Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

>The Bessemer No Spin Zone

November 3, 2010

>People (who remain anonymous) are already poking fun at me after the Democrats in Alabama suffered defeat last night.

As if I expected every Democrat to win.

No, but when you ‘work’ for a party you support your candidates and you promote them and hope for the best.

I don’t apologize for that. I don’t duck and run.

So, here are some positive things from my perspective on the election.

Everyone in this state knows it is a red state. That is why the Blue Dot was developed here.

The Seventh

My candidate for the 7th congressional district, Terri Sewell, won handily. Of course that was expected and almost assured. But I supported Terri from when it first rumored that she would run. We needed a woman in congress and now we have one. Here she is in Selma last night at the historic St. James Hotel, thanking her supporters.

Here Terri and her mother are being interviewed by a Montgomery television reporter.

I personally thanked Terri’s mother for giving birth to her, and for raising her as she did.

The County

Another bright spot is that Jefferson County’s vote returned to Democratic in the governor’s race.

Ron Sparks received 104,098 votes to Robert Bentley’s 100,934. Not a huge margin, but a 51% to 49%.

Compare that to 2006 when Bob Riley took 53% of the vote in Jefferson County, compared to Lucy Baxley’s 47%, and 2002 race when Don Siegelman had 56% and Bob Riley had 43%.

I’m leaving out 2008’s Jefferson county vote for Obama, because I am comparing apples to apples with the governor’s race.

The pendulum swings.

The Constitution

Here’s a bright spot. All of the statewide amendments lost. For those of us that advocate constitutional reform, it indicates that the Alabama voters don’t like the process either. Trouble is, most elected Republicans don’t support true reform, so I don’t expect anything from the Alabama legislature, or at least not a convention to write an new constitution anytime soon.

The Gays

For the ever increasing majority that believe in LGBT equality, a record 106 openly gay candidates were elected across the country. Here are some highlights.

Lexington Kentucky elected a gay man as mayor, construction executive Jim Gray.

North Carolina elected their first openly gay state legislator, Marcus Brandon.

Rhode Island will send an openly gay man to congress, as Providence mayor David Cicilline will represent his district in Washington, and will be the fourth openly gay member of congress.

Click on the link to read more.

The Nation

Across the nation, we avoided having two of the most unqualified and unprepared candidates elected to the senate, and one of those defeats means the Senate majority Harry Reid will remain in office. May we never have to hear from Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell again.

As for the future along the national scene, I have my doubts that the Republican gains will translate into Republican love over the next two years. They were the Party of No for the previous two years. Before that they were the Party of Yes to both tyranny and wasteful spending. A few new shrill voices will have a difficult time transforming the established Republicans into Teabaggers that want to cut, oh, say, farm subsidies and Medicare benefits and unemployment benefits and the things Americans hold dear.

And their leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell (if in fact they remain the leaders) have said (collectively) that their primary goal is to make sure Obama is a one term president and that they would not compromise. Obama reached out to them during the first two years and they refused to work with the Democrats, who thinks they will now?

And Boehner, whose emotional swings range from screaming, “Hell, no,” in the House to crying after victory (it’s not like it was his first win, remember), will not have the steadfastness nor the demeanor to be an effective leader in Congress. Just a prediction.

All this could easily result in two years of ineffective government, the Republicans in congress getting the blame, and a second term for Obama and another swing in the house with democratic gains in 2012.

The Hotel

Ms. Sewell’s reception was held at the St. James Hotel in Selma, and Bobby and I spent the night there after the event. One word of advice. In a one hundred sixty year old building, when the elevator is stuck, and a while later they say it is working, don’t believe them. We got stuck in the elevator, but there was no panic. They “reset” it, whatever that means, from the outside, and we were able to ride up to our third floor room, after just a few minutes.

Here is a view of the courtyard that is surrounded by rooms.

A ground level view of the fountain in the courtyard.

The St. James was built in 1837, and during the Civil War it was occupied by union troops who burned most of the city. The hotel was managed by Benjamin Sterling Turner during the war, and he later became the first African-American to serve in the U. S. Congress.

