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  • Inside the Statehouse

    Steve Flowers|Aug 1, 2020

    How Has Coronavirus Affected Alabama Politics? As we end the first half of 2020, there is no doubt that the Coronavirus is the story of the year. The Coronavirus saga of 2020 and its devastation of the nation’s and state’s economic well-being may be the story of the decade. How has the Coronavirus affected Alabama politics? The answer is negligibly, if at all. The Republican Primary runoff to hold the Junior U.S. Senate seat was postponed by the virus epidemic. It is set for July 14, which is ri...

  • How Has Coronavirus Affected Alabama Politics?

    Steve Flowers|Jul 1, 2020

    As we end the first half of 2020, there is no doubt that the Coronavirus is the story of the year. The Coronavirus saga of 2020 and its devastation of the nation’s and state’s economic well-being may be the story of the decade. How has the Coronavirus affected Alabama politics? The answer is negligibly, if at all. The Republican Primary runoff to hold the Junior U.S. Senate seat was postponed by the virus epidemic. It is set for July 14, which is right around the corner. The race between Tommy T...

  • Stellar Group Studying Gambling in the State

    Steve Flowers|Jun 1, 2020

    Another legislation session has passed, and Alabama still has no lottery. Actually, the legislature does not in itself have the authority to pass a state lottery, they can only authorize a ballot initiative to let you vote on a lottery. It takes a constitutional amendment. The lottery would pass in a vote in Alabama simply because Alabamians are tired of their money going out of state to Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee. All our surrounding Southern sister states have lotteries and...

  • Budget is Priority Number One

    Steve Flowers|May 1, 2020

    Budget is Priority Number One for Legislative Session. The Governor Proposes and the Legislature Disposes – However, Kay Ivey has Input The 2020 Regular Legislative Session has resumed after a six-week hiatus due to the Coronavirus shutdown of the state and nation. The session must end by May 18, 2020. The only thing they will do is pass barebones budgets. The most important and actually the only constitutionally mandated act that must be accomplished is the passage of the state budgets. In our...

  • U.S. Senate Runoff Moved in July

    Steve Flowers|Apr 1, 2020

    The GOP contest for who sits in our number two U.S. Senate seat has been delayed until July 14, 2020 due to the coronavirus. The winner of the battle between Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville will more than likely be our junior US. Senator for six years. Neither are spring chickens. Sessions will be 74 and Tuberville will be 66, when the winner takes office. This is not the optimum age to be a freshman U.S. Senator because seniority equates to superiority in the U.S. Senate. Given their age of...

  • Chancellor Finis St. John and the University of Alabama System

    Steve Flowers|Mar 1, 2020

    Our 1901 Alabama Constitution has been rightfully criticized as being archaic. However, it was simply a reflection of the times. The authors and crafters of our document were well educated gentry. Therefore they appreciated and realized the importance of having a prized capstone university. The University of Alabama was founded in 1831 and had become one of the premier southern universities by the time of the Civil War. It was not by coincidence that one of the primary missions of the northern U...

  • Legislative Session Began This Week | Legislator Abolishes His Own County

    Steve Flowers|Feb 1, 2020

    The 2020 Legislative Session began this week. It will be an interesting three and a-half months. There are a myriad of important issues that legislators have to address this year, as always. However, standing in the way of substantive state issues each year is the necessity to address local bills. Our 1901 Constitution is archaic in many aspects. One of which is that those men who drafted the act were reluctant to give home rule to local counties for various reasons. Therefore, county...

  • 1st District Seat Open. Great Three-Man Race to Replace Bryne. Senate Race in Full Gear.

    Steve Flowers|Feb 1, 2020

    The first district Congressional race is probably the best race in the state in this year’s March 3rd Primary. The winner of the March 31st GOP Primary runoff will go to Congress. The famous first district is a Republican congressional seat and has been since Jack Edwards won the seat in the Southern Goldwater landslide in 1964. The bulk of the district population is in the two county gulf coast counties of Baldwin and Mobile. It being the only gulf coast district in the state, they do have s...

