AL Legislature Covers Itself with Glory Yet Again

In its rush to move Alabama’s 2008 presidential primary to February, the Legislature approved a bill that not only moved the presidential primary but also state and local primaries to Mardi Gras Day. Mobile businesses are traditionally closed on that day, and residents and tourists will be busy with parades and parties. I guess fixing this mess will be high on the 2007 agenda. Meanwhile, the state gets to look stupid in the national press — again.

* sigh *

11 Responses to “AL Legislature Covers Itself with Glory Yet Again”

  1. wheeler says:

    so does this mean folks can stand outside the polls and yell “show your tits?”

  2. Del says:

    Or maybe this would be a good opportunity for Alabama to petition the Pope to make Easter a fixed instead of moveable feast. And while he’s at it, to put it in April where it belongs, and have Mardi Gras in early March where IT belongs. That way instead of having to dive into Mardi Gras directly from Christmas excesses, we’ll have a nice long season for balls and parades with a better chance of good weather for both holidays. You know, warm enough for both boob-flashing at the Mardi Gras parades, and then later at Easter the ladies won’t be blue with cold while sporting their expensive new spring ensembles (ditto for their children wearing $500 “heirloom” outfits).

  3. Kathy says:

    That sounds like a great idea to me. I never know when Easter will be from year to year, and I’ve never learned the formula to figure it out. What do you think the chances would be? ;)

  4. Del says:

    Seriously, there is a movement towards this. It’s not just me.

  5. Kathy says:

    Oh my. It’s such a common sense idea that it will likely never happen…

  6. Kathy says:

    “so does this mean folks can stand outside the polls and yell “show your tits?”

    Yeah, and the candidates will have to throw beads.

  7. Don says:

    I thought maybe my browser had misdirected me to a porn site when I saw Kathy quoting “so does this mean folks can stand outside the polls and yell “show your tits?” below Del saying, “…..we’ll have a nice long season for balls…..”.

    Seriously, I like the last paragraph of the editorial on this topic in today’s Montgomery Advertiser @ which says, “Finally, one other question: Doesn’t anyone in the Legislature or the governor’s office actually read these bills before they are approved and signed into law?”

    I have been told by some legislators that many bills are not actually read, much less studied, before being voted on, and that legislators vote according to the advice they receive from lobbyists. We, the people, don’t have a lobbyist that I know of.

    Even more than those who voted to pass this, those who authored it, introduced it, and rammed it through should take the blame. If my memory serves me correctly, the culprits in this case are the two top dogs in the House of Representatives, Speaker Seth Hammett, and his right-hand man, Representative Ken Guin.

  8. Kathy says:

    I’ve heard the same thing about the bills, Don, and I’ve also heard that our legislators frequently depend on lobbyists to tell them what’s in the bills they are considering. You’re right; the ones with the most egg on their faces are the leaders who pushed through the bill without proper study.

  9. Del says:

    I honestly think that, if legislators from elsewhere considered the conflict at all, they were ready to dismiss Mardi Gras a just a big drunken street party, and if Mobilians are too busy with that nonsense to exercise our constititutional right to vote, then to heck with us.

    I can see how it would look like that if you didn’t live here. It looks like that to a lot of folks who DO live here.

    I personally wouldn’t care if Mardi Gras was cancelled tomorrow. I think it’s an appalling waste of money, resources, and plastic cr*p from China. But there are figures that seem to show it brings a lot of money in to the city, and lots of folks enjoy it.

    BTW, a few years ago there was a conflict between the downtown churches who like to hold Wednesday evening services and the practice of scheduling parades (which close down streets and snarl traffic) on Wednesday night. Without a whole lot of fuss, a compromise was reached: the “official parade season” was started a week earlier, but no parades are scheduled for Wednesdays. Not only were both sides satisfied, but it was an added bonus for the downtown merchants, whose food & liquor sales increase during the parade season. I still stand amazed at the goodwill and sense of cooperation that inspired this amazing “win-win” result.

    Truth be told, this can probably be worked out even if they don’t change the date. Most of Mobile doesn’t get involved in Mardi Gras – I was amazed when we moved here (grew up in N.O.) to find that MAIL is delivered Mardi Gras day to all except the downtown zip codes. I’m sure that with carefully positioned polling stations, short shifts for poll workers, and lots of absentee ballots, the whole thing can be conducted gracefully and with as little inconvenience as possible. And the following year, of course, Mardi Gras won’t be on the same date.

  10. Kathy says:

    “…short shifts for poll workers…”

    I was going to volunteer as a poll worker for the primary until I was told that split shifts are not allowed. You start at 6 am and work through till the polls are closed and the votes transmitted, which can be as late as 10 pm. This makes no sense.

  11. Del says:

    OMG, I had no idea. I just threw that in there as an idea, assuming that poll workers would be willing to come in for a few hours if they could still go to the parades.

    I guess the rationale is to prevent vote tampering, or something. I wonder what voting mechanism was used when that rule was made.

    Well, that explains the workers at our polling place. The L-Z lady is great, but the other one always seems to be singing the alphabet song under her breath as she hunts for your name on the list. Bless her heart. But hey, if she’s there for 16 hours straight, my hat’s off to her.

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