Remembering the great

June 7, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
By Steve Flowers

Since we are in the midst of an election for a US Senator, let me share the story of one of the most prestigious congressional families in Alabama history. The Bankheads of Jasper would likely be the most prominent political family in Alabama political lore. More than likely there has never been a father serve as one of Americas most powerful US Senators while their son, William Bankhead, served as Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
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Handicapping the field

May 24, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
By Steve Flowers

Well folks, the field is set for the sprint to fill the open US Senate seat of Jeff Sessions.

The primary is less than three months away on August 15. There will probably be a run-off on September 26 and the winner of that GOP run-off will be our Junior Senator from Alabama. In the Heart of Dixie, winning the Republican nomination is tantamount to election. The December 12 General Election will be a coronation for the winner of the September 26 Republican primary.
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The race is on

May 18, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

The race for our open US Senate seat will be the marquee political event for the remainder of this year. It will be a great show. However, we have a sensational and pivotal 2018 Governor’s race evolving simultaneously. This much-anticipated gubernatorial derby will be affected by the preliminary Senate horse race.

The political landscape has changed dramatically with the decisive move by new Governor Kay Ivey to call for the election of Jeff Sessions’ successor to the Senate this year.
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Fake news, a frivolous lawsuit, and the Ivey Administration’s unknown unknowns

May 16, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Recently, Governor Kay Ivey’s “chief” legal counsel Bryan Taylor took to social media to explain to his followers how to spot a fake news account. He also conducted a Twitter poll that asked if people believed Yellowhammer News, AL Today, or The Alabama Political Reporter were credible news sources.

The idea that any news report that doesn’t fit with a particular group’s or person’s pre-conceived narrative of a person, event, or thing is “fake news” is not new. It is perhaps just a bit more pervasive due to the proliferation of news outlets that carpet bomb the public 24-hours-a-day. But, blaming the messenger is always a line of defense for the scoundrel; because it works.
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A great movie, but would anyone believe it?

April 19, 2017

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.
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Bentley faces his Judgement Day

April 6, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, was not the end of the Bentley Administration; but it likely was the beginning of the last chapter of the Bentley era in Alabama. Wednesday’s ruling by the Alabama Ethics Commission means that Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is much more likely to be ithe first Governor impeached and removed under the 1901 Constitution.

On Wednesday the Ethics Commission voted that Bentley likely committed four separate ethical and campaign law violations.
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The Democrat Derby

March 29, 2017

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.
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Governor’s Derby

March 22, 2017

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.
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Internet tax, roads need attention

March 15, 2017

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.
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Lame Duck Governor wants prisons

March 8, 2017

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.
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