- 8:00 AM – State Senator Arthur Orr
- 9:30 AM – Athens Pro Wrestling’s Keith Courageous
- Sometime this morning – Madison County Democrat Chairman Tom Ryan
Democrats win the week…
Hillary Clinton was heckled and booed by a small handful of individuals Thursday night as she delivered her primetime address at the Democratic National Convention formally accepting the party’s nomination for president.
Two people interrupted a moment of silence meant to honor slain police officers at Democrats’ convention Thursday, shouting “black lives matter” as the rest of the thousands assembled were quiet.
Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, whose city was the scene of the ambush that left five police officers dead and seven wounded earlier this month, asked for the moment of silence.
After things quieted down, a man interrupted with the “black lives matter” shout, and a woman then interjected herself.
After the moment of silence, family members of officers recently slain took to the stage to recount their relatives’ lives and sacrifices.
The relatives received a standing ovation from the delegates.
Retired Gen. John Allen delivered one of the most stirring, impactful speeches of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night. It was a full-scale indictment of Donald Trump’s foreign policy from the man who led the fight against the Islamic State.
But some Democratic delegates didn’t want to hear it. They chanted “no more war” at the general as he made his case for Hillary Clinton and against Trump.
Obviously, not all election expenses are paid by Election Day, so I’m going to be generous and accept that anything not paid out by the end of 2014 was a legitimate campaign expense. Even with all those expenses, Bentley had enough in his campaign account to pay all those costs. Had he not loaned his campaign a dime, he would have had about $6,617.72 left in his account, give or take a few cents.
But because Bentley loaned himself a half million in the last days of the campaign, the law then allowed him to raise an equal amount, even though he had enough on hand to cover all his election expenses.
When the 120-day window closed, Bentley repaid himself and had a nice pile of cash to spend on …
OK, now to the fun part.
Using PAC money to pay Mason
Of all the post-election payees, one stands above all the others — $104,272.42 went to RCM Communications, owned by Rebekah Caldwell Mason, his senior political advisor with benefits.
Let’s be clear here. The governor has a term limit. He can’t run again. Perhaps he had in mind a run for Senate or something. But these were not election expenses.
Alabama law allows elected officials to spend leftover campaign funds on duties related to the office, but if he used those funds for personal expenses — say, to facilitate an affair — that’s a crime.
For now, let’s trust the grand jury empanelled in Montgomery to get to the bottom of that. What’s clear is that the governor did not have a professional relationship with Mason and he was able to keep her at his beck and booty call because he paid her with money he raised through that loophole in Alabama’s campaign finance law.
That money came from special interests, including folks like Franklin Haney, the Chattanooga real estate tycoon, who has solicited the governor’s support to help him privatize the Bellefonte nuclear power plant in northeast Alabama.
On one day in February 2015, six political action committees with ties to Haney gave a combined $107,000 to Bentley’s campaign. At least $85,000 of that PAC money originated with Haney.
Money like that isn’t a gift. It’s not a loan. It buys a key to the governor’s office and an ear to whisper in.
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