House Minority Leader Craig Ford Blasts State Senator Shadrack McGill for Saying Teacher Pay Raises are Unbiblical

February 3, 2012

From the Office of House Minority Leader Craig Ford

Gadsden, AL – House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) blasted State Senator Shadrack McGill (R-Woodville) earlier today after McGill said it would violate “a Biblical principal” to give teachers a pay raise. At the same time, McGill also argued that a 62% pay raise for legislators was necessary to prevent corruption and better reward lawmakers.

“I don’t know what Bible Shadrack McGill is reading, but it’s not the King James Version,” said Ford. “Not only is what he said wrong, it’s also blasphemous!”
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Vernon Burns: The Evil Corporation

February 1, 2012

The greatest thing about writing this column is being given the opportunity to share whatever is on my mind with you online. This sharing of my mind is something I have no problem doing. Just ask my wife, my family, my friends, most politicians I meet, and even total strangers, so here goes.  

At a Tea Party type meeting the other night I was in the non-typical, for me, position of keeping my mouth shut and my ears open when I heard a gentleman complaining “that anyone who thought a corporation was the same as a person was crazy.” I do not know this man and as of now I do not even know his name. I will make a bet he is a very good person, a patriot, and a lover of our country. But he is also a victim of the misinformation that is destroying our republic. 

In the mind of most of our fellow citizens, the “evil corporation” has replaced Satan himself as the cause of all the world’s problems. When good people of our nation think this way both Satan and Karl Marx are smiling. Before we go forward we need to look at the basic definitions of a corporation. 

‘Websters New Collegiate Dictionary,’ Copyright 1981:

Cor-po-ra-tion 1: a.) a group of merchants or traders united in a trade guild b.) the municipal authorities of a town or city 2:  a body formed and authorized by law to act as a single person although constituted by one or more persons and legally endowed with various rights and duties including the capacity of succession 3: an association of employers and employees in a basic industry or of members of a profession organized as an organ of political representation in a corporative state.

‘The World Book Encyclopedia,’ Copyright 1976:

CORPORATION is an organization that can own property and make contracts as if it were a person. The property and contracts belong to the organization, not to the individuals who form it. Those who invest in a corporation have limit liability. If the corporation fails, they can lose no more than their investment, because the corporations debts are not their debts. 

‘Thorndike Barnhart Unabridged Dictionary,’ Copyright 1963:

Cor-po-ra-tion 1: a group of persons who obtain a charter giving them as a group certain legal rights and privileges. A corporation can buy and sell, own property, manufacture and ship products, and bring lawsuits, as if its members were a single person. Abbr: Corp. 2: a group of persons with authority to act as a single person. The governing body of a college and the mayor and alderman of a city are corporations. 3: a corporate body in corporative state, composed of members representing employers and employees, that regiments specific activities in a given economic sphere.

Please note the copy right dates on the material I have referenced. I use and trust the books I was educated with, because I fear the modern socialist revisions of history and even the meaning of words. I have encountered the twisting of facts, to suit the Marxist progressive agenda, too many times not to question the modern perspective. 

The concept of the corporation goes as far back as the Roman Empire and the more modern version of a stock or shareholder corporation came into being in about the fourteen hundreds in Holland. Before the legal acceptance of a corporation as an equal to a person with the rights and responsibilities of a person, anyone who owned even the smallest part of a business was held responsible for all the actions and debts of that business.

This feudal arrangement of responsibility was great for the King and the very wealthy aristocracy. It gave them more legal power to collect a debt and more important, to them, it prevented the common people from accumulating wealth. This feudal system, in fact was bad for everyone. It stifled world exploration, it stifled advancements in medicine, in agriculture, in business, and in the life span and standard of living in everyone. 

The corporation is one of the greatest advancements man has made in the pursuit of freedom and a better life for himself and future generations. It must be ranked with man’s highest achievements, from the Magna Carta to the United States Constitution with the Bill Of Rights, as a true foundation stone of civilization.

