Personal request from Steve, Forrest and Spencer Phillips

Personal request from Steve, Forrest and Spencer Phillips

Hello Divers, 
  
This week I received a letter from Representative  Jim McClendon announcing that he is running for State Senate.  Many of  you newer divers don’t know me, but I’m the guy that was in charge of Southern  Skin Divers Supply until I retired and Forrest took over.  I only do the  Alaska adventure now and dive for relics in Alabama.  In 1999 a new law was  passed in the Alabama Legislature.  In this law were regulations that were  terrible for the rights of the Public to have access to our Public lands that  are underwater.  Alabama is blessed with 77,000 miles of waterways, most of  which have never been dived on or explored.  SSDS and other dive stores  tried to modify the new law with no success.  The new regulations read in  part that you could not dive anywhere in Alabama Public waters without first  paying a Professional Archaeologist to give you a permit to dive in your rivers  and streams.  This was not a permit to look for or find anything but just  to go diving.  It was totally corrupt and wrong and gave Alabama the worst  and most unfriendly dive law in America.  In 2003, I was arrested for  diving and finding a relic in the Alabama River at Selma.  I have been  diving there since 1973.  This is the time that we first met Jim  McClendon.  He is my Representative in Montgomery.  No one has been  more important to you, The Public, in getting back your rights and access to  Public waters than Jim McClendon.  These past years have included hundreds  of trips to Montgomery to work with our Legislators by myself and many others to  get back our waters.  From the time I was arrested Jim has been on board  and leading the charge on your behalf.  He is a bulldog in his  efforts.  He personally is responsible for the audits of the agency that  exposed their corruption and forced their agency head to resign.  Over the  many years of this ongoing fight he has managed to cut the agencies funds enough  to reduce the State Employees of the agency by about 30%.  This was for you  and got their attention.  The person who had me arrested was allowed to  resign.  Jim spearheaded every action that we did and he never gave me  false lip service.  He has never turned me down on any request that I have  made.  He is our number one voice in Montgomery.  Two years ago when  we tried to change some confusing words in our dive law, he had it passed for us  in The House.  It was the first Bill passed in the entire House that  year.  All of this was Jim McClendon’s work.  The unfriendly diving  regulations no longer exist in Alabama.  Instead, The Public, can dive in  any of our waters.  You can now find relics, fossils, gold dust and  artifacts that are not part of an official Cultural Resource.  The waters  of Alabama can now be explored thanks to Representative Jim McClendon.   Alabama now has the friendliest dive regulations in the entire country.   The Public, that means you, are still unduly harassed from time to time and  people eventually call our dive store for help.  They refer the problem to  me because I understand the laws.  If it is beyond my help, I call Jim  McClendon.  He has never failed to help.  Jim is not a career  politician, he is an Eye Doctor.  Jim and his family are divers and he has  a strong interest in history I do.  He will be even more valuable in The  State Senate.  Forrest, Spencer and I are sending $500 for his  campaign.  If you are ever going to give any money to anyone running for  office then please help Jim.  It doesn’t matter if you live in Alabama or  not.  The successes that Jim has made happen here have had a large National  impact on Public access to Public Lands.  Hunters, fishermen, Historians,  Hikers and everyone in the Public benefits from Jim’s efforts for us. We need him.  Let him  know who you are and what your interests are and send a check to: 
  
Jim McClendon for Senate 
361 Jones Road 
Springville, AL   35146-6134 
  
Thank you. 
  
Steve Phillips 
Southern Skin Divers Supply 

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