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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Alabama needs political overhaul, Decatur Daily

Blogger Comments before the story:  Is it any wonder that Sheriff Ana Franklin believes she has a license to steal Inmate Food Funds?  We have State Attorney General Luther Strange opening an investigation on Governor Bentley and then suspending the investigation when it appeared that Senator Sessions would be our next U.S. Attorney General.  With Session’s seat, up for grabs, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange quickly suspended the investigation on the governor.  We wondered why the investigation was suspended.  Well! Now we know.  We have an I will scratch your back if you will scratch mine deal.  The appearance is that a deal was made between Strange and Bentley to drop this for that.  Another nationwide embarrassment for the State of Alabama.  Did Bentley and Strange really believe this deal would go unnoticed? 

Sheriff Franklin has been warm with both Bentley and Strange since taking office in 2011.  She has made it well known in Morgan County, Alabama that she will never go to jail.  Per Franklin she has Bentley, Strange, and Sessions wrapped around her little finger.  So, how did Session come into play.  Rumor around the water cooler is that Ana’s most recent boyfriend Charlie Mcnichol is very good friends with Jeff Sessions.  Franklin is known for bragging about going to the Sessions' hearings in Washington D.C. with boyfriend Mcnichol and having her picture made with Sessions.  Franklin is as arrogant as Bentley and Strange ever thought about being.  If Ana doesn’t like what the whistleblowers do and say, she runs to Strange and Bentley, and yes Franklin is bragging that no matter what happens she will not be the one to go to jail. 

Franklin has told some of her closes followers that the whistleblowers are top on the States agenda to get rid of.  We suppose Franklin turned over a copy of the hard drives to the state.  The hard drives she and billable Barney negotiated to get during a conspiracy meeting with an informant to break into a business and collect what they thought was evidence of computer tampering just one week before they obtained a legal warrant to gather information they had already stolen.  During the break-in Ana, Bones Wilson, Blake Robinson, and Justin Powell gave the informant Key Logger Software to install on the office computers so that they would be able to gather real time information on the whistleblowers.  We know this because of witnesses and because Justin Powell bragged about his part in the Key Logger Software installed on the computers during the break-in.   

The Issue

Gov. Robert Bentley’s self-serving appointment of Luther Strange as interim U.S. senator was just the latest in a series of political embarrassments for the state. It’s time for Alabamians to quit falling for the glitter of ideological candidates and to vote for those who are ethical and competent.
Alabama has made national news a lot in recent years, something many states aspire to. But it hasn’t made the headlines for its strong work ethic, its efficient industries, its growing high-tech sector. The state’s natural beauty, tourism potential and Southern charm have garnered little media attention.
What attracts the nation’s attention, aside from football, is the train wreck that is Alabama politics. How does one state generate so many disastrously bad elected officials, people wonder? And as determined as Alabamians are to spurn judgments from those outside the state, they are forced to wonder the same thing.
On Thursday, the embarrassment came when Gov. Robert Bentley passed over 19 other candidates — including some highly qualified ones — to choose Luther Strange as Jeff Sessions’ replacement in the U.S. Senate after Sessions was confirmed as U.S. attorney general. Whatever the intent, it appeared to be an effort to derail investigations into Bentley’s conduct. In one move, Bentley managed to remove the threat of Strange — who had hinted his office was investigating the governor — and secure the ability to appoint a friendly state attorney general. National media, including conservative publications, took the time to do a deep dive into the state’s internal politics and into the humiliating scandals that led to a stalled impeachment investigation of Bentley.
The public disaster of Bentley’s second term in office is just the latest example of the state’s elected officials bringing shame to their constituents. All three branches of government have been tainted. Former speaker of the House Mike Hubbard was sentenced to four years in prison following his conviction on ethics charges after a prosecution that cast a shadow on many past and current Alabama officials. And last year, elected Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended for defying federal law. He had previously been kicked out of office for ignoring the Constitution, but voters returned him to office.
As candidates, Bentley, Hubbard and Moore had in common the knack for saying what voters wanted to hear. They talked the conservative talk of less government, but once in office they grasped for expansive power.
They touted their religious purity, then flouted norms of decency. The candidates portrayed themselves as icons of humility, but as elected officials their egos had no limits.
Over and over, Alabamians have been duped by politicians. They were fooled by Democrats and then by Republicans.
Voters routinely embrace the candidates who say what they want to hear, spurning the candidates who speak the less appealing truth. Voters cling to easy ideological slogans, never demanding substance.
It’s time, as Alabamians, that we learn from our mistakes.
We don’t need more officials who have mastered the art of saying the popular thing. We need leaders. We need officials who, regardless of ideology, have solutions for the state’s problems.
Alabama needs leaders who are competent and ethical. We won’t get them until we exercise more discernment at the polls.

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