Bentley pushes for control over tech service laden with cash and immense trove of data

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The Office of Governor Robert Bentley wants one more chance to create a powerful agency with big money, loose contracts, and a prying eye into the vast state data network.

Once again, Bentley’s administration is proposing legislation that will create the Office of Information Technology (OIT) as a stand-alone agency, which will absorb the Information Services Division (ISD), that was, until recently, closely guarded by the Department of Finance.
Read More

Questions hang over massive prison bill

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The push to build four new correctional facilities at the cost of $800 million will soon begin in earnest. Still, many questions are left unanswered by legislations known as the Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative (APTI). The plan at present says the estimated $1.5 billion bond issuance will be paid by savings in the ADOC budget over the next 30 years. It also assumes proper medical and mental health care will result by consolidating facilities, and that the new high-tech prisons will reduce prison staffing needs. Governor Robert Bentley and Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) Commissioner Jeff Dunn are warning lawmakers of an imminent threat of Federal intervention if actions are not taken immediately.
Read More

What to do about Bentley?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Vice, vainer and corruption has left Alabama a leaderless State, but there is hope that some with integrity will step forward to fill the void.

Governor Robert Bentley has long ago forfeited any claim of moral leadership and to list his many failings would be as tedious as it is long.

However, calls for his impeachment may be premature.

How can those who defended former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard chanting “innocent until proven guilty” in the face of his indictment on 23 felony counts of public corruption now feign such righteous anger at this scoundrel Bentley? Hubbard was convicted of 12 of those charges and today, many of those same individuals who blithely ignored Hubbard’s malfeasance want to hang the fool on Goat Hill.
Read More

Move to impeach Bentley: Don’t be foolish

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

There is a movement afoot in the Alabama House of Representatives to impeach Governor Robert Bentley, a mission which, if accomplished, will doom the 2017 Regular Legislative Session.

Bentley is an embarrassment, a fool, a liar and a cheat, and may have even committed crimes that are punishable by law.

Gov. Bentley:

Is believed to have used State resources to facilitate an affair with a married staff member Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
Read More

Small Lending Act leaves gaping loophole

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Like so many reforms in Alabama, the implementation of a statewide central database to track payday loans as ordered by Gov. Robert Bentley in 2013 fought its way through the courts to finally become operable in August 2015.

The establishment of the database is seen as a real step toward true reform in the lending industry. For the first time, loans would be tracked by a single statewide system that ensures that individuals are not taking out multiple loans from different lending companies simultaneously.

Read More

There’s a new Sheriff in town

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In the hidebound thinking of Montgomery’s political class, any appointment made by Gov. Robert Bentley is suspect, at best, most likely double-dealing. However, despite the initial unease with the appointment of Steve Marshall as Attorney General, there seems to be hope that he is the man for the job.

So, there’s a new Sheriff in town, and that could be a very good thing.
Read More

Strange receives committee appointments

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Friday, February 10, 2017, new US Senator Luther Strange has received his committee assignments in the US Senate.

Senator Strange said in a statement, “It was a great privilege to be sworn into the United States Senate yesterday. As I took the oath of office, I reaffirmed my commitment to working every day to represent the people of Alabama with honor.”

Senator Strange will serve as a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Armed Services; Budget; and Energy and Natural Resources Committees.
Read More

Faux crisis, bad optics and more funding needed for Medicaid

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Last year, during the 2016 Special Legislative Session, a crisis was created to convince the Legislature to allocate over a hundred million dollars to shore-up the State’s Medicaid program.

In a conversation with The Alabama Political Reporter, Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar admitted her agency cut payments to doctors, even though it had the money to pay them. Azar said the cuts were necessary to carry as much money as possible into 2017. Read More

Bentley confidant tops list of possible AG replacement as new ethics complaint surfaces

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

High-ranking government officials and those close to Governor Robert Bentley are saying, that Attorney General Luther Strange is strongly being considered to replace Sen. Jeff Sessions upon his confirmation as US Attorney General. And of the many names being floated to fill Strange’s position, one name has risen to the top: Bentley’s close associate, Cooper Shattuck.

Friends and critics alike speaking on background say, for Bentley to appoint Shattuck would not only raise eyebrows, but it could also have unwelcome consequences.
Read More

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

© Copyright 2016 Alabama Political Reporter