  • New Year Begins. It's a Presidential Year

    Steve Flowers|Jan 1, 2020

    As the new year begins, so does a Presidential election year. For several decades, in fact for most of the twentieth century, Alabamians were more interested in state and local politics than presidential politics. In fact, from 1901 through the 1950’s there were more people voting in a Democratic Primary for Governor than in a presidential General Election. The interest in national politics is a fairly new occurrence for Alabamians, and it seems to have been in correlation to the party change i...

  • The Race is on for the U. S. Senate

    Steve Flowers|Dec 1, 2019

    We are less than three months away from the election for our number two U.S. Senate Seat. The winner of the Republican Primary on March 3, 2020 will be our next U.S. Senator. Winning the GOP Primary for any statewide office in a presidential year is tantamount to election in the Heart of Dixie. Jeff Sessions is the prohibitive favorite to win back his seat he held for 20 years. He probably regretted from day one leaving a safe U.S. Senate Seat with 20 years of seniority and four-years left on...

  • Light Being Shown on Poarch Creek Gambling Casino Monopoly in the Heart of Dixie

    Steve Flowers|Nov 1, 2019

    Recently an organization was formed with the name, “Poarch Creek Accountability Now.” This nonprofit group is headed by former 40-year veteran State Senator Gerald Dial, who retired from the Alabama Senate in 2018. The stated goal of this nonprofit group is to spread the true and accurate information about the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and their gaming revenue and expenditures. Dial says it is time to point out the unfairness of their operation. “They make billions upon billions in this...

  • 2020 Senate Race Right around the Corner. GOP Field is Probably Set.

    Steve Flowers|Oct 1, 2019

    Even though qualifying does not begin until October 8, 2019, the field is probably set for the GOP Primary in March to unseat the anomaly Democrat, Doug Jones, who is sitting in Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate Seat. First District Congressman Bradley Bryne and Secretary of State John Merrill may be the favorites to lead the field and square off in a runoff. Either of the two will probably win by a 60-40 margin over Jones in November. The wild card in the race is the iconic character, Roy M...

  • Two Open Congressional Seats in the Heart of Dixie in 2020

    Steve Flowers|Sep 1, 2019

    Governor Kay Ivey has had a very successful first year as governor. One of the coups she pulled off was getting the legislature to pass legislation granting the governor the power to appoint the Board of Pardons and Paroles. The new law will give her all the new appointments to the Parole Board. Previously, the three-member Board picked the director. The new law went into effect on September 1, 2019 and Gov. Ivey wasted no time selecting the new director. She appointed longtime political...

  • Those Who Bake the Pie Get to Eat It

    Steve Flowers|Aug 1, 2019

    Governor Kay Ivey’s first legislative session of the quadrennium was very successful. Her prowess at getting things accomplished with this Legislature has been remarkable. She knows what she is doing. It should not be surprising given her background and experience. Kay Ivey has been around state government for most of her adult life. She has dealt with the Legislature for over four decades. Her adroitness in the passage of the Infrastructure package was similar to the legislative success e...

  • Legislative Session for Most Part Successful, Especially for Governor Kay Ivey

    Steve Flowers|Jul 1, 2019

    The 2019 Legislative Session was one of the most controversial yet productive sessions in memory. Governor Kay Ivey’s first Session of the Quadrennial was a roaring success. It’s hard to remember a governor getting everything they wanted since the George Wallace heydays. Wallace in his prime simply controlled the legislature. It was more like an appendage of the governor’s office. Kay Ivey has apparently taken a page from the old Wallace playbook. By the way, that is probably apropos as Kay c...

  • Road Rage and Deer Hunting Bills Await Senate Action

    Steve Flowers|Jun 1, 2019

    Over 20 years ago when I was a legislator the State Trooper assigned to my county asked if he could come visit with me. “Of course,” I said. When he came he had a somber look on his face. I thought maybe he had a serious personal problem or had lost a loved one. He began, “This may not sound like a major highway problem, but one of the things that causes a good many accidents and incidents on our roads is people driving slow in the left lane and not moving over.” I never pursued legisla...

  • Prisons Issue - Front/Center

    Steve Flowers|May 1, 2019

    Folks, taking care of prisoners is not a popular political issue. However, every so often Alabama politicians pragmatically have to acquiesce to the mandates of federal judges and grant our transgressing citizens their rights as determined by the courts. Federal Courts have determined that our felons deserve the rights to adequate imprisonment. You just cannot log them in, lock them up, and give them a basic bunk and rations three times a day. Courts want them to have sufficient space and...

  • Inside the Statehouse

    Steve Flowers|Apr 1, 2019

    State Budgets: Priority Number One After their successful special five-day Special Session, the Legislature has been in their Regular Session for a few weeks now. The Session will end in June so it is about one-fourth over. Almost one-third of the members are new, freshmen if you will. Even though they are, for the most part a bright and talented group, they are still wet behind the ears when it comes to legislative ways. Most are still striving to find their way to the bathrooms. Most major...

  • Inside the Statehouse

    Steve Flowers|Mar 1, 2019

    State Revenues Up as Legislature Prepares for Session and Crafting of State Budgets March 6, 2019 The Governor has been inaugurated and the Legislature has had its organizational session. The quadrennium has begun. Therefore, it is time for our state officials to get to work. Among the three branches of government, Legislative, Executive and Judicial, our 1901 Alabama Constitution renders our Legislative Branch as the most powerful. Some of you who witnessed the Wallace Era may disagree and...

  • Inside the Statehouse

    Steve Flowers|Feb 1, 2019

    Infrastructure Program Should Be Priority 1 As the new quadrennium crests in Alabama government, everybody looks toward a new beginning. There is a new fresh four years ahead for the newly elected leaders. They are overwhelmingly Republican. The Governor is Republican and all of the accompanying constitutional officeholders are members of the GOP. More importantly, the State Legislature, both the House and the Senate are Republicans. In fact, over two-thirds of each chamber are Republican. It...

  • We Lost Some Great Leaders in 2018

    Steve Flowers|Jan 1, 2019

    As is my custom at the close of the year, I like to memorialize great Alabamians who have appeared and lived legendary lives upon the stage of political history in the Heart of Dixie. This year we have had some real legends. I have expanded the geographical limits to outside of Alabama to include two of the greatest men in American history. America’s greatest preacher and one of the nation’s great presidents passed away. Most of these fellows lived a long time. One of my favorite men I ever had...

  • Alabama vs. Auburn Game

    Steve Flowers|Dec 1, 2018

    The only sport that Alabamians enjoy more than Alabama politics is college football. We especially love the Alabama vs. Auburn football game. Folks, this is Alabama/Auburn week in Alabama. The Alabama vs. Auburn annual event is one of the fiercest of college football rivalries. It is the game of the year. It is a state civil war that divides friends and even families. It is bragging rights for the entire year. The loser has to live with his boasting next door neighbor for 364 days. It seems...

  • Inside the Statehouse

    Steve Flowers|Nov 1, 2018

    “General Election Next Week” This time two years ago, I was bubbling over with anticipation with expectations that I would have two years of fun following an exciting governor’s race. Well, Ole Robert Bentley spoiled my parade. Back in the old days, governors could not succeed themselves. They were governor for one four-year term and then you were out. That means we had a governor’s race every four years and man would they be doozies. We would have 10 candidates, about half of them would b...

  • Supreme Court Rules States – Can Collect Online Sales Tax

    Steve Flowers|Oct 1, 2018

    The State of Alabama’s fiscal year begins next week on October 1. Our state’s finances are not the best in the world. However, they got a boost from the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year, The high tribunal ruled that states can collect sales tax on internet sales. This was one of the most inequitable scenarios I have ever seen. If you went to the corner hardware store or Lowe’s or Walmart to buy a hammer and paint, you paid sales tax. However, if you bought these same items online you did not...

  • BCA Is Back, Bigger And Better Than Ever

    Steve Flowers|Sep 1, 2018

    Alabama Power is and has always been a force in Alabama politics. Some entities may have influence in the Legislature, but the power company has the ear of folks in all three branches of State government: Legislative, Executive and Judicial. If you sat down with all 35 state senators, especially the veterans who know the ropes and the system, and you had an extensive off-the-record private conversation with each of them, and you asked them if you had to have one special interest group in your...

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