“I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the general election. I was right!”
“The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!” — President Donald Trump, December 12, 2018
With these statements following the calamitous U.S. Senate loss still reverberating uncomfortably, Alabama Republicans are facing the very real prospect of now losing a statewide office on the back of an inappropriate, distressing, distasteful candidate.
And now, a mere half a year later, Alabama faces another potentially uncomfortable stint as fodder for late night comedians. This time round via the race for Alabama’s public service commissioner. Most Alabamians would describe a public service commissioner race as, well … unremarkable. The PSC commissioner, Place 1 contest seldom garners headlines — despite regulating your power bill. Regrettably for the Alabama GOP, this year’s primary may buck that trend.
There seems a common misconception that respected former Congressman Jo Bonner is running for PSC Commissioner. He is not.
Jo Bonner is not running for a statewide officer in Alabama.
Instead, Jim Bonner, a perennial candidate, has thrown his hat in the ring. This time the apparent widespread confusion between Jim and Jo Bonner may be enough to get Jim (not Jo) on the November ballot. The likely result is a Doug Jones redux, as Candidate Bonner (Jim not Jo) would almost certainly lose the commissioner’s slot to a Democrat in November.
You see, regrettably, Mr. Bonner (Jim not Jo) has Democrats salivating. Evidently Candidate Bonner (Jim not Jo) reportedly has a string of unwelcome, unresolved issues, including:
* Failure to pay $44,000.00 in court ordered alimony to his wife and family, resulting in a contempt of court filing
* Debt to the IRS exceeding $100,000.00
* Is a declared bankrupt — and failed to make agreed payments to creditors
* Six liens from TVA Credit Union and Valley Credit Union for outstanding loan
* Told the courts he cannot work due to disability – yet is well enough to run for public office
* Is a longtime member and elected official of the militant Alabama Education Association
If the financial and legal drama was not sufficient reason for pause, Mr. Bonner (Jim, not Jo) has posted reams of indefensible and offensive images and statements on social media.
Jim Bonner has defending Bill Cosby’s rape verdict, stating that the raped women knew what they were getting into.
Jim Bonner has referenced the date rape drug Xanax.
Jim Bonner has authored anti-Semitic social media posts featuring Adolf Hitler making “fun” of the Holocaust.
Jim Bonner has belittled African American political candidates.
Jim Bonner has called female opponents “fat strippers.”
Jim Bonner is the author numerous social posts and commentary of images resembling women’s privates.
Alabama GOP: You should be better than this. Obviously.
Voters are generally apathetic to “down-ballot” and local elections, particularly primaries. As recent Republican history attests, that apathy is the road to perdition. Voters are choosing the leaders of their schools, city hall and state treasury. Elected officials who decide if you can buy Jack Daniels on a Sunday or how much you pay for power. Yet the ballot is generally cast with scant information — if at all.
There is a scarcity of data regarding candidates’ positions, statements, integrity (or lack thereof) and financial or legal standing, for down ballot statewide office. Voters either see little likelihood of change. Or maybe Jenny has dance class, or they simply don’t care. Thus, a majority of voters don’t bother to vote.
Voter apathy essentially handed Democrat Doug Jones a seat in the United States Senate. A stinging blow to the GOP and a vote in the nation’s capital that runs contrary to the will and beliefs of a majority of Alabamians.
President Lincoln summed up the Alabama Republican Party’s predicament: “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
Greg Keeley is a GOP strategist and retired Lt Commander with service in both the United States Navy and the Royal Australian Navy. He is a veteran of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pacific. LCDR Keeley served as Senior Advisor to the vice chairman of the House Armed Service Committee (Rep Jim Saxton, R NJ)) and the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee (Rep Ed Royce, R CA) and the chairman of the Republican Senate Policy Committee (Sen. John Barrasso, R WY) in the U.S. Congress.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.