Did disgraced former Alabama Governor Bentley make Luther Strange an offer he could not refuse?
If you have been following Alabama politics: They have the former governor who resigned in disgrace because he was going to be impeached, and a jailed former speaker of the house. Then there is Senator Luther Strange who is SMACK DAB in the middle of all of it.
Bentley resigned from office in April after a spiraling sex scandal ended with an impeachment investigation and several criminal investigations.
The ethics complaint accuses Bentley and Strange of making a deal to get Bentley off the hook in the criminal investigation. In return, Strange would be appointed as US Senator after Jeff Sessions was selected as President Trump’s attorney general
Strange, Alabama’s former state attorney general, was made a senator in February by Gov Bentley while he was under criminal investigation by Strange’s office. The seat became vacant by Jeff Sessions resigned to serve as attorney general under Trump. Bentley resigned in disgrace as a plea deal to keep being impeached.
In November, Luther Strange requested that the state legislature pause impeachment proceedings against Bentley pending “related work” by his office. He later expressed interest in the appointment and refused to acknowledge his office was probing the governor.
An ethics complaint was filed Wednesday with the Alabama Ethics Commission, alleging that Luther Strange violated state ethics laws in three different instances:
He REQUESTED to be chosen as Sessions replacement. He accepted an interview with former Gov. Robert Bentley during an active criminal investigation his office was overseeing. He suspended the House’s impeachment investigation into Bentley. Then Bentley made him a senator. That seems to be bribery to me!
“Common sense is that a deal was agreed upon by then-Governor Bentley and then-Attorney General Luther Strange — an unethical and illegal act by the two parties,” the complaint reads. “Luther Strange violated the public trust and the sworn duties of the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Alabama.”
In fact, the WHOLE reason that the current governor set up Alabama’s special election now instead of waiting for November is because of Strange’s ethics problems.
Luther Strange is in a primary against two very ethical men. Mo Brooks and Judge Roy Moore. Moore is significantly ahead of Brooks and Strange but the primary will most likely end in a runoff. While Brooks is behind Strange by a few points, it is very possible that the primary will knock Luther out of his Senate seat. Brooks has definitely got a more organized grassroots and thus, voter turnout machine.
The complaint isn’t the first to be filed against Strange. The ALReporter states:
In late spring, Secretary of State John Merrill forwarded an Ethics Complaint against Luther Strange to the Commission asking the commission to review a financial disclosure from Strange that might have contained improper activity between Strange’s Senate and Attorney General campaign committees.
APR first reported that Strange transferred more than $1,000 between his attorney general campaign account and his US senate campaign account outside of the window allowed by Alabama law. The two separate instances of $606 and $454 occurred in December, outside of the 120-rule established by Alabama’s Fair Campaign Practices Act.
The total of $1,060 also exceeds the $1,000 limit imposed even during the legal window, which could amount to two separate violations, Merrill said at the time, quoted in APR’s article.
The Ethics Commission has said they would take up that complaint after the election.
Drain the Swamp!
Sign up to get alerts from Joe!