Business Council of Alabama chairman Perry Hand couldn’t let Alabama Power walk away without a few parting shots.
In a lengthy letter written by Hand and forwarded to multiple media outlets, Hand all but accused Alabama Power of employing “paid political bloggers” to spread “defamatory rhetoric,” a thinly-veiled shot at APR which has covered the ongoing saga between Hand, BCA and several of its biggest members.
Hand also took the opportunity to essentially call APCO a deadbeat, noting in his letter that Alabama Power hasn’t “been a member of BCA since April due to nonpayment of dues.” BCA monthly dues vary depending on the size of the company but are typically around $100 for most members — a relatively insignificant amount to APCO, which typically pumps six figures annually to BCA.
Hand’s letter came in response to a letter from APCO CEO Mark Crosswhite, who told Hand that the power company was removing itself from BCA after the organization refused to remove BCA CEO Billy Canary. In his letter, Crosswhite stated that under Canary’s leadership, membership in BCA had “become a liability rather than a benefit.”
Hand’s letter in return also recounted for Crosswhite the numerous meetings and conferences held by Hand and other BCA leaders in response to APCO’s complaints and demands. Hand noted that APCO requested that Canary be removed “by May 1 or June 1,” as APR previously reported.
The BCA leadership council declined that request, according to Hand, and instead initiated a long-range leadership transition plan.
Hand said he has “worked diligently” to find ways to compromise with APCO and Crosswhite, but was unable to do so.
The decision to leave BCA by APCO is expected to prompt other top companies — which have also voiced displeasure with Canary’s leadership — to follow the power company out. Among those are Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama, Regions Bank and Thompson Catepillar.