If Etowah County Commission won’t step up for The Mega Sport Complex, Legislative Delegation should

July 27, 2017

Guest Editorial by Rep. Craig Ford

Every day I run into people who tell me how much they want Etowah County to have its own sports complex. And in almost every single one of these conversations, I always get asked, “But Craig, do you really think we will ever actually get it done?”

I do believe we will get it done. But it will get done a lot quicker and easier if the Etowah County Commission will get on board.
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Replacing ACT Aspire with the actual ACT is as dumb as it gets

July 20, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

Last week, our State Superintendent of Education announced a decision that is so spectacularly stupid you almost have to assume the intention is to hurt our schools.

That decision is to replace the ACT preparation exam, called the ACT Aspire, with the actual ACT as a measure of school accountability.

Think about that for a second. Replacing the preparation exam with the actual exam is like sending a minor league baseball player who has a low batting average up to the major league and expecting him to start knocking balls out of the park.
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You can’t fix schools by abandoning them

July 12, 2017

By State Representative Craig Ford

You can’t fix something that is broken by abandoning it. A car that breaks down on the side of the road won’t repair itself. If you want the car to run again, you have to give it the repairs it needs.

The same is true when it comes to education.

When the first charter schools were created in this country, the intention was for them to be places where educators could experiment with new methods of teaching to see how they could make gains in traditional public schools.
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Can’t never could

July 6, 2017

Rep. Craig Ford

One of the things I learned from my dad when I was young, is that you can accomplish the things that may seem impossible; things that other people tell you can’t be done.

More than once, somebody (sometimes even me) would tell my dad that something couldn’t be done. But dad would just smile at them and say, “Can’t never could.”

As a legislator, my dad fought for a lot of projects that some people doubted would ever become a reality. Dad fought for I-759 before it ever existed (years later, they named it the “Joe Ford Highway” in honor of him).
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The Legislature needs to pass the Lottery in the Special Session

June 8, 2017

Guest Editorial from Rep. Craig Ford

The Alabama Legislature is quickly running out of excuses for failing to let the people vote on a State Lottery.

Last summer, Gov. Bentley called a Special Session specifically for the purpose of passing a Lottery. After passing out of the State Senate, the Lottery went to the House where it passed on its second vote after a few changes had been made. Those changes meant the bill had to go back to the Senate, and the Senators didn’t agree with the changes the House had made. So, the Lottery once again died without getting a chance to go before the people.
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It’s not about right wing and left wing, it’s about right and wrong

May 25, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

It would be easy to think nothing good has happened lately in the world of Alabama politics, and that Montgomery is so mired in corruption and bickering that nothing ever gets done.

After all, the Legislative Session that just ended began with one governor and ended with a different one; tensions over Legislative redistricting and a controversial email slowed its final days to a crawl; and important issues that were left unfinished will most likely lead to a costly Special Session.
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State feeling buyer’s remorse on Superintendent of Education

May 4, 2017

Rep. Craig Ford

When we hear the words, “buyer’s remorse,” we usually think of somebody who bought a car they couldn’t afford or some luxury item that ended up not being as great as they thought it would be.

But the term also applies to the way a lot of members of the Alabama Legislature and the State Board of Education feel about our School Superintendent, Michael Sentance.

The warning signs should have been there from the beginning.
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Hypocrisy, injustice from the Alabama Legislature

March 22, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

State Legislatures and the US Congress typically have the lowest approval ratings of any government branch or agency, and last week the Alabama Legislature showed exactly why that is.

The same State Legislators who made their own pay raises part of the State Constitution, and are subsequently receiving more than a $2,000 pay raise this year for their part-time job, have decided our it isn’t a question of money. The budget passed by the House of Representatives is holding back $97 million “for future needs and uncertainties,” while the cost of a four percent pay increase would only be one-fifth of that (about $19 million).
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Is the Legislature about to pass a $250 million backdoor tax increase?

March 16, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

It doesn’t claim to be a $250 million tax increase, but that’s exactly what would happen if the State Legislature passes a proposed bill to privatize the state’s ABC stores.

Though it may seem like a reasonable, pro-private sector bill that would decrease government bureaucracy and expenses, in reality this bill would hurt small businesses, cost the taxpayers $250 million (or more) a year and worsen the “wild west” situation we already have with private liquor stores.
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Public leaders set the example, whether we like it or not

March 9, 2017

Rep. Craig Ford

Bullying and intimidation are nothing new to American politics. In 1856, Congressman Preston Brooks famously beat Senator Charles Sumner with a walking stick. Just ten years ago, State Senator Charles Bishop assaulted state Senator Lowell Barron on the floor of the Alabama Senate.

People can be passionate about their beliefs – especially their political beliefs. For the most part, these passions are not expressed in violent ways. But recently we have seen our country become more violent over politics, and part of that increase in violence is due to the example our leaders have set.
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