The Alabama Legislature is about to reach the two month mark of its 2010 session. So far, lawmakers have devoted much of their time to the legality of gambling and the future of the state’s prepaid college tuition program. This week, another big issue got some attention in the House–reform of Alabama’s 1901 constitution. A bill by Democratic Representative Demetrius Newton that would create a constitutional convention was defeated. And a bill by Republican Paul Demarco to rewrite the constitution article by article stalled in the House. This week also saw the premiere of a new film commissioned by the group, Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform. Open Secret is based on the actual transcript of the 1901 Constitutional Convention. Filmmaker Melanie Jeffcoat tells WBHM’s Bradley George that the 155 convention delegates–all white males, met in Montgomery with one goal in mind.
In an extended interview, Melanie Jeffcoat talks about researching the convention transcripts and the exclusion of women from the convention.
State Representative Paul DeMarco (R-Homewood) wants to change Alabama’s constitution by rewriting article by article. He says his approach starts by tackling non-controversial provisions.