Had Tuscaloosa doctor and state legislator Robert Bentley not caught most by surprise and slipped into second place, James might be the Republican nominee today.
With the July 13 runoff only a few weeks away, Byrne has taken a page from James’ playbook and launched a campaign that would make James’ supporters proud.
In his new television ad, Byrne warns voters that Bentley is “more liberal than you know,” the same accusation that James threw at Byrne in his campaign. So it would reasonably follow — though reason is the victim here — that Byrne and Bentley are closet liberals and the GOP is loaded with lefties.
Democratic nominee Ron Sparks must be beside himself with joy.
As proof of Bentley’s liberalism, Byrne’s ad declares that Bentley voted to allow a teacher “serving a 10-year prison sentence to receive taxpayer-paid benefits totaling $164,000.”
Whoa, that is heavy stuff.
Sure would be nice if it
An Associated Press check of the legislative record shows that Bentley voted for a proposal made by Gov. Bob Riley and supported by Mike Hubbard, the state Republican Party chairman — plus every other GOP member of the House present and voting that day. The bill was a compromise on the teacher-tenure law that the governor worked out with the Alabama Education Association. Byrne, who was in the state Senate at the time, opposed the compromise.
Maybe it was a bad law because it allowed a teacher to be paid while in prison, but the teacher was appealing her case, and the way the law was written, she was due the money. However, that occurred four years after the law was passed, so to say Bentley voted to allow this to happen — as if this were the sole reason why he supported the bill — is reading too much into that vote.
The law has since been revised to prevent this from recurring. Bentley co-sponsored that bill.
Last week, this page expressed hope that with James out of the race, the Republican runoff could be conducted with dignity and real issues could be addressed.
To our disappointment, Bradley Byrne has started down a disappointing path. Makes us wonder if he learned that from Tim James.