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Poole me once, blame him. Poole me twice…

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Capitol Scene
MONTGOMERY — After a half century in which I have seen all sorts of disgusting behavior by our so-called public servants, very few things surprise me any more. I have grown calloused. But the recent conduct of See. Phil Poole, D-Moundville and Dr. Paul Hubbert of the AEA almost made me nauseous.
You perhaps know the story, but it needs re-visiting. See. Poole was one of seven Democratic senators who had agreed to join 12 Republicans to elect one of their own as president pro tem.
On the night before the critical vote See. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, switched his vote, leaving the coalition still holding a slim 18-17 margin. But on Monday morning, a little more than an hour before the vote, See. Poole announced he too was switching his vote.
The reaction of those he had turned his back on was unusually harsh — he was called a liar, a man whose word was worthless, a man who wouldn't “stay hitched”.
Now we know why Poole did what he did. On the day before he switched, Poole was given a $10,000 contribution by Dr. Paul Hubbert of the AEA. And nobody is more interested in seeing the Democrats prevail in the Senate than Hubbert.
Dr. Hubbert did not deny making the contribution to Poole but incredibly he said it “had no connection” with Poole switching his vote. If Hubbert said that with a straight face he deserves to win an Oscar in the Best Actor category.
That See. Poole didn't stay hitched should have come as no surprise. Eight years ago on the eve of a similar vote in the Senate he had changed his mind only hours before the vote after being promised millions of dollars in road contracts for his district. This time his price had dropped to $10,000.
Former Lt. Gov. Steve Windom, who was the victim of the Poole switch in 1999, came up with perhaps the best quote on this latest development: “Poole me once, blame him, Poole me twice, blame me.” Said another senator: “Poole should have a business card which says “Have Vote Will Sell.”
It is for this reason that Holmes is so upset. He is howling in protest that Folsom has named only one African-American to his staff; and worse, that she occupies the lowest ranking position in the office.
As he pointed out, without the solid support of black voters, Folsom would not have come close to beating Republican Luther Strange in November.
For the record, in the 10 predominantly black counties in Alabama Folsom outpolled Strange by a whopping 44,000 to 15,000 margin. Statewide the black vote went about 90 percent to 10 percent for the Democratic nominees.
If I made up such a list, be sure a name included on it would be my buddy Fuller Kimbrell. Old-time politicos remember the name: Kimbrell was a state senator, finance director in the second Folsom administration, and a major behind-the-scenes player in Democratic politics for decades.
Fuller is now 97, an age when most folks would be enjoying the fruits of their labors. Not my buddy, though. He has just finished his second book and knowing him, you will probably be seeing him at a book signing in every corner of the state.
I am not talking about some paperback lightweight book, either. I am talking about a 500-page hard cover book with some wonderful photographs.
His latest effort is entitled “You Won't Believe It But It's So” and includes a long look back at his growing up days in Fayette County as well as his experiences in state politics. The foreword is written by former Gov. Albert Brewer.
I am not in the book-selling business and Fuller sure doesn't need the money, but if you like Alabama history and politics this book is a wonderful stroll down memory lane.

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