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'RINOs' in Alabama put on notice, effort long overdue

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Former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, have finally decided to do something about RINO's in Alabama primary races. RINOs are democrats in the Republican Party who run on the republican ticket just so they can get elected, but by no means represent the party's principals and values. The effort is long overdue.

A lot of blood, toil, tears and sweat have gone into building the republican party into the dominant political force it is today in Alabama. Now, for the first time in 136 years the Alabama State Legislature is controlled by republicans. What a shame it would be to let democrats slip in through the back door, only to destroy all that hard work.

Why, some may be asking, is it so important to make sure only those who truly represent the Republican Party, and thus the will of the people, be allowed to run and get elected as republicans? For starters, according to a spokesperson at Athens State University, the current legislative session will tackle an assortment of ‘benefit’ issues for state workers. Those issues likely will generate a lot of heat for members back home, heat brought especially by the teacher's union, the Alabama Education Association.

The overall political environment, said an expert, is ripe for reductions in state employee and educator benefits. The Gadsden Times reported on its website that legislative issues in the regular session will include, 'efforts to reduce the effectiveness of the powerful Alabama Education Association that traditionally supports democratic candidates and causes.' AEA Executive Secretary Paul Hubbert said, “If they want to replay the last election to get back at us, then we’ll be very defensive. We’ll be manning our guns.”

And then there's coastal insurance reform; Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has renewed a campaign pledge to call a special session of the state legislature to find a solution for coastal residents seeking homeowners insurance. Yet Bentley’s promises to resolve the issue could set him against insurance companies, including State Farm Insurance Cos. and Alfa Mutual Group.

Alfa, it just so happens is supporting David Sessions, one of the 'republican' candidates in the March 22nd special election to fill house district 105. In fact, the kick-off fund raiser for Sessions was hosted by former Mobile County Commissioner Gary Tanner and former Al. House Ways and Means chairman, Taylor Harper, two scions of democrat politics in south Alabama.

A State Farm spokesman told the Gadsden Times that homeowner insurance companies such as themselves and Alfa continue to “have concerns” with what citizens’ groups and state Sen. Ben Brooks, R-Mobile, want to push in the Legislature, which by the way, are a set of bills requiring more transparency, and less secrecy over how rates are set. A report by Tom Baxter, in 'Southern Political Report' says Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley could be headed toward a face-off with insurance companies, especially the politically powerful Alfa Mutual Group, over coastal issues.

Meeting with a group of Mobile and Baldwin County homeowners, Bentley repeated his campaign pledge to call a special session dealing with insurance and his support for legislation that requires insurance companies to report premiums collected and losses paid by zip code. State Farm and Alfa Mutual, which is associated with the Alabama Farmer’s Federation, have been reluctant to release what they say is confidential information about the way they set competitive rates.

So, both in the case of the looming battle to wrest control away from an all powerful and out of control teacher's union, and the fight to make the big insurance giants answerable to the people, it's crucially important to ferret out those candidates who have accepted support from Alfa and the Teacher’s Union, (A.E.A,) traditionally supporters of democrat candidates and liberal democrat ideas. Otherwise, what has all the hard work electing republicans in Alabama been about?

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