Pity our poor State Auditor Jim Zeigler… or not. After campaigning year after year for a multitude of offices, the self-described “waste cutter” finally won one when he was elected State Auditor in 2014.
You’d think that Mr. “Waste Cutter” would welcome legislative efforts to cut waste across state government, but Zeigler had some strong words regarding the state budget for his office:
“This marks the third year in a row that our budget has been cut. We are $368,400.00 below sea level. With the severe cuts the previous two years, we cannot do our constitutional job of property inventories with this latest cut. We had already cut everything we could after the last two budget cuts, so there is nothing left to cut.”
It is certainly a concern if the state auditor doesn’t have the resources to do his job. However, perhaps Zeigler would have more credibility on this issue if he paid more attention to performing his job as auditor and less to his habit of getting involved in issues that have nothing to do with his elected position.
It’s possible that legislators looked at the first 2 1/2 years of Zeigler’s term in office and determined that he has a lot of free time on his hands, so he couldn’t possibly need a budget increase.
- February 2015: Expressed his outrage that former Governor George Wallace and Lurleen Wallace’s portraits were removed from the Capitol and suggested that this normal rotation was somehow Oprah Winfrey’s fault.
- June 2015: Made headlines when he suggested that “church attendees should pack” (bring their guns to church).
- May 2015: Filed a lawsuit against Baldwin County schools over a sales tax referendum. The case was tossed out of court, but he tried again in August.
- June 2015: Had his plan to require proof of US citizenship for voter registration in Alabama slapped down by the US Supreme Court. Secretary of State John Merrill (who supervises elections) declined to join Zeigler on that particular unicorn hunt.
- July 2015: Threw a hissy fit about the lack of Confederate memorabilia in the Capitol gift shop.
- August 2015: Inserted himself into a local sales tax referendum in Limestone County. Passage would have increased local school funding. Zeigler traveled to Limestone County for a press conference on Monday, Aug. 24 – a state work day.
- Sept. 2015: Took time from his busy lawsuit-filing schedule to address a white supremacist group, the League of the South. There, he continued his complaints about the Wallace portraits.
- December 2015: Went unicorn hunting after the United Nations when a UN team visited Montgomery.
- January 2016: Started his own weekly radio show.
- April 2016: Tried to pull off a grandstand play to get former Governor Bentley to testify at a hearing Zeigler called. Bentley ignored him.
- Sept. 2016: Interjected himself into the Roy Moore Supreme Court fracas.
- March 2017: Publicized his self-published fictional campaign biography using his official state email account.
- March 2017: Compared US Congresswomen to Klansmen.
- April 2017: Took a detour on his way to inventory the Governor’s mansion to hang out with anti-choice protestors outside the Montgomery women’s clinic. (see photo)
- May 2017: Threw another hissy fit over a short “red snapper season” this year that’s designed to help the population rebound.
- May 2017: Started back with the whining about George Wallace’s portrait and asked Gov. Ivey to put it back in the Capitol in observance of the 45th anniversary of the assassination attempt on Wallace in 1972.
Our state auditor has proved that he has time to bird dog Wallace portraits, browse for Confederate tchotchkes in the Capitol gift shop, count fish in the Gulf, and use the state office to hawk his book. Apparently, those outside activities didn’t convince the legislature that he needs more state resources. Wonder why?