Guin latest tainted by school schemes

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Capitol Scene
MONTGOMERY— The state capital these days is like any other cesspool — the more you stir it the smellier it gets.
Take for example the probe into that cesspool called the two-year college system in Alabama. Every week, it seems the revelations of what has been going on at some of these institutions get even more indefensible.
Now comes the report that Rep. Ken Guin, D-Carbon Hill, who receives pay checks totaling $98,000 a year from two of those institutions, has often submitted the same work reports to both schools.
Often times the “work” he claimed to do was a brief report on his legislative service, and in one of them he endorsed the candidacy of Don Siegelman for governor.
Understand, Rep. Guin is no lightweight legislator. In fact he is House Majority leader, a face card of the Democrat party.
Perhaps the most stinging indictment of this triple-dipping by Guin — he also practices law and is being paid $49,000 a year as a legislator — came in a report submitted by a team of investigators assigned to find out what he did for his money.
Listen to the conclusion of these investigators: “College personnel interviewed by the committee indicated that this person has no office on campus, does not regularly appear on campus and is of limited service to the college.”
And for that the Honorable Rep. Ken Guin is paid $98,000 a year.
The poll was designed to measure the confidence Alabama registered voters have in state and local institutions and organizations. The results in some instances were predictable; others were eye-opening.
Leading the list as the institution which is viewed with the greatest confidence were churches. That is no surprise. Running a close second were doctors and medical professionals.
At the bottom of the scale were labor unions (Alabama has never been an organized labor state), the state Legislature, the legal profession (what did Shakespeare write about members of the Bar: “First, let's kill all the lawyers…”) and in what may come as surprise, very near the bottom was the Alabama Christian Coalition.
Interestingly, local weekly newspapers generated more confidence among those polled than statewide newspapers.
Another interesting fact gleaned from this survey: The confidence expressed by the people in both public and private schools has declined considerably in the past few years.
In 1999 a similar poll showed public schools with an 87 percent “high confidence” rating. The most recent poll showed this number had dropped to 75 percent. The confidence rating of private schools dropped even more during the same period — from 75 percent to 62 percent.
The so-called Republican Coalition in the Senate — 12 Republicans and four or five Democrats — are still incensed at what they believe was the short-changing they got in the organizational session regarding committee assignments and the rules adopted by the majority.
And this group has vowed to lock down the Senate until the Democrat majority makes some concessions.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has moved at a remarkably brisk pace. It has already passed a bill to prohibit legislators from getting state funds appropriated to a particular agency and then having that money turned over to them for their own projects — the so-called “Pass Through Pork Bill.”
As commendable as it may be that the House passed the measure, the members had to know that its chances of passage in the Senate are slim and none. And Slim's out of town.

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