Alabama Mornings’ ShowPrep for April 4th, 2016…

Don’t worry, the Bentley/Mason-saga is totally almost over…


He told the Associated Press on the eve of re-election in 2014 that he would set up a charitable organization – later given the saintly sounding name Alabama Council for Excellent Government — to channel unused campaign money to good causes.

Like foster children, he said.

“If I have money left over, it’s going to go back to help the state,” he said.

What he meant by “help the state,” as it turned out, was “help Mason, his crush and former political adviser.” Because the fund went to supplement her pay.

If it went to any foster children, well, we haven’t seen it yet.

And this, as much as sex or FaceTime flirtation or flights on state planes, is as much a concern as anything in this whole Bentley brouhaha. ACEGov has always been a lights-on, sirens-blaring warning to Alabamians who cared to look at it.

Because it’s a dark money group, a 501(c)(4), it does not have to explain itself to the people of Alabama. It does not have to say who donated to help Bentley help himself. It does not have to say how much it paid out to Mason or anyone else.

Call it a flaw in the tax system.

Call it more proof that those with the money in America make the rules about money.

But that doesn’t make it right. Mason has said her company got only $15,000 from ACEGov, with the bulk of her money coming from Bentley campaign funds.

But what she says means nothing without a glimpse of her tax records. And of the documentation of money paid into ACEGov itself. Which was, by the way, was formed by people with connections to Alabama’s biggest mules: the University of Alabama and Alabama Power Co.

Alabama has a right to know who pays the people working in its highest offices. Sex or no sex.

ACEGov chair Cooper Shattuck – general counsel for the UA Board of Trustees and former Bentley legal adviser – said “information regarding the organization’s donors and expenditures will be included on the organization’s IRS form 990, which has not yet been prepared. When it is completed, I will be happy to provide it.”

Which sounds promising. But if that is the case there is no reason not to reveal it now, when the whole state needs to know.

Rebekah Mason and her funders have deleted their social media accounts

The governor’s team that campaigned on promises of “transparency” circled the wagons Friday afternoon, shutting down a nonprofit website and personal social media accounts.

Gov. Robert Bentley’s “dark money” group, the Alabama Council for Excellent Government, took down its website and Twitter account, @ACEGov, sometime Friday afternoon. The nonprofit has come under scrutiny in the wake of allegations regarding an affair between senior advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason and Bentley.

Because of its 501(c)(4) status, little is known about the money that goes in and out of the governor’s nonprofit.

Available through cached versions, the ACEGov website served as a landing page to promote the governor’s 2015 economic agenda, encouraging visitors to “join us to support our efforts to make Alabama’s Government more Effective, Efficient and Accountable to the hard working men and women of our state.”

The Governor is keeping his account open, it’s leading to exactly what you expected…

Also, Bentley’s campaign finance records show he did in fact buy burner phones from Best Buy

Gov. Robert Bentley spent $1,732.68 on “cell phones and prepaid wireless” at Best Buy last year, Bentley’s state campaign finance records reveal.

The evidence of the expenditure bolsters the stories of two employees – one former, one current – of the Best Buy in Tuscaloosa’s Midtown Village shopping center who told Thursday that they each personally sold a single disposable “burner” cell phone to Bentley last year.

Bentley’s principal campaign committee spent the $1,732.68 on June 2, stating in a campaign finance filing that the money was used for “reimbursement for cell phones and prepaid wireless purchased at Best Buy on 05/09/15 and 05/30/15.”

The filing does not explain what “prepaid wireless” means, but it is presumably a reference to prepaid minutes that must be purchased and loaded on disposable “burner” phones in order to make calls.

Bentley spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis sent a statement about the disbursement via email Friday afternoon.

“All expenditures related to the purchase of phones were filed according to state laws, rules and regulations related to the use of campaign funds,” the statement said.

Donald Trump has no idea how a political race works….

