Thursday, October 29, 2009

Giddy up & Giddy up again & again.......

Whats the deal with all these men in middle Tennessee having sex with animals? The Tennessean has a story out today about cases in Davidson,Maury and Humphreys Counties where men have been arrested recently for having "intercourse" with horses,dogs and who knows what else. My gosh, it makes you wonder about these men. Take that truck driver over on I-40 near the Parsons exit. If push comes to shove you take what you can get. Thats what he did when he met "shotgun" Mary Winkler at a local bar. I mean sure his eyes probably pop wide open every night when he's laying in bed and he hears even the slightest noise but at least he's in bed with a woman.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hurricane warning out for Alabama Democrats

A jury in Tuscaloosa only took a few hours this afternoon to find Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford(D) guilty on all sixty counts of corruption. The charges ranged from bribery to wire fraud to mail fraud. He now faces what will likely be a life sentence for someone his age and health condition. It brings to a disappointing end the political career of Mr Langford which spanned four decades in Birmingham area politics. Birmingham City Council President Carole Smitherman will be sworn in as interim Mayor by the end of tonight. She will remain Mayor until a special election is held early next year.

Its raining on Alabama Democrats

The news just keeps getting worse for Alabama Democrats. On Monday came the news that a democrat state rep. from a toss up district had passed away. Then today comes the news that democrat State Rep Ron Grantland is retiring next year. His district is also considered a toss up district. The GOP appears to have recruited a major player for this seat with the announcement that Hartselle, Al. Mayor Dwight Tankersley is planning on running. Last year he became the first Hartselle Mayor in decades to win re-election. The GOP needs to pick up nine seats next year to win the state house in Alabama. Right now the GOP appears to have an edge in winning four democrat held seats that are currently open or will be open next year. Those seats are currently held by Speaker Seth Hammett,the late Lea Fite,Ron Grantland and Bill Dukes. They need those seats plus five more to win control outright next November. But if they win the Governors race and only pick up six or seven seats in the state house then my guess is they will still take control through party switchers. There's going to be a huge void left on the democrat side with the retirement of Speaker Hammett and if the democrats lose the Governor's race then their going to be in disarray in the days after the election. The GOP should be able to "flip" enough democrats under this scenario to take control of the state house for the first time in history.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Alabama Democrat passes away

Alabama State Rep Lea Fite(D) who represented district 40 passed away earlier today from a seizure that he suffered at his home. He was only 54 years old. Mr Fite had been through a lot over the past year with his son. Who was involved with numerous legal problems in Cullman County, Al. Mr Fite had also been heavily courted by the GOP to switch parties recently because of the GOP trend in his district. His passing now puts the State House at a 59-44 democrat majority with two vacancies that were held by democrats.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tidbits from two criminal trials

There's a murder trial going on in Knoxville right now. It involves a gang of young black males who kidnapped and raped a young white couple who were out on a date in early 2007. This case has made headlines all over Tennessee and to a certain extent nationally. There is an odd development that is taking place in this murder trial though and it involves the jurors being allowed to directly ask the individual witnesses questions when they are on the stand. I had never heard of this being done before in any criminal trial. But after asking around its my understanding that Tennessee is one of the few states that allows this to happen upon each judge's discretion. Hopefully the appeals court won't use this as an excuse years from now to throw out what is likely going to be a death sentence for most of the defendents in this gruesome case. Using rare legal practices in court is fine but Im not so sure a trial of this stature is an appropriate place to start.

Down in the heart of Bear Bryant country at the Federal Courthouse in Tuscaloosa, Al the first week of testimony in the corruption trial of Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford wrapped up for the weekend. Its not looking good for Mayor Langford. There was testimony this week from lobbyist Al Lapierre and former Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Bill Blount who both cut plea deals with the prosecution back in August to testify against Langford. They both testified that they basically bribed Mayor Langford with numerous shopping trips to New York City and close to a hundred thousand dollars in exchange for Mayor Langford to reward county contracts to Mr Blount. The Langford defense team seems to be employing the simplistic strategy by basically saying that the Mayor was just too gullible. It doesnt seem like a winning strategy to me but you never can tell what a jury will buy. My guess is the jury will have the case by late next week.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lala's day of reckoning has begun

The corruption trial of Birmingham, Al Mayor Larry Langford(D) got underway this morning in Tuscaloosa with jury selection. Given Mayor Langford's age and rumored health problems he is essentially facing life if convicted of the charges. On a side note, there was a prayer vigil held for Mayor Langford by local black leaders in Birmingham last night in Linn Park. This is my own personal opinion, but I bet Larry was the only black democrat in Alabama who wished McCain had won last year. That way he couldve stirred up a hornets nest(ala Don "the Don" Siegelman) of conspiracy theories claiming republicans framed him.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The thing that would trouble me if I was a democrat

