Siegelman holds election record
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTOGMERY–It is of no great moment unless you are interested in trivia, but Don Siegelman already holds a record in Alabama politics.
He has been elected to more state offices than any governor in history…Secretary of State, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor and Governor. No other past governor of this state comes close to matching that record. In fact, and this may surprise you, a majority of past governors were never elected to any other state office
Now it appears he wants to add another record to that remarkable resume by being elected to a second term as governor, joining only five men who can claim the distinction of being twice-elected to that office: -Bibb Graves, James E. (Big Jim) Folsom, George Wallace (four times), Fob James and Guy Hunt.
After holding a series of what he called "Listening Post" meetings around the state, Siegelman put his toe in the 2006 gubernatorial waters last week when he filed papers with the Secretary of State to allow him to form the Siegelman 2006 Exploratory Committee. State law requires the forming of such a committee if a prospective candidate for governor has raised or spent as much as $25,000. Siegelman said he was near that threshold.
In subsequent interviews he has left little doubt that another run for governor is all but certain.
He must know going in that his candidacy…if he does indeed run…is going to expose him to some unmerciful attacks. In fact, it has already begun. Only last week, after one of his lawyers protested the long-running federal probe into alleged wrongdoing in his first administration, the Birmingham News had a withering editorial response.
The News opined that the federal grand jury probe might not have been so prolonged if they hadn't been given so much real or alleged wrongdoing to investigate.
And yet another wag wondered if Siegelman planned to use the four-wheeler or the motorcycle given to him during his first term to campaign around the state in 2006.
The state's major universities retained the services of the powerful lobbying firm of Joe Fine and Bob Geddie to help them get a one-time-only special appropriation of $36 million. To succeed, the dynamic duo had to go toe to toe with the almighty Dr. Paul Hubbert of the Alabama Education Association, who insisted those millions were needed to fund a teacher pay raise.
Who won this titanic struggle? On a split decision, you would have to give the nod to Fine and Geddie. When the dust settled after this confrontation higher ed didn't get the $36 million it wanted but it got a lot more over the long haul…$13 million more for the upcoming fiscal year and $18 million every year thereafter.
"I"ll pay you when we get back," said the revenuer.
"Nope, I gotta be paid now," replied the boy.
"How come?" asked the revenuer.
Replied the boy: "Cause you won't git back."