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Have you taken a ride up toward Linden and Demopolis recently? If you have, you may have noticed that all construction on the new highway that was supposed to be West Alabama’s corridor toward progress has ceased.
We got a hint of that a few weeks ago when the mayor announced he was having a breakfast here and inviting Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth to discuss the problem. It seems that Ainsworth was responsible for the change.
He was diverting the money earmarked for the project to the Birmingham area for I-65. He cited greater traffic loads there as his reason. It sounded good and logical but the real underlying reason is that Ainsworth fancies himself the next governor of Alabama and is already acting like he is.
Governor Ivy is older than me so obviously she does not plan to run if she wants any fun out of the rest of her life. Ainsworth is young and is building his support for the upcoming election. He is looking to the metropolitan areas for support. Not only did he halt the Highway 43 project but he halted a healthcare training project that was to be housed in Demopolis in a facility that already existed as an extension of UWA where they have a healthcare program that could manage this program.
It would not have been an expensive project and would have benefitted the Black Belt’s need for improved healthcare. What did Ainsworth do? He moved the program to another school in North Alabama where there are more votes. Governor Ivy tried to benefit her home area of the Black Belt through projects but Ainsworth shot them down. He has more power in the legislature now than the Governor.
I am aware that rural areas no longer hold the balance of voting power needed to get a person elected but I will certainly not add my vote to his campaign.
I know you are saying “Well, you are a Democrat anyway.” Right now, I am not happy with them either. Ever since locally, the Democrats ran a candidate for school superintendent who had a shady reputation, just to fill a slot, I don’t think they are a good bet. The candidate lost badly and then went on to another state to work where he was caught on camera in a compromising situation with a teacher in the school where he was principal.
The Executive Committee members who supported his running were politicians. I read a quote last week that fits both sides of the political aisle. It was a question, “Are politicians born without ethics or do they lose them at puberty?”
I have Googled Ainsworth and found that he came from a small-town background. He may have lost his concern for small towns at puberty, or he may have done so as he got to be Lieutenant Governor. Either way, he doesn’t care for small towns.
I agree that we don’t have the same traffic count as I-65. I believe that our Highway 43 project should be likened to the TennTom Waterway. When It was proposed by Alabama’s Senator Heflin, it was decried as a political boondoggle. It became an example of build it and they will come. Now it is well traveled both by commercial traffic and pleasure boat tourists.
Maybe that can happen for us with Highway 43 if Ainsworth doesn’t keep it from happening.
I have a big question about his putting the money into I-65. Isn’t that part of the Federal Interstate System. Shouldn’t Ainsworth and his fellow legislators be looking to Washington for money to fix I-65?
I don’t know Ainsworth at all. When he came to town, I never saw him.
I only saw the lack of construction on the corridor where money has already been spent on buying right of way and preparation.
Voting is a private matter and you can vote for him if you think he is good for this area. Senator Eddins from Demopolis was from here and he wasn’t good for the growth of the area in the 1950s when the interstate was being built. Did you ever wonder why I-85 ends in Montgomery instead of coming across the state.
He was a powerful legislator who stopped its coming our way because he said it would disrupt our quality of life. Did it?
You decide what the results were. Now is another chance to get a main corridor through here. Is Ainsworth our new Senator Eddins?