2 years ago

Legend of Shorty Price: The Alabama politician who mooned Vols fans & took on George Wallace

There are a lot of words that could describe the current state of Alabama politics — depressing, infuriating, exasperating — but “entertaining” hasn’t come to mind lately.

Sure, Rep. Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) will occasionally grab the microphone in the State House and declare that men should be able to marry mules or exclaim “What’s wrong with the beer we got?” But for the most part, it’s a generally sad state of affairs.

Unfortunately this is nothing new. Alabama has a long history of putting crooks and liars in office. But there was also a time when Alabama politics was fun — or so I’ve been told.

For example, Alabama was once home to Shorty Price.

Here’s how a Tuscaloosa News editorial described him in 2009:

Price’s given name was Ralph but no one except newspaper writers ever called him anything but Shorty. He was only four feet and 12 inches tall, as he liked to say, but he never got lost in the shuffle. He was a household name in Alabama in the 1950s and ’60s.

Nobody ever accused Shorty of political success. He ran for a myriad of offices; sometimes he would recycle his old campaign posters, crossing out ‘governor’ and scrawling ‘lieutenant governor’ in its place. But he was elected only once — as an alternate delegate to the 1952 Democratic National Convention.

Price, a former college roommate of Gov. George Wallace, was Alabama football’s unofficial “Head Cheerleader” and, in spite of his diminutive stature, was a larger-than-life personality who ran for Governor of Alabama in 1958, 1970, 1974 and 1978. He never garnered more than 2% of the vote, but he at least had a good time running.

He got so fired up at an Alabama-Tennessee football game during one election cycle that he decided to moon the entire UT fan base sitting on the other side of the stadium. He was later charged with public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. But upon hearing the story, the local judge just laughed, charged him a $125 fine and said, “See you next fall.”

His campaign slogan was “Shorty, Shorty, he’s our man! George Wallace belongs in the garbage can!”

Check him out in this short, classic television special on him by late Alabama journalist Bob Ingram.

(More after the video)

Mr. Price was tragically killed in a car crash in 1980 while on his way to Jackson, Mississippi, to see the Tide take on Mississippi State. The final score that day was 6-3 Bulldogs — an especially sad day for the Crimson Tide faithful, and a sad day for everyone in the state who wishes Alabama politics could be a little more fun and a little less depressing.


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50 mins ago

AlabamaWorks! is holding a career event for students to learn about jobs in the state

Edie Gibson and Antiqua Cleggett talk “Worlds of Work at SkillsUSA” which will be held April 24-25 at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Complex.

Worlds of Work at SkillsUSA is designed to help 8-12th grade students “connect the dots” and clearly identify steps toward a college or career pathway as they enter their high school education.

More information is available here.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

2 hours ago

Wounded Warrior running for Alabama State House representing Chambers and Lee Counties

Back in 2003, while U.S. Army Specialist Todd Rauch and his buddies were patrolling the streets of Abu Ghraib, an Iraqi city made famous by its notorious prison, a remotely-detonated mortar exploded near his patrol. His right shoulder and hand were severely injured in the blast.

Rauch was eventually flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and endured 12 surgeries to save his limbs from amputation.

He is now running as a Republican for the State House of Representatives district representing Chambers and Lee Counties.

So how did this Illinois-native find himself running for office in Alabama?

While recovering at the hospital, Rauch’s roommate was from Fort Payne and “all he talked about was Auburn and Auburn and Auburn,” Rauch told Yellowhammer News.


Rauch soon recovered from his injuries, and then his plans for a transition to civilian life became all about … Auburn, Auburn, Auburn.

“I applied to Auburn and felt like it was a good place to get a fresh start,” he said

Rauch studied psychology at Auburn University, with the intention of working in veteran services or military intelligence. He then worked for a time as an intelligence analyst and then began working in veterans’ services, helping his brothers and sisters in arms receive the benefits they were promised.

He’s running on a platform strengthening communities.

Rauch has a firm conviction that a community’s representative ought to be more present in the community itself, something he said he hasn’t seen much at the 75 city and county commission meetings he has attended over the last few years.

“I realized that there was no one there who was representing us in Montgomery to take those voices and those issue and those problems to Montgomery,” he said.

Rauch has put improving jobs and education among his platform principles.

He is a stanch supporter of the community college system, of which both he and his wife are products.

“It’s a good and affordable way to get your education and to get experience in college without jumping into a four-year university,” he said.

