Cheney’s Visit Prompts “War of Words” Between Alabama’s Gubernatorial Candidates

By: Alex Zequeira
By: Alex Zequeira

The second most powerful man in the United States made a stop in Dothan, Monday, to help raise money for Alabama Governor Bob Riley's bid for re-election.

But the visit prompted a rather bitter response from his opponent, Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley.

Under very heavy security, the vice president landed in Dothan to help rally support and funds for fellow republican, Alabama Governor Bob Riley.

Riley said, "If you want to win a gubernatorial race, you've got to raise money."

Mr. Cheney was the guest of honor at a $2,500 a plate, private fundraising dinner.

The pricey ticket prompted some strong words from Riley's opponent, lieutenant governor Lucy Baxley.

"Government is supposed to belong to the people not to the dollars. This is the campaign of the dollars versus the people. And I'm just trusting in the good people of this state to not sit by and see the governor's race auctioned to the highest bidder," said Baxley.

Baxley, a Houston County native, says the money spent holding the event could have been better spent.

Baxley said, "If the federal government has some money that can be pent in this area, why not give it to some of these drought stricken farmers.

However, Governor Riley says he is working closely with the federal government to bring relief to Alabama farmers, and he says Ms. Baxley's comments are nothing more than angry words from a concerned political rival.

Riley said, "If I was Ms. Baxley I would be concerned. You know when you come into your own home county if you have the largest fundraiser in this county, I would be concerned about it also."

Despite the war of words, the vice presidents motorcade was escorted to and from the dinner safely.

After the three-hour visit, the nation's second most powerful person, boarded his plane and went back to Washington.

Monday’s fundraiser is considered by many to be the biggest political fundraiser in the history of Houston County, and officials with Riley’s campaign say it helped them raise about $200,000.

The latest polls show Governor Riley with a 16-point lead on Lieutenant Governor Baxley.


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