Loretta Nall Campaign Updates
It has been a busy week here at the Nall for Governor camp. Beginning last Saturday in Montgomery, on Oct. 7 I registered ex-felons to vote and spoke at the NAACP State Convention. On Tuesday, Oct. 10 I addressed the Birmingham Sunrise Rotary Club. And Thursday night I was a guest speaker at Auburn University. Tomorrow I will be a guest speaker at a Prison Reform Rally at Oak park in Montgomery, AL. Please come out and join us if you are able.
The Sunrise Rotary Club event was very nice. They ain't kiddin' about the Sunrise part neither, as this event began at 7 a.m. YAWN!! I am used to getting out of bed at 4:30 a.m. every morning to get my children ready for the bus at 6:00. On Tuesday I had to get up at 3 a.m. and drive the hour and a half into Birmingham. At least, traffic was light. The audience was not the usual crowd of common folks that I am used to addressing. I remember when John Goodwyn first invited me to speak he said "I feel the need to tell you that this audience will be largely well-to-do Republican's with a Democrat thrown into the mix here and there." I told him, "The Libertarian Party in Alabama is so small that all of my audiences are either mostly Republican or Democrat with one or the other thrown into the mix here and there."
I think he meant his original statement as a warning. Having never spoken to a Rotary Club before I really didn't know what to expect. The crowd of about 60 was just what he said it would be. Successful, well-to-do business people, in very nice suits. Think Hugo Marx. He was the first person I met after I arrived. Mr. Marx told me that he believed in smaller government and personal freedoms. He said his son is a very active Libertarian and that he was looking forward to hearing what I had to say.
I spoke for around 15 minutes about my platform and then took questions. The audience asked some very good questions like:
Q: "If the state legalizes marijuana and collects sales tax wouldn't that be in violation of the federal law and wouldn't we find ourselves in a situation like the one in California?"
A: "Yes we would be in violation of federal law. However, Alabama has a long history of not really caring what the Federal government thinks. Granted States Rights have not always been applied in the proper way but this is one instance where federal government mandated drug policy is clearly not working and under states rights we as a state have the right to try something else. Another option would be to set maximum fines for growing, selling and possessing at $1 so as to make it unprofitable for the police and courts to waste resources on."
Q: "If we make marijuana legal for adults age 18 and over what happens to the kids under 18 who get caught with it?"
A: "That should be left up to their parents. What happens to kids who get caught with alcohol and tobacco before they reach the legal age? They aren't sent to jail or prison and teens caught with marijuana shouldn't be either."
Q: "You are so up front about your position on drug policy...have the police harassed you since you announced your run for Governor?"
A: "No. Although I did get a visit from the FBI a few years back. I have found that a great many law enforcement officers are in agreement when it comes to marijuana not really being a problem. They feel it is a waste of resources and would rather be out fighting real crime like murder, which I understand there is a very high rate of here in Birmingham. And, regardless of what Annetta Nunn says it has nothing to do with Satan. It has a great deal to do with the complete misuse of police resources spent targeting non-violent drug users."
Q: "I am mostly Libertarian and I agree with what you have said this morning. People such as William F. Buckley Jr., Milton Freedman and others have long said the same thing. It was even on the front page of National Review. But I have to ask if you think your radical positions on drug policy make the Libertarian party more of a fringe party...doesn't it scare people away?"
A: "I haven't found that to be the case. I have traveled the state of Alabama in the last year and the three preceding years and no matter what audience I am speaking to I rarely run into opposition on this issue. I have found that most people feel the way I do and are very happy to finally hear someone say it out loud. People are sick of politician sound bytes that don't mean anything. Also, the drug policy issue is one of the main issues that seperate Libertarians from Republicans and to shy away from it is plain yellow in my opinion. It is the main cause of the serious erosion of our Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties and Libertarians seem to be the only ones with the testicular fortitude to address it."
Q: "You didn't mention anything in your talk on Illegal Immigration. What is the Libertarian Party's stance on that issue."
A: "The Libertarian party is rather split on that issue. My personal feeling, as well as my platform plank, is that if this is really an issue of illegal immigrants not paying taxes then the only fiscally sound idea is to naturalize them and add them to the tax base. Building a wall is a horrible idea. Most (in the 90%+ range) who cross the border illegally do so in automobiles. So why wall off a peaceful neighbor when that isn't where the problem is? Deportation is also a pretty dumb idea. If we do not have control of the border then those who are deported will come back again. I feel that arresting a person, who is working to support their family and not causing any problems, just for the simple act of being here is both fiscally irresponsible and cruel. Why take someone who is working and contributing to the economy and place them in a cage and charge the taxpayers of Alabama $12,000 a year to house them?"
I was really surprised to see the majority of heads nodding up and down during my comments on immigration. But, as business people they really understand what would happen to the economy if we took all the Hispanic people out of the jobs they currently hold.
A couple of other questions were asked and then it was time to close up shop at 8 so everyone could get to work. I was presented with a "Thank You" plaque handmade by a little girl named Kristina who is a mamber of the YMCA that the Rotary Club sponsors. Many people took my info cards and a good number also commented on the courage it takes to do what I am doing. I don't know if any of them will vote for me but I am very honored and happy to have had the opportunity to share my ideas with them. Hopefully the seeds I planted in that distinguished group of business leaders in Alabama's largest city will take root and they will join my efforts to correct some of the major wrongs being perpetuated by Government in this state.
The Auburn event went off without a hitch as well. I am a huge Auburn Tiger football fan and am always a little in awe when I speak at Auburn University, an institution which has been long revered in my family. The Auburn College Libertarian's led by Ms. Grace Toles, sponsored and hosted this event. About 30 people attended with a few being from the community and not college students. One attendee was an elderly black woman who appeared to be suffering from cancer and taking chemo treatments. She told me she had heard about my platform and was excited to hear me speak. It meant a great deal to me that an elderly woman in frail health would come out at night to a college campus just to hear me. It was very moving and inspiring.
The Auburn Libertarians have gotten a great deal of press in the last couple of weeks. First the Auburn College Republicans got SMACKED DOWN for their decision to exclude College Libertarians from the campus debates. Then, the Auburn College Democrats did the ethical thing and pulled out of the debates because the Libertarians were not included. I am very proud of the leadership of the campus Democrats and think that this move speaks volumes for the future leadership of the Democratic party. Now, if only the state party would follow the lead of those bright young'uns down on the Plains and pull out of the gubernatorial debates over my exclusion we might actually get somewhere.
Also, earlier this week, the campus Libertarians were threatened with arrest while attending a Republican sponsored voter registration concert. I tell you...Republicans are just plain mean and corrupt. FORCE is all they understand. Even their youth are corrupted.
I am very proud of both the campus Libertarians and the campus Democrats for all of their hard work in bringing the issue of exclusion to light. Slowly but surely people are coming to realize that their choices are being limited by those already in power. I feel the rumbling undercurrent of change fast approaching.
Once again please join me at Oak park in Montgmery, AL tomorrow for a Prison Reform Rally with live entertainment and speakers. The fun begins at 9 a.m. and I hope to see you there.
I have a lot more traveling to do between now and Nov. 7 so please keep that gas money coming in .
Those of you wishing to mail a contribution may mail it to
Loretta Nall for Governor Campaign
4633 Pearson Chapel Rd
Alexander City, AL 35010
I'll see you on the campaign trail.