Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Disgraced ex-Jurist Roy Moore wants old job back, rides to poll on horseback

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 14, 2012

From our “Stuff that’s too weird to make up” files.

He rode his horsey to the poll – the same one that had earlier thrown him (just like the voters did) – and… well, what do you think will happen?

Roy Moore -9cec4819e9fd544e

Roy Moore rides horse, voter wave to cusp of victory in chief justice race

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 9:49 PM     Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 9:59 PM
Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore rode his horse to the polls this morning and then a wave of voter support that had him on the cusp of winning the Republican nomination for his old job.

In incomplete returns, incumbent Chuck Malone was battling Mobile County Circuit Judge Charles Graddick and a spot in a runoff if Moore fails to reach the 50 percent mark.

In the other contested statewide judicial primary, Court of Civil Appeals Judge Tommy Bryan was trouncing his poorly financed opponent, Circuit Judge Debra Jones of Anniston.

But the big story was Moore, who was winning despite getting badly outspent by his 2 opponents.

“I’m very happy at what we thought was going to happen. The people support me. So many tried to disparage me,” he said. “My opponents are very good men, qualified judges. I’ve never made any disparaging remarks.”

Moore gave credit to God. He noted the disparity in campaign spending.

“That should tell you something,” he said.

The chief justice campaign split the state’s business community, with some powerful political action committees supporting Malone and others backing Graddick. Overall, however, campaign spending was markedly below the pace set by 2 Republican candidates for the position 6 years ago.

Moore was hoping to regain a position he lost in 2003 when a state panel expelled him from office for failing to comply with a federal court order to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments that he had placed in the Alabama Judicial Building. Moore argued — and continues to maintain — that he had a right to acknowledge God and that following the order would have been a violation of his oath to the Constitution.

In an attempt to sidestep any lingering controversy, however, Moore promised repeatedly throughout this campaign that he would not try to bring the monument back if elected.

Instead, Moore tried to make the race about his experience running the court system during a financial crisis. He depicted himself as a steady hand who guided the judiciary through turbulent budget cuts during the early part of the 21st century.

He and Graddick both chided Malone over what they regarded as bloated personnel and salaries at the judiciary’s central offices, the Administrative Office of Courts. Statistics provided by the office, however, showed that staffing and payroll, after spiking a few years ago, have declined to roughly the levels that existed when Moore was in office.

Graddick promised to make cuts to the administrative staff but said he need to take office before he could offer specifics. He said the county courthouses have shouldered too much of the burden of declining revenue for the judiciary.

Graddick drew on his years of experience in public service. Before becoming judge, he served as Mobile County district attorney and Alabama attorney general. In 1986, he ran for governor as a Democrat and won a runoff against then-Lt. Gov. Bill Baxley only to see party officials invalidate the results because of crossover voting by Republicans.

Baxley got the nomination, but bitterness over the primary dispute helped Guy Hunt become the first Republican governor in modern Alabama history.

Malone was the presiding circuit judge in Tuscaloosa County before Gov. Robert Bentley tapped him as his chief of staff after winning election. Bentley the appointed Malone to the chief justice job after Democrat Sue Bell Cobb resigned her post.

Malone argued that he was the only candidate who had a detailed plan to save the court system money and convince legislators to increase support for the 3rd branch of government.

The chief justice serves a 6-year term; the salary ranges from $161,002 to $201,253, depending on experience.

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This story appears here: http://blog.al.com/live/2012/03/alabama_supreme_court_chief_ju_1.html

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