MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Red state politics may have taken on a new meaning in Alabama.
The Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/12zIWVJ ) reports that Alabama's Republican-controlled Legislature passed a resolution honoring Angela Davis, who was a vice presidential nominee for the Communist Party of the United States of America in 1980 and 1984.
The resolution by Democratic Rep. Oliver Robinson of Birmingham won approval in the House on Feb. 14 and in the Senate on Feb. 19. Both chambers passed it on a voice vote.
Republican Gov. Robert Bentley declined to sign it, but it still became an official act of the Legislature. Bentley's press secretary, Jennifer Ardis, said he didn't sign the resolution because "he had reservations about commending someone who had leadership ties to the Communist Party."
Robinson said Davis is a Birmingham native, and he sponsored the resolution because she will be appearing in Birmingham on March 30 at an event sponsored by the Metro Birmingham branch of the NAACP.
"She was very important in the movement to self-belief and independence. I think it's a wonderful idea at this time to honor her and bring her back as much as possible," Robinson said.
The Rules Committee chairmen in the House and Senate recommend commendation resolutions for the members to approve. They normally pass on voice votes without discussion, which is what happened with the Davis resolution.
The chairman of the House Rules Committee, Republican Mac McCutcheon of Huntsville, said he did not realize the person mentioned in the resolution was the activist.
"Later on, some history came out," he said.
The resolution does not mention Davis' involvement in Communist Party or her departure from the party more than 20 years ago. It also doesn't mention her arrest and acquittal on charges stemming from a shootout in California that killed six people in 1970. Instead, it focuses on her roles as a college professor and author and her efforts to dismantle prisons.