Letters to the Editor September 4, 2002

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Broxton blames Hammett for school issue

Dear Editor:

This letter is written in response to your news articles concerning the unconstitutional seizure of

$8.2 million from our school children in Covington County by the State Legislature to give to Governor Siegelman.

Seth Hammett is totally to blame for our losing this $8.2 million, which was in a State bank account designated solely for Covington County schools.

First, Hammett allowed the legislation (House Bill 411) that robbed our schools of this $8.2 million to be voted on by the Legislature, when, as Speaker of the House, he could have prevented such a vote.

Had Hammett not allowed the passage of this legislation, there would be no need for the lawsuit by the Covington County Board of Education to regain our rightful funds from the State.

Second, Seth Hammett, as our State Representative, voted for House Bill 411 on 3-7-02 and on 4-11-02 that took our schools' funds (recorded in the official 2002 Alabama House Journal).

Hammett once again voted against the wishes of the people, just like he did when he voted for video gambling and a pro-homosexual Bill; and opposed the public display of the Ten Commandments and our Confederate Veterans' Battle Flag.

Third, although Covington County schools' money had remained in a State bank account for many years, Seth Hammett failed to use his position as Representative and Speaker to transfer some of these funds to our schools.

Hammett did not represent us.

But rest assured, just as the Star News failed to report how Hammett voted for this legislation that robbed our schools of this $8.2 million, that when the funds are returned, the Star News will credit Hammett for retrieving our money (sort of like rewarding the fox for returning the chicken).

Roger Broxton


Says Hammett not a


Dear Editor:

I am writing this in response to the article you recently ran concerning Covington County potentially losing millions of education dollars due to what appears to me to be political "re-routing" of funds owed them by the state. My question is, where is our State Representative?

Representative Seth Hammett has been presented as a "hero of children" in the Andalusia Star News. I have read for years about how he "announced" that one or more schools in the county received funds for renovations or other projects, which I thought was very noble of Mr. Hammett. However, I could not help but wonder if "announced" meant just that. Did Mr. Hammett help appropriate the funds, or did he simply "announce" that the county received money that it would have gotten anyway?

As Speaker of the House, I understand that no bill comes up for a vote unless Representative Hammett allows said bill to do so. Does this mean that Mr. Hammett allowed the State to withhold funds from our schools both in Covington County and many other areas of Alabama? I am sure that Mr. Hammett would not "announce" that in the newspapers.

As a man who has been an educator all his life, it would seem illogical that Mr. Hammett would withold any funds owed to the education system. I wonder if Mr. Hammett has somehow lost sight of the importance of education in Alabama in light of his political aspirations. The citizens of Alabama are constantly bombarded with newspaper articles of what dire straits the state's school systems are in, and I feel that these are all legitimate. In light of what I have gathered from this latest debacle, I can't help but wonder if the money for education is not there, or if it simply ends up somewhere else that it doesn't need to be.

If there is a higher priority in this state than our children, I can't imagine what it would be.


Laura Hudson