Endorsements are strong for Baxley

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Much has been made of the non-campaign Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley is waging for the Democratic nomination for governor, but maybe with the endorsements she got last week she doesn&8217;t need to campaign.

In rapid-fire order, Baxley was endorsed by the New South Coalition, the Alabama State Employees Association and the Alabama Democratic Conference.

The endorsements by New South and the ADC were of critical importance. In past elections these two groups have delivered up to 90 percent of the black vote for the candidates they blessed, and if they can do that for Baxley, the fat lady can start singing as far as the Democratic gubernatorial primary is concerned.

There is some street talk that these two endorsements might not be as effective as in past years because so many rank-and-file black voters have supported Don Siegelman for decades and may be inclined to vote for him. We won&8217;t know the answer to that until election night.

Both of these groups, as well as ASEA, were quite candid in explaining why they&8217;re supporting Baxley. They all felt she was more electable than Siegelman.

Secretary of State Nancy Worley, who hopes to win a second term in that office, can&8217;t seem to win for losing these days.

Now comes to light a story that in January she settled a federal lawsuit brought against her by her former state lawyer which cost the taxpayers more than $250,000.

Charles Grainger Jr., a former assistant attorney general in the Secretary of State&8217;s office, brought the suit, claiming he was fired on free speech and religious issues. He said one of his co-employees was gravely ill and asked him to pray for him during working hours, which he did.

While Mrs. Worley&8217;s lawyer insisted Grainger was fired for misconduct and not performing his duties, Grainger&8217;s response was that &8220;you don&8217;t pay $150,000 to someone you haven&8217;t wronged.&8221;

In addition to his lump sum payment the state paid $101,000 in legal fees to the attorney who defended Mrs. Worley.

Did you see what former Gov. Guy Hunt had to say a week or so ago when the rest stop on I-65 near Cullman was named for him?

With a nice crowd on hand and the media there to cover the event, Hunt noted that most often it is buildings, bridges or roads

that are named for former governors but he was especially pleased that they were naming a rest stop for him.

Why, you ask?

Let me quote Gov. Hunt verbatim:

&8220;When you gotta go there is not a more beautiful sight than a urinal.&8221;

There is a lot of truth to that.

Bob Ingram has covered Alabama politics for more than 50 years