Jim Folsom Jr. for lieutenant governor

Anniston Star

In our opinion


Once upon a time the office of lieutenant governor was a powerful post whose occupant appointed committees and set the legislative agenda for Alabama 's upper house. But over the years political partisanship and party infighting took away much of the authority the position once enjoyed. Today the lieutenant governor does little more than preside over the Alabama Senate.

Which, considering the candidates seeking the position, is just as well.

On one hand you have the Republican, Luther Strange, a former lobbyist for many Big Mule businesses whose stock answer when asked what he plans to do if elected has been to deny any real knowledge of what goes on in Montgomery — but to add that he is sure he can make it better if he gets into office. It is one thing to run as an outsider (a strange stance for a lobbyist if ever there was one) but it is quite another thing altogether to tell voters that being clueless will be an advantage. For someone aspiring to the second-highest office in the state not even to know, much less have a position on, the widely discussed Amendment Two — which will be on the ballot when he is — is reason enough to look elsewhere on election day.

And looking elsewhere you find Jim Folsom Jr.

Give Folsom credit, he knows his way around Montgomery . He once held the office he is seeking now and briefly was governor when Gov. Guy Hunt was forced out of office.

Such experience can work for and against a candidate, and Strange's campaign has tried to link Folsom to unsubstantiated claims of corruption and cronyism. On the other hand, while in office Folsom did help bring Mercedes to the state; some believe that had he been elected governor in his own right he would have set Alabama on a more progressive course than was taken by the man who defeated him, Gov. James.

All of which is to say that of the two candidates running for a job that has little power, the one we feel understands the issues and the political process well enough to keep order in the Senate, forge compromises between competing factions, and maybe even do some good for the people is Jim Folsom.

Paid for by Jim Folsom, Jr. Campaign