Steve Flowers' Political Commentaries

Wednesdays at 7:44 am and 4:44 pm
  • Hosted by Steve Flowers

Alabama politics is the source for great storytelling. And, few weave tales from the state's halls of power better than Alabama Public Radio's Steve Flowers. Every Wednesday at 7:45 am and 4:44 pm, Steve recalls the colorful characters from Alabama's past, including "Miss Mitty," who sat knitting in the same spot in Capitol, and could tell you the whereabouts of every ranking member of the legislature. Another is Alabama's former Governor "Big Jim" Folsom, who once spoke to the Governor of Utah like an old friend. Folsom thought he was from "Eutaw." Join Steve every week on Alabama Public Radio.

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...

The 1978 governor's race between the three heavy weights - former Governor Albert Brewer, Attorney General Bill Baxley and Lieutenant Governor Jere Beasley - was expected to be titanic. All three men had last names beginning with the letter B; thus, the press coined the phrase "the three Bs..."

In late 1969, Brewer and Wallace met to discuss the governor's race. Brewer left that meeting and said Wallace had given his word that he wasn't interested in running for governor in 1970; soon thereafter, Brewer began a serious campaign for governor. It was early 1970 that Wallace surprisingly decided to run...

Upon Lurleen Wallace's death in May of 1968, Lt. Governor Albert Brewer moved up to governor. Brewer was no novice to state governor: he came to legislation for Morgan County at a very early age, he rose quickly to become speaker of the house during his second term and he won the 1966 Lieutenant Governor's race against two state senators without a runoff...

Ryan Degraffenried was going to win the governor's race, but of course, he died in a plane crash while campaigning; after Degraffenried's plane crash and death in February of 1966, the governor's race was wide open...

The 1966 governor's race had two stories: the Ryan Degraffenried story and the Lurleen Wallce story...

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...

When talk turns to politics in Alabama, it usually leads to the governor's race. It doesn't matter of the governor's race is four years away. In Alabama politics, the governor's office is a brass ring...

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...

The Mobile First Congressional District has had quite a legacy over the last century. Alabama's first district has always been primarily made up in Mobile County...

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... 

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 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."....

Nobody will ever be governor of Alabama four or five times again. Wallace was in a class by himself when it came to politicians...

My first term was 1982 and Governor Wallace was serving his last term. He treated us legislators like kings. It didn't matter who was in his office, if you were a member of the legislature and you needed to see the governor about something for your district, he'd do anything he could to address your concerns or district needs...

At the close of each year, my tradition is to acknowledge the passing away of significant political leaders  from the political stage in our beloved state. We lost some icons this year...

Our legendary and iconic Governor George Wallace was Governor four times and his wife was governor once; Governor Wallace and Steve Flowers were close. Here's a story about their relationship...

In most states, the ultimate political prize has been to go to the United States Senate and die there. Being governor of a state, or most states around the country, is generally considered a prelude or stepping stone to a U.S. senate seat - not so in Alabama...

Steve Flowers on George Wallace Part Six

Dec 5, 2017

There's never been a man or woman born that loved politics more than George Wallace. He was born to be in politics; he lived it and breathed it...

Wallace went to the historic, black Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery and asked for forgiveness from the African American community of Alabama. His conversion and contrition appeared sincere; they responded with forgiveness and rewarded him with their votes, and elected him their governor...

George Wallace was a legislative genius and master who used his skills to move most of his programs through the legislature. He knew the art of wooing and stacking legislators, and he had them eating out of his hand. ...

The words "political animal" were coined with George Wallace in mind; when you couple his desire with a unique, God-given ability to campaign, you have the ingredients for the ultimate political animal...

When George Wallace graduated from law school in 1942, the only job he could find was driving a dump truck for the state highway department in Tuscaloosa...

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