Wade on Birmingham

Heads and tales: Politics as usual


baxley vs. rileyThe contenders: Tuesday’s state primaries offered few surprises, including the top races for governor. For Republicans, Gov. Bob Riley soundly defeated ousted judge Roy Moore, while for Democrats, Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley knocked out six opponents, including still-on-trial former governor Don Siegelman. Both Riley and Baxley benefitted not only from solid campaigns, but the virtual self-destruction of the their main opponents. Moore seemed to offer little beyond his Ten Commandments bully pulpit, while Siegelman unsuccessfully trotted out the lottery again and blamed Riley for his current courtroom tour on corruption and racketeering charges. Turnout was slightly higher than the 2002 state primaries. Great, Nov. 7 will have a sane and likely boring campaign for governor.
• Primary results [Alabama Live]

A toast: Not surprisingly, the amendment to ban gay marriage in Alabama passed overwhelmingly. Some voters in favor of the amendment cited religion as their reason. Lowndes County, however, did approve liquor sales on Sundays. Tsk tsk. If Jesus died to keep gays from marrying, he certainly didn’t die so you could booze it up on the Sabbath. Straights can drink to victory, gays can drink to better days.
• Gay marriage ban easily approved [Montgomery Advertiser]

The last line of defense: With someone like the mayor of Alabama’s largest city, you’d want only the best protecting him, right? A Birmingham cop assigned to protect Mayor Kincaid has just returned to duty after a month off. Officer William T. Camp Jr. wasn’t on vacation: He was suspended for abandoning a dying man and four victims during a shooting at a restaurant where he provided off-duty security. Camp left to chase the suspect — without calling the paramedics or the cops. Someone please get Mayor Kincaid a panic button and a helmet that says “MAYOR.”
• Officer back on job after 30-day suspension [Birmingham News]


  • Losing candidates prepare to make losing endorsements
  • Voters: the vote was yesterday?!
  • Only 42 shopping days until runoffs

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