Newly elected JeffCo Commisioner Bobby Humphryes – who campaigned on a platform of financial discipline – recently proved that nothing is easier than wasting other people’s money:
Humphryes, elected last month, assumed the office of Mary Buckelew, who retired after four terms on the commission.
“I took over an office that had been occupied by a female for 16 years and it just had to have something done to it,” Humphryes said.
Bobby Humphryes, interior designer.
The office, he said, needed a more “masculine lean” to it. Now it has one, thanks to $15,000 for new office furniture. Humphryes is spending $2,511 on a sofa, $2,401 on a cocktail table, $1,093 each on two chairs, $965 each on two table lamps, $899 each on two tables, $652 for a lamp table and $473 each on two lamps. He also is spending $696 for a high-back chair, $1,361 for prints and $10,915 on a new copier because it’s more modern.
Or, rather, taxpayers are spending $15,000 for new office furniture and $11,000 for a new copier. The commission’s finance committee voted Wednesday to approve Humphryes’ requests.
Bobby Humphryes, wastrel.
But that’s just business as usual, right? Nope:
Other commissioners have set much better examples. Commissioner Shelia Smoot, elected in 2002, inherited Jeff Germany’s “very masculine” office and is still using his furniture, she said. Smoot spent less than $2,000 to soften Germany’s office with a few pictures, she said.
Buckelew used furniture left over from a previous commissioner. Over 16 years, Buckelew had the chairs upholstered on two occasions and bought a $700 desk chair in 1991 that she kept until she left office last month, she said.
Besides, Buckelew objected, her office furniture wasn’t feminine – “not a pink in sight,” she said. The office was done in soft green and most of the furniture was wood, Buckelew said.
All it needed was a manly man’s touch.
Anyway, Courtney Haden has some more decorating suggestions for Humphreys:
I don’t think furniture is what’s required. If Bobby is serious about giving his office a properly masculine ambiance, for openers he’ll need stuffed animal heads, and I believe his fellow conservative, Archie Phillips, can cut him a deal on some quality taxidermy in exchange for Bobby’s promise to get Alabama out of the United Nations.
City Hall — the final frontier. These are the continuing voyages of the Larry Langford Campaign Exploratory Committee. Its five-month mission: to exploit strange old ideas. To seek out gullible voters and news-starved TV reporters. To blandly go where no candidate has gone before. . . .
Stardate: Feb. 3, 2007.
Instrument readings from the Education Department have shown the Birmingham juvenile population has been afflicted with an epidemic of dumbness. The source of this stupidity appears to be the Birmingham City School System. Using more borrowed money, the committee plans to rehabilitate the children by buying each of them laptop computers. The children are the future.
Stardate: Feb. 12, 2007.
The committee’s free-laptops-for-kids mission had mixed results. Some kids, unfamiliar with the new technology, were startled and shot the computers. Others duct taped them into homemade bulletproof vests. One kid called his “daddy.” We just don’t whup the kids like we used to.
And finally, I did not pay much attention to the recently failed attempt by Republicans to take control of our state’s senate from the majority party. Long story short, the Republicans thought they had enough Democrats on their side to elect a “centrist” president, only to have two Democrats – Rodger Smitherman and Phil Poole – decide at the last minute to return to the Democrats’ side. Like I said, I ignored it, mostly because there ain’t no difference between an Alabama Republican and an Alabama Democrat. The Democrats’ choice for president, Hinton Mitchem, is, after all, the same guy who not only sponsored our anti-gay people amendment but gave this justification for it:
“I do not wear my religion on my sleeve,” Mitchem said. “I [introduced the amendment] after a trip to San Francisco where I saw
a black man and a white womantwo men on television in a public place kissing deeply. I do not think it is appropriate for children to grow up in a home where they see that.”
But, though I paid little attention to the situation, this unhinged rant about the results got me laughing, and- even though it’s still the second week of January – I am certain that it will place very high on anyone’s list of most ridiculous political quotes of 2007. How do you spell sore loser? State Sen. Charles Bishop, R-Jasper:
“What happened was there was another senator that moved over to the blue dog (conservative) Democrats, Sen. Smitherman of Jefferson County, who was liberal as any liberal Democrat beyond liberal,” Bishop said. . . .
“What happened today in Montgomery was raw political power,” Bishop said. “It was Paul Hubbert. It was the trial lawyers. There were other groups involved. It didn’t surprise me. I was not caught off-guard at all. Disappointed? Sure.”
On the actions of Poole and Smitherman, Bishop said, “I’ve known them for a long time. They were pinheads the first time I met them and they ain’t changed. The reason I say ‘pinheads’ is because they don’t care nothing about nobody but themselves.” . . .
Bishop said “there is no question” [Lowell] Barron is still in control of the Senate.
“Mr. Barron sat there right beside Hinton Mitchem and told him what to say and how to say it. It was embarrassing,” he said. “Poor old Hinton, bless his heart. He’s a lot better selling tractors than he is picking friends.”
Wow. All he left out was the communists. Sort of reminds me of another person who went over the edge after his team had the enemy but “let ’em off the hook.” Dare we summarize Bishop’s lunacy as “The Democrats are who we thought they were!” You decide: