Vote 2009 – Wade on Birmingham http://wadeonbirmingham.com News, features and essays about Birmingham and Alabama Fri, 05 Jan 2018 20:45:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2407551 BREAKING – Vote 2009: William Bell wins mayor’s race over Patrick Cooper http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/19/breaking-vote-2009-winner-mayor-runoff-election-william-bell-patrick-cooper/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/19/breaking-vote-2009-winner-mayor-runoff-election-william-bell-patrick-cooper/#comments Wed, 20 Jan 2010 03:23:28 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7715

William Bell will be the next mayor of Birmingham.

Jefferson County commissioner William Bell defeated attorney Patrick Cooper in today’s Birmingham mayoral runoff election. Bell marks the third time in a row in which the underdog mayoral candidate in Birmingham’s general election upset the leader in the runoff.

Wade on Birmingham - Vote 2009Bell received 25,354 votes, or 53.6 percent, while Cooper picked up 21,979 votes, for 46.4 percent. Voter turnout was 41 percent, much higher than in December’s general election.

Bell will succeed acting mayor and city council president Roderick Royal, who succeeded Carole Smitherman in the same capacity, who took over after former mayor Larry Langford was convicted in October in federal court.

Currently serving on the county commission, Bell previously served on the city council as its first black president and as interim mayor. He ran for mayor in 1999, 2003 and 2007. During this campaign, Bell touted selling the Birmingham Water Works for $200 million that went to school improvements, known as the Bell Plan.

Bell will serve the remaining 2 years on Langford’s term, until the next regular election in 2011.

Video: Bell’s victory speech

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: One last vote to cast http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/19/vote-2009-mayoral-runoff-election-william-bell-patrick-cooper/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/19/vote-2009-mayoral-runoff-election-william-bell-patrick-cooper/#comments Tue, 19 Jan 2010 13:00:03 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7703 Wade on Birmingham - Vote 2009It comes down to today, the runoff election to select Birmingham’s mayor for the next 2 years. After …

  • 83 days since then mayor Larry Langford’s conviction, removing him from office,
  • 14 candidates,
  • 45 posts on Wade on Birmingham,
  • 2 acting mayors,
  • 1 candidate arrested,
  • and another found dead,

we are down to two finalists, Jefferson County commissioner William Bell and attorney Patrick Cooper.

Voting takes place until 7 tonight.

Where to vote: Call Jefferson County at (205) 325-5550. Or try AlabamaVotes.gov and click on “Search Your Polling Place.”

Join us tonight for election results
on Wade on Birmingham.

Remember, if you have problems at your polling place:

  • Notify a poll worker immediately.
  • Obtain a complaint/evaluation form (or download jpgs of pages 1 and 2). Print it, fill it out, copy and mail it.
  • Call the state attorney general at 1-800-831-8814 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Wednesday or fill out this online form.
  • Call the secretary of state at 1-800-274-VOTE (8683) or visit her site, StopVoterFraudNow.com.
  • And tell the probate court for Jefferson County (205-325-5203).
  • Leave a comment below.

Additional stories:

  • William Bell
    • Dec. 6 | Up close with William Bell
    • Dec. 9 | William Bell on the runoff
  • Patrick Cooper
    • Dec. 5 | Up close with Patrick Cooper
    • Dec. 9 | Patrick Cooper on the runoff
  • Both candidates
    • Jan. 12 | The strutinizing of Bell and Cooper
    • Jan. 15 | Bell, Cooper face off in last televised debate
    • Jan 18 | Mayoral candidates take callers’ questions

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: Mayoral candidates take callers’ questions http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/18/vote-2009-mayoral-candidates-callers-questions-william-bell-patrick-cooper-audio/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/18/vote-2009-mayoral-candidates-callers-questions-william-bell-patrick-cooper-audio/#comments Mon, 18 Jan 2010 22:52:17 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7644 Wade on Birmingham - Vote 2009Birmingham mayoral candidates William Bell and Patrick Cooper have answers. At least, they did when each one took callers’ questions separately for an hour Friday on WBHM (90.3 FM) Friday.

