Our View

Published 2:08 am Wednesday, October 16, 2002

By Staff
Standard announces endorsements for upcoming election
State Senate - Pat Lindsey
Pat Lindsey, who has represented this area as state senator for the past 20 years, receives our endorsement for re-election this fall. Lindsey has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to secure support and funding for projects that have been, and will continue to be, critical to Brewton and East Brewton's continued growth.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Lindsey has secured more than $1 billion for various projects throughout his district. Of greater importance to many of us locally, Lindsey has brought home funding for several large projects such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Flood Mitigation study in Brewton, Little League fields in East Brewton through ADECA and the Turtle Point Environmental Science Center in Flomaton. Without his support, many of these projects may never have received the attention and state funding that they have. Through his leadership and creativity, our towns have received funding not only to help generate matching funds but also to complete many projects.
Lindsey is also a refreshing change of pace in the world of politics. Rather than trying to grab headlines with his actions, he seems to prefer taking a back seat to those that are the beneficiaries of his efforts. The old saying is that "actions speak louder than words," and our incumbent senator certainly makes those words ring true.
Our state is facing many challenges in the coming years, but is also facing opportunities like we have not seen in quite some time. As municipalities scramble to attract business and industry related to the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, it is going to be important to have a powerful and experienced voice supporting our area on the floor of the senate.
In the senate that voice has been Pat Lindsey for the past 20 years and given his track record, we believe he deserves to be re-elected.
Lt. Governor - Lucy Baxley
Lucy Baxley receives our endorsement for lieutenent governor in this year's election.
Until recently, many people considered lieutenent governor one of, if not the most, powerful elected positions in state government. And while that power may have weakened recently, Alabama needs someone presiding over the senate that can work with legislators on both sides of the aisle. Our state faces many challenges in the years to come and Baxley's accomplishments as Alabama State Treasurer show a willingness to implement new programs, serve as a neutral voice for the citizens of this state and to run an accountable and efficient office.
Under her watch, Alabama began the Alabama Prepaid Affordable College Tuition program, more than $27 million in unclaimed property was returned to the citizens and the state's money she invested has earned more than $396 million in interest.
Our state needs a lieutenent governor that will work with the senate to work on a fair and balanced tax system, maximize the opportunities to create new jobs by removing gridlock in the statehouse and represent all citizens. Baxley best fits that criteria and has our support in her campaign.
Governor - Don Siegelman
Campaigns have been built around personalities rather than issues for quite some time. It has not always been the most qualified candidate or the one with the best platform that comes out ahead at the polls. This year's gubernatorial campaign is shaping up that way, which is unfortunate.
Putting personalities aside, we endorse Don Siegelman for the state's highest elected office based on several measurable criteria from his current term, as well as the plans he has outlined for the future. While we take issue with a couple of those ideas, there are others we support and by and large they all are more clearly outlined than those of his opponent.
Success as well as scandal marked Siegelman's first term. We choose to focus on the former, rather than the often politically motivated latter. The governor's success in luring automotive manufacturers to our state has brought thousands of jobs to the communities with the plants, as well as spin-off industries to surrounding communities. The governor visited many of those outlying towns, including Brewton, in an effort to work with local leaders and assist them in landing a tier-one, two or three supplier to the new Hyundai plant.
Just as importantly for Brewton, Siegelman has made clear at every opportunity that the four-laning of Highway 31 from Brewton to Interstate 65 is a top priority for administration. It is now up to us as a city to hold him to his promise to "fast track" the project and see that work does get underway in the very near future.
And while we do not support the governor's efforts to bring a lottery to Alabama to fund education, his opponent offers little in the way of a plan other than the promise to appoint a commission to study the issue. The time to talk and study the situation has long past. It is time for action.
Another key is that as a second term governor that will not be eligible for re-election has a better chance to push meaningful tax reform through the house and senate in Montgomery. In the long-term, Alabama needs to adopt a fair tax plan that will allow our state, and its poorly funded education system, to move forward without the constant threat of proration.
Don Siegelman has his flaws and during a second term he and those within his administration should be held accountable for their actions. But, his familiarity with the challenges we face, his work to help secure a brighter economic future for the state and his promises to work with our own community to help us move forward with much needed projects are the reasons we are supporting his candidacy and give him our endorsement.

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