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Opinion

Alabama Republicans tried to clean house and were one vote short

By Hannah Ford

Last week, thirty-five House Republicans almost accomplished something wonderful for us when they attempted to vote in new leadership for the Republican super-majority in the House. Thirty-five of them echoed our dissatisfaction with cronyism and the good ol’ boy system at the people’s expense. They know that we’ve about had it with Montgomery’s status quo. They heard our cries for involved and principled leadership. And, they tried.

They failed by one vote.

To make matters more curious, it was reportedly an absentee vote, something the caucus doesn’t normally allow. (I mean, if it’s important, show up!)

Here’s what prompted the vote: On February 8th, House Republicans were alerted that several legislators, including Majority Leader Micky Hammon, had been interviewed by the US Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General about a bill filed during the 2016 Regular Session and read in the House Commerce and Small Business Committee. The bill was filed by Hammon’s buddy, Ron Johnson, pushed by Hammon, and if passed would have affected a franchise in which he had a partnership.

Question marks.

Who is Hammon? He’s from the Decatur area, been in the Legislature for fifteen years, naturally accustomed to the system and became Majority Leader under former Speaker, Mike Hubbard. There’s been a need for a change in leadership and lay folks would agree — seeing as the quality of government in Montgomery has much to do with the leadership.

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After last week’s announcement, there was a call for a vote of confidence. Thirty-five spoke up for change. Thirty-six didn’t. I have no doubt that Majority Leader Micky Hammon has a tough job and I’m sure that the 35 plus 1 who gave him their vote of confidence have some reason for their vote.

Maybe you all could try again — do it right and do us right?

Wouldn’t we all love to see a day when Montgomery is full of public servants who are guided by God, not money, to do what’s best for their people? Until then, be encouraged. After all, it was just one absentee ballot that prevented a step in a good direction.

Hannah Ford writes from Montgomery

 

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