Flowers entertains Rotarians

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Less than a week after Alabama columnist and commentator Steve Flowers announced he would not be a candidate for Alabama Public Service Commission Place 2, he was back on sound ground.

Flowers was the program guest of the Brundidge Rotary Club Wednesday. He said he has no regrets about his decision not to seek public office. He likes the niche he has carved for himself as Alabama’s columnist and commentator for local newspapers.

In true fashion, Flowers entertained the Rotarians with stories about those who once chose to toss their hats into the political arena.

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Flowers shared a story about a meeting between Don Siegelman, who was a candidate for Alabama Secretary of State and then Governor “Big Jim” Folsom at roadside truck stop.

After listing his credentials, Siegelman asked for the governor’s advice.

Flowers said Folsom first told the office seeker to change his name to Smith; nobody was going to vote for man with a name like Siegelman. He also advised him to say he was educated at Oxford High School, not at “Oxford.”

“Then ‘Big Jim’ asked Siegelman why he would want to run for Secretary of State, ‘You can’t steal money in that job,’” Flowers said, laughing.

Flowers also told the Rotarians how important name ID is when considering going into politics.

He said often a potential candidate would think he or she had good name recognition throughout the state only to learn otherwise.

One such potential candidate and personal friend was told by a supporter that, according to a name ID poll, his statewide ID recognition was at 6.5 percent.

“My friend said what that told him was he could run naked through Winn Dixie and nobody would know who he was,” Flowers said, laughing.

On a more serious note, Flowers said this year will not be an exciting or interesting one, politically.

“There are no more Shorty Prices,” he said. “It’s going to be a low year. The governor’s race could be a little interesting and maybe the Sixth Congressional race. Ray Bryan is running for State Auditor and he’s running to abolish that office. That’s interesting.”

Contested races will add color to local politics but “all in all, it’s going to be a dull year for politics,” Flowers said.