Now the first African-American woman to go to congress from Alabama celebrates in the same hotel. Neat, huh?

Here is the view of the Alabama river and the Edmund Pettus Bridge from our balcony, as the sun was rising.

Imagine the history seen from that balcony (and the balconies on the other sides). Riverboats and barges with cotton on the river. Northern aggressors coming into the city. The city burning. The city being rebuilt. Martin Luther King, Jr, speaking at Brown Chapel on Jan 2, 1965. Bloody Sunday a couple of months later. The successful march to Montgomery that began in Selma later that year. The election of the first black mayor. Annual re-enactments of the March. Terri Sewell being elected to congress.

Selma, like Terri, is an Alabama jewel.

>The good news (and an endorsement)

October 22, 2010

>Hey, good news. The lawsuit challenging Ken Gulley’s residency was dismissed yesterday afternoon. I wonder how many more frivolous lawsuits will be filed before he’s sworn in.

A reader left a comment that I found interesting.

The irony is that Jessie Burrell is Gaston Randall’s mother. Gaston ran for City Council in Bessemer using his office as his home address – he really lived in Lipscomb, where he later ran and became a city council person (forced from office due to scandal). I never heard her say anything about Gaston. In fact, her political action group, the Voter’s League, actually endorsed Gaston in that election. This is the same group (Burrell, Dudley, McAdory, et al)that were supporters of Ed May.

At least they are providing some comedy in a city that really needs to lighten up a bit.

In other election news the race for Ag commissioner is not too exciting. Let me say this, though, we’ve had a good one, that being Ron Sparks. He’s right when he tells us that his history of expanding markets for our agricultural products indicates he has the experience necessary for talking with foreign interests and such in bringing business to the state. So, yes, vote for Ron Sparks for governor.

And speaking of governor, what is with Bob Riley wanting to increase unemployment in the state again by closing Indian casinos. What kind of legacy is he trying to create? Hey, cowboy Bob, Indian casinos are regulated by Federal law. Send your task force in there and let’s see what happens.

But I’m interested in the race to replace Sparks as Ag commissioner. Democrat Glen Zorn is running against Republican John McMillan. Zorn has been assistant commissioner of Agriculture. McMillan has served in the legislature.

A letter writer in the Birmingham News today gave an endorsement for Zorn.

Zorn will not need any on the job training. He is an able administrator, a fiscal conservative and proven public servant.

The other day John McMillan was a guest on the Lee Davis talk radio show. They had talked about some agriculture programs at Auburn, and Davis asked if there were any other ag programs in the state, such as at junior colleges or tech schools. McMillan replied that he didn’t know. And he wants to be Ag Commissioner? Hint, there are. Horticulture programs are just one example.

Here’s an interview with Zorn where he covers the issues important to Alabama.

And here’s his ad. “Zorn. Glen Zorn.”

Visit Glen Zorn’s web site here.

Vote for Glen Zorn for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries.

>Bessemer is not…

October 4, 2010

>…nor will we ever be, San Luis Obispo, CA.

San Luis Obispo is the happiest place in the United States, according to a 2008 Gallup-Healthways poll, which rated the city No. 1 in overall emotional health. This comes from an article in today’s Parade magazine.

But we could certainly be much happier as a city than we are now. The key is further down in this post.

Dan Buettner, who wrote The Blue Zones, has a new book coming out later this month, Thrive, in which he explores happiness.

Here are some key elements to the success of San Luis Obispo.

Support the Arts. I have written about the creative class and how embracing those and welcoming them would improve our city.

Boost Biking and Walking. I have written about bringing trails to Bessemer. Here and also here.

Create a Greenbelt. This kind of goes along with the above, as far as Bessemer goes.

Prohibit Drive-Throughs. It’s a little late for this. but in San Luis Obispo, they were forward thinking in the 1980’s, and banned drive-through restaurants. This helped to keep their obesity rate at 17.6% compared to 26.5% nationally, and God knows what in Bessemer.

Stamp out Cigarettes. San Luis Obispo has one of the lowest smoking rates in the nation, and this stated with their smoking ban in 1990. In Bessemer, there is a smoking ban in restaurants. I promoted this ban for the health of our community. We could expand the ban to our parks and other outdoor public places.

