Calls for Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to resign have grown during the past week, as more recordings allegedly between the governor and his former senior adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason were released. Here is a comprehensive list of the elected officials, state leaders, and groups who have called for the governor’s resignation.
- Rep. Ed Henry, Republican of Hartselle*
- Rep. Will Ainsworth, Republican of Guntersville**
- Minority Leader Craig Ford, Democrat of Gadsden
- Rep. David Standridge, Republican of Hayden
- Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, Democrat of Red Bay
- Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, Republican of Madison
- Sen. Shay Shelnut, Republican of Trussville
- Rep. Danny Garrett, Republican of Trussville
- College Republican Federation of Alabama
- Montgomery County Republican Party
- Alabama Republican Assembly
Other Prominent Individuals
- Terry Dunn, former Public Service Commissioner and member of ALGOP Executive Committee
Who Has Stayed Silent
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange‘s office released a statement saying they would investigate any wrongdoing, but cited a “longstanding policy regarding pending criminal investigations,” announcing no further information or comment would be released.
Republican legislative leadership, including House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh have each been silent on their thoughts about the matter.
Likewise, members of the federal delegation have chosen to stay above the fray.
Bentley, himself, says he’ll stay in office, calling the scandal “old issues.”
“Obviously, there are concerns across the state,” said Bentley. “I’ve got to give the explanation I can give and let them know what we’re going to do and basically tell them how sorry I am. Have I made mistakes? Yes, I have. And I admit those. We’ve addressed those and we properly addressed those several months ago.
“These are old issues. It’s just now that people have heard about them. But we’re going to address those and we’re going to move on.”
While reactions to the allegations themselves have been growing, statements made in the aftermath have added another level of commentary to the discussion. Alabama Policy Institute Vice President Katherine Robertson took issue with Mason’s characterization of heightened scrutiny of her relationship with the governor as “gender bias.”
“Is there gender bias in Montgomery?” Robertson wrote. “In some cases, but Mrs. Mason cannot claim it. Where true bias exists, people are treated in a certain way (usually negative) due to some preconceived notion about them, whether based on their age, appearance, or ethnicity – not based in reason.
“His actions are costing Alabama jobs,” Ford said. “There are business owners and leaders of industry who don’t want to sit down with this governor because of the image of corruption that has engulfed the state. We have lost so much opportunity because of this mess. How in the world can we bring anyone else in? What CEO or other corporate group would want to come down here right now?
“We are competing against Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and other states that are going to use all of this against us. The governor has provided our competitors with an unfair advantage, and it is absolutely costing us economically.”
The timing of the allegations have added another twist to any forced resignation or impeachment attempts. With the legislature on spring break until Tuesday, April 5th, lawmakers have had ample time to whip potential votes on each side of a potential impeachment.
Likewise, Speaker Hubbard’s impending trial could throw a wrench into attempts to remove the governor.
AL.com writer Kyle Whitmire speculated the Speaker’s legal troubles and the governor’s relationship with Mason are more closely intertwined than it appears on the surface.
“The governor, with Mason whispering in his ear and a lawyer with assorted loyalties at his side, took an active and disruptive role in a criminal prosecution of Mike Hubbard,” wrote Whitmire.
“That’s the story, not the sex. And no matter the myriad open questions that might take months or years to answer, if ever, one question has a clear answer. Cui bono? Who benefits. Bentley might have blown himself up trying to throw a bomb under Matt Hart‘s chair, but either way, it works for Mike Hubbard.”
*Rep. Henry announced Wednesday he will bring forth articles of impeachment when the state legislature returns from spring break.
** Rep. Ainsworth has said he is researching, and will introduce, recall legislation, giving the people of Alabama recourse against elected officials during their terms.
ALToday will update the list as more information becomes available.