Dec 12, 2010

AL: Time for an Independent Party of Alabama

From a lengthy commentary in the Montgomery Advertiser by Artur Davis, Congressman from Alabama's 7th District. He was a Democratic candidate for governor this year:
For the hundreds of thousands of Alabamians who believe our state is capable of fundamentally changing the way we govern ourselves and the way we educate our children, and who desire a politics that is not anchored to special interest groups, there is a powerful case for an independent movement in time for the 2014 elections.This movement, which would recruit and sustain candidates in targeted statewide and legislative races, has the potential to advance Alabama in ways that are impossible under the constraints of partisan politics.

Its principles would include an overhaul of a tax system that privileges out of state and absentee interests at the expense of low-income wage earners; the redrafting of a constitution that centralizes too much authority in the hands of the Legislature rather than local communities; the adoption of incentives that will empower entrepreneurship and high tech development; and reinvesting in our universities rather than demonizing them as elitist rivals to our K-12 system.

An independent party that is not dependent on AEA for endorsements or money can revise tenure laws that safeguard substandard teachers and can emulate models of achievement that are succeeding over the opposition of both unions and bureaucrats.

Neither a Democratic Party that fought so hard to preserve its power, nor a Republican Party that will fight just as hard to stay in control, could be expected to limit the terms of state legislators or to develop a merit-based system for appointing nonpartisan judges.

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