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I am running for governor because I want to change Alabama for the better, to fight for the hard working men and women of Alabama and to free our state from the aimless, even pointless, administration of Robert Bentley.
I am running as an advocate to reform, retool and expand Medicaid to provide healthcare and create more than 30,000 jobs for the hard working people of Alabama.
I am running as an advocate of an Alabama Education Lottery so we can stop spending our money to educate children in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi and educate our own children instead.
I am running because Alabama needs the jobs that Governor Bentley is either unwilling or unable to create.
Robert Bentley is a nice guy, but he is not a brave man. Bentley has failed Alabama. I won't.
Governor Bentley has joined with other extremists in his own political party and refuses to do what he knows in his heart he should do access billions of dollars of federal money to provide expanded healthcare for Alabama citizens. That includes money we have already paid into the system that is now being spent in Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio and the other states, 26 in all, that are taking advantage of the available funds.
Reforming, retooling and expanding Medicaid is about jobs and making our families healthier and stronger.
Expansion in any form is expected to create an estimated 30,700 new jobs over a six-year period. While more than half of these jobs would be in the in the health sector -- about 18,000 -- the remaining jobs would touch nearly every corner of the employment spectrum.
We can create 5,000 jobs in professional, scientific and technical services, another 1,400 in administrative and support services, 1,200 in the service industry and almost 1,100 finance and insurance industry jobs.
These additional 30,700 jobs would generate $1.3 billion of earnings a year on average and inject $2.1 billion on average each year into the state's Gross Domestic Product.
These issues Jobs, Education, Healthcare are all connected. Delivering healthcare creates jobs and makes our families healthier. More healthy families earn more and pay more taxes. Educated citizens earn more money and attract companies looking for highly skilled workers. Focusing on these three issues will create a virtuous cycle with healthcare and education creating jobs.
I am not running because I'm a great politician. I've certainly demonstrated I'm too much of an independent thinker to be pushed around by either party. Frankly, being a great politician is something I've never aspired to be.
I am a lifelong Democrat who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by my friends and neighbors in North Alabama. I left the Democratic Party for a time and now I have been welcomed back and I am wiser for my experience.
When I look at Alabama today, I see healthcare denied, education delayed, workers underemployed and unemployed. I see a great state that is not prepared to compete in the global economy.
As governor I will take action and I will make a difference. I believe there is a great tide of dissatisfaction that can sweep away the obstacles before us and bring light to the dark places.
I will focus on these three things Jobs, Education and Healthcare. I will not allow our government to be distracted or bullied on issues that, while important, can wait while we resolve the most important issues before us.
Alabama can be great again but not with this governor and not with the super wealthy Tea Party extremists calling the shots from outside our state.
I want you, the citizens of Alabama, to know that we can control our own destiny.
These issues Jobs, Education, Healthcare will be at the heart of my campaign. All of these are within our reach without depending on a dysfunctional federal government.
We can do the education lottery on our own. We can draw down the federal money for better healthcare under the existing law. We can get back in the jobs business through our own actions as Alabamians.
I have prepared myself to be governor at this critical juncture.
As a teacher, I learned the power that comes from education. As a cancer doctor, I became an expert on the delivery of healthcare. As a businessman, I experienced the joys and challenges of creating jobs. I want to bring this lifetime of experience to work with me every day as governor.
I welcome all who will come to our table Democrats, Independents, and Republicans of good will who will not allow themselves to be bullied and defined by the Tea Party extremists.
Alabama wasn't built by timid politicians like Robert Bentley it was built by the blood, sweat, toil and tears of millions of Alabama workers and business owners who took the risks, laid the brick, poured the concrete, raised the roofs, taught the children, built the ships, cared for the sick, fought our wars, raised our crops and built the magnificent machines that took us into space.
We all know, however, that good government played a role in all of those tasks.
Government built the roads and bridges, funded the schools, paid for the medical research, the crop insurance, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the space program. America has always prospered with the public and private sectors worked together.
Alabama has been great in the past.
Join me. Together, we can make Alabama great again.