It is time to get on with government

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 17, 2002

Don Siegelman and Bob Riley say the both want what is fair and best for Alabama.

Unfortunately, they can’t agree on what is the best thing for us. Riley thinks he won the election and should be Alabama’s next governor. Siegleman thinks he won.

Riley’s position is much stronger because he ended the night of Nov. 5 ahead in the vote count. It’s now Nov. 17 and Riley is still ahead in votes.

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It’s hard to believe that almost three weeks have passed since the election. Little has changed and Alabama is in limbo as these two try to work the system and maneuver a political victory out of what was a very close election.

Siegelman appears desperate. He declared victory the night of the election only to end the night behind in votes. Siegelman started his protest the next day by disputing the totals in Baldwin County. We agree that the results out of Baldwin County are confusing and do need to be re-checked.

Now Siegelman wants a recount of the entire state. Riley is trying to block a recount through the Republican-dominated Supreme Court.

We don’t need a statewide recount. We suggest a recount of votes in the Baldwin County precincts in dispute. We do not support a recount of the entire state.

Siegelman moved toward alienating his support when he said this week that many of his supporters were poor and thus confused by the balloting system. This wasn’t intended as an insult to the poor but sure could be taken that way.

Siegelman is clinging to an old liberal belief that citizens are helpless without government intervention. That old message is tired and is as stale as this election controversy is getting to be. It’s unfortunate that Siegelman has to reach for this kind of crutch.

Alabama needs to move forward on this issue. Little will get done in state government until we decide on a governor.

We suggest a recount of Baldwin County and a certification of the election. Then either Siegelman or Riley needs to ride off into the sunset.