The democrat party in Tennessee lost another state house seat yesterday in a special election. They are now in the minority by a 50-48-1 margin. As expected theres a circular firing squad beginning to form among democrats in Tennessee today. Some of these democrats are claiming the party should take more of a leftward turn in the wake of this loss. Others are claiming the state chairman for the democrats should be fired. I'm sure there are merits to both of those arguments but thats not the thing that would bother me the most if I was a democrat. The thing that would trouble me the most is that the party has now dropped bombs on two republican candidates for the legislature within the past year and they both exploded but they exploded on them instead of the two republicans in the end. Last year the party leaked a story to the media about state senate candidate Mike Faulk and an affair he had with an elementary teacher in east Tennessee. It was assumed by most democrats at the time that this story would sink Mr Faulk's chances of winning but on election day he did win and is now a state senator. Then last month the democrats dropped another bomb on yet another republican. This time it was Pat Marsh who won yesterdays election. The democrats proudly gloated when the Tennessee Right to Life organization endorsed the democrat Ty Cobb over Mr Marsh. This was considered huge because they usually only endorse republicans. A lot of democrats who were involved in this race proudly gloated in private and on blogs that they had just won the race because of this endorsement. But then the results came in last night and once again the proverbial bomb exploded on the democrats instead of its intended target. So you have to wonder if you can't even defeat republicans after dropping an Octoberesque surprise on them. Then your probably headed for a huge loss a year from now at the ballot box.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Its hard out here for a politician!

The past few weeks I started hearing some strange rumors at my job about a certain Sheriff in this area of the country from some pretty credible people. By the way its not a Sheriff in Tennessee. Anyway, the rumor was that this Sheriff was arrested in Minnesota two weeks ago after he went to meet a 14 year old girl for sex and it went on to claim that he was back home but he was wearing an ankle bracelet that was monitoring his activities. Well I saw this particular Sheriff over the weekend at a dinner and he was NOT wearing a bracelet on his ankle or his arms. It turned out he was in Minnesota but he revealed at this dinner that his wife has breast cancer and he took her to the Mayo Clinic up there to see a specialist. Politics can be a mean business sometimes folks. Just ask Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford. He hasnt even went to trial yet but everyone from Patrick Cooper to Richard Arrington are already preparing to run in the special election early next year for the Mayor's post. There are some serious rumors out there though that Mayor Langford was diagnosed with prostate cancer last month. Hopefully thats not the case.

Campaign signs popping up!

I've started seeing campaign signs popping up around the region the past few weeks for next years elections. There are some Alan Nunnalee for Congress signs appearing in northeast Mississippi. I noticed a Ron Ramsey for Tennessee Governor sign this past Saturday at the bridge in Savannah. Tim James for Alabama Governor signs started popping up back in late July along highway 157 in northwest Alabama. Its my hope that one day soon campaign signs will no longer be needed. These signs are pretty bad eyesores along the highways if you ask me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Will the RINO's stab Kelsey in the back?

Former Tennessee State Rep Brian Kelsey announced today that he's raised $200,000 in his campaign for a state senate seat in Memphis. Given that kind of money and the fact the senate district he's running in was drawn for a republican. It would genuinely make you think that this race is all but over. But there "might" be storm clouds ahead on the horizon for Mr. Kelsey. I've personally heard rumblings that a group of prominent republicans in Memphis may endorse Mr Kelsey's democrat challenger here in the next few weeks. Mr Kelsey rubbed a lot of the establishment republicans in Nashville and Memphis the wrong way with some of his "antics" during his brief tenure in the State House. The thinking among some of these moderate GOPers goes that since the GOP has a 19-14 majority in the senate. They could afford to briefly lose a senate seat until the election next year when they could turn around and take out the democrat with a republican more to their liking. It's a risky strategy if these moderate GOPers in Memphis follow through on their threat to abandon Kelsey. Special elections most of the time have very low turnout so just a small portion of republicans jumping ship could hand the race to the democrat in this race. But once a person is in office its extremely difficult to remove that individual from their seat even if it was drawn to elect a person from a different political party.

Birmingham election results

As I predicted earlier, Birmingham City Council President Carole Smitherman(D) hung on to win re-election last night. She defeated local community activist Sheilia Tyson by just 98 votes. So unless something shocking happens at the upcoming trial of Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford. Mrs Smitherman will take over once Mayor Langford is convicted which will probably be around the middle of next month. Its worth noting to those of you outside of Alabama that this race got real vicious the last few weeks. Ms. Tyson found a dead cat at her front door one morning and a private investigator was looking into her background at a college she attended in Virginia. In other city council races, two term incumbent Carol Duncan lost to newcomer Kim Rafferty. Ms. Rafferty has had a very bad week her husband had a heart attack over the weekend and her son has swine flu. So this was very good news for the Rafferty household. Back in August during the general election for the City Council long time incumbent Joel Montgomery was easily defeated. Mr Montgomery had some pretty bad personal problems in recent years so it wasnt a surprise that he went down. One final note on the city council races in Birmingham concerns the legendary former Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington. He has been dropping strong hints that he will run in a special election next year for the Mayor's seat if/when Larry Langford gets convicted here in a few weeks. He even went as far as endorsing certain candidates for the city council. How did those candidates do yesterday you ask. Well everyone of them lost. So it seems Mr Arrington doesnt have the power that he once had back in the 80's and 90's.