Ainsworth on decision to oppose Mobile toll: ‘Republicans didn’t go out and elect us to do liberal things’
Tuesday during an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth explained his decision to publicly oppose the Alabama Department of Transportation’s proposed toll on the new Interstate 10 Mobile Bay Bridge.
A day earlier, Ainsworth released a video declaring he would be “proudly casting a ‘no’ vote” as a member of the Alabama Toll Road, Bridge, and Tunnel Authority.
Ainsworth told WVNN’s Dale Jackson the proposal contradicted the wishes of voters that put a GOP supermajority in place in both chambers of the Alabama legislature and in every statewide constitutional office.
“We didn’t elect a supermajority of Republicans in the House, the Senate and every constitutional office in the state,” Ainsworth said. “Republicans didn’t go out and elect us to do liberal things. And it’s got to stop. So I decided to speak up. I decided to bring attention to this issue to wake up the people of Alabama because I can promise you this: The people of Alabama are not in support of this project by a huge margin. And when they find out the details, we’ve got to make sure we stop it.”
“So that’s why I decided to act,” he continued. “It’s not a conservative position. It’s not a conservative policy. And there’s certainly a lot of things we can do … but the fact that John Cooper is acting like it is basically his way or the highway – that is not what people got elected [for]. Think about it Dale, the overwhelming majority of the people that serve in the [legislature] are Republicans. They expect us to do conservative things and we’ve lost sight of that.”
Ainsworth, who hails from North Alabama’s Marshall County, which is at the opposite end of the state of the proposed project, said the burden the toll would put on working families was unfair.
“When you look at the cost – I want you to think about this Dale — $1,080 per person,” he added. “If you got two people in the family that work — $2,200 a year just to go to work on top of all the other taxes we pay. Somebody who is making $25,000 to $30,000 – we cannot do that to our citizens. We get elected in Alabama to represent every constituent. I’m just telling you that is not fair to the people of Mobile and Baldwin County and I’m going to fight it as hard as I can.”