Beasley Allen Principal & Founder and former Lieutenant Governor Jere Beasley and former Attorney General and Lt. Gov. Bill Baxley paneled an honest conversation about Alabama “politics past” at the first ever “Tales From Goat Hill” luncheon, held Aug. 6, 2015, at the The Capital City Club in downtown Montgomery.
Guests enjoyed a two-course lunch while moderator Alva Lambert guided the lively discussion. Alva, who is known as a master political impersonator, does Governor George Wallace and Senator Howell Heflin to perfection. The crowd roared as he channeled characters from the local political scene throughout the years.
Jere Beasley was the 22nd Lt. Gov. of Alabama, serving from 1971 to 1979. He became acting Governor from June 5 to July 7, 1972, when Gov. George Wallace was shot in an attempted assassination attempt during his run for President of the United States. After an unsuccesful run for the governor’s office in 1978, Beasley hung out his shingle as an attorney, founding what is today one of the most successful civil litigation firms in the country, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.
Bill Baxley was a tremendously talented politician. He also was an outstanding Attorney General, serving two terms from 1971 to 1979. At the age of 28, he was at that time the youngest person in U.S. history to hold a state attorney general position. Baxley also served as the 24th Lt. Gov. of Alabama, from 1983-1987.
Mr. Beasley recalls, “Bill also was able to attract good young people to come to work in the Attorney General’s office. I was not surprised that all of them went on to be good citizens and were successful in their respective careers. You will recognize names like Judge Myron Thompson, Judge Charles Price, Judge Sally Greenhaw and U.S. Attorney George Beck, each of whom went to work for Baxley in the 1970s. Bill had a special gift of being able to communicate with the masses. The Dothan native also would tell it straight and there was never any doubt as to where Bill stood on an issue.”
At the luncheon, Beasley and Baxley spoke on a wide variety of topics, ranging from recounting how each of them got into politics and memories from early days of campaigning; to the constant confusion caused by the similarity of their names. Both men also shared thoughts on past governors, and talked about challenges facing Alabama today and how they feel its current leaders in the legislature and in the Governor’s mansion can find solutions.