A great movie, but would anyone believe it?

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

We in the Deep South have a unique history of political theatrics. The only northern states that rival our colorfulness are New Jersey and Illinois. In those two states you are expected to be corrupt, especially Chicago.

Our most colorful southern state has always been Louisiana. The parishes and bayous of the Pelican State gave us Huey Long and other characters. No other states can hold a candle to Louisiana’s brazen corruption. They not only expect their politicians to steal and cavort, they frown on them if they do not. The environment of Louisiana politics is bred towards corruption and debauchery. They not only gave us the glamour of the King Fish, Huey Long, they are proud of their infamous reputation.
Read More

The Democrat Derby

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

Last week we handicapped some of the potential horses in the upcoming 2018 Governor’s Race. We mentioned Judge Roy Moore, PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh, Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan, Secretary of State John Merrill, State Treasurer Young Boozer, State Senator Del Marsh and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. Some others that may be considering pursuing the brass ring of Alabama politics are Lt. Governor Kay Ivey, Supreme Court Justice Jim Main, Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington, Trump’s Trumpeter in the State Perry Hooper, Jr., Huntsville State Representative Jim Patterson and ADECA Director and former Prattville Mayor Jim Byard. You can also add former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville to the mix of possible gubernatorial candidates.
Read More

Governor’s Derby

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

We are on the cusp of one of the best political years in modern political history in the Heart of Dixie. Prior to the 1970’s our constitution disallowed succession of office for our state constitutional offices. In other words, you could not run for two consecutive four year terms. That is why George Wallace ran his wife in his place in 1966. George and Lurleen campaigned side-by-side. George would wink at the crowds still drawn to courthouse squares by a country band and say, “I’m going to be her number one advisor.” By the way, she won in a landslide. She beat eight male opponents without a runoff, including two former governors, an agriculture commissioner, the sitting state attorney general and two powerful state senators.
Read More

Internet tax, roads need attention

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

My tradition for over two decades has been to give my children money for Christmas. Under this system there is no returning of items. They get what they want or need. There is no way that I would know what style of clothing, color or size they like. It works well.

The most illuminating thing that occurred to me this year is that both of my daughters and my granddaughter bought all of their Christmas gifts from me online. Without question, our country and state have changed dramatically technologically in my lifetime. Therefore, Alabama and other states have to change the way that sales tax is collected. States have to find a solution and the will to derive sales tax from online purchases.
Read More

Lame Duck Governor wants prisons

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

The premier issue of this year’s legislative session will be whether to borrow a massive amount of money to build new prisons in the state. This initiative appears to be our lame duck Governor Robert Bentley’s primary agenda.

Last year Bentley proposed an $800 million bond issue for new prisons. He has come forward with a similar proposal this year. His plan would close all existing prisons and replace them with three new super men’s prisons and one smaller women’s prison.
Read More

Things are getting complex

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

This third year of the quadrennium Regular Session of the legislature has recently gotten a lot more complex. These next four months will be trying times for the Alabama legislature. They will not only have to deal with a beleaguered General Fund Budget that has to feed a money-eating monster named Medicaid, they have an overcrowding problem in the state prisons to deal with as well as major public school systems being taken over by the state because of mismanagement and underfunding.
Read More

The people want to vote

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

During the past couple of months everywhere I go people continually ask me why in the world the legislature could not simply put the issue of whether they could vote for or against a lottery on the November ballot.

The fact that this inquiry has lingered for this long tells me that folks are upset about this travesty. They are mad at the legislature. However, the blame lies with the governor. Read More

Is it time for another female governor?

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

Hillary Clinton’s failure to break the proverbial glass ceiling in American politics came up a little short. More than 100 men have been nominated for president by the nation’s political parties over the past 220 years. She was the first female to be the nominee of one of the two major parties.

After Hillary became the Democratic nominee last year, former Colorado Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder, who ran for president in 1988, said it best, “It’s been the ultimate tree house with a no girls allowed sign posted on it.” Read More

Remembering Gov. Brewer

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
By Steve Flowers

The passing of Governor Albert Brewer on January 2nd at 88 years old, marks the passing of an era in Alabama politics.

Albert P. Brewer was a good man and a true public servant. Brewer was born in Tennessee, but his folks moved to Decatur when he was very young after his father accepted a job with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

He graduated from Decatur High School with honors, then matriculated to the University of Alabama where he earned his undergraduate and law degrees. Brewer returned to Decatur to begin his law practice. Soon thereafter he was elected to the Alabama Legislature at the ripe old age of 25. He was elected without opposition three times and during his third term he became Speaker of the House. Brewer was the youngest Speaker in state history. In 1966, he beat two prominent state senators without a runoff to win the lieutenant governor’s job, which was much more powerful than it is today. Read More

Who’s in or out in 2018 and Trump is good for Alabama

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

Alabama is going to fare wall under President Trump. There is an old adage that says, “Those that bake the pie get to eat it.” We truly baked the pie for Trump. We overwhelmingly supported him in the GOP primary and helped him secure the nomination. We then gave him one of the largest mandates in the nation in the November General Election. Read More

© Copyright 2017 Alabama Political Reporter