According to Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, the Alabama Education Association was working to kill an effort to reduce the state's share of the burden of the grocery tax on consumers.

During an interview with Mobile talk radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," Ainsworth expressed his disappointment in the state's teachers' union for being involved.

"I think AEA is going to fight," he said. "I want to make sure you and your listeners understand this — AEA is back. They are trying to kill good pieces of legislation and pass bad pieces of legislation. And I think at the end of the day, we just need to be aware of that. And the fact that they're working against the grocery tax should concern people."

Although he acknowledged accepting campaign contributions from the AEA, he encouraged AEA members to be in touch with the organization's leadership to express their disapproval.

"Look, hey — I think they gave me this last cycle — I raised over $1.5 million," Ainsworth said. "They gave me $10,000. I took whatever that is, a small percentage from them. At the end of the day, they supported me for whatever reason. I don't know why they decided to. I'm for public education. I'm for doing what's best for our state. Just because they supported me doesn't mean I'm going to support their initiatives."

"But I am disappointed they are engaged in trying to kill the grocery tax," he continued. "I think that is alarming. If I was a teacher, I'd be mad, and I would be contacting them saying, 'Hey, y'all need to stay out of this. I have to go buy groceries. I deserve a tax cut. I'm just disappointed they're getting engaged in this on this. But our plan is to try to beat them on the issue."

Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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