Tuesday night, within hours of being fired Spencer Collier gave the first on the record comments about the alleged affair of Governor Robert Bentley and a married long-time staffer. According to AL.com’s John Archibald, Collier gave detailed accounts of the relationship and discussed the contents of a recording of the couple that he allegedly heard but no longer was in possession of. The account of recording included suggestive personal, if not sexual language. I believe I can speak for most of the state that we could have gone our lives without ever dreaming up the 73 year-old governor ever using said language.
In the world of TMZ, tabloid gossip sites and social media it’s hard to remember that there are boundaries to the amount of personal information of celebrities and politicians we are entitled to. With fame or power comes a higher level of scrutiny and even expectations but at the end of the day everyone is human and their personal relationships however flawed, immoral or complicated aren’t anyone’s business but their own.
In the case of Governor Bentley, as I said when the allegations first surfaced, the rights of the people of Alabama are clear: we deserve and must demand answers. As residents, tax payers and voters we are entitled to know if any laws were broken or any improper use of the office or resources occurred. Are we entitled to the sordid details of the alleged relationship? No. Does anyone really want the visual of the governor’s sex life? No.
If the allegations prove true and laws were broken then those involved should be held accountable.
If the allegations prove true and no laws were broken than, while voters can rightfully be upset that they voted in a man who trumpeted his faith and family while not living up to the standards he set for himself. The fact is in the scheme of things that the faith based promises be just added to the long list of ways in which the governor has disappointed conservatives but is not much different than the broken promises of not raising taxes or not expanding Medicaid (his next efforts should this scandal not lead to his resignation). This is a man who hardly let a moment pass between his reelection and going about breaking nearly every promise he ran on to be reelected. If you’re angry and throwing a fit now but weren’t angry about the policy promises you’re clearly not thinking straight.
We will continue to cover the investigation into the legal questions prompted by the most recent claims but that will be the extent of our coverage.