As I noted yesterday evening on Facebook, I lived in Alabama from 1977 through 1981 and since that time, the state has gone more or less insane. If one does the analysis, it becomes clear that the insanity tracks directly with the rise of the "Christian Right" as a political force in Alabama. Now former Alabama Governor, Robert Bentley represents the moral bankruptcy of this element of society. Bentley campaigned as a "family values" Republican and, as seems to be always the case, the moral bankruptcy that defines the Christian Right has come into view as Bentley resigns from office to avoid felony convictions arising from Bentley's efforts to cover up his adulterous affair. If Alabama wants to prosper, the first thing it needs to do is vote all the "family values" Republicans out of office. But I digress. Huffington Post looks at the much deserved fall of Robert Bentley. Here are excerpts:
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) resigned from office Monday and pleaded guilty to two counts of violating campaign finance rules.
“I can no longer allow my family, my dear friends, my dedicated staff and cabinet to be subjected to consequences that my past actions have brought upon them,” he said at a Monday afternoon press conference.
Bentley’s resignation comes as the state’s House of Representatives begins hearings on his impeachment following allegations he abused his position as the state’s chief executive to cover up an affair with his former aide, Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
A plea deal worked out Monday required Bentley to resign, serve one year of probation, perform 100 hours of community service as a doctor and forfeit the more than $36,000 in his campaign account. It also required him to repay nearly $9,000 his campaign spent on Mason’s legal fees.
Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) was sworn in to office shortly after Bentley’s resignation. Ivey, 72, will be the state’s second-ever female governor following Democrat Lurleen Wallace, who served a 15-month term between 1967 and 1968.
Members of Alabama’s GOP have been calling for Bentley to step down in the year since news broke of a salacious phone call caught on tape between the governor, 74, and Mason, 45. During the recorded conversation, Bentley ― dubbed the “luv gov” by political commentators and bloggers ― is heard professing his love for Mason and describes putting his hands on her breasts.
The governor’s ex-wife, Dianne Bentley, who filed for divorce in 2015 after 50 years of marriage, recorded the phone call in 2014 to determine if her then-husband was having an affair. Text messages Bentley sent Mason on his state-issued iPhone also appeared on a synced, state-issued iPad he gave to his wife.
Details pointing to a physical affair emerged in a damning report released Friday by Alabama’s state House Judiciary Committee. The report included accounts from the governor’s ex-wife and staff, who described suspicious text messages and encounters between Bentley and Mason.