By Jim Zeigler
Alabama State Auditor
There is one bit of good news: Gov. Robert’s Bentley’s refusal to support Donald Trump.
Bentley was an early endorser of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who also refused to support Trump. Notice that Trump carried both Ohio and Alabama despite the lack of support of either governor. Bentley’s support of Kasich did no good for Kasich. It may have hurt him with what little Alabama support Kasich had to hurt.
Bentley hypocritically blasted Trump for a recording of inappropriate comments Trump made about women. Sound familiar? Bentley must have forgotten that he had been caught on a recording himself with inappropriate comments about a woman.
Late in the campaign, Bentley announced he would not vote for Trump.
Alabama voters did vote for Trump – strongly. Just the opposite of Gov. Bentley’s stance.
With Trump starting the process of naming officials to the Trump administration, we can confidently expect that Trump advisers will not go through Gov. Bentley for recommendations and information on things in Alabama. That is good news. There will be no Alabama input to the new administration from disgraced, failed, lame-duck Governor Robert Bentley.
Who then will Trump rely on for advice on all things Alabama?
The list of strong Trump supporters who are active in Alabama politics is a good list.
Some were early supporters, which are the best kind.
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions is a top-tier Trump adviser. The top of the top.
Sessions’ Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn has been named executive director of the Trump transition team.
Ann-Ellen Weldon of Birmingham, former aide to Congressman Gary Palmer, is vital to the transition team.
Yellowhammer News founder Cliff Sims is a communications adviser to the Trump transition team, as he was to the fall campaign.
Former State Rep. Perry Hooper, Jr., Trump Coordinator Dennis Beavers, State Representatives Barry Moore and Ed Henry and other legislators were early and strongly on the Trump team.
GOP State Chair Terry Lathan, Birmingham businessman Chess Bedsole, and veteran Baldwin County Commissioner Frank Burt were all strongly for Trump and could have input into the transition and administration. The Trump advisers list likely includes other Alabamians whose service to the Trump campaign is known to national Team Trump.
This is a stellar list of Alabama advisers to the next President, and it does not include the name of Gov. Robert Bentley; a good thing for Alabama and for Team Trump.
Jim Zeigler is Alabama’s State Auditor.