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Tim James, Bidness Man


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Tim James, Bidness Man

By J.D. Crowe

May 06, 2010, 5:00AM

5-6-10TimJamesBiz.jpgJD Crowe 5/06/10

Setting Alabama back about 20 years doesn't make much business sense to me.

(Wait a minute. Looking down at my notes ... )

Does it to you?

Today's Press-Register editorial:

Tim James sets Alabama back

REMEMBER MARTHA Sandoval?

A Mexican immigrant whose English was limited, Ms. Sandoval couldn't get a driver's license because at the time, a constitutional amendment approved by Alabama voters said English was the state's official language.

So the Mobilian had to walk 10 miles a day to her job as a maid. Eventually, her heels gave her so much trouble that her doctor told her to stop walking long distances, and she couldn't work.

Ms. Sandoval's 1996 lawsuit challenging the English-only provision for driver's licenses led to a federal appeals court decision requiring that the tests be administered in other languages.

So why is Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James dragging the issue up again?

Perhaps he's worried about his chances in the primary, so he's resorting to demagoguery that is embarrassing to Alabamians and is an offense to business people from other countries who have brought thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investments to this state.

Mr. James' recent campaign commercial pledging that, if elected governor, he will personally see to it that driver's license exams are given only in English has landed him on The New York Times editorial page and on CNN. Unfortunately, both he and Alabama come off like bumpkins who demean other cultures out of ignorance and arrogance.

Mr. James is a successful businessman who should understand what foreign corporations like Hyundai, Mercedes, ThyssenKrupp AG and Airbus/EADS have meant to Alabama.

How could Mr. James possibly be as successful as Gov. Bob Riley has been at international economic development, with that commercial proclaiming that if you don't speak English, you shouldn't live in Alabama?

Whether Mr. James truly believes what he's saying or is engaging in the politics of pandering to a certain segment of voters, this state's successful recruitment of international business proves that Alabama has outgrown candidates like him

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