Tuesday, February 27, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

In reading on the current Alabama legislative special session on the Governor’s proposal to further industrial incentives by the state to attract business, I noted the following (via the Birmingham News: Industrial incentives questioned):

Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, said Riley has not provided enough details about how money would be used under his plan to expand the state’s bond-issuing capacity from $350 million to $750 million.

“If the people think all you are going to do is create a $400 million slush fund for Gov. Riley, they will kill it,” Bedford said.

The remarkable thing is that Bedford is the master of pork barrel politics, and in the past has been a key recipient of what is known around here as “pass-through pork”–money essentially given directly to legislators to spend pretty much however they would like for projects in their districts (for students of Colombian politics, the auxilios come to mind).  Indeed, an editorial in the Tuscaloosa News last month called Bedford the “Prince of Pork.” (The editorial was in the context of Bedford and allies attempting to get a raise for Senators without a recorded vote-see this story from the Press-Register).

Indeed, as this 2024 report noted, Bedford’s activities have gotten him in trouble in the past:

Bedford’s prowess for steering state money to his northwest Alabama district angered his colleagues earlier this year and cost him the budget committee chairmanship. Criminal charges against Bedford for alleged improper conduct on one grant for his district are still pending. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Of course, anecdotes like this one from a B’Ham News piece in 2024 indicate that Bedford knows a thing or two about “slush funds”:

State Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, for months tried
to get the Marion County Commission to accept a $2 million state check
to buy land from a friend of Bedford’s.

But the commission rejected Bedford’s offer and Bedford a few months ago handed the check back to the state, uncashed.

Siegelman said, “When you have a system that lets a legislator walk around with a check in his pocket, or when you have a system that allows for pork to be put in a budget when you’re in proration, the system is broken and needs to be fixed.”

As such, you can see what Bedford’s quote jumped out at me. To be fair, the quote be be interpreted as Bedford’s advise to Riley in terms of PR.

Side note:  regardless of any of that, he has the lamest web page in the history of political web pages (and yes, it’s his, as it is linked from his State Senate page).

Technorati Tags: ,

Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off|
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.

Comments are closed.

blog advertising is good for you

Visitors Since 2/15/03

Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics



Powered by WordPress