Alabama’s 2022 Elections: A Familiar Farce


Courtesy of Justin McCleskey

Carson Lott, Contributing Columnist

Midterm elections are this year, and in Alabama, races for the House, Senate and Governor are already well underway. Nearly every form of media is pulverized with belligerent campaign advertisements from some demagogue relying on false claims to win their election.

These claims range from absurd to bigoted. Most of the time, they’re both. 

Lynda Blanchard – who decided to stylize her name as “Lindy” to seem more folksy – lambasted undocumented immigrants for receiving taxpayer benefits in her campaign for governor, noting that “all illegals will be sent to Mexico.” 

However, it’s unsure what taxpayer benefits Blanchard claims undocumented people receive. Undocumented people are inelegible to receive most federal public benefits, including SNAP, Medicaid, Social Security and more. 

Tim James, another candidate for governor, attacked queer minors at the Magic City Acceptance Academy, an LGBTQ-affirming charter school in Homewood. The advertisement included uncensored pictures of student’s faces. James called for the closure of  “the first transgender public school in the South.”

“What he’s doing is extremely dangerous to youth. If anything happens, such as a hate crime to those kids, that will be on his hands,” said Patricia Todd, vice-president of the Alabama Democratic Party and the first openly LGBTQ+ state lawmaker.

Katie Britt, the Republican nominee for Senate, is a former SGA president for the University of Alabama. Despite Republican anger that she failed to veto a morning-after pill resolution during her SGA presidency, Britt published an advertisement in which she shot guns at targets representing President Biden’s “radical agenda.”

Britt took campaign money from Super Political Action Committees like the Alabama Conservatives Fund (ACF) which is dedicated to “fighting the socialists who want to change our country.” The ACF was created to support Britt’s Senate race.

The integrity of Britt’s donation sources have been called into question. A recent complaint from the Campaign Legal Center to the Federal Elections Committee reported that the ACF accepted a $250,000 donation from straw donor Free Market, LLC. 

The CLC alleges that Free Market, LLC is “an obscure entity with no apparent income or assets, no identifiable commercial activity, and no discernible online or physical presence” which allowed “unknown persons to make a $250,000 political contribution to a super PAC in the LLC’s name, less than three months after the LLC was organized, thereby concealing the true contributors’ identities from public disclosure.”

This is no surprise to students at the University of Alabama. Britt faces allegations of Machine affiliation, but argues that “you can’t help who decides to support you.” Her campaign’s incessant desire for money and political power have isolated Britt from a majority of Americans and Alabamians. 

Despite being one of America’s most popular governors, Kay Ivey’s bigoted beliefs have landed her a great deal of controversy during her career. 

In 2019, Ivey apologized for wearing blackface at a Baptist Student Union event while she was a student at Auburn University more than fifty years ago. Ivey said that her history with blackface is “not what [her] administration represents all these years later.”

It is exactly what her administration represents. In a state with a violent history towards Black people and people of color, the Ivey administration has made it a priority to manufacture harmful and racist debates around academic disciplines like critical race theory with an outright ban being passed in 2021. 

Ivey and the Alabama State’s School Board was applauded by Urban Conservatives of America president, Spencer Miller. 

“I know what they are pushing in public schools; and they want to push it into every state in this country – the Critical Race Theory that evolved from the teaching of Karl Marx dividing people into oppressed and oppressors,” Miller said. “This is basically cultural Marxism.”

It’s clear that Miller does not know what Alabama public schools are teaching; they are not equipped enough to teach mathematics, much less Marxism. 

During her re-election bid for governor, Ivey embarrassed Alabama once again with her now-infamous “No Way José” advertisement. According to Ivey, Alabamians will have to learn Spanish if President Biden “keeps shipping illegal immigrants into our state”. 

Only three percent of Alabama residents are immigrants. Alabama doesn’t have an immigration “problem,” it has a Kay Ivey problem. 

Who combats these antiquated and chauvinist ideologies in Alabama? It certainly isn’t the Democratic Party. While the Democrats pour unspeakable amounts of money into campaign ads and support in Georgia, they abandon states like Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. 

Democrats could have a chance at winning the region if they didn’t view the South as a lost cause. Instead, they provide lackluster support to candidates like Will Boyd, a preacher from Florence running against Katie Britt for Senate. 

When Yolanda Flowers, a public school educator from Birmingham, became the first Black woman nominee for governor by any major party in Alabama, Democrats, Republicans, and the media were quiet. While Flowers takes numerous progressive stances, she opposes abortion rights, noting that the issue should be left to “God’s judgement.”

In a new post-Roe America, the Alabama Democrats should be embarrassed for not even vetting Flowers on her stance on abortion. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats align with the Democratic Party’s pro-choice platform. More broadly, 61% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal. 

The platforms of Boyd and Flowers work to reconstruct a future for all Alabamians, but target the poor and working-class Alabamians who will likely get left behind in the tirade for power and money. The Democrats leave them to the wolves time and time again. 

The only viable Democrat in Alabama’s higher political office, former Senator Doug Jones, won because his competitor Roy Moore was caught with multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with women and young girls. 

Needless to say, Republicans are most likely to sweep in the November midterms, and Alabamians are the ones who will suffer the consequences. 

Despite all posturing to the contrary, Alabama Republicans have consistently shown that they don’t really care about gun control, reproductive freedom or even economic hardship. They only care about political expediency and lining their pocketbooks with lobby money.

The Republican political elite in Alabama, like Kay Ivey, Tommy Tuberville and Katie Britt will continue to push narratives that harm Alabamians. They undermine the separation of church and state, belittle public safety and health measures, and inch closer to a society where the rights of individuals are dictated by an oligarchy. It’s a political tragedy that Alabamians are far-too-familiar with. The farce of Alabama politics continues. 

The well-being of the Alabama working class is being threatened. State leaders and national representatives make moves to implement harmful and regressive policies, like abortion bans and approved budgets for two new mega-prisons. In the process, they silence the will of the working class and youth to move forward and to envision a new society. This will only continue after the 2022 elections, and the reverberations will be felt for a lifetime.