Alabama

Everybody is following the Roy Moore teen molestation saga and wondering if all the backwoods stories they have heard about Alabama could possibly be as bad as they dared not imagine. And yet the more we hear, the more we realize that Alabama is “you might be a redneck if…” territory.

Let’s consider how we got into this predicament in the first place. Roy Moore beat Luther Strange to win the GOP nomination to fill the Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed US Attorney General. Sessions, as we now famously know, cannot recall anything. Including, I am sure, that his 1986 nomination to be a Federal District Judge was squashed by the Senate on the basis that he’s a racist.

Strange is currently in the job because he was appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley to temporarily fill the position until the December general election between Moore and Democrat, Doug Jones. Many argued Strange’s appointment was a quid pro quo for Strange’s attempt — as Alabama’s Attorney General – to delay Bentley’s impeachment for the Governor’s sexcapades in office and his subsequent misuse of campaign cash to cover up his canoodling.

The Alabama state song: “Touch-a touch-a touch-a touch me, I wanna be dirty”.

Bentley eventually resigned when his contention that his relationship with the staffer, Rebekah Mason was ‘nonsexual’ was ridiculed when tape recordings of him uttering Penthouse Letter style confessions turned up.

“Worr[ied] about loving you so much. When I stand behind you, and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts […] and just pull you real close. I love that, too.”  

But there’s more. Mike Hubbard was Speaker of the Alabama House. Despite his wife’s $150,000 salary as Dean of Auburn University and his own $60,000 pay as speaker, Hubbard felt he needed more cash. He reasoned that receiving ‘consulting fees’ and ‘loans’ from people trying to do business with the state was entirely ethical. The authorities disagreed and indicted him on 23 counts of official misconduct.

Amazingly after his indictment, he was re-elected to his seat in a landslide and voted back into the Speaker’s job by a margin of 99-1.

Then he was found guilty of 12 felonies. And was sentenced to 4 years and ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution. The restitution has been put on hold. And Hubbard is still out on bond.

Ironically it was the investigation of Hubbard’s offenses that first revealed that Bentley was such a ‘hands-on’ Governor

But he is not alone. Robert ‘The Luv Guv’ Bentley is the third Governor in ‘The Heart of Dixie’ to be judged criminal.

In 2006 Gov. Don Siegelman (a Democrat) was found guilty on 7 felony counts relating to malfeasance in office and was sentenced to 7 years in a federal penitentiary.

In 1993 Gov. H. Guy Hunt was forced to resign after convictions for using $200,000 in inaugural cash to buy marble showers and lawnmowers. (His version of surf and turf?)

In Alabama, if you say you love Jesus and hate gays, you are good to go.

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