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.
Ford said the Republicans had already betrayed Alabama businesses by refusing to make multi-national corporations pay the same taxes Alabama businesses pay.
“Now the Republicans are actually criticizing Dr. Bronner for investing the RSA’s money into Alabama businesses,” said Ford. “This just shows that the Republicans will say anything to take attention off the fact that they cut teachers’ take-home pay and passed a bunch of laws that have hurt local businesses and, because of unintended consequences, damaged our ability to recruit foreign business.”
Ford also warned that Republicans are laying the groundwork to re-introduce legislation that would allow them to disband the boards of directors that oversee the retirement systems and replace these boards with people that Republicans would appoint.
“The Republicans tried to introduce this legislation in the last session and it failed. That’s why they are going after Dr. Bronner now. What they want is to keep punishing teachers by controlling their retirement money. To do that, they have to turn teachers and public employees against Dr. Bronner and the RSA boards. And that’s the real motive behind their sudden turn against Dr. Bronner.”
Ford concluded by comparing the Republicans’ tactics to those used in magic shows.
“It’s the oldest trick in the book: get you to look at the left hand so you won’t see what the right hand is doing. Normally, you would have to buy an expensive ticket to see a show this good, but all the Republicans are charging for their magic show is control of teachers’ and state employees’ retirement money.”