You can hear their responses below, in case you still haven’t decided …

William Bell:

  • [See post to listen to audio]

Patrick Cooper:

  • [See post to listen to audio]

Also:

And last but not least, a shout out from Vacant Manifesto during a WBHM “Tapestry” interview (at the 1:45 mark) …

  • [See post to listen to audio]

The runoff election takes place Tuesday. Look for results Tuesday evening on Wade on Birmingham.

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: Bell, Cooper face off in last televised debate http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/15/vote-2009-william-bell-patrick-cooper-mayor-debate-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/15/vote-2009-william-bell-patrick-cooper-mayor-debate-video/#comments Fri, 15 Jan 2010 22:41:48 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7603 The last showdown: Birmingham mayoral runoff candidates William Bell and Patrick Cooper participated in a final 37-minute debate televised Thursday night on Fox 6.

The two men answered questions on the city budget, jobs, race and more. We have videos from the entire debate in six parts.

Video: Part 1, debate between William Bell and Patrick Cooper

William Bell, Patrick Cooper - Birmingham mayoral debate

Video: Part 2, debate between William Bell and Patrick Cooper

William Bell, Patrick Cooper - Birmingham mayoral debate

Video: Part 3, debate between William Bell and Patrick Cooper

William Bell, Patrick Cooper - Birmingham mayoral debate

Video: Part 4, debate between William Bell and Patrick Cooper

William Bell, Patrick Cooper - Birmingham mayoral debate

Video: Part 5, debate between William Bell and Patrick Cooper

William Bell, Patrick Cooper - Birmingham mayoral debate

Video: Part 6, debate between William Bell and Patrick Cooper

The runoff election takes place Tuesday.

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: The strutinizing of Bell and Cooper http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/12/vote-2009-the-strutinizing-william-bell-patrick-cooper/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/12/vote-2009-the-strutinizing-william-bell-patrick-cooper/#comments Tue, 12 Jan 2010 23:13:38 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7547 With two candidates and 1 week left before Birmingham’s mayoral runoff election, the war of words has escalated.

William BellBlack and White pulled out a 10-year-old Mark Kelly story on then-interim-mayor William Bell. A few selected excerpts …

A “domestic problem”:

December 1979: Bell’s wife, Sharon, is treated at a local hospital for injuries resulting from a dispute at the couple’s home. The Birmingham News reports that Mrs. Bell told an unidentified Birmingham policeman that her husband had beaten her. Bell admits there was a “domestic problem” but denies hitting his wife.

Likening the situation to that of Senator Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick incident, Bell says, “I’ll never explain that to anyone’s satisfaction.”

The Hitler card:

February 1982: After a council meeting at which new council President John Katopodis suggested the council should consider adopting an ethics code, Bell says, “Little Hitler and his Gestapo group can do whatever they want. I’m through with all that bullshit.” He retracts the statement the next day.

Profile of a mayoral candidate:

February 1989: The (Birmingham News) story also notes an apparent disparity between Bell’s penchant for living well — expensive suits, Mercedes-Benz sedan with “18K” license plate — and his $25,000 income as a city councilor and his salary as a part-time administrative aide at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Questions are also raised about the nature of Bell’s job at UAB, described as overseeing a computer system that tracks the progress of bills in the Alabama legislature. A UAB dean says Bell does “an extremely valuable job … mainly the dissemination of information” on legislative matters to top university administrators.

Bad business:

July 1993: When Magic City Concessions defaults on approximately half of a $260,000 loan from First Commercial Bank, Bell — along with Germany and other owners of the company — has his wages garnished.

Scandals during his 3 months as interim mayor in 1999:

Bell has kept a tight grip on public documents and information in each of the three scandals—related to the Alabama State Fairgrounds, the Birmingham Water Works, and a controversial land deal in Center Point—that have rocked City Hall in the weeks since Arrington vacated the premises.

