Free Alcohol For Votes?

I voted billboardKirby Polls-bwLimo-bw

Cason Kirby, who received the most votes in the District Four Tuscaloosa School Board race, has denied all the charges in incumbent’s Kelly Horwitz’s lawsuit that contested the election’s outcome.

Kirby stood outside the polling place on election day while munching on a sandwich and watched the limos pull up carrying his student supporters but he saw no illegalities. He’s probably baffled by the new billboard that has a glass of booze next to a recliner. Newly elected School Board Chair Lee Garrison, who Stan Pate considers a “La-Z boy,” also reputedly benefited from The Machine vote that helped elect Kirby. There were widespread reports of booze being offered for student votes. The billboard asks: “Free Alcohol FOR VOTES?”

The University of  Alabama’s Faculty Senate addressed the administration’s response to the student voting controversy. An article by Mark Hammontree in the University of Alabama’s student paper “The Crimson White” reported:

“One member of the committee quickly voiced his frustration with the timing of administration’s response. ‘Clearly, they caved into pressure, otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten a statement at all,” John Vincent, a professor of chemistry, said. “That [email] could have been written the day after. I have no problem with what was in it, but the timing is typical of what’s been happening currently, in the last two to three years with the administration.”

“Vincent said the election controversy is just a result of the current culture surrounding the administration. ‘What we have is symptomatic of a long period of lack of leadership in the administration and student affairs that has been allowing these things to just continue and build, and we’re seeing the newest manifestation of it,’ Vincent said.

“The discussion turned away from the municipal election to focus more on campus-specific examples of the issue Vincent spoke of, including the Machine and SGA politics. ‘The Machine has existed for over a hundred years, and no one has been able to rein it in,” one member of the committee said.

“Vincent and others suggested the Faculty Senate could use the negative public opinions generated by the elections to urge the administration to address the broader issues facing student life and campus politics, even if the administration cannot get involved in the municipal election. ‘We can go to the administration and say, “This thing has to take its course, but what’s your long-term plan to deal with what’s broken in the student government, with the fraternity and sorority system; what’s happening across campus in terms of things with students affairs; what are you going to do to work on that?”‘ Vincent said.”

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