William G. Barnes is seeking the Democratic nomination in hopes of opposing Republican incumbent Richard Shelby for a seat in the U.S. Senate. He merits strong consideration.
Barnes, a Vietnam veteran, retired after a 28-year career as a psychologist with the federal government. He now has a law practice in Birmingham, which consists, he says, “mostly of serving pro bono and poverty level folks in civil and criminal law cases, including death penalty cases.”
He blames market deregulation, lax enforcement of anti-monopoly laws and simple greed for the high unemployment rate. He contends that the creation of new jobs will require developing new industries based on innovation and technology and educating the workforce to fill those new jobs.
High on his priority list is the development of new types of vehicles without internal-combustion engines. Eliminating gasoline-powered automobiles would have multiple benefits, Barnes says, the most desirable of which would be to end U.S. dependence on foreign oil and eliminate the motivation to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Barnes proposes setting a 10-year goal of replacing internal-combustion engines with “modes of transportation that employ alternate fuel types that are bountiful and take us away from oil and natural gas.” The research, development and manufacturing necessary to reach that goal would spur the creation of jobs at many levels over the next decade, he says.
His other priorities are education improvements, which he would address through funding to hire more teachers and aids, reduce class sizes in K-12 schools and provide pre-kindergarten opportunities in all school districts; and national debt reduction, which he would seek to accomplish through technological developments that create jobs, thus increasing the tax base, rather than through federal budget cuts.
Barnes says about himself, “I believe in strong traditional family values as well as our Rule of Law. I do not subscribe to fads or current actions that are meant to distract and disrupt an ordered society. I appreciate differences of opinion and believe that compromise is the lubricant of the fabric of our society to assure differences do not become absolute obstacles to resolutions beneficial to all citizens and stakeholders.”
Barnes’s opponent for the Democratic nomination is middle school teacher and singer Simone de Moore, a man without political experience but hands down the handsomest man in the race.
Republican: Richard Shelby
Richard Shelby has represented Alabama in the U.S. Senate since 1987 and served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before that. He is 76 years old and has said that this will be his last term if he is re-elected. Although his first years in the Senate were as a Democrat, he switched to the GOP in 1994, the day after the midterm elections that brought Republican majorities to both the House and Senate.
His long tenure in the Senate has brought Shelby considerable influence. He is the ranking Republican on the Senate’s Banking Committee and serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee and the Special Committee on Aging. In past terms, he has been chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Banking Committee.
He continues to oppose the recently passed national health care law while claiming to support health care reform. He supports offshore drilling, but “remains concerned that no viable techniques beyond the months-long process of digging relief wells have yet been proposed.” He opposes the current bill to rein in Wall Street while claiming to demand “transparency, accountability and taxpayer protection within our nation’s banking and financial system.”
What recommends Shelby, the only thing that recommends him, in fact, is his proven ability to bring home the bacon. While Shelby opposes big government and most taxes, he has been successful in making sure that Alabama receives on average about $1.50 for every $1 residents of the state pay in federal income taxes.
Well, there is one other little thing that recommends Shelby: His opposition for the Republican nomination is Clint Moser, who is to the right of Genghis Khan.