Tin Shop Tartan - Randolph County Alabama's Own Snarky and Surly Scot Gets All Native

Blogging from the suburbs of the Tin Shop community, Captain Plaid brings Progressivism, and a share of Quixotic angst, to the ridges and hollows of Randolph County, Alabama. Hardly a booster yet rooted here enough to fight, Plaidsters can perhaps find like cause in trying to build local solutions to global concerns. Education, environment, economy, entertainment, engagement ... Trust the Tartan!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Kim S. Benefield, Vickie Cummings and Amendment One - Two Outta Three Ain't Bad!

I posted over on Captain Bama some interesting, at least to this political junkie, on what Kim and Dino Dial spent on our votes. Certainly Dino and his Big Mule backers spent the most yet the idea that Senate 13 took that much cheese per voter is amazing! Kim's opponent, lawyer Jim Ingram, will likely be now courted by the Big Mules so this race is hardly over. Still, knocking off a well dug in incumbent with serious support by the powers that be in this state was a real coup. I wasn't surprised and yet I'm thrilled to see it on paper. Does the Clay Combover head back to Clay County or go to work lobbying for his Big Mule buddies? I'm thinking Dino can now come out of the closet and admit who he has been working for.

Vickie Cummings won the GOP primary againt Dean "The Alfa Male" Wysner, which also thrills me. I don't think Den campaigned very hard and this might be that Alfa was having him scrambling around to save Dino. I've known and valued Vickie for years but the more I'm around her and her family the more I'm impressed. Good people! She and her capable crew have worked as hard as I've seen a campaign done around here. She'll be facing off against George Diamond who nailed numbers that seemed very strong against Jimmy McKinney. I knew George would run strong yet I know Jimmy spent tons and worked hard. I told Jimmy he needed somebody in a wheelchair! Congrats to George (and Mack!) and the Diamond clan. And by the way, although election returns seemed mighty slow at the Courthouse, the preparation for the election seemed to have been done well. Good job Judge!

Vickie and George ought to be a really good race. I talked briefly with Bob Fincher last night (And we didn't fuss a lick yet I'm sure we'll lock horns soon Bob!) and we agreed that this was the best chance for the local Republican Party to crack the Courthouse they've likely ever had. I heard somebody comment last night at the courthouse that we now have a two party county. Maybe not fully so but it is close. I'll vote in the Democratic Primary but have been known to cross over in the fall. Rarely done yet willing to look and listen to the other team. So I think having a two party local scene works. Locally, we can get down to brass tacks where a candidates positions and personality and work ethic and ... ought to be openly debated. I am concerned that the primary election, as we seem to practice here and likely across the state, allows an opportunity for Republicans to dabble in the Democrat's election and vice versa. We ought to ensure actual party members are the ones choosing their candidates for the general election.

Finally, I of course voted "No" on Amendment One yet it passed by an 85% to 15% margin here. State numbers has it at about 81.5% to 18.5%. Although our county also voted for Gentle Ben Hand, who has local connections and somebody I still like to think of as a friend, the fact that our GOP voters overwhelming supported Tacky Whacky Tom Parker tells us much about our locale. As does the vote on Amendment One revealing much about our state and nation. We can't remove racist segregation language from our 1901 Constitution yet we can take the radical and not needed step to include discriminatory matters in the document. Full faith and credit and comity be damned I guess.

I also heard a FBC poll worker "explain" Amendment One to another FBC member in an odd and I think wrong way. He told her something like this, "Vote 'Yes' if you want gays to marry. Vote 'No' if you think marriage ought to be between a man and a woman." We were deciding if amending the Alabama Contitution was appropriate and not conducting an opinion poll! So I walked up and told my friend "I might could have explained that another way." to which he replied "Some folks need it simple." Now I'm not sure who needs it simple yet the only thing I wanted to say is that Alabama and Federal law already covers this and the questions is much broader as to comity and the like. I told him "I'd like to think deep understanding is better than simple." He replied, a little testily I thought, "That's your perogative." Darned if that didn't amaze me coming from an educated educator. I talked politics all day and found that I could talk with anybody willing to talk about issues and solutions in a deep way. I'll hold out for discourse and I'm sorry if what I said about being "deep" was taken the wrong way. Lots of that going around!

Also, I though Cris May might win that Circuit Clerk race without a run off. He came mighty close and the numbers fell out about the way I thought they would. Not much excitement in this run off so the candidates are going to have to get out their voters.

Finally, since I was poll watching (not poll worker watching as I think some took my role) I was in Roanoke from seven to seven. I really enjoyed seeing folks vote. I saw and heard some things that disturbed me somewhat and yet overall it made me happy to see the system in action. We've got plenty of problems in our locale and yet I'm optimistic some could be solved with the right people trying to engage those issues. Peace ... or War!