The only thing that Commissioner of Agriculture Ron Sparks and U.S. Rep. Artur Davis seem to agree on these days is that they're both Democrats and they both want to be governor.
The two candidates have been attacking each other on their differing stances on health care and education, and it doesn't appear they're going to let up anytime soon.
Davis' campaign is accusing Sparks of "deliberately misleading Alabama voters on his views" about education reform and charter schools.
Sparks has taken a strong stance against charter schools, while Davis is in favor of Alabama having them. The Davis camp points out that Sparks joined Newt Gingrich and the Rev. Al Sharpton in Tuskegee recently as part of the Obama administration's education tour.
Gingrich and Sharpton have joined forces to promote the president's vision for a radical overhaul of education, and part of that vision includes permitting charter schools.
“Ron Sparks proudly touted his participation in President Obama’s education reform tour when he thought it would win him votes, but less than two weeks later he is taking the opposite position and claiming to strongly oppose the President’s signature reforms,” said Davis campaign spokesman Alex Goepfert. “Once again, Ron Sparks is not being honest with Alabama voters about where he stans.
“Artur Davis agrees with President Obama on this issue and Ron Sparks either does not understand President Obama’s charter school proposals or he is once again deliberately misleading voters."
ut the Sparks camp, which has been hammering Davis for voting against the prevailing House health care reform bill in Congress, says Davis has some explaining of his own to do as the only black member of the Congressional Black Caucus to vote against the bill.
The campaign recently sent out a link to a story from "The Hill" in which the Rev. Jesse Jackson questions Davis' blackness for voting against the health care bill.
"I find it ironic that Artur Davis has time these days to critique Ron's support for educational reform, " said Sparks campaign spokesman Justin Saia. "Perhaps he should focus his efforts instead on answering questions from the voters in his district and Democrats across the state who are appalled by his shameless vote on Barack Obama's health care reform bill.
Saia said he finds it equally amusing that Davis critiques an event that he didn't attend.
"Charter schools are only a part of the President's education reform plan," he said. "Charter schools only affect a minuscule number of our school children while overall reform must address the needs of all of our students. Charter schools are not a silver bullet that will solve our education problems.
"I look forward to hearing specific plans to fund Alabama's depleted education budgets from Artur in the near future," Saia said.
-- posted by Markeshia Ricks