By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, November 4, 2016, some conservative leaders are urging voters to vote “NO” on all of the Constitutional Amendments that are on the Tuesday, November 8 General Election Ballot.
Former State Senator John Rice (R) said on social media, “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO….14 times NO on Alabama proposed Constitutional Amendments. PLEASE, No to all 14 ON NOVEMBER 8TH.”
Alabama Legislative Watchdogs Director Ann Eubank wrote, “CORRUPTION IS IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE AMENDMENTS. VOTE NO on all 14! Hidden language in every amendment will be added to our State Constitution and we won’t know what it is until we pass it. Sound familiar? Republicans do it too! Call your rep and ask them to explain each and every amendment on the ballot. Why did they not have town halls to explain them? Do they really know what’s in them?”
Former Sen. Rice said, “Just SAY NO to Alabama proposed Amendment 2. Actually, Bentley and Hubbard took Parks money and solved nothing with it except to create a “CRISIS” so they can solve with this very dangerous proposed amendment which definitely will allow political insiders to take over the profit making parks and turn them into personal profit centers. Please read all the amendment. This is the same Hubbard / Bentley crowd that has led Alabama into National Disgrace. But here the politicians go again by asking us in Amendment 2 to lift the ban on privatization and allow parks to be run by private corporations. If Amendment 2 is approved, history will repeat itself because the companies will make millions, the park facilities will deteriorate, and the people of Alabama will once again be left holding the bag. Corruption abounds in Alabama.”
State Auditor Jim Zeigler acknowledged that there is a possibility that discouraged voters will rise up and cast 14 ‘no’ votes on the 14 proposed amendments on Tuesday’s statewide ballot. I hope a blanket ‘no’ vote does not happen.”
Zeigler is supporting Amendment 14. State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) said that defeat of Amendment 14 on the Nov. 8 ballot would “cost taxpayers tens of millions.” Zeigler said that Amendment 14 would correct a questionable procedure the Alabama House used to pass local bills since 1984.
Zeigler said, “The only winners in the defeat of Amendment 14 would be the lawyers. If Amendment 14 fails, we face up to 680 lawsuits with taxpayers paying court costs and legal fees. Two local bills have already been struck down by circuit courts based on this procedural issue.”
Zeigler however is urging voters to reject Amendment 6, which he says would make it harder to impeach public officials, including embattled Governor Robert Bentley. Zeigler said, “Voters cannot tell that it would make it almost impossible to impeach Gov. Bentley.” Amendment 6 changes the state senate vote to convict on impeachment from 50 percent plus one vote to two-thirds.
But Zeigler points out, you would never know that by reading the wording on the ballot, “Where does it let the voter know that the impeachment vote would be raised from a majority to a super-majority of two-thirds? Nowhere.”
Zeigler said, “The wording of Amendment 6 is misleading and irresponsible.” “It is difficult already to get the legislature to impeach and convict Gov. Bentley. If the rules are changed now to raise the vote required to impeach to two-thirds, it would make it almost impossible to impeach him.”
On Thursday, the House suspended the impeachment hearings at the request of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R). The move has increased speculation that the Attorney General’s office will indict the 73 year old Governor, who has been inundated by accusations of moral and ethical improprieties. If impeachment hearings would complicate legal issues for the state before Bentley and his alleged co-conspirators before he is actually indicted for anything; how can they hold impeachment hearing AFTER the Governor is indicted (if that happens)?
Critics of the amendments argue that the wording on the ballot simply activates much larger acts passed by the legislature. The public does not get to read those acts when they are voting. The details are in the acts. Some of the amendments rewrite whole sections of the Alabama Constitution.
Voters decide the fate of fourteen statewide amendments, plus some local amendments, on November 8. One Baldwin County local amendment would actually allow cities in that county to legalize golf and regulate golf cart use on city streets.