I’m neither a Republican nor an Alabama fan, but this is just classless:
A plane is set to begin flying this hour over the site of tonight’s national championship college football game, pulling behind it a large streamer carrying these seven-foot tall words:
Impeach Corrupt Alabama Governor Bob Riley.
Riley is in Pasadena for the game between the University of Alabama and the University of Texas, as are tens of thousands of Bama fans.
Arnold Ariel Advertising, headquartered in New York, has organized this afternoon’s flyover. Zim Barstein said his company cannot reveal the name of the person or group paying for the flyover, but Barstein is confident the banner will be a focal point of attention over Pasadena.
“Nobody will be able to miss it, I promise you,” Barstein said. “It will circle over the area at a thousand feet for almost four hours, and if you’re in that town or caught in traffic or on your way to the Rose Bowl, you will see the banner. Seven-foot black letters at just a thousand feet get your attention.”
The advertising firm can’t reveal the name of “the person or group paying for the flyover”, but I’d be willing to bet (ha!) the initials are Country Crossing, the Dothan-area “electronic bingo casino and entertainment complex” that closed down temporarily this week just as it headed off a raid by the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling. UPDATE: Turns out Tuscaloosa developer Stan Pate is taking the, um, credit for the banner. (h/t Danny)
Whatever I may think of Riley, Alabama football, or electronic bingo machines, the Rose Bowl is an opportunity for the state to showcase the positive. The anonymous crybabies who commissioned this display of pique should be ashamed of themselves.
All that said, the Governor’s office didn’t cover itself with glory with this over-the-top response:
Riley press secretary Todd Stacy said he did not know who paid for the banner but assumed it was someone who does not like the governor’s stance on gambling. “Gambling thugs assassinated Albert Patterson in Phenix City 50 years ago, so we should not really be surprised by character assassination from this generation of casino bosses,” he said.
Geez. Put down the pearls and get yourself some smelling salts.