By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY–Recently, John Sanders sent an email to members of the state legislature threatening a statewide strike by bail bondsman.
In the email Sanders said that bail bondsman across the state to show opposition to HB688, a bill that would place a fee on bonds issued.
In the email said that this concerted effort would cripple the state’s budget and cause legislators considerable problem.
There was one big problem with Sanders email according to Bill Honea head of the Alabama Bail Bonding Association, no one but Sanders knew or agreed with the strike.
In a letter to the legislature as well as one to the Alabama Bail Bonding Association Sanders apologized of sorts for his actions.
In the letter to the association Sanders said, “The new tax in HB688 got me scared that I’d be put out of business, so I lashed out. No bondsman I know has any interest in a strike, but we are worried about being forced out of business. No disrespect, but during a rotten economy it is, in my opinion, a horrible time to impose a brand new tax on small business folks, like me.”
Sanders apology is laced with his displeasure with the HB688.
The fact that Sanders himself said he was acting because he had a friend who was a bondsman.
The friend that Sanders was helping was Bill Honea head of the Alabama Bail Bonding Association. Honea who owns one of the state’s largest bonding companies also has apologized for his friend’s actions.
“I do not believe he [Sanders] was malicious in his actions as he was trying to convey how vital bail bonding is to our judicial system,” wrote Honea. “A small part but a needed part. Please again accept my apologies as we want to keep a good relationship with everyone going forward. We want to keep our profession clean and well respected.”
Many legislators were upset with the hardball tactics threatened in Sanders’ email. It is yet to be seen what if any will be the effect on HB688 as it faces passage in the senate.