I find it rather remarkable that the keynote speaker at the GOP Summer Dinner, Dick Morris, urged the crowd to vote for one gubernatorial candidate over another in the GOP primary runoff with these words:
I think it’s important that in your gubernatorial Republican primary you support a candidate who supports charter schools. The Alabama teachers union doesn’t like it, the bureaucracy doesn’t like it, but the children of Alabama need it…Do you know there are 39 states of the union that have charter schools and Alabama is one of 11 that does not? And that’s because the Democratic Party in this state is a wholly owned subsidiary of the teachers union. Well let’s not nominate a candidate for governor in the Republican Party who is controlled by that teacher union.
Was there anyone in attendance who didn’t think that Morris was speaking in favor of Bradley Byrne over Robert Bentley? Byrne’s campaign has painted Bentley as the AEA candidate (though Bentley made the point in the Friday night debate that over time AEA has given more money to Byrne than to Bentley).
Two years ago, ALGOP Chair Mike Hubbard noted in a release that “traditionally the Party does not get involved in our primaries” but that “our Steering Committee met, and unanimously voted” to get involved in two primary races for the State Board of Education because of a “unique situation” where two candidates heavily funded by AEA were challenging Republican incumbents. The 2008 release made clear the lengths to which the Party went to stay hands-off in the primaries, even expecting a vote of its Steering Committee before it felt permitted to show its preference for one primary candidate over another.
Are you a bit surprised that this year the state GOP brings in a keynote speaker to its GOP Summer Dinner who urges those in attendance to throw in with one candidate over another?
Here’s the video: