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The Fix Is In – Or Is It? 7/18/17 By Dave Gunn PDF  | Print |  E-mail


   7/18/17        By Dave Gunn


The Fix Is In – Or Is It?



     If you own a radio you’ve heard them.  Commercials supporting the candidacy of Luther Strange to permanently fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions have permeated the airwaves.  Until lately, you might think that Strange was the only candidate running in the Republican primary.


     However, there are 10 candidates, and Strange isn’t even the leading candidate, after being given a whopping 2.4 million dollars by the Republican establishment in Washington to wage his campaign  The most recent poll has Judge Roy Moore, a favorite of the conservative grass roots, leading with 31%.  Luther Strange is a distant second with 23% and Mo Brooks is nipping his heels at 21%.  The rest of the field is polling less than 5% each.


     With the backing of the Republican establishment, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a multi-million dollar war chest, and a brief  incumbency, why is it that Strange isn’t leaving all the others in the dust?  Perhaps there is more than one reason.


     Strange puts himself out as a solid conservative.  That he is conservative there is no doubt.  It is the word “solid” that seems to be lacking.  When Judge Moore took his principled stand for traditional marriage, did Luther Strange stand with him?  No, Luther was hiding in the tall grass.


     Then Strange boasts in his commercials that he will help President Donald Trump “drain the swamp” in Washington.  Yet, he willingly gained his Senate seat through a corrupt and illegal appointment.  When Jeff Sessions was appointed Attorney General of the United States, it fell to then Governor Robert Bentley to appoint a temporary senator and call for a special election.  Bentley appointed Strange but did not call for the special election.  This was just fine and dandy with Luther Strange, and he would have gotten away with it had it not been for the integrity of new Governor Kay Ivey, who did call for a special election as the law requires.


     Having said all this, the biggest obstacle to Luther Strange retaining his ill-gotten seat might be his Washington insider supporters.   It used to be that the national Republican Party stayed out of primaries, endorsing no one but allowing the people of the states and congressional districts to choose their candidate and then getting behind those chosen by the people.


     The Washington establishment Republicans have, from the beginning of this primary election, thrown their money, influence, and pressure behind Luther Strange.  The National Republican Senate Committee has warned Republican consulting firms that if they work for any of the candidates challenging Strange, they will be on the outside looking in when it comes to future work for the party.

This strong arm tactic is more fitting to the Democrat Party, where top-down dictation is normal.


     Another exertion of pressure by the Washington establishment Republicans is their new commercials viciously attacking Luther’s opponents.  It seems anything goes so long as the bosses in Washington can have their man.


     Is the fix in?  Will Alabama Republicans allow the Washington establishment to choose their senator in a top-down power play, financed with Washington money?  We soon will know.




[Dave Gunn is the nom de plume of Dr. David E. Gonnella, Pastor of the Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore, Alabama.  The opinions expressed are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the church or its membership.]