Alabama Mornings’ ShowPrep for April 19th, 2016…

How bad is the Bentley scandal?

Along with more than three dozen other writers, Flowers, who represented Pike County in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1982 to 1998, will appear at the 11th Alabama Book Festival on Saturday at Old Alabama Town in Montgomery. He knows that questions about Bentley and Mason will inevitably come up, but he thinks audiences may be surprised by his take on the story’s ultimate significance.

“If I ever update ‘Of Goats and Governors,’ I’ll definitely have to talk about the scandal,” Flowers says. “But it will not be one of the best stories in the book. Not compared to the stories I’ve collected about Big Jim Folsom, George Wallace and Fob James. Our governors have lost a lot of color over the past 30 to 40 years. Bentley’s situation is not the most infamous situation one of our governors has gotten himself into, not by a long shot.”

Flowers blames both the influence of television on politics since the 1960s and of the rise of the 24-hour news cycle on cable news channels in particular for making most governors seem downright milquetoast since the heyday of Folsom and Wallace. Flowers can sometimes seem nostalgic as he suggests how Folsom, who helmed the state from 1947-1951 and 1955-1959, might have responded had he been caught in an embarrassing situation like Bentley’s.

“Big Jim would have called a press conference and owned up to the affair,” Flowers says. “‘Yeah, boys,’ he would have told reporters. ‘I did it.’ Big Jim had a child out of wedlock, after all. What they say about Watergate and the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal is a cliché, but it’s true: It’s not the indiscretion or mistake that’ll get you in hot water—it’s the covering up and lying about it.”


Bentley is headed back to his dermatology practice?

Although he doesn’t practice dermatology at the moment, Gov. Robert Bentley listed nearly $6,000 in business expenses related to his medical practice, including $1,400 in cell phone charges, according to the governor’s 2015 tax return released Monday.

“The phone expenses were an estimate by [Bentley’s accountants] related to maintaining business contacts, client emergencies, professional licenses and insurance,” Bentley spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis said in an email Monday to AL.com. “All the expenses were considered necessary in order for him to return to a medical practice in the future.”

Ardis did not immediately respond to a follow-up email to clarify “client emergencies.”

The largest business-related expense for Bentley was $3,033 for professional liability insurance. He also paid $450 in dues to the Medical Association of Alabama, $311 for “practical reviews” and $731 to renew registration with the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The remaining $1,407 was for cell phone charges. Tuscaloosa accounting firm JamisonMoneyFarmer estimated the phone was used roughly 50 percent for business purposes.

Oh man, you would think Bentley would just let that deduction slide…


Governor Bentley made People magazine

The governor reportedly left home to cool off and drove his pickup truck five hours to one of his other homes, in the beach town of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The only problem – he forgot his wallet. Bentley asked the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to retrieve it for him.

Yay!


Chuck Dean, of AL.com and AshleyMadison.com, has decided to take on the lazy takers vs. makers argument and somehow Alabama should give more to the federal government beast

It’s Tax Day 2016, the day most Alabamians might say thank God for California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida and a number of other mostly larger and richer states.

Why?

Because those states and others like them are so-called “giver states.” Those are states that send more taxes to Washington D.C. than they get back.

And a lot of those tax dollars end up in poorer states like Alabama. These are the so called “taker states.”

What that translates into is a rough calculation that for every $1 Alabamians pay in federal taxes today, Uncle Sam will send Alabama back about $2.

In places like California and New York for every $1 they send to Washington they get back less than $1 in federal funding.

Is he arguing we should take less federal dollars?

No, he has argued repeatedly that we should take MORE.


Marriage is still an issue in Alabama

A bill that would eliminate Alabama marriage licenses could move into position to pass this week.

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday is scheduled to consider the bill by Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range. The Senate passed it 23-3 last month.

If the bill becomes law, marrying couples would no longer apply for a license at county probate offices.

Instead, they would file a document that would be recorded in the probate office.

The document would include an affidavit declaring that they are not already married, are not related, are legally competent and are of legal age.

Sen. Jim Hill, R-Odenville, sponsor of the bill in the House, said he expected the Judiciary Committee to approve it.

The next step would be a vote in the House. Hill said he was uncertain of the likelihood of that.


Adam Lanza was a card carrying NRA-member

Lanza, mom had NRA certificates

NRA: No he wasn’t.

The NRA pushed back on an association with the Lanzas later on Thursday.

“There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association,” the organization said in a statement. “Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory.”

