By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
As anticipated, the scandalmongers, and political bloodsuckers have opened their first volley against Gov. Robert Bentley.
On cue, the talk radio parasites began to feed rumors without facts, surrounding Gov. Bentley’s impending divorce. And, just as rapidly, self-serving politicos feigned outrage over allegations with evidence, most notably, State Rep. Allen Farley (R-McCalla), who rushed to any media outlet that would listen, calling for Attorney General Luther Strange to investigate Bentley.
Farley is one of a handful of lawmakers, who stood on stage with Speaker Mike Hubbard the day after his indictment, accusing the Attorney General of engaging in “Chicago-style gutter politics.”
Farley, a former law enforcement officer, has been a staunch defender of Hubbard, who was arrested on 23 felony counts of public corruption. But, seeing as Bentley has refused to answer questions about his divorce, Farley wants a criminal investigation by the same AG who he and other republicans accused of carrying out “a political which hunt against Hubbard.”
So, Farley, it seems, thinks making millions off of your public offices through alleged illegal means, requires he stand by his man. But, when it comes to divorce, and rumors of an affair, he must stand resolutely outraged at Gov. Bentley. The former lawman turned lawmaker wears his religion on his sleeve, like many in Montgomery, and it would appear he, like too many others, is selective in what he finds as a moral failing. Farley, like far too many, seems to assign degrees to what he perceives as sin.
“So if you are looking at somebody from our eyes, from our Christian perspective this was bigger than a bombshell. It was Hiroshima,” Farley told WFSA TV, comparing Bentley’s impending divorce to the uranium atomic bomb (Little Boy) which killed around 80,000 people.
When Farley came to Montgomery, he was not one of Hubbard’s boys, but that changed once he began receiving plum assignments from the Speaker. Hubbard appointed Farley vice chairman of the Legislature’s prison oversight committee, and since then he has been squarely in Hubbard’s corner.
As committee vice chair, Farley was first to call on Bentley to replace Prison Commissioner Kim Thomas. At the time, sources inside the State House said, Farley was pushing the Governor to appoint him as Thomas’ replacement. That didn’t happen, as those within the administration felt Farley was not up to the task.
Now, he is the first lawmaker to call out Bentley.
While most believe that the Governor should publicly dismiss the rumors spinning around his divorce, few would find Farley a credible representative of righteous anger, given his support of Hubbard.
Comparing Farley’s comments with the quiet admonition of Rev. John Killian, noted republican minister and former two-time president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, one sees a marked difference in Christian belief. “With the state all abuzz about Governor Bentley’s impending divorce, please consider: 1) This man has had a clean reputation for 73 years and deserves any benefit of the doubt. The same goes for Dianne Bentley
2) Rumors are just that–rumors. Would you want every rumor told on you to be believed?
3) This is a time to pray for Robert and Dianne Bentley. Let them tell what they wish. Otherwise, let’s keep out noses out of their business,” wrote Rev. Killian on his Facebook page.
Farley, is hardly a prominent figure in state government or even in the Jefferson County metro area. He previously worked as an assistant to Jefferson Country Sheriff Mike Hale, who has as council, Rob Riley, son of former Gov. Bob Riley, who invited many of the lawmakers that attended Hubbard pep rally after his arrest.
And so it is with a media culture desperate to dig dirt, and the governor’s stubborn silence, that vapid indignation from Farley and others is to be expected.