We must get Bentley drama behind us

Published 3:00 am Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Alabama Ethics Commission released a 131-page report today that goes into lurid detail about the scandalous relationship between Gov. Robert Bentley and former adviser Rebekah Mason.

The report also includes witness testimony and accusations that Bentley did not just engage in immoral activity, but illegal activity as well.

Specifically, the ethics commission found probable cause that Bentley violated four ethics laws during his affair with Mason including three violations of the Fair Campaign Finances Act and one violation of the state ethics law.

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It is these violations and any others found when the State House eventually gets to move forward with its impeachment hearings that we must remember are the true crux of the issue.

There is no denying at this point, not even by Bentley himself, that Bentley and Mason were involved in a salacious affair. It’s tempting to focus on those details. It’s in our human nature.

Surely, the actions of Bentley are an embarrassment and a stain on our state and just about everybody but Bentley, Mason and his legal team wish it would get over with already.

However, this impeachment process is not about these personal problems that our governor got himself entangled with but real corruption by misusing state funds and campaign finances to cover his hide.

These facts buried under the mounds of juicy personal details are what we must focus on.

We can also not forget that this is not the only thing important going on in our Legislature. Pike County alone has three major bills on their way through the legislative process, the State still has to address it’s seemingly never-ending budget problems, our prison system is facing a major crisis, we don’t have enough money for roads– the list could go on and on.

We must hold Bentley accountable for what he’s done, but we can’t allow these shenanigans to usurp the whole legislative session. There are truly important matters our elected officials must tackle, and every moment hat has to be spent on the impeachment process is another moment our real problems aren’t being settled.

It would be best for everyone if Bentley would just step down, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

Let’s just hope our lawmakers can get the facts, sort them from the fluff and make a decision so we can put this embarrassment behind us and move onto the pressing matters facing us in the future.