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Thursday, April 6, 2017

"Luv Guv" Bentley scandal reaches new chapter as Alabama Ethics Commission refers him for indictment that could bring an 80-year prison sentence


Robert Bentley: "Slimy guy," in what should be
Alabama's Image of the Year.
(From Mickey Welsh, Montgomery Advertiser)
On Aug. 31, 2015, Legal Schnauzer broke the story of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's extramarital affair with senior adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason. The next day, Sept. 1, we were the first news outlet to report about possible financial irregularities connected to the Bentley-Mason relationship. The day after that, Sept. 2, we were first to show the scope of the flickering scandal, reporting that Rebekah Mason and her husband, Jon, had made almost $1 million off their connections to the Bentley administration.

It was a story where a one-man blog beat Alabama's corporate, mainstream media (MSM) at every turn. In fact, MSM reporters joined with Bentley in trying to trash my reputation. Multiple reports even had Bentley unlawfully using state and federal law-enforcement resources in an effort to target -- and find damaging information about -- me. That operation apparently did not work so well. But when you consider my wife, Carol, and I were the victims of an unlawful eviction in Greene County, Missouri, just nine days after I broke the Bentley story, one wonders if Alabama fingerprints were on that filthy operation.

Given that Missouri deputies brutalized Carol and shattered her left arm during the eviction -- then concocted bogus criminal charges against her, which she's still fighting -- a reasonable person might wonder just how low Alabama's creepy governor and his sassy siren might go.

The Bentley-Mason scandal reached a crescendo yesterday when the Alabama Ethics Commission heard testimony and engaged in deliberations for more than nine hours before finding "probable cause" that Bentley violated the state's ethics and campaign finance laws.

According to a report at the Montgomery Advertiser, the commission referred the charges to Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey. If indicted and convicted, Bentley could face up to 20 years in prison for each violation and a fine of up to $20,000 on each charge. With four charges on the table, mostly related to misuse of public resources and campaign funds, the governor could be looking at a maximum of 80 years behind bars. And that doesn't count other legal issues he faces, as reported by the Montgomery Advertiser:

The decision adds to Bentley's legal ordeal over allegations about his personal and professional relationship with former staffer Rebekah Caldwell Mason, charges that could lead to his removal from office. The House Judiciary Committee could begin impeachment hearings against Bentley next week, and the committee's special counsel should file an investigative report on the governor by Friday. The Alabama attorney general's office is also investigating Bentley, though it's not clear if that probe relates to the Mason charges or another matter.

Has anyone investigated possible efforts by Bentley and Mason (or their surrogates) to bully and intimidate Carol and me? I don't know, but we have not been interviewed. It's possible, however, that yesterday's nine-hour hearing touched on a relatively small portion of criminality that might be tied to Bentley and his paramour.

Do I feel vindicated by yesterday's events? The answer is, "Hell, yes." In the roughly 18 months since I broke the story, I've watched major news outlets -- The Rachel Maddow Show, The Washington Post -- credit al.com with breaking the story (cough . . . hack!). I've seen lawyer and Facebook reporter Donald Watkins twice take credit for breaking the story, when he knows that isn't true. I corrected him on it once, and he seemed to acknowledge that Legal Schnauzer was first on the story, but then he repeated his canard just a few days ago.

Heck, I wasn't even in Alabama when I broke the story. Carol and I were living in Springfield, Missouri, trying to keep a roof over our heads. That came on the heels of my unlawful arrest and incarceration in Shelby County, Alabama, and the loss of our home of 25 years in the Birmingham area to a wrongful foreclosure. We have pending federal litigation on both of those issues, plus an upcoming civil-rights and police-brutality case over the actions of Missouri cops, which might have been driven by Bentley/Mason or other conservative political thugs in Alabama.

How does a reporter break one of the biggest stories in modern Alabama history while living in the Midwest? Well, it all goes back to sources, and no one can touch the quality of sources I've had on this story. I wish I could name them, to provide the public thank you they deserve. But they know who they are, and they know that these kinds of stories can generate major blow back -- making it critical that they remain anonymous.

You can't get better sources in Alabama than the ones we've had on the Bentley story, so I've known we were on target from the outset. But has our blog been showered with "atta boys" from the MSM and public officials, who now are on the train to oust Bentley from office? Not exactly. In fact, we've been attacked from multiple angles. Some examples:

(1) John Archibald gets "smoked"

In an article published Aug. 31, 2015, the venerable John Archibald wrote the following at al.com:

Several media outlets--bloggers and radio talkers--this morning cited "sources" as they reported that Gov. Robert Bentley has without question had an affair with a female staff member, a torrid love cuddle that caused the governor's wife of a half century, Dianne Bentley, to file for divorce and ask for everything the guy ever made.