Through various aides and department heads, Bell has stalled at every turn, doling out in eye-dropper portions what is proving to be a flood of information. In the process, he has given the appearance of covering up for Arrington and others, calling his own credibility into question.

• • •

Patrick CooperMeanwhile, William Muhammad of the Committee to Develop Birmingham wrote a column in the Birmingham Times titled “Is Patrick Cooper Avoiding the Black Community?”

Muhammad organized Monday’s debate, in which Cooper declined to participate. (Cooper also skipped a debate on Friday sponsored by the National Associa­tion for the Advancement of Colored People.)

On Cooper and Monday’s debate:

I received a call from the Cooper campaign informing me that Cooper will not participate in a debate sponsored by the Committee to Develop Birmingham on Jan. 11 at the Five Points West Library … The person who called me said, “It’s not personal, it’s business!” Well, I take it personal!!

When 75 percent of the City of Birmingham is black and 50 percent of blacks in Birmingham are in poverty. When only 3 percent of city business is going to black businesses, I want mayoral candidates to come to the black community and answer some hard questions on the air!

Plantation politics:

I have tried to remain as neutral as I can in this race! I felt that the issues that the Committee to Develop Birmingham have been working on for the past 6 years are too important to be dismissed by a candidate because of partisanship. …

The only thing we are vehemently against is “plantation politics”!! Politics where you take white money and ask for black votes, but you serve white interests!! I guess it’s not personal, it’s business as usual for Patrick Cooper. The business of plantation politics!!!

• • •

The runoff election is Jan. 19.

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: Two more mayoral debates announced http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/11/vote-2009-two-more-mayoral-debates-announced-william-bell-patrick-cooper/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/01/11/vote-2009-two-more-mayoral-debates-announced-william-bell-patrick-cooper/#comments Mon, 11 Jan 2010 23:06:42 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7499 Wade on Birmingham - Vote 2009(Yes, Vote 2009 until this mayor’s race is settled Jan. 19.)

Two more debates have been set for Birmingham mayoral candidates William Bell and Patrick Cooper to square off. The runoff opponents agreed to a series of four debates.

Mayoral candidate debate tonight

  • When: 6-8 tonight
  • Where: Five Points West Library, 4812 Ave. W [map]
  • Television/radio: live on WATV (900 AM).
  • Also: Organizer William Muhammad of the Committee to Develop Birmingham said that the debate would still take place, even though a representative of the Cooper campaign told him Cooper would attend.

Mayoral candidate debate Tuesday

  • Focus: education, crime, economic development, transportation, fiscal responsibility, the youth and ways to attract and retain young professionals and workers.
  • Panelists: Yvonne Brakefield, League of Women Voters; Vickii Howell, Birmingham Association of Black Journalists; and Eddie Koen, Birmingham Roundtable. Julius White of WBHK (98.7 FM) will serve as moderator.
  • When: 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday; audience must be seated by 6:45 for broadcast.
  • Where: BJCC Medical Forum Auditorium, 950 22nd St. N., downtown [map]
  • Television/radio: live on WAGG (“Heaven” 610 AM), WBHK (“Kiss” 98.7 FM) will air first hour only; available later on Bright House On Demand Channel 1040.
  • Also: The debate is free, but tickets are required and can be obtained by e-mailing thedebate2010@gmail.com with your name and number of tickets to pick up at “Will Call.”
  • For more information: See the article in the Birmingham Times or e-mail thedebate2010@gmail.com.

The last debate will be Thursday night on Fox 6.

The runoff election takes place Jan. 19.

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Wade on December 2009 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/31/wade-on-december-2009-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/31/wade-on-december-2009-video/#comments Thu, 31 Dec 2009 22:46:04 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7314 A look back at all things and people and events 2009 …

Video: William Bell and Patrick Cooper
head to mayoral runoff election.

