If you read the columns above, you’ve probably caught on to the theme of this page’s opinion pieces: sappy goodbyes. Well here’s mine, with a dose of politics too!
This issue will be the final issue of my first year as a weekly political columnist for JSU’s student newspaper. That means that not only do our weekly faithful get to enjoy this issue, but so does every visitor who picks up a copy from a rack somewhere on campus all summer long.
Thus, I must say, a long (political) summer it shall be. For those of you who’ve read my columns, you know I do my best to keep you up to date and informed on relevant local, state, and national issues.
As this summer begins, proceeds, and closes, you will hear, see, and feel the political atmosphere across the nation heat up. In Alabama, party primaries kick off in June, followed by twenty-something weeks of hard and heavy hand-shaking and baby-kissing.
You’ll see billboards, yard signs, car magnets, bumper stickers, TV commercials, and campaign mailers. Until primaries are over, it’ll be a battle for the most God-fearing, gun-toting, brow-raising, anti-Obama, anti-liberal, anti-just-about-everything conservatives that political money can buy.
After June, some candidates will shift center if they have a decent Democratic challenger and will begin to look at where public opinion stands. If Republicans in Alabama are smart, they’ll integrate new emphases on public education, Medicaid expansion, and ethical government.
Speaking of ethical government, that too is something you should especially look out for in the Alabama polito-sphere. With grand jury investigations taking place, you can be sure to hear speculations all summer long about who, what, when, and where indictments and convictions will be handed down to very powerful sitting politicians.
It was a sad day in Alabama political history when sitting State Representative Greg Wren resigned abruptly during the 2014 legislative session and immediately accepted a plea bargain to conviction for misusing his public office for personal gain. I can tell you this with a heavy heart but with certainty: that won’t be the end of the corruption scandals to take place this year.
Because most of the investigations center around the 2010 Republican takeover of Alabama politics, it’ll be interesting to see how GOP candidates respond to the ongoing investigations, indictments, and possible convictions. After all, a major part of the GOP platform in 2010 was to “clean up Montgomery.”
So that’s what you have to look forward to, folks! Conservative stump-speakin’, stereotypical mudslingin’, and even some possible hand-cuffin’ this summer and into the fall.
I look forward to picking back up in the fall with continued coverage of the 2014 mid-term elections. In the meanwhile you can find me on Facebook (Brett Johnson) and Twitter (@therealBertJ) for more political commentary. Until next time: stay tuned, stay informed, and stay classy Jacksonville!