Editorial: Towns’ tough job — State GOP’s minority outreach director faces tough road in Alabama
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Nov 12, 2013 | 1651 views |  0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Troy Towns. Photo: The Associated Press
Troy Towns. Photo: The Associated Press
The Alabama Republican Party has just named Troy Towns as its director of minority outreach.

Talk about a tough job.

Towns has solid Republican credentials. The co-owner of a Montgomery optical business, he has the Chamber of Commerce patina the establishment wing of the GOP loves.

Unfortunately for Towns, about the only thing he has in common with the minorities that he is going to reach out to is his race. Towns is black.

So how is he going to convince minority voters to join a party that has sought to cut them out of the electoral process by complicating the voter registration process? How is he going to convince minority voters to join a party that has sought to minimize their power by isolating them in racially gerrymandered districts? And how is he going to convince minority voters to join a party that has opposed nearly every state and federal program that would help the needy among them, while calling them “moochers” in the process?

We’d like to be there when he explains that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is bad and agricultural price-support and adjustment programs are good.

Perhaps anticipating the skepticism he will face, Towns appears to be prepared to push the “values” button in hopes that he can get minorities to vote for candidates who support their values instead of voting for party affiliation.

That could work. It has long been recognized that many minority voters hold the same views on social issues like same-sex marriage that are held by socially conservative Republicans.

However, we wonder what Towns will say when one of the minorities he reaches out to tells him that he values hard work but can’t get a job, values good health but cannot afford medical care, values education but the schools his children attend are under-funded, and a voucher system like the Alabama Accountability Act has nothing for him.

It is going to be hard to sell a party to voters the party has not just ignored, but has also gone to great lengths to disenfranchise and marginalize.
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