Dec. 1 | Our never-ending Vote 2009 coverage of the Birmingham mayoral runoff continued with a forum and a town hall, the sudden death of a candidate from Hoover, our final assessment of the contenders and the anti-climatic Election Night 1-2 finish of runoff hopefuls William Bell and Patrick Cooper. One debate will be Jan. 10 at Alys Stephens Center, airing on ABC 33/40 and WBHM (90.3 FM); another will be 9 p.m. Jan. 14 on Fox 6 and MyFoxAL.com.

Look for more Vote 2009 stories in … 2010.

Dec. 1 | The Birmingham Leadership Awards winners? We have ’em.

Bobby BowdenDec. 1 | Birmingham’s Bobby Bowden announced his retirement from Florida State football, wrapping a 44-year career in coaching. His final game will be the Gator Bowl taking on No. 18 West Virginia. The game airs noon Friday from Jacksonville, Fla., on CBS 42.

Dec. 5 | More football news: Alabama wins the SEC Championship to advance to the BCS National Championship game. The next week, the school would have its first ever Heisman Trophy winner thanks to running back Mark Ingram.

Dec. 15 | In economic news, Birmingham and Alabama have endured tough times, indeed, with the highest unemployment rate in more than 25 years. A study found that the state’s low tax burden doesn’t really trickle down to the poor. The Birmingham Business Alliance sought input through an online survey for the next step in its economic development plan, Blueprint Birmingham.

Hyundai in Montgomery built its 1 millionth vehicle. And Birmingham’s McWane Inc. plead guilty to violations of the Clean Water Act, resulting in a $4 million fine.

Dec. 17 | The newly seated Birmingham school board selects Craig Witherspoon, superinten­dent of Edgecombe County Public Schools in Tarboro, N.C., as the new superintendent. The board had previously had problems picking a president, then faced accusations of bias during the superintendent search.

Dec. 18 | The feds take over New South Federal Bank in Irondale after big losses in loans. A Texas bank has taken over operations.

See all of our December coverage.

• • •

Haiku flashback

predictions for the next decade [Dec. 8]

Flying cars, yoga
weddings, telepathic phones,
wars without borders.

• • •

365 days of Birmingham’s best and worst: Wade on 2009

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Wade on November 2009 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/31/wade-on-november-2009-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/31/wade-on-november-2009-video/#respond Thu, 31 Dec 2009 16:51:08 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7315 A look back at all things and people and events 2009 …

Video: Mary Buckelew gets probation
instead of jail time: “Justice was served today.”

Nov. 2 | Our Vote 2009 resumed coverage as a special election for mayor of Birmingham was set. As each of the 14 candidates announced, as each forum and town hall emerged, we had the info. And still, the campaign continues …

Nov. 3 | Birmingham looks to Austin for a way to spur badly needed economic development. Can the city and the Birmingham Business Alliance match the Texas metropolis’ success?

Nov. 4 | Do Birmingham’s nonprofit organizations and their volunteers deserve awards? YP Roundtable thinks so, but we call it “selfishly egotistically uncharitable.”

Nov. 6 | A Wade on Birmingham exclusive: How Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival went from being in debt to $20,000 in the black. All it took was budget cuts, fast fund-raising and more ticket sales.

Nov. 6 | ABC’s “Supernanny” visits Hayden to help a family of five with discipline problems. One household down, many many more to go.

Nov. 12 | Speaking of discipline … Former Jefferson County Commission president Mary Buckelew escaped with a slap on the wrist, or 3 years probation and $20,000 fine for lying to a grand jury. She had faced 12 to 18 months in prison.

Nov. 18 | HealthSouth chief executive officer Jay Grinney says the way forward for the city and county is combined government, along with the Birmingham Business Alliance’s economic development plan. He was a keynote speaker at the Birmingham Economic Summit.

Nov. 18 | Birmingham took a big bite out of crime in 2009, with a 12 percent drop in the first three quarters. Despite the effort, the city still placed seventh nationally in city crime rankings.

