George Wallace the focus of Monday testimony in Alabama property tax trial

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Former Gov. George Wallace loomed large Monday in a federal trial over Alabama's property tax system.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs sought to show that Wallace's mix of power and racist politics helped create a property tax system that leaves Alabama schools underfunded, particularly poor, largely black schools.

Lawyers for the State of Alabama, the defendant in the case, cited Wallace's diminishing power in his second term as governor and his eventual reaching out to black voters, to argue that the tax system wasn't Wallace's creation.

Wallace led Alabama in the early 1960s and became a hugely polarizing figure. His symbolic "standing in the schoolhouse door" at the University of Alabama and the cry "I say segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever," gave him a national audience and he ran for president four times....

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