Vote and campaign for Doug Jones for Senator in Alabama.
Since I moved away from Alabama in 2008, I can’t vote in their elections but I can sure donate and spread the word for everyone I know in Alabama to vote for him. Here’s what you need to know about these candidates and why this election is so important:
Doug Jones graduated from the University of Alabama and got his JD from Samford University in Homewood, Alabama. From 1997 to 2001, Jones served as the US Attorney for North Alabama after he was appointed by Bill Clinton. Before that, he was an assistant US Attorney and grew up during the Civil Rights Movement which shaped most of his politics. In 98’, he tried Eric Rudolph, a man responsible for bombing a women’s health center in Birmingham and the Centennial Olympic Park in Georgia. In 2001 and 2002, Doug Jones served as a prosecuting attorney in the trial of two Klansmen involved in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that resulted in the death of four little girls. Thirty-eight years after the bombing, Jones closed his remarks by saying, “It’s never too late for the truth to be told … It’s never too late for a man to be held accountable for his crimes.” Both of the men on trial faced prison time, though one died in prison and the other is currently serving–his parole was denied in 2016.
After this case, Jones served as the General Special Master in a case that involved Monsanto and environmental clean-up. In ’07, Jones testified in the United States House Committee on the Judiciary about the importance of reopening and trying cases from the Civil Rights Era. Though he’s been in and out of private practice, Doug Jones has proven time and again to uphold a standard of ethics in politics unparalleled by any other Alabama politician that I’m aware of. His platform surrounds “kitchen table” issues, which his campaign defines as health care, the economy, living wage issues, poverty, and trade skill education. His emphasis on Civil Rights is only matched by the sharp attention he pays to poverty and the working class in Alabama.
His platform is traditional Democrat–party of the working man, pro-conservation, pro-military defense because it strengthens the local economy, pro-Civil Rights legislation, and pro Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). He has been a member of the Canterbury United Methodist Church in Mountain Brook, a suburb of Birmingham, for more than 33 years. He’s been married to Louis New since the early 1990s. I only mention that because, in the wake of Robert Bentley, the corrupt governor of Alabama that resigned in April of this year as he faced embezzlement charges, we need a moral and upstanding official to represent Alabama. He opens his list of priorities with this statement: “The people of Alabama have been embarrassed by corruption and a string of ethics investigations and convictions of people they placed into positions of power and trust. They deserve better. We all deserve better.”
On paper, Roy Moore might not sound as despicable as he is. I’ll try to be fair and factual, but just know that I believe this man to be a demon.
Moore fought in Vietnam from ’69-’74. Before 1992, he was a Democrat in good Alabama fashion. He graduated from the University of Alabama with his JD and the United States Military Academy with his BS. He wasn’t liked in the war–as a commander, his troops perceived him to be strict and reckless and called him “Captain America.”
His first political gig was with the district attorney’s office in Etowah County Alabama. He was investigated multiple times by the state bar after a weird convening of the grand jury over funding shortages. He lost multiple elections for circuit court and wasn’t taken on as district attorney, and returned to private practice in Gadsden. He was finally appointed to the Circuit Court Judgeship in ’92 as the first Republican since Reconstruction, citing that God had given him something, which, he said, “had not been able to obtain through my own efforts.” He sparked controversy from displaying wooden Ten Commandment plaques in his courtroom and praying before opening the court, which the ACLU threatened to take on.
Moore also served as Chief Justice in the Alabama Supreme Court for two different terms. He erected a monument of the Ten Commandments in a state building in 2001, which was attacked by both the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center. Since the Alabama Constitution calls on the “guidance of Almighty God,” he firmly believes that church and state are inseparable, and that’s basically his entire platform. The two-ton monument in the Supreme Court building in Alabama was paid for by taxpayer funds. The $5,000 a day penalty the State of Alabama had to pay after the decision was upheld to have it removed was paid for with taxpayer funds. Finally, the monument was removed in 2004. Moore was removed from the Chief Justice position following an ethics hearing. He returned to the bench in 2012.
