Brown: “Blacks must form political coalitions like in Georgia”



“New Blue” Says Gas Rebate Should Be Considered

On March 26 The New South Coalition, a predominantly Black group of Democrats from West and South Alabama, met to hear speeches and platforms from candidates throughout the state. On Monday their endorsements were be announced. The endorsements of New South and the ADC, the largest Democratic organization, will likely determine the outcome of the Democratic Primary May 24.

During his speech, Doug “New Blue” Smith renewed his campaign slogan, “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!” He refers to the seven economic engines he developed for the state that brought in over 250 industrial parks statewide and such industries as Mercedes Benz, Boeing, Sikorsky, Honda, Lockheed, 3-M, Hyundai and Airbus. These produced over 360,000 well-paying jobs that more than tripled the hourly manufacturing wage. Approximately 60% of those jobs, which did not require a bachelor’s degree but physical labor and hands-on skills, went to minorities. It produced the most rapid economic advancement for our state since it was part of the Royal Province of Carolina in 1663, and pioneers started clearing the forests in what was to become the state later in 1819.

When Republican Governors Riley, Bentley and Ivey came in and changed Smith’s economic system to neo-liberalism and misnamed it ‘conservatism,’ they have not been able to recruit a single industry to the state that has produced over 2,000 jobs like Smith’s did over and over. The only bright spot on the horizon is the Mazda-Toyota plant being built in Limestone County near Huntsville that should ramp up to full employment in 2023-24 if supply chain problems do not get in the way.

Without help from Ivey, Mayor Tommy Battle, with the help of TVA and the Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission that Smith started, revived Smith’s old system and enticed Mazda-Toyota to build a state-of-the-art-robotics plant with the help of the robotics program at Calhoun College that Smith started.

In his speech, Smith also called for a new economic engine to fight inflation: A New Bank for New Small Businesses. Smith, a developmental economist, explained that the present threat of hyper-inflation is caused by too many dollars chasing too few goods. The solution is to produce more goods and services faster, and the most efficient way to do that is with new and expanded small businesses. New small businesses also create from 60 to 80% of all new jobs.

Smith explained that Ivey’s failure to invest enough has led to falling productivity, and this, added to her higher gas taxes, has increased inflation. He said that investment in infrastructure will eventually help, but that will take years because infrastructure has such a long lead time even when shovel ready. “We need relief now,” he added.

In a question and answer session, Smith said the state should quickly consider a rebate of fifty dollars per month for gas for those on food stamps who are looking for work if the price of gasoline gets to six dollars per gallon as it has in some parts of the country. A study by Smart Assets showed that at 4.5% of median household income, Alabamians are proportionately paying more for gas than any other state because of Ivey’s gas tax that has increased three times already with more increases to come tied to rapidly rising inflation in a spiraling increase.

Ivey is using proceeds from gas taxes for her Rebuild Alabama road fund, and the road builders are supporting Ivey’s PACs with contributions for re-election as governor. So she is politically hesitant to pause the gas tax on struggling Alabamians even in the face of repeated calls to do so.


Latosha Brown, a former Democratic candidate for the Alabama State School Board, gave an exciting and compelling speech to New South when she said that Blacks cannot keep doing the same things over and over and over again politically the same way and expect a different outcome. Both she and US Senate candidate Dr. Will Boyd said that if all Democrats registered and voted the outcome would be different.

Brown also emphasized that in the US Senate and Governors’ races in Georgia that Blacks formed coalitions with White Democrats, moderates and Independents to change the political landscape after years of Republican domination. The Republican party is vulnerable to being fractured this year in the General Election for the first time since 2002. Brown urged New South to form coalitions and change the politics of Alabama.

A testy US Senate contest in the state has seen the former-Republican president, who is the titular head of the party, withdraw his support for Mo Brooks, and he is left with two choices, Britt and Durant, who are both backed with anti-Trumpian forces and money in a party ripped apart, including by PACs backed by his nemesis Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Republicans are giving themselves a much harder internal fight than the Democrats are. Recent Pew polls show that pro-authoritarianism, anti-democratic movements and pro-Vladimir Putinism is fading. As more Jan. 6 rioters are found guilty in a court of law, Alabamians are more prone to call it Un- American rather than a patriotic act. We will see how much damage is done in November.


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