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Judges battle it out over monument

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY– What we have here is a classic example of "he said-he said."
Associate Supreme Court Justice Gorman Houston related in a civic club speech last week that last fall he was told by ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore that he was "damned to hell" for having voted to remove the Ten Commandments Monument from the State Judicial Building.
Moore swiftly denied having passed such a harsh judgement on Houston.
"That's absolutely ridiculous and he knows it," countered Moore.
"I would never say anything like that. Only God is the judge of a man's soul."
Justice Houston, in that same speech, also took Moore to task for the huge expense the Ten Commandments fight had cost the state.
"Roy Moore promised the monument wouldn't cost the state any money," Houston said. "Unfortunately, it has. He has the responsibility of paying the cost of removing the monument. So far, he has paid nothing."
In addition, attorneys who sued the state to have the monument removed were paid $550,000 by the state in legal fees.
The bottom line: Houston and Moore are not likely to have dinner together anytime soon.
Hammett announced late last week that the only race he will make in two years is for re-election to the House, and once elected, to run again for the post of Speaker.
Two political considerations unquestionably entered into Hammett's decision to drop his widely-rumored plans to run for governor. For one, polls show he would be overwhelmed in the Democratic Primary by Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, and another factor is the persistent talk that if he is cleared of charges now pending against him, former Gov. Don Siegelman has every intention of running for governor again in 2006.
This acquisition will put RSA in a dominant position in the hospitality industry in the Mobile-Baldwin County area. RSA already owns the Battle House Hotel in Mobile as well as the Grand Hotel in Point Clear across the bay from Mobile.
While RSA's extensive investments in the area have provoked charges that RSA CEO David Bronner has "bought Mobile," the president of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce, Win Hallett disagrees.
The recent merger of Wachovia Corp. and SouthTrust Bank resulted in the public disclosure of the stock holdings and income of the top executives of these two banks.
The revelation that jumped off the page was the report that Wallace Malone Jr., the top man at SouthTrust, owned stock in the giant bank worth approximately $211 million. Later it was revealed that when he retires he will be entitled to severance pay…it is called a "Golden Parachute" for good reason…of $30.3 million.
Not bad for a good old boy from the Wiregrass.
Somewhere in the afterlife Malone's father…Wallace Malone Sr. of Dothan…one of my all-time favorite politicians of the past…must be beaming with pride. I could share a lot of stories about the elder Malone, but one I must tell you. A World War I veteran, when WWII broke out he was raring to go again but he was a little past his prime. Determined to do something for his country, he volunteered to be an Air Raid warden in Dothan. And what was his record in that capacity? Let me quote him:
"By God, them Japs didn't bum Dothan."
(In case you don't know, "bomb" is pronounced "bum" in the Wiregrass…as in B-17 Bummer.)

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