Shrink Signage. I doubt that we could pass a sign ordinance here. I’ll tell you about one sign that I saw today that is a huge waste of money. Richard Shelby’s money. He has a billboard in Bessemer, a Democratic city, on 14th Street. Lol. Anyway, Here’s a sign you need to read before Tuesday’s runoff. More on this further down on this post.

Empower the People. In San Luis Obispo’s case, the article speaks of a 1968 referendum where the people voted to close some streets and create a plaza. Mission Plaza is now a source of civic pride, a place for their farmer’s market and arts and gatherings. Hmmm.

Go back up to the Biking and Walking paragraph and click on the link there. That park involving the railroad trestle could be something the people would be proud of. It would link to Roosevelt Park, which is already popular. It’s a big dream of mine to have that park, and link it to Red Mountain Park by skirting our neighborhood along 14th street and using the overpasses already in place (there is at least one missing that would need to be replaced. But this would be a very interesting use of existing historical architecture, and believe me, it would get some attention), which is being developed. An official of the park told me years ago (during the Ed May era) they had approached the city of Bessemer and could get no response. This is another reason we need to send Ed May home on Tuesday. More about this further down on this post.

Oh, we’re there. I found a several page flyer on my gate when we returned home headlined “Ed May leading the city to the brink of destruction.” Quotes from this blog make the case on that flyer. There is also a section headlined “Bingo Deception” (Mayor May vetoed Bingo more than once, while his law firm was receiving payments for representing Bingo interests in Bessemer, according to the flyer).

Another section is headlined “Appropriated Education Funds Denied,” that explains that May’s withholding of about 8 million dollars from education (that the city owes) demonstrates gross negligence and hurts our children!

We are not a happy city. We could be much happier if we elect a mayor and council that will represent our city in a proud way. I’ve written about the candidates that the Bessemer Progressives have endorsed.

Here is what I said about city council candidates that are now in runoffs.

Chester Porter – “wants to revitalize downtown, wants to bring arts to Bessemer, wants to establish a quarterly community clean up day.” Chester is running for the seat vacated by Louise Alexander.

Ron Marshall – “Most of the questions asked this group were about economic development, and Marshall was very effective in pointing out his marketing background and how this would be an asset in promoting (or allowing other entities to promote) the city. He also has experience in managing a city department.” Ron is running in District 5, and seeks to replace Albert Soles.

Cleo King – “When asked what the number one issue facing the city is he responded “lack of communication.” He said we need to change the image of the city and the council needs to set the example. The current council person from District 7, Earl Cochran, has been a disappointment. He answered his first question talking about a failure. the failure of the city to pass his bingo initiative. He answered the second question talking about failure. The failure of the city to be accountable. he sounded too much like Larry Langford when he urged voters to choose him and only then would he reveal his secret revenue generating plan. Ms. Jones was voted out in 2006 because voters had had enough of her. We’ve still had enough.” Cleo is seeking to replace Earl Cochran, who has shown us how to embarrass the city when television cameras are rolling.

And we have endorsed Ken Gulley for mayor.

The Ken Gulley parade rolled by my house around 4 today. The Cleo King parade rolled by about a half hour later.

Do not vote for incumbents.

Vote for Ken Gulley for mayor on Tuesday

Vote for Chester Porter in district 2 on Tuesday.

Vote for Ron Marshall in district 5 on Tuesday.

Vote for Cleo King in district 7 on Tuesday.

>On Tuesday

August 23, 2010

>This is a reminder about August 24, 2010.

It is Election Day in Bessemer.

Whether you are reading this on Monday or Tuesday, consider the following.

Do you want to continue to have crime ignored?

Do you want to continue to keep the money we pay for the schools in taxes to be hoarded and mis-spent by the city on lord knows what?

Do you want to continue to have the city finances kept secret?

Do you want to continue to have a mayor and council at odds, who act as though they have taken a vow to act like tom cats all after Miss Kitty?

Do you want Bessemer to pay its first responders so poorly that once they are trained they are tempted to go elsewhere just because the pay is better?

