Political columnist Flowers speaks to Demopolis Rotary Club

Political columnist Steve Flowers regaled the members of the Demopolis Rotary Club Wednesday with stories of some of Alabama’s most colorful politicians.

Fascinated with politics since he was a little boy in Troy, Flowers became a Page in the Alabama Legislature at age 12 and worked at the State Capitol throughout his high school years. He earned a degree in Political Science and History from the University of Alabama where he was a student leader and served in the Student Senate.

Political columnist Steve Flowers speaks to the Demopolis Rotary Club on Wednesday. (Photo by Jan McDonald)

Political columnist Steve Flowers speaks to the Demopolis Rotary Club on Wednesday. (Photo by Jan McDonald)

In 1982, at age 30, he was elected State Representative from Pike County and was overwhelmingly reelected four times. He chose not to seek reelection in 1998. During his tenure he maintained a perfect attendance record for 16 consecutive years and was honored by his colleagues with a resolution naming him the Most Ethical Member of the House.

In 2002 Flowers began writing a weekly column on Alabama politics, which quickly took off. He is read in 66 newspapers across the state, and he can be seen regularly on numerous television stations as their political analyst.  His weekly radio show on state politics is heard on Alabama Public Radio.

Flowers recently completed a book on Alabama politics, “Of Goats and Governors: Six Decades of Colorful Alabama Political Stories.” He was in Demopolis for a book-signing at the library Wednesday afternoon.

“We in the South probably have the most colorful politics” of anywhere in the nation, Flowers told the club. Politics and the men who were involved in its were the entertainment in the South, he said.

He named well-known men in the 1940s and 1950s such as Louisiana’s Huey Long and the Talmages from Georgia, but, he continued, “I would compare our ‘Big Jim’ Folsom and George Wallace with any of them.”

Most of the stories Flowers shared with Rotarians concerned Folsom. “You can’t make up these stories,” he said. “If you put the word ‘uninhibited’ in the dictionary, you could put Big Jim’s picture” next to it.

People today are concerned that Gov. Robert Bentley’s divorce will distract him from his duties.

“Good Gosh, we haven’t had a governor for 30 or 40 years,” he joked. “We don’t need a governor in Alabama. Big Jim was drunk his whole second term, Wallace was incoherent with all the pain pills, Fob James went duck hunting all the time and he wasn’t there. Bentley’s at least hanging around.”