Gov. Kay Ivey's tactics to get the 2019 Rebuild Alabama Act passed into law have been described by some as heavy-handed, particularly as she documented the votes of every legislator.

At the time of the bill's consideration, Ivey kept a whiteboard in her office with a green dot signifying a "yes" vote, a black dot signifying not having voted and a red dot for a "no" vote.

The whiteboard reportedly served as a scoreboard reminder for when lawmakers request a favor of the governor.

The issue has come up at times during the 2022 gubernatorial campaign. However, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Dave Thomas, the mayor of Springville, argued Ivey's tactics are not what should be condemned but rather the policy itself.

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," Thomas said Republicans should not be rallying behind any tax increases.

"It certainly is part of the problem - the prices are so high," he said. "But yeah -- I seem to be separating myself from the pack time and time again. And I'm going to do it again here. There's been a lot of criticism about how Kay Ivey went about getting that tax passed -- that she was heavy-handed and browbeat the legislators basically into submission. Well, I've got news for people. That's politics. I'm not going to fault her for getting what she wanted accomplished.

"However, when Republicans are passing taxes and growing government and are no different than Democrats -- well, George Wallace was right when he said there's not a dime's worth of difference. So, I won't fault her on her methods, but I am critical of what exactly she did. We're supposed to be reducing taxes as Republicans and getting our hands out of the people's pockets and getting out of their way so they can pursue their life, liberty and happiness."

Thomas claimed with his economic plan, the increases in taxation would not be necessary and cited hemp cultivation as one of the possibilities.

"You get four times the return per acre from hemp than pine trees," he said. "The paper is better, fewer chemicals."

He also proposed bamboo as an alternative to cotton.

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