Election Mysteries

The primary is tomorrow, and I wanted to make sure I was making good decisions when I vote, so I pulled up the sample Democratic ballot for my district. I was pretty sure I wanted to vote against Thad McClammy, because I despise his actions on the House Financial Services committee stalling payday and title loan reform. Also, I’ve sent him several hand-written letters this year and haven’t received a single response from his office. But I wasn’t sure how the other candidate, City Council member Tracy Larkin, felt on the issue. So I pulled up his website. No answers there. And I called the number listed. Nobody answering the day before the election, and the response I got was “The mailbox belonging to Tracy Larkin is full and is not accepting messages at this time.” Hmm. If he can’t empty his mailbox, is this really the person I want to represent me?

There’s a bigger puzzle on the ballot, though. Evidently I’ll be asked to vote for positions on the State Democratic Executive Committee. I wasn’t sure what district I was in or who the candidates were, so I investigated. I pulled up the website for the Alabama Democrats and browsed around their collection of stock photos. Should be easy to find out at least what district I’m in, right? Nope – the link takes you to information about the Randolph County Chair. I think I’m in District 76, same as my House District, but I’m not sure, and there’s no information on their site about that. Neither is there information about the folks running for the various slots. Why? I looked online in vain for their policy statements or any information that would help me make a decision about who to vote for. Nope.

I called the party offices to ask about this election. A nice man named John told me that yes, my district was the same as my House district. Good to know. I asked how I would find information about the candidates to make a decision about who to vote for. He said he had no idea. “Not a lot of people put any effort into it,” he said. “You might check their Facebook pages.” Hmm. I asked what this office involved. “They vote on bylaws and help shape the party. They don’t receive a salary.” I got the distinct impression that I was one of the only people ever to have asked about this. I checked their Facebook pages. As best I can tell from their private Facebook pages, Montgomery’s Fred F. Bell likes Dole and uses an app called “Glu.” Clint Daughtrey works for AEA and has a profile picture posing with a topiary made to look like Goofy. Now that’s some quality voter education.

No matter what you think about Alabama politics, most people agree that it’s a good idea to have at least two functional parties to spur competition over ideas and policies. In the modern era, most people get their information online. It’s terrible that the Democratic Party website is so bad. Their last blog post was in February.

Anyone out there have an opinion on the race between Fred F. Bell and Clint Daughtrey?



8 responses to “Election Mysteries

  1. I feel similarly baffled as to who to vote for. I agree as to McClammy’s position on payday, but then he claims Tracy Larkin has supported the city’s attempts to force poor people into prison over failure to pay tickets (see http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/local/2014/06/01/mcclammy-larkin-vie-house-district-seat/9833315/). Who knows.

    I did find Clint Daughtrey’s LinkedIn page, which reveals some things (he’s general counsel for the AEA): https://www.linkedin.com/pub/clint-daughtrey/4/354/48a. I can’t find anything on Fred Bell. I’m district 77, which is Hershell Mann and Julian McPhillips. I can’t find anything at all on Mann, and all I know about McPhillips is that he’s a personal injury lawyer that I’ve seen in dreadful commercials (“McPhillps & Shinbaum – only a heartbeat away”). Glorious.

  2. I expect to move out of state later this year, so I’m not messing with the primaries tomorrow.

    But why these folks are not interested in my vote or yours, is beyond me.

  3. I was wondering the same thing…I sitting here googling who to vote for… These damn ppl get in office make these laws that harm many people, families and u can’t never get in touch with their tired asses…. #sickofIt.. A stone

  4. Thank you for publishing the sample ballot. I decided to vote after all, because I saw one candidate I don’t care for, and another person for the Democratic Party leadership that I do want in that organization.

    The one I didn’t like won anyway. I haven’ tyet heard whether the guy I voted for, for party leadership, won.

  5. When I lived in Montgomery, I really liked Mr Larkin. He was a television reporter, right?

  6. Just wanted to say, I just moved here (from the North), and love your Blog!! – Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. RIP to this blog?

  8. Just taking a break, AnonyMouse. Thanks for checking in on us!

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