Fallout from the relationship between Gov. Robert Bentley (R) and senior adviser Rebekah Mason continue to dominate Alabama politics. “While the media’s and public’s attention has been primary focused on the alleged affair, Bentley’s real problems are the issues before law enforcement.”
“Bentley pressured law enforcement officers to use federal and state resources to target those critical of his relationship with … Mason. … Bentley ordered the use of the National Crime Information Center, (NCIC) and the Law Enforcement Tactical System (LETS) to find any incriminating evidence that might be used against attorney Donald V. Watkins, and Legal Schnauzer blogger, Roger Shuler. … Bentley ousted Trustees aligned Watkins from the Alabama State University (ASU) Board in in 2014. … Watkins [last year] began writing a regular column posting incriminating information about Bentley and his relationship with Mason on Facebook. … Shuler … has written numerous articles on Bentley and Mason.”
“Former Bentley administration insiders say Bentley was so inflamed by Watkins’ reports that he would rant about using his power as Chief Magistrate to shut Watkins mouth and ruin his reputation. … Watkins … said in 2014 Bentley asked the SEC to investigate his businesses, even through they are not under SEC regulation. ‘That investigation went nowhere,’ said Watkins. … ALEA was twice asked to conduct a criminal investigation into Watkins.” (Alabama Political Reporter)
PANDORA’S BOX. It was also revealed Tuesday that the two “share a secret safe deposit box at a Montgomery bank. … The addresses on the box are the Governor’s Mansion in Montgomery, and Mrs. Mason’s private residence in Tuscaloosa. The box was initially opened on Tuesday, January 5th of this year, and remains open as of this week.” (Yellowhammer News)
THERE’S THE DOOR. The Alabama Media Group, which owns three major newspapers in the state, wrote an editorial calling for Bentley to resign.
The editorial: “It is tempting to make this a one-sentence editorial: Gov. Robert Bentley, you must resign. … Right now, only Gov. Bentley knows the extent of his actions. If he has violated the law, he should step down. … But, if the man elected by the people to lead this state plans to stay, then he has a more difficult task: to step up, come clean and rid himself of the secrets and compromises clouding his life, his career and the future of our state.”
SO LONG, FAIR WELL. Bentley and Mason have also left the First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa.
Senior pastor Gil McKee on Friday: “I continue to pray for each of them.” (Christian News Network)
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