The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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God Bless Birmingham Weekly

Posted by ALmod on December 7, 2007

The coverage from the Birmingham News is starting to make me nauseous.  I’ve started to wonder these days if they’ve just decided to save themselves the time and have the mayor write their articles for them.  All one has to do is pick up a copy these days.  Every other story headline has the exact words “Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford” in it, or at least in the first sentence.  (Can he ever be referred to as just “Langford” in a headline?  I’d even settle for “Mayor Langford” or “Larry Langford” or “Mr. Langford.”  Creativity is a plus, guys!)  Each article praises his every move while any fault is left with the city council.  Yes, the council should have gone over details of the mayor’s plan to raise taxes and ask questions before voting.  But is there no fault to the mayor himself for providing such a poorly planned proposal to the council from the beginning?

If it weren’t for the Sunday morning coupons, I’d have canceled my subscription long ago.

So lately I’ve been reading Birmingham Weekly.  I must say that I’m impressed with their tell-it-like-it-is stance.  You see so little of that these days, with the exception of certain political cartoonists.  Ballsiness.  That’s what we need from our publications, and lots of it.

Two things in particular caught my eye from this week’s issue.   The first was from their “Hot Seat and Limelight” section.  (Think TV Guide’s “Cheers and Jeers”.)  I saw this:

“When Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford ran for office, he promised that he wouldn’t use a city car. What’s more, he skewered then-Mayor Bernard Kincaid for having bodyguards and riding around in a Lincoln Towncar. After taking office, he ordered most city staff to relinquish their city cars. However, in a meeting Monday, Langford indicated that he had mistakenly thought he could have a car allowance for using his own car. Now he wants a new car of his choosing — a Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Is he for real? Who can tell? What is for certain is the model’s MSRP: $76,000.” 

Color me shocked.  Langford already has his own group of bodyguards.  He’s already spent tons of taxpayor money on his office changes, including a large flat-screen LCD television.  I’d love to see the city give him a three-year-old Ford Focus (good condition, of course) and then have him explain why he needs more than that.  Meanwhile, that Corvette costs more than the annual salary of one of those city jobs he’s proposed to cut.  If given the choice between one or the other, I know which one I’d pick.

But nobody seems to know where they’ll find the money for police and fire pay raises…

The other thing that got my attention was, of course, Kyle Whitmire’s latest.  Shame on Whitmire.  He now has me addicted to reading his stuff.  He has an excellet write-up from his own perspective of the whole residency question regarding Birmingham’s mayor.  Particularly, Whitmire noticed that there was a UPS delivery post-it (picture included) at Langford’s Birmingham apartment (posted for the world of Birmingham to see) showing that UPS had been trying to deliver a package to him for quite some time.

“The UPS delivery person had stopped there the day before. A checked box indicated that this note was UPS’s third and final attempt to deliver the mayor’s package. Behind the glass door, adhered to the mayor’s post office box, were two more sticky notes from UPS. The top one was from Nov. 27, the second attempt, which presumably covered the first one from the day before — Monday, Nov. 26”

Over the course of the week, the post-it was not removed, which brings into question which four nights that week he’d spent there.

“On Tuesday morning, more than a week after the UPS driver posted the first sticky note at the Blach’s building door, I asked Langford when was the last time he had visited his downtown apartment. He hesitated. For a moment he appeared frustrated, and then agitated, and then his eyes narrowed and the quick flush of exasperation faded.

“’Yesterday,’ he said, and then he stormed away.

“On Tuesday afternoon, the sticky note was still there. “

At some point, someone is going to have to admit that Larry Langford does not live in Birmingham and has no intention of ever moving back.  Just don’t expect that person to be Larry Langford.


One Response to “God Bless Birmingham Weekly”

  1. walt moffett said

    The Weekly is asking questions and writing stories that need to be written.

    My own take on what the News along with the other mules is riding the tiger as the Chinese proverb would say with Langford.

    On Langford’s vehicle, why not that Mercedes DARE car the BPD has or some other surplus police vehicle. If it worked for Jake and Elwood, it will work for him.

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