In an official state party Message from the Chairman, Mr. Turnham responds to Republican "red meat" attacks with much standard Democratic boilerplate, but he then throws in some gay bashing to play to the good old boy vote. His message is reproduced in its entirety below; the cringe-causing typos, sentence fragments, sentence run-ons, and tortured syntax are all his:
CHAIRMAN TURNHAM WELCOMES JOHN EDWARDS AND CHAIRMAN DEAN TO ALABAMA ON SAME DAY, REBUKES 'DIVIDE AND CONQUER' REPUB CHAIR
It might be the lingering Lee Atwater, Ralph Reed or maybe Karl Rove influence, but Alabama Republicans can't resist what they term as 'raw meat' moments to bash national Democratic visitors when they come to Alabama.
After Alabama Repubs have filibustered 27 straight legislative days away and after the Repub Party has welcomed 'pro-abortion, pro-gay, anti-gun' Rudy and Mitt to Alabama...what do they do but pull that same 'old play card' on us today...never mind the deficits (trade and budget), Iraq, Drought, Gas Prices...
Notice in their press release is no praise of former ALGOP Saint George Bush and his now 42% Alabama job approval rating or the 58% majority of Alabamians who agree with Howard Dean and John Edwards about setting withdrawal timetables for the war in Iraq, but only Repub trite and old stereotype politics of characterization.
A recent party ID poll in Alabama shows that by a margin of 42 to 38 percent more Alabama voters identify themselves as Democrats verses Republican. Two thirds of Alabama voters deem global warming to be a serious problem that ALGOP and George Bush deny.
While Lt. Gov Folsom overrode Repub and Riley efforts to end the legislative session, budgets, local bills are now moving in the Alabama Senate.
Both Senator Edwards and previosly Senator's Obama, Clinton and Dodd have challenged Alabama Democrats to solve problems and tackle the issues of the day that may define our survival as a human race. That challenge should surpass petty and mean-spirited press releases.
DNC Chair Howard Dean even challenged Democrats today to reach out to Republicans to hear their ideas, and offered ethics reform, accountability in governments as central to our party. Can ALGOP challenge those notions?
As our crops burn, Iraq explodes, gas prices rise, more homes are foreclosed, and 50 million unisured Americans read about the 17 seasonal hurrricanes/ tropical storm predictions of global warming...can' t Alabama Repubs even pretend to have a debate about our future?
Our party is not perfect nor is it broken. It is full of national and local democrats who give of their lives, fortunes and minds to solve problems and seize opportunity that can move Alabama forward. I welcome these national dems to Alabama and rebuke the character assassination launched ALGOP using methods of old that have damaged our state, nation and world.
Survival, peace and prosperity rest upon a collaborative effort by the imperfect of us all to affect change, hope and cheer in the hearts of all people.
Polite but firm messages may be sent to Alabama Democratic Chair Joe Turnham about his gay baiting here.
Since Mr. Turnham made his comments in the context of visits by Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean and presidential candidate John Edwards, messages may be sent to them asking that they disassociate themselves from Mr. Turnham's comments:
Howard Dean at the DNC
John Edwards campaign
It might also be useful to send a supportive note to Democratic state Representative Patricia Todd, Alabama's only out elected official, here.