Steve Flowers Column

Inside the Statehouse: Election year observations

This 2022 Election Year in Alabama has been monumental and memorable. Any gubernatorial year is big in the state. It is the brass ring of Alabama politics to be governor. However, the race to succeed our Senior Senator Richard Shelby has been the marquee contest. This year will be the last hurrah for our two leading political figures in the state.
Senator Richard Shelby is retiring after 36 years in the U.S. Senate at age 88. Governor Kay Ivey will be elected to her final term as governor at 78.

Inside the Statehouse: The General Election is upon us

Believe it or not, our 2022 General Election is upon us, Nov. 8 to be exact. It seems to be going under the radar screen of most Alabama voters. There will be a record breaking low voter turnout because there are really no contested statewide races. Why? Because we are a one party state when it comes to state offices. All 21 of our state elective offices are held by Republicans. The Democratic party does not field serious candidates because it is a foregone conclusion that a Democrat cannot win elective statewide races in the Heart of Dixie. The best they can hope for is 40 percent.

Congressional delegation to be elected in November

Our Alabama Congressional delegation will all be reelected next month, as usual. We are no different than any other state when it comes to the incumbency advantage of being a congressperson. When someone is elected to the U.S. Congress, they are usually there for life unless they run for higher office. They probably would not be defeated unless they killed someone and that probably would not be enough. It would probably depend on who they killed.

Inside the Statehouse: National trends do not affect Alabama

As mentioned last week, all polling points to a significant Republican pickup of congressional seats in the upcoming November General Election. It is a historical fact that the party that loses the White House in a presidential year, picks up congressional seats in the following midterm elections. Furthermore, Democrats are in disfavor because of runaway inflation. Voters blame Biden and the Democratic Congress for the inflated price of gas, groceries and everything else. Americans vote their pocketbook. It’s the economy that counts, is what they say.

Inside the Statehouse: GOP poised for Congressional gains

For over 100 years, political history has revealed without deviation that when a Democrat wins the presidency in a presidential year, that in the following mid-term congressional elections two years later that Republicans make gains in the U.S. House of Representatives. That truism has become more pronounced in the last few decades.
This history will be repeated in the upcoming Nov. 8, general election. Every indication and polling suggest that the GOP gains in this year’s general election will be significant.

Inside the Statehouse: Alabama school board members

School board members are some of the most selfless public servants in Alabama. This accolade goes to the Alabama State Board of Education, and more specifically, local school board members. These members are tasked with a very important mission but receive very little compensation for their time and efforts. They are indeed public servants.

Inside the Statehouse: The decibel level story

Those of us who served a long time in the legislature have a lot of stories. I served 16 years from 1982 to 1998 from my home county of Pike. I chose not to run again in 1998. However, I missed the camaraderie and friendships of other legislators who became lifelong friends.
It was apparent that those of us who hailed from smaller towns and rural counties knew our constituents better and were better known by our constituents than those from urban areas.

Inside the Statehouse: Buck’s Pocket is a real place

For decades, losing political candidates in Alabama have been exiled to “Buck’s Pocket.” It is uncertain when or how the colloquialism began, but political insiders have used this terminology for at least 60 years. Alabama author, the late Winston Groom, wrote a colorful allegorical novel about Alabama politics in the 1960s and referred to a defeated gubernatorial candidate having to go to Buck’s Pocket. Most observers credit Big Jim Folsom with creating the term.

Inside the Statehouse: Alabama is a big front porch

This is the final version of a three week series of stories that illustrate that Alabama is a “big front porch.”
James E. “Big Jim” Folsom was one of our few two-term governors. In the old days, governors could not succeed themselves. Therefore, Big Jim was first governor in 1946-1950. He waited out four years and came back and won a second term in 1954, and stayed through 1958.