Tuesday, October 19, 2004
On this day:

Two Announce Opposition to Alabama's Amendment 2

Michael Ciamarra, who helped write the original proposal to delete segregationist language from Alabama's constitution, came out against Amendment Two on Tuesday. So did former state Rep. Perry Hooper Jr., who sponsored former Gov. Fob James' "court reform" package that limited the ability of Alabama's courts to force increases in school spending.

Both express concern that the amendment, which would also repeal of language saying there is no constitutional right to public education, could be used by judges to impose taxes or spending without legislative approval. They join former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and current Supreme Court candidate Tom Parker in opposition.

Gov. Riley supports the amendment in its entirety and contends that it will have no legal impact.

That may be true, and the concerns expressed by Moore, Parker, Hooper, and Ciamarra may be overblown. However, the legislature should have left well enough alone and constrained the amendment to the topics it addressed in its original form - segregation and poll taxes.

The person hurt most by the addition of the education language will be Gov. Bob Riley. The Governor's support for the tax and accountability package defeated by voters last year has already cost him tremendous political support within his own party. And fairly or not, his support for the final version of Amendment 2 hands the "Moore wing" of the Republican Party yet another issue to challenge him on in the 2006 Republican primary.