Hundreds of thousands of Alabamians are unhappy with our political leadership.

Several factors have contributed to this condition and to Alabama recently receiving the shameful recognition of being the 4th most corrupt state in America.

The greatest reason for this is too much power has been invested in too few people for far too long. Power corrupts and total power brings total corruption.

Alabama is a one-party state. That means that there are few checks and balances in our political processes. We are a state that is governed by a good ole boy system, with few exceptions. Making it worse is the fact that we have a good ole boy group within the good ole boy system. Many have a greater loyalty to their party than to the people who elected them.

The good ole boy party stays in power by playing dirty. They use their power unfairly to take advantage in elections. They do all they can to make voter registration and voting hard for ordinary citizens. They create stringent registration requirements and make voting days and hours difficult for working people. They try to excuse this by saying they are trying to stop voter fraud. That’s just not true. There has proven to be so little voter fraud in Alabama and the U.S. that investigating it is not worth the time or the money. They are simply trying to prevent the working class, the poor, and minorities from voting. Sadly, they have been successful for several years.

Gerrymandering is another way they cheat in elections. They (the Republicans) draw voting districts in such a way that their opposition is divided and weakened and they are strengthened. This has gone on for years and happened again recently. Many of us are absolutely amazed that the recent redistricting plan submitted by the Alabama legislature was approved by a three-judge federal court (Judges Bill Pryor, Myron Thompson, and Keith Watkins). Under this plan, House Districts 5, 14, and 16, all three which are part of Jefferson County, are represented by white Republicans who live in other counties. This is outrageous! We thought courts were supposed to dispense justice. Something is very wrong (illegal?) about this.

Another problem in our state is the Democratic Party. They have been gridlocked in a power struggle for years, unable to produce a viable candidate, and for all intents and purposes totally useless.

One of the greatest factors in the poor quality of our political leaders is we the people. We have tolerated it. Some of us don’t vote because we have given up on the system. Some of us vote the same good ole boys in office because we are uninformed on the issues and the people. It isn’t covered on Fox News. Whatever the excuse is, it’s not good enough. Evil flourishes when good people do nothing.

This year’s race for the U.S. Senate offers us a rare opportunity to improve our system. There is an outsider running. He’s not a good ole boy. He’s not a part of Alabama’s dominant party. His name is Doug Jones, and he offers the citizens of our state a rare opportunity to improve our government. If you want change, if you want better government—vote for him on December 12th!