Artur Davis Loses in Ala. Gov. Race

Democrat Artur Davis has lost his bid to become Governor of Alabama. I don't know anything about his challenger, Ron Sparks, but I'm glad Davis lost. Back in 2008, when his name was mentioned as a possible Attorney General pick for Obama, I researched his record and found it terrible on crime. He was a total crime warrior.

Some snippets below: [More...]

From his then website:

From 1994 to 1998, Congressman Davis established a 98 percent conviction rate as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama fighting white-collar criminals and the scourge of drugs and violence on our streets and in our neighborhoods....[he was]the co-chair of the centrist New Democrat Caucus.


On issues, in 2006, NORML rated him -20,indicating a "hard-on-drugs" stance. The National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) rated him at 88 for being tough on crime.

He voted for the bankruptcy reform bill....He also voted for class action reform (as did Obama, by the way, breaking with progressive Democrats), the Real ID act, the marriage amendment and the bill banning partial-birth abortions. And he voted yes on removing the need for a FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. He voted yes on continuing military recruitment on college campuses.

He also voted against the health care reform bill. Sounds to me like Alabama dodged a bullet. Sparks, the State Agriculture Commissioner, campaigned hard in favor of legalizing gambling.

Sparks, 57, won the nomination in large part by campaigning on a single issue: his support for legalizing, regulating and taxing Las Vegas-style gambling in Alabama. Sparks stumped the state, telling would-be voters that taxing gambling proceeds would go a long way toward helping pay for a variety of needs -- from improving schools, better funding medical care for the needy and paying for college scholarships for deserving students.

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    J, Davis ran away from (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:11:02 AM EST
    traditional coalitions, such as the Alabama Democratic conference, the African American legislative group, away from the Alabama Educational Association, among others.

    Davis' vote against HCR has played a significant role in the primary.

    Sparks' positions have been more to the left of Davis'.

    Again, this isn't about race. Most of the African American interest groups of long standing endorsed Sparks. Davis refused to address those groups. the AEA and the ADC are powerful in democratic circles, and not to be trifled with. Davis' run away from health care didn't help him either.

    I liked Davis at first when he was the best (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by magster on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 04:06:07 PM EST
    interrogator of Gonzalez et al in the attorneygate scandal congressional hearings, but his craven move to the right to further his political ambitions gave this unprincipled politician his due.  C-ya!

    He Did The Math (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by squeaky on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 04:09:43 PM EST
    And got it wrong... good riddance is right.

    For once, I agree with squeaky (none / 0) (#14)
    by lambert on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:14:59 PM EST
    Though I too remember him working out on Gonzales, that doesn't make up for a move to the right.

    Sounds like Davis ran a general election (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:52:22 PM EST
    campaign instead of a primary campaign. Democrats are supposed to move to the right after they lie through their teeth to win the primary.

    The way Davis beat up on Democratic ideals, (2.00 / 1) (#4)
    by scribe on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:30:06 AM EST
    positions and principles and voted against them (seemingly ever time he got a chance) and then expected to have a chance at winning just goes to show that graduating from Harvard does not guarantee that graduate is neither an idiot nor deluded by reading his own press and/or listening to his sycophants.

    I'm waiting to see whether Obama bails him out with a nice job somewhere.  I'm betting he will - they have six months to clear a spot for him.  Probably something at the DCCC or other place where he can do the most damage.  OR maybe he can give him the US Attorney's job that (last I checked) Bush appointee Leura Canary was still filling.  Davis' positions are consonant (sadly) with Obama's so he'll have to help this kindred soul.

    Is he still a Congressman? (none / 0) (#5)
    by WS on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:40:30 AM EST
    Did he quit his seat to run for governor?  

    He's not running for re election for (none / 0) (#6)
    by tigercourse on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 12:04:16 PM EST
    that seat. Someone else won the primary there last night.

    Spraks website (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:07:12 AM EST

    He's the current Ag Commissioner, so ag issues are big with him.

    Big on insfrastucture repairs and new construction.

    And from Wiki:

    Sparks has said he supports healthcare reform and the public option, opposes charter schools, supports the Stimulus, and advocates an educational lottery and gaming tax for pre-kindergarten and college scholarships.

    Also electronic Bingo is a big deal in the (none / 0) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:13:12 AM EST
    state at the moment. Sparks supports allowing and taxing. Republicans support closing down the casinos. Two of the casinos are in high AA population counties and provide many jobs.

    If nothing else, this election tells us that (none / 0) (#7)
    by tigercourse on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 12:08:58 PM EST
    election polls are just about useless unless they are taken on the same day as the election (if then). Dailykos polled this race 2 weeks ago and had Davis 41 to Sparks 33. It ended up Sparks 62 to Davis 39. About 31 points off.

    I wouldn't dismiss all polls, ... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Yman on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 12:20:45 PM EST
    ... although I'd take them with a grain of salt.

    In the case of DK, I'd make it a truckload of salt.


    Dailykos didn't take the poll (none / 0) (#10)
    by jtaylorr on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 02:13:49 PM EST
    Research 2000, one of the most reputable pollsters in the country, did. DailyKos simply commissioned the poll.
    Primaries are notoriously difficult to poll. Southern primaries even more so. And Southern Democratic primaries are even worse. One must ask, why even bother?

    Yeah, I know ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Yman on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:09:40 PM EST
    I don't know about the general accuracy of Research 2000, but their DK polls are consistent outliers.  For example, their latest Obama approval rating poll has him at 54-41 favorable to unfavorable, a net positive of 13 points.  The other major polls have Obama at an average net approval of +1.9%, an not a single poll gives Obama more than a +6% net approval rating (Gallup), and DK/Research 2000 numbers have been consistently far higher than anyone else for months.

    I'm guessing Research 2000 knows who's writing their checks.


    Jeralyn, just projecting here. But, wouldn't (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 12:44:45 PM EST
    your practice diminish if fewer crime warriors were elected?

    I think those that have already been (none / 0) (#13)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 04:52:13 PM EST
    elected have done enough already to keep a lot of defense attorneys busy.....

    If those crime warriors (none / 0) (#15)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:28:26 PM EST
    advocated for and succeeded in implementing procedural obstacles interfering with the ability of a defense attorney to provide an adequate defense then that too would diminish her practice, or at least make it that much more difficult to provide legal representation for her clients.  But I'm not a lawyer, obviously, and am speaking out of my speculative behind. :)

    OH, those crime warriors are working (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 06:01:53 PM EST
    on that too.  See recent amendment re pro bono lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees.