SUMMARY: Whatley’s accusation is misleading at best.
In 2003, House Bill 1 came up for a vote before the state Senate. The bill, which would establish the Alabama Excellence Initiative Fund, or Amendment 1, would also raise several state and local taxes.
Little did vote “yes” on the version of HB1 that passed the Senate, but the “yes” vote merely put the issue before the voters in a September 2003 referendum.
Once the referendum came before voters that September, an overwhelming 68 percent voted it down.
ANALYSIS: Whatley’s flier makes a point of portraying Little’s “yes” vote as part of his “liberal record.”
However, Republican Gov. Bob Riley proposed Amendment 1, and current House Minority Leader Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, authored the bill.
In fact, during the Senate vote, 30 senators voted “yes,” including 10 Republicans. The other five senators voted “pass” (either not voting or not present).
Whatley is “distorting the truth, and he knows it,” Little told the Opelika-Auburn News. “Mr. Whatley’s trying to make it look like Ted Little voted for it, but nobody else did.”
But Whatley said if he had been in the Senate at the time, he would have voted “no.”
“It doesn't matter who supported it, it was a bad bill,” Whatley said. “Ted Little made a decision to increase your property taxes.”