Nov. 23 | Campaign oddity exhibit A: “Cooper Rap.” Exhibit B: Candidate arrested for disorderly conduct at a bar.

Nov. 24 | A council coup, of sorts. Roderick Royal becomes incoming city council’s new president and interim mayor, ending Carole Smitherman’s short tenure.

Nov. 30 | Two calendars, A Picture of Health and Brave Beauties, raise money for charity. Two weeks later, the cover model for “A Picture of Health” died from ovarian cancer.

See all of our November coverage.

• • •

Haiku flashback

the iron bowl in 17 syllables (Nov. 26)

Tradition, empty
malls, rivalry, crimson white,
orange blue, braggin’ rights.

• • •

365 days of Birmingham’s best and worst: Wade on 2009

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Wade on October 2009 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/30/wade-on-october-2009-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/30/wade-on-october-2009-video/#comments Thu, 31 Dec 2009 05:52:10 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7311 A look back at all things and people and events 2009 …

Video: The Birmingham Museum of Art
unveils “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Oct. 1 | The Birmingham Museum of Art showed its new exhibit, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” to the media. We gave you a sneak peek. Heads up: The exhibit closes in 10 days …

Oct. 6 | This site turned 4. We remembered. On time.

Oct. 6 | One in seven registered voters showed up for the city runoff election. We almost counted the votes by hand. The new city council and board of education is set, but not without controversy weeks later, with political maneuverings for the presidency of both bodies.

Oct. 9 | This site became a nominee for Birmingham’s Best 2009 in the Local Web Site category. Our plea for no votes is a raging success, as we finish as a runner-up.

Oct. 19 | We begin daily coverage of The Trial of Larry Langford, as Birmingham’s mayor has his day in Tuscaloosa federal court. Wade on Birmingham covers the trial on this site and through a special Twitter account, including live coverage on Day 5.

Oct. 20 | Arrest warrants are issued for two City Stages officials, George McMillan (at left) and Denise Koch, for bad checks. And the band played on.

Oct. 25 | HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy was back in town answering questions about his assets to help repay the $2.87 billion fine for a civil suit. You have to read it to believe it.

Larry LangfordOct. 28 | Birmingham mayor Larry Langford is convicted on 60 counts of bribery, money laundering, fraud and conspiracy. It brings an abrupt end to his 2 years in office, a term marked by hubris, financial woes and hypocrisy. Langford’s conviction turns council president Carole Smitherman into interim mayor, the first woman to hold the office.

Oct. 29 | We review Chris Thile jamming with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

Oct. 30 | One of Birmingham’s biggest sporting events, the Magic City Classic, saw Alabama A&M defeat Alabama State in the 68th match. More than 55,000 fans attended, and we had the preview.

See all of our October coverage.

• • •

Haiku flashback

birmingham renewed: baby steps (Oct. 30)

Who we are as a
city comes not from who leads
but who does the work.

• • •

365 days of Birmingham’s best and worst: Wade on 2009

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Wade on August 2009 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/30/wade-on-august-2009-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/30/wade-on-august-2009-video/#comments Thu, 31 Dec 2009 00:05:09 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7310 A look back at all things and people and events 2009 …

Video: Bill Blount joins Birmingham’s Biggest Crooks
with a guilty plea.

Aug. 1 | We counted down the days to former mayor Larry Langford’s original Aug. 31 trial date with our greatest series ever, Birmingham’s Biggest Crooks. Seriously, look how many criminals we stuffed into one month …

Who didn’t make the list? Langford, convicted Oct. 28. And pipe maker McWane Inc., whose latest fine is $4 million.

Aug. 10 | A juicy morsel: Wade on Birmingham had the exclusive scoop on the exclusive screening of the documentary “Food, Inc.” P.S. We love our news tipsters.

Aug. 11 | The dirge continued as we presented the Birmingham Heritage Festival lineup and demise in the same day. P.S. Never piss off Ludacris. Ever.

