We’ve got a runoff

August 23, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
By Steve Flowers

When the race for the open Jeff Sessions seat began, it appeared to be a Roy Moore versus Luther Strange contest. Well folks, that’s how it ended last Tuesday. We’ve got a runoff between our Ten Commandments Judge, Roy Moore, and Big Luther Strange.

Roy Moore has been around Alabama politics for a while now. Alabamians know who he is and what he stands for. He has been standing up for Fundamentalist Christian values since his days as an Etowah County Judge where he displayed his initial wooden Ten Commandments plaque on the walls of his courtroom. He became so famous for his stand that he rode that notoriety to being elected Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court.
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There’s very little difference 

August 16, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE

By Steve Flowers

You know the results of Tuesday’s primaries for our U.S. Senate seat.  I had to go to press before the vote.  However, the assumption was that there would be a runoff in the Republican primary.  It is safe to say that the winner of that runoff on September 26 will be elected as our next junior U.S. Senator.  We are such a reliably Republican state that winning the GOP Primary will be tantamount to election in December.
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It’s looking a lot like Moore vs. Strange

August 9, 2017

By Steve Flowers
Inside the State House

Folks we are getting down to the proverbial lick log in the much-anticipated vote for the open U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. After 20 years in the U.S. Senate as our junior U.S. Senator, Sessions left to become Donald Trump’s Attorney General. He probably regrets this decision.

When the race began it looked like a Roy Moore vs. Luther Strange race. However, the third outside horse emerged about a month ago. Tennessee Valley Congressman, Mo Brooks, got a $2 million bump from the shooting he endured while a member of the Republican baseball team. He seized the moment and Mo’s momentum gave him the “Big Mo.”

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It’s not complicated

August 2, 2017

By Steve Flowers
Inside the State House

There is a proven theory espoused by political scholars that has prevailed in southern political history for decades. The premier political scholar, Dr. V. O. Key, first illustrated this repetitious theme that has weaved its way through the southern electorate. He called it “Friends and Neighbors” politics. It is not a complicated hypothesis. It simply means that southerners tend to vote for someone from their neck of the woods. It is a truism in all southern states. However, it is most pronounced in the Heart of Dixie.
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What happened to BCA

July 26, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
By Steve Flowers

During my tenure in the legislature in the 1980’s and 1990’s, political party affiliation was not as pronounced as it is today.

We were identified within the Montgomery/Capitol arena as either a conservative pro-business legislator or a liberal pro-union/pro-trial lawyer legislator.

Similar to when someone new arrives in Alabama and they are asked to choose sides in college football, you have to make your allegiance with either Alabama or Auburn. We had to make the same choice as legislators. I chose early to be on the side of business. I even took a leading role and was the sponsor of most of the Tort Reform legislation. Therefore, most observers rated me an arch pro-business conservative.
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Down the homestretch in US Senate race

July 19, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

As the horse race for our open US Senate seat heads down the stretch, let’s look at the lay of the land.

All indications are that Roy Moore and Luther Strange are headed for a one-two finish on August 15 and ultimately a runoff on September 26. The winner of that match will be our junior US Senator for the next three years of the Jeff Sessions’ seat term.
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Sprint to the primary

July 12, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

The race for our open U.S. Senate seat is evolving. Folks, we are in a brief 33-day sprint to the primary on August 15. The winner of the Republican Primary will be our next junior U.S. Senator. The December 12 General Election will be a coronation for the Republican. The eight Democratic candidates are irrelevant as are at least six of the Republican qualifiers.
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Off to an eventful start

July 5, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

As we take a mid-year look at Alabama politics, it has been an eventful first half of the year.

It is not every year that a governor resigns mid-term. Governor Robert Bentley’s resignation from office on April 10 will more than likely be the most newsworthy story of the year.

Bentley’s saga had begun 18 months ago. His troubles stemmed from his relationship with his primary and probably only advisor, who was married to a quiet man whom Bentley placed in a vague $90,000 position with the state. It was a titillating story that led to an investigation and later finding by the State Ethics Commission that there was reasonable evidence that Bentley may have violated the law. Facing probable impeachment by the Legislature, Bentley resigned in disgrace.
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Landslide Luther?

June 28, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

In Alabama politics many times appointments to political offices filled by an acting governor have an adverse effect on that appointee if and when they seek election to that office for a full term. Every time George Wallace appointed someone to a political post, even in the prime of his popularity and power, they invariably lost in the next election.

Well folks, ole Dr. Bentley ain’t George Wallace and his appointment of Luther Strange to the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions may come back to haunt Big Luther. His appointment is even more problematic due to the appearance of collusion surrounding the appointment. The taint of the Bentley appointment hovers over Big Luther’s tall head in Washington.
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One for the record books

June 22, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

The much-anticipated 2018 election contests have been pushed back by about three months due to the unanticipated race for Jeff Sessions’ senate seat. This ongoing contest will occupy the news through late September.

It was previously thought that June 6 would be the opening bell since fundraising for next year’s June 5 Primary could begin at that time. However, the bell will probably commence to chime in full force by Labor Day.
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