News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Jim Folsom represents balance in Montgomery

If the past six years taught the American voters anything, it was that it's best not to put all of their political eggs in one basket.

Voters are in an ugly mood from having Republicans in charge of both houses of Congress and the presidency. They've seen what happens when only one point of view prevails. They may vote for balance Nov. 7.

The best government is government that has good give and take, with information flowing between Republicans and Democrats that results in bi-partisan leadership.

Gov. Bob Riley will be re-elected to a second term, barring an upset of gigantic proportions. Luther Strange, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, is bold in his assertions that he expects to be a legislative extension of the governor.

As presiding officer of the Senate, the lieutenant governor's duty should be to bring fairness and balance to the upper chamber.

Former Gov. James E. Folsom Jr. was elected lieutenant governor in 1986 and 1990 when Guy Hunt was governor. He worked with the Republican governor just as he says he will do if Gov. Riley goes back into office.

Unlike Mr. Strange, Mr. Folsom understands the limitations on the lieutenant governor's duties and vows to respect them.

Mr. Folsom made his mark as a Democratic governor when he traveled to Germany to personally recruit Mercedes-Benz to Tuscaloosa County. That seminal event opened the door for Alabama to become a major automotive state. Other industries looked at Alabama as a result and came here.

Mr. Strange is a nice man with a pocketful of money to spend on his campaign. But "Big Luther" doesn't represent the average Alabamian the way "Little Jim" does. Nor does he have the proven record of service to Alabama that Mr. Folsom owns.

Mr. Folsom promises Senate fairness to the governor and to the Republicans in the Legislature. Let's not make the same mistake the American people did in putting all of the power of the federal government in one party.

THE DAILY recommends James E. Folsom Jr. for lieutenant governor in the Nov. 7 general election.

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