Wade on Birmingham

The Riley-Baxley debate, a live blog

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Gov. Bob Riley and Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley are squaring off in the sole gubernatorial debate tonight in Montgomery, just eight days from Election Day, Nov. 7.

The up-to-the minute action, after the jump …

7:01 p.m.: opening remarks

Scab! Bow-tie guy is a college debate coach because former Gov. Albert Brewer has an illness in the family.

Riley won the coin toss. Score.

7:02: education

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Riley gives a non-answer. Scores are up, blah blah. And the plan?

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Baxley accuses Riley of taking money out of the Education Trust Fund by offering tax cuts.

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Riley says we’re different candidates. And we can make Alabama education world class.

Round: draw.

7:08: plans for general fund budget

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Baxley accuses Riley of turning no-bid contracts into personal funds. She wants to appoint an inspector general to recover public money and close loopholes for out-of-state companies. And she mentions the Riley’s failed tax increase plan, and the Education Trust Fund (we see a theme developing …).

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Riley: “Here we go again” (a la Reagan). He accuses Baxley of negative attacks. Says state was $750 million in debt in 2002 when entering office but now debt’s gone and general fund is in the black. No-bid contract system has been cleaned up.

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Baxley: “You are no Ronald Reagan” (a la Lloyd Bentsen). Says Riley failed in promise to clean up no-bid contract system.

Round: Riley

7:15: taxes

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Riley says state has surplus of $1 billion and that working people deserve tax cuts. And state passed one through compromise. Says Baxley hasn’t supported tax cuts. My tax cut will help 90 percent of residents.

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Baxley hammers on failed tax plan, saying he balked on signed promise to Christian Coalition for no tax increases. First act will be to stop annual property appraisals instead of every four years.

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Riley says this is the issue with most demagoguery and that Legislature could’ve solved it last year, a non-election year.

Round: draw

7:20: jobs / economic development

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Baxley says Riley benefitted from auto plants lured by previous administrations. Must work to save existing jobs through incentives. Says Riley has taken credit without having done the work.

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Riley says Baxley never made effort to join economic development effort. Says before him, nine state development directors in 10 years. Says state has best economic system in the nation.

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Baxley says she’s never been invited to participate. Accuses Riley again of doing it for the spotlight.

Round: draw

7:27: campaign financing

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Riley backs up to rebut Baxley, saying he had many public officials coming to his office to work on economic development.

First mention of Riley’s Plan 2010 at 7:28. Plan would do away with PAC-to-PAC transfers, used to hide donors of campaign money. Has tried to make government more transparent to citizens. Must change system and the mentality of those who control the system. Senate leadership failed, but his ally (Baxley) wasn’t there.

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Baxley references national problems with campaign finances. Says she wants to end PAC-to-PAC transfers, then goes back to no-bid contracts. Questionable line: I received money from same PACs as Riley, but not as much(!).

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Riley says money raised came from trust and hard work. Says his 2006 funds are less than 2002 funds.

Round: Riley

7:33: accountability in government

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Baxley would appoint an inspector general to go beyond state auditor. Hammers for third time on no-bid contracts. Opposed Riley’s bill to make contracts for five years instead of three years.

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Riley says I promised not to use state grants to buy votes and that’s what I did, dramatically different from previous politics. Says Roger Bedford probably received more than anyone, even if Riley personally didn’t like it.

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Baxley says Riley has broken promises and abused trust. Uses example from halls of Legislature of quid pro quo.

Round: draw

7:39: illegal immigration

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Riley goes back, says he earned trust and delivered on promises (taking politics out of process, build economy).

Riley says federal government can’t solve state’s illegal immigration problem. Wants to use state national guard to help patrol border. Says Alabama is one of three states training troopers for immigration issues, but more states will join effort.

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Baxley says state guard already called upon to do too much already. Says Riley should use connections to President and Vice President to get more help (we’re guessing that was a dis). Says state troopers are needed on patrol, not spending time on this type of training.

