By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
At a bill signing ceremony on Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey told reporters, “My health is fine. I’ve never felt better,” adding: “What’s the old saying? There’s never a step too high for a high stepper.”
Despite the hyperbole, it’s good to know the Governor is feeling good. Here at APR, we hope and pray that Gov. Ivey will stay healthy and that her administration is successful.
However, she, nor her staff, have answered the questions APR sent before publishing our report about her hospitalization in 2015, following a series of stroke-like symptoms that landed her in a Colorado medical facility. An incident that her Chief of Staff Steve Pelham reportedly tried to hide from the public.
Before publishing our report on Gov. Ivey’s health, APR sent a message to the Governor’s spokesperson Eileen Jones asking the Administration to weigh-in on our report.
The following are the questions we put to Jones:
“Has Governor Ivey suffered any further strokes or TIAs since April 2015?”
“Persistent rumors about her ill health coupled her hospitalization cast doubt on her physical ability to carry out the responsibilities of her office. Is Governor Ivey prepared to release her medical records to ensure the People of Alabama that she has the physical stamina to fulfill the remainder of Governor Robert Bentley’s term?”
Jones response: “I will check with her.”
The Administration has not offered any further response.
Jones did respond to al.com’s Leada Gore, who reported Ivey was in good health. And at the bill signing last Friday, she gave a similar response saying, “I’m in great shape and eager to work and am working,” adding “Thank Y’all for caring enough to inquire, but all is well.”
But neither Governor Ivey nor her staff has answered the questions posed by APR before publishing our original report.
We do care about the Governor’s health, but the people of our State deserve to know if their Governor is okay.
In less than two years, Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, and Governor Robert Bentley were removed from office after being found guilty of criminal activity. In Bentley’s case, the State was allegedly being run by an unelected surrogate, i.e., Bentley’s girlfriend. Hubbard’s office served as an extension of former Governor Bob Riley’s lobbying firm and the Business Council of Alabama, according to statements made during Hubbard Felony trial.
Now it appears to many who still work in the Capital, that the Ivey Administration is being controlled by Pelham and former Riley loyalist Bryan Taylor. She has filled several key posts in her administration with individuals like Taylor, who is a Riley retread.
The people of Alabama didn’t elect Taylor or Pelham. Will Sellers, who has served as Ivey’s closest confidant for decades, placed Taylor in his position. Sellers, who is seeking a federal judgeship, has privately expressed regret for selecting Taylor. However, those inside the administration loathe admitting any missteps by the nascent regime.
In the next few weeks, Ivey is expected to retool her administration with more resignations. So far, Ivey has chosen former Riley loyalists, a trend that baffles veteran lawmakers and politicos alike.
The people of Alabama need to know if their Governor is of sound mind and body. Saying, “I feel better than ever,” is not an acceptable answer.