Alabama Needs Doug Jones in Washington

Current Work | Wed, 10/28/2020 at 01:27 PM

(Montgomery Independent) – I have met every Alabama United States Senator who has served in the last five decades. I have known former U.S. Sen. Howell Heflin, or should I say he’s known me, since my birth. His 1971 election to Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is the reason my family moved to Montgomery and we almost followed him to Washington after he was elected to the Senate in 1978. I worked on his final campaign thirty years ago and made a last-minute career decision not to accept a job in his D.C. office after college.

I consider Sen. Heflin, who was referred to by his Senate colleagues as Judge Heflin, to have been a man of impeccable character. Though Heflin was a Democrat, he didn’t always vote as such because what was best for the state of Alabama usually took precedence over political partisanship.

Like Heflin, Sen. Doug Jones is a conservative Democrat who places the needs of Alabamians before partisan politics. It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Doug Jones began his political career working for Sen. Heflin.

I have also had the opportunity to spend time on several occasions with GOP Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville. The most memorable was way back in 2005 when I was invited to watch an Auburn game from the coach’s box and attended a small dinner party at his Auburn home after a victory against Arkansas State. Both he and his wife Suzanne were gracious hosts and it was a neat experience. He even autographed a football for me to give my nephew, who shares the same name as one of his boys. But coaching college football doesn’t make one an expert on national and foreign politics and Coach Tuberville has proven he has little knowledge about either.

Alabama voters have sent many good folks to represent us in the Senate over the years. But it is my Auburn-educated opinion that if Coach Tuberville is elected the streak would come to an end. Tuberville would be an embarrassing, self-serving, political dummy who would never put in the work required to be an effective senator.

Tuberville has been in hiding since even before securing the GOP nomination over former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions. His refusal to debate or for that matter even grant interviews to the press should be seen as a giant red flag. He has proven not to understand the basics of the political process and just moved to Alabama less than 2 years ago for the sole purpose of running for Senate.

The trick to being a good senator is knowing how to locate federal dollars for state coffers, and no one has done a better job of that than Sen. Richard “Bring Home the Bacon” Shelby. But Shelby is not running for reelection in two years. Between that and the fact Democrats are likely to take control of the Senate this election, it seems wise to keep Sen. Jones in Washington.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently awarded Sen. Jones both its Jefferson–Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship and the Abraham Lincoln Leadership for America Award, which recognize members of Congress who demonstrate a willingness to work across the aisle in support of common objectives and constructive governing necessary to move our country forward. That’s a pretty big recognition from the conservative Chamber that typically endorses Republican candidates.

Doug Jones, as U.S. Attorney, prosecuted two Klansmen for the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four little girls. Tommy Tuberville couldn’t even explain what the Voting Rights Act was when asked recently his position on the 1965 civil rights law.

Doug Jones has been an effective senator, even as a member of the minority party. His bipartisanship has made it possible for him to have sponsored and co-sponsored dozens of bills that have been signed into law by President Trump.

The Richard Shelby – Doug Jones Senate duo has worked well and Doug Jones will continue to get things done by reaching across political divides if reelected.

Let’s keep moderate independent thinking in the Senate. I ask that you don’t vote straight ticket and join me in voting for Doug Jones. He is a good guy, has done an admirable job and deserves to be reelected.

(Jeff MartinMontgomery Independent)