Citizens deserve better from officials

Published 11:29pm Tuesday, July 16, 2013

By David Colston

State Representative for the 69th district

 

Alabama State Rep. Jay Love (R-Montgomery) has announced that he will be officially resigning from his position in the Alabama Legislature effective Aug. 1. He has stated that he will be leaving the legislature to “promote education reform” and to take advantage of a business proposition that he could not pass up.

However, this news comes as a shock to many. Love’s resignation has come shortly after a series of political attack adds. The most recent occurred in June as a mailer that was sent out to citizens residing in his district. It depicted Love and an adult novelty store with the slogan “Jay Love Stuff, More Bang for Your Buck”. The campaign was published by the Foundation for Education Accountability based in Georgia. This has foreshadowed what will be a grueling 2014 election season.

Rep. Love has faced many controversial issues in the 2013 legislative session. Love proclaims he supports Alabama public education, yet this is not the case. In the 2013 session Love pushed the Alabama Accountability Act through the legislature. It has not helped a single student. Love pushed this bill through in order for wealthy individuals, like himself, to benefit from a tax credit.

Love’s resignation is now coming just four months after the backdoor dealing that crafted the Accountability Act. Love’s plans to continue education reforms through the “private sector” will continue to ruin public education for Alabama.

Republicans in the Alabama Legislature are trying to sugarcoat and top this as a productive and beneficial move for education. The people of Alabama are being misled and need to know the truth.

Republican representative do not care about our children’s education. Republicans priorities lie with the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) and with the wealthy. Republicans in Alabama do not stand for the common citizen.

We cannot sit back and continue to let Republicans control our government. The real reason Love is leaving the legislature proves the nasty truth. Love is leaving his seat in order to profit from the exploitation and destruction of public education.

Republicans passed the Accountability Act, which basically invites in for-profit charter and distance learning schools in Alabama. This is another blow to public education.

However, for people like Love, for-profit school industry means money and a lot of it.

It is apparent that we have people in the Alabama Legislature that are out for money. They are passing bills that benefit them, not the citizens of Alabama. This means trouble for Alabama and creates setbacks that will take years to fix.

Love’s resignation along will cost Alabama taxpayers at least 60,000 dollars to hold a special election according to Judge Steven Reed who recently spoke out regarding Love’s announcement.

Many are calling that Love violated Alabama Code §36-25-13 which states, “No public official shall serve for a fee as a lobbyist or otherwise represent clients, including his or her employer before the board, agency, commission, department, or legislative body, of which he or she is a former member for a period of two years after he or she leaves such membership.”

Alabama Ethics Commissioner Jim Sumner has refused to comment regarding Love’s more than questionable actions.

Love will gain profit from his actions in the Alabama Legislature. After facing several controversies and the opposition of State Rep. Joe Hubbard (D) in the newly revamped District 74, Love would not likely win in 2014. So, he opts to offer his resignation in order to profit from his bad legislation.

The citizens of Alabama deserve better from their elected officials. We must hold them accountable. We can no longer allow public education to be abused for the profit of others. The future of Alabama is priority. Therefore, representatives like Love should not be given seats in the Alabama State House. We need representatives who will put education and economic development as priorities and who will be honest with the citizens of Alabama.

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