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Riley says if and when we find undocumented immigrants, we’ll lock ’em up and send ’em back.

Round: draw

7:44: state constitution

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Baxley favors a constitutional convention to write new state constitution. Accuses Riley of using issue to attempt failed tax plan. Must bring in wide variety of people to serve in convention.

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Riley says Baxley would cater to special interests in creating constitutional convention. Says he believes in limited home rule, but that counties coming to Montgomery to get things done like pass taxes makes no sense. Favors incremental reform.

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Baxley says Riley would use appointees instead of letting people decide.

Round: Baxley

7:50: closing remarks

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Baxley: Hard work, God, Alabamians struggling to make it, will be advocate for those people. First act would revoke annual property appraisals (this is the hot button issue?!). Education, no new taxes, raise minimum wage. Clean record, trustworthy. Little rural church.

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Riley: Unity, record of job growth, record of educational achievement. No hint of corruption, restoration of trust. Plan 2010 (on Web site). Katrina, courage. Church burning, courage. National Guardsmen in Iraq, courage.

Round: Riley

Analysis

The questions covered a few of the major issues, but really just served as ways for the candidate to hit their talking points. Baxley jabbed here and there, but no knockout blows. Inconsistency hurt her message, as did a skimpy record to run on.

Riley was good, not great, but when you’re coasting on a huge lead, that’s more than enough.

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Winner: Riley

The debate repeats at 9 tonight and 2 p.m. Sunday on Alabama Public Television.

• • •

Vote 2006: more coverage of Alabama’s elections

7 Yips for “The Riley-Baxley debate, a live blog”

  1. Bryants of Bham » Blog Archive » Ho-hum
    Monday, October 30, 2006, 11:35 pm
    1

    [...] Riley was the winner across the board on every site/blog I found. If you want to read more Wade on Birmingham and Politics in Alabama have much much more. They both have good stuff! [...]

  2. Dre’s Ramblings
    Tuesday, October 31, 2006, 7:03 am
    2

    [...] Wade on Birmingham – provided live blogging coverage [...]

  3. Birmingham Blues » Blog Archive » He Said, She Said
    Tuesday, October 31, 2006, 8:36 am
    3

    [...] I missed the debates last night (forgot to set the VCR ), but I did check in with the live-bloggers.  Jeff blogged all three debates and declared Riley, Strange, and King the winners of each.  Wade blogged the gubernatorial debate, and he also leaned toward Riley. [...]

  4. Politics In Alabama
    Tuesday, October 31, 2006, 9:46 am
    4

    Election Debate Roundup

    Obviosuly there is some major media coverage of the debates last night. Below is the Roundup from the blogosphere as well as the Newspapers.
    Blogosphere
    Dan from Between the Links has some great commentary on all three races. Governor, Lt. Governor, a…

  5. Politics In Alabama
    Tuesday, October 31, 2006, 9:46 am
    5

    Election Debate Roundup

    Obviosuly there is some major media coverage of the debates last night. Below is the Roundup from the blogosphere as well as the Newspapers.
    Blogosphere
    Dan from Between the Links has some great commentary on all three races. Governor, Lt. Governor, a…

  6. Wade
    Tuesday, October 31, 2006, 5:45 pm
    6

    Did anyone watch the debate? Did it change anyone’s vote?

  7. Debate Roundup » Doc’s Political Parlor
    Thursday, December 7, 2006, 4:56 pm
    7

    [...] I don’t have anything to add to what has already been said in the blogosphere regarding last night debates. (Confession: they are yet unseen on my Tivo.) Wade on Birmingham and Jeff at Politics in Alabama were live blogging the gubernatorial debate (Jeff also did lt. gov. and AG race debates). Red State Diaries, Between the Links (Gov, Lt. Gov, AG), and Flashpoint (Gov, Lt. Gov, AG) all weighed in. [...]

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