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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hank Erwin Casts the First Stone


By now most of you have probably already heard about State Senator Hank Erwin's (R-Montevallo) comments blaming Hurricane Katrina on "gambling, sin, and wickedness". Erwin says that Katrina and other storms are simply "judgment from God".

In fact the article from the Birmingham News is full of Erwin's insight....

"Warnings year after year by godly evangelists and preachers went unheeded. So why were we surprised when finally the hand of judgment fell?"

"New Orleans has always been know for sin. ... The wages of sin is death."

Erwin said hurricanes are part of a pattern that was also in evidence in the Sept. 11 attacks. The increase in abortion, pornography and prostitution have caused God to remove an umbrella of protection from America, he said.

"We all need to embrace godliness and church-going and good, godly living, and we can get divine protection for that point.

I'll let Erwin's theologizing speak for itself, but I will spend a moment on the potential political fallout from his comments. Erwin's district consists of various GOP strongholds in Bibb, Chilton, Jefferson, and Shelby counties. He is in no danger of a Democrat using this against him in the general election.

However, Erwin's district is filled with ambitious GOP politicians who could possibly take advantage of Erwin's self-inflicted damage. Erwin is still in his first term after winning the 2002 GOP runoff with a mere 53-47 majority. So Erwin's support was neither long-standing nor unanimous even prior to his remarks. Former St. Reps. Don Murphy and Steve Flowers opposed Erwin in 2002 and either could pose a threat to Erwin's re-election.

On a larger scale though, I'd like to see the Alabama media press higher profile Republicans on Erwin's remarks. Roy Moore, for one, might have an interesting take on the matter. And Bob Riley, who has seen much of the damage first hand, might take issue with Erwin's comments.

If you have your own thoughts on Erwin's comments I am sure he'd want you to email him.

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