Do you want the business community, which brings dollars, jobs, dollars, tourists, dollars, prestige and more dollars to our coffers, to continue to be ignored?

Do you want outside business entities that are considering a site for business to continue to overlook our city, thus losing potential, no actual, jobs that our citizens could hold?

If these are the things you want for our city, just don’t vote. Let things stay the same.

But if you want the opposite of the above, if you want to see Bessemer improve, vote for change in Bessemer;

vote Ken Gulley for mayor.

While you are at it, vote for:

David Vance – council 1

Chester Porter – council 2

Jessie Burrell – council 3

Ralph Hodge – council 4

Ron Marshall – council 5

Jesse Matthews – council 6

Cleo King – council 7

Janet Ruffin – Education 2

Wanda Thomas – Education 7

Here are some of the reasons for those choices.

>Forum 411 and endorsements

August 17, 2010

>Here are some recommendations for the Bessemer City Council and School Board races, courtesy of the Progressive Bessemer Coalition.

A few comments about the candidates follow, but I know you all want your meat before your potatoes. And I know you will be surprised at some of these recommendations, especially since I have said before that all of the council members need to be replaced. But when you compare one incumbent to their challenger, there is no contest.

City Council District 1 – David Vance

City Council District 2 – Chester Porter

City Council District 3 – Jessie Burrell

City Council District 4 – Ralph Hodge

City Council District 5 – Ron Marshall

City Council District 6 – Jesse Matthews

City Council District 7 – Cleo King

School Board District 2 – Janet Ruffin

School Board District 7 – Wanda Faye Thomas

It is very unlikely for a candidate to get an endorsement if they don’t show up for the only forum provided for voters to see and hear them. But it is not impossible, as noted in the above list of top choices.

Here’s a bit about those choices.

David Vance – strong background in law enforcement and youth counseling (YMCA), good ideas on public safety and economic development, and on being a good neighbor. Wants to “fill vacant business buildings” which to me means redevelop downtown.

Chester Porter – wants to revitalize downtown, wants to bring arts to Bessemer, wants to establish a quarterly community clean up day.

Jessie Burrell – Jessie Burrell has been involved in many aspects of improving Bessemer (and the nation) from her advocacy for an elected school board to her community organizing and marching for civil rights. She wants to provide more recreational opportunities for kids and to attract business to District 3, particularly a grocery store. The incumbent Sarah Belcher has been on the council for 16 years. Keep that in mind as you drive though district 3 and look around you.

Ralph Hodge – wants to develop downtown and wants to give the School Board the money that is owed them by the city. His opponent said she would rather “cooperate” and not ask for the money for the school board right now. (Note to Ms. Thigpen – When I voted for the school tax, I did not vote for my tax money to go to the city council. I voted for it to go to the schools. You said the school board didn’t need the money now anyway, since they have a surplus. One of the school board candidates told us how that tax money could be used to improve our education and AYP scores.)

Also, Mr. Hodge has experience running a city department and in being held accountable for the expenditures of that department.

Ron Marshall – Most of the questions asked this group were about economic development, and Marshall was very effective in pointing out his marketing background and how this would be an asset in promoting (or allowing other entities to promote) the city. He also has experience in managing a city department.

Jesse Matthews – wants to improve the infrastructure for downtown and older communities revitalization, and also wants to find funding for a rec center. His opponent, Ed May II, did not provide a photo for the brochure and did not complete the education portion of the questionnaire (neglecting to provide the names of the colleges he attended). During the forum, he left the auditorium while other candidates in other races were still speaking, and was not present for the photo op with all the participants afterward. These little things show a lack of respect for the process and for the people. He also indicated he prefers new development rather than the “buildings from the 1920’s” (paraphrase). That sounds like the same neglectful attitude toward downtown that we have seen for the last 8 years.

Cleo King – When asked what the number one issue facing the city is he responded “lack of communication.” He said we need to change the image of the city and the council needs to set the example. The current council person from District 7, Earl Cochran, has been a disappointment. He answered his first question talking about a failure. the failure of the city to pass his bingo initiative. He answered the second question talking about failure. The failure of the city to be accountable. he sounded too much like Larry Langford when he urged voters to choose him and only then would he reveal his secret revenue generating plan. Ms. Jones was voted out in 2006 because voters had had enough of her. We’ve still had enough.

