Letter to the Editor: A Response to Steve Flowers

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I am writing in response to the column that ran in this paper by Steve Flowers.

In it, he pontificates about the governor’s race and shares his perspective on Governor Kay Ivey and Lindy Blanchard, but he gets it wrong. Mr. Flowers should begin by spelling Mrs. Blanchard’s name correctly. He was a friend of her father’s for many years so getting the name wrong, given the family friendship, is particularly odd. 

To paraphrase the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, while Mr. Flowers is entitled to his own opinion, he is not entitled to his own facts. Especially when his “facts” are misleading to voters in a critical election.

This family friendship also begs the question, “why would he write such a misleading piece, and whose bidding was he doing?” You don’t have to look far to see where the truth and his statements collide.

His column stated as fact that Governor Kay Ivey “is one of the most popular incumbent governors in the country. She has done a good job as governor and will be tough to beat.” Steve seems to have bought into the Ivey campaign rhetoric and not so much fact.

There is plenty of polling that puts her in run-off range.

In a matchup of possible candidates, Ivey now has only 41.5%, well below the threshold to win without a runoff. Incumbents below 50% are considered vulnerable.

The independent poll I reference was conducted by Montgomery-based Cygnal August 17-18 among 600 likely Republican primary voters. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.0%. “Undecided” comprised 34% of the sample and, having had the opportunity to select the incumbent, they didn’t.  The “undecideds” are generally considered to be prospects to support a challenger.

Governor Ivey is liked, no doubt. But that’s also her problem. Look no further than her 3 biggest failures -and they are big: Over 70% of the electorate rejected her power grab related to the board of education, a board she criticized to no end but that she herself chairs. She strong-armed the legislature to pass a gas tax immediately after campaigning against tax increases, Finally, her long-overdue solution to the prison crisis – a multi-billion dollar boondoggle – was defeated by a grassroots group of activists who organized against her on Facebook.

Please know that before she served our nation as an ambassador appointed by President Donald Trump, Lindy spent years as a pro-life advocate fighting for changes to our nation’s adoption process. A process she knows incredibly well as an adoptive mother.

 Her philanthropy is unmatched by anyone in this race — she wasn’t just a diplomat. She was a successful U.S. Ambassador who helped Alabama businesses build relationships and get work abroad, who strengthened America’s image and who worked with the Trump Administration on important issues that impacted global energy independence from Russia.

 Mr. Flowers says, “her only hope for the governor’s race is that she can wish for Trump to endorse her. Although this would probably not be enough. As a lame duck, who has been out of the White House for over a year and whose popularity is waning.” Really? I don’t know where Steve gets this. There are two significant inaccuracies. First, President Trump has a 96% approval rate in AL among the GOP in a recent survey. Also, Lindy has made it clear the endorsement she’s looking for now is that of the voters.

Finally, he points to her money. Yes, Lindy has made an investment in her race. I, for one, find it refreshing to see someone put their money where their mouth is to take on the establishment. If it were just up to the lobbyist crowd and their money, our state’s line of succession for elected offices would be set long before qualifying comes around and the voters would be outside of the equation. (Has anyone seen Luther Strange lately?)

It’s not Lindy’s money that will put her over the top, though. It’s her principles, her work ethic and her commitment to always having an open door for the people of Alabama. Her support of the second amendment and constitutional carry, a low tax burden for Alabamians, her support of parents’ right to choose the best school for their child, her commitment to mental health and substance abuse funding, and closing our border are just some of the reasons I believe Lindy Blanchard will be Alabama’s next Governor. Her business sense, her heart, and her compassion were all left out of the column and these will be the secret to her success.

Apryl Marie Fogel is a Senior Advisor for the Lindy Blanchard for Governor campaign. She and her family live in Birmingham, AL. You can find more information about Lindy Blanchard for Governor  on Facebook

Twitter and the campaign website.

Apryl Marie Fogel
Senior Advisor 
Lindy Blanchard for Governor

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