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Opinion | The Ivey Plan: do nothing, claim everything

Gov. Kay Ivey at her first State of the State Address in 2018. (ADAM BRASHER/THE AUBURN PLAINSMAN)

There’s a recipe for being a successful governor of Alabama.

Do nothing.

Promote no legislation. Take no controversial stands. Avoid debates. Do lots of no-question photo-ops.

Just stay out of sight and out of mind.

In other words, the Kay Ivey Plan.

There has rarely been a governor do less than Kay Ivey, while she simultaneously takes credit for everything. A tactic that, judging by her poll numbers, seems to be working OK.

And since most of you seem to be paying so very little attention to what Ivey is actually doing — or not doing — she’s doubling down.

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In a follow-up to her ad touting the ridiculous confederate monument protection act that she signed, Ivey’s newest ad hit the air on Wednesday. It is a work of fiction, and still mostly a comedy.

It begins with Ivey in a cow pasture, for some reason shouting about pig testacles. And it gets absurd from there.

The primary message from the ad is that Ivey “cleaned up Alabama” and “brought back jobs.”

Except, um, pardon me … but how?

What, exactly, has Ivey done to “clean up” the corruption that has embarrassed the state?

APR reached out to her communications director to ask. We were given two answers: signed an executive order banning lobbyists from being appointed to state boards and she fired about half of Bentley’s cabinet.

That’s the long answer. The short answer is she’s done nothing to stamp out corruption.

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The lobbyist ban would have carried a tad more weight had Ivey not, just last week, voted to appoint a registered lobbyist the new state schools superintendent. A lobbyist who had given her campaign $2,000 a few months ago through a PAC.

Not exactly bringing the hammer down there.

As for firing half of Bentley’s cabinet, that sounds swell, but it also unfairly maligns some good people. Like Art Faulkner, the former EMA director, who, as far as I know, never took so much as a Bic pen.

Or how about former Department of Mental Health commissioner Jim Perdue? He wasn’t a crook.

Outside of the husband of former Bentley advisor Rebekah Mason, no one Ivey fired was accused of wrongdoing in any way.

So, that didn’t clean up anything. It maybe — possibly — replaced some government employees with slightly more competent government employees, but even that is a stretch. I mean, you live here, does it seem like the state is running remarkably better the last year?

But here’s what Ivey did: When faced with the opportunity to prevent our state ethics laws from being weakened, she caved to pressure.

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Pressure from the same old groups and the same old names.

Standing as the last line of defense between the citizens of Alabama and a group of politicians and lobbyists looking to line their own pockets by way of “economic development,” Ivey sold everyone down the river. She pushed the company line that it was in the best interest of the state to sign HB317, even though it clearly wasn’t, and now she’s hoping you’re too dumb to notice.

Well, she might know what a mountain oyster is, but she’s hoping you can’t smell the BS she’s laying out.


Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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