Rauch also supports expanding broadband access to rural areas. He said it is critical to the development of rural areas that have little internet and cell service.

“You’re not able to do your banking,” he said. “Some of these people aren’t even able to have home security systems because some of that works off of cell service.”

With the campaign motto, “Community. Country. Service,” Rauch said he wants to work to improve life for his constituents, and by extension, the rest of the state and country.

“Focusing on the community creates better environment for the kids, inspires better leaders, and provides better community for our state, and provides a better state for our country,” he said.

The GOP primary is June 5.

(Image: Todd Rauch for Alabama/Facebook)

The conservative alternative to Martha Roby gains momentum as Terry Everett, lawmakers endorse Barry Moore

State Rep. Barry Moore’s campaign for Congress recently received strong endorsements from the district’s former congressman and a dozen of Alabama’s most conservative state lawmakers.

“Since I left Congress, government has grown, our representation has wavered, and District 2 values have been casted aside,” said former Republican Congressman Terry Everett, who represented the district from 1993-2009. “We need to make a change, and I am privileged to support Representative Barry Moore for Congress.”

Everett’s powerful endorsement comes days after 12 of the state’s most conservative lawmakers gathered in Montgomery to endorse Barry Moore, whose conservative record they witnessed firsthand while working alongside him in the State Legislature.

Wetumpka State Rep. Mike Holmes told reporters that the district has “an opportunity to send a strong, unapologetic conservative to Washington,” and Montgomery State Rep. Dimitri Polizos agreed, saying that Moore is a “proven conservative leader” who will “stand with President Trump and give our district the representation it deserves.”

Visit Barry Moore’s website, his Facebook page and @RepBarryMoore on Twitter to learn why Terry Everett and others believe in his vision to Make Alabama Great Again!

(Paid for by Barry Moore for Congress)

5 hours ago

David Limbaugh: Hillary’s hateful harangue

Hillary Clinton’s abhorrent remarks in Mumbai, India, last week warrant our attention because, like it or not, they represent the thinking of a large swath of the modern Democratic Party.

But my aim is not to highlight Clinton’s never-ending catalog of excuses for losing the presidential election, except to note that rather than blame everyone and everything but herself, she should apologize for stealing the nomination. If she hadn’t done that, she wouldn’t have to blame anyone.


She should also have to answer for FISA-gate, but I don’t want to waste space demonstrating Clinton’s unfitness for office — because I have little fear she’ll run again, and Democrats surely aren’t crazy enough to indulge her if she tries.

Instead, let’s review her disgraceful tirade in Mumbai, in which she blamed Americans’ racism and misogyny for her election loss.

“We do not do well with white men, and we don’t do well with married white women,” said Clinton. “And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

Hold the phone. Do you see the rich irony here? “Hear me roar” Hillary is impugning the independence and courage of women — the very people she is pretending to defend against our GOP misogyny? Seeing as she is maligning men, wouldn’t it be prudent not to insult the other half of the human race at the same time? I know few men who don’t have a higher opinion of women than this female liberal icon is displaying here.

You know darn well that Bill Clinton has a devil of a time persuading Hillary to do what she doesn’t want to do — unless it will advance her interests. So why would she assume that other women would be any less independent?

Sure, you can say she isn’t talking about all women — just white wives of Republican men — but what difference, at this point, does it make? There are way too many white GOP wives to pretend they are an exception to the norm. If GOP men are so evil, why did so many women marry them? Are they evil themselves, Mrs. Clinton? Or are they just gullible, malleable, soulless or weak? Choosing any of those options would reveal egregious disrespect for millions upon millions of women, which shatters Clinton’s argument to smithereens.

The India Today interviewer asked Clinton why 52 percent of white women voted for Trump despite the “Access Hollywood” tape showing him using vulgar language about women. I guess that even though the host is balding and graying, he is too young to realize how awkward this question was for the spouse of our former commander in heat, Bill Clinton. Then again, Hillary didn’t flinch before launching into her next set of progressive talking points.

“I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product,” she said. “So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards.”

Not only is Clinton doubling down on her “deplorables” slander of Trump supporters. She is confirming the Obama-Clinton progressive view of America: Its best days are in the past. Settle in for economic malaise, because that’s the best you’re going to get. For if you want a government that isn’t hostile to business and entrepreneurship and that will reduce the tax and regulatory burden on America and unleash its engine of free market growth, you are “backwards.”

