Inside The Statehouse By Steve Flowers
Posted by: Steve51
Date: Jul 26 2017 8:33 AM
INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers
During my tenure in the legislature in the 1980’s and 1990’s, political party affiliation was not as pronounced as it is today.
We were identified within the Montgomery/Capitol arena as either a conservative pro-business legislator or a liberal pro-union/pro-trial lawyer legislator.
Similar to when someone new arrives in
The tort problem was so bad in
When Bob Riley became governor in 2002, he orchestrated a game plan to take control of the BCA. He succeeded and put his boy, Billy Canary, a
Bob Riley and Mike Hubbard controlled the BCA through Billy Canary. Riley still continues to pull the strings and make money. However, everything points to Canary’s days at the BCA coming to an end. There have been rumors of his demise for over a year. It appears that it may occur any day. For those of us who fought the battles for business in
Under Canary’s and Riley’s reign BCA has abandoned it’s mission of supporting business and the general well-being of the state and now, in the opinion of many, does more harm than good.
No one familiar with the workings of the legislature will deny that Canary has become largely ineffective in representing the interests of business in the legislative process. For the past few years he has failed to pass an infrastructure bill largely supported by business across the state. This past session Canary failed in his efforts to stop legislation that would require insurance coverage for some Autism related issues. On the Autism measure, Canary could get only one vote for his position on the Senate floor. Most GOP legislators vote against pro-business legislation because of Canary.
Billy Canary’s leadership goes past simply failure and begins to enter the realm of causing real harm to the state and the businesses he represents. Canary once boasted of his position on convicted Speaker Mike Hubbard’s “kitchen cabinet.” However, in the Hubbard trial Canary was less than convincing on the stand as his memory fades on issues discussed with Hubbard. Some of those issues were part and parcel of the 12 felony convictions that removed Hubbard from office. Most folks expected Canary would be indicted with Hubbard.
Now, BCA and Canary face possible involvement in the
Some observers believe the scandal surrounding an anonymous ethics complaint that scuttled Dr. Craig Pouncey’s bid to be the State Superintendent of Education may lead back to Canary.
The Board of the BCA and everyone concerned with the future of
During his tenure as President of the BCA Canary has continued to maintain outside consulting contracts that pose clear conflicts with his role at BCA. However, this should come as no surprise since Billy Canary’s home is
Any organization that does not adapt ultimately cannot survive. BCA is at a critical crossroads in its existence. If the leadership of the organization does not replace Canary and move quickly to realign BCA with the interests of its members, its days as a vital voice for Alabama Business may be over.
See you next week.
Steve Flowers is