By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
As 2017 comes to a close we reflect on the year in Alabama politics. 2017 was a remarkable year in Alabama politics. For many of the most powerful figures in Alabama politics, it was a disastrous 2017, as the political situation was turned on its head.
No governor in Alabama has been impeached under the 1901 Constitution. It has been over 100 years since Alabama impeached any statewide official. That was a secretary of state and Civil War veteran accused of giving payments to a defeated primary opponent for an endorsement. He was found not guilty by the Senate and kept his office. Gov. Robert Bentley threatened to change that history over allegations of ethics and campaign finance allegations. The Alabama Ethics Commission found that Bentley likely broke state laws in his relationship with his alleged mistress, Rebekah Caldwell Mason. Two days later the House Judiciary Committee released a damning report on Bentley’s conduct alleging that he had misused state resources and then threatened and harassed witnesses of his alleged misconduct. Three days later Bentley pleaded guilty to misdemeanor campaign finance law violations and resigned. In 2014 Governor Bentley was re-elected in a cakewalk absolutely beloved by the voters of Alabama. His administration crashed in utter ruin just 29 months later. Lieutenant Gov. Kay Ivey became only the second woman governor in state history. Joining Gov. Don Siegelman and Gov. Guy Hunt, three of the last seven Alabama governors have been convicted of crimes while in office.