Massachusetts was not the only place that held a special election last night, as Birmingham, Alabama held its own election to replace former mayor Larry Langford, who was convicted of bribery, money laundering, conspiracy and fraud last year.
The mayoral race pitted William Bell against Patrick Cooper and a few weeks back, flyers [PDF] began circulating attacking Cooper for having supported a gay school board member named Howard Bayless in 2007.
At first, nobody knew where the flyers came from because all they said were “Paid for by Faith in Birmingham,” but over the weekend it was revealed that a man named Frank Matthews was responsible.
Matthews, as it turns out, had been appointed co-director of the Office of Citizens Assistance by Langford and was fired from that position in December after getting into a heated argument with supporters of Cooper’s campaign during a city-wide Christmas party, for which he vowed revenge:
Matthews said his exit from City Hall now gives him more freedom to campaign against Cooper. “I’m one of the most ferocious anti-campaign operatives in America,” he said. “I’m calling in all cards. This is a clarion call.”
And that is apparently what Matthews was trying to do not only with his flyers, but also with this letter he wrote claiming Cooper’s support for Bayless made him unfit for the office of mayor because he would destroy the city’s moral fabric, indoctrinate children, and increase the county’s syphilis rates:
Dear Concerned Citizen,
My name is Frank Matthews. As most of you are aware, I am radio talk-show host and former co-director of the Mayor’s Office of Citizen’s Assistance. First, I want to thank you for your prayers and support during the past few weeks, then I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Many in the media criticize my methods, but I have a great love for our city. With that being said, I felt compelled to write this personal letter to you giving you the facts about Patrick Cooper. While this letter is in no way intended to attack his character, as many people accuse me of doing, it is intended to expose how his values will affect our city’s moral fabric.
As a minister, I am compelled to reveal to you Mr. Cooper’s public position concerning a vital moral issue that impacts the foundation of our families, our churches, our schools, and all of society: the issue of homosexuality. It is true “all of us have sinned and fallen short of bringing God glory” as stated in Romans 3:23. It is also true that we must repent for known sins. The Word of God clearly states homosexuality is a sin according to Romans 1:24-32. God loves us as sinners, but He hates our sin. Traditional marriage between a man and a woman has been the foundation of every civilized culture since the beginning of time. The citizens of Alabama understand this and showed their agreement by voting overwhelmingly in 2006 by an 81% to 19% margin in favor of the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment Act defining marriage as between one man and one woman. In October 2007, Birmingham elected the first openly gay man to public office in Alabama as Howard Bayless won a seat on the Birmingham City School Board governing the affairs of almost 30,000 young hearts and minds in our city. He did this with the support of the largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender political action committee in the nation along with the very public endorsement of Patrick Cooper standing proudly at Mr. Bayless’ side. It is not my intention to disrespect either of these men, but it is my duty to remind God’s people that this is an abomination and unpleasing in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.
All across the nation, school boards for children at the elementary and kindergarten levels are approving curriculum that promotes the homosexual lifestyle. This is morally wrong, brings confusion about gender identity to our children, condones sexual perversion, and can ultimately have detrimental influence socially. Not only would Patrick Cooper seek to advance this radical agenda upon our matriculating school children, but he wants to eliminate the “Laptops for Kids” program altogether, and replace it with Pre-K programs. These programs would indoctrinate the acceptance of this lifestyle, by our children, at an even earlier age. Within the last two years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that Jefferson County had the highest rate of syphilis per 100,000 residents of any county in the nation and warned our citizens about the “epidemic rate” of the growing number of cases. Of course, syphilis is spread through heterosexual as well as homosexual relationships, but we need a leader who will stand for purity and traditional family values.
In conclusion, Patrick Cooper’s anti-traditional family values can only be a detriment to the children of our city. This is not the kind of leadership, vision, and action we want and need in Birmingham. Please get out and vote January 19th for what’s best morally, for Birmingham now and for future generations. Vote William Bell to be the next mayor of our great city!
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The mayoral election was held yesterday, and Cooper lost 54-46.