Madison County GOP Breakfast – 1/16/2010

Congressman Parker Griffith (R) attended the Madison County Republican breakfast this morning, creating quite a buzz.  Griffith’s welcome ranged from warm hugs and handshakes to curiosity to silent disapproval.  The leadership didn’t exactly embrace Griffith – they didn’t seat him at the head table as might be expected for a sitting Congressman of your party.

I introduced myself to Griffith, telling him that I wasn’t sure if he’d show up to one of our meetings and that I respected him for attending.  Griffith said that he’d heard of Flashpoint (unsurprising since we covered the Huntsville Hospital documents pretty extensively during the last campaign).  I made Griffith the same offer that I made to the Artur Davis (D) campaign; we’ll post event notifications or issue papers sent to us from his campaign.  I hope Griffith takes us up on the offer.

The GOP breakfast was packed with more than 300 people.  You can really tell that the campaign season has started - lots of officials and candidates. In addition to Griffith, AL05 Congressional candidates Mo Brooks and Les Phillip attended (Les is probably so looking forward to reading “The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire” – he and I – and Mo – share a love of history).  Attendees included: State Representatives Phil Williams (6), Mike Ball (10) and Howard Sanderford (20); House 20 candidate David Pinkleton; Senate 9 candidates Tony Cochran, Clay Scofield, Don Spurlin, and John Wilson; State Board of Education candidate Mary Scott Hunter; Sheriff Blake Dorning; Judges Dick Richardson and Dennis O’Dell; DA Rob Broussard; Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong; HSV Councilman Mark Russell; HSV Board of Education member Jennie Robinson; Madison Councilman Tim Cowles; and Madison County Board of Education candidate David Vess.  Forgive me if I left anyone off the list.

Talk radio superstar Dale Jackson of WVNN attended the breakfast. 

John McMillan, candidate for Agriculture and Industries Commissioner, deserves a special mention.  McMillan was endorsed by 26 Republican legislators – which is unusual for a primary and speaks to the respect McMillan has gained through years of public service.

***

The meeting featured speeches by the candidates for State Senate 9 (South Huntsville, Marshall County, and part of Blount County).  We are blessed to have such fine people running to replace incumbent Senator Hinton Mitchem (D).  Here are excerpts from their speeches (keep in mind it’s tough for me to eat and write at the same time):

Tony Cochran – if elected, he will be the only CPA in the legislature, which he says will benefit the budget process. “Democrats are bankrupting the State of Alabama”.  Supports Charter Schools.  Prevent AEA executives from participating in State retirement plan.  Rolling reserve budget system (Canfield).  Pro-life.  Pro-gun.  Illegal immigration – TN trains 10% of its troopers to be ICE officers.

Clay Scofield – this is “the year of the conservative”.  Pro-life. Pro-Second Amendment. Ethics – “we have to create an environment where being a legislator is unprofitable”. Tell Hubbard NO; “40% of the eductaion budget is spent in the boardroon and not in the classroom”. “Take care of home-grown businesses”.  Note that Clay is a young man, someone at my table who didn’t know him said he was “pretty impressive”.

Don Spurlin – “Small Government, low taxes, Constitution, pro-family, pro-life”.  Education – “focus on the classroon”, math and reading initiative.  “I believe in the ABC’s, not the AEA’s”.  Economy – “Provide what employer’s need: trained workforce, industry-ready worksites, infrastructure”.  Marshall County is impacted more by illegal immigration than any other County in the State.  Don noted that Governor Riley praised the Alabama DHR for a record number of adoptions in the State of the State address. Spurlin praised the Marshall County DHR who also had a record number of adoptions.

John Wilson – “Lifelong conservative Republican”. Wilson noted that Sen. Hinton Mitchem was a “no-show” at the Madison County Legislative Delegation’s forum.  PACT – the State has a “moral obligation to honor the contract”.  Support gas tax pledge. Illegal immigration – supports E-Verify and suspending business licenses of employers who don’t make a good faith effort to comply.  “John Wilson reporting for duty”.

12 thoughts on “Madison County GOP Breakfast – 1/16/2010

  1. “Talk radio superstar Dale Jackson of WVNN attended the breakfast.”

    Superstar?? Really? (if I say anything more it’s gonna sound ugly)

  2. The SD-9 field is impressive. Four good candidates – only one winner. Scofield surprised me the most. I knew the other three are strong candidates, but Clay gave an excellent stump speech that sounded like it was delivered by a seasoned political veteran and not a relatively young man. Glad I don’t have to make a choice in that race.

    • I agree with Brian. Even though I am a candidate in this race, so far, I am impressed with the competition. In looking at the comments posted on AL.com regarding the Huntsville Times coverage, it would seem I have ruffled some feathers when commenting about Paul Hubbard. I have met Paul Hubbard. He is not some heinous monster. He has five fingers on each hand, two eyes, a nose(haven’t seen the feet). Having recognized that, I do believe he has accumulated power in Montgomery which eclipses the Governor. I think we should remind everyone of these words from Ronald Reagan…” Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.” -Ronald Reagan

  3. There is no question that Jackson is successful – maybe he’ll chime in with ratings and market share info…

    • I won’t…

      I’ll say WVNN (#2 station in town) and it’s morning show are higher rated than it’s ever been.

      I’ll guess a good 30% of the people that listen don’t like me, but as long as they listen it works for me.

  4. I’d have to agree, it’s an impressive field in SD9.

    Dale didn’t look much like a superstar on South Parkway friday morning.

  5. Reactionary:

    Yours was a much more accurate reporting job than in the Huntsville Times.

    The Times said there was applause when Griffith’s name was announced.

    Actually, there was zero applause for Griffith. Griffith’s name was in the middle of a long list of elected officials.

    The only applause was at the end of the list and it was for all officials.

    Interesting how often reporting of events differs so much from what actually happens.

  6. Thanks Mo – I enjoyed the Times headline this morning: “Griffith finds hugs at GOP breakfast”. BTW if that was a reporting “job” why am I not getting paid :)

    I liked how the leadership handled the event: they didn’t embrace Griffith (no head table), but they also took care to ensure that Griffith wasn’t embarrassed (including him in the middle of a list of officials and asking the audience to hold their applause until the end) – nice touch Elbert. The GOP is a polite bunch, gotta give us that.

  7. The endorsements for McMillan in th Ag race are huge and may keep ALFA from endorsing Dorman Grace. They just can’t afford to buck half of the GOP legislators – too dangerous. And the rumor is that Grace has big problems on the illegal immigration issue.

  8. Reactionary:
    Good article. I wish I could have been there to see it in person, but had family commitments. I also hope that Griffith’s campaign will send you an event calendar, so all of us will get to “not applaud” him.
    Regarding the comment “the GOP is a polite bunch, gotta give us that” – I would say, that being polite should not include not holding Mr. Griffith responsible for his record. As Les Phillip’s campaign has pointed out, Mr. Griffith donated significant amounts to the campaigns of both Harry Reid and Howard Dean. As one who believes the scripture, “where your treasure is, there also will be your heart” I believe that speaks volumes about Mr. Griffiths true bent in politics. I personally have heard of exactly ONE person who calls himself a conservative, who has given money to leading leftist liberals – Mr. Griffth. I am looking forward to this campaign season, and hopeful that the district will educate themselves fully on the candidates, and do as I have done and select a candidate to back aggressively.
    Last, regarding Clay Scofield, I agree that he carries himself in a manner that is quite surprising and impressive.