Viewed in this light we realize that without the legal concept of the corporation the free market economic system we live in can not function and the freedoms we hold dear are in jeopardy. When our free enterprise system is destroyed all our personal freedoms go with it. We are then left to be ruled, as promised by Karl Marx, by a dictatorship of the proletariat in the perfect socialist utopian world. 

But after generations of poor or false education concerning our history, starting with preschool and continuing through the Ph D level, what do we expect. With the anti-capitalist propaganda interwoven with the news and entertainment of each day we are being softly brainwashed. We now have what may be a majority of our citizens believing corporations, all private business and even capitalism itself is naturally evil. They are programed to think to make a honest profit is greed and to improve your own and your families standard of living is somehow wrong. They are programed to be socialist.   


Response to the Republican Supermajority’s Claims About the Drop in the Unemployment Rate

January 30, 2012

From the Office of Representative Craig Ford


“The Republican Supermajority and their leaders are trying to mislead the people of Alabama about our state’s unemployment situation. When people drop out of the workforce they are no longer included in the calculation of the unemployment rate. Since August, for every job that has been created, more than two and a half people have left the workforce. What that tells us is that the drop in the unemployment rate has more to do with people retiring, moving out of state, or giving up and quitting their job search than it does with actual jobs being created.


Unlike the Republicans, Democrats don’t think an 8.1% unemployment rate is

something to brag about. There are more than 174,000 Alabamians who are

unemployed, and who knows how many more who want to work but have given

up their job search. Since taking office, the Republicans have failed to create

the jobs they promised, they have refused to close unfair tax loopholes that

only benefit multinational corporations at the expense of Alabama businesses

and schools, and they have criticized Dr. David Bronner for investing the state

retirement systems’ money into Alabama businesses. So can someone please

explain to me what the Republicans are bragging about?”


Representative Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden. He has served in the

Alabama House of Representatives since 2000. In 2010, Representative Ford

was elected Minority Leader of the state House of Representatives by the House Democratic Caucus.


Statement From Representative Craig Ford on Sen. Phil Williams’ Proposal for a 2.5% Pay Raise for Teachers with Less Than Nine Years of Employment

January 27, 2012

From the Office of Representative Craig Ford

“This proposal may be one of the most absurd things Phil Williams and the Republican Supermajority have ever tried to pull. How in the world does he justify giving a pay raise to only 37% of the teachers in our state? He doesn’t even want to give the raise based on merit or years of service. And how did he come up with nine years? Is he getting his policies from Herman Cain?

“The truth is that there is only one reason for this lopsided pay raise proposal: to divide teachers and get them fighting amongst themselves. I was a tank commander in the Army, and I know a classic divide and conquer strategy when I see one. This proposal is a slap in the face to every educator in the state of Alabama. It is disrespectful, and an insult to teachers’ intelligence.

For more information on Sen. Williams pay raise proposal, visit and scroll down to the “Budget” section, and see the subsection on the “Education Fund.”

Representative Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden.  He has served in the Alabama House of Representatives since 2000. In 2010, Representative Ford was elected Minority Leader of the state House of Representatives by the House Democratic Caucus.

