political commentary

It’s barely a month to go before Alabama voters pick their next governor. Future historians may look back on the race between Democrat Walt Maddox and Republican Kay Ivey in certain ways. It may focus on Maddox’s work to help Tuscaloosa recover from the 2011 tornadoes and how Ivey took over for disgraced former Governor Robert Bentley. As for a governor’s race that’s historic right now—APR political commentator Steve Flowers has one in mind…

APR commentator Steve Flowers often talks about Alabama governors, U.S. senators and other political heavy hitters, but not every person who wields influence sits in the governor's mansion, the legislature or Capitol Hill. Steve offers this example from Alabam's education system...

Alabama certainly has had its share of colorful characters - governors, lawmakers, civil rights leaders and even law enforcement officers. This week, APR's political commentator Steve Flowers remembers one Alabama lawman who made a name for himself early in his career...

Steve Flowers on Little Jim Folson

Jul 18, 2018

Steve Flowers gives a few thoughts on "Little" Jim Folson's carrer in politics and his connection to Mercedez-Benz coming to Alabama...

Guy Hunt became the first Republican Governor of Alabama in 1986. He had a wife that was the most beautiful, sweetest lady you've ever seen in your life. If you put the word humble in a dictionary, her picture would come up...

Otto Whittaker wrote the following essay, "I am the Nation," in 1955 as a public relations advertisement for the Norfolk and Western Railway company magazine. The message found in Mr. Whittaker's essay is still appropriate for this Independence Day; it goes like this...

Steve Flowers on John Patterson and Racism

Jun 28, 2018

John Patterson had been attorney general of Alabama at age 29. Wallace was making his first foray in the race for governor and so was Patterson. But Patterson became the candidate of the racists in the state...

When Wallace was elected in his last term as governor, I was elected my first term in legislature. Ironically, my district included Wallace's hometown of Clayton in Barbour County...

Steve Flowers on the 1982 Governor's Race

Jun 12, 2018

Fob James took the reigns of Alabama state governor January of 1979. His inauguration was a somewhat strange event, as Alabamians were used to a Wallace being sworn in as governor every fourth January since 1963...

Historically in Alabama, we've voted more heavily in our governor's race year than our presidential year. That's probably because we're more interested in the local sheriff and probate judge races, which run in gubertorial years, than who is president...

It was an amazing story - the three Bs - Bill Baxley,  Jere Beasley and Albert Brewer had been planning to run for governor for 20 years...

A special session of the legislature can be called by the governor, if he deems a dire emergency in the state government. This provision of the constitution gives the governor an inherent advantage in a special session...

Being a U.S. Senator was secondary in Alabama politics; governor is still probably the most important, glamorous political position today, but it certainly was [in 1962]...

As the 1958 governor's race dawned, the shadow of Big Jim Folsom loomed over the scene even though Big Jim couldn't be on the ballot - the Alabama Constitution prohibited a governor from succeeding himself...

There's a proven theory by political scholars that's prevailed in Southern political history for decades - it's simply called "friends and neighbors politics"...

Many of ya'll have heard of the famous story surrounding Harry Truman; ya'll have heard of the mistaken newspaper headline "Dewey defeats Truman" - that's when the Chicago Daily Tribune incorrectly reported that Thomas Dewey had beaten Harry Truman in 1948 for the White House...

Some of you folks in Northwest Alabama, around Jasper, may remember Carl Elliott; he was one of our most progressive Democratic Congressmen...

Our 2018 election is right upon us; historically in Alabama, we've voted more heavily in our governor's race year than for president. That's probably because we're more interested in the local sheriff and probate judges races...

The traditional 4th Congressional District, which stretches across North Alabama just below the Tennessee Valley,  has produced some of Alabama's most legendary and powerful congressmen... 

The legendary speaker of the U.S. House Mr. Sam Rayburn coined a famous phrase he used often in appointing young congressmen when they'd arrive on Capitol Hill - "If you want to get along, you have to go along."....