By Brandon Moseley
Sunday, April 9, 2017 the Alabama Republican Party Steering Committee called upon Governor Robert Bentley, “To immediately resign.” The ongoing investigation into corruption, ethics violations, and campaign finance law violation is centered around Bentley’s relationship with alleged mistress Mrs. Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
The ALGOP Steering Committee also passed the following resolution: “The ALGOP Steering Committee commends the Alabama House of Representatives, the Alabama Senate and the Alabama Supreme Court for their courage and their diligence in the impeachment process while putting partisan politics aside for the people of the state of Alabama.”
The Steering Committee said, “While we are deeply saddened by these circumstances, the Alabama Republican Party holds their elected officials accountable and demands the utmost integrity of office holders. The overwhelming majority of elected officials are good, hard working people who love their communities, state and nation. However, when situations arise that are in direct conflict with the betterment of our people, we will speak up regardless of political party. Public service must be about the needs of the people being served in the great state of Alabama, not about an individual person. We have no doubt that our great state of resilient and resourceful citizens will once again rise above these difficult times.”
State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) was the first elected official to call for Bentley to resign.
After the Alabama Ethics Commission found probable cause to forward charges againt Bentley, Zeigler told reporters, “I’ve been trying to tell them for over a year that the governor committed impeachable offenses. Maybe now, the Montgomery politicos will listen to me — and listen to you, the people.” Zeigler filed the ethics complaint against Bentley that resulted in their recommendation on Wednesday that Bentley had violated Alabama’s ethics law.
On Thursday, April 6, 2017 Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R from Anniston) called on Bentley to resign. Sen. Marsh said I hope the Governor would do what is best for the people of Alabama’ and step down. Marsh said that Bentley dragging this process out further, “Doesn’t do us any good.” “This has gone on long enough.”
On Friday, April 7, 2017 Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R from Monrovia) went to the Governor’s office and told Bentley that this can’t go on and that he needed to resign. After Bentley did not step down McCutcheon went to the press to announce that Bentley needs to step down. Speaker McCutcheon said, “But as Speaker of the Alabama House, it is time for me to ask Gov. Bentley to resign from office and put this matter behind us. Let’s end this embarrassment to our state right now.”
Marsh said that there is a danger of losing the entire session if the Governor forces the legislature to go through the impeachment and removal process.
State Representative Ed Henry (R from Hartselle) introduced the Articles of Impeachment against Bentley last year and has been impatient with the process. Henry told reporters on Thursday that Bentley would already be gone if then Luther Strange had not sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Mike Jones (R from Andalusia) asking Jones to suspend the impeachment process.
Gov. Bentley later appointed Strange to the U.S. Senate.
Rep. Henry said that Strange “strong armed his way into a Senate seat.”
Sources close to Strange point out that the letter was sent before the election and that everybody at the time thought that Hillary Clinton was going to be elected President; thus Strange could not have anticipated that Trump would appoint Sessions Attorney General opening up a Senate seat, for Bentley to appoint.
On Thursday a group filed a bar complaint against Strange over what they claim was a conspiracy to suspend the criminal investigation into Bentley. Our sources claim that the investigation continues. New Attorney General Steven Marshall (R) has appointed a special prosecutor to head the investigation and has recused hmself as he was appointed by Bentley.
Bentley has repeatedly denied doing anything illegal.
The Alabama Political Reporter’s Josh Moon is reporting that the Attorney General’s office has been negotiating over the weekend with the Governor and his attorneys on terms for a resignation.
If there is no morning resignation then the House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings into Governor Bentley’s impeachment starting today at 10:00 am.
No Governor has been impeached by the legislature in the history of Alabama. It has been over a 100 years since the Alabama Legislature has impeached any public official, however no one we have talked to in recent days thinks the Governor can survive this following the findings by the Alabama Ethics Commission that he probably is guilty of ethics violations and campaign finance law violations. On Wednesday, the Commission forwarded four charges to the Montgomery County District Attorney.
Zeigler said, “If Gov. Bentley is impeached by the House, Kay Ivey will immediately become acting governor. She will be Alabama’s third female governor — Lurleen Wallace, Rebekah Mason and Kay Ivey.”