The Debates

The debate, actually. I did not watch the goober or assistant goober debate. Both were formalities, the former because the outcome of the election is assured, and the latter because the outcome of the election does not matter. I did, though, watch the AG debate. It looks like all the non-partisan Alabama bloggers think Tyson won, and I agree with them. You can follow that link for a roundup of opinions, I’ll add a few thoughts here.

First, my jaw dropped when King criticized Tyson for entering plea bargains with defendants. As a criminal defense attorney and civil libertarian, I would absolutely wholeheartedly rejoice if the state of Alabama suddenly decided that there would be no more plea bargains. If the state had to empanel a jury for every single arrest made in this state, the entire criminal justice system would explode. There is no way the current system could handle the exponential increase in costs that would result from mandating full blown trials for every arrest. The only options would be spending an ENORMOUS amount of money to build new courthouses, hire thousands of new employees, and pay hundreds of new judges, or else drastically cutting back on the number of arrests. Given the costs of the first option, the second is the likely result. Some way to fight crime there Troy.

Second, what I really like about Tyson is he doesn’t suffer from the same simplistic thought processes that King does. Last night King continued his attack on Tyson’s early intervention programs. In King’s mind, identifying kids who might end up as criminal defendants and trying to help them avoid that fate is being soft on crime. But it isn’t. As Tyson recognizes, and as he explained last night, it’s being smart on crime. Implementing these kinds of programs certainly does not mean that those who do commit crimes will get away with their misdeeds; it means there will be less people committing crimes in the first place.  

I don’t like Troy King. I think he’s an ideologue. I think he’s a simpleton. I think he’s a grandstanding fool. I think he’s petty minded and irresponsible. I think he’s an embarrassment to Alabama and the practice of law. Go put “Troy King” into the search box on the side bar and you’ll find the reasons for these thoughts. Nothing in last night’s debate changed my attitude about him.

So what about Tyson? He did not say anything new last night, but there was no need for him to make a spectacular showing. I would probably vote for anyone with a pulse rather than Troy King. Nevertheless, I think Tyson does have some good ideas and would make a fine AG. I like the idea of early interventions. His guarded answer to the death penalty question makes me think he will approach the issue with the seriousness it deserves. His practical experience, I hope, will lead him to focus on the day to day issues of the job and avoid King’s sorry use of the office as a soapbox for various culture war issues. Tyson just seems like a much more level headed and reasonable person. IMHO, right now he is the best choice for AG.

Updates: Jeff has the full roundup of blogger and newspaper coverage. He doesn’t include me. Probably because I hinted that partisan loyalties had something to do with him saying King won the AG debate. Others have pointed out that Jeff watched the debate at Shelby County’s Repub HQ, and is also, like King, a Troy alumni. To be fair, he defends his choice on style grounds, saying King looked more polished. King is certainly the professional politician, so Jeff has a good argument there.

Hands down, the best summary of the debates is here. An excerpt:

“TROY KING”: I will lobby for a law making it legal to hunt homosexuals for sport.

JOHN TYSON: My opponent was appointed by Bob Riley as some kind of obscure joke.

“KING”: I get an erection every time someone is sentenced to death.

TYSON: I’m not going to say anything, I’m just going to let him talk.

“KING”: We need toughnewlaws making it harder for vampires to stalk our children.

TYSON: See?

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8 Comments on “The Debates”

  1. emma holly Says:

    What I like about Tyson is that, in his campaign, he is addressing the issues in the way he will handle them if elected. He doesn’t dumb down his position for the soundbite. I can only hope that Mr. King has been acting on poor advice and that, if elected, he will stop spending his time IN office running FOR office.


  2. […] justice system would explode. Filed under Elections, Newsies permalink :: email author :: 1 comment Comments to “Jeff’sroundup” […]

  3. Dan Says:

    Was I the only person who was grossed out when King started talking about how rape?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    King’s Death Penalty for serial rapists position is untenable. Many criticize Tyson’s position, because it presumes the rapists consider punishment before or during the act. However, King’s approach relies on the same logic. King says “punishment is the deterent for crime.” That is why he ridicules Tyson’s efforts to stop crime before it happens. That is also his rationale for giving serial rapists the Death Penalty: if they know they are going to get the chair, they won’t rape.

    That logic is flawed. A serial rapist will rape, regardless of punishment. Tyson makes a good point in saying that a serial rapist won’t necessarily kill, but he may if he knows he’ll get the chair regardless. I, like Tyson, would rather get my wife and daughter back and deal with the aftermath. A serial rapist gets life in prison without the possibility of parole anyway.

  5. wheeler Says:

    due to an uncooperative five day old child, i missed king’s answer to the death penalty for rapists question. i’m waiting to see a transcript before i comment.


  6. […] The Debates « The Alablawg Says: October 31st, 2006 at 11:34 am […]

  7. Jeff Says:

    Sorry Wheeler I did not include you, I think you posted your commentary right after I put mine together or during the time. I visited your blog to see if you had anything and there was nothing. Probably just timing.

    I have updated my page with a link to you. I appreciate the defense of my stance – as I really gave it to King over style points. Most disagree – but that is the way I leaned. I stated yesterday I felt Tyson would win, and minus his antics I would have given him the win.


  8. […] A Bama Blog Alabama Politics Alabama Pundit Alabama Watch Alablawg basil’s blog Devilish Southern Belle – who by the way got all dressed up for Halloween. 762Justice – E.L. Frederick Gun Toting Liberal – yeah, I know…but he’s still a cool cat. Hard Times Helluvablog Jo’s Cafe L.M. Frederick Merry Mad Monk My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Pit Bull Syndicate ROFASIX Simply Bonnie – has pictures up of her trip to Germany The Alabama Moderate – CUTE PICTURE! The Bull Speaks! – go wish him a speedy recovery! […]


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