Ready for new start in Ala. capital

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 8, 2003

Scholar and former President Woodrow Wilson once said: &uot;We can have no sympathy with those who seek to seize the power of government to advance their own personal interests or ambition.&uot;

Those are words by which I wish politicians would learn to live.

And it is only by the people of Alabama gathering together and forcing them to live by it that they will.

With inauguration day in Alabama only 12 days away, our state is truly facing the changing of the guard.

The people of Alabama have mowed the lawn of Goat Hill and now we expect, make that demand, a brighter future for Alabama.

Six of the seven Constitutional offices will change hands on Jan. 20 with new Gov. Bob Riley, new Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, new state Auditor Beth Chapman, new Secretary of State Nancy Worley, new Treasurer Kay Ivey and new Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks.

The only one which will not change from the last four years is Attorney General Bill Pryor, and chances are, that seat will be vacant as soon as President George W. Bush appoints Pryor to a federal judgeship, a lifetime appointment. At that point, the changing of the guard will cover every Constitutional office in the state of Alabama.

That’s unprecedented, and it says to me that the people of Alabama are sick and tired with politics as usual in Montgomery.

We are ready for a change &045; one that begins with taking responsibility for one’s actions and then acting in a way that will be in the best interest of our state’s future.

This type of cleaning house is good for Alabama and its residents. With this election, we, as voters, have shown that we demand accountability and honesty; we demand good stewardship of our money; and we demand a decent education for our children.

Alabama voters are less tolerant of the political corruption and shenanigans of the past.

In fact, the past three governors have failed to be re-elected to second terms, beginning with Jim Folsom, Fob James and finally and most recently, Don Siegelman.

For once in Alabama’s history, there is almost a 100 percent turnover in the top governing office in our state.

It’s a chance for improvements, for the changes we so desperately need, for new ideas and new beginnings.

I urge you, however, Constitutional officers, to beware.

With our newfound intolerance to &uot;politics as usual&uot; in Montgomery, you have only four years to make a difference.

If you do not, we will mow the lawn on Goat Hill once again.

This is Alabama’s chance to move forward, to creep &uot;out of the hole,&uot; so to speak.

A friend of mine quotes this all the time, and it’s an appropriate ending, I believe.

&uot;To whom much is given, much is expected.&uot;

Not just expected &045; demanded