New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told WCNY radio host Susan Arbetter over the weekend that “extreme conservatives” who are “right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay,” have “no place in the state of New York.”
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley responded to Cuomo’s comments, saying “We will protect the Freedoms of individuals and welcome any one or any company to Alabama.”
Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard also chimed in. “If (Gov. Cuomo) doesn’t want hard working pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment people in his state, we will gladly take them here in Alabama,” Hubbard said.
At least one conservative New Yorker has already indicated he will be leaving the state because of Cuomo’s comments. New York native Sean Hannity said he’s planning to leave The Empire State for good in favor of a lower-tax state, probably in the south.
“Now I want to tell you something – I was born and raised in New York,” Hannity said. “I want you to know that and I can’t wait to get out of here. I really can’t. I don’t want to pay their 10-percent state tax anymore. I live in the second-highest property taxed county in the entire country in Nassau County. I can’t wait to sell my house to somebody who wants it.
Now personally, I welcome anyone to come down to Alabama — regardless of their political beliefs — to experience firsthand why this is the greatest state in the country.
But all of this got me thinking, what if we could just come to some sort of agreement with the State of New York? What if we could make some trades? We’ll send some of our leftwing liberals up north in return for the handful of conservatives they have.
And so, with that, I present to you The Great Alabama — New York Trade of 2014.
Alabama’s investment guru David Bronner has headed up the Retirement Systems of Alabama for over four decades. He grew RSA into one of the largest pension funds in the country. Unfortunately, the RSA has had a tough run of late, requiring a hefty investment from the taxpayers to prop it up. Bronner has found himself on the wrong side of conservatives in recent months by being one of the state’s biggest advocates of expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare. A handful of Democrats have even publicly stated their desire for him to be their Party’s nominee for governor, although Bronner’s never expressed any interest in that himself.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump‘s net worth has risen to an estimated $3.5 billion. As the Chairman and President of The Trump Organization, he oversees some of the country’s largest real estate investments and a brand licensing juggernaut. His television show The Apprentice and its spinoffs have experienced a 13 season run as one of TV’s biggest hits. Predictably, he’s back in the news today stoking speculation that he may run for President in 2016 as a Republican.
An eccentric investor who publicly pushes for the expansion of the welfare state in exchange for another eccentric investor who champions the free market? Trade accepted.
Birmingham’s two most prominently featured liberal editorial writers, Joey Kennedy and John Archibald, have been delivering almost daily body blows to Alabama conservatives for a long time. Kennedy is the poster boy for the Birmingham News’ struggles to adapt to the digital age. He’s been noticeably absent from the public discourse lately, but he’s spent years talking down to his audience and berating them for being racists and stuck in the past. Archibald’s pessimism and disdain for the state he lives in is palpable in pretty much everything he writes.
Conservative talker Sean Hannity, who actually spent some time in Alabama in the past as a host on north Alabama talk staion WVNN, is a New York native who’s ready to get out. His radio show went into national syndication in 2001, and has since become one of the most listened to radio broadcasts in the country. His nightly television show has been a staple on Fox News since 2007. He’s also penned a couple of New York Times best-selling books.
We’re quite certain Kennedy and Archibald would be better received in New York, and Hannity would fit in much better in our neck of the woods.
While we’re at it, let’s just go ahead and trade the entire Birmingham News for The New York Post.
The Birmingham News is the largest newspaper in Alabama. In 2012, The News moved from a daily to a thrice-weekly paper as a result of declining revenue and circulation. It’s currently trying to sell its $20 million office building and is hemorrhaging talent as it struggles to become a digital media company.
The News Corp-owned New York Post describes itself as the nation’s oldest continuously published daily paper. It was started in 1801 by federalist Alexander Hamilton, but is now NYC’s conservative alternative the The New York Times. It has the seventh largest circulation in the country.
Alabamians seem to be doing just fine with the option to read Yellowhammer online, but if we’ve got to have a print publication, it might as well be The Post instead of The News.