Aug. 25 | Our Vote 2009 coverage kicked into high gear with our extensive look at the Birmingham city council and board of education races. Later, we had results from all 18 races, nine of which were headed to runoffs.

Aug. 27 | The end of August also means the start of our monthlong coverage of the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, with an in-depth look at the local films plus the opening night documentary, “Best Worst Movie.”

See all of our August coverage.

• • •

Haiku flashback

football season: dear coach (Aug. 31)

Please take us to the
national championship
(or else, you’re fired).

• • •

365 days of Birmingham’s best and worst: Wade on 2009

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Vote 2009: First Bell-Cooper debate set for Jan. 10 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/23/vote-2009-william-bell-patrick-cooper-mayor-debate-jan-10/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/23/vote-2009-william-bell-patrick-cooper-mayor-debate-jan-10/#comments Wed, 23 Dec 2009 17:19:21 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7200 Wade on Birmingham - Vote 2009The Birmingham Business Alliance has announced the first of four scheduled debates between mayoral runoff candidates William Bell and Patrick Cooper. The debate, which will focus on business and economic development, will be broadcast live on television and radio.

Mayoral candidate debate

  • Focus: business and economic development issues, such as the dome, the Northern Beltline, regional mass transportation, U.S. 280, charter schools and the expansion of the airport.
  • Panelists: Joey Kennedy, The Birmingham News; Deidra Lloyd, YP Roundtable; Tanya Ott, WBHM; and Kevyn Stewart, ABC 33/40. Pam Huff of ABC 33/40 will serve as moderator.
  • When: 6 p.m. Jan. 10
  • Where: Sirote Theatre, Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center,  1200 10th Ave. S., Southside [map]
  • Television/radio: live on ABC 33/40 and WBHM (90.3 FM)
  • For more information: Contact the Business Alliance.

The runoff election takes place Jan. 19.

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: Bell, Cooper to participate in four runoff mayoral debates http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/11/vote-2009-bell-cooper-to-participate-in-four-runoff-mayoral-debates/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/11/vote-2009-bell-cooper-to-participate-in-four-runoff-mayoral-debates/#comments Fri, 11 Dec 2009 21:17:11 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7036 Jefferson County commissioner William Bell (shown at far left) and attorney Patrick Cooper will get it on, in a political sense. The two remaining candidates for mayor of Birmingham have agreed to participate in four debates sometime after Jan. 1.

William BellPatrick Cooper(At some point, we’ll have to start calling this Vote 2009-10.)

Cooper finished first in Tuesday’s election, and Bell finished second, but neither captured enough votes to win outright. Cooper proposed that two debates be broadcast on television, the other two on radio. Sponsors, locations and formats have not been determined yet.

Those looking for their past answers should check out the Terminal’s flashback to 2007, with audio interviews of both candidates.

Also:

The runoff election is Jan. 19.

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: Patrick Cooper on the runoff http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/09/vote-2009-patrick-cooper-on-the-runoff-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/09/vote-2009-patrick-cooper-on-the-runoff-video/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2009 15:50:06 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=6990

Patrick Cooper talks about the Birmingham mayoral race as “the past vs. the future.”

Also:

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: William Bell on the runoff http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/09/vote-2009-william-bell-on-the-runoff-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/09/vote-2009-william-bell-on-the-runoff-video/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2009 15:49:40 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=6997

William Bell talks about the Birmingham mayoral race as “honesty, integrity, leadership and vision.”

Also:

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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BREAKING – Vote 2009: William Bell, Patrick Cooper headed for Jan. 19 mayoral runoff http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/08/breaking-vote-2009-william-bell-patrick-cooper-headed-for-jan-19-mayoral-runoff/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/08/breaking-vote-2009-william-bell-patrick-cooper-headed-for-jan-19-mayoral-runoff/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2009 03:11:16 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=6975 Call it old school vs. new school.

