Rachel Maddow Show features Alabama Political Reporter article

Sam Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Political Reporter was featured Tuesday on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow show for its reporting concerning Luther Strange’s appointment to the US Senate by former Governor Robert Bentley.

The article featured was “The End of Robert Bentley: Part I” written by APR columnist and reporter Josh Moon. The article was the first in a trio of articles detailing Bentley’s downfall that would eventually end with him pleading guilty to two charges and resigning as Governor.
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Special Supreme Court denies APR’s request in Moore case

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

To fully understand the investigation and permanent suspension of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore by the Court of the Judiciary, The Alabama Political Reporter filed a Motion to Intervene and Unseal Court records about the case on October 19, 2016. In a 4-3 decision on February 3, 2017, the Special Supreme Court selected to hear Moore’s appeal denied APR’s request.

An appointed panel of retired judges denied APR’s motion without explanation. They were: James Harvey Reid, Special Chief Justice, and Robert George Cahill, Ralph Alton Ferguson, Jr., and John David Coggin, Special Justices, concurring, and Harris Edward McFerrin, William Reddoch King, and Lynn Clardy Bright, Special Justices, in dissent.
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Bentley cabinet member paid by University of Alabama

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Most would assume that each of the 22 individuals serving as cabinet members in Gov. Robert Bentley’s administration is being paid by the department they oversee, but such a conclusion would be wrong in the case of Acting Secretary of Information Technology Dr. Joanne Hale. As a former professor at the University of Alabama, Hale continues to receive her salary and benefits as a University employee, even though she works for the Governor (as confirmed by a search of the Open UA Expenditures).
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Tick-Tock: Dateline looms in Bentley/Mason ethics investigation

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The investigative arm of the State Ethics Commission is nearing completion of its probe into potential ethics violations by Gov. Robert Bentley and his former senior political adviser/alleged mistress, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, according to those close to the investigation.

These well-placed sources say Bentley and Mason recently received letters requiring their appearance before Special Agents of the Commission.

Chief Special Agent Tony Goubil is leading exhaustive interviews with former State officials and others within Bentley’s sphere of influence, to determine if he or Mason violated State ethics laws. According to Statute, the Commission has a 180-day window to complete an ethics complaint investigation and offer recommendations. The Commission may grant an additional 180 days but an extension seems unlikely to those who spoke anonymously with The Alabama Political Reporter. Read More

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and the American Ideal

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will,” said Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., speaking at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3rd, 1968, the night before his assassination.

There are those who see Dr. King as a saint, others as a radical and even some still seek to delegitimize his work, because he was an alleged womanizer with Russian sympathies. Read More

School leaders search for source of leak to APR

By Josh Moon

Alabama Political Reporter

A scramble took place Wednesday at the Alabama State Department of Education and at the central office of Montgomery’s Public Schools to find the sources of a story that appeared on the Alabama Political Reporter.

Several sources told APR on Wednesday that state department employees were questioned about the leak. At MPS, officials were questioning board members and an attorney for the system called an APR reporter to inquire about the source of the information. (APR declined to provide any information about its sources, per company standards.) Read More

The shape of things to come?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Several decisions over the next few weeks and months could significantly affect Alabama’s future for generations. Among these are, the appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions’ replacement, the Special Supreme Court’s ruling in Chief Justice Roy Moore’s appeal and the findings of the Montgomery Grand Jury concerning Governor Robert Bentley.

Bentley is publicly holding casting-calls to find Sessions’ replacement upon his confirmation as US Attorney General. From a novice State representative to Chief Justice Moore himself, Bentley is parading potential candidates around like beauty pageant contestants. Each day the press publishes an ever-expanding list of hopeful nominees. It seems more like a charade than a selection process. Identifying the next junior Senator from Alabama is serious business, with little in common with the spectacle it now seems to have become. Perhaps, Bentley is using the Senate interviews to line up support for the billion dollar prison bill he plans to push in a special legislative session. Perhaps it is simply to hide his real intentions. With this Governor, the only thing you know for sure is that you don’t know.
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Ethics Commission withdraws McCalla opinion after charities line-up

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In a unanimous vote on September 1, 2016, the Alabama Ethics Commission issued advisory opinion 2016-24, which it believed clarified the question regarding public officials soliciting lobbyists and principals for contributions to a charitable organization, operating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

The issue was raised by the nonprofit group, Friends of McCalla.

After approving the opinion in a 5-0 vote, the Commission gave a 30-day window for public comment; however, it was extended past the 30 days to December 7.
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Strange bedfellows: Big Luther hires associate of felon Hubbard

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Attorney General, Luther Strange, sent a statewide press release officially announcing his run for the US Senate. The announcement was hardly a surprise in political circles, as Strange has made his desire to return to the hallowed ground of DC, and the Georgetown cocktail circuit no secret. Many agree he is a senator right out of central casting. But what was a surprise, was the identity of the individual who sent the press statement, who is also listed as the media contact for Strange’s Senate bid.
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Where’s Bentley’s paycheck? You’ll be surprised

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

As part of his campaign pledge during the 2010 Gubernatorial race, candidate Dr. Robert Bentley vowed not to accept a salary until there was full employment in Alabama, which equates to 5.2 percent unemployment.

So, where did Bentley’s paycheck go?

It turns out that each year, his salary has been paying for “miscellaneous office expenses,” according to Bentley’s Communications Director, Yasamie August.

In an email exchange, August wrote, “The miscellaneous office expenses are just that, for an example, one month the funds could be used for office supplies, but the next month it be used for small projects taking place in any one of the offices that all make up the Office of the Governor.”
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