By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
A new advocacy group aims to hold Republican politicians accountable when they stray from conservative principles.
Conservatives for Better Leadership is “dedicated to fostering a more competitive and prosperous Alabama,” according to the recently formed 501(c)4 headed by advocate and publisher Apryl Marie Fogel.
“We believe that conservative fiscal policies and a strong culture of ethics in state government will make Alabama a better place to live, work and raise a family, wrote Fogel in announcing the project. “When public officials fall short of these goals, we intend to hold them accountable.”
In response to what the group sees as a troublesome trend, Conservatives for Better Leadership launched a statewide digital media campaign to raise awareness of its concerns about corruption and cronyism.
“Alabamian’s voted to drain the D.C. swamp, but back at home, Montgomery is as muddy as ever,” says Vogel. The group takes specific aim at Gov. Kay Ivey’s retention of disgraced Gov. Robert Bentley’s staff and cabinet members. “Governor Ivey has bear-hugged Bentley’s policies, and has maintained over half of his old pals in the Governor’s cabinet,” stated a recent press release.
These concerns are also voiced by many conservatives who, in the run-up to the Republican primary, worry that Ivey’s money-men mirror Bentley’s as well as convicted felon and former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard.
Recently, the Ivey administration has come under fire for her Commerce Secretary’s move to pass legislation to undercut portions of the same laws that ensnared Hubbard.
Also, Ivey’s reliance on former Gov. Bob Riley’s loyalists in key staff positions gives Montgomery’s chattering class a reason to question Ivey’s resolve to cast off the stigma of the old Riley machine.
Conservatives for Better Leadership also take issue with Republican lawmakers’ embrace of decidedly anti-conservative fiscal policies. “Alabama has a red state reputation, but in recent years hasn’t had the tax and fiscal policies to live up to it,” according to the group. In furtherance of a conservative agenda that promotes responsible economic development, the group says it will work to, “educate our legislative leadership on sound, conservative solutions to build an effective infrastructure plan grounded in private-public partnerships.”
While still in its formative stage, Conservatives for Better Leadership looks to engage likeminded citizens and lawmakers who share a vision of Alabama built on sound fiscal policies, free from corrupt cronyism that will lead to a more prosperous state.