Our leaders have failed us. Around the country, people see a deep red state that elects conservatives who govern accordingly. But recently that has not been the case. Over the last several years the Montgomery establishment has put Alabama in a state of crisis, with ethics scandals, corruption, tax increases and wasteful spending. It’s no wonder we just saw the election of the most liberal U.S. Senator in Alabama history. We are taking the fight to Montgomery and are asking you to join us in our quest to make a better future for Alabama.
We thought the era of big and corrupt government championed by disgraced Governor Robert Bentley was over, but we can’t rest easy yet, Now, Gov. Kay Ivey has spoken in favor of more tax increases and has yet to make a clean break with the Bentley Administration and his many appointees to state government. These misdeeds and mishaps by our state leaders have are not only embarrassing – they represent a threat to job creation, economic growth and traditional values.
We must stand for strong, consistent conservative leadership. Today I am proud to announce the formation of Conservatives for Better Leadership (CBL). Our goal is to hold Alabama’s leadership to a higher standard than has been on display in recent years and give the people of Alabama the leaders they deserve. Our goal is to keep them honest, the promises they made on the campaign trail are how we expect them to legislate and govern.
We can’t forget those who are doing right, not everyone in our state is corrupt. There have been champions for the taxpayers in Montgomery and we can’t forget them.
Our goals are simple: preventing cronyism and corruption, reducing wasteful spending and tax increases, and promoting smart and responsible infrastructure investment. The failure of conservatives to lead on these issues have plagued taxpayers and businesses for too long. It is time for you and I to demand a change.
The most blatant violations of these principles have come in that last few years:
Cronyism and Corruption
In 2016 alone, Alabamians were treated to the following behavior by their elected and appointed officials:
- Robert Bentley had an affair and used taxpayer funds to cover it up
- House Speaker Mike Hubbard was convicted of 12 felony ethics violations
- Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore was found guilty of six judicial ethics violations and suspended from the bench
That’s more corruption than most citizens see in a lifetime.
Taxes Increases and Wasteful Spending:
You would think a conservative state would have a competitive tax code and dynamic economy. Wrong. Here is where Alabama ranks nationally in some key measures:
- Fourth-highest state and local sales tax burden
- Tenth-highest tax burden on goods and services
- State GDP growth lagging the national average
- State business tax climate (via Tax Foundation) and Economic Performance Ranking (via ALEC) in the bottom half, nationally
And Republican politicians are looking to raise our taxes, not reduce the burden of government. Gov. Bentley proposed a $700 million tax increase upon taking office. And now Gov. Ivey is continuing his work, expressing her “strong support” for a gas tax hike and the higher prices it will bring at the pump.
To facilitate economic growth we need sound infrastructure, and Alabama continues to fail to deliver. Our leaders can’t get their priorities in order. We need to prioritize our road and growth projects by need not by who is owed political favors or has better connections.
Our state’s infrastructure recently graded out at C- overall, with a C- for bridges and a D+ for roads. Nearly 1,500 bridges in Alabama are structurally deficient, and the roads in our cities aren’t much better. Birmingham, for example, has 21 percent of its roads deemed in “poor” condition. This is inexcusable and hampers our entire economy.
We’ll work to educate state and local lawmakers about sound, conservative solutions to our infrastructure problems without raising taxes, including prioritization of key infrastructure needs, seeking out private-public partnerships and reducing overhead costs in infrastructure projects. We can fix our critical infrastructure needs without sticking it to taxpayers.
It all starts with better leadership.
I invite you to join us share our message with other members of the community and engage with us on our various social platforms: Facebook, Twitter. Sign up to stay informed, volunteer or request a speaker to come speak about the issues that matter to Alabamians. With your help, we’ll spread our message across the state and let our leaders know that the era of big government corruption is over. We’ll restore Alabama’s reputation and its economy, and ensure it’s a place our families want to live for generations to come.
April Marie Fogel
Conservatives for Better Leadership