This promises to be interesting. A panel of journalists will discuss the upcoming Langford trial, the role that race may or may not play in the 2010 gubernatorial election, whether or not Jefferson County should declare bankruptcy, the future of journalism and other topics of interest. The event begins at 6:30 PM at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It’s FREE and open to the public.
A reception follows (admission to the reception is free for members of Over the Mountain Dems; if you haven’t joined yet, you can bring a check for $25 or pay online today).
The OTM Dems have an excellent track record with these forums — great panelists, intelligent discussion, and the opportunity for audience members to ask questions. Featured panelists tonight:
ETA: This was another in a long line of well-organized and informative events sponsored by the Over the Mountain Democrats. Mooncat and countrycat from Left in Alabama were there too — see coverage here.
There was a good crowd for the OTM Dems gubernatorial forum tonight. My take? Artur Davis was the clear winner. He was relaxed, confident and well-prepared. Ron Sparks came across as angry and defensive.
Davis supports a citizens’ convention to rewrite Alabama’s outdated 1901 constitution. Sparks wants to let the legislature do an article-by-article rewrite, which is never going to happen. Even if there were the will, there isn’t enough time in the legislative session to get it done. Davis wants diversified economic development; Sparks is putting all his money on legalizing and taxing the hell out of gambling. Both of them oppose marriage equality, but Sparks was the only one who felt the need to assert that “marriage is between one man and one woman” (and let me say how much I appreciated the dead silence from the crowd as they went through their verbal gymnastics explaining how some people are more equal than others).
And, when the electability question came up, Sparks played the race card, basically saying that Davis can’t win because he’s black and we’d better vote for Sparks instead if we want a Democratic governor. “We know how Alabama is.” You know what? He may be right, and what a disgusting thought that is, but he chose the wrong crowd for that dogwhistle.
I went into the forum undecided. I saw one man fixated on a single idea to shore up revenue and fund education in the state, and I saw another who has a long-term vision of what this state can be and the smarts to back it up. I have my differences with Davis — his lack of support for LGBT equality frustrates me no end, and I don’t like the weaseling on health care reform — but Sparks sounded for all the world like a Republican.
If I had to make a decision tonight, there’s no question who would get my vote, even if I have to hold my nose a little while I cast it.
The Over the Mountain Democrats are sponsoring a gubernatorial forum tonight featuring Agricultural Commissioner Ron Sparks and Congressman Artur Davis (D-7th District). The forum will be held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and begin at 6:30 PM, but I suggest arriving early to beat the crowd.
Come and bring your questions for the candidates. See you there!
ETA: Feel free to post your questions in comments. I’ll be happy to pass them along if you can’t attend tonight.
Cong. Spencer Bachus (R-6th District) is holding a town hall meeting tonight at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center. Doors open at 6:30, but I recommend arriving early. As a card-carrying member of the Over the Mountain Democrats (well, I don’t actually carry a card), I know there are plenty of progressives who live in Spencer’s district.
Here’s Spencer’s statement on health reform:
It’s a collection of Republican talking points — rationing, blah, blah, more rationing, blah, blah, the end of employer-provided health coverage, blah, blah, too much spending, etc. He gripes about government-run health coverage, even though he benefits from it as a member of Congress and will continue to do so once he reaches Medicare age. He ignores the rationing that is going on right now for people who don’t have coverage and even those who do, when they hit their lifetime limits or their insurers find loopholes to avoid paying for treatment. He bemoans the deficit, complains about “borrying” from the Chinese, and spends some time trashing the stimulus plan, forgetting, of course, that he voted for the bank bailout (and, last October, said the public needed to give it time to work, as it would take six months to a year for the economy to turn around) – not to mention all the “borrying” and off-budget war spending that sneaked through Congress without a peep of protest during the Bush administration.
And, after all that, he offers no alternative proposals. He wants health care to be affordable and accessible, he doesn’t want the government to “get between you and your doctor”, and he doesn’t want any rationing of care, but he has no ideas of his own.
The invitation says the public can ask questions tonight or submit them in advance to BachusTownHall@mail.house.gov. Send in your questions, come to the town hall, be polite, but don’t let him get away with his distortions. He needs to hear from all of his constituents, not just the ones whose knees jerk every time he opens his mouth (which, btw, is rare, but usually something stupidcomesout).
Don’t miss it! Ms. Ledbetter and Chief Justice Cobb will speak tomorrow (March 26) at 6:15 PM in Reid Chapel at Samford University. The event is free and open to the public.
At 5:30, there will be a private reception with the speakers in the Great Hall of Cumberland Law School at Samford. Tickets to the reception are $100, and they also guarantee preferred seating at the main event.
Important note: all money raised over the cost of the event will be gifted to Ms. Ledbetter, who has worked without compensation for a decade to guarantee equal pay for equal work. So — even if you can’t attend the private reception, you can still make a contribution in person or by mail (P. O. Box 430114, Vestavia Hills AL 35243). This event is sponsored by the Over the Mountain Democrats.
John McCain may not show up for tomorrow night’s debate, but the Over the Mountain Democrats will be there. At least in spirit. Or maybe spirits. Join the OTM Dems at Rojo for cold beer and big screen viewing of the debate whatever-you-call-it-when-only-one-candidate-bothers-to-show-up-to-talk-to-the-American-people. Admission is a $50 check to the Obama campaign; RSVP here.
If you cough up the bucks and go to Rojo tomorrow night, you’ll get in free for next week’s Biden-Palin debate party at Matthew’s Bar & Grill. That’s assuming McCain’s handlers allow Palin to appear.
Thursday, July 24, is Over the Mountain Democrats family night at the Birmingham Barons, and tickets are FREE. Parking and concessions are extra, but I hear it’s a Thirsty Thursday, which means dollar beer. Woohoo!
You don’t have to be a member of OTM Dems to attend. All you have to do is click here, reserve your tickets, and come to the Hoover Met at 6:30 PM on the 24th. See you there!
The hoopla of Super Tuesday is long past, but Alabama has another primary coming up on June 3. Want to know more about the candidates running for local and state-wide office? Here’s your chance to find out.
Over the Mountain Democrats* is sponsoring a candidate forum tonight at 6:30 at the Homewood Library Auditorium featuring Vivian Davis Figures, candidate for US Senate, Debra Bell Paseur, candidate for the Alabama Supreme Court (Judge Paseur has a conflict and won’t be able to attend), and other Democratic candidates running in the upcoming primary. This event is free and open to the public.
* along with Birmingham Young Democrats, Shelby County Democrats, Magic City Democrats, Greater Birmingham DFA-PDA, National Jewish Democratic Council (Birmingham chapter), Hoover High School & Mountain Brook High School Young Democrats