INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
Posted by: Steve51
Date: Aug 29 2018 9:21 AM
Inside the Statehouse
By Steve Flowers
August 29, 2018 – BCA is Back, Bigger and Better than ever
Alabama Power is and has always been a force in
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 corner and you were in a tough race to get reelected or wanted to get something accomplished, who would you call. In other words, to quote the great Dr. Paul Hubbert, who would you call if your ox got into a ditch? It would be an overwhelming vote for Alabama Power. Alabama Power is the friend, and confidant that both Democratic and Republican senators and representatives would name. The company is known for listening to legislators and treating them fairly and honestly, and it is truly nonpartisan in its approach.
Typically, the power company prefers anonymity. It certainly does not seek attention or accolades. However, legislators, judges, and governors have never been reluctant or ashamed of being aligned with the interests of the company or seeking contributions from its employee-operated political action committee. Over the years there has been a shell game of attempting to hide campaign contributions from some corners; not so with Alabama Power and its employees
During the 1960’s, George Wallace had demagogued the race issue and had become the Emperor of Goat Hill. The issue of race was a powerful tool. Wallace was a brilliant politician and knew how to use power. When African Americans gained the right to vote Wallace had to find him another boogeyman. He took a page from Huey Long and started cussing the big utilities.
During this Wallace vendetta, Alabama Power had a president named Joe Farley, who was a great business leader, but not particularly enamored with
After Wallace, a triumvirate of power made up of AEA/Labor and trial lawyers ruled the roost. The plaintiff trial lawyers became greedy and made
The power company had to come to the rescue. Under the leadership of President Elmer Harris, the Business Council of Alabama was created. The BCA ran the trial lawyers from the
Over the next 30 years the BCA became the leading business governmental group. In actuality, it remained closely aligned with the power company.
An arrogant, Yankee, named Billy Canary, had been the titular president of the BCA for close to 10 years. He had parlayed a friendship with Governor Bob Riley and Speaker Mike Hubbard, into garnering the job. It became apparent that he had run the organization into the ground about three years ago. He and the BCA had become a joke and toothless tiger.
About a year ago, the power company President, Mark Crosswhite, called Canary to
The BCA is back bigger and better than ever.
See you next week.
Steve Flowers is