Though I’ve lived in Mobile for over 25 years, but I don’t consider myself from Alabama. I was born in Arkansas and lived there a whole week. After Arkansas, I lived 5 years in Texas. I consider myself to be from Mississippi, as I lived my formative years there for 7 and 1/2 years. I have a family all over the state of Mississippi, all the way from the Gulf Coast to both Northern corners of the state. I have an uncle that coached against Brett Favre when he was in high school. I watched “A Time to Kill” (based off of the John Grisham book) being filmed and had family that played the roles of extras in that movie. Also, it’s highly likely Oprah Winfrey knows more than one of my relatives. Then, there’s fact that I’m related to half the phone book of Kosciusko, Mississippi. I am from Mississippi.
Just being from Mississippi doesn’t mean I have any plans to move back there anytime soon. I love Mobile, and it has been my home for over 25 years now. All of my friends are here, my life is here, and I have no plans on leaving. Mobile, Alabama is the type of city that just gets in your blood and does not leave. However, that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t hesitate to move back to the state of Mississippi to run for political office if I thought I could make a difference. Does that mean I would still be a carpetbagger if I did so?
That’s the logic Jeff Sessions and his campaign is using against their primary runoff opponent Tommy Tuberville. The Sessions campaign is arguing that because Tuberville did something that so many people do, retire to Florida, that he doesn’t care about Alabama or the problems facing Alabamians. To believe this, you’d have to suspend comprehension and understanding of reality. The fact of the matter is that Coach Tuberville had his most successful years of his professional career as a college football coach right here in Alabama. One of his sons graduated from Auburn University. He has maintained ownership of land in the state, therefore giving him a vested interest in seeing Alabama and its people be successful.
Moving to the state of Florida in his retirement shows Coach Tuberville’s ability to make smart, conservative financial choices. Because he had the means to be able to move to the state of Florida and retire there, he avoided having to pay state income taxes in retirement by doing so. This shows you that like most conservatives, Coach Tuberville likes lower taxes. Does Jeff Sessions want to punish him for being successful? If so, there is plenty of room for Jeff Sessions in today’s Democratic Socialist Democratic party, but little room for that type of liberal thinking in today’s Alabama Republican party.
And finally, this criticism of Tommy Tuberville is trying to distract from the fact that we have a long history in this state of recycling the same old retread politicians that promise they’re going to fix Alabama’s problems election cycle after election cycle. However, Alabama continues to have the same problems that they promised to fix election cycle after election cycle and remains at the bottom of all of the important rankings by state year after year. Jeff Sessions hasn’t fixed those problems in the 20 plus years he’s been in office. Maybe it’s time we listen to the new guy on the block and his ideas. Maybe that fresh perspective is just what this state needs. Maybe that outside-the-box thinking that comes with being a head football coach who has a reputation for going against the conventional football wisdom will actually help things start to improve in this state.