Regular session fall short

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The group of legislators we are supporting in Montgomery right now may be the most laughable of all we’ve had in this state, and as anyone who’s lived here for awhile knows, we’ve had some doozies.

Following the governor’s defeated tax vote last year, this was to be the &uot;year of accountability.&uot;

But there has been NO accountability.

Instead, Alabama residents have seen one legislator snub his nose at the law while weaving home in his pickup truck late one night, drunk as the proverbial &uot;Cooter Brown.&uot;

We’ve watched and our schoolchildren and senior citizens have suffered while our legislators promoted things like movie-making in Alabama (because what we really want is to offer financial incentives to these Hollywood-types).

We’ve been dismayed by the continuing death grip of special interests groups on Goat Hill, groups like the Alabama Education Association and Paul Hubbert.

But one recent action absolutely &uot;takes the cake.&uot;

Apparently, in one of their alcohol-driven stupors, our legislators have chosen an official state whiskey.

Well, great.

Perhaps our Christian community can place that Alabama emblem right alongside our state Bible.

On the other side, of course, we’ll save room for our state-seal-encrusted lottery ticket. I’m sure that’s the next to be designated.

A state whiskey. Now that’s a perfect symbol for the Great State of Alabama.

We must give Gov. Bob Riley credit. He vetoed the bill when it came to him.

That did no good, however, as it was overturned by an majority of senators and representatives.

My fourth grade Alabama history class called for a project on the symbols of Alabama. I’ll never forget it. I was so proud of it when I was finished.

I had learned about the state bird, the Yellowhammer; the state saltwater fish, the fighting tarpon; the state flower, the camellia; the state mineral, red iron ore; the state rock, marble; the state horse, the racking horse; the state freshwater fish, the largemouth bass; the state game bird, the turkey; and the state nut, pecan.

Since 1989, the Legislature has named a state insect; a state reptile; the state barbecue championship; the state horseshoe tournament; the state tree; the state quilt; the state soil; the state wildflower; and the state amphibian.

Now, we have a state whiskey.

Even Tennessee for which whiskey is famous doesn’t have a &uot;state whiskey.&uot;

And, just a sidenote, the representative who sponsored the bill is a stockholder in the company that manufactures the whiskey. I guess this will mean really good business for him. What an ethical joke.

The Legislature is calling this the &uot;state spirit,&uot; they claim, because, &uot;It sounds better than saying ‘whiskey’.&uot;

Let’s just call it what it is &045; liquor. Now we have a state liquor.

This certainly is one legislative session for which we can be very proud.

Candace Parker is the news editor at the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at