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August 21, 2003   Email to Friend 

RILEY AIDE CALLS ALABAMA VOTERS "STUPID"
Alabama Chrisitan Coalition President John Giles said the governor's staff member should resign.
Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
August 21, 2003

Alabama Christian Coalition President John Giles spoke to 350 residents who turned out for the anti-tax rally at the Pike County Cattleman Park Aug. 19 in Troy.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Remarks from a member of Gov. Bob Riley's staff who referred to Alabama voters opposed to a billion-dollar tax increase plan as "stupid" have drawn criticism from opponents of the tax. The remark also has prompted an apology from the governor's staff member, but some critics have called for the aide to resign.

In a Tuesday story published by the Philadelphia Inquirer, a story headlined "Governor's about-face is taxing Alabama residents" featured interviews with residents around the state as well as Gov. Riley and his policy director David Stewart who was attributed with having made the remark.

The numerous polls taken throughout the state indicate that the majority of voters oppose Riley's $1.2 billion tax increase plan. Then, the reporter's story said when asked why more people aren't supporting the governor's plan, Stewart showed his frustration and said, "The people of Alabama are too...stupid to know better."

According to the reporter who wrote the story for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stewart used profanity in the remark that the newspaper chose not to publish.

Stewart's comments drew criticism from John Giles, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, who spoke to a crowd of 350 tax opponents at a meeting in Troy Tuesday night. Giles said that Stewart should resign immediately. Giles remarks drew cheers and a big round of applause from the crowd that was gathered at the Pike Cattleman's Park.

Click here to view the full story in the Philadelphia Inquirer




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