Alabama Politics

Essays found in this category pertain to state of Alabama politics.

Is Mayor Stimpson too nice for the city of Mobile, Alabama?

December 28, 2013 Is Mayor Stimpson too nice for the city of Mobile, Alabama? By Ted Burnett Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. – Peter Drucker, American management consultant, educator and author (1909-2005)  Disclosure: I grew up with some of Sandy Stimpson’s younger cousins and nephews. I know his brother-in-law, Richard Miller of Brewton, AL. While a student in high school, I once did some contract work at his family business, Gulf Lumber Company. However, prior to our August 2012 meeting, we never had the opportunity to exchange greetings. Having seen Sandy’s name in the Press-Register’s print edition weeks earlier for his role as a member of the Coastal Recovery Commission,...

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An email to the new mayor: Two of Mobile’s most crippling problems — affecting the city of “perpetual potential”.

Note: The following email is addressed to the new Mayor of Mobile, AL, Sandy Stimpson. December 9, 2013 Sandy, The following analogy came to me as I was driving to Mobile for lunch, on Sunday.  I thought I would sit on the idea for use at a later date, but I’ve since changed my mine.  I’ve long known, as a fourth-generation resident, that Mobile has lots of exclusive and often unspoken clubs and memberships due to birth, religion, education, neighborhoods…, like most old cities and towns do, but a recent discussion with a smart, young female attorney, originally from New York, reminded me of one of the many hardships of calling Mobile “home”.  Still in her twenties, she’s having problems with being accepted and embraced by the...

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My response to the Sam Jones for mayor commercial on his Facebook page

(Note: Some edits have been made.) August 15, 2013 “Mayor Dow, The following are my comments to the Sam Jones for Mayor TV commercial that you appeared in. It recently aired on TV and was posted on his Facebook page, today. “In the eight years that Sam Jones has been mayor of Mobile, the cities of Saraland and Chickasaw have taken bold action by taking ownership of educating their children with the creation of their own school systems, why has Mobile forced black, white and Latino families to accept the mediocrity of the Mobile County Public School System? Why no bold action of his own? Why is there no tourism industry in downtown Mobile, there’s no world-class experience to be had for citizens and tourists, alike. There’s neither a flame...

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Lagniappe: New school initiative highlights day-to-day achievements — my response

(Note: Some minor edits have been made.) August 6, 2013  Lagniappe: New school initiative highlights day-to-day achievements [at Mobile County Public School System, Alabama] http://classic.lagniappemobile.com/article.asp?articleID=6652&sid=1 At the age of 42, I’ve become a pretty big critic of education, both, private and public, as well as, higher education.  Much of education is artificial in nature — the length of the school year, the selected curriculum, the number of days spent covering the material, the importance placed on certain subjects over gym or the arts.  All the assignments, homework, pop quizzes, papers, tests and exams and when they’re due is totally artificial.  It’s assumed that learning is occurring at...

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Lagniappe: A letter to the editor on bullying in school

November 29, 2012 A letter to the editor: I’ve been on both sides of this equation.  I’ve been a victim, a bully and again a victim.  My first “bully” wasn’t a fellow student, but the nameless, faceless, religious and bureaucratic system known as Catholic education with its sheep for teachers that deemed themselves as being experts in education when they were anything, but.  My intelligence and that of my classmates was assaulted, daily and for years.  Most don’t know it.  According to their tests, based on their metrics, their artificial deadlines and from my low scores, I was considered “dumb”.  I endured three years of summer schools, beginning in the third grade, to pass courses that I...

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Dear Ashley Rich, Mobile (AL) District Attorney’s Office

Ashley, After reading in the Lagniappe, this morning, what I perceived as your sincere comments about Gordon Waller, I thought I would bring the following “hot potato” to your attention. You’ll probably want to recues yourself and your office from any investigation involving former D.A. John Tyson and Asst. D.A. Steve Giardini and their handling of the local Catholic priest molestation unit which they established, in 2003, in response to the national priest scandal. That summer, I came toward and met with the two of them about a “possible” claim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest assigned to St. Ignatius, in 1980-82. I was 10 years old, at the time.Following our meeting, where I gave them some details of a possible incident and the overall...

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Law enforcement and political corruption (Mobile, AL) in the 2003 cover up of a notorious child molester, Fr. Norman Rogge.

[November 11, 2011] To: Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (The Agent of Record) Subject: Cover up of Catholic priest sex crimes by Mobile District Attorney John Tyson, Asst. DA Steve Giranidi (2003) Civil rights violations by the Mobile Police Department, then Police Chief Sam Cochran, City of Mobile, Mobile County Sheriff Department, now Sheriff Sam Cochran. I also have some information on former Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine that [State] Special Prosecutor David Whetstone might be interested in hearing about a one-time encounter that revealed his “insane” character in a downtown restaurant in Mobile (2008?). http://blog.al.com/live/2011/11/stephen_nodine_case_prosecutio.html From:Ted BurnettPhilosopher and writer The following is a...

