An open letter to Sen. Bishop

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dear Sen. Bishop:

Please resign from the Alabama State Senate.

It’s for your own good. It’s also for the good of the Alabama Senate, the Alabama Legislature, the State of Alabama, and people of Alabama.

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I did not arrive at this position easily but I am convinced it is the right thing to do. I want to share my reasons with you and the people of Alabama.

Sen. Bishop, I call on you to resign because you hit Sen. Lowell Barron on the Senate Floor.

You walked over to Senator Barron while he was sitting in his chair and cursed him. When he stood, you hit him up side the head with your fist.

This is a criminal assault. If you did this in a school, you would be suspended. If you did this at a ball park, you would be banned. If you did this in a bar, you would be jailed. If you did this in jail, you would be in solitary confinement. This is unacceptable anywhere in our society.

I call on you to resign because you refuse to apologize to Sen. Barron and the people of Alabama. You said you would do the same thing again under similar circumstances.

Sen. Bishop, I call on you to resign because you tried to make the victim into the perpetrator. Instead of admitting your wrong, you concocted a fiction claiming Sen. Barron “talked about my mama” and “called me a son of a bitch.” You know Sen. Barron never called you a “son of a bitch.” You know you cursed him before you hit him.

Some years ago, you threatened to whip me because I objected to you calling me “Big Boy.” You threatened Sen. Larry Dixon of Montgomery.

You invited a woman, Sen. Ann Bedsole of Mobile, out to fight. You raised your voice on the Senate Floor in a threatening manner toward Sen. Vivian Davis Figures.You invited Sen. Zeb Little, who is half your size, to go out of the Senate Chamber to fight. You pushed and hit Ann Payne’s campaign manager when you were running for agriculture commissioner some years ago.

Sen. Bishop, I call on you to resign because you are a danger to other senators, Senate staff, and all who may come in contact with you in and around the Senate.

Your very presence makes serving and working in the Alabama Senate a dangerous occupation.

I call on you to resign from the Senate because you have brought great shame on yourself, the Senate, the Legislature, the State of Alabama, the people of Alabama.

You have revived the violent ghosts of our past.

Alabama has worked too hard and made too much progress to have it cast away by your violent acts, bullish manner and unrepentant attitude. Until your act, it was recognized as the state of automotive success with Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota.

With one violent act, you have torn down what it has taken decades to build up.

The vivid image of you hitting Sen. Barron on the Senate Floor went around the world within hours.

Within a day, people in Spain and Turkey were calling about your act.

Everywhere I went, your violent acts on the Senate Floor were the subject of discussion.

Worse, it was the basis of ridicule of me and every senator. Sen. Bishop, I don’t know how we can repair the damage you have done.

I do know we can start by your resigning.

I hope you will heed these words and resign immediately.

Every day you wait enlarges the shame and intensifies the embarrassment.

Please resign now.

Sen. Hank Sanders