Lackluster options top ballot

Published 12:48 am Sunday, October 24, 2010

We are a people who like good flavor. We like spice. We like seasoning.

But, when it comes to the race to be Alabama’s next governor, we have a low fat, no salt, no sugar added bowl of plain oatmeal.

We have two candidates who do little to raise the excitement level of the state’s electorate beyond a courteous yawn.

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In the candidates — Dr. Robert Bentley, the Republican’s mediocre candidate, and Ron Sparks, the Democrat’s lack-luster nominee — we have an option on Tuesday, Nov. 2 that amounts to not the lesser of two evils, but the lesser of two “lessers.”

This campaign season has not proven to shake out the best candidates for Alabama, but proved once again the King-making capabilities of the state’s largest special interest groups.

The mere fact that Sparks and Bentley made it to the general election is a sad sign for things to come in Alabama politics when the best and brightest amongst us — those who would make the much-needed, dramatic changes our state needs — are either incapable of winning because they would shake up the status quo or are unwilling to step into the political arena because they see just how toxic state politics have become.

And, aside from either candidate’s lack of passion and new ideas, is the disappointing fact neither candidate has shown one ounce of interest in Alabama’s Black Belt or the tremendous issues facing our area.

If you disagree, point out the last time either candidate — after winning their party’s nomination — made a stop in Selma — the Black Belt’s largest city. If you disagree, show proof from either candidate on any plan they have to help the Black Belt’s economic environment.

The reason you can’t give details on a campaign stop or give clear explanation of one of the candidate’s positions is because neither candidate has made the effort to earn any of our votes or garner any of our support. They have not made one stop here and they have done little more than afford simple lip service to the Black Belt area.

It is for these reasons, that today we endorse neither candidate for governor. With a good, clear conscious, we cannot write any reason either of these candidates deserve our endorsement or deserve your vote.

This is not to say we call on voters to stay home. Quite the contrary. Nothing is more important than the Constitutionally given right to cast a ballot, but in this race, we cannot distinguish which candidate would be better — or worse — for Alabama’s future.

It is our hope that whichever candidate becomes Alabama’s governor that they have more passion for the Black Belt and all of Alabama than what they have shown during this campaign.