Scorned by Riley, Slawson full of fury

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 14, 2006

MONTGOMERY &8212; It was William Congreve in his play &8220;The Mourning Bride&8221; who penned that great and familiar truth: &8220;Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.&8221;

I would suggest that the same truth is applicable in politics.

For proof,

let me tell you about Guice Slawson, a Barbour County native who now lives in Montgomery. Slawson has made more money in the treated lumber business than any of us could count. He is in the Daddy Warbucks category, and if you don&8217;t know who he is, ask your grandparents.

Slawson has been a major player in Republican politics for a number of years, and four years ago, nobody was more major in Bob Riley&8217;s gubernatorial campaign than he was. He gave huge sums of money to the campaign, and his plane was Riley&8217;s chariot on many trips.

Slawson&8217;s support did not go unnoticed by Riley. When he took office as governor, Riley appointed Slawson administrator of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Not that he needed a job, it was simply Riley&8217;s way of saying thank you.

Not long thereafter Riley came up with his infamous Amendment No. 1 proposition which among other things would have raised property taxes. Slawson owns a lot of property. He was incensed.

Or better, hell had no fury like he had for the proposal and its sponsor.

He cleaned out his desk at the ABC Board offices and quit … and in so many words said he had enjoyed all of Riley he could stand.

That his fury has not abated was clearly evidenced last week when the various candidates filed their list of campaign contributions.

These documents showed that Slawson had contributed a whopping $100,000 … to the Roy Moore campaign.

It hasn&8217;t taken the Democrat-controlled Legislature long to perform major surgery on some of the key proposals made by Gov. Riley in his State of the State address.

Riley wanted $500 million in education funds to be used for a massive school construction and re-construction program; he also wanted a $233 million tax cut. He got neither in the bill approved by a House committee.

Democrats in the House … while not disagreeing that money needs to be made available for new school construction and repairs to existing ones … favor putting that off until next year and financing it with a bond issue.

The measure that was approved by the House Committee was a clear victory … more like a first round knockout … for Dr. Paul Hubbert and the AEA.

It now seems most likely that Marion Military Institute will become a part of the state&8217;s two-year college system.

MMI has a long and storied history but in recent years it has sunk deeper and deeper into financial difficulties.

The interest in attending military academies has declined dramatically in recent decades.

Death has claimed one of the giants of the Alabama State Bar. John A. Caddell of Decatur died last week only two months shy of his 96th birthday.

A past president of the Alabama State Bar, Cadell also served for a number of years as chairman of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees.

Only recently in an interview he recalled that as UA Board chairman he had persuaded his fellow trustees to hire Dr. Frank Rose as President.

Then he added, &8220;So my greatest claim to fame is I hired the man who hired Bear Bryant.&8221;

I rarely comment on affairs beyond the borders of this state but I cannot resist the urge to voice my opinion on President Carter&8217;s inappropriate comments about President Bush at the Coretta Scott King funeral.

Some people as they grow older remain gracious, some become bitter. President Carter is in that latter category.

Some would say he has a reason to be bitter. He has lived long enough to already know what history will say of his Presidency … and it will not be flattering. He has already been categorized as one of the worst, most ineffective Presidents in history.

As to the Rev. Joseph Lowery … who also used the funeral to be critical of the President … I forgive him. He doesn&8217;t know any better.