All they offered was "sources." Not proof or fact or anything more than smoke.

Turns out Bentley did, without question, have an affair, and he now faces possible prison time for issues related to it. There was way more than smoke, John, but you didn't want to see the fire.

(2) Chuck Dean and his "unsubstantial rumor"

In an article published Sept. 4, 2015, al.com's Chuck Dean wrote:

Despite no claim of infidelity in the divorce papers, the rumor traveled across platforms such as talk radio, Facebook, Twitter and in some blogs of dubious credibility purporting the unsubstantial rumor as fact.

The "blogs of dubious credibility" turned out to be not so dubious, after all. And the "rumor" proved to be both substantial and substantiated.

(3) Chuck Dean proves to be "dubious" again

In an article published Dec. 27, 2015, al.com's Chuck Dean came up with this:

In her filing Dianne Bentley never alleged infidelity on the part of her husband. But once the filing became public on August 28, online blogs -- some discredited in courts of law and others with dubious histories - were almost instantly filled with unsubstantiated rumors of an extramarital affair between Bentley and a senior advisor. . . .

If Bentley, most Alabamians and even Montgomery insiders were shocked by the news, a handful of bloggers didn't seem to be surprised. Within hours of the painful news, blogs rolled out posts featuring far-fetched stories with highly implausible details about the alleged affair.

What they did not roll out was any proof.

"Implausible" and lack of "proof." You were wrong then, Chuckster, and your journalism career is pretty much toast now. The public does have proof that you are a lazy-ass reporter, with no useful sources and no credibility -- and the story was blowing up under your nose the whole time.

(4) The "Luv Guv" lies his ass off

In the Dec. 27 article, Dean quotes Gov. Bentley as follows:

"The rumors were not true," said Bentley.

The governor then seemed to let out months of pent up frustrations.

"There were people on blogs and people in the press who crossed the line. They truly crossed the line. People on talk radio crossed the line," said Bentley.

Bentley was lying, and Chuck Dean bought every lie. Who really crossed the line here, Governor?


(5) Bentley takes the "slimy" road

In August 2016, a tape surfaced of a conversation between Bentley and State Rep. Allen Farley (R-Bessemer). In it, Bentley can be heard referring to me as a "slimy guy."

Let's allow that thought to simmer for a moment. During the ethics commission's marathon executive session yesterday, the major news story involved efforts by Montgomery and state law-enforcement officers to block reporters from an exit where witnesses appeared to be leaving the building. The officers, in a show of absurd cluelessness, tried removing journalists from a public sidewalk. At one point, three vehicles (which appeared to be black, state SUVs) were parked in an apparent effort to block reporters from even seeing witnesses, much less asking them questions.

Finally, Mickey Welsh, of the Montgomery Advertiser, captured probably the Image of the Year in Alabama. From a perfect angle above the fray, Welsh caught Bentley scurrying into an SUV, looking very much like a cockroach searching for cover after the lights have been turned on.

That is a great piece of photojournalism by Mickey Welsh, and I can only imagine the amount of thought and effort that went into it.

And it raises this question, as the Bentley administration rests perilously on the edge of implosion: Who's the "slimy guy" now, Governor?

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Governor Bentley and the Right Wingnut Bullshit Hose.

Does this article explains how a self righteous dipshit* like Bentley gets elected governor of Alabama?

The Long, Lucrative Right-wing Grift Is Blowing Up in the World's Face


This article could also explain what happened to Bentley and his cabal of enablers and boobs to cause them to believe their own shit doesn't stink.

*See numerous public and recorded statements by the old boob.

legalschnauzer said...

@7:20 --

Thanks for sharing. Excellent article. The first paragraph speaks volumes:

"If you want to understand intra-GOP warfare, the decision-making process of our president, the implosion of the Republican healthcare plan, and the rest of the politics of the Trump era, you don’t need to know about Russian espionage tactics, the state of the white working class, or even the beliefs of the “alt-right.” You pretty much just need to be in semi-regular contact with a white, reasonably comfortable, male retiree. We are now ruled by men who think and act very much like that ordinary man you might know, and if you want to know why they believe so many strange and terrible things, you can basically blame the fact that a large and lucrative industry is dedicated to lying to them."

