Political leaders weigh in on election results

Published 11:32 pm Friday, November 5, 2010

While their political ideologies may differ, three local leaders agree on one thing: the recent election shows the people want a change.

For John Andrews, Democratic chair for Butler County, Tuesday night’s election results were admittedly disappointing.

“I was particularly disappointed at the results regarding (Bobby) Bright and (Wendell) Mitchell. I think they’ve done a lot-particularly Senator Mitchell-for Butler County,” said Andrews.
“Mitchell was also number two in the Senate, so we are going to lose that seniority. I fear his successor, Bryan Taylor, will be more favorable towards Autauga County, rather than Butler and Crenshaw.”

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Still, Andrews says, he is maintaining a positive outlook.

“I’m a glass half-full kind of person,” Andrews said. “I keep hearing the gambling bill is dead, and its death is something I support. And I do like what Governor-Elect Bentley have said in terms of ethic reform and I am very much in favor of it.”

Andrews also stressed his belief the state and nation won’t move forward if party politics aren’t put aside for the good of the people.

“I am hoping they can reach across the aisle and get something accomplished . . . I think we will see some changes for the better. If we don’t see improvement, I am sure they will be voted out the next time around.”

Cleve Poole, Republican chair for the county, the wins across the state by his party were most welcome, even if the local results were not quite what he expected.

“I was disappointed to see Ron Sparks carry Butler County in the governors’ race. Typically, this county goes with the Republican at the top of the ticket,” Poole said. “I would have to say I agree with Mark Rubio of Florida-this election was not a rubber stamp of Republican ideas, as much as it was an indictment of the status quo. And if those who have been sent to Montgomery and Washington don’t act upon the out-of-control spending and federal encroachment that’s occurring, they will be replaced in upcoming elections.”

Poole agreed with Andrews that ethics reform is essential and one of the biggest challenges facing new lawmakers, along with industrial recruitment, redistricting-and dealing with continued economic woes.
“You can’t realistically expect the economy to turn around in a year, or two years. But people do; they want immediate results,” said Poole.

Brenda Bowen, a local Tea Party leader, said, while she and fellow Tea Party supporters were “thrilled overall” with the outcome of Tuesday night’s election with more conservative candidates being elected to office, lawmakers should be warned: “This is not a fluke or a one-time involvement. We have woken up and will continue to be involved in government.”
Bowen also stressed need for ethics reform and expressed a desire for more checks and balances and more transparency in government.

“The doors to committees need to be swung open to us,” she said.

Bowen agrees with Poole about the excessive spending and believes everyone, from government officials to the average Joe, is going to have to learn to bite the bullet and be more frugal.

“I have to live by a budget, watch expenses, save my money. We have to stop adding to and expanding entitlement programs we can’t afford. Let’s get our budget in order and get it balanced. Build our coffers before we expand our programs,” she said.