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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Byrne Challenges Fellow Republicans to say 'No' to AEA Money

Republican candidate for governor Bradley Byrne signed a pledge that he would not directly or indirectly take money from the state's powerful education lobby, and he wants his fellow Republican candidates for governor to pledge to do the same.

In a press conference Tuesday on the steps of the State Capitol, with the Alabama Education Association's headquarters below him on Dexter Avenue, Byrne signed what he calls the "Leadership Challenge for Educational Excellence" pledge.

Byrne said AEA has millions of dollars at its disposal to influence political races, and it has demonstrated in the past that it will not hesitate to use those dollars to influence Republican races. The top leaders of the AEA, Paul Hubbert and Joe Reed, are prominent members of the state Democratic Party.

There's no love lost between Byrne and the AEA. Byrne said he has gone head-to-head with the organization over the teacher tenure law when he was a state senator and over the state Board of Education's double-dipping policy when he was chancellor of the state's two-year college system.

"I think we're seeing the beginning of the end of AEA's stranglehold on Montgomery," he said.

-- posted by Markeshia Ricks


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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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