Pubdate: Mon, 06 Jul 2009
Source: Anniston Star (AL)
Copyright: 2009 Consolidated Publishing
Contact:  http://www.annistonstar.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/923

GETTING UNWANTED INFORMATION

Give some credit to Alabama gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep.
Artur Davis. On his campaign Web site, he recently asked residents to
post ideas about how to improve the state and then comment and vote on
those they thought were most important.

However, Davis should have remembered why kindergarten teachers know
never to ask a bunch of 5-year-olds if they have any questions. As
sure as you do, one will ask, "why is the sky blue?" Another will ask
"why do dogs chase cats?" And a third will ask, "can I go to the
bathroom?" Open the floor and folks will ask anything.

In Davis' case, they did.

The issue that topped the online list of comments and votes favored
the legalization of marijuana in Alabama.

Seeing this, Davis (who opposes legalization) should have thanked
those who supported the idea, reiterated his opposition and used the
opportunity to explain why he is taking that stand.

But he didn't. Instead, he thanked the more than 2,300 people who
voted for the 80 different ideas, didn't mention the top vote-getter
and took down the site.

Loretta Nall, who contributed the idea, was outraged. You may remember
Nall, who ran as an independent gubernatorial candidate in 2006 and
whose "busty" picture caught the eye of some dedicated followers of
Alabama politics. She wanted to legalize marijuana then and wants to
legalize it now.

Nall's contribution to Davis's Web site received more votes than any
other issue (reportedly 118). However, if all the votes on suggestions
relating to rewriting Alabama's antiquated state Constitution were
tallied, constitutional reform  and not legalizing marijuana  would
have come in first.

But that is not the point.

Candidate Davis missed a golden opportunity to underscore his
willingness to listen to different ideas and highlight his
determination to reject those that he does not consider good for the
state and its people.

It's a lesson to remember for the coming campaign.
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr