DME political forum set for Tuesday

By JAMES PHILLIPS
Posted 5/27/18

Tuesday will mark the one-week countdown to the Primary

Election. What better time to hear from the folks who want your vote on June 5?That’s why the Daily Mountain Eagle is sponsoring a …

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DME political forum set for Tuesday

Posted

Tuesday will mark the one-week countdown to the Primary Election. What better time to hear from the folks who want your vote on June 5?

That’s why the Daily Mountain Eagle is sponsoring a political forum Tuesday night inside Rowland Auditorium on the Jasper campus of Bevill State Community College. The forum is open to the public and admission is free. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner,” followed immediately by speeches from candidates.

Speeches will go in order by races with each candidate in a particular race speaking before moving on to the next race. The order of speech in each race will be determined by an extremely scientific and fair method – drawing straws or paper-rock-scissors. Candidates will have five minutes to speak. When 30 seconds is left, our timer will notify the candidate. Once the five minutes is up, the moderator (myself) will respectfully return to the stage to escort the candidate off, hopefully without needing a hook or broom like “Sandman” Sims used on “Showtime at the Apollo.”

Supporters of candidates are urged to attend the event, wearing their campaign gear. We will even allow signs in the audience and cheering from the crowd. Heckling or negative reactions from the crowd will not be tolerated.

Our job as a newspaper is to bring unbiased information to our readers and the citizens of our coverage area. We feel this political forum is a way for us to do that and to reach would-be voters in a variety of ways.

The forum will be streamed live via the Daily Mountain Eagle Facebook page. A live audio stream will be available via mountaineagle.com. DME News Editor Ed Howell will be covering the forum to allow print coverage of the event and each contested race in the Daily Mountain Eagle to follow in the days leading up to the election. Our friends at WJLX Oldies 101.5-FM and the Alabama Cable Network have also contacted us about broadcasting the forum over their airwaves, so we reached an agreement for those outlets to carry the event live on the radio and tape-delayed on television.

The different platforms that we have available allow us to be able to get information to the voters of Walker County. We want people informed before they cast their votes on June 5. An informed and educated group of voters is important for any election.

Each candidate will be charged $25 for their opportunity to speak with all of those funds going directly to the Daily Mountain Eagle Christmas Shoe Fund, which provides new shoes and grocery vouchers to Walker County families in need during the holidays. The Eagle Shoe Fund, which was founded by longtime editor and publisher Doug Pearson, has given away more than 30,000 pairs of shoes in the past 25 years.

The people of Walker County have supported the efforts of the Shoe Fund for 25 years now, and we felt the political forum would be a great way for us to raise some money for that program.

Candidates may feel free to give more than the $25 suggested donation and donation baskets will be available at the event to allow members of the audience to also give if they feel led to do so.

All but statewide candidates will be allowed to speak, meaning local and regional candidates will participate. Qualified independent candidates, who would run on the November ballot, will also be allowed to participate. Independent candidates have until June 5 to qualify. 

To participate, candidates may sign up in advance by contacting me at the Daily Mountain Eagle by calling or emailing at the contact information below. They may also register on the afternoon of the event from 5-5:30 p.m. Doors will open to the public at 5 p.m.

I have heard from most of the candidates already, and it looks like we will have a full slate of speakers.

 

James Phillips is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He may be reached at 205-221-2840 or james.phillips@mountaineagle.com.