Thursday, August 23, 2007

Coming Friday on the editorial/op-ed pages

Gov. Bob Riley is considering calling a special session for this fall, so The Star's editorial board is opining about that possibility:
Left behind when the overpaid and underproductive legislators left town were a host of measures the state needed passed — but weren’t.
Gov. Bob Riley is now hinting that he might call a special session before Thanksgiving so legislators can do what they should have done in the spring. We hope he does. We also hope he does not put too much on the session’s agenda.

Also, we're taking a look at the ongoing controversy over Prison Commissioner Richard Allen's decision to seek ways for the state's prison system to turn a profit:
The idea of running a prison system for profit troubles us. Unless we are careful, inmates (who earn less than $1 an hour) can easily become, in effect, forced labor, and efforts at rehabilitation will be overshadowed by efforts to make crime pay.
Allen is a good man in a difficult job. We have confidence in him and are certain he will do his utmost to make this new approach as humane and fair as prison can be.
But when things are measured by the bottom line, the temptation to push harder and cut corners in the name of profit will always exist.

Did you know it's nearing election season? No, not that one. As will other cities, Anniston and Oxford will hold mayoral elections this time next year. So I wrote my weekly column about it:
And here's there’s reality:
Anniston and Oxford will hold mayoral elections next year.
Will Leon Smith be elected to a seventh term? Will Chip Howell indeed run for re-election? Will a legitimate, electable candidate with a known track record of political aptitude oppose Smith? Will Anniston elect its first black mayor?
The answers to those questions are likely to form one of the cornerstones of Calhoun County’s immediate future. And it’s clear that next August’s mayoral races may be the most important this county’s largest cities will have conducted the last two decades.

We'll have all that plus the usual other Friday morning goodies.