Democrat Roger Bedford has been in the Alabama State Senate since 1982. He’s legendary for his crafty political maneuvering on the Senate floor and behind-the-scenes. But he’s also one of the last remnants of a time in the Alabama legislature to which conservative Alabamians hope we never return.
Rudy Giuliani became known as “America’s Mayor” for his deft handling of New York City in the aftermath of 9/11. Prior to that, President Reagan appointed him to be U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. During that time period, Guliani almost singlehandedly took down the Mafia in New York City, as well as other high profile white collar criminals and drug dealers. He ultimately ran an ill-fated presidential campaign in 2008 before returning to the private sector where he remains a partner in one of the top management and security consulting firms in the country.
We’ll gladly send Bedford up north in return for America’s Mayor.
Cullman, Ala. native Channing Tatum made it big in Hollywood after his breakout role in the 2006 dance movie Step Up. He has gone on to be in two G.I. Joe movies, Dear John (2010), The Vow (2012) and 21 Jump Street (2012), among other films. Oh, you didn’t know he was from Alabama? Here’s another little known fact about Tatum. He was in Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” music video back in 2000.
As if that’s not enough to send Tatum packing, he also had some choice words for potential conservative fans. “If they don’t like me because I voted for Obama, then f–k them,” Tatum said in 2009. I like horses and I like Obama. Nothin’ wrong with that.”
Robert Downey, Jr. is a Manhattan native who worked his way onto the Hollywood A-List, thanks in part to his roles as Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes. After a tough childhood “surrounded by drugs,” Downey was arrested in the mid-90s on multiple drug charges and ended up in a state prison in California. He now credits that experience with shaping his conservative political views.
“I have a really interesting political point of view, and it’s not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here,” Downey said. “You can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can’t. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics every since.”
Downey also recently took the stage with Sting and absolutely killed it.
Giving up one of Hollywood’s most obnoxious stars in return for a super hero? Yea, that’ll work.
Mountain Brook, Ala. native Courteney Cox became one of the biggest television stars in history thanks to her role as Monica Geller on the hit NBC sitcom Friends. She’s appeared in countless other movies and television shows, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the Scream movies, and The Longest Yard on the big screen, as well as Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live and Scrubs on TV. She’s such a big fan of Barack Obama that her and her then-husband David Arquette hosted an Obama victory party at their Beverly Hills home after he defeated Mitt Romney in 2012.
Jon Voight is Hollywood royalty. He sprang to stardom in the early 1970s after starring in Deliverance. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in the 1978 film Coming Home about a paraplegic Vietnam vet. He was born in Yonkers, New York in 1938 and has been in too many films to even begin to list them all. He’s also the father of Angelina Jolie. Not bad, Mr. Voight.
As for his political views, Voight’s come a long way since appearing alongside Jane Fonda in support of leftists groups in the ’70s. He has become a staunch conservative and a supporter of the Tea Party movement. Check out the letter he read to the American people on Mike Huckabee’s television show in 2010.
We’ll gladly give up a Hollywood liberal who’s struggled to remain relevant in return for a Tea Party-loving, Academy Award winning actor with a body of work spanning a half century.
Radric Davis, better known by his stage name Gucci Mane, was born in Birmingham, Ala. in 1980. His 2005 independent debut album, which included the song “Icy,” put him on the map, especially in the south. He’s been involved in so many legal shenanigans between 2000 and 2013 that Wikipedia had to devote an entire multi-part, bullet-pointed section to them all. His song “Lemonade” featured what some critiques called “the worst rap lyrics of all time.” His 2010 mixtape was titled, “Burrock Obama.”
James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J is one of the best selling hip-hop artists of all-time and has had a career spanning three decades. He’s also had an extensive acting career, including a starring role in Any Given Sunday and a recurring role on CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles.
Smith is a self-identified independent, but he actively campaigned for New York Governor George Pataki, a fiscally conservative but socially liberal Republican. He also attended the 2004 Republican National Convention.
Trading one of rap’s worst lyricists for a pop culture icon who’s campaigned for Republicans? Sure, we’ll do that.
Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims