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  • Are you ready to vote in the primaries?

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Feb 27, 2020

    Folks, our primaries are next week! On the Democratic side, the Presidential Preference Primary will be the big show and will be interesting to watch. On the right, the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate Seat will be the marquee event. In addition to the Senate Race, you have two open Republican Congressional Seats in the First and Second Districts. You also have some important statewide Supreme Court and Appellate Court races on the ballot. Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Greg Shaw and Shelby County State Senator Cam Ward, are both...

  • Open Congressional seat decided in March

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Feb 20, 2020

    Over the course of history, the second congressional district has been referred to and considered a Montgomery congressional district because the Capital City has comprised the bulk of the population. In recent years a good many Montgomerians have migrated to the suburban counties of Autauga and Elmore. Therefore, the district has been refigured to reflect this trend. Today there are more Republican votes cast in this congressional district in these two counties than from Montgomery. Nevertheless the bulk of the population is in what is now...

  • Prisons a top priority for this session

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Feb 13, 2020

    The 2020 Legislative Session, which began last week, will be the second session of Governor Kay Ivey’s administration. For the second straight year, she and the legislature will be facing a major obstacle. The prison problem is the paramount issue for the year. The state must address and resolve this dilemma or the federal authorities will take over our prisons. The U.S. Justice Department has decreed that the constitutional rights of inmates are being violated because they are in overcrowded conditions which can lead to extreme violence. T...

  • Legislative Session begins this week

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Feb 6, 2020

    The 2020 Legislative Session begins 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 governments and county commissions must come with hat in...

  • Great three-man race to replace Bryne

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Jan 30, 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 some local issues like red snapper fishing, and t...

  • First district has had great Congressmen

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Jan 23, 2020

    Current First District Congressman Bradley Byrne is leaving his safe congressional seat to take a shot at the U.S. Senate this year. The Mobile First Congressional District has had quite a legacy over the last century. Alabama’s First District has always been primarily made up of Mobile County. Historically, the rural southwest Alabama counties north of Mobile have been a part of the First. Washington, Clarke, Monroe and Escambia do not amount to much of the population. Baldwin and Mobile, which are now essentially one county, have been tied t...

  • Methodists have dominated high offices

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Jan 16, 2020

    Even though there are more Baptists than Methodists in Alabama, historically Methodists have held more of the prominent political posts in the Heart of Dixie. If you look closely at these leaders’ lives, a good many of our leaders have been sons of Methodist ministers. The most famous Methodist minister in the state over the past 50 years has been the Rev. John Ed Mathison of Montgomery. He has been the confidant and counselor to a great many of Alabama’s leaders, as well as being the greatest inspirational and dynamic speaker of our time. Joh...

  • A look at the Presidential race nationally

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Jan 9, 2020

    Our presidential primary in the Heart of Dixie is less than two months away. We vote on March 3, 2020. President Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee. It is a foregone conclusion that Trump will carry Alabama in the November General Election. One of the most intriguing revelations will be which Democratic presidential candidate will win the Democratic Primary in Alabama in March. Longtime Democratic kingpin, Joe Reed, who heads the Alabama Democratic Conference will have a lot to say about the outcome. It will be interesting to see how former...

  • Gearing up for the presidential election

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Jan 2, 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 in the state. Donald Trump carried Alabama by o...

  • Alabama lost great people in 2019

    Steve Flowers, Guest writer|Dec 24, 2019

    As is my tradition, as the old year comes to a close, I like to pay homage to legendary Alabama leaders who have passed away. We lost some legends in 2019. Although he was a nonpolitical leader, Bart Starr passed away this year at 85. Starr was best known for being the quarterback of the great Green Bay Packers teams that won the NFL Championship perennially. Starr was the leader of Coach Vince Lombardo’s dynasty teams. Starr died during Memorial Day weekend in Birmingham. He left an indelible legacy that was vast and greater than just being a...

  • Turnham part of 'Greatest Generation'

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Dec 19, 2019

    Famous former television news anchor, Tom Brokaw, wrote an iconic book entitled The Greatest Generation. The 1998 book chronicles the unique character of a generation of Americans. Brokaw attempted to capture the unselfish contribution of our World War II Americans who built our marvelous country. As Brokaw says, “They will have their place in the ledgers of history, but no block of marble or elaborate edifice can equal their lives of sacrifice and achievement, duty and honor as monuments to their time.” Pete Turnham of Auburn passed away on...

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

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Dec 5, 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 his term, to take a temporary Attorney General...

  • Prayers are in place for elections

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Nov 28, 2019

    Qualifying has ended and the players are in place for next year’s elections. It is a Presidential year. It is up in the air as to who will be the Democratic presidential standard bearer. President Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. It is a foregone conclusion that Trump will carry Alabama next November. In fact, it would be safe to say that all statewide Republican candidates on the ballot will win next year. When it comes to national and statewide contests in the Heart of Dixie, we are a one state party. If you want to win a state o...

  • McMillan, a good man for State Treasurer

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Nov 21, 2019

    Alabama is in good hands with John McMillan. A good man is in the job of State Treasurer of Alabama for the third straight quadrennium. Young Boozer served two successive four-year terms from 2010-2018. Mr. Boozer did an excellent job as Treasurer. He was perfect for the job. He had been a successful banker. He ran for and did the job for the right reason, not for political gain or prestige, but to do a good job as Alabama’s treasurer. Some folks thought Young Boozer would make a good choice for higher statewide office. However, he and his w...

  • State Legislature not good stepping stone

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Nov 14, 2019

    Early speculation on the 2020 U.S. Senate race had state senator, Del Marsh, listed as a potential GOP aspirant. He had considered making a plunge into the Special Election contest for Jeff Sessions’ seat in 2017 but opted out. Most astute observers never thought he would ultimately pull the trigger then, or this year. Unlike others, who have run and won statewide, Marsh is essentially unknown outside of the Capitol and is known only around his Anniston state senate district. His best asset was probably that he had his own money to spend r...

  • The story & legacy of Dr. Bronner

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Nov 7, 2019

    Dr. David Bronner has marked his place in Alabama political and governmental history. He has headed the revered Retirement Systems of Alabama Pension Funds for 45 years. When Bronner took his present job with RSA, the Retirement Systems had approximately $500 million of funds. Today RSA has approximately $40 billion in investments making our RSA the 50th largest public pension fund in the world. Alabama public employees will swear by, standup for and place on a golden pedestal David Bronner. They credit him with securing their retirement years...

  • Light shown on Poarch gambling monopoly

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Oct 31, 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 state and pay zero in taxes,” said Dial. He said, a...

  • Pate, Ainsworth & Hawkins under the scope

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Oct 24, 2019

    We have two men who were elected to statewide constitutional offices last year, who seem to be doing a good job. They are both working quietly and diligently in their new posts. Rick Pate was sworn in as the state’s Agriculture Commissioner in January. He followed John McMillan, who served eight years as Agriculture Commissioner. McMillan took a nonpolitical, hardworking, business-like approach. Pate seems to have taken a page from his friend McMillan and appears to have the same non-flamboyant, business-like approach to the job. Rick Pate i...

  • Edwards, Alabama legend passes away

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Oct 17, 2019

    One of the most outstanding congressmen and leaders in Alabama history is Congressman Jack Edwards. He passed away three weeks ago at age 91. He was born with the full name of William Jackson Edwards, III. However, he was always known as Jack. Although he was renowned as a Mobile/Baldwin County Congressman, he was born and raised in Jefferson County. He received his early education in public schools and graduated high school in Homewood. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1946. He continued his military service from 1946 through 1951, and...

  • Prison issue pushed to later date

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Oct 10, 2019

    The second year of the reign of Governor Kay Ivey may give her a second major accomplishment in the first two years of her term as governor. In her first year, she spearheaded the measure to increase the state’s gasoline tax in order to allow Alabama to proceed with a much-needed massive infrastructure program labeled Rebuild Alabama. It is my belief that she and the legislature will resolve the state’s looming prison problems. It was first thought and actually assumed that a Special Session would be called in late October. However, it now app...

  • GOP field set for Alabama Senate race

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Oct 3, 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 Moore. He should not be underestimated. He could u...

  • Political graveyard full of Congressmen that ran for Senate

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Sep 26, 2019

    The field is probably formulated for our 2020 Senate race. A Republican will be heavily favored to capture the seat currently held by our Democratic Senator, Doug Jones. Alabama is one of if not the most Republican states in the nation. It is quite an anomaly that a liberal Democrat has sat in that seat for over a year. Recently I got a very nice letter from a lady who reads my column regularly. She kindly told me that she has read my column religiously for over decade and that she trusts my analysis of Alabama politics. She, however, said,...

  • Alabama unemployment at record low

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Sep 12, 2019

    During the late summer, it was revealed that Alabama’s economy set records for the number of people employed along with the lowest unemployment rate in decades. Figures released in August had the state with a record-breaking 3.3% unemployment percentage. The numbers indicate a continued upward trend with 57,000 more people employed than at the same time a year ago. Gov. Ivey said, “The effort we are making to bring jobs and employers to Alabama is working.” She further stated, “We are consistently improving our workforce and preparing Alabama...

  • The governor is getting it right

    Steve Flowers, Guest writer|Sep 5, 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 figure, former Attorney General and former Mobile County...

  • The happens in the summer of 1969

    Steve Flowers, Guest Writer|Aug 29, 2019

    As we say goodbye to the summer of 2019, allow me to reminisce with you and indeed commemorate more than likely a summer exactly 50 years ago that was undoubtedly the most momentous summer in American history – The Summer of 1969. It is amazing what all occurred in America during the last six-weeks of the Summer of 1969. Richard Nixon was in his first year as president. He had escalated the never-ending Vietnam War and he had heightened the Tet offensive. The war was finally heading in our direction. A July assault on North Vietnam caused h...

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