Corruption Rampant Among Republicans Who Control Alabama Elected Offices

(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) With Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley earning international headlines by resigning Monday in the wake of a scandal involving sex, misreporting of campaign finances, and multiple allegations of misuse of state resources along with illegal intimidation tactics, all three branches of Alabama government have seen top officials evicted in the past year.

Alabama's Republican Governor Quits Amid Sex Scandal

Robert Bentley & Rebekah Caldwell Mason/PHOTO: Twitter

All three officials were Republicans, leaving the party’s officeholders in bad odor at a time, ironically, when the state party itself at the organizational and elective levels is seeing such record success that the entire, 22-member state Steering Committee was re-elected in March.

Bentley becomes the second Alabama Republican governor in a quarter-century to resign due to ethics violations, following Guy Hunt in 1993. More recently, former Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman was released in February from six years in a federal penitentiary for a bribery conviction after he lost a re-election bid in 2002.

The other officials ousted in the past year were state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and House Speaker Mike Hubbard. Moore was suspended last September, on the grounds that he violated state ethics guidelines by issuing a directive to state probate judges to ignore federal court orders to award same-sex marriage licenses. (Moore had been evicted from the same post 13 years earlier after directly defying federal court orders to remove a 5,280-pound monument of the Ten Commandments from the state courthouse – but then was elected again in 2012.) Three weeks ago, Moore won the right to an expedited appeal of his suspension.

Hubbard, meanwhile, was convicted last June on ethics charges for co-mingling his business affairs with his lawmaking actions.

But neither of those scandals was as salacious or multi-faceted as Bentley’s.

Just a week after the governor and his wife Dianne celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2015, she filed for divorce amid rumors of an affair between her husband and top aide Rebekah Mason. A year later, Bentley fired Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier, who immediately said the firing came about because he (Collier) refused to cover up the rumored affair.

Collier’s allegation opened the door to a host of claims, from various sources, that Bentley repeatedly misused the state police and other aides to hide the affair, sometimes at outrageous lengths. The very day after Collier was fired, sources provided the media with audiotapes of recordings Mrs. Bentley made on her cell phone, catching her husband on another phone having a sexually semi-explicit conversation with Mason that included the governor saying how much he enjoyed holding Mason’s breasts.

From there the story took far too many strange twists and turns to recount here, but one stands out. With the state House of Representatives having opened an investigation as part of a potential impeachment process, state attorney general Luther Strange – also a Republican – suddenly asked legislators to suspend their inquiry in November because it might interfere with an investigation his own office was conducting. The lawmakers complied. Later, when U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions was nominated by President Trump to be U.S. Attorney General, Strange said (strangely) that his unspecified probe might not involve Bentley at all.

Strange did not explain how a House impeachment inquiry concerning the governor could have interfered with an AG’s investigation if the latter proceedings had nothing to do with the governor.

With one probe suspended and the other murky at best, Gov. Bentley then appointed Strange to fill the Senate seat vacated by Sessions. On April 6, seven Alabamans officially asked for an ethics probe into that appointment, suggesting an illicit deal between Bentley and Strange.

On that same day, the state Ethics Commission referred four charges against Bentley to state prosecutors – three of them technical campaign-finance violations, and one a vaguer, but more ominous, charge that Bentley did indeed misuse state monies.

The next day – last Friday – the legislature’s counsel, operating on a second track that had finally re-opened once Strange left the AG’s office, released a 100-plus-page report outlining those charges in explicit detail. The counsel amassed copious evidence indicating that the governor did indeed, personally and directly, order numerous aides and state police to go to great (and sometimes expensive) lengths to cover up his illicit relationship with Mason.

One allegation given credence in that report: At a certain time roughly concurrent to when Bentley was personally berating Mrs. Bentley’s chief aide, Heather Hannah, for helping lead his wife to suspect an affair, Ms. Hannah’s home and car were vandalized with messages calling her a “bitch” and saying “you will f***ing die.”

The counsel’s report spurred the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, and the Alabama Party executive committee all to demand Bentley’s resignation. On Monday, Bentley pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges related to his campaign finance practices, agreed to pay a fine and give up his claim to as much as a million dollars in future state pension payments – and resigned from office.

Bentley was succeeded by another Republican, former Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey. On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Merrill – also a Republican – suggested that Ivey can re-issue Bentley’s proclamation for an election to fill the remainder of Sessions’ Senate term. This would force Strange to defend his appointed seat this year instead of waiting until November of 2018 as Bentley had originally arranged.

Some two dozen people have been identified as possible contenders either for that seat or for the governorship in 2018, with several of the potential candidates known to be torn between running for governor or for U.S. Senate.

Polls show that the early front-runner for either seat would be suspended Chief Justice Moore.

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Copyright 2017 Liberty Headlines

  • Shadoh21

    In Alabama we do not expect our politicians to be corrupt, we demand it.

    • nocbsfan

      What a great phrase Shadow

  • George

    They republicans are still saying Strange is helping us and helping Trump push thru his EPA gutting like that is a good thing unless birth defects are what you call a good thing.

  • Joyce A Smith

    I have always heard that the Southern men always had a roving eye for other woman in addition to their wives and so many times that has been proven with politicians who wonder away from home looking for love and scandalous relationships. They need to get back to GOD, dedicate their lives to reading God’s word and ask forgiveness. Better background checks are a must before we allow anyone to be put in these high positions in government.

