Can’t believe I missed this
Editor’s note: I’m from Alabama, but I live in Georgia. I find it’s easier to criticize Alabama’s shenanigans from a safe distance.
Montgomery Advertiser published this story on July 12 and I didn’t catch it until today. I wanted to flag it because it contains some meaningful analysis of the situation at hand.
It’s the first story connecting these three resignations that I’ve read in the mainstream Alabama media. That’s encouraging.
So let’s break this down …
Sebastian Kitchen toys with the idea that the three resignations of Jo Bonner, Beth Chapman and Jay Love are connected. He doesn’t see anything overtly linking the three. His position is understandable. After all, I couldn’t nail that part of it down either.
The timing of this is everything, from my point of view.
My intuition is what leads me to think these resignations aren’t coincidental, unless the Alabama GOP just really thought it was going to have a hard time running Rep. Bonner and Rep. Love again. Sec. Chapman is term limited.
If lining up an easy W in a congressional seat is the true motivation – politics! shock! gasp! snark! – then why not have the incumbents retire at the end of their terms and then hook them up with the lobbying job afterward? The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees is clearly quite fond of Rep. Bonner and his sister Judy. I think they could’ve found someone to pay $350,000 for one year while they waited for Rep. Bonner to finish doing what the voters elected him to do.
Rep. Bonner sponsored or co-sponsored millions in earmarks for the University of Alabama System. If UAS was so in need of his talents, wouldn’t the system have been better off with Rep. Bonner in Congress?
Rep. Bonner had spent a long time in Washington, so a retirement wouldn’t have been that surprising. If Bonner had taken the UAS job after his term had ended, it wouldn’t have raised so many red flags with me. It would’ve still been good ole boy nonsense, but I don’t think I would’ve invested this much of my time looking into it if the scenario had unfolded that way.
All of these officials will assume their new jobs at the beginning of August. If Beth Chapman’s desire was to be the breadwinner for her family, wouldn’t that have been her desire a few months ago? Why now, around the same time as Jay Love and Jo Bonner?
It’s possible that each official could have different motives. The individual motives don’t quite explain why each candidate picked nearly the exact same time to leave office before their terms were finished. Kitchen adds another twist by suggesting that Jay Love may just be giving the middle finger to Rep. Joe Hubbard, one of Alabama’s five remaining Democrats who is tagged by Berkeley scientists and monitored by a park ranger at all times.
That just seems like an awful lot of trouble on Rep. Love’s part, when it would be far easier to let the air out of Rep. Joe Hubbard’s tires or egg his house. Money might be the overriding consideration, but again, that timing thing.
If there’s some completely logical reason they would all want to be gone by the end of August, I would love to hear it.
Kitchen plays the issue cool by giving the coincidence theory a proper hearing. He has one line that kind of irked me.
Kitchen writes, “But I do not see any connection. I do not think Bonner, Chapman and Love are in some common inner circle or lunch group. But I could be wrong.”
Is the state Republican party no longer counting as a common inner circle these days? 🙂
Anyway, Kitchen wins a belated “Thanks for Pointing This Out” award from me and for presenting some alternate theories that are plausible. The lack of transparency surrounding Jo Bonner leads me to believe there’s something more going on.
Also, WSFA contributed to this discussion by reminding us that people have to follow laws. Thanks, WSFA. Did not know that.