This video is from the Madison County Democratic Executive Committee Meeting last week. Sparks was the featured speaker and, unlike the last time he spoke to Huntsville Democrats, he included constitutional reform in his stump speech — apparently so he could get in a dig at his opponent and Washington politics.
A respected supporter of Constitutional Reform later asked Sparks about his opposition to a convention. His response seems totally illogical to me — we can't trust all those Montgomery lobbyists who would influence a constitutional convention.
Of course, anyone who pays attention knows that those same lobbyists already exert way too much influence on the workings of state government because of the poorly written 1901 Alabama Constitution. And the “amendment by amendment” sop is a red herring — the Legislature has supposedly been going to do it article by article (the correct terminology) for decades, and they make little progress — probably because the Legislature is very much influenced by those same special interests.
A Convention would involve new people — some of whom would not be career politicians — in the process and it would be harder for the lobbyists to buy influence with all those elected delegates. And the public would have to approve things at 2 or 3 stages. Not to mention that if there's a convention, don't you think the Alabama media will be all over it like white on rice, looking for the influence peddling? There could be a Pulitzer in that story. I know the blogosphere will be buzzing about it.
The current power structure in Montgomery likes things just the way they are and Ron Sparks is toeing their line. This position doesn't make much sense, but he's stuck to it more firmly than any other thing in his platform since he kicked off his campaign.
For the record, Sparks mentions that there are 135 legislators in Montgomery. I've heard him say this several times. There are actually 105 members of the State House and 35 state Senators, for a total of 140 members of the Legislature, nominally. And there are 615 lobbyist registered with the Alabama Ethics Commission — here are links if you'd like to download the list for yourself: (PDF Version) (Excel Version).