Immaturity at the state level

Published 7:56 am Wednesday, April 27, 2005

By Staff
Our View
The Alabama State Senate has now moved into its third week of filibustering.
Filibustering is when a member of the House or Senate talk for hours and even days to hold off the vote on a bill. They can pretty much talk about anything to hold off a vote and some of our elected officials have gone so far as to read the phone book so that they can waste time.
For three weeks the Senate Republicans have held up a bill that would allow the people of the state of Alabama to know exactly where campaign funding is coming from and exactly what it will be used for.
Presumably the officials in question do not wish the public to know what their hidden agendas are and why the senators sometimes vote the way they do despite the negative impact those votes might have for many of the people they are supposed to serve.
The plan wouldn't just make Republicans accountable for where they receive their money, it would make everyone accountable.
The general consensus among democrats is that the organization that would be most hurt by this bill would be the Christian Coalition. Though the Coalition has long been known to be a supporter of the GOP, the bill would show which officials have been funded by the group. By knowing which individuals are funded the public should get some insight into the reason officials vote for bills that primarily affect lobbying groups.
To complicate matters this filibuster is postponing the vote for Governor Bob Riley's budget plan.
According to some legislators, postponing the budget vote is the real motivation for this waste of time.
The senate wishes to get its own budget passed without even considering the governor's plan. They are, in effect, protesting Riley's budget plan.
Riley has caused a big rift in the state's Republican party. Since Riley tried to pass the tax plan most of his fellow party members have washed their hands of him. Most of the republican voters have as well.
This filibuster is just another example of that rift.
Riley has alienated his people to the point that they will not do anything he recommends.
Whatever reasons the senators have for doing this, the waste of three weeks of the senate session could not possibly be that important.
By wasting three weeks of the taxpayer's time and money the government is showing an immaturity that does not bode well for the people of this state.

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