The following information will come as a shock to many who have known me for a long time.

The only elected office I have ever held was being a member of the Jefferson County Republican Executive Committee decades ago.

That’s right.  I was a Republican.  People went to the polls and voted for me in a Republican primary.

But that was long ago when the GOP actually believed in things like “tolerance” and “compromise” and “moderation.”  To me it was truly a kinder, more gentle association of folks who believed that public service was really just that–public service.   It was many years before the GOP morphed into what it is today, largely a party that says one thing and does another.

The Decatur Daily captures Alabama’s version of the Republican Party well in this editorial where they take Montgomery GOP lawmakers to task for railing against Federal intrusion into local matters–while turning around and doing the same thing themselves by accumulating power in state government at the expense of local government.

The newspaper rightly points out that this attitude is especially pronounced when it comes to education.

“On education matters, the break from conservatism is most profound. Montgomery lawmakers routinely run ramshod over both a state board elected by the people to supervise education and local school boards whose members live among their constituents and are directly accountable to them.

This was particularly apparent when it came to the Accountability Act, the law that placed Brookhaven Middle School on a failing schools list. Even as state lawmakers complained about the federal government’s intrusion into local education matters, they were quite happy to do the same.

Brookhaven is a good example both of the state’s power grab and of the problems it creates. The school already had turned its test scores around when the state — by defining schools as failing through scores that predated the Accountability Act — interfered both with the efforts of elected members of the state Board of Education and elected members of the Decatur City Schools board. The interference came with a reduction in the money the district had available to implement the changes it already was striving to make.”

It is past time that we begin to hold elected officials accountable for their votes and campaign contributions.  Don’t vote for the Alabama Accountability Act and take money from California millionaires and then tell us how much you want to help our public schools.

That is simply being a conservative of convenience, not one of conviction.