Bryan Taylor: ‘I have had enough’

Published 10:28 pm Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bryan Taylor said he’s had enough of “back room deals” and “special interests” in the Legislature.

So Taylor’s decided to do something about it, something he hopes will put him in the Senate District 30 seat to make a change.

Taylor, a Republican, will face Ken Barnett and Ray Boles in the June 1 primary. The victor of that seat will face long-time Democratic incumbent Wendell Mitchell come Novemer.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Taylor has served as the former assistant legal council to Alabama Governor Bob Riley for the last four years, and it was during that time he realized the state needed a change.

“After four years of serving in administration and dealing with the Legislature year after year, the antics and influence of lobbyists and special interests seems to get worse,” Taylor said. “I began to think about all the stuff we tried to get the Legislature to pass. Because of the influence of special interests and lobbyists and money the Legislative leadership has ignored, mocked or killed just about every good government reform we’ve proposed.

“If people knew the half of what was going on in Montgomery, they would not reelect these people. The reason they don’t know is because year after year the Democrats kill every accountability reform that comes up.”

But Taylor doesn’t want to just complain about state government.

“It occurred to me, unless good people run for the right reasons, we really can’t complain about the Legislature we have,” Taylor said.

If elected, Taylor has several key issues he wants to see addressed. At the top — ethics reform.

“I want to see ethics reform, bills to jump start jobs, charter schools. I want to see new ideas given a chance. As long as we keep doing the same old thing, we won’t get any different results,” he said.

In order for those “new ideas” to happen, though, Taylor said the Legislature needs to see reform.

“If you have a group of elected officials more worried about giving themselves pay raises, getting elected and awarding political contributors than jump starting jobs and improving education, we can’t ever expect those things to happen,” Taylor said.

“In Alabama, we have to lay the foundation of open, honest, accountable government.”

Taylor said charter schools are one of those new ideas he would like to see the state adopt.

“There was a misinformation campaign against charter schools,” Taylor said.

“They didn’t take from school systems. In our poorest performing school districts, it would have been another tool in their belt…Charter schools are all about choice and could be a point of hope for parents.”

Taylor is against legalizing electronic bingo, an issue that dominated Alabama’s Legislature last session and now is making way in the courts.

“Those machines are slot machines in every meaningful way, and calling it bingo doesn’t make it different,” Taylor said.

Still, Taylor said if the people of the state were to decide it should become legal, it would be imperative a group of honest leaders are in office.

With Alabama projected to face even tougher economic times as the next group of legislators draft state budgets, Taylor said there are plenty of ways to make the budget balance.

“The first thing is to cut out pork spending,” Taylor said. And, in light of the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Taylor said it’s even clearer the state should be reaping benefits from taking the risks.

“If the Gulf states accept that responsibility and the risks associated with that, we ought to be fairly compensated,” Taylor said, suggesting a way to increase state revenues.

Taylor said he supports the concept of a bill to remove the tax on groceries and prescription drugs, an issue that has come before the state for the last several years.

But, he said punishing the wealthiest in Alabama would inhibit job growth.

“I have been dealing with the Legislature.

“I know what’s broken, and I know how to fix it,” he said.