    • Eva Holiman

      In the South? Don’t think so. Remember JFK? Ted Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Gary Hart, and the list goes on. Agree with return to God, need to return devotionals, Bible scripture readings in schools, stop the Muslim teaching in our, tax paid schools (including the man in Pennsylvania, who gave millions to Hillary’s campaign who interferes with politics in Turkey, and has 145 Charter schools here!), return the posting of the 10 Commandments, which Judge Roy Moore was forced to remove from the court house. By the way, Judge Moore knew obama or what’s his name was not eligible to be POTUS, suspect that was behind his legal problems. Thank Pelosi and company, the DNC, RNC, and the media for keeping info away from the public about Barry obama Soetoro. Info was out there, but not readily available in 2008. The “birther issue ” was alive during Barry’s 2004 election for Illinois senate seat. Info is online. A lot of obama’s info is s till sealed but a lot has leaked out and is online, like his Catholic school registration in Indonesia.

  • John Shropshire

    I cannot but shake my head in wonderment regarding the comment from “George” (another died-in-the-wool Liberal Kool-Aid drinker) about “EPA gutting causing birth defects”) when the Democratic Party, in alliance with pro-abortion forces, has been directly responsible for more that 50 MILLION dead babies here in the United States. The irony of his statement is exceeded only by the tragedy that engulfs and shames us as a nation. My God forgive us.

  • needful

    aahhh,presidential material!!!!

    • nocbsfan

      Get ready needless, we are going to make a republican out of you yet.

  • got my licence

    Their just acting like democrats.

    • BlueWarrior

      Probably Democrats in Republican clothing.

      • got my licence

        RINOS.

    • temporary guest

      Yeah, all Bentley had to do was switch parties and the liberal media would be talking about what a heroic move that was, and he could have gotten himself a democrat party sponsored “get out of jail free” card and saved his career.

  • temporary guest

    Just out of curiosity, if Bentley had switched party affiliation, if he had become a Democrat, would he have gotten a pass and saved his career?

  • rush2head

    Can,t be any worse then Brad Schimel and Peggy Lautenschlager Corruption In the Steven Avery Case of the state Wisconsin And you wonder why no one trust the government at all levels!!

  • Bob

    Most of the Southern (RED) states are full of corruption and perverts holding office. That’s what happens when you have a bunch of Low-IQ, Uneducated voters who have no idea what’s going on in the World!!!

    • America1st

      Like there is no corruption and perverts holding office in NY, Il, CA or MA elected by low IQ uneducated voters that are totally clueless wearing thei p-hats.

      Right.

      • Bob

        Well, I guess we have to look to the White House to see the most corrupt, perverted, TRAITOR, connected to Russia and his Puppet Master, Putin!!!

        • America1st

          Looks like the most perverted TRAITOR connected to Russia and his Puppet MAster Putin is Bathhouse Barry who had more flexibility (literally and figuratively) after the 2012 election.

          • Bob

            America’s Worst – What are you babbling about with the diarrhea running down you chin. You sound like some Ignorant troll living over in Moscow. Is that you, skippy!!!

          • America1st

            Simply quoting your “the most corrupt, perverted, TRAITOR” rant with full credit towards the Obama self confessed “flexibility” the Traitor would have with Russia. Yes, have have moved from America’s WORST president to certainly one of the BEST with the 2016 election.

            By the way, how’s your 401K done since the November election? Mine has increased over 30% – Making America Great Again one 401K plan at a time.

            Thank you for supporting President Trump!

          • Bob

            Hard to tell what you’re trying to say. Ask some 3rd grader to help you construct a sentence, will you? If you’re talking about a Traitor and Pervert, add in Tax Evader and you’re describing the Orange Blossom, Chump!!!

          • Bob

            And how did your 401-K do while Bush and draft-dodger Cheney was in office. You really think anyone will believe yours went up 30%? You’re kidding, right, skippy!!!

          • America1st

            Babs – I don’t care what you think because you have swallowed all obumer delusions of grandeur (apologies for a big word so have your kindergarten teacher look it up for you after she changes your diapers. As to my 401k, it did ok under Bush, but 30% up since Election is A real WIN.

          • Bob

            Yeah, I’m sure your 401-K did real well under Bush and Draft-Dodger Cheney. If BS was electricity, you’d be a Lighthouse! You don’t have to apologize (notice the spelling) for big words. You’re not dealing with your Uneducated friends this time, skippy!!!

        • gairman

          Wow, I bet you shoot up the lamestream media news like a drug. It’s propaganda dude.

          • nocbsfan

            No its not?

    • gairman

      The coastal & northern cities have the highest rate of people on gov’t handouts who for the most part vote democrat so your argument holds no water.

  • nocbsfan

    Oh! Pound republicans, no matter what. Why has the media neglected to place one George Wallace as the most corrupted Gov. of the south let alone Alabama. One of the most corrupted politicians ever . Maybe it is because he was a DEMOCRAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • James Langham

    No, they’re acting like typical HYPOCRITICAL repubs do.

  • Jeannie

    They took notes from killary and b HUSSEIN o, and thought those two got by with it, why can’t we???

  • Buzzles

    All political leaders need to be held more accountable than they seem to be these days. These scandals are starting to become as frequent as the Catholic church scandals. I’m getting so fed up with it all that I really don’t care if I live to a ripe old age. Seriously.