Janet Ruffin – Ms. Ruffin has a strong background in student support services at Lawson State and wants to look at over the mountain school districts and see what is working for them regarding AYP scores.

Wanda Faye Thomas – has strong background in working with special needs students and residents at Partlow and Bryce plus teaching in Shelby County School System. Wants to embrace the Hispanic community because (1) all the children are our children and need to be educated and (2) helping the Hispanic students to achieve will also help the AYP scores. Also wants to acknowledge and assist bilingual and ESL students. She wants to use the tax money that the city owes the school system to improve the Pre-K opportunities and to hire or train more teachers for AP (Advanced Placement) programs.

The City of Bessemer Mayor Candidate’s forum is tonight at 6:00. I’ve already made an endorsement in that race, but the forum should be interesting nevertheless.

>Let’s not forget: Crime!

August 4, 2010

>I’ve not heard the mayor of Bessemer making claims about crime being down lately, but it’s probably only because I haven’t been listening to him. After what we’ve heard him say, and then looking at the facts, it’s been easy to see that he is either blind to the truth, delusional, or putting the politics of getting elected above the safety of the citizens of Bessemer.

He has said on more than one occasion that crime in Bessemer is just a “perception.” In a newspaper column last year I wrote about the “perception” statistics, from which it could be seen that the mayor is full of baloney when he says crime is down.

We have another year of statistics (provided by the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center) to look at.

Remember, when looking at trends, we would like to start with the year 2002, because that is when Ed May was elected mayor. But our city did not report crime statistics to the state that year, for some unknown reason. So we go back to 2000.

Last year I also wrote about clearance rates, and showed how the clearance rates in Bessemer compared unfavorably to other cities our size. Clearance rate, you will recall, is the number of crimes cleared divided by the number of crimes recorded. A crime is considered cleared when enough evidence is gathered to charge a suspect or take one into custody.

In the report last year, for instance we saw that clearance rate for rape dropped from 38% to 15% between 2000 and 2008. In 2009, there were 24 rapes, and 6 were cleared, so the clearance rate showed an improvement – 25.

But don’t break out the champagne yet. Compared to both 2000 (when there were 5 homicides) and 2008 (6 homicides), homicide in Bessemer increased in 2009, to 10 (with only 3 cleared). Robbery is up in 2009 (209) compared to both 2000 (174) and 2008 (193). Burglary is up in 2009 (1170) compared to both 2000 (802) and 2008 (1046). Total crimes were up in 2009 (4381) compared to both 2000 (4176) and 2008 (4295).

So far in 2010 there have been at least 6 murders in Bessemer, as seen in this map of murder locations in the Birmingham area.

The clearance rate for all crimes in Bessemer is 15% and this is an improvement. The police are doing a better job of solving crimes, it seems, in the face of more crime.

And as long as we treat crime as a nebulous “perception” rather than a serious problem, it will continue to grow.

It takes more than telling your neighbors about Jesus to solve the crime problem of Bessemer. Maybe some new ideas, some new strategies, police substations that are open on weekends (seriously), police getting out of their cars and walking the neighborhoods, getting to know the folks. A new mayor.

Today’s Western Star poses a question.


They want to know why hundreds of Kenneth Gulley signs are disappearing.

I have a theory. We’ve seen people selectively taking up signs on our block. They even reached in over our fence and took a sign.

But signs, even “Re-elect Ed May” signs, do not equal votes. In my neighborhood, as I was walking to the track today, I noticed that Ed May operatives had been through. Lot’s of flyers. But, I also noticed that the people must not be too impressed because the sidewalks and yards were littered with the things where people had thrown them down, probably in disgust.

The flyers have been tossed aside, just as the mayor should be.

A lot will be said before the election on August 24. But no one can deny that crime is still a problem, not a perception, and that crime rates that are either increasing or remaining virtually the same are not acceptable and are not progress. And we want progress!