William Bell

Patrick Cooper

William Bell, the Jefferson County Commissioner who ran twice for mayor, and Patrick Cooper, the attorney who ran once, will have 6 weeks to convince Birmingham voters before the Jan. 19 runoff.

In today’s race, unofficial results show Cooper (shown at near left) led handily with 40.1 percent, or 13,992 votes, while Bell (far left) came in second with 25.1 percent, or 8,752 votes.

City council member Carole Smitherman finished third with 18.8 percent, and attorney Emory Anthony came in fourth with 12.4 percent.

The 26 percent turnout today was down from 45 percent in 2007.

Fourteen candidates entered the race, but Ernie Dunn died before Election Day. The special election was held to replace convicted former mayor Larry Langford. Cooper or Bell would serve less than 2 years, until the next election in 2011.

Note: Numbers updated as results come in.

What’s your prediction? Will it be Bell or Cooper come January?

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: Time to elect another mayor http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/08/vote-2009-time-to-elect-another-mayor/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/08/vote-2009-time-to-elect-another-mayor/#comments Tue, 08 Dec 2009 13:00:32 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=6965 The polls are open. Birmingham voters have until 7 tonight to cast their votes in this special election with just one contest: mayor.

If you don’t know where to vote, we have the answer. If you don’t know for whom to vote, we sorta have the answer. If you want to vote in our straw poll, we have a simple ballot.

And if you want to know more about any of the 13 candidates from Anthony to Turner, see our Vote 2009 coverage, with 34 posts (and counting), including stories, videos, audio clips and much more.

Join us tonight for election results
on Wade on Birmingham.

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: Last-minute thoughts on a hurry-up mayoral election http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/07/vote-2009-last-minute-thoughts-hurry-up-mayoral-election/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/07/vote-2009-last-minute-thoughts-hurry-up-mayoral-election/#comments Mon, 07 Dec 2009 15:00:12 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=6868 Birmingham to choose from 13 candidates Tuesday

For the third time this year, Birmingham voters will visit the polls. Tuesday’s special election focuses on mayor, an office suddenly open after Larry Langford’s federal conviction in October.

Wade on Birmingham - Vote 2009We have found that 6 weeks is barely enough time to have an election, much less evaluate more than a dozen candidates.

Even though the winner will hold office for less than 2 years before the next election, much is riding on the outcome.

For starters, the city is in jeopardy. Bernard Kincaid seemed glacial in doing anything to move Birmingham forward. That stasis seems preferable to the rapid plunge into financial chaos and political embarrassment wreaked in just 2 short years by Larry Langford.

His reign of error ended only with the say of 12 jurors. But City Hall is in shambles, as is the public trust.

We’re building a dome, renovating Fair Park Arena and beginning to successfully fight crime. And yet, the budget has been criminally neglected (and perhaps, deliberately fudged). Carole Smitherman spent less than a month as interim mayor before the newly seated council tapped Roderick Royal as council president, thus taking over the interim mayoral duties.

In short, much confusion, little time and wary voters.

‘The candidates have failed
to distinguish themselves.’

The candidates have failed to distinguish themselves. The much heralded Patrick Cooper has raised (and spent) a lot of cash, but by doing so seems to be influenced by out-of-town interests. He missed high-profile forums, which has the odor of the artful dodge. While he made a splash in 2007 by receiving almost 30 percent of the vote, Cooper has done little since then to demonstrate his capacity for leadership.

With Smitherman and William Bell, we have two seasoned politicians who have served as interim mayor, albeit briefly, and lost in a combined five campaigns for the top office. Smitherman, a self-described mother figure, voted with Langford on many budget busters and wants to continue his projects, even as the city goes broke.

Bell, who picked up Langford’s unsolicited endorsement, also seems enmeshed in old school ways, both in campaigning and in office. He needs to continue and finish his work on the Jefferson County Commission: fixing its $3 billion sewer debt calamity.

