Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Worley Watch: Contemptuous, Pt. 2

As reported here, questions have been raised as to whether or not Nancy Worley is meeting the terms of the court order that stripped her of certain duties and gave them to Bob Riley.
The AP reported on October 6 that the judge overseeing the case has asked Worley why he shouldn't hold her in contempt:
U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins ordered Worley Friday to respond to a report filed earlier by Riley's attorney that said Worley had refused to cooperate with a committee set up by Riley to manage development of the voter registration system. In the report, Riley's legal adviser Ken Wallis said Worley had indicated she would only deal directly with the governor and not with individual members of the governor's committee.

Watkins said he would consider Worley's response and comments from Riley and then decide if the secretary of state should be held in contempt of court.

"In making her responses to the court, defendant Worley is advised not to parse the words of the orders of this court, nor to test the court's willingness to utilize its contempt powers," Watkins said in a sternly worded three-page order.
It seems odd to me that a former teacher seems to consistently have problems following instructions and obeying rules.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Worley (again) Defends Pre-Election PSAs

The Montgomery Advertiser reported today on a proposal to restrict incumbent officials from appearing in public service announcements within six months of an election.  They cited Nancy Worley's federal-taxpayer-funded public service announcements that aired before the primary election as an example of what they want to stop.
Worley questioned the purpose of the proposed legislation.  Money quote:
"Does an actor or actress have more credibility than someone for whom you voted?" she said.
The answer, of course (at least compared to Worley), is an emphatic "yes."
I'm reminded once again of Worley's own statement:
"It's always dangerous when people have a title and don't know what to do with it."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Worley Watch: Contemptuous?

The AP released a story yesterday indicating that Nancy Worley is not cooperating with the team that Governor Riley put together to bring the state into compliance with federal law.
As reportered previously, a federal court stripped Worley of her reponsiblities regarding a new statewide voter registration system and assigned the job to Riley because Worley failed to meet the deadline imposed Congress.  Now it seems that Worley is continuing to be obstructionist and persnickety about helping Riley's project team.
Meanwhile, Worley continues to claim she has done no wrong, claiming she is once again being subjected to political attack.
It's a shame that Worley continues to talk about her grand plans for the Secretary of State's office when she has not been able to comply with federal and state laws that are already her responsibility.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Caution! Worley Ahead!

Looks like those highway message boards can be of some use!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Worley Watch: "Poor Management of Public Funds"

The Sand Mountain Reporter published this story today. It appears that yet another county is experiencing delays in getting reimbursed by Nancy Worley for their purchase of voting machines:
"The Justice Department gave the state $23 million to fix this problem and we did our part. But now we’re having a hard time getting our money back. We can’t get her to take our phone calls," Cannon said.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Worley Watch: "a 39-cent stamp would do just as well"

The Mobile Press-Register reported over the weekend about Nancy Worley's delays in paying counties back for the voting equipment they purchased this year.

It turns out that The Tuscaloosa News had the same issue in mind. It reported on Sunday that Bibb County submitted its claim for reimbursement on June 8th but still has not seen any check from Worley.

Mark Tyner, the Bibb County administrator, said the delay in being reimbursed may cause the county's general fund to go dry by the end of September. According to the article:

Tyner said the county has a line of credit that could be tapped to prevent the general fund from running on empty, but that would cost money to repay.

"As small a county as we are anyway things are awfully tight at the end of the year and it makes it difficult for us," Tyner said. Worley has been hand-delivering checks to counties as she drives around the state. Tyner said a 39-cent stamp would do just as well.

"We would be glad to see our check in the mail and the sooner the better," he said.
Opining on another issue of travel costs, even Worley's hometown paper, The Decatur Daily, questioned the practice of public officials traveling around the state to hand out checks:
Public officials also travel out of Montgomery to hand out money. Lester Sellers, legislative chairman of the Alabama Association of Boards of Registrars, filed an ethics complaint against Secretary of State Nancy Worley. It accuses her of traveling at state expense to present checks to counties so they can buy voting equipment, and of using these events to get publicity for herself.

Creditors wince when they hear "The check’s in the mail," but it ought to delight taxpayers when it staves off unnecessary travel.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Montgomery Advertiser: "Worley excuses now threadbare"

The Montgomery Advertiser offers this editorial today on Secretary of State Nancy Worley.

Money quote:
[M]any of her problems in office are clearly of her own making, and she needs to acknowledge that instead of constantly trying to blame the criticism on politics.

Worley Watch: 'My heavens, has it been that long?'"

The Mobile Press-Register reported yesterday that Nancy Worley, the incumbent Secretary of State, is just now delivering checks owed to the counties despite the checks having been printed in July.

Secretary of State Nancy Worley is personally delivering millions of dollars in reimbursement checks to counties across the state for voting machine upgrades required under federal law.

Worley, a Democrat seeking re-election to a second term, said she delivers the checks when she is in the area on business.

Worley's opponent in November, Beth Chapman, has stated that Worley could be serving the counties - and the taxpayers - better if Worley would mail the checks to the counties rather than waiting to present them personally as she travels the state.

Lester Sellers, a voter registration official in Coosa County, has filed an ethics complaint against Worley, alleging that Worley's state-paid trips to deliver the checks is an improper use of state funds. He has charged that Worley is staging the unnecessary trips with photo ops and other press coverage to boost her re-election campaign.

Worley blamed the delay in delivering checks on staff problems:
Worley said checks have been slow to arrive in counties, in part, because of the loss of key staff in her office, including an attorney and a finance director, who were working on reimbursements. She said her office is working to straighten out paperwork for the remaining counties.
However, that excuse doesn't explain the check that sat on her desk since July:
Worley said the check would not have arrived in her office July 20. That's the date the check was processed in the comptroller's office, she said. Worley said officials with Clarke County called earlier this month looking for the check and she responded promptly once she realized the check was sitting in her office.
Some counties have expressed concern about the delays in receiving the checks. They have expended large sums of money to purchase voting machines to comply with federal law, money that would normally go toward other county programs. The delays in reimbursements are apparently causing some counties problems with balancing their budgets for this fiscal year.

Worley's response, despite holding checks for months for her personal delivery:
Worley said she knows some counties are in a bind and are borrowing money. She said her office has tried to expedite reimbursement for those with the proper paperwork that are in a financial bind.