RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) – Governor Bentley’s Chief Political Advisor, Rebekah Mason, has announced her resignation.
The Alabama Governor’s Press Office issued the following statement on behalf of Mason Wednesday afternoon:
“I have resigned as Senior Political Advisor to Governor Bentley and will no longer be paid from his campaign fund. I have also ended my work with the Alabama Council For Excellent Government. My only plans are to focus my full attention on my precious children and my husband who I love dearly. They are the most important people in my life. Thank you for your prayers for our family.” – Rebekah Mason.
Bentley responded publicly to Mason’s resignation with the following statement:
“I appreciate Rebekah Mason’s service to my administration and the people of this state. I wish the best for her and her family.”
Governor Robert Bentley hinted at changes in his administration during a visit to Franklin County earlier in the day. The trip was meant to focus on the need for broadband internet access and health care in rural areas. Still, the governor faces new questions related to the scandal in Montgomery.
“The question is being asked by a lot of people across the state if I have any intentions of resigning. I have no intentions of resigning. My intentions are to try to make this state better. My intentions are to try to work through all the difficulties that we’re going through. I have made one statement. I may make some other statements, but I will let you know about those. We may have some organizational changes and things, but we’re going to work through this and I want the people of the state to know how much I care about them. I want the people of Franklin County to know how much I care about them. They’ve known that over the years when I was here with the tornadoes and a lot of other problems, plant closings and all sorts of things. They know that I love them, but I want to continue to demonstrate that to them. And that’s all I have to say about that right now,” said Bentley.
Governor Bentley declined to give specific answers related to published reports and allegations from other public figures. He did offer some limited responses.
Q: Spencer Collier says you pressured him