It’s time for another somewhat exciting edition of “Kudos and Kooties,” the Hidden Agenda column gimmick which heaps praise and poo-poo on all of the good and god-awful things going on in our community, respectively speaking, of course. (If you say the previous sentence in a game show announcer voice, it takes this from somewhat exciting to marginally exciting. Or wait, maybe it’s the other way around. Strike that, reverse it!)

Anyway, we have lots of things to get to this week, so let’s get started.

Kudos go to …

Gov. Kay Ivey
In her one-week tenure, our new governor fired our former governor’s mistress’ husband, Jon Mason, who was given a job by said former “Lover-nor” Robert Bentley. A sweet-paying gig, which looked more like a payment to a pimp than anything else.

She “accepted the resignation” of the top law enforcement officer in the state, ALEA Secretary Stan Stabler, who clearly stood up and lied to our faces when he knew the governor was having an affair and then took a promotion to boot.

And, most importantly, Ivey set the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions for later this year. Bentley conveniently filled this seat with former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, a man whose office was supposedly investigating him at the time, and then also very conveniently set the special election designed to fill the spot for more than a year later, when he would have been been leaving office if he hadn’t resigned.

The primary will now take place on Aug. 15, with a runoff on Sept. 26, if needed. The general election will be on Dec. 12.
“I promised to steady our ship of state,” Ivey said in a press release earlier this week. “This means following the law, which clearly states the people should vote for a replacement U.S. Senator as soon as possible.”

The optics of Bentley’s appointment of Strange could not have looked shadier. Even though it is going to cost the state a pretty penny to do this, it will restore integrity back to this important office.

Keep on steadying that ship, Gov. Ivey! So far, so good!

Rep. Bradley Byrne
As other Republican lawmakers across the country have completely avoided town hall meetings due to sometimes hostile left-leaning attendees who are opposed to Trump and his policies, Byrne has held 11 in the last four days. Even if you don’t agree with Byrne’s politics, you have to respect his willingness to get out there and hear from constituents on both sides of the aisle.

Granted, he should be willing to do this, as it is his job and every other member of Congress’. But there have been many who have fallen down on their duties of late. And those members who have canceled events, held telephone town halls or filled their rooms with friendly faces by design could not look like bigger cowards. It’s nice to know our congressman is not of that ilk.

Kooties go to …

U.S. Sen. Luther Strange
When former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange accepted the appointment by (now former) Gov. Robert Bentley to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, he had to have known even if he wasn’t making a deal with the devil, it would surely look like it. Strange, who was the odds-on favorite for the position anyway, may be the most honorable giant to ever hold this office, but the circumstances under which he obtained his fancy new title will forever taint the office as long as he holds it. His own ambition outweighed his obligation to the citizens of Alabama. And now it just may cost him the seat he now holds and probably would have held if he had only come out and honorably declined that horny little devil’s offer.

All of us, if …
We don’t pay attention to our elections and vote! Though Alabama politics may now be far less sexy, or at least filled with less geriatric sexy talk (we hope), it is incumbent upon all of us to stay just as focused on what’s going on as we were when we were devouring the seedy details of clandestine breast holding and Wanda’s desk.

We will soon be voting for one of our two U.S. senators, a position that does not often come up. Special elections have historically low turnouts. If we let that history keep repeating, we are going to end up with yet another clown in one of our most important offices.

Also in 2018, we will be voting for governor, lieutenant governor and other statewide offices. Most of us don’t even know who our state reps and senators are, but then we act completely dumbfounded when they do something asinine in Montgomery. Pay attention, educate yourself on the choices, and then show up at the polls and vote for a decent human being. Otherwise, accept these Kooties and the government you deserve.