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Emails to Mobile Police Chief about Occupy Mobile! (Alabama)

Note: The following are two emails sent to Mobile Police Chief Tyrone Williams in response to Occupy Mobile! and our impromptu meeting on Tuesday, at Spanish Plaza on Government St. (Mobile, AL). The original email is under my follow up (at the top). For better context, I suggest reading the original one, first. Have a great day, wherever you live. Change is slowly happening. Enjoy! Ted [November 9, 2011] Chief Williams, See the following Youtube video of last night’s assault by the Mobile Police Department on Occupy Mobile! that was emailed to me, this afternoon. So, are you just another Bull Conner, Chief? Why are you protecting the old WHITE way? Mobile is a joke. Maybe the Justice Department, the Obama Administration needs to see this video and get...

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My reply: No silver bullet for Alabama’s insurance crisis by Sen. Ben Brooks

June 19, 2011 The following link, No silver bullet for Alabama’s insurance crisis, is an op-ed written by Alabama senator Ben Brooks (Mobile-R) appearing in today’s edition of the Press-Register. My reply follows. Sen. Brooks, The Republicans love to promote the virtues of the free market while demagoguing a government of any size and it’s influence.  Isn’t the free market working, just fine, on this issue of coastal home insurance even though some carriers have left the market, the rates have gone up significantly and the coverage has been restricted?  As a Republican, you’re arguing for a government intervention to solve this supply and demand issue.  Am I right? I wish you felt that same way about these high gas prices at the...

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Dear Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb – A follow-up email

Dear Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb – A follow-up email by Ted Burnett March 26, 2010 Dear Chief Justice Cobb, Thanks for sending to me, per my request, a copy of the story that appeared in The Birmingham News (AL), and in other news outlets, regarding your tentative plans to host a meeting for state officials (district attorneys, judges and corrections officers) to discuss Alabama’s overcrowded prisons and the high recidivism rate, in September. I am not sure if you had read my email dated “March 12, 2010” at the time you sent me this article. After first reading the story attempts to put my hands back on it, days later, went in vain. My search, both, in the Press-Register and on Google was fruitless. Therefore, my email to you was written from memory, my...

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An email to the Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb — prison overcrowding and the high recidivism rate

Introduction The following is an email addressed to Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb of the Alabama Supreme Court. Elected in 2007, Cobb is the first woman to hold this office. She has a distinguished career, after serving almost thirty years on the bench, and is a recipient of numerous awards. Earlier this week, a story appeared in my newspaper, the Press-Register, regarding the Chief Justice’s plans to bring the state’s district attorneys, judges and corrections officers to the state’s capitol to discuss the issue of overcrowding and the high recidivism rate in Alabama’s state prisons. Also, on the agenda are prison tours in an effort to help prosecutors and judges get a better understanding of the dire conditions. In a recent study, by the Pew Charitable Trust,...

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Drop Out!

September 9, 2007 Drop Out! By Ted Burnett My essay is in response to: “Dropping out too young” by David Nichols, Ed. D., his email address is DrChief1@aol.com. Dr. Nichols’ Op-ed appeared in the Sunday, September 9, 2007, edition of the Mobile Press-Register. His commentary can be read in its entirety by clicking on the following link: http://www.al.com/opinion/press-register/index.ssf?/base/opinion/1189330508234080.xml&coll=3 This morning, I read with great interest Dr. David Nichols’ commentary on the problem of high school students dropping out early and his proposed solution to raise the required attendance age. The focus of this educator’s piece was on pointing out the problem child in his mind — the dropouts. Never once did he acknowledge the...

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[Alabama State] Senate Rules!

May 27, 2007 [Alabama State] Senate Rules! by Ted Burnett Recently, an essay written by State Senator Ben Brooks on the negative impact that the current senate rules are having on this year’s legislative session appeared in this newspaper. It was only a few days earlier that I had read another story on the same subject matter. This story mentioned how the Senate had spent the previous three weeks trying to get just one bill voted on by the full Senate. As written, the rules are also keeping many other bills from coming up for a similar vote while time is running out in this session, thus leaving local legislators frustrated. I ask, are the Senate rules the problem or just a symptom of one? I was discussing with friends my consideration of a bid for State Senator...

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Alabama State Legislature: Apologize for What?

April 16, 2007 Alabama State Legislature: Apologize for What? by Ted Burnett Considered by historians as the last greatest U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln had the courage—the guts—to carry out what the first 15 Presidents could not or would not do, including Washington and Jefferson. Or as some of Lincoln’s critics might argue, he was simply the consummate politician in picking an issue what would galvanize the Union and its Army against the Confederacy. He signed by executive order the Emancipation Proclamation Act of 1863, thus setting free slaves for the first time in the United States. After the South surrendered and rejoined the Union, did anyone or any government supporting the importation of cheap labor to fuel an agrarian economy across the United States...

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