We commend Henry for wanting Bentley removed. Bentley is a disgrace along with Big Luther. We received messages from a lot of our readers wanting to know why none of the local politicians around here have tried cleaning up in their own back door. Good Question. Why?
Some of our readers said they contacted Arthur Orr's office and their complaints fell of deaf ears.
We need leaders around here who will stand up in our own county and communities. We have an idea. Why don't you folks get together the next time there is a meeting in Montgomery and walk over to Big Luther's office and ask him why he has allowed Sheriff Ana Franklin to commit as many ethics violations as Mike Hubbard is alleged to have committed.
We will only charge Big Luther 1 million dollars for conducting the investigation on Sheriff Ana Franklin for him. Oh Yea! You might as well contact the ALEA Acting Director there and give him a heads up that two of his/her Special Agents have gotten involved in the Title Mart Business with a felon. Steven Ziaja and John Venogina should be right up there with Ana Franklin.
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2016 12:15 am | Updated: 3:54 am, Thu Mar 31, 2016.
MONTGOMERY — A north Alabama lawmaker said Wednesday he’s working on the process that could lead to Gov. Robert Bentley’s removal from office.
Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, said he plans to introduce an impeachment resolution to the Legislature next week when lawmakers return.
“I can’t imagine it not having enough support,” said Henry, who is a member of the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee. He said impeachment is needed because Alabama is one of a few states that don’t have a recall mechanism available to voters.
Bentley in the past week has denied a physical affair with Rebekah Mason, his top adviser who resigned Wednesday, but admitted to saying inappropriate things to her over a period of time two years ago. Bentley has denied any other wrongdoing and said he did nothing illegal.
Henry doesn’t believe him.
“Have you found anyone who believes him?” he said. “I don’t think I’m unique in that. I don’t believe anything he says.”
And it’s not just Bentley’s statements about Mason that Henry doubts. Henry said Bentley lied to Alabamians about not raising taxes. Then, shortly after winning re-election in 2014, he rolled out a $541 million tax increase proposal, which Henry opposed.
Henry said Wednesday he’s mad Alabama is being dragged through this scandal.
“It’s sickening, and he should not be the person who represents our state as governor, and I believe that if we had a recall mechanism, he would have been gone last year,” the two-term representative said.
A majority of House members would have to vote to begin impeachment proceedings.
House Majority Leader Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, said he hadn’t heard about Henry’s plan. Asked whether the 105-member House, a majority of whom are Republicans like Bentley, would support impeachment, Hammon said he didn’t know.
“This is a constantly changing story, so I don’t know what the mood will be,” Hammon said. “We’ll find out when we get back.”
Lawmakers are on spring break and return to Montgomery on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, said Hubbard hadn’t seen Henry’s resolution or the charges it may contain and wouldn’t comment.
Section 173 of the Alabama Constitution states the governor and other constitutional officers may be “removed from office for willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency … or for any offense involving moral turpitude while in office, or committed under color thereof, or connected therewith … .”
The process would have to start in the House, where Articles of Impeachment would be filed. The Senate then acts as a court.
Lawmakers don’t have to be in session for this action to happen, but will be for the next six weeks or so.
Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, said Wednesday he couldn’t say if he or other Democrats would vote with Henry.
Morrow hopes the governor will resign. He said the two were friends when Bentley served in the House prior to becoming governor and that they’re the same age, 73.
“He needs to get rid of these negatives and think about grandkids and fishing,” Morrow said. “‘Cause it’s not going to get better. It’s only going to get worse, in my opinion.”
If Bentley wants to stay in office, Morrow said, he needs to be 100 percent honest with Alabamians.
“Right now, people aren’t buying his story because of the tapes,” Morrow said about audio recordings of the governor on the phone, telling someone he loves her and describing past intimate acts.
“People aren’t stupid,” Morrow said. “They can draw conclusions.”
In Franklin County on Wednesday, Bentley reiterated he would not resign. He plans to tour a women’s prison today in central Alabama and promote his plan to borrow $800 million to build four prisons around the state.
Morrow attended some of Bentley’s Shoals visit, where he was promoting his initiative to expand broadband access in rural areas. That’s an issue Morrow has pushed.
“He came to Franklin County today to talk about broadband, and there were reporters just screaming at him about this allegation or that one,” Morrow said.
Bentley needs to come clean and ask for the forgiveness of Alabamians, he said.