We get too serious on this blog sometimes. (OK, we're too serious almost all of the time.) But let's correct that by having a contest.
We will base our contest on the following press release, in which the Alabama Democratic Party helpfully points out that Governor Bob Riley has packed Alabama's Joint Patriotic Immigration Commission with his own major contributors. M.J. Ellington, of the Decatur Daily, provides solid coverage on the issue.
The gist of the story: Four of Riley's seven appointments, including the group's chairman, gave at least $390,000 in campaign contributions (personally or through PACs and lobbyists) to Riley since 2005. Even a Republican member of the commission, Scott Beason of Gardendale, admitted that "special interests" had figured out a way to take over the group.
I'm sure this question might have occurred to some of you: How is Riley's appointment of these contributors to a state board different from Don Siegelman's appointment of contributor Richard Scrushy to a state board?
One difference: Siegelman is in federal prison because of his appointment, and Riley remains the Teflon governor. But there we go getting serious again.
So here's our contest. Which will happen first: The Bush DOJ investigating Bob Riley and his stacked immigration commission or the total melting of the polar icecaps?
Cast your votes now, and the winner will receive . . . hmmm, we might have a problem with our prize. The Legal Schnauzer is rather poor at the moment, thanks to corrupt Republican judges in Alabama.
But how about this for a prize? Dinner (or lunch or breakfast) for two at the Steak 'n Shake in fashionable Prattville, AL. Having been bred in the Midwest, the Schnauzer is a huge fan of Steak 'n Shake. For those of you who are not familiar with this classic of the heartland, you can learn more here.
The company now is based in Indianapolis. But it started in Normal, IL, and my wife and I had the good fortune of eating at the very first Steak 'n Shake a few years ago before it met the wrecking ball.
How good is Steak 'n Shake. My wife would probably tell you that the best thing about being married to me (maybe the only good thing) is that I grew up in a town with a Steak 'n Shake. When we go back to my hometown, she couldn't care less about seeing my family. (Can't say I blame her; bunch of right wingers.) She just wants to go to one of the Steak 'n Shakes, particularly the one with the old-timey classic decor.
For mysterious reasons, Birmingham has never been graced with a Steak 'n Shake. But rumor has it that is about to change. If it does, it will be the best thing to hit our fair city since Gene Bartow brought us athletics at UAB.
So there's the prize. Maybe I'll write a government grant to see if someone will pay for it. You know how we Democrats are? Always looking for a handout from big government.