Waiting for the postmortem analysis of Tuesday’s Senate election

December 11, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In the distant future, cooler heads will perhaps give a detailed examination of this U.S. Senate race to determine the postmortem of the news media, political parties and the body politic as a whole. Any reasonable person will look back and see this was a moment in time with no winners, only losers.

When The Washington Post story broke about Moore’s alleged sexual behavior on November 9, I asked APR’s staff to closely diagram the report because over the coming weeks I believed it would be difficult to determine facts from lies. And as one accuser became two and two became nine, and sexual allegations became pedophilia, the fevered pitch of reporting would leave even the most fair-minded reporter with some measure of confusion.

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The same men quick to judge Bentley rush to Roy Moore’s defense

November 13, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The allegations facing U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore are not Alabama’s first experience with alleged sexual improprieties among the state’s top brass. The reaction, however, is much different from the two men who led the charge against former Gov. Robert Bentley when he was accused of having an affair with a top adviser.

On Thursday, hours after the Washington Post’s bombshell article published, accusing Moore of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl in 1979, State Auditor Jim Zeigler spoke with the Washington Examiner, invoking Jesus and the Bible in defense of Moore.

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Behind the scenes of the Bentley resignation

April 13, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The fall of Governor Robert Bentley was a long time in the making, but the negotiations that led to his criminal plea bargain and resignation from office were direct and swift.

Beginning in earnest last Sunday, and into the wee hours of Monday morning, Bentley’s attorneys, Chuck Maloney and Cooper Shattuck, hammered out an agreement with Special Prosecutor Ellen Brooks (former Montgomery County District Attorney) and Matt Hart, Chief of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division. Bentley pleaded to two misdemeanor charges and resigned his office to avoid a lengthy and expensive criminal felony trial.
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Marsh Says: “This has gone on long enough” and urges Bentley to resign

April 7, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 6, 2017, US Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) called on embattled Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) to resign in the aftermath of a damning finding by the Alabama Ethics Commission on Wednesday that Bentley probably committed four class B felonies consisting of one ethics violation and three violations of campaign finance laws. On Friday, Bentley faces the likelihood that even more sordid details of his relationship with former top political advisor and alleged mistress, Mrs. Rebekah Caldwell Mason, will be released with the lengthy report by special counsel Jack Sharman.
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Governor’s Attorney Seeks to Suppress Sharman Report

April 5, 2017

By Brandon Moseley

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 attorney Ross Garber who is representing Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) in his impending impeachment hearings before the House Judiciary Committee, spoke with members of the press, including the Alabama Political Reporter., at the Alabama Statehouse.

Garber has issues with the procedures outlined by Judiciary Committee Special Counsel Jack Sharman. Garber does not want Sharman’s report on Friday made public. He also disagreed with the hearing process and proposed an alternative schedule. Garber would also like to be able to cross examine Sharman’s witnesses and present his own evidence and witnesses. Garber called Sharman’s evidence hearsay and said that he did not know that if Sharman had any evidence or not.
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Zeigler: “It’s Now or Never” on Bentley Impeachment

April 4, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Sunday, April 2017, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) suggested that the theme song for the investigation of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) should be: “It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley.

Zeigler said that, “The probes of Gov. Robert Bentley will come to a head in April and end in May – or else they never will. It’s now or never.”

Zeigler has been a long-time critic of Gov. Bentley. Zeigler also filed the initial ethics complaint against the governor on March 25 of last year. The ethics commission meets this Wednesday, April 5, and may or may not rule on the Bentley complaint. Zeigler said that if the commission finds probable cause of ethics violations, they refer the case to the State Attorney General for prosecution. If they do not, the ethics complaints are dead.
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What’s next for Gov. Bentley?

March 22, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote, “A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.”

It seems evident that Gov. Robert Bentley sits in a similar room without imagining the obvious way out.

If our sources are correct, on April 5, the State’s Ethics Commission will hear evidence of possible wrongdoing on his part. How Director Tom Albritton presents the facts of the investigation will be critical to what happens next. Albritton finds himself in the unenviable position of introducing the fruit of an almost year-long investigation. How he presents those facts, what he says and doesn’t say will perhaps mean more than the ethics probe itself.
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Will Bentley face the Hangman’s noose?

March 13, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

It may be too late for Governor Robert Bentley to save himself as the gallows of impeachment’s trap door is oiled and ready. There is, however, a chance that the man, Robert Bentley, may be spared the Hangman’s noose; but even that outcome is tenuous at best.

Bentley, like so many men before him, fails to grasp that it is not his alleged affair with the married former staffer, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, or using his position as Governor to destroy perceived political enemies, such as former Law Enforcement Chief Spencer Collier. Hubris is his undoing.
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What to do about Bentley?

February 20, 2017

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.
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