Too Scared to Vote, Too Scared Not To


Today there was a special vote in Alabama. There was only one item on the ballot. It was another one of those annoying amendments to the State Constitution. In the past I’ve said, “Vote ‘No’ on all the amendments to precipitate the re-writing of our racist Constitution.” You can see me rant about it here on YouTube, if you have a few minutes to spare. It is my supposition that the Alabama State Constitution is racist. It’s all in the video, but back to today’s ballot.

Against my own advice, I went to the poll tonight with the intention to vote “Yes.” A yes vote would move money from the State’s trust fund to the general fund. In theory, it would fund the integration of the new Medicaid requirements that Obama-care is bringing. It was all explained very succinctly on Marketplace this evening. After reading the ballot, I almost voted “No.” Here, you can read it for yourself. How do you feel about it?

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide adequate funding for the State General Fund budget, to prevent the mass release of prisoners from Alabama prisons, and to protect critical health services to Alabama children, elderly, and mothers by transferring funds from the Alabama Trust Fund to the State General Fund beginning with the state’s 2012-2013 fiscal year and concluding with the state’s 2014-2015 fiscal year; to provide a new procedure for distributions made from the Alabama Trust Fund beginning 2012-2013 fiscal year; to create a County and Municipal Government Capital Improvement Trust Fund advisory committee; and to provide further for distributions made from the County and Municipal Government Capital Improvement Trust Fund. (Proposed by Act No. 2012-490)

Yep. That’s how I felt, too. The scare-mongering language made me think, “Just who is going to benefit from this that they want it passed so badly?” I read it again. I read it a third time. The more I read it, the longer it got. I swear the words morphed on the ballot before my eyes. The third time through, I saw, “to prevent the mass release of prisoners from Alabama prisons, and to protect critical health services to Alabama children, elderly, and mothers. If you vote no, those poor, old folks in the nursing homes will be put on the curb with the trash. Those released prisoners will come to your house and rape your pets. Tens of thousands of bats, all infected with rabies, will be released and there’s no money for rabies shots because you voted ‘No’, you stone-cold bastard. Why would you do that? Why would you take school lunches away from kids for whom that is the only meal they get all day because their mama is too busy working as a stripper and constantly beating them with a curtain rod to feed them. It’s not going to get any better when the rolling blackouts and gasoline rationing start. You just think about that, mister. A ‘Yes’ vote ensures the continued well-being of the community, free puppies, kittens, balloons, and fireworks for all Alabamians and a few rednecks in Mississippi, too. Now what’s it going to be, punk?”

I was afraid to read it a forth time. Lord knows what it would say then. I just checked “Yes,” and said a prayer for all those poor mothers, kids, and old folks. Deep in my heart, I knew I had prevented some poor, single mother from having to marry a released prisoner so they could use their combined stripping and meth-dealing incomes to use the food stamps they got each month.

But on the serious side, what good is the money doing just sitting in a “rainy day” trust fund? It started raining on our economy back in 2008 and there are no signs of it letting up. If we can’t use the money now, what has to happen before we do? That and I don’t want my pets raped.

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3 Comments

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  1. Warm Southern Breeze September 19, 2012 — 22:06

    For too long, Alabama’s legislature has played “kick the can down the road” and has completely ignored making the difficult changes necessary to move Alabama, kicking & screaming, into the 21st century. Merely because we have a state constitution, various levels of governmental operations and state agencies is not proof that “the system is working” or, that it’s working efficiently, in the best interests of the people, or effectively. As I’ve said consistently about this issue, the proposed amendment neither had language mandating repayment, nor that it be specifically used in any way. It was merely a threat – one which the previous administration under Bob Riley also asserted. And none of the problems he said would happen did.

    Alabama could address their well-known, and horribly inequitable tax rate upon corporate timber owners – which pay a mere pittance, a virtual token, and certainly nothing in comparison to what homeowners pay – and could modify its similarly well-known inequitable personal income tax structure, which has a documented lower rate for the wealthy than for the impoverished. These items have been, and continue to be the subject of intense scrutiny, research and investigation, none of which the legislature apparently reads, nor cares about.

    Now that the voters of the State of Alabama have approved this blank check measure, perhaps the tides will stop rising, but perhaps more importantly, the governor will rescind his order of June 11, 2011 to all 67 County Departments of Health to cease administering Tuberculosis skin tests. We’ll see.

    • I can’t argue with anything you wrote here. You’ve come very close to setting of the tinder under my other love-to-hate-it issue with the Alabama tax system: those accursed timber companies. They pay next to nothing in property tax. They get around most of it by simply buying the timber rights, aka renting the land, until it’s good and raped. The giant scars they leave on the land are pitiful.

  2. Absolutely identical to the tactic former governor Sundquist used here in Tennessee back around 2000, when he tried to blackmail us into accepting his state income tax by threatening (get this:) the mass release of prisoners from maximum security prisons, the closing of elementary schools, and the closing of a bunch of state parks. Adding insult to sodomy, this was all slated to happen in East Tennessee (where the majority of the mountain people voted ‘hell no’) as opposed to Middle and West Tennessee (who clearly wanted it, for their own good reasons, I suppose). Ol’ Donny-boy denied these closings and releases were slated to punish the region for their disobedience. Fortunately, Tennesseans don’t scare so easily (and many of us have families in prison anyway, unfortunately, so big whoop, right?). Sundquist has been afraid to come into the public arena ever since we handed his ass to him over a decade ago. Stay strong, Alabama; ol’ Boss Hog may have the guns (and Roscoe), but at the end of the day, them damn Duke boys always win!

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