Activists:


College campuses seem terrible today…

You will be raped:

The Harvard Crimson has set aside space in its daily print edition for a controversial advertisement that warns incoming freshmen about the likelihood of being raped in college.

The ad, produced by an organization known as “Don’t Accept Rape” and later obtained by Campus Reform, puts a dark spin on the familiar college acceptance letter by citing rape as one of the many experiences offered to students at the company’s made-up institution.

“We know that you will make lifelong friends and memories here on campus,” the letter begins before taking an unexpected turn.

“We’re sorry that one of these memories will include being raped by someone you thought you could trust. You’ll fear him the night he presses you against a wall and every day after that,” it continues. “The claims you will make against your rapist will be ignored, much like your right to feel safe at school. After all, you can’t expect us to expel someone on the basis of a story that begins with ‘I had been drinking.’”

The intent of the advertisement, it appears, is to promote the contested “one-in-five” statistic, since the ad itself asserts that “one in five women are sexually assaulted in college.”

Which reminds me of this:

Also, gun holsters are scary

Two University of South Alabama students were confronted by campus police Wednesday, and one student was cited for “causing alarm” by wearing an empty holster.

“This week is the empty holster protest for Students for Concealed Carry in Alabama to demonstrate that students are defenseless on campus,” D.J. Parten, president of Students for Concealed Carry, told Campus Reform. Along with fellow club member Kenneth Tews, Parten was also promoting an upcoming screening of the movie Can We Take a Joke? when three campus police officers approached their table demanding identification.

“You need permission from the university.”   

Video footage, obtained byCampus Reform, shows one of the police officers asking to search the students, and when they exercise their right to refuse, another officer becoming aggravated and warning that he will find something to charge them with if they remain uncooperative—a threat that is eventually carried out against Parten.


Apparently, marrying your sexual assault victim won’t protect you

Wester was indicted in January 2015 on one count of a school employee having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19. Five months later, Wester married Cox shortly after graduation.

A math teacher and coach at Cleveland High School, Wester was placed on paid leave in November 2014 amid the allegations. According to the indictment, Wester “intentionally and knowingly engaged with a male or female student under the age of 19 in sexual contact which was done for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party, to wit- kissing and spending the night with the victim.

Wester taught 10th Grade Advanced Geometry, 11th Grade Geometry, 12th Grade Algebraic Connections and 9th Grade Algebra. He was also an assistant varsity coach and head track coach. He also is a graduate of Cleveland High School.

Earlier this month, Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey filed a motionclaiming the marriage was a sham designed to keep Cox from having to testify against her now husband. Wester resigned his teaching position on Feb. 24, 2015, weeks after his indictment. He was married at the time of his arrest, but had filed for divorce in January and the divorce was granted in April 2015. Wester’s then-wife got custody of their child.


Drug dealer sentenced for drug dealing

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said it won’t hear the appeal of Lee Carroll Brooker, a 76-year-old Houston County man who is serving a life without the possibility parole sentence for his 2014 conviction for possession of a few pounds of marijuana.

The Supreme Court denied certiorari – or review – of Brooker’s case without comment. The court had considered whether to take up the case – and many others – in a Friday conference.

Brooker’s attorneys argued that the sentence based on his habitual offender status violates the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment.

Some people said Brooker got a raw deal when he was sentenced as a habitual offender. Those included included Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore who called Brooker’s sentence “excessive and unjustified” in a special writing when his court rejected Brooker’s appeal last year.

Boo hoo.

Reality:

The Alabama Attorney General’s Office noted that Brooker had served time for smuggling drugs between Florida and Alaska and had served time for a multi-day, multi-victim spree of armed robberies, culminating in his firing a sawed-off shotgun at one person and threatening to shoot two police officers.

The AG argued that the Court should deny the writ because mandatory life imprisonment for recidivist felons is constitutional and trafficking in marijuana can serve as a triggering offense under the state’s habitual offender statute. The 2.8 pounds of marijuana confiscated in Brooker’s arrest was more than the weight for personal use.


Corporations are afraid to participate in the the political process…

The Democratic party is losing corporate sponsors for its convention this summer, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump might be to blame, according to Monday reports.

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) is a critical step in the party picking a presidential candidate. Democrats are at risk of losing some of their top corporate sponsors who have already pulled out of supporting the Republican National Convention (RNC) because of Trump, reports Politico. Corporations tend to support both or neither of the party conventions.

Could it be the fact that any one who does anything politically is savagely attacked by the other side?

This is not a good development.

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