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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One of the toughest votes



State Sen. Del Marsh, a strong ally of Republican Gov. Bob Riley, said a vote on Wednesday was one of the "toughest votes I have ever made."

Marsh, R-Anniston, voted to override Riley's veto of a bill that would allow municipalities to vote on whether they wanted alcohol sales.

The Senate failed however to override Riley's veto.

Marsh said his vote was not a sign of disrespect to the governor or his staff. He said they have a core disagreement on the issue.

"There is a difference in the way we look at this particular issue," Marsh said.

Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, criticized some of colleagues for being hypocrites by voting to override the veto that would help one portion of the state while turning their back on legislation by Sen. Bobby Singleton that deals with bingo in Greene County.

"It is hypocrisy and you should be ashamed," Ross said.

Sen. Hank Erwin, R-Montevallo, said the bill would have a "dramatic impact in my own district," but he voted to uphold the veto. He is a staunch opponent of making alcohol more accessible.

Erwin said he has been fair and consistent.

Sen. Bobby Denton, D-Muscle Shoals, said he does not drink, but that there have not been problems in the municipalities he represents that have become wet. He said municipal option was positive because there are not reports of tragedies that occur with people driving to Tennessee to purchase alcohol.

"Having a package store is not as bad as them driving 30 or 40 miles to buy it," Denton said.

Denton, whose district is in north Alabama, also criticized the state running the liquor stores.

"We shouldn't be in the whiskey business," he said.

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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