Weekend Quick Takes
One of the most powerful members of the state legislature will face an ethics hearing next month. Hank Sanders has been accused of steering state money to non-profit organizations run by members of his family. Sanders denies any of the state money ended up in his family's pocket.
Though, it is unlikely that these charges will results in any legal problems for Sanders, the specter of corruption and cronyism is not what legislative Democrats want heading into the 2006 elections.
Dem Running to Replace Lee
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned State Senate District 05 as a race to watch. Republican Curt Lee is retiring and leaving behind a district Democrats think they can win. Charles Bishop announced his campaign for the open seat, making his first bid for office as a Republican. Now the Democrats finally have a candidate of their own.
Walker County businessman Roger Whited entered the race last weekend. Whited is the manager of a convenience store chain and is active in civic affairs. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of other ambitious Democrats joining Whited in the primary, but Democrats can take heart that they have a viable candidate in the race. Ultimately, the race might turn in to a a referendum on local political fixture Bishop and whether District 05 wants to elect a freshman state senator who's in the twilight of his career.
Independent Challenges Bachus
Child care worker Warren Grayson has announced his independent bid against Spencer Bachus in the 6th Congressional district. Bachus is, of course, a lock for re-election, but Grayson has piqued my interest. Though he's running as an Independent, Grayson actually associates himself with the "Moderate Party". I had never heard of this group, so I checked out their website. And sure enough they're platform is ,well, moderate.
It is a bit of a change to see a third party advocating small, measured change. I wouldn't hold my breath for the Moderate Party to sweep into power in Alabama, or anywhere else, but they are a breath of fresh air compared to their third party more radical third-party brethren like the Libertarians and Greens.