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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The State According to Bob

Here's a text of Bob Riley's State of the State address delivered last night provided by the Montgomery Advertiser. And if you want the short version, the Advertiser also has a piece hitting some of the high points.

Riley's speech was half promotion and half laundry list. The first part of the speech discussed the progress (according to Riley) the state has made over the past few years while the second laid out specific policy goals to undertake during this legislative session.

Among his goals for the session are tax cuts, education spending increases, and property tax reform, all which look relatively likely to occur in some form or another. He also jumped aboard a bill targeting violence against an "unborn child" advocated by GOP legislators. Riley also listed legislative term limits, child pornography, and public safety as his focuses for the next session.

One area I hadn't seen mentioned before the speech was that of lobbying reform. Riley's bill calling for the disclosure of lobbyist spending might be a reaction to the corruption investigations surrounding some national GOP leaders. As I've discussed before Riley has a history with some of the culprits in that scandal and pushing lobbying reform might be the governor's defense against potential attacks.

Among those issues not addressed by Riley: immigration, constitutional reform, capital punishment, Bible literacy, 10 Commandments. Those are all topics that have some constituency in the legislature looking for some action.

Riley's speech seems solid enough, but of course it is just rhetoric. It is the actions, not the words, taken over the next few months that will go a long way in determining who delivers the next State of the State.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good commentary, Zac. Riley did mention immigration-- in the context of State Trooper enforcement.

I found it very interesting that Riley seemed to go point-by-point down Roy Moore's campaign platform. Everything from term limits to returning the surplus to taxpayers in the form of tax credits/deductions. Fetal protection, anti-gambling, etc.

There were a couple of exceptions, but Riley was clearly trying to eliminate contrast between him and Moore. "Moore can promise, but I'm delivering."

So, in a limited sense, Moore has already won. The Communist Party never won many elections, but most of their platform has been adopted by the democrat and republican parties. If the goal is changing policy, Moore is clearly having an impact.

But, as you say, right now it's all rhetoric. We'll see about the follow through.

9:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given Riley's promises to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for education, its hard to say that Moore won. The Ayatollah probably favors eliminating public education.

10:17:00 AM  
Blogger PoliSciZac said...

You're right, he did talk about immigration when he talked on public safety/immigration. I was thinking more along the lines of the bill being introduced by the GOP penalizing businesses for hiring illegal immigrants. Riley stayed away from that.

Good point about adopting alot of the Moore platform as well.

11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, as reported on TV, he had lights and cameras brought in to film last night for campaign ads. So, really it wasn't a state of the state address at all, it was a commercial. He was performing.

A billion in spending? This guy is convervative? This guy is toast. Election year promises don't make up for three years of tax increase initiatives. What's Bob Riley done for you? I know he's cost me money on property taxes.

11:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Riley is adopting the Moore platform. He also said something about term limits, another moore idea.

11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moore is trying to take Riley's platform. That's already been discussed in the press.

Lobbying reform: Riley put it in his "Plan for Change" and has introduced proposals in earlier sessions + now this one.

Term limits: Riley self-limited his own terms in Congress. He earlier proposed term limits for the legislature after he was elected governor.

Taxes: It was reported in the press 2-3 months ago that Riley gave a speech to a Republican group and said if there was a surplus, he would come forward with a tax cut plan. He did. Moore didn't add tax cuts to his platform until a couple of days ago with his press conference in Bham. Welcome aboard, Roy!

Abortion: Riley has proposed this same bill in the past and mentioned it in last yeare's State of the State as well.

If you look at the facts -- which, of course, we all realize Moore's poster doesn't want us to do -- it is Roy who's out there talking about issues that Riley has either already proposed or already said he supported.

8:22:00 PM  
Blogger Lee P said...

I believe that the last "anonymous" is correct. Moore's platform copies quite a few ideas that Riley has been advocating pretty much since he took office.

2:14:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky said...

Sorry i'm not falling for this switch hit that Bob Riley is doing. Ever Since he took office he has tried to raise every tax he could on the books and his $1.2 billion dollars in new taxes in 2003 was no exception. But now that he's coming up on being re-elected he wants to give a tax cut? Where was he in 2004 and 2005 when people lost there homes, people lost everything they had but annual property taxes continued to rise. Notice in his state of the state address that he never meantioned revoking the annual reassement of property taxes, not one time did he meantion it and now that he's coming up on an election year he wants to cut taxes? please give me a break. what will happen next year if he does get re-elected? propose another tax increase. What everyone doesn't know that people who are on fixed incomes can pay a mortage payment, and him using people on fixed incomes is wrong for him to use those certain people in his state of the state address. Sorry i'm not buying what Bob Riley is selling.. He had his chance when he became Governor in 2003, now he wants to give a tax cut. Try telling that to people who have lost there homes Billion Dollar Bob because you refused to revoke that annual reassements of property taxes. What's next on your tax hiking list? a tax tax? give me a break

10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you imagine the trial lawyer and AEA ruination of alabama with roy moore as governor? not to mention the shame he will bring on our already banana republic state government. shoot, he will put a cross in every pot and God in the bushes and crucify every entity that doesnt pay the tithe(siegelman type kickbacks). At least with lucy baxley she wont steal us blind.

11:48:00 AM  
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