Working to recover his edge after a difficult week, Trump said it wasn’t fair for Kasich, who has won only his home state, to continue his campaign. He suggested instead that Kasich, who has pledged to make it to the summer convention, follow the example of Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush — candidates who quit after lagging behind.

“He doesn’t have to run and take my votes,” he said.

Trump said Kasich could ask to be considered at the GOP convention in Cleveland in July even without competing in the remaining nominating contests. He added that he had relayed his concerns to Republican National Committee officials at a meeting in Washington this past week.

“I said, ‘Why is a guy allowed to run?’ All he’s doing is just he goes from place to place and loses,” Trump told reporters at Miss Katie’s Diner in Milwaukee, where he stopped for breakfast. The state holds its presidential primaries Tuesday.

He, seriously, thinks he can bully people in to giving him his way ( a great trait for a President)…

More Trump abortion…

His past positions

You can see the exact moment last week that Donald Trump made up his mind on whether women would face criminal punishment once he signed new restrictions into law. He is at a town hall with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, and, after Matthews badgers him for a while, he finally answers the question.

“The answer is … that,” Trump says, eyes looking to the side in thought, “there has to be some form of punishment.” He punctuates “has” with a hand gesture. Done. Final.

But as it turns out — and as it has turned out repeatedly over the course of his life — that was not, in fact, Trump’s final position on the subject. This past week alone, he has held multiple contradicting positions, including that one. So we figured that a timeline was in order, so that you could see the date and time and know, concretely, what Trump’s abortion position was at that moment.

Ben Carson should probably listen to himself…

Here is a new idea for a “safe space”…

Activists tell you that you people need to calm down over trangendering of bathrooms, as they lose their minds….

Stung by setbacks related to their access to public restrooms, transgender Americans are taking steps to play a more prominent and vocal role in a nationwide campaign to curtail discrimination against them.

Two such initiatives are being launched this week — evidence of how transgender rights has supplanted same-sex marriage as the most volatile, high-profile issue for the broader movement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists.

One initiative is a public education campaign called the Transgender Freedom Project that will share the personal stories of transgender people. The other, the Trans United Fund, is a political advocacy group that will engage in election campaigns at the federal and state level, pressing candidates to take stands on transgender rights.

“We welcome the support of our allies,” said Hayden Mora, a veteran transgender activist who’s director of Trans United. “But it’s crucial that trans people build our own political power and speak with our own voices.”

From a long-term perspective, there have been notable gains for transgender Americans in recent years — more support from major employers, better options for health care and sex-reassignment surgery, a growing number of municipalities which bar anti-transgender discrimination.

But there were two setbacks in the past five months that hammered home to transgender people the challenges that they still face.

Last November, by a decisive margin, voters in Houston repealed a municipal nondiscrimination ordinance that provided protections for LGBT people. On March 23, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a hastily drafted law that barred Charlotte and other cities in the state from implementing similar ordinances.

In both cases, conservatives opposed to the ordinances focused their arguments on bathroom access — contending that allowing transgender people to use public bathrooms based on their gender identity would expose women and girls to discomfort and possible molestation.

Those arguments helped carry the day among Houston voters and North Carolina lawmakers despite the fact that such problems have not materialized in any significant way in the 17 states already banning anti-transgender discrimination in public accommodations.

Greece is not rounding up illegals but they are stopping them from coming in and sending some back

Most of the 136 people who left Lesbos and arrived in Dikili, western Turkey, on Monday were Pakistanis.

Under the deal, for each Syrian migrant returned to Turkey, the EU is due to take in another Syrian who has made a legitimate request.

Sixteen Syrian migrants were the first to arrive in Germany from Turkey.

However, Syrians were not among the first group of deportees, Greek authorities said, adding they included citizens from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Morocco who had not applied for asylum.

 What a mess…

The Turkish interior minister says non-Syrians will be deported while Syrians will be sent to refugee camps where they will replace those who will be directly resettled in Europe as part of the “one for one” plan.

But there are still grave doubts over whether the deal will hold and if the migrants will be properly treated when they arrive here.

Clinton News Network…

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