After Moore publically urged Alabama state officials to ignore federal court rulings on same-sex marriage, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed another ethics complaint against him. He ordered probate judges to ignore the federal legalization of same-sex marriage, citing the state’s ban and threatened legal action against those who didn’t by the governor’s office. Moore was found guilty in 2016 of six ethics charges brought against him and suspended from office.
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you probably know that Roy Moore was accused of sexual assault and harassment toward under-aged girls during this last leg of the campaign. Most of his denials include “not knowing” they were underage to ensuring that he “always asked their mothers for permission” to date them. Honestly, these charges are not as extreme as I expected. He’s also been banned from shopping malls for making underage girls uncomfortable and picked up a fourteen-year-old from a custody hearing when he was an assistant District Attorney, and I don’t doubt that one bit.
Moore, along with his wife and children, works with the Foundation for Moral Law, a non-profit that seems to be a money laundering machine. Moore claimed to make $180,000 per year as a salary from the foundation but collected more than $1 million. The IRS got involved, it was a mess. He also took in funding from a known neo-Nazi and Holocaust Denier. In one campaign speech, Moore said:
“Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God.”
So he’s clearly racists, a religious extremist, and also buys into conspiracies. He believes America is an “Evil Empire” for condoning homosexuality and was a leading voice in the “Birther” conspiracy that President Barack Obama wasn’t a U.S. citizen. He opposes pre-school because, apparently, children “are much more likely to learn a liberal social and political philosophy” if they go to pre-school. He rejects evolution, free trade, immigration, any and all LGBTQA+ rights, and praises islamophobia and Vladimir Putin. He believes Muslim people shouldn’t serve in Congress and that 9/11 was punishment by God for allowing homosexuality. He is a nut case and an embarrassment, and we can’t forget the fact that he dressed up like Woody from Toy Story and waived a gun in the face of his NRA supporting constituents–the number one violation of gun safety, by the way.
WHY THIS MATTERS
This is the first Senate special election since Trump’s win because Alabama’s Jeff Sessions left a spot open with his gig as Attorney General. Republicans need 8 currently Democratic seats for a filibuster-proof majority. The Democrats need 3 seats to control the Senate. With Doug Jones currently in the lead, it appears that Democrats are getting an early start at overtaking Senate control. Nonetheless, more Democratic seats will be up for contest in 2018–25, to be exact–because the appointments last six years and had their last major election in 2012, riding along in with Obama.
Actually coherent and intelligent on the topic of politics, Ed over at ginandtacos put forth some theories on what could happen in this election on his blog. All of them are heartbreaking, but I think I disagree with number one. He argues that if Doug wins, Democrats will have a brief win and then he’ll lose in 2020. I have to disagree, if only because I’m a liberal from Alabama and if I give up on my people I’ll have nothing left (I already don’t). I believe that the 2020 election will be a backlash. I believe Birmingham, Florence, Mobile, and Huntsville are liberal strongholds enough to keep Jones on in 2020, and by then the backlash will be strong enough against Trump that Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren will be elected prime ministers of the Inclusive States of America. I believe that because I have to, though I know it to be false.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Share the donation link on your social media
Beg your Alabama relatives to go out and vote for Doug Jones on December 12
Beyond being the most qualified candidate, Doug Jones in the first public official from Alabama to not be an embarrassment. He is a good man, a model public servant, and his platform is exactly what a hurting Alabama needs right now. Regardless of how you feel about the Trump, think logically. Do you want to elect a religious zealot racist homophobic pedophile that wears a cowboy costume, waves a gun in your face, and doesn’t know what DACA is? Or do you want to elect an articulate, proven man that has never faced being disbarred or removed from office? The choice is yours, and my hope for Alabama is riding on this election. Please do the right thing.