>Bessemer election primer

July 23, 2010

>Next month Bessemer voters will return to the polls to elect the next mayor and city council and school board.

There is a big grumble among the masses about the local officials, and many are calling for a clean sweep, at least among the races for council and mayor.

This is not the year for incumbency. The entire Jefferson County Commission will be new. Incumbents in state and national legislative positions are in trouble.

Let’s bring it on down to the local level.

There are only 4 city council members seeking re-election. Two others are trying to unseat the mayor and one is poised to become a county commissioner.

Only 2 of the 7 school board seats are being contested.

And there are 6 candidates for mayor.

The Progressive Voice of Bessemer has about decided who the best candidates are to lead us into the next decade. These will be announced shortly. In the meantime, join our new facebook group, Progressive Bessemer Coalition. After you join, start a discussion or post a comment on the wall. And invite your friends that want to see some change in our city.

Oh, and about our endorsements. They are based on a candidate’s progressive platforms, their level of education, and their response to the pressing issues rather than on money given to the group, old friendships, pay backs and expectations.

And remember, candidates, especially those for mayor, these are the things that you need to be concerned about.

Candidates for council should be concerned about historic preservation and restoration of neighborhoods, ability to work with the business community, “plays well with others” (ability for the council and mayor to behave like grownups), community garden support, finding a way to build a rec center for teens and seniors, respect for retirees, and other issues.

Here are the candidates:

Mayor: Louise Alexander (current city council), Donald Ballard, Darayl Blue, Dorothy Davidson (current city council), Kenneth Gulley, Edward May (current mayor). These candidates are also known as Lu Lu, Don, D.M., Dot, Ken and Ed.

City Council District 1: Ronnie Johnson, Temike Reasor, Robert A. Thomas, David Vance

City Council District 2: Albert Grant, Chester Porter, Sherrina V. Rice

City Council District 3: Sarah Wallace Belcher (incumbent), Jessie Burrell

City Council District 4: Ralph Hodge, Donna Thigpen

City Council District 5: Ron Marshall, Albert Soles (incumbent), Robert Dale White

City Council District 6: Jesse Matthews (incumbent), Edward E. May II, Dock Scott

City Council District 7: Earl J. Cochran Sr (incumbent), LaBrenda Marshall Jones, Cleo King

Board of Education District 1: Vera M. Eades (incumbent)

Board of Education District 2: Earlean B. Cochran, Lester S. Mulligan Sr., Janet A. Ruffin

Board of Education District 3: Renna Soles Scott (incumbent)

Board of Education District 4: Samuel Morris (incumbent)

Board of Education District 5: Darlene Perkins (incumbent)

Board of Education District 6: Christine Knight (incumbent)

Board of Education District 7: Hattie J. Aikerson (incumbent), Elvira Kidd, Wanda Faye Thomas, Carolyn Wilson Hudson

I ran into current school board member Bessie Pippens (District 2) at the grocery store yesterday. Ms. Pippens has been a prominent figure around the Bessemer political scene for a long time and I believe she was the first female city councilor. She will not be running for school board this election as she has other priorities that must be tended to. I am sure the school board will miss her cool-headedness and her leadership.

New on Bessemer Opinions are the reaction buttons, and the new share buttons below. You can express your like or dislike or other reaction to each post and easily share a favorite post on facebook, twitter, or a number of other sites.

>Ron Sparks on today’s election

July 13, 2010

>This is a first. I am blogging from my cell phone, at Thompson Manor in Bessemer, where crossover voting is not occuring. Democrat ballots are running 5 to 1 Republican as of 2:00 this afternoon.

I just received an email from Ron Sparks about today’s election. Here it is, in part:

Today the Republican Party will choose its nominee to oppose us this fall.  I want you to know where I stand in that race and on the issues.  No matter who wins the Republican primary, Alabamians will have a clear choice in the governor’s race.  Both Republican candidates could not be more different from me.

