God puts great visions in the minds of people. The problem occurs when naysayers begin to tell that person that he/she can’t accomplish that vision. We have a huge population of naysayers. Successful people don’t listen to them – they just proceed to bring the vision to reality. That’s what …

A few years ago, I covered the case of a 12-year-old girl who had been raped repeatedly by an uncle and was pregnant. Recently, the Alabama House of Representatives voted to force that little girl to carry her rapist’s baby to term, deliver it, and then fight with her rapist over custody.

The five day Special Legislative Session that addressed the increase in the gas tax to fund an Infrastructure Rebuilding Program for the state was a remarkable success. I still marvel at the adroitness, efficiency and expediency in which the governor accomplished this monumental initiative. …

Almost fifty years ago I graduated from high school in Birmingham. I thought it was a little strange. As my fellow seniors and I sat there in a gown, burning up inside the gym, and sitting on very hard metal chairs, there was some guy telling us how smart we were. I doubted my smarts four ye…

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Competition is a reality in today’s society. A competitive spirit is neither positive nor negative – it depends on what we allow it to become. It can be a blessing or a burden. It can either make or break a person.

Our Senior U.S. Senator, Richard Shelby, turns 85 this week. In March he reached another milestone – he surpassed Senator John Sparkman as the longest serving U.S. Senator in Alabama history. Shelby has been our senator for 32 plus years.

Last Tuesday morning Betsy and I had the privilege of attending the 2nd annual fundraiser for Valiant Cross Academy, the innovative downtown private school. The guest speaker for the event was Bryan Stevenson, justice advocate and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative located right here in…

Competition is a vital part of human nature. It’s the thing that helps all of us improve, and it serves as a measurement of where we are in life. We see competition in sports, business, popularity, church, etc. Competition can be good or it can be bad.

Folks, taking care of prisoners is not a popular political issue. However, every so often Alabama politicians pragmatically have to acquiesce to the mandates of federal judges and grant our transgressing citizens their rights as determined by the courts.

The last few weeks have been tough on me simply because I’m getting older. Yesterday I turned 64 years old. I didn’t celebrate. I don’t do that anymore. Another birthday just means another page in the book must be turned and the back cover is getting much too close.

I have a wonderful accountant, Renee Hubbard, who has been doing income taxes for Lynn and me for several years. She texted me on Wednesday morning, April 10, 2019, to say that she had almost finished our returns. She said the only thing that she was lacking was 2 items of information from m…

Over the past few weeks, I have written a number of stories and columns detailing the specifics of potential lottery bills and what their effect on this state and its tax revenues might be.

It is a foregone conclusion that a Republican will take out our anomaly liberal Democratic Senator, Doug Jones, next year. The question is which Republican will be the nominee and capture the seat.

At the State House this week, a public hearing was held on legislation that would establish the Alabama Open Records Act and provide citizens a process for better access to public records. I place the emphasis on public, because we are addressing records that are supposed to be readily avail…

The great comedian George Carlin once said, “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” The Alabama House of Representatives was such a large group last Thursday when it passed House Bill 212 (HB 212) which basically makes it naughty to drive in the left lane on the Int…

A challenge in life can either be a stumbling block or a stepping stone – it depends on how we handle it. Nehemiah gives us great insight on how to handle challenges. You remember that he and the people in Israel had been in exile in Babylon. Nehemiah was given the challenge to return to Jer…

Rep. Tommy Hanes is mad at facts. For real. Hanes apparently spent his Christmas vacation writing out bills to pre-file, and the submission of those bills has not brought about the gratitude from the masses that Hanes was so obviously shooting for.

Could Medicaid expansion finally be coming to Alabama? Several recent indicators point to the possibility Governor Kay Ivey might reconsider it when the legislative session begins next month. The Governor can make the change with the stroke of a pen, only needing the legislature to budget fo…

A survey revealed that 70% of people read about, watch or discuss sports every day. Only 3.7% say their lives are untouched by sports.

As the new quadrennium crests in Alabama government, everybody looks toward a new beginning. There is a new fresh four years ahead for the newly elected leaders. They are overwhelmingly Republican. The Governor is Republican and all of the accompanying constitutional officeholders are member…

The Republicans and the Democrats need each other. I’ve always said that. They need someone to beat so they have each other. If no one else is in the fight then almost all competition is eliminated. If both major parties control the legislative and executive branches then they can keep all o…

Preparations are being made to take the 2020 Census. This process is not just a fun game to spell out demographic changes and interesting tidbits about us as Americans. It is a very important mandate dictated by the Constitution. The number of people counted determines how many seats each st…

Life has its advantages. Those advantages come in different sizes, styles, and situations. Let me tell you about an interesting advantage that every person can have.

One of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges, known by some only as The Dude for his role in the 1998 comedy-thriller The Big Lebowski, was the recipient of this year’s Cecil B. deMille Award at the Golden Globes Sunday evening. The award, one of the most coveted, from the Hollywood Foreign Press…

About fifteen years ago Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade (now CRU), largest parachurch ministry in the world, called and invited me to a meeting in Atlanta. I was invited because I was the Methodist that he knew, and he wanted participation by all denominations. I went and was expo…

The key date on the calendar is March 5, 2019. That’s the most dreaded and fearful day in Alabama. That’s when the Alabama Legislature goes into session. God help us.

As is my custom at the close of the year, I like to memorialize great Alabamians who have appeared and lived legendary lives upon the stage of political history in the Heart of Dixie.

The answer came to me very quickly. I asked myself if you guys would rather read me rambling about Christmas, or read what has been said by others, many of which are famous. Once that was decided I embarked on an Internet journey to find some great Christmas quotes and sayings. My favorite, …

Are you looking for happiness? Traditionally people have thought that more money would bring happiness. The Bible has always negated that viewpoint, but now recent research has continued to confirm what the Bible teaches.

In Alabama political history, the office of Probate Judge was the most powerful and prestigious position. In the old days, in every county in Alabama, the probate judge was not only judge, he also appointed all county positions, hired all county employees and was Chairman of the County Commi…

Back in August it was finally said out loud by someone important enough to cause ears to perk up.  “The poor state of education in Montgomery is really about what do you want for the future of the men and women who reside in the River Region,” said Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, the commander of A…

Having great ideas but never acting on them is a practice in futility. I know I’m guilty of that a lot of times. Visioning and planning are great - but acting is imperative!

Throughout the 2018 election cycle, as major donors and top political action committees dumped needed cash into the campaign accounts of their chosen politicians, there was one major player in the state that remained remarkably quiet.

Within the last month Governor Kay Ivey said, “This is a situation where every other state around us has already increased theirs. It’s been 26 years since Alabama’s made any adjustment. And the people of Alabama are smart enough to know that roads are essential to their safety and also to g…

“No Sebby,” is a phrase heard a lot around my house, often multiple times in couple of minute spans and sometimes so loud I imagine the neighbors hear it too. It has been shouted, along with “get down” and “Sebastian stop” at least a half-dozen times in just the couple minutes it took me to …

Editor’s Note: This was a Thanksgiving Day message from Rev. Mathison that deserves to be remembered every day of the year.

The only sport that Alabamians enjoy more than Alabama politics is college football. We especially love the Alabama vs. Auburn football game. Folks, this is Alabama/Auburn week in Alabama. The Alabama vs. Auburn annual event is one of the fiercest of college football rivalries. It is the gam…

In Nevada the day before the election, Dennis Hof, a Nevada brothel owner was buried. He was 72 years old. The very next day he was elected to the state legislature in Nevada, or as they call it, the Assembly.

The legendary Alabama storyteller, Kathryn Tucker Windham, used to say, “Alabama is like a big front porch.” She was right, I have found that to be the case my entire life. Even recently, as I’ve traversed the state, I am always amazed at how you can visit with someone in one part of the sta…

God has opened doors for a lot of interesting opportunities for me to do ministry. About 90% of them are outside the Montgomery area. I have a general rule that if my destination is about 6 hours or less, I drive. If it’s more than 6 hours, I plan to fly.

It has always been awful. It will always be awful. It was so awful that Republicans had to break the law to pass it, and they’ve been forced to amend it multiple times to make it small measures of less awful. It is so awful still, though, that even Republicans in the State House have balked …

Our gubernatorial election year politics ended yesterday. However, there have been other political maneuverings and developments going on behind the scenes, which may ultimately have more long-term ramifications in the Heart of Dixie’s political future.

It’s Tuesday morning and I’m banging out words on the laptop from the kitchen island with the dog underneath my feet and a cup of coffee within reach. I have no idea where this is going, but I have a deadline approaching and need to fill this space with something and fast.

Some people do a lot of things for people without recognition. Such a person here in Montgomery was Greg Calhoun, who died October 16, 2018. God put me in some places where I got to know Greg. I discovered that for every high visibility thing you read about him in the papers, he did many mor…

This time two years ago, I was bubbling over with anticipation with expectations that I would have two years of fun following an exciting governor’s race. Well, Ole Robert Bentley spoiled my parade.

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