of three resignations during this summer by members of the ruling party, it’s no longer necessary to assume.

  Rep. Barry Mask (R-Wetumpka) announced this week he’s abandoning his obligation to his district and this state with less than a month’s notice and with a year remaining on his term. Jay Love (R-Montgomery) ditched his seat last month. Rep. Jim Barton (R-Mobile) resigned last month as well and did so without giving notice.

  Voters of all political persuasions deserve better than lawmakers who quit on them. Trusting politicians is challenging enough, but we’re rapidly entering an environment in which lawmakers routinely turn their backs on supporters, constituents and the state itself by abandoning their duties and obligations to those they’re supposed to represent.

  Countless citizens have placed their faith in these elected officials, and many have even expended effort to elect them, even donating money to these campaigns. By leaving prior to completing their term, these individuals are violating our trust and breaching a contract they entered into when they were elected.

  These unapologetic quitters who have used their positions in our state government – and our tax dollars - to cultivate relationships with players beyond the Statehouse are building social stock and connections at our expense so they can then bail out on their legislative obligations and cash in. They’re using us. They’re using our tax dollars. And they’re using our government.

  To add insult to injury, following such behavior, we as tax payers are forced to pay for the resulting special election to replace those who have already taken advantage of our trust.

  We must also ask if this is a sign that the Alabama Republican Party has become so staggeringly drunk with power – holding every state constitutional office, maintaining a super majority in both houses of the legislature, and filling out the entire bench of the Alabama Supreme Court – that its members feel as though they can treat elected offices as mere temporary cheap toys and toss those offices aside with unadulterated arrogance, spitting in the collective face of Alabama voters.

  The Alabama Legislature should not be used for social climbing, fostering future business partnerships or raising one’s employment stock. Nor should it be used as a mere placeholder for a self-serving, untrustworthy individual who just wants to kill some time until something more lucrative comes along. It leaves Alabama taxpayers subsidizing the lifestyle of someone who just wants to work the system and acquire inside knowledge in order to secure future employment elsewhere.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

No comments:

Post a Comment