By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow wants to make sure that Rebekah Mason – the alleged mistress of former Gov. Robert Bentley – doesn’t escape punishment for her role in the year-long scandal that’s engulfed this State.
Morrow on Wednesday introduced a resolution that he wants the House to consider that would encourage the Attorney General’s office to investigate Mason for potential criminal activity, apologize to those hurt by her actions, condemn those actions and applaud Bentley’s ex-wife, Diane, for her strength and integrity.
“I want to punish Rebekah Mason as much as we possibly can as a body for what she’s done,” Morrow said. “Robert Bentley has received punishment. She should too.”
The Ethics Commission last week cleared Mason of violating ethics laws and Morrow said he didn’t know of specific laws she might have broken.
While answering questions about his resolution, though, Morrow made claims that he admitted he couldn’t support with evidence – namely that Rebekah Mason and her husband, Jon, conspired to scam Bentley.
“I believe Rebekah and Jon Mason set out to scam an old, vulnerable man (Bentley),” Morrow said.
When asked by reporters if he had evidence, Morrow said only that he had a “set of facts” that he believes support that claim.
Morrow also revealed that he has a long and unpleasant history with Rebekah Mason, whom he taught at Northwest Alabama Community College more than 20 years ago. Morrow said he was then an economics professor and that Mason “got a grade she didn’t like.”
Morrow claimed Mason held a grudge from that time forward, and in 2013, when she became close with Bentley, she played a role in killing a local bill that Morrow backed.
“I know she did it, because there was no reason that bill wouldn’t have been signed by the Governor without something else going on,” Morrow said. “It was a local bill. I had made changes that the governor’s office had specifically asked for. I received word from them that they were happy with it and he would sign it. Then, he didn’t.
“Local bills like that are sacred around here. Everyone knows the agreement that we don’t mess with another legislator’s local bills.”
Morrow said he also doesn’t see his resolution as blaming Mason for the affair with the governor and excusing the actions of Bentley, because Bentley has already been punished and because he’s heard from a number of professional women in the state who agree with the resolution.
“That’s really why I’m bringing this resolution – because so many women were bothered by this and how they might be harmed by Rebekah Mason’s actions,” Morrow said.
Morrow included a number of quotes from women in his resolution. He shared more quotes with APR, along with the identities of the women quoted. The women agreed to be quoted only if their names weren’t used.
The women’s comments mostly followed the same general theme: that Mason’s actions served only to make their professional aspirations more difficult by undermining the seriousness with which women take their jobs.
“As a professional woman in Alabama, its already difficult enough to compete in the either professional or political realms often dominated by men,” one woman said. “To have someone using sexual favors to advance their careers is an insult to the rest of the women in the workforce. Rebekah Mason has damaged every woman in the workforce. Her message to her daughters, to all of our daughters is simply disgraceful.”
Morrow promised to stand on the House floor each day and talk about his resolution until it is brought forward for a vote.