Reposted Stolen from Flashpointblog.com:
Long time readers will know that I have always made my voting preferences and rationale known. Very often I am genuinely uncommitted to any particular candidate until late into the campaign. Campaigns are processes of discovery. It is our chance as voters to see where candidates claim to stand on issues, where they have stood in the past, and how they respond to the rigors of often contentious and personal battles. In the campaign for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District I have had the chance to evaluate all of the announced candidates and despite rumors that one or two others may enter this race my mind is made up. I will be voting for Mo Brooks.
My decision comes down to one word: trust. Far too often we’ve all been burned by voting for a politician only to see him (or her) change once he tasted the nectar of power. I consider trust – the knowledge that the person you vote for today will be the same person voting for you tomorrow – to be the number one quality to look for in a politician. And I have considerable faith in Brooks.
Mo is unashamed and unwavering in expressing his conservative beliefs. I’ve had the opportunity to see him engage and inform others in an array of venues, some friendly and some not, and regardless of who he is talking to his message is the same. He is a strident defender of and advocate for the free enterprise system that has made America great. His proven record on protecting taxpayers speaks for itself and serves as an indicator on how he will vote in the future. He was one of the very few public officials to oppose Bob Riley’s failed billion dollar “Amendment 1″ tax increase, going against the leader of his own party to fight an unnecessary increase in taxes. In other words, you can rely on Brooks doing the right thing for you even when the right thing is perceived as politically unpopular.
In addition to ironclad conservative credentials Mo has critical experience in governance that will serve the 5th district well starting with his first day on the job. He has been a state legislator, district attorney, and county commissioner. He understands the mechanics of government and will be able to leverage that knowledge to tend to the interests of our district. And as a long time resident of Huntsville he knows the district and its needs well.
The more I contemplated the current field of candidates and the rumored candidates who may jump in the more I realized that there was no way I could vote for anyone other than Mo Brooks.
As for the other two announced candidates, they are simply polar opposites. Les Phillip is an honorable man who has served our country with distinction and I expect would do so again if elected. I’ve had the chance to talk to him and listen to him and find myself unable to say anything negative about him. His one shortcoming as a candidate is only that he lacks the record voters can judge. At best, Les will be as reliable as Mo. At worst, he may be more erratic in his voting. Same upside, but Brooks has less downside. As some Brooks supporters say, “Why settle for Les when you can have Mo?” Should Phillip be the GOP nominee, though, I will have no problem supporting him fully. Parker Griffith, however, is not an honorable man and has placed his own ambition ahead of the needs of the district. He will tell people anything in exchange for a vote and simply cannot be trusted. If he is the GOP nominee I will undervote this race in the general election before I vote for him.
Let me also speak to a couple of the frequent criticisms I have heard about Brooks. One that I’ve heard from some on the right side of the aisle is that he is a career politician. True, he has been in public office for many years. But I fail to see how that in any way disqualifies him considering that career has been spent fighting for conservative principles. He hasn’t been a political weather vane, pointing whichever way the wind blows in order to stay in office. He hasn’t backed down from or allowed his political adversaries to run him over. I’ll take a politician who has spent a career conducting himself in a manner I generally agree with anytime.
The second, and more prevalent, criticism I’ve heard about Brooks is that he can be too polarizing for this district. It is fair to say that Brooks differs considerably from, say, Bud Cramer in terms of style. Mo speaks his mind. I don’t think he would disagree with that, but he maintains that he keeps the rhetoric on a policy level, not a personal one and that he has proven himself to be capable of working with Democrats. In the Alabama legislature I believe he was one of about a dozen Republicans in the 105 member house and on the Madison County Commission Democrats hold a 4-3 advantage, but those situations haven’t rendered him ineffective.
I look forward to watching this Republican primary play out. I feel confident that Parker Griffith will be exposed as the political opportunist that he is. I am equally confident that as Republican voters look for a conservative they can count on to represent this district that they will turn to Mo Brooks.