I am the candidate who has created the most jobs for Alabama.  As a direct result of my leadership at the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries, Alabama is the leading exporter of timber and poultry to Cuba which alone added $350 million into the pockets of Alabamians.  I also opened the first Alabama trade office in India, led the first Alabama economic trade delegation to Africa, and led a delegation to South America to study their great success at generating and utilizing alternative fuels.I am convinced that if every single person in Alabama learns of the success we’ve had growing jobs in agriculture, our state’s biggest industry, I’ll be elected Governor!

I am convinced that if every single person in Alabama learns of the success we’ve had growing jobs in agriculture, our state’s biggest industry, I’ll be elected Governor!

I am also the only person in this race who supports an education lottery that will send our kids to college, will keep them from moving to other states, and will pay for pre-k for our four year olds. Both Bradley Byrne and Robert Bentley oppose a lottery and would ban all gaming in Alabama — further weakening our economy.

>Tomorrow’s election

July 12, 2010

>Tomorrow is primary runoff election day.

Turnout will be low. Very low.

Some Democrats will be switch hitting.

That is why it is so important for you to go to your voting place and ask for Democratic ballot and vote. Here are the recommendations for the progressive Jefferson County and Jefferson county – Bessemer Cutoff voters.

All video and audio is by Left in Alabama.



Attorney General – Giles Perkins

“The only progressive in the race.”

Federal District

AL-07 – Terri Sewell

Still refuting the lies spread by her opponent.

But there is more to Terri. Listen to her talk at the West End town hall meeting, about what we need to do, and how we can get it done. “Investing in human capital.” Opening the doors so that “all of us have those opportunities.”

Plus, hear what those in the community say about her.

And she does a good “Shirley Chisholm”.

State District

56 – Claire Mitchell

I have personally spoken with Claire and she is the most progressive, and remember, her opponent voted against constitutional reform and when I asked him about it, his answer was not satisfactory.

County Commission

District 2 – Gary Richardson

District 3 – Ron Yarbrough

Jefferson County

Circuit Court Place 12 (Bessemer cutoff) – Annetta Verin

Judge Verin’s opponent has some ethics issues that are being looked in to. Plus, there are people in Bessemer who are recommending voting for him for precisely the wrong reason. I won’t name names, but it might be the usual suspects.

Circuit Court Place 17 (Remainder of county) – Nicole “Nikki” Still

Circuit Court Place 23 (Remainder of county) – Denise J. Pomeroy

Sheriff – Willie Hill

>Progressive Bessemer endorsements

July 6, 2010

>Qualifying begins today for the Bessemer municipal elections and we already know who most of the candidates are. One candidate for mayor either needs to correct the spelling of his name on his signs, or inform the Birmingham News how to spell his name, because they do not match.

But we return to the polls before the August 24 contest. The state primary runoff’s are a week from today, on July 13, and here are the progressive recommendations for the Democratic Party from Bessemer Opinions.

This may seem unusual, but you may see a different candidate recommended than was endorsed in the June primary. This can be due to various factors, but in no way is money or payment of any kind involved. Unlike the other political groups in the Bessemer Cutoff, we do not accept money or gifts of any kind from political candidates, and we do not endorse our cronies or friends.

Our recommendations are based solely on the candidates academic and professional credentials, track record, political views, plans for the future, and answers to questions that have been proposed to the candidates. Not all of the candidates in this list have completed questionnaires, but the candidates were studied enough to allow an informed opinions to be formed.

The most important recommendation is to ignore requests to vote in the Republican runoff. Some Democrats are urging others to vote in the Republican governor’s race to oust a particular man, but the truth of the matter is, they are both bad for the state, and bad for education, and we need to focus on getting the best progressive candidates into office.

And some of these races will be very close, and the candidates listed below need every vote, so stick to your party, and vote progressive on Tuesday, July 13.


Attorney General – Giles Perkins

Federal District

AL-07 – Terri Sewell

State District

56 – Claire Mitchell

County Commission

District 2 – Gary Richardson

District 3 – Ron Yarbrough

Jefferson County

Circuit Court Place 12 (Bessemer cutoff) – Annetta Verin

Circuit Court Place 17 (Remainder of county) – Nicole “Nikki” Still

Circuit Court Place 23 (Remainder of county) – Denise J. Pomeroy

Sheriff – Willie Hill