Today Baron Coleman* made a case that former Gov. Robert Bentley should be considered for U.S. Senate. There haven’t been any columns I’ve written to date that have included the phrase”LOL,” but seriously, I’m tempted to here.
That is absurd.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The only Bentley anyone should consider for holding public office is Ms. Dianne Bentley — a woman of class, a woman of substance, a woman with a heart for the people of Alabama. Her work on domestic violence issues showed compassion and strength. Her silence in the face of the devastatingly public behavior of her now ex-husband shows she has backbone. Even the way she left him showed a strength those in Montgomery and D.C. seem to be lacking at the moment.
I would support her for our next U.S. Senator hands down.
That said, let’s talk more about more realistic candidates for the U.S. Senate, and where I stand on them.
First on, former-Gov. Robert Bentley in no way shape or form should be considered a viable candidate for any public office. Mainly because he sold out the people of Alabama with his push to raise taxes after campaigning against them.
Yes, folks this is and should be an unforgivable act of public betrayal.
I contend his semi-platonic, handsy and wordsy affair with his staffer wouldn’t have been anyones business aside from his and his families, had he not used state funds, and potentially state staff, to attempt to cover it up. His true unforgivable crime was losing sight of the fiscally conservative values he espoused on the campaign trail once he was elected Governor.
While 1st District U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne may be the only candidate to announce their 2020 U.S. Senate candidacy thus far, there are a handful of other names being kicked around as potential candidates right now too.
Those currently in Montgomery flirting with the idea should just take a seat if they intend to not only a) vote for Gov. Kay Ivey‘s gas tax proposal, but also b) fail to stand up and do anything short of boldly coming out against it.
I’m all for supporting infrastructure, but I’m not for indexing a tax increase, or for throwing good money after bad to an agency that has shown a total disregard for prioritizing their past and future budgets. And I’m not for raising the tax more than the state needs, just to give money to the cities so they can do what they please and use it on anything but infrastructure. As Montgomery-mayor Todd Strange said, what’s really going to happen is it’s going to become a shell game. The transportation dollars the cities receive from the state, will allow them to spend that money on whatever pet-projects they want. If you give a government bureaucrat an extra one-dollar, they’ll find a way to spend two-dollars, not necessarily on related items.
Another potential candidate who’s name is being tossed around is Alabama 5th District U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks. Brooks should have been a solid candidate when he was running in the last election. But I take significant issue with the way his campaign was run, and even some of his supporter’s behavior was atrocious to say the least. Bridges have been burned unnecessarily because the candidate didn’t bring his “A-game” and that was no ones fault but his own. It doesn’t help to have the right message (pun intended) if you can’t get out of your way to deliver it to voters.
All of this said, I’m on record saying it and I’ll say it again: Alabama needs someone young to win this seat and keep it. That’s not to be ageist, but rather that’s the reality of the way Congress and more specifically the U.S. Senate works.
I’ve been a little disappointed by Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth choosing not to be vocal about the gas tax issue this session, when in the past he was a champion rallying against it. He had a really good opportunity to step up and be vocal against it, but it seems that power will seduce and silence just about anyone these days.
There’s no question Sen. Doug Jones is going to be defeated in 2020. All it takes is a calculator and half a brain to figure that out. The question is, who is going to defeat him, and how conservative will they be.
Us true conservatives, with passion and principles, it’s our time to make our voices be heard. To watch what’s going on Montgomery again this week with the gas tax increase and pay attention and take notes. We need a leader in the U.S. leader.
It’s not going to be Robert Bentley, but it is a good time to start talking about what qualities we’re actually looking for in that future Senator. And hey, if Dianne is interested I’ll get my checkbook ready.
*Baron is a lawyer, radio talk show host on News & Views on 93.1 FM, and political consultant based out of Montgomery, Ala. for those who don’t know. He also is a new contributor here at Alabama Today.