Not so very long ago, most political blood-letting happened between Republicans and Democrats. The Alabama Education Association and the trial lawyers were the dreaded enemies of the GOP and you never heard one mentioned without the other.
Oh how the times have changed.
Let’s take a look at the election in House District 39 to replace retiring Democrat Richard Lindsey who held the seat since being elected in 1983. (In my book, Richard is the kind of legislator we need more of. Well-respected by one and all, chaired the extremely important House Ways & Means Education committee for years. Republican Bill Poole who now chairs this committee is cut from the same cloth as Richard.)
The winner of the June 5 primary between Republicans Ginny Shaver of Cherokee County and T. J. Maloney of Cleburne County will go to Montgomery since there is not a Democrat seeking this seat.
Shaver is a long-time fixture in Republican circles in Cherokee County (though it should be noted that her husband Jeff Shaver has served as Cherokee County sheriff many years as a DEMOCRAT. He is up for re-election this year and is running as a Republican this time.). Maloney moved to Alabama in 2011 to be executive director of the Alabama Republican Party.
The district includes all of Cherokee and Cleburne counties and small slices of Calhoun and DeKalb.
Both Shaver and Maloney started their campaigns nearly a year ago. Shaver shows she raised $6,570 in July 2017. Maloney raised $22,064 last June. Reports through May18 of this year show Maloney has raised $96,426 and Shaver $61,870.
But here is where the lines get blurred.
Maloney has gotten $43,145 from political action committees. The Business Council of Alabama gave $20,000. (Which is a good sign of where he will be regarding public education.)
PACs have donated $26,750 to Shaver. the Alabama Education Association gave $7,500, $1,500 came from trial lawyers and $2,500 from the Poarch Creek Indians (Let the record show that Maloney also got $1,500 from the trial lawyers PAC.).
But before you jump to conclusions about Shaver and her contribution from the Poarch Creek Indians, note that such Republican stalwarts as senators Jabo Waggoner, Jimmy Holley, Del Marsh, Shay Shelnutt and Steve Livingston also got money from the same source. And senate hopeful and currently state school board member Mary Scott Hunter got $10,000.
So what have we learned? That the old adage, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” is alive and well is a great place to start.