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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Monday, January 16, 2006

Parties React Differently to MLK Day

Since today is Martin Luther King Jr. day I thought it'd be interesting to contrast the reactions to the holiday of both state parties.

The Alabama Democratic Party, according to their website, is closing their office in commemoration of King's birthday. Chair Joe Turnham also penned a piece offering his personal take on the significance of the day.

But as far as I can tell the Alabama Republican Party (again going by their website) is neither closing down their office for MLK day nor recognizing the holiday at all. The AL GOP office was closed last Friday, but that was only "in preparation for our Annual Winter Dinner". Now I'm certainly not suggesting that the Alabama GOP is hostile to MLK day or even that they are ignoring it. I just expected to see some recognition of MLK day by the party that can claim (by some measures at least) to be Alabama's majority party.

Obviously the demographics of the two parties make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a more prominent event for your average Democrat than your average Republican, but I am still surprised to see such a contrast. Martin Luther King Jr., though a controversial figure in the 1960s, has since become an almost universally respected and admired figure.

I hope and believe that the difference in the observances of MLK day by Alabama's two parties is not representative of a deeper split among the public.

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