Steven Hoyt is serving in his second term on council and recently was voted president pro tempore under questionable circumstances (the new acting mayor Royal voted, even though he was not allowed). When given the chance to fix things, he declined. Imagine what he’d do with real power.

Scott Douglas, one of the outsiders, has a good record of service to the city. And while his green platform might work in a more progressive and more solvent city, he seems to have no solution on getting the city’s finances back on track.

Emory Anthony ran twice against longtime mayor Richard Arrington in the early 1990s and lost. The defense attorney wants to bring the city’s finances in order, with transparency and accountability. The question is: Can he back it up?

We aren’t certain. We’re picking a mayor at gunpoint Tuesday, and chances are, we’ll still end up taking a bullet or two.

• • •

Voting takes place from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m. A runoff, if needed, will take place Jan. 19.

Q: Where do I vote?

A: The answer is a call away. Jefferson County: 325-5550.

Or try AlabamaVotes.gov and click on “Search for My Polling Place.”

Join us Tuesday for election results
on Wade on Birmingham.

Remember, if you have problems at your polling place:

  • Notify a poll worker immediately.
  • Obtain a complaint/evaluation form (or download jpgs of pages 1 and 2). Print it, fill it out, copy and mail it.
  • Call the state attorney general at 1-800-831-8814 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Wednesday or fill out this online form.
  • Call the secretary of state at 1-800-274-VOTE (8683) or visit her site, StopVoterFraudNow.com.
  • And tell the probate court for Jefferson County (325-5203).
  • Leave a comment below.

Q. Who’s running for mayor?

A. The 13 candidates …

Emory
Anthony
William
Bell
T.C.
Cannon
Patrick
Cooper
Scott
Douglas
Steven
Hoyt
Stephannie
Huey
Edith
Mayomi
Carole
Smitherman
Jimmy
Snow
Jason
Sumners
Jody
Trautwein
Harry “Traveling
Shoes” Turner

Note: Ernie Dunn died on Thursday.

Also:

  • Birmingham News editorial board endorsement: “(Emory) Anthony brings a regional approach to governing that has been in far too short supply.”
  • Kyle Whitmire of the Birmingham Weekly on the financial crisis: “Few candidates in the special-called mayoral election have demonstrated an understanding of what faces the city.”
  • One blogger’s take? None of the above.
  • Patrick Cooper leads fund-raising, but also campaign debt.
  • Pavo Magazine podcast discusses the candidates.
    [See post to listen to audio]

Are you voting? Who has your vote? Vote in the poll above, and leave a comment below.

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: Up close with Emory Anthony http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/07/vote-2009-emory-anthony-mayor-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/07/vote-2009-emory-anthony-mayor-video/#comments Mon, 07 Dec 2009 14:00:38 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=6903 Emory Anthony, an attorney, is one of 13 Birmingham mayoral candidates.

Video: CBS 42 interview

WBHM (90.3 FM) interview:
[See post to listen to audio]

Election Day is Tuesday.

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Vote 2009: Up close with William Bell http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/06/vote-2009-william-bell-mayor-audio/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/06/vote-2009-william-bell-mayor-audio/#respond Sun, 06 Dec 2009 19:00:04 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=6902 Among Birmingham’s mayoral candidates is William Bell, a member of the Jefferson County Commission.

WBHM (90.3 FM) interview:
[See post to listen to audio]

More interviews with all the candidates will be added daily. Election Day is Tuesday.

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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Vote 2009: Up close with T.C. Cannon http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/06/vote-2009-tc-cannon-mayor-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/06/vote-2009-tc-cannon-mayor-video/#respond Sun, 06 Dec 2009 14:00:06 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=6901 UAB student and former bar owner T.C. Cannon is running for mayor of Birmingham.

Video: CBS 42 interview

WBHM (90.3 FM) interview:
[See post to listen to audio]

More video interviews with all the candidates will be added daily. Election Day is Tuesday.

• • •

More Vote 2009 coverage.

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