*Updated--boy were we wrong about Bentley!
Has a change finally arrived on the Alabama political scene where voters are turning away from corporate and special interests candidates to more Populist ones?
The lesser of two evils was Bentley in Alabama's republican primary run-off Tuesday July 13, 2010. His opponent, Bradley Byrne, was heavily contributed to by BARD members, PACS run by Stephen Bradley, corporate interests and the usual big business and big polluter crowd.
Byrne, a lawyer and the high-priced candidate who raised millions in campaign cash, could only bring in 44% of Alabama's vote. We would guess Governor Riley's endorsement of Byrne did little to help him and that may be the only positive thing we can say for Ol' Bingo Bob Riley.
From the story:
"Byrne, the state's former two-year college chancellor, ran with the support of top Republican officeholders, including Gov. Bob Riley, and with strong financial support from business groups."
"Considered the front-runner through much of the campaign, Byrne reported raising nearly $7 million with generous support from the same business groups that helped elect Riley."
Shelby County results:
Robert Bentley — 13303
Bradley Byrne — 12319
Commissioner of Agriculture
Dorman Grace — 13748
John McMillan — 9735
In the close race for Agricultural Commissioner, 52%--48%, John McMillan prevailed statewide over the former Alabama Surface Mining Commission president, Dorman Grace, whose campaign image was one of a simple farmer and small business owner. Shelby County clearly went for Grace, and his local "from the back of my pickup truck" campaigning, probably resonated strongly here with folks who were not aware of his other "interests."
You cannot be a creditable advocate for farming and have such deep-seated ties to mining; the two are diametrically opposed to each other, particularly in this state, whose rich farmland is unceasingly "under the big shovel" from mining interests.
Alabama made the right choice in these two races and Populism prevailed, a rare animal in Alabama politics, but November is still on the horizon and we will have to wait and see if a turning point has finally arrived in this state of pervasive corporate culture or it's just another one trick pony show as usual.