12 JUL 10: Billy and Johnny Aren't Lovers
So let's get this straight -- "early voting" has ended for the Georgia Primary. "Advance voting" begins today. But if you show up on Primary Day with a filled-out ballot in your hand and claim "premature voting," I think you'll be disqualified.
While Georgia's Primary is next week, the Alabama Primary runoff is now one day away. There's one big state race for the Republicans. There's one big local race for the Democrats. And turnout is expected to be so light that YOU won't have to race to the polls on your lunch hour.
The local runoff race for Democrats involves the State Senate seat being surrendered by Myron Penn. It's down to Billy Beasley against Johnny Ford - with one sounding like he's ready to help anybody in the middle of the night, and the other ready to join almost anybody in the county jail.
Billy Beasley has dominated Columbus television, with supporters explaining in commercials how wonderful and caring he is. One older man calls him "just the kind of man we need to go to Montgomery...." Has someone told this man Beasley already has BEEN in Montgomery? He's a three-term state House member....
Billy Beasley promises in his runoff commercial to "work for all the people, for what we all want." I'm not sure how he plans to accomplish that. After all, some people prefer Burger King to McDonald's....
Billy Beasley may feel he needs plenty of TV exposure, since his runoff opponent is political veteran Johnny Ford. Ford's last-minute push for votes includes a guest appearance in Eufaula tonight by Al Sharpton - so all residents are reminded not to say the phrase "you people" for the next 48 hours.
Johnny Ford's big issue has been the preservation of Victoryland. In recent days, he's expressed willingness to go to jail to stop the Alabama Anti-Gambling Task Force from raiding the complex to seize electronic bingo machines. So Billy Beasley dispenses drugs, while Ford could be "drug away" by state troopers.
In a curious twist, the chair of the Alabama Democratic Conference is making a race-based argument for Johnny Ford. Joe Reed told Montgomery's WSFA the State Senate has "majority-black districts," which "are designed for blacks to get elected." Based on this logic, Reed may call for President Obama's resignation in the next few weeks.
The Democratic candidate for Alabama Governor was settled last month. But Ron Sparks has NOT been quiet about recent gambling raids, and recently declared outgoing Governor Bob Riley "psychotic." Wow - can you be as addicted to impounding gambling machines as playing them?
Tuesday's runoff will determine which Republican will challenge Ron Sparks for Governor in November. You'll recall a recount was needed to boil things down to Robert Bentley and Bradley Byrne -- or as Alabama Democrats probably call them in private, the B-listers.
The last few days have brought a curious development in the Alabama Governor's race. A mysterious group called the "Conservative Coalition for Alabama" has run attack ads against Bradley Byrne. As long as it hasn't stooped to the level of South Carolina, and accused him of having affairs with bloggers....
Robert Bentley admitted to reporters he wants the mysterious ads attacking Bradley Byrne to stop, because some voters might think he's behind them. Well, at least he wouldn't want voters to think that way until campaign disclosure reports are filed in August.
I didn't realize until I checked the friendly folks at "Politics1" that Robert Bentley is a dermatologist by trade. Why wasn't this brought up before? At last we know why the Alabama Republican Primary was so nip and tuck....
The Alabama Primary runoff ballot has other statewide contests. Remember the Republican race for Agriculture Commissioner, where one man became a YouTube star? Dale Peterson missed the runoff, but he's made a new commercial endorsing John McMillan. Peterson even fires his shotgun - as if he still needs National Rifle Association donations to pay his campaign debts.
Meanwhile, the controversial commercial with Kenneth Walker's mother has yet to bring a response from Georgia Attorney General candidate Ken Hodges. Instead, his website declared a "decisive victory" in a Sunday night broadcast debate - adding Democratic opponent Rob Teilhet "has never prosecuted a single case." So voters have to choose between incompetence and inexperience.
Amidst all this, the Columbus Tea Party staged a pre-primary rally outside the Government Center Sunday. It was partly a rally supporting tough enforcement of immigration laws, asking people to support Arizona businesses. I think that's already happening in Columbus - since no one called for Edwin Jackson's no-hitter for the Diamondbacks to have an asterisk.
BIG PREDICTION UPDATE: My thoughts about the FIFA World Cup men's final turned out to be right Sunday. Spain spanked the Netherlands 1-0 in overtime - but please, can we stop calling soccer a "beautiful game" for awhile? The Dutch drew so many yellow cards for rough play that the Columbus Lions might recruit some of them for next season.
BURKARD'S BEST BETS: Walgreens 20-ounce sodas for 39 cents.... U.S. passports for $100 today only (the price goes up Tuesday).... and people expressing the annual shock over their June electric bills....
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