Alabama

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Contents

State Facts

  • Abbreviation: AL, Ala.
  • Admitted to the Union: December 14, 1819 (22)
  • Population (2000): 4,447,100 (23)
  • Population (2008): 4,661,900 (23) - (+ 4.83%)
  • Capital: Montgomery
  • Largest City: Birmingham
  • State Bird: Yellowhammer
  • State Flower: Camellia
  • State Nicknames: The Yellowhammer State, The Heart of Dixie, The Cotton State
  • State Motto: Audemus jura nostra defendere (We Dare Defend Our Rights)

Largest Cities

Racial Composition

  • Caucasian/White: 3,225,567 (70.3%)
  • African American/Black: 1,204,354 (26.3%)
  • Hispanic/Latino: 112,718 (2.5%)
  • Two or More Races: 52,059 (1.1%)
  • Asian: 43,838 (1.0%)
  • Some Other Race: 36,768 (0.8%)
  • Native American: 21,557 (0.5%)
  • Pacific Islander: 1,757 (0.0%)

Political Overview

The current government blueprint is the Constitution of 1901, which has the dubious distinction of being the largest government document of its kind in the world due to provisions that require amendments to be made to the constitution for even minor local changes in law. This has led to growing calls for a new constitution to be drafted.

The Governor of Alabama is Robert Renfroe "Bob" Riley. He was born in Ashland, Alabama on October 3, 1944. He is a Republican and is serving his second term, having defeated the unpopular and ethically challenged incumbent Democrat Don Siegelman in 2002. Siegelman was indicted on May 27, 2004, (and later convicted) along with his former chief of staff and one other person, of having illegally rigged bids for state medical contracts. Despite the rumors of ethical misdeeds, Siegelman almost defeated Riley , a testament to Alabamians' stubbornness and the power of the National Rifle Association endorsement that Siegelman was somehow able to secure in the final weeks of the campaign.

Prior to his election, Bob Riley served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Alabama's 3rd Congressional District. Although Riley is a staunch conservative, he has drawn the ire of many of the more rabid anti-tax groups such as the Club For Growth for his proposed reform of the Alabama tax code, which was rejected in a referendum on September 9, 2003, by a 68%-32% margin. Since that failure, Riley has been considered vulnerable for defeat in his coming reelection attempt.

The Lieutenant Governor is Democrat Jim Folsom, Jr. By virtue of his office, Lt. Governor Folsom is President and Presiding Officer of the Alabama Senate.

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The two U.S. Senators from Alabama are Jeff Sessions and Richard C. Shelby. Both are Republicans and are considered prohibitive favorites for reelection. Shelby was actually a Democrat until the year of the Republican Revolution in 1994 when he defected. Despite being quite conservative ideologically, Shelby has a reputation for being independent-minded. This is due in large part to the time he spent as the chief Republican on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Sessions is a member of Class II and defeated Democrat Vivian Davis Figures in 2008. In contrast to Shelby, Sessions is considered to be a party hack. Sarah Wildman wrote an article for the December 30, 2002 issue of The New Republic that lambasted Sessions as having a worse record on race than the recently demoted Trent Lott.

The Alabama House delegation is split 4-3 in favor of the GOP and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future due to the way the districts are drawn.

Facts

Alabama Congressional Delegation

Alabama State Government

As of the 2010 elections, Republicans control both chambers of the Alabama Legislature.

    • Alabama House of Representatives (41% Democratic)
      • Democrats: 43
      • Republicans: 62
    • Alabama Senate (34% Democratic)
      • Democrats: 12
      • Republicans: 22
      • Independent: 1

Alabama Cities & Counties

Elections

Alabama News, Etc

Organizations

Political Blogs

See also

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