Various Campaign News

Two judicial candidates are in the news.

First,

Cullman County District Judge Terri Willingham Thomas, Republican nominee for the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, was recently photographed at a meeting of the Council of Conservative Citizens, considered a racist organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Thomas told the Montgomery Advertiser that she doesn’t know anything about the organization and attended the meeting only to hear a history lesson on Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Uh-huh. Right. Sure. I gave her the benefit of the doubt when this story broke:

Terri Willingham Thomas, the Republican nominee for Place 3 on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, has come under scrutiny because her parents were linked to the Klan as late as the 1980s.

The Democratic Party has asked Thomas for a statement about her connections to the Ku Klux Klan and Council of Conservative Citizens, since her father won an award in 1993 from the latter group, reported to be a white supremacist organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

So her dad won an award from the same group of losers whose history lesson she just attended and about whom she now claims to know nothing. This is not a very nice group, either. Here are the Council of Conservative Citizens’ core beliefs:

We believe that the United States of America is a Christian country, that its people are a Christian people, and that its government and public leaders at all levels must reflect Christian beliefs and values. . . .

We believe that the United States derives from and is an integral part of European civilization and the European people and that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character.

We therefore oppose the massive immigration of non-European and non-Western peoples into the United States that threatens to transform our nation into a non-European majority in our lifetime.

We believe that illegal immigration must be stopped, if necessary by military force and placing troops on our national borders; that illegal aliens must be returned to their own countries; and that legal immigration must be severely restricted or halted through appropriate changes in our laws and policies.

We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.

It would not be fair to attribute the sins of the parent to the child, but when the child hangs out with the same bunch of theocratic racists who had previously commended the parent’s racism it begins to look like the child has adopted the sins of the parent. The child in this situation – Judge Thomas – had better do some serious repudiating, and soon.

Second, The Decatur Daily’s editorial board interviewed Alabama Chief Justice wannabe Judge Sue Bell Cobb. It’s mostly her attempts at catchy phrases, like this one contrasting her and current chief justice Drayton Nabers:

“There will rarely be a more distinct separation of qualifications,” Cobb said. “A woman who spent her whole life in the courtroom or a man who spent his life in an insurance boardroom.”

Granted, but why does that matter? Probably half, or more, of the CJ’s responsibilities are administrative or supervisory in nature. So if anything I would guess that being a big wig at a major corporation could actually better prepare a person for the job than would being a trial judge.

Similarly silly is this one:

“Drayton Nabers is a fine person, but he hasn’t seen what I’ve seen. He hasn’t sentenced rapists and murderers,” Cobb said. “You don’t learn this stuff out of a book.”

Supreme Court Justices don’t sentence anyone. They may on a rare occasion reverse a death sentence because it was unconstitutionally imposed, but they do not sentence people like trial judges do. And yes, you do need book learnin’ to be a judge. Your job is to keep the law coherent and just. You need to understand it in order to do that. That comes from study and hard thinking, not the vagueries of individual experiences.  

To be fair, she does have some good ideas:

Many of the specifics Cobb said she would address differently than Nabers has, involve the residue from the tenure of deposed Chief Justice Roy Moore. She sharply criticizes Moore for revising judicial rules in ways that she said tend to reduce judicial accountability.

She criticizes Nabers for not undoing those changes.

Her main concern is a rule change that eliminated the anonymity of those who assert complaints against judges. She said the Moore-orchestrated change makes it nearly impossible for those most likely to know of judicial improprieties — parties and lawyers with cases before the judge in question — to complain.

In any other context, I would oppose the idea of anonymous complaints. But judges have a unique ability to penalize anyone who criticizes them. So allowing complainants to remain anonymous – for at least part of the process – sounds like a good compromise. I would like to hear her entire plan, though.

Finally, Lucy Baxley. The ad is here, some of the facts and Riley’s response are here. From what I understand, the fact is that Bob Riley took money from gambling interests. To that I say, and I think most people would say, “big deal.” But he is anti-gambling and has said he never took the money. The debate is whether or not he knew it was gambling money. The ad says yes he did, and so it criticizes him for being deceptive. 

Weak, but fair enough. I concur with Dan’s opinion of the ad: 

Regardless of that, it is a little better, in my opinion, than the attack ad against Baxley. At least this ad attempts to have some facts and is talking about real policy. The Baxley attack ad was nothing but, “Lucy Baxley– John Kerry, liberal, liberal, liberal, Hillary Clinton, inspiration?, inspiration?, inspiration?, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton. Riley– conservative agenda, tax cuts, historic education funding. Lucy Baxley– liberal, liberal, liberal, liberal.”

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12 Comments on “Various Campaign News”


  1. […] to this post in Varioius Campaign News Filed under Elections permalink :: email author :: 1 comment Comments to “Rileyresponds” […]


  2. […] to this post in Various Campaign News Filed under Elections permalink :: email author :: 4 comments Comments to “Thevideo” […]


  3. […] Despite the CCC’s claim that SPLC is the real hate group, here is what their “manifest” claims (courtesy of The Alablawg): We believe that the United States of America is a Christian country, that its people are a Christian people, and that its government and public leaders at all levels must reflect Christian beliefs and values. . . . […]

  4. Dan Says:

    Don’t mind me — I’m just pingbacking away. Good post, by the way. Thanks for linking to the interview with Cobb. I had missed that one.

    I’m kinda torn between the two. I’ll probably go for Nabors, but I want to see how much more pandering he’s going to do for the religious right before I say for sure. Hopefully that’s all over now that he’s beaten Parker.

  5. wheeler Says:

    that’s pretty much my take. by all accounts he’s fair minded, professional, and has done a fine job with the adminsitrative stuff. with no need to pander, i’m sure he’ll stick to the merits.

  6. Wheelwright Einstein Says:

    Ah, if the Southern ‘Poverty’ law center said it, it MUST be true.

    We should lynch her for daring to support a politically incorrect group. Her lack of tolerance is disturbing.

  7. wheeler Says:

    hey chief,

    i don’t think the ccc is scum because the splc says they are scum. i think the ccc is scum because of the quotes which i took from the ccc’s own website.

    and if by “lynch her for daring to support a politically incorrect group” you mean not voting for her because she holds racist and theocratic ideals, then i agree. no one who thinks one race is inherently superior to another or who thinks there should be a religious test for public office ought to be a judge.

    racial segregation and theocracy are not just politically incorrect, they are incorrect. wrong. evil. stupid. if you do not see that, you’re the one with the problem.

    she may or may not hold such despicable views, but if not, she needs to say so loudly, clearly and soon.

  8. Dan Says:

    Hey Einstein, is your other name Larry Darby by chance?

  9. Kathy Says:

    Wow, Larry’s come up with another pseudonym. I think he needs to get his own blog.

    I’m impressed with Cobb because she does have lots of judicial experience, but husband worked with Drayton for years and thinks highly of him. Looks to me like we have two good options, which is somewhat unusual in Alabama.

  10. wheeler Says:

    and makes for a boring campaign season.

  11. Kathy Says:

    Well, yeah, but I’m the anomaly who loves politics but hates campaign ads.


  12. […] First, vote AGAINST Terri Willingham Thomas for the Court of Civil Appeals.  Essentially, she has close ties to some very racist orginazations, and far from repudiating those ties, she has recently been photographed at meetings of those organizations.  You can get the full story here. She has also used campaign materials to mislead people about her work experience. […]


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