Vernon Burns: Grow Government, Lose Freedom

January 20, 2012

Government, Government, and more Government; federal, state, or local no matter its level or location when government grows “We the people” lose freedom.
With every increase in the scope and power of government we give up more of the freedoms that made our nation the most blessed in the history of mankind. The founders and early leaders knew, our freedoms did not come from government, they came from our creator. This need for the freedom to live and pursue happiness, as an individual, is as natural to mankind as is the need for food and water. Knowing the nature of man the founders accepted limited government as the means to control ourselves. The key word here is limited since our leaders, of that time, had lived under or nearer to the unlimited power of kings.
What limits did these farsighted leaders see to government? What were the simple boundaries? President Thomas Jefferson gave us his view in what is one of his most powerful statements, one short paragraph in his first inaugural address March 4, 1801.
“Still one thing more, fellow citizens a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government…”
Is this not only wonderful but inspired? The only guide I will offer, for the very few if any who do not understand, is the “labor” Jefferson refers to is the mental or physical effort required of all people, to provide for their own existence. The term “labor” here has absolutely nothing to do with a socialist modern labor union.
As governments grow, all forms of governments, so also it’s natural corruption. The power “We the People” grant to those we elect to represent us in government can be the most powerful drug ever devised by man.
This is not to say all we elect are corrupt. Indeed most people we elect have the best intentions. But in time most are swept along in a system that has long ago abandoned what Thomas Jefferson called “The sum of good government.”
Most of our representatives, at all levels, will promise us anything to be elected or re-elected. Politicians think, consciously or unconsciously, damn the consequences I need this election and office because I am so very important to all the people. They need me and this is the way business is done.
In office, city, county, state, and federal, the rule is hand out favors to groups with the most votes and if these favors have a price, and all do, use your power to impose the cost on the smallest percentage of your voters possible. If you still have a problem paying for the votes you need to win and hold your office then pay for the promises with credit. Politicians borrow and spend. It’s not their money, they need to win an election more than we need a future.
The marriage of politicians and corruption is as old as political systems themselves. Look back at the Roman Senate and other governments through the ages. None are perfect, it’s not in the nature of man. We have many great people in our government now, fighting the good fight, and I think they would agree that all forms of government are to big and try to do to much. These are the statesmen and women we need, not the pandering politicians with a super size government.
This has all been said by many before me and by those much wiser for sure. I will leave you with a quote from President Andrew Jackson, a founder of the Democratic Party, given on July 10, 1832.
“There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.”

What Did Washington Mean by National Strength?

January 10, 2012

How then are we to position our nation to survive and prosper in the 21st century? The same as President Washington advised for his time when he wrote “taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture.” General Washington was speaking of national strength. Strength expressed in three ways.
First, and the base for the second, economic strength and self-sufficiency a prosperous nation, unencumbered by public or private debt with strong private enterprise and limited sector. A country in control of all the resources it requires and not held hostage to the control of our enemies because we won’t use our own ample supplies.
Second, a military with the unquestioned ability to defeat any enemy, any time and anywhere. A military based on our technical and industrial superiority never engaging the enemy on his terms, only on our terms with overwhelming force. Crush the enemy, kill him, don’t fight fair, win and come home. Don’t stay ten years, don’t try to remake another country. Think of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf and the first Gulf War. When the world knows this the world will be safer for all nations.
Third, the strength that is more vital than the first two is the national will. The will to recognize and defend our own national interest. A clear vision and strength of purpose stated in a manner easily understood by the world, friends and foes alike. The most dangerous condition for our nation, our friends, and our enemies occurs when our enemies believe we are weak and unsure in our resolve. An example is when in the spring of 1950 the Truman Administration declared South Korea to be outside the interest of the United States. Then on June 25, 1950, the North Korean communist invaded South Korea. The cost of this blunder can’t be calculated, but consider this, in the war itself there were 54,246 Americans killed, 103,284 wounded, and 5,178 missing or prisoners. There was also over one million South Korean civilians killed. And if we had a true count of both civilian and military dead in North Korea and Communist China that figure may reach three million. This forgotten war didn’t end in victory only an unease truce. With no victory and no permanent peace plan, we have been in South Korea for over 61 years.
To prevent such miscalculations by our enemies, both nation states and their terrorist puppets, we must have a new “Monroe Doctrine” so to speak. A very clear and well-worded statement telling the world, friend and foe, what to expect as a response from the United States. Aggression, let it be known, in case of an attack on our citizens, civilian or military, anywhere in the world, we will respond with sure purpose and the most overpowering of force. Our response will be not only to pursue the terrorist themselves but to hold the nation states that promote, finance, and shelter these criminals accountable with force and destruction.
All nations must know we will not tolerate those who make war on the United States.

Peace through strength.

Peace through national resolve. 

