By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Alabama Legislature has not impeached anyone in over a hundred years, however the State legislature feels that it is currently too easy to impeach corrupt public officials and is asking the public to vote yes for amendment six which would raise the bar to make it harder for the legislature to remove corrupt officials. This while the legislature is debating whether or not to impeach embattled Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R).
On Tuesday, October 18, 2016 State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) will announce a campaign to defeat the highly controversial Amendment Six on the November 8 ballot.
Auditor Zeigler called Amendment Six “the Bentley Get Out of Impeachment Free Card.” The measure would dramatically increase the majority needed to convict on impeachment from 50 percent plus one vote to a two-thirds super-majority of the Alabama Senate.
Zeigler said in a statement, “It is difficult already to get the legislature to impeach and convict Gov. Bentley. If the rules are changed now to raise the vote required to impeach to two-thirds, it would make it almost impossible to impeach him.”
Zeigler has been a vocal critic of Bentley and submitted a report on Bentley to the Ethics Commission in April. In May, Zeigler issued an order for Bentley to appear before the State Auditor and answer questions under oath. Bentley refused to appear and claimed that the Auditor did not have the power to make him answer questions. In September the House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena to make the Governor answer questions about his conduct. Gov. Bentley now claims that the legislature has no authority is subpoena him about anything.
There are 14 proposed constitutional amendment on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. Zeigler says because he will lead the ‘vote no’ campaign on Amendment Six, he will not make recommendations on the others. “That could cause confusion.” Zeigler promised to post information on all the amendments on his Facebook page, “Zeigler: Waste Cutter.”
The Amendment will read simply: “Statewide Amendment 6 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to become operative January 1, 2017, to repeal and replace Article VII, Impeachments. (Proposed by Act 2015-199).”
Auditor Zeigler has urged the House Judiciary Committee to recommend impeachment of Gov. Bentley and has complained about the slow pace of the investigation.