By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Yosemite Sam vs. Big Liar.
That is the choice Alabama voters have today, as Roy Moore and Luther Strange collect votes to be the GOP nominee for one of Alabama’s Senate seats.
The candidates are so popular that Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill expects a whopping 12-percent turnout. At my local polling place, where around 1,000 were on the roll and eligible to vote today, at 3 p.m. – some eight hours after the polls opened, just 34 people had voted. The poll workers were nearly asleep when I walked in.
And some of that is by design.
The Alabama Legislature, which has never met a process it couldn’t screw up, passed a bill last session that bans crossover voting. That means that anyone who voted in the Democratic primary can’t now vote in the Republican runoff.
(What is it with Republicans constantly trying to limit the number of people who can vote? It’s almost like allowing more voters would prevent the party of the straight, white, Christian male from winning elections.)
The crossover ban is a dumb law, made infuriating by the fact that taxpayers foot the bill for all of these elections. Last I checked, Democrats didn’t get a refund and Republicans weren’t charged more.
And Republicans should be charged more. For putting us in this predicament to begin with.
Is there not one decent human being y’all could have backed for this seat – the seat in the U.S. Senate, one of 100 people who decide important stuff?
You went with a guy who, on his last night of campaigning Monday, and while wearing a cowboy hat and a black leather vest, whipped out a pistol during a speech. Why he did so, I’m not sure. Maybe he saw one of those “transistor” people nearby.
He has been kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court twice. He has embarrassed this state so many times it is hard to count, as he railed about punishing homosexuality and described all transgender people as “perverts.”
During the recent debate, Yosemite Roy was, at times, babbling incoherently, as he stumbled over words and simply made up words to fit the holes.
And he is the frontrunner. The clear frontrunner.
Because Luther Strange can’t tell the truth. Ever.
He has lied over and over and over again. He has swapped positions when it benefitted him. He has sold out Alabama voters and the state’s most vulnerable people for his own gain.
Let me tell you all you need to know about this man and why he’s losing.
Alabama has endured two major environmental disasters over the last few years – the BP oil spill and the North Birmingham superfund site. Luther Strange sided with the polluters in Birmingham, accepting tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and then vehemently fighting the EPA’s efforts to investigate and hold the polluters accountable.
Because who cares about sick kids when there’s money out there?
On the BP oil spill, Strange told the kind of lie that has made his political career – the almost truth.
That’s a kernel of truth wrapped in enough lie to make Strange look very good.
At the debate with Yosemite, Strange said he fired the private firm who was working on the oil spill and assigned his AG’s office lawyers to it, saving the state millions. The kernel of truth: he did fire the firm.
The whole truth: that firm was Beasley Allen in Montgomery, and Strange fired them because they had the audacity to back his opponent, Troy King, in the election. He was later forced to rehire Beasley Allen – at the urging of federal officials, according to sources, who were tired of trying to deal with Strange’s office – after it became apparent that his office was incapable of doing the job.
Jere Beasley, head of Beasley Allen, said in a press release that Strange had so little involvement in the settlement that he didn’t even know it had been settled until attorneys from Beasley Allen called him.
You see? This is the choice tonight – bad and worse.
It’s like that “would you rather” game you used to play in grade school, where you had to choose between two awful things. Like would you rather get a paper cut on your tongue or have your hand slammed in a car door?
That’s what this race is: the paper cut on your tongue vs. your hand slammed in the car door.
Good luck to us.