Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Wish It Wasn’t Race

Last night supporters of Carlinda Purcell held another rally here in Montgomery. Joe L. Reed, chairman of the Alabama Democratic Conference, spoke in her defense. However, I am having trouble understanding what he meant if he is quoted accurately in this morning's paper. On one hand Reed says, “It’s an issue that involves injustice where a woman, who happens to be black, is being mistreated.”

Yet, Reed, the most powerful black leader in Alabama, has been behind attempts to get a white candidate kicked off of November’s ballot. The
Washington Post
has carried a couple of stories in the last few days on the issue .

In Birmingham, Patricia Todd won a run-off election over Gaynell Hendricks by 59 votes to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for the Alabama State Legislature. This was significant since this is a historically black district. If that wasn’t enough, throw in the fact that Todd is a lesbian. She will likely become Alabama’s first openly gay legislator since she is running unopposed. Of course, there’s still the possibility of a write-in campaign.

Last Saturday, the executive committee reinstated Todd as the party’s candidate. Reed had tried to get Todd disqualified ostensibly because she failed to turn in a campaign finance disclosure form to the party by the deadline. Turns out just about every other candidate on the Democratic ticket likewise failed to turn in the form and the rule had largely been ignored. Hendricks herself was also guilty of the technicality. The sub-committee disqualified both candidates. The vote taken on Saturday by the executive committee was mostly along racial lines and restored Todd to her place on the ballot.

I guess I’m not surprised. After all, politics is a contact sport as they say. Alabama is no different but bullies are bullies no matter what their color.

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