It was just a prank after all. The Machine at the University of Alabama, in a district that consists of 80% students, just wanted to flex a little muscle in a local school board race. True. The Machine hardly represents all of the University students or, for that matter, even the Greeks on campus. But Machine dominance over Tuscaloosa’s District 4 was made official by the rulings of Judge James Roberts in the challenge to Machine backed candidate Cason Kirby’s election.
Stephanie Taylor in The Tuscaloosa News article “Judge dismisses Kelly Horwitz school board election challenge; Kirby victory upheld” reported that Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court Judge Roberts opined: “This court finds that, like any elector, a student voter does not lose his or her obtained domicile because he or she is not physically present in his or her college district due to temporarily leaving for the summer.
“The election contest raised questions of the influence of a group within the University of Alabama’s Greek system called The Machine, which organizes block voting in support of preferred candidates.
“Horwitz’s attorneys said that voters who belonged to certain Greek organizations were pressured to vote for Kirby, but the judge would not accept the evidence they offered. Facebook messages, emails and Tweets submitted as proof of bribery are ‘inadmissible hearsay,’ Roberts wrote in the order dismissing the case.”
Oh, yes, that flaming bag of poop you just stepped in is of no consequence. If you live in Tuscaloosa you’d just better get used to walking around with dog shit on your shoes. You’ll get used to the smell.
Attorney Andy Campbell who represented Cason Kirby in Judge Roberts’ court preposterously proclaimed: “We are also gratified that the court validated the vote and cleared the name of each of the over 350 students challenged on grounds of corruption. As the court found, there was no valid evidence supporting these allegations, only that these students exercised their first amendment rights to vote. It is now time to move forward.” Roberts was an 2011 appointee of Republican Gov. Robert Bentley
At the first School Board meeting, after which Kirby was sworn in, the school staff members smiled and raised their eyebrows after the board left the meeting room for an executive session. They were aware of how ill-prepared the new Chair Lee Garrison and Board member Cason Kirby had been. Unspoken words and knowing glances showed their concern that the coming year could be a very long one. They knew that, without Kelly Horwitz, the school board would be playing “catch-up” for a long time. On the other hand, the students who had voted for Garrison and Kirby because of the candidates’ Machine background could care less about the success of the School Board.
Few election challenges succeed. In this case, because of the blatant behavior by students who were obeying the dictates of The Machine, there had been a fleeting ray of hope that illuminated the cesspool of T-Town politics. But Judge Roberts’ sentiment that bad behavior was not worth even looking into left the politics of Tuscaloosa in a fetid, malodorous swamp where the kiddies self-pleasured themselves in the dark.