By Baron Coleman
The 2018 legislative election commercials are practically writing themselves.
***2018 REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COMMERCIAL TEMPLATE***
Image: Dark background, grainy pictures of (Insert name of tax-raising Republican incumbent here)
Music: Horror movie soundtrack
Voiceover: Raised taxes on your businesses! (cha ching sound effect, money sign on screen) Raised taxes on your cars! (cha ching sound effect, money sign on screen) Raised taxes on cigarettes! (cha ching sound effect, money sign on screen) Even raised taxes on your kids’ arcade games! (scratch of record player stopping music, image of a kid crying) And all that was after he FIRST voted to elect a Speaker of the House who was already indicted on 23 felony ethics counts.
Video: Well-funded Republican challenger walking toward camera with his family
Music: Soft, uplifting
Candidate Voiceover: I’m (insert name of well-funded challenger here), and I won’t raise your taxes on you, your businesses, your cars, or your kids’ arcade games like my opponent did. And I sure won’t vote for a felon to lead the House.
Voiceover: The choice is clear. Tax-raising, felon-loving (insert name of incumbent here) or low taxes and honest leadership.
Fade to campaign logo and disclaimer
***END OF COMMERCIAL***
You laugh, but it’s coming. Alabama House Republicans this week endorsed a plan to raise taxes on several items. On Wednesday, the House general fund budget committee passed several of the items through by (uncourageous) voice vote. Part of the Speaker Hubbard’s dubious deal allegedly includes a plan to let Governor Bentley, who was roundly criticized in conservative GOP circles for his own plan to raise taxes, negotiate an exclusive deal with the Poarch Creek Indians for casino-style gambling in at least three locations.
It’s unclear what Republicans in the lower chamber are thinking by going along with Speaker Hubbard’s plan. Many legal experts believe Hubbard will be watching the 2018 elections from the comfort of a 10×6 cell in one of our state’s overcrowded and underfunded resorts for the criminally-inclined. He has nothing to lose.
Meanwhile, the representatives who want to run for re-election in 2018 will be at home with their families watching their opponents’ commercials about all the taxes the Republicans raised.
Baron Coleman is a political consultant, attorney, host of News and Views radio show each weekday from nine to noon on 93.1FM WACV, and panelist on The Voice of Alabama Politics television show.