By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, June 11, Former State Senator Scott Beason (R-Gardendale) spoke to the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans (GBYRs) at their regularly scheduled meeting on Birmingham’s Southside.
The Chairwoman of the Great Birmingham Young Republicans, Jackie Curtiss, introduced Sen. Beason saying that we really missed him in Montgomery this session.
Sen. Beason asked, “What kind of future or place you want to live in in the future?” Beason said that the gathered Young Republicans, “Are in the minority because you are politically involved,” but asked them what direction do we want to take the country and the culture. “We can decide if we want to live by the rules that served European successfully for over a thousand years or do we want to live by the rules made up by some professors at Berkeley.”
Sen. Beason attacked the US Supreme Court asking why have we, “Decided that they get to decide everything while the other 317 million of us just take it.” Beason said that was never the intent of the Founders.
On the pending trade agreements (TAA, TPA, & TPP), Beason asked, “Why in the world would Republicans want to give more authority to Barack Hussain Obama?”
Sen. Beason said that for years, “I just hoped that the YRS, the State party, the grassroots would all get motivated and get a Republican supermajority elected to both Houses of the Alabama State Legislature so we won’t have to worry about tax increases ever again in the state of Alabama.” Beason asked, “what happened? As I tour the state talking to conservative and Republican groups their numbers are off, people are becoming more apathetic.” Beason blamed tax increase talk in Montgomery for more people believing that their actions don’t matter.
Sen. Beason said, “Republican means conservative. I had a conversation with a legislator in Montgomery. I asked him, did you tell your people that you wouldn’t raise their taxes and grow government? He said ‘No.’ I asked: ‘Did you run as a Republican?’ He answered ‘Yes.’ That is a part of the deal. If you vote for a Republican, people expect you not to raise taxes.”
Sen. Beason said, this is the first year I have not been in the legislature since 1998. We always said we would limit government if elected. We can’t privatize the ABC board. Why not? Donors own those leases is the answer they give. So we are going to raise taxes, because raising taxes are easier. Are we going to pass one budget? No we want to raise taxes because that is easier. So far we have done a good job of convincing ourselves not to do anything that we said we were going to do. “Do what you promised the people that we would do.”
Beason said, “often we say, I would pay a little more taxes; if it would help my kids. I would pay more taxes; if it would provide good roads. I would pay more taxes; if it would build more prisons. Don’t say that again. If is not coming. Whatever dollar you are giving government it will blow it.”
Beason said that he supports something like the barebones budget that passed the legislature in the regular session. He also voiced support for combining the two budgets. “Only in Alabama and two other states do we have two budgets.”
Beason urged Republican lawmakers to show more backbone. “We have got to keep right sizing government.”
Sen. Beason asked, “Do you remember when I was responsible for killing Jefferson County? How many had to stand in line to get car tags?” Several hands raised. “The car tag line was done to make the people mad so that they would put pressure on legislators. It didn’t work and now Jefferson County is out of bankruptcy after making the necessary cuts.”
“You don’t go out and shut down State parks to punish people to make them support your tax increases.” Beason said that we need a new mindset in state government. That new mindset is that this is all the money we have, what can we do with it? They have this list of things they want to do and ask: where do we get the money to pay for that? Make them use the money they have.”
Sen. Beason said, “We have to be much bolder in talking about what we believe in.” The liberals and the progressives like to tell everybody what they believe in. We need to speak up. Cuba is not a great place. Be bold. Say it. You are telling them the truth.”
When asked about what he learned in his unsuccessful run for Congress, Beason replied, “I learned that I am an even worse fundraiser than I thought.”
Beason said that fundraising rules make Congress stacked against the little guy. “I can’t find one rich guy who can give me a $million to run, because campaign finance law limits individual contributions to just $2600. Instead I need to find hundreds of people who will give me $2600. Now they sit in the county club with their buddies and they decide who are we going to be for. Fifty guys each chip in $2600 then call their wives and business partners and ask them to chip in $2600 each; while I am out there asking you for $50 or $100, whatever you can afford. You can’t raise it quick enough. The campaign laws mean that it is either the establishment candidate or the person who can fund it themselves gets to be the nominee for Congress.”
Beason said that Congress proposed having one universal conceal carry permit that you can use anywhere in the country, but that means the creation of a big giant database so they can keep up with everybody with a concealed carry permit.
On immigration, Scott Beason said that, “people who thought that I was mean when we passed HB56 are realizing now that unbridled immigration is not good for America. The problem we have in the State and across the country is that things the Federal authorities are required to do by law they quit doing that. There is no Federal enforcement left anywhere in the country.”
Sen. Beason said that Senate President Pro Tem, “Del Marsh is a strong fiscal conservative.” On the social issues: not so much.
Beason said that he likes the Governor but he has some differences with Gov. Bentley. “He loves pre-K. It is taxpayer funded daycare. I hate pre-K.”
Beason said that the State could same millions of dollars by abolishing the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) Board. We are not broke, if we have millions of dollars that we waste each year.”
Sen. Beason warned, “The country is beginning to realize that it is unraveling.” If anyone of you have predicted all this five years ago, we would have thought that you were crazy people. What is happening in Baltimore shows the country is destabilizing. The adults are going to eventually takeover.”
Senator Scott Beason is now the senior policy adviser for the Alabama Free Market Alliance.
Joel Blankenship announced to the membership of the GBYRs that Curtiss has been elected Chair of the Young Republican Federation of Alabama as well as GBYR Chair. As YRFA Chair Curtiss holds a voting seat on the influential Alabama Republican Party State Steering Committee.