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The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
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April 30, 1970     The Florala News
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April 30, 1970
 

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INC. ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHTED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISSEMINATION, STORAGE, DISTRIBUTION PROHIBITED. Editorial Gives Us A SenseOf ure F "Brewer has given us peace and a governor who is willing to work...here in Alabama to help solve people's problems." Sensing that in George Wallace there was a man of great talent for political leadership t h i s newspaper endorsed his candidacy for governor in 1958 and in 1962. The question was the same then as it is now: for whom does state government work? ls it the power company, the telephone company, the gas company and big news- papers? This is the central question in every governor's race in this particular state because the great aggregate of our people cannot afford as many of the services of government as those in other shales. Familes in Alabama are sup- ported on incon|es that are less than the wages earned by ]amiles in all but two other states. Alabama's rank of 48th in per capita income means we are all losers: the people, the schools, the many other services ,of govern- ment, even utilities and bi g newspapers. We can't have better schools or buy the electricity to work cen- tral heating and cooling systems in our houses if we can't afford them. Our people can't have satis- fying lives as long as we don't make enough to afford them. So, in 1962 we turned to George Wallace as a man who could change these depressing figures. We overlooked his quixotic battles with mock enemies in his exciting campaign believing him when he told us face-to-face that those speeches were "just politics." We looked for something real from him, something you could close your hand on. We looked for a governor who would place the tax burden on those most able to al]ord it. a genuine leader to develop our talents and improve the lives of our people. But after the speeches were over and he had seized the mace of power we found he had betrayed us. That has happened before and matters little because we are only one newspaper. What we cannot for~ve is the fact he betrayed the very "'little people" who believed him when he spoke to them, spoke with such strength, simplicity and confidence that his words held out the real promise of escape from some predicament pressing down on their lives. This we cannot forgive: --He put the burden of taxes on the people who could afford them least. It is the molder making $85 a week -- not the power com- pany executive making $1.000 a week -- who hurt when auto tags went from $3 to $13, when the driver's license fee was doubled, when sales tax was piled ui,on sales tax. --It is the wage-earner's wife who feels the bite from sales taxes which, with Wailace's help, now make up 35.4 per cent of all taxes collected. --The bank president and cor- poration executive pay their share only through income t a x e s. Wallace knew income taxes ac- count for only 12 per cent of the state budget and corporation taxes only six per cent. Why did he let them off in favor of adding burdens on the young couples starting a family, the old people on fixed incomes and the millions of plain people he claims to cham- pion? How can he explain that? What did he give the plain peo- ple of Alabama in exchange for a heavier share of the tax burden? Did he replace the old way with something of value? Did he give us new industries with high-paying jobs. for instance? Here a.ain the record is not what he claims. During his first four years in office -- ac,:ording to figures compiled by the states themselves -- Alabama was at the bottom of all the other Southern states. The percentage increase in new manufacturing jobs for those four years was 23.4 per cent in Ten- nesscc. 23.2 per cent in Florida, 19.2 per cent in Georgia and 17.4 per cent in Mississippi. Why did Alabama fail to do as well :is the four states surrounding us? Instead of industrial progress we were getting years of unparalleled turmoil which made the lives of local officials a living hell, grap- pling ;is they had to not with political issues but with the reality of events. We have had not government but one hmg, tn~endin.~ political campaien. Wallace promises us morc and calls it a movement. But how can a movement exist which two years before was rcpudiated by 70 per cent of the South and 95 per cent of the peo- ple of the rest of the nation? There was. of course, some pro- gress during the Wallace years. But he was not alone in proposing effective action like the trade school and junior college program, and the mental health program. The governor proposes but the l.egisl.'tture disposes. An invaluable fricnd of progressive state legisla- tion helped guide those measures along the difficult route from an idea to a reality. First as speaker of the house of representatives and then as lieutenant governor and now as governor it is largely due to the leadership of Albert Brewer that these ideas were fleshed in ex- ecutive lact. Life teaches a man his poli- tics. Albert Brewer learned how such programs turn on the lives of people, opening opportunities witheld. He learned as the son of a Decatur electrician who had to work his way through school. He shows he has not forgotten in ways that count. He has worked overtime adding $100 million to our schools, showed brilliant in- stinct for the functioning of government in his reorganization of the executive department and he still remembers for whom governntent works in Alabama. We believe him when he says there will be no sales taxes as long as he is governor. We believe him because he told t h e l_egislature he would veto one if passed, and his last major tax bill was an income tax measure ---- aimed at the people and in- stitutions who can best afford to pay. Wallace has given us turmoil and asked the man who works for hourly wages to pay the bill. Brewer has given us peace and a gorernor who is willing to work, really work here in Alabama to help soh,e people's problems. And, Brewer. has asked the peo- ple and powerful institutions who have known good luck and finan- cial success to shoulder more of the tax burden. But. hc has given us more. He has given us a sense of the possi- ble. a taste for a better future when Alabama is not 48th but -- at last -- on its way to first. Apparently that is what the students ;it Jacksonville State University sensed and those at An- niston High School when they chose Brewer in straw votes by overwhelming numbers, seven to lwo and six to one, There have been approximately 4(1' similar votes "taken in high sch(x~ls in the tier of counties north of Birmingham and they :ill are the same. They show 60 per cent for Brewer and 20 per cent for Wallace. Wallace says, "Give us back t~ur children." The children say, "Give us Brewer for governor." Who will we listen to? We will listen to the ~hool children and vole for Brewer. A~ter all, they are our children and it is the& future. Reprinted With Permission From llr .:a, mtistLm tar PAIO POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT BY CITIZENS FOR ALBERT BREWER, BOB TEEL, CHAIRM/UI. ROCKFORD, ALA. 41,