By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Republican Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said that for the 2013 session, Common Core is “off the table.” This statement sent shockwaves through the Conservative wing of the Alabama Republican Party.
The fight to repeal Common Core had reached the pinnacle of conservative politics with the RNC passing a resolution saying, in part, the RNC, “…rejects this Common Core State Standards which creates and fits the country with a nationwide straitjacket on academic freedom and achievement.”
Chairman of the ALGOP Bill Armistead has said that Common Core was an “overreach of the federal government in dictating our school curriculum.” Governor Robert Bentley had said that he wanted the state to reject Common Core. Even the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation called for its repeal.
But it seems the real fount of wisdom lies with the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), at least when it comes to the Republican agenda in our state.
It was not State School Superintendent Tommy Bice and his rally at the Capitol that killed the repeal effort. No, it was Mike Hubbard’s doppelgänger Billy Canary, head of the BCA who put the nail in the conservative’s hope of retaining state sovereignty over its schools. Canary, a transplanted New Yorker, said of Common Core, “These standards are vital in preparing students to compete in the 21st century global workforce which requires highly skilled workers. Adoption of SB403 and HB565 would be a giant step backward, based on a false premise that Alabama and local school systems would lose control over their curriculum. While some will continue a campaign of fear on this issue, we will continue to stand united in the business, education and military communities in offering our children the hope of a bright future regardless of the zip code they live in.”
Are we to believe that the RNC, Governor Bentley, Chairman Armistead and the conservatives of Alabama are all a part of what Canary calls a “campaign of fear?” Sadly, the Republican Party at the legislative level is being controlled by corporatists and those who oppose their agenda are disparaged and mocked. In his ode to his own greatest, “Storming the StateHouse” Mike Hubbard states clearly that it was Canary and the BCA that gave him the tools to takeover the Alabama Legislature.
Diamond Mike is beholden to his fellow self appointed potentate, New Yorker Bonny Billy.
Hubbard and Marsh with the aid of Billy Canary have played social conservatives like a fiddle promising them much and giving them little.
In an AL.com report Hubbard is quoted as saying, “You can make arguments on both sides and I’ve heard them. But at the end of the day I’m very reluctant for the Legislature to get into policy making down at that level, usurping the authority of the elected board that was elected to do that.”
Since when has Diamond Mike deferred to anyone? He bullies and threatens but is never reluctant to use whatever power is necessary to get what he wants. But his buddy Bonny Billy wants Common Core so, he is going to get it for him. Quid Pro Quo is the Omertà of this band of boys. So, once again, Diamond Mike, stands in the shadows as brave soldier Marsh falls on his sword for the corporate masters.
Has anyone else noticed that Hubbard, Marsh and Canary all kind of look a like? Nevermind.
Marsh said, he thought the issue was too important and too complex to rush into. These words are coming from the man who pushed through the Alabama School Accountability Act under the cover of darkness and now seeks to “fix” its many problems.
Irony cannot be lost on the disingenuousness of Marsh’s statement. Perhaps he should consult David Azbell AKA Susan Marshall, before trying to pawn off such faulty excuses on the people of Alabama. Azbell always makes Diamond Mike seems reasonable even at his most bizarre.
Conservatives are not fooled. Around the state they are waking up to the fact that Diamond Mike and Marsh have sold their soul to the corporate overlords. Real conservatives, and not those hand-picked to bow-and-scrape before Diamond Mike, are lining up for the next election.
Chins-up conservatives. 2014 is the year when you will have a voice at the ballot box. A voice you are being denied in Montgomery today. Conservatives lost this battle for Common Core for now. But this is just the beginning of the fight between Alabama conservatives and the bought-and-paid-for corporate elite led by Diamond Mike.
Long live the conservatives who stand against the wiles of the wicked, for in due season we will repeat if we faint not.