Archibald talks regional, state politics with Kiwanians
by James Phillips
Aug 09, 2010 | 993 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Columnist John Archibald shakes hands with Jasper Kiwanis Club member Stanley Wade Monday afternoon. Photo by: James Phillips
Columnist John Archibald shakes hands with Jasper Kiwanis Club member Stanley Wade Monday afternoon. Photo by: James Phillips
slideshow
Talk at the Kiwanis Club of Jasper’s weekly meeting turned a bit political Monday morning as columnist John Archibald provided the program.

Archibald, the metro columnist for The Birmingham News, started his career at the paper on the Walker County beat in the 1980s. His column appears each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

“I write a column about the good, the bad and the ugly of the metro area,” he said. “Unfortunately, there has been a lot of ugly to write about in recent years.”

At Monday’s meeting Archibald talked about everything from the Alabama governor’s race to ousted Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford to electronic bingo.

“I think we’ve got a very interesting governor’s race,” he said. “I don’t think anybody would have imagined that it would come down to Bentley and Sparks. We really don’t know a lot about either one of them.”

Using pop culture references, Archibald described the looks of the two candidates. For Bentley, he showed prints of Grant Wood’s classic painting “American Gothic,” Homer Simpson’s boss C. Montgomery Burns and Kane, the creepy preacher from Poltergeist II. To describe Sparks, Archibald said he’s gone from looking like Ned Flanders, another character from “The Simpsons,” to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, all by having what Archibald called “a makeover,” which included Sparks shaving his long-standing mustache.

Archibald said the Birmingham area is the perfect place to write political commentary. He said issues like Jefferson County’s sewer situation that led to massive debt and corruption or Larry Langford’s many follies have been easy targets in recent years.

“God, I love this place,” he said. “I feel guilty sometimes, because its like picking low hanging fruit or hunting on a baited field. I’m fishing with dynamite a lot of times.”

In other news from the meeting:

•The Kiwanis Club announced its annual pancake supper will be held on Oct. 15.