But the real kicker was Clinton’s summary of Trump’s supposed message to voters: “You know, you didn’t like black people getting rights. You didn’t like women, you know, getting jobs. You don’t want (to), you know, see that Indian-Americans (are) succeeding more than you are.”

You know, you know, you know? No, we don’t know. You ought to be ashamed, Mrs. Clinton, especially for lying when you apologized for calling us deplorables and said we are driven by “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” beliefs. You meant it then, and you mean it now.

But again, my beef isn’t with Clinton. It’s with the Democratic Party proper, which has long been cynically peddling this very message in direct and subtle ways to alienate minority voters from the Republican Party, whose policies are manifestly more conducive to their economic well-being. For starters, go back and look at the racially charged statements Obama sprinkled throughout his terms in office.

Sadly, this messaging works; I have seen too much evidence of it in my adult life to rationally deny it. The Democratic Party is running out of effective ideas, so it increasingly resorts to race baiting, gender shaming and other forms of intentionally divisive identity politics.

The racism smear is an evil cousin of racism itself because it falsely and negatively stereotypes groups of people and demeans their human decency and dignity. It does incalculable damage to the groups it vilifies and is corrosive to our society because it subverts racial harmony. And it certainly does minorities no favors to deceive them into suspecting that half the people in the country are somehow prejudiced against them.

But I have a feeling this shtick is losing its mojo. Under President Trump, the Republican Party is finally learning to fight back and defend itself against such slurs and showcase the superiority of its policies for all people, including minorities.

(Image: Fox News/YouTube)

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. 

(Creators, copyright 2018)

6 hours ago

Alabama’s civil asset forfeiture reform effort takes a turn towards creating a public database on property seizures

Last week State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Birmingham) introduced the Forfeiture Database and Reporting Act to create a central repository of data on asset forfeitures to provide lawmakers and citizens with easily accessible information on the practice.

The bill would require law enforcement to report information about the seizures that include, among others, the date of property seizure, the type of property seized, the location of the seizure, and the type of underlying criminal offense that led to the seizure.

Mooney’s bill is the culmination of months-long efforts by concerned lawmakers, the Alabama Policy Institute (API) and other state and national organizations to reform civil asset forfeiture in Alabama. 


Last November, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) invited Jordan Richardson of the Charles Koch Institute and Lee McGrath of the Institute for Justice – two individuals working nationally on asset forfeiture reform – to take part in a a bi-partisan, roundtable discussion on this issue of asset forfeiture for lawmakers and others interested in the issue.

“API and SPLC don’t agree on 99 percent of stuff, but we do agree that we need to monitor civil asset forfeiture,” said Leigh Hixon, Alabama Policy Institute’s senior director of policy relations, in an interview with Yellowhammer News.

Cases like that of Frank Ranelli, who had 130 computers seized from his Birmingham computer repair business in 2010 on suspicion that he was dealing in stolen merchandise, have spurred bipartisan efforts to reform the asset forfeiture practice. Ranelli proved that the merchandise was not stolen, but his property was never returned to him.

In January, State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) introduced the Alabama Forfeiture Accountability and Integrity Reform Act to prevent such cases from happening. The bill received bipartisan support but was rejected by groups alligned with Alabama’s law enforcement community.

The presidents of the Alabama District Attorneys Association and the Alabama Sheriffs Association pushed back against Orr’s legislation earlier this legislative session, penning an op-ed at Yellowhammer News which said that the legislation would “essentially gut” one of law enforcements best tools used for fighting crime.

Defending the practice of asset forfeiture against charges of seizing the property of innocents, they wrote, “Law enforcement uses civil asset forfeiture only to go after criminals, and state law already guarantees a process that is clear and fair for any person to challenge forfeiture in court.”

Leigh Hixon said sponsors of the legislature were not comfortable with passing legislation without the support of law enforcement, so they began crafting a proposal in consort with law enforcement that would create a state-wide repository of data on forfeitures.

“To maintain the public’s trust in law enforcement, the government’s power to seize and forfeit private property must be exercised with transparency,” Alabama District Attorneys Association said in a statement on Friday expressing its support for Mooney’s bill.

The Southern Poverty Law Center does not support Mooney’s bill, which it argues does not do enough to reform the practice of asset forfeiture.

Conservative legislators and policy experts clearly have some disagreement with law enforcement about asset forfeiture, but some agree that creating a data system will help maintain public trust in law enforcement, as well as make data available to better inform arguments about the practice.

“Citizens and politicians will have that data available to make the determination for how to move forward on policy in the future,” Hixon said.