One of the primary components of the GOP’s jobs package this session is HB 159/160.
This constitutional amendment allows voters to give the Governor and the Alabama Development Office the authority to offer incentives like those used on the Mercedes project to recruit new industry to Alabama and prevent existing industry from leaving the state. It was passed by the House in mid-February and although the process has been slow, it will likely pass the Senate in the near future after a few tweaks to the retention portion of the bill.
Of course, as with almost every other pro-economic development piece of legislation, the Alabama Education Association has fought it every step of the way.
However, this past week, the HB 159/160 opposition took their efforts to a pathetic new low by making elementary children fight their PR battle for them. Numerous legislators have received letters from children that include sentences asking the legislators to not let the government take money away from their schools (a frequently used mischaracterization of the bill) and bemoaning the thought that they can’t trust the government to take care of them (since relying on the government is a winning strategy in life).
[editors note: at the request of the girl's parent, I replaced actual quotes from the letter with a summary of what the letters said. The mother's email to me said this in part: "You DO NOT have my permission to quote her! Remove her quotes from your web site immediately! How dare you!" ...of course, I'm continuing to protect the girl's identity and the parent's identity (in spite of 3 emails from the mother and countless emails from others) because the point is not WHO it was, but what they're doing by using this poor girl to further their political agenda and scaring her to death with the idea that the legislature is out to get her and her teachers.]
The following letter was sent to Sen. Jabo Waggoner and Rep. Jack Williams by a 9-year-old little girl this past week. I’ve blurred her name to protect her identity.
[Editor's note: I removed the letter at the request of the child's mother who sent me this email:
"This is a letter written by my child. You DO NOT have permission to post it on your web site. I want it removed from your web site immediately!"
I blurred the girls name to protect her identity and won't reveal the identity of the parents either because the point is not to embarrass anyone in particular (how can you embarres someone when they're anonymous?), it was to point out the fact that children are being used to push the left's political agenda.]