Vernon Burns: Guidance and inspiration from Jefferson

December 28, 2011

As with most Americans, I realize the times we are living in are the most dangerous our republic has ever faced. This creeping socialistic revolution after one hundred plus years of steady destruction is coming to a climax. We are out of money and we are out of time.
In an effort to inform and educate myself I look to the history of our nation and the history of civilization itself. I’ve been asked to share part of this guidance and inspiration in this series based on the last two paragraphs of President Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address of March 4, 1801. Taken line by line or subject by subject as written by the President. The next line reads “Peace, Commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”
This advice from President Jefferson was given to us at a time when the United States stood alone in a mostly hostile world. Being the world’s only democratic republic the rulers of the rest of the world looked upon our new experiment in self government with less than best wishes. Our new republic at that time was very small and weak in comparison to the great powers of the old world. Yet Jefferson had the foresight to tell us our path to survival and prosperity lay in “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations.” But, he also warned that entangling relationships must be avoided. This warning leaves us with the question, what is honest friendship compared to an entangling alliance?
For help understanding Thomas Jefferson we can look back to his friend, fellow founder, and our first President George Washington in his farewell address of September 19, 1796. He wrote:
“Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all … nothing is more essential than permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular Nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded… The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far we have already formed engagements let them be ful-filled, with perfect good faith. Here let us stop… This our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world… Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a responsible defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies…”
It would appear to both presidents, Washington and Jefferson are telling us our interest are best served by standing alone. While these wise men didn’t know the dangerous world of the 21st century, they very well knew the nature of man. They knew we must be true friends with those nations who are true friends to us. But, they also knew those nations would be few. They realized fully true friendship between nation, as between men, must be based on common values, common interest, and mutual respect. That relationships not based on these principals is one of only short term convenience and is subject to change.
These great men expected that in all foreign relationships we place the interest of our nation and our people first. I do not see our founders, men who were students of the history and nature of man, subordinating our democratic republic to any nation or united nations. They would not be directed by or fund such an intrusion on the sovereignty of the United States.
Washington, Jefferson  and all our great leaders knew, from their heart, respect and friendship can’t be purchased with our treasure or even our blood. It is not the product of force and domination or aid and kindness. It comes only from those who respect and share our values and desire to live in a world of peace with opportunity for mutually beneficial commerce.

Republicans Make Bronner Their Scapegoat

December 27, 2011

Press Release from the office of Representative Craig Ford (D-Gadsden)

Montgomery, AL – House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) said that Republicans in Montgomery are attempting to turn Retirement Systems of Alabama chief executive Dr. David Bronner into a scapegoat after the Republicans passed, or attempted to pass, several pieces of legislation that hurt teachers and Alabama businesses.

“What happened is the Republicans came to Montgomery and passed, or tried to pass, all these bills that have hurt Alabama’s teachers and businesses. Then they went home and the teachers and business owners tore into them. So now the Republicans are desperately trying to find a scapegoat in the hope that the voters won’t remember what the Republicans did to them,” said Ford.
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Vernon Burns: Are we trading our democratic republic for false promises?

December 19, 2011

By Vernon Burns

In Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address, given March 4, 1801, he warned that that if we wandered from our founding principles because of “error or alarm” we should “hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.”

Jefferson also expounded what is the foundational principle of our shared republic, “equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state of persuasion, religious or political….”
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Bradley Byrne on Reform

December 16, 2011

By Bradley Byrne

Moments of transition are also moments of opportunity. As Alabama transitions from the old political system which passed away in the 2010 elections, to whatever the new system proves to be, reformers have an opportunity unlike any other in decades.
The post-election Special Session of December 2010 was breathtaking, both in what it accomplished substantively in ethics reform and in its graphic demonstration that the old Alabama political order was over. In less than ten days, the new Alabama Legislature broke the log jam of ethics reform bills and tightened the ethics code, banned pass through pork and PAC-to-PAC transfers, required ethics training for all public officials and employees, gave our Ethics Commission real enforcement power, and put an end to the practice of double dipping.
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