By Ron Crumpton
Candidate Alabama State Senate District 11
Last Thursday, I had the privilege of speaking to the Alabama AFL-CIO’s biennial COPE Convention at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery.
I was pleased and proud to be invited to address the convention because we share the common belief that Alabama’s greatest commodity is the Alabama worker.
The simple fact is that without the working class men and women of Alabama there would be no industry or government because there would be no one to produce, transport or distribute the products created by industry and there would be no tax revenue to fund the government.
The Alabama AFL-CIO and its member organizations stand with the working class, which represents the majority of Alabamians, and I stand with them.
The Republican supermajority has pushed bills and constitutional amendments that would limit their ability to organize workers, without providing any protections for those workers that want to join a union.
Jim McClendon, my opponent in the upcoming election, sponsored legislation in the 2012 session that would have allowed the Alabama Department of Corrections to sell prison labor to private industry. The Alabama AFL-CIO opposed this legislation because it would have created unfair competition for jobs between prisoners and Alabamians who are trying to raise a family.
Our legislature needs to advance legislation that will provide benefit to all Alabamians and not legislation that seeks to make business rich at the expense of workers.
An Example: when elected I plan to offer two pieces of legislation. One that would create a state lottery and one that would allow a limited amount of casino gaming in resort facilities.
In this “resort bill”, there would be a scoring system that gives points for the number of hotel rooms, restaurant seating capacity and other amenities such as golf courses, music venues, etc. If a high enough score is achieved, the facility would be allowed to conduct casino gaming on the premises.
These two bills would create an estimated $800 million a year in revenue for education, which would be distributed as follows:
- Fifty percent, or $400 million, would go to grants and scholarships for college or vocational training. (Available to graduating high school students and displaced workers.)
- Twenty-five percent, or $200 million, would go to repair or replace dilapidated schools. (The average high school costs about $20 million, therefore, we would be able to build 10 new high schools every year.)
- Twenty-five percent, or $200 million, would go to provide teachers with the materials and technology that is necessary to educate our children.
In addition to providing our children with a better education, which is a win for everyone, it would create 35,000 new jobs in the hotel and restaurant industry, more than 1 billion in construction contracts to build the resorts and new companion businesses (hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that will pop up around these resorts) and $200 million per year in construction contracts to repair or replace schools.
That means new jobs for workers, new opportunities for business and new revenue for government in addition to providing a better education for our children without giving away millions in tax incentives.
Currently, 43 states and Washington DC have the lottery and 18 states have commercial gaming… The reason that Alabama is always last in everything is that we refuse to move forward.
I will fight to bring new jobs and new opportunities to the people of Alabama, but to do this I need your support.
My opponent has vast financial resources at his disposal. With your contribution of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more to my campaign, you can ensure that our voices are represented in the election and then in the Senate.