Oct
27
2014

There’s A Lot At Stake On Nov. 4th

Elections are about choices–specifically, choices between different visions. And in the elections for our state legislature on Nov. 4th, there couldn’t be more at stake.

But what’s been interesting to watch is how so many sitting legislators have gone to such extreme lengths to run away from their record of the past four years.

How many times this year have you seen a TV ad or gotten a piece of mail talking about President Obama? Do these politicians think we don’t know any better? Even Gov. Bentley said back in June that there is nothing state legislators can do about Obama. But that hasn’t stopped the ads and mail that are, frankly, just plain insulting to our intelligence.

I guess some politicians will say and do anything to take attention off of their record of the past four years. But to be honest, if I had their record I wouldn’t want anybody to be thinking about it either!

Let’s start with jobs. After the last four years, Alabama is ranked 49th in the country for job creation. Last year, we were the only state in the whole country to see our unemployment rate actually go up! Our job growth has been mostly stagnant because for every job we create, we turn around and lose another one.

Maybe if these politicians had tried saving their constituents’ jobs, they wouldn’t have to work so hard to save their own?

Job creation, or the lack there of, isn’t the only place sitting legislators have failed their constituents. The Accountability Act is the perfect example of how our state leaders have not only failed their voting constituents, but they’ve failed the children of our state. And I honestly can’t think of anything worse.

The Accountability Act has taken millions of dollars out of our children’s classrooms and will continue to take millions out every year it is enforced. The Accountability Act is a quitter’s philosophy: it’s says, “if a school is struggling, don’t help it. Run away from it and leave those who can’t run with you behind.”

That is a terrible precedent our current state leaders are setting!

By abandoning these schools, we are also abandoning the children who can’t afford to transfer to a private school or another public school. Which, unfortunately, is the overwhelming majority of kids in these schools.

But the Accountability Act doesn’t just send terrible messages to our children. The manner in which it was passed also sends a pretty strong message to the people of Alabama about how much sitting legislators can be trusted. Our state leaders chose to pass the Accountability Act in a way that has been ruled by a judge as unconstitutional. Legislative leaders literally used back-room deals by going into a closed off meeting in the middle of the night and rewriting the law after a different version had already been passed – all so that the taxpayers would be kept in the dark about what was happening and exactly how the legislature was planning to allocate our tax dollars. Then they forced this new bill through the legislature after only one hour of debate.

Four years of a Supermajority in Montgomery has gotten us nothing but less jobs and a new law that turns our backs on failing schools and chips away at our faith in sitting legislators. The absolute power the Supermajority has is never a good thing for the taxpayers, regardless of which political Party is in control, and the last four years have proven that.

We need moderation and a cooperative spirit in Montgomery. There’s a lot at stake on November 4th, and the people of Alabama deserve a legislature that works for them, making this state the best it can be.

We need leaders who will work with members of both parties to find real solutions for Alabama. We need legislators who will work for the best interests of their constituents, not themselves, so we can bring efficiency, and most importantly, transparency and honesty back to the legislature.

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Rep. Craig Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden and the Minority Leader in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Oct
20
2014

Statement from House Minority Leader Craig Ford Regarding The Indictment of Speaker Mike Hubbard

For Immediate Release: October 18, 2014

“You never like to hear about things like this. You never want to see anything like this happen to anyone. It shakes the peoples’ faith in their elected leaders. It’s obvious this is not politically motivated, because it is a Republican Attorney General leading the investigation. It is sad to see that, in less than four years, our leaders have embraced the culture of corruption that they ran against in 2010.”

Representative Craig Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden. He has served in the Alabama House of Representatives since 2000. In 2010, Representative Ford was elected House Minority Leader by the House Democratic Caucus. He was re-elected Minority Leader in 2012.

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Oct
19
2014

Being Sincere With The Voters

In two weeks, voters across our state will head to the polls and decide who will be leading Alabama for the next four years. As voters are evaluating the candidates, I think it is important that we carefully look at the candidates’ background, and how the candidates have presented themselves in their campaigns.

Last week, I questioned why my opponent, Doug Sherrod, didn’t bother to take the time to fill out the NRA’s questionnaire. In fact, I don’t think Doug Sherrod has filled out a single questionnaire during the whole campaign. I publicly questioned why a candidate would ask for our vote when he won’t tell us where he stands on the issues?

There was any number of ways Doug Sherrod could have responded to my question. He could have posted his policies online or published any questionnaires he has filled out. Instead, Doug decided to post a bizarre picture of himself sitting at his kitchen table surrounded by guns – many of which were lying on the table, pointed directly at himself!

Not only was this bizarre and unsafe, it wasn’t an answer. Doug wanted to look like he was pro-second amendment, so he posted that bizarre picture instead of telling us how he would vote on specific gun issues-or where he stands on any issues for that matter!

But refusing to answer questionnaires isn’t the first or only time Doug Sherrod has dodged political issues. Doug Sherrod wasn’t even registered to vote until 2004. Now, Doug Sherrod turned 18 in 1980. That means for 24 years, Doug Sherrod was old enough to vote but couldn’t be bothered to actually go do it. Now he wants the people of Etowah County to vote for him, and he won’t even tell us where he stands on the most important issues our state is facing.

This is just one more example of how Doug Sherrod likes to present himself one way and then act another way.

Voting is the most American thing a person can ever do. It is also one of the easiest and best ways we can support our country and honor our veterans. But for 24 years, Doug Sherrod couldn’t be bothered to go vote. Instead, Doug thinks all he has to do is post a picture on Facebook of himself wearing a tie that looks like an American Flag.

The truth is: Doug Sherrod didn’t register to vote until he started thinking about running for office. We can assume this because his first political campaign happened only a few years after he finally registered to vote.

My point is this: serving in political office at any level should be something you do out of a desire to serve the people you represent. And if you truly want to serve the people and are not in it to serve yourself, then you will tell the people where you stand. You will be passionate about voting and you won’t dodge the issues. Montgomery has enough self-serving politicians. We don’t need anymore.

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Rep. Craig Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden and the Minority Leader in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Oct
14
2014

House Minority Leader Craig Ford Responds to News of Dr. Paul Hubbert’s Death

For Immediate Release: October 14, 2014

“Dr. Paul Hubbert changed Alabama. From the dramatic improvements to public education, to the rise of AEA as a political force in Montgomery, Dr. Hubbert made a huge impact on our state. He fought for and won huge victories for educators, but he also fought for education and to make sure every child in Alabama had a chance to get a quality education. I was privileged to know him, and proud to call him my friend and mentor. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”

Rep. Craig Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden and the Minority Leader in the Alabama House of Representatives.

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