Anonymous said...

Maybe we will finally be rid of this goon soon. How did he ever get elected in the first place?

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed the Alabama Ethics Commission did its job. I figured they would find a way to let "Montgomery Burns" off the hook.

legalschnauzer said...

Some uncomfortable truths from the "fusion" article recommended by @7:20, with a link. Good read:


But the complete and inarguable disaster of the Bush administration—a failure of the conservative movement itself, one undeniable even to many consumers of the parallel conservative media—and his abrupt replacement by a black man, caused a national nervous breakdown among the people who’d been told, for many years, that conservatism could not fail, and that all Real Americans agreed with them.

Rather rapidly, two things happened: First, Republicans realized they’d radicalized their base to a point where nothing they did in power could satisfy their most fervent constituents. Then—in a much more consequential development—a large portion of the Republican Congressional caucus became people who themselves consume garbage conservative media, and nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Al.com trashed Legal Schnauzer -- and claimed the story wasn't true -- because they didn't want it to be true. They are part of the GOP noise machine in the state, and Bentley was their boy.

Anonymous said...

Bradley Bryne: "How did I lose to HIM?"


Ron Sparks: "How did I lose to HIM?"


Artur Davis: "How did I let all of you kick my ass?"

Anonymous said...

I guess Rachel Maddow will have John Archibald on again tonight to tell us how he broke the story.

Anonymous said...

If the truth really comes out, I think we will learn that Bentley is more than a delusional, addled grandpa. He's an evil son of a bitch. And Home Wrecky Becky is more than a strumpet. She's an evil bitch.

Anonymous said...

Lock him up! Lock him up!

Anonymous said...

Take a bow, Schnauzer!

Anonymous said...

"Luv Guv" story goes nowhere without Legal Schnauzer. The political and media elites did not want it to go anywhere, largely because they cut "white, male, Christian, conservative, pro-business" politicians all kinds of slack. It's in their financial best interests to have a knucklehead like Bentley in office, rather than a progressive who might actually move the state forward. LS would not let the story slip quietly into the good night. Thank God!

Bradlee said...

"Luv Guv" story shows the clout a one-man blog can have. LS has earned an audience and a level of trust among regular folks that cannot be ignored. The elites tried to ignore it, but they couldn't do it when a blog of this stature broke the story. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

What's up with Home Wrecky Becky's husband?

Could he be:

a cynical pimp?

an xtian pimp?

a clueless Cuckservative?

a happy Cuckservative?

into watching?

into threesomes?

too distracted by the search to verify that all his own coconut woodie pictures aren't circulating to realize most of the rest of Alabama has noticed what's really going down?

looking forward to celling with Big Bubba and the rubdowns at a Club Fed if worst comes to worst?

busy filling out wingnut welfare applications in case Alabama actually has the nuts to excise all the Bentley melanomas?



Anonymous said...

Donald Watkins is the only other guy who could have broken this story, but not sure he would have been most objective source. Pretty clear he has a hard-on about Bentley over some ASU issues.

Anonymous said...

Hell, Watkins was writing for months that Bentley was having a homosexual fling with his black security guy. Watkins had neither the race, nor the gender right. Not sure how he was going to break anything of substance. Donald might want to leave journalism to the professionals. Reporting is one of those "it's not as easy as it looks" deals.

Anonymous said...

The MSM would have been happy to stick with Dianne Bentley's divorce complaint and the "differences in temperament" stuff (or whatever) it said.

Anonymous said...

This story developed legs when someone put a name to the mistress and identified her as a member of Bentley's staff. Without that, it's a legless story, and it would have stayed a legless story. LS gave it legs.

legalschnauzer said...

John Archibald has a story out today titled "Gov. Robert Bentley cannot survive this."


"http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/04/gov_robert_bentley_cannot_surv.html


Archibald did his damnedest to help Bentley survive it.

Anonymous said...

If Bentley and his thugs are behind the attacks you and Carol have suffered in Missouri, I hope evidence comes out on that, and the SOB goes to prison or gets his ass sued, or both.

If Bentley and his thugs unlawfully used criminal databases to attack you and Donald Watkins, I hope the SOB gets nailed for that, too.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:48 --

Thank you. House impeachment attorney Jack Sharman is scheduled to release his report tomorrow (4/7). Will be interesting to see what is in that, whether it includes anything about Carol and me or not. There is little doubt in my mind that there is some connection between Alabama and the abuse we've encountered in Missouri. My guess is that it originated with Bentley or Luther Strange (or their followers), or both. And Rob Riley -- like Forrest Gump -- is liable to show up anywhere. I think the facts on that will come out eventually, maybe via a civil case. I will be particularly interested to learn who in Missouri has been helping the Alabama thugs. I suspect there are some very familiar names to me.

