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Opinion | Ed Henry was the latest victim of Republican greed problem

State Rep. Ed Henry speaks at a press conference outside of the State House. (SAMUEL MATTISON/APR)

Another Alabama Republican has been indicted.

Another Alabama Republican was caught (allegedly) enriching himself at the expense of taxpayers.

Another Alabama Republican who spent his days in the Legislature harping about personal responsibility, bemoaning the moochers who dare utilize America’s social services and looking down on the no-good citizens who had the gall to be both poor and sick was (allegedly) himself stealing your tax dollars.

Another Alabama Republican.

Here is the part where Alabama Republicans bring up Oliver Robinson in order to say “they’re all corrupt” and hope that kills the conversation.

But you know what, it’s simply not true. And one Democrat here or there selling out doesn’t make it true.

Republicans have a problem.

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A greed problem.

It has led them to abandon the values and their professed decency. It has led to their embracing of an utterly deplorable president. And it has led to their shocking inability in this state to avoid prison sentences.

If you’re scoring at home, in the last couple of years, Alabama’s House Speaker, majority leader and governor were all indicted and/or pleaded guilty. Two other lawmakers have been indicted as well. The Secretary of State’s office sent out subpoenas to dozens of mostly Republicans over misusing their campaign finances for personal expenses.

Republicans tried like hell — at the urging of the powerful Business Council of Alabama — to block a bill that would have provided autistic children with insurance coverage for proven therapy.

And why did they want to block it? Because Blue Cross/Blue Shield — a company so profitable that it paid its CEO nearly $5 million per year in 2013 (the last year available thanks to a law passed by the Legislature in 2014) — didn’t want to fork out the money.

Republicans also have successfully prevented church-operated daycares from being subjected to the same rules and regulations as non-church daycares. At least one child has died because of their inaction and dozens of kids have been injured or sickened thanks to the lack of oversight.

And why would they do that? Because churches make a ton of money off daycare programs, and if they can get by with leaving one teacher to watch 20 kids, well, capitalism, baby.

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It’s the same issue in the gun debate.

If a kid somehow used a stapler to kill multiple classmates in a suburban school tomorrow, there would be new regulations on staplers by Monday. But with the NRA dumping millions into campaign finances and threatening targeted ads at any politician who dares step out of line, here’s our current reality: We’re averaging a school shooting per week, yet the School Safety Committee — formed to address the school shootings — won’t be looking the role of guns.


Money. Money. Money.

It’s disgusting.

And it’s why, whenever some Republican attempts to dismiss the latest indictment of a GOP politician with the “they’re all corrupt” line, they’re wrong.

Because while liberals like money — and some of them like it a bit too much — the love of money does not drive progressive policy. It is not at the root of all they do.

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Want proof? Think about the ultimate liberal — President Obama. Remember the most common criticisms of him from the right?

Socialism. Health care. Obama phones. Welfare rolls.

All of them based on Obama doing too much to help the downtrodden and sick.

And on the other side, there’s Trump, whose every scandal — like the GOP he represents — is tied to self-enrichment. From his collusion with Russia to his policies that just happen to help his mooching kids to turning the White House gift shop into a trashy version of QVC to push all of the crap with his name emblazoned on it.

In many ways, Trump is the perfect leader of today’s Republican Party. A wealth-obsessed moron with enough money to be as ignorant and obnoxious as he pleases.

That’s the dream for today’s GOP.

And it just took down one more.

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Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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