Ad Spot

Bedford wins state pork prize

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY–I am an Auburn grad…more correctly, an Alabama Polytechnic Institute grad…but despite all the jokes about that institution being a "Cow College", I cannot drive a tractor, milk a cow, or chop cotton.
As to hogs, which is the subject of this column, all I know is that they are exceedingly important to our way of life. They produce some mighty good food–ham, sausage, bacon and porkchops, to mention a few–but other parts of the hog are used to make lard, leather, brushes, soap, and medicine.
So valuable is the hog that someone once wrote that the only useless part of this animal is its squeal.
There are a number of varieties of hogs. The only breeds that ring a bell with me are Poland China and Hampshire, but others include Berkshire, Duroc and Yorkshire.
All of which leads to a suggestion for my friends in the Animal Husbandry Department at API…a.k.a Auburn University: If a new breed of hog should be developed, what better name for it than the Bedfordshire to honor State Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, who has shown he has no equal in slopping at the trougth.
And while he has been getting fat at your expense, the squealing is being done by his legislative colleagues.
The facts are these. Buried in the 2002-03 budget was about $10 million in what is kindly called "pass through" money. It was appropriated to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) with the understanding it would be allocated to various projects for members of the Legislature.
It was understood that about two thirds of this would go to pet projects of state senators, the remainder to members of the House.
Now comes the revelation that Bedford, the Democrat from Russellville, walked off with about $3.1 million of the money appropriated for the entire Senate. He represents 1/35th of the Senate but he got almost 50 percent of the money.
The biggest chunk of the slop that Bedford got was $1.5 million for a new field house, bathrooms and concession stand at the Russellville High School football stadium. And this came, mind you, at a time when there is talk of closing schools and laying off teachers.
While Sen. Bedfordshire…I mean Bedford…was wiping drops of slop off his chin, some of his colleagues were squealing, and mind you, these were fellow Democrats.
"There are a lot of hacked-off senators out there" opined Sen. Hinton Mitchem, D-Albertville. Squealing louder was Democrat State Sen. Larry Means of Attalla.
"I'm angry and I left Roger a message saying so," Means said.
Why was outgoing Gov. Siegelman…who approved the grants…so kind to Bedford? That's a good question that will probably never be answered. But it has made for some interesting speculation.
No matter, at the 2003 Franklin County Fair–if they still have county fairs in rural Alabama counties–it would be an injustice if Sen. Bedfordshire didn't win the Blue Ribbon as the best pork producer in the county.
While scarcely in the same slopping league with Bedford, State Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, didn't do badly himself. Of the $3.5 million in "pass through pork" in the budget for House members, Knight walked off with about $600,000 in grants.
It is no coincidence that Bedford and Knight chair budget committees in the Legislature.
Like most school systems, the Talladega City System is in dire financial straits. To provide some relief, two proposed property tax increases were submitted for a vote of the people…a five mill hike and a
three mill hike.
Despite grim predictions about the fate of the schools if the measures didn't pass, both were turned down by more than a 3-to-1 margin.

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Sheffield is officer of quarter 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Fourth grade rocks 4-H 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

‘Jesus Revolution’: Priceville couple serve as extras in upcoming faith-based film  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Finding Your Future draws crowd

News

Lacey’s Spring man allegedly entered neighbor’s house, abused sleeping woman

Hartselle

Crestwood Shopping Center sold to Florida investment company

News

Chamber’s State of the County breakfast set for February

Hartselle

Making progress

News

Judge’s choice  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Sheriff gets OK to hire part-time jailers

News

Hartselle Drama Gala returns Saturday

At a Glance

Annual tree giveaway to be held March 1

Eva

Shaddix, Hopkins named Morgan Teachers of the Year  

Morgan County

Fundraising kicks off for 120-foot Morgan cross

Morgan County

Stadthagen named to three legislative committees  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan’s jobless rate among lowest statewide  

Falkville

Looking ahead: Growth on horizon for Hartselle, surrounding area  

Hartselle

American Legion Post 52 hosts annual speech contest 

At a Glance

Falkville man killed in crash

At a Glance

Somerville shooting victim identified

At a Glance

Morgan students graduate from JSU

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Educator Hall of Fame to induct six  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Flying high: Hartselle senior is dual enrolled in aviation program 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Judge dismisses lawsuit that sought to invalidate hiring of new Hartselle superintendent 

x