Anonymous said...

A yuge victory for the Web press -- YUGE!

Anonymous said...

Remember when Kyle Whitmire took the John Merrill story and stuck it in his desk drawer? Left to their own devices, the MSM would have done the same thing with the Bentley story.

Anonymous said...

That picture of the old fool at the top of the post!

If LS ever decided to have one of those caption that picture contests; you could do worse than to use this one.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to release of Sharman's report tomorrow. Get the popcorn ready.

Anonymous said...

Aboard the Eliza Battle Bentley and Beka joined the crew to review the Battle Plan for the next phase of the war. Dr Foreman, having observed Beka's pale skin, was interviewing her in the sickbay. Beka said that Robert had felt her breasts and written her a prescription for M. Vulgare. Dr Foreman said she appeared to be over-medicating on horehound., which is a very bitter medicine.
Meanwhile in the galley, The Stranger in the Shadows was giving Bentley a pep-talk. The Stranger explained that there were two major battles ahead. Former Whitewater counsel Sharman would give his report Friday and Mike;s would file his appeal soon after. Bentley will go from Goat to Hero in a matter of weeks. The Ghosts of the Eliza Battle have observed a land thief from Auburn giving testimony on the events that happened when the Justice Dept. came to Auburn in 2009. The U.S. House and Senate will return from their two week recess to confront a crisis never witnessed before. People under estimate Mike. He has a plan.

Anonymous said...

During recent past it has been mentioned to LS about "blackmail and black-books"; no later than the January Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings were both given opportunities for public exposures, yet silences still; but now, with the Ethics Commission's unbelievable decision these opportunities' avenues have broadened significantly, no longer subject to character assassination of private citizens [messengers] to discredit validity of content especially when supported in part now by The Guardian and The Congressional Record; "The Iceman" no longer cometh, he awaits at the judgment table for all their presence to appear. Therefore, in these veins, Attorney General Marshall is lawfully legally obligated, under sworn oath to duty regardless of recusal to exercise the powers and authorities of his office.

e.a.f. said...

You certainly did good work! Nice to see its all coming round. Now lets hope they take care of Jeff Sessions also.

e.a.f. said...

given B.C. is a tad behind on time, woke up around 10 a.m. and being a good Canadian checked with CBC and CTV first and then CNN. CNN was of course waxing on about the missile attack on Syria, but there on the ticker tape below was the information in this article! So in a manner of speaking you've made CNN. It took some time but they finally caught up to you.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks, e.a.f. The AL House Judiciary Committee is supposed to release an investigative report on Bentley this afternoon, and it supposedly has all kinds of salacious material in it. Bentley's team is trying to block its release, but it might provide lots of details. I'm guessing Rachel Maddow would spend a fair amount of time on Bentley story if it weren't for situation in Syria.

Anonymous said...

The report's out!

Haven't seen any dick or boob pics yet...

Anonymous said...

Page 91 of the Investigative report:

Melissa Bentley text to Governor Bentley:

Governor Bentley told Collier the message read, in essence: "If you don't stop lying we're going to start telling the truth." The message from Melissa Bentley followed an interview Governor Bentley gave to Chuck Dean of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS in which he said "The rumors [of the affair with rebekah Mason] were not true."

https://www.scribd.com/document/344431864/Impeachment-investigation-report#from_embed

Anonymous said...

Bentley impeachment report: Alabama governor used law enforcement, intimidation to hide affair

"A 131-page report from the investigator of impeachment charges against Gov. Robert Bentley says the governor used career law enforcement to try to cover up an inappropriate relationship with former adviser Rebekah Mason.

"Governor Bentley directed law enforcement to advance his personal interests and, in a process characterized by increasing obsession and paranoia, subjected career law enforcement officers to tasks intended to protect his reputation," the report states."

ARREST HIM!

""Although many witnesses have been candid and forthcoming, Governor Bentley and his associates, including Rebekah Mason, refused to cooperate in any meaningful sense and, indeed, obstructed this investigation," a report summary states."


ARREST HER!


FOLLOW THEIR MONEY!!!

Investigators need to find out what level of influence the BCA has had in the construction of Bentley's peckerwood puppet regime and these coverups in case

THEY NEED TO BE ARRESTED!