The Alabama Democratic Party has to be breathing a sigh of relief at the exit of this guy from its ranks. It appears that Rep. Laird has gone from politically homeless to hopeless if he thinks it's appropriate to send this sort of stuff to fellow legislators - and his own constituents.
Randolph County Democratic Executive Committee member Mellie Parrish was horrified when this email from Rep. Richard Laird landed in her inbox last month:
I deleted the email addresses of those people who aren't elected officials or where it wasn't clear if they are or not. There's no reason to assume those people welcomed the email or agreed with it.
Count Ms. Parrish as one who most emphatically did not appreciate the joke. In a February 1st letter to State Democratic Party leaders (including the Executive Board, House & Senate Minority leaders, and all Democratic members of the Legislature), she expressed her outrage in no uncertain terms:
"...Mr. Laird could not have believe that I am a person who shared his anti-progressive views when he chose to send me this email. But whatever his reasoning, I felt it necessary to inform the Democratic Party of what this so-called Democrat is doing and make it clear that I am not a party to it.
I hope that the Democratic Party and the Democratic Caucus in the state legislature will look into this matter and into the overall fact that Mr. Richard Laird seems to be a Democrat in name only and of questionable character."
Now, I'm sure that if we combed through every legislator's private communications between themselves and their friends and family we would find something a little strange: maybe a dumb joke, or a silly family photo, or a tender missive to a spouse (or someone other than a spouse...).
That's not part of their official work as a legislator, and, in all but extreme cases, I'd put it off limits. However here, Laird is not only copying Alabama GOP leaders and a fellow legislator, but sending it to at least one of his constituents as well.
The fact that Laird thought this image was a hoot, shared it, and encouraged others to do the same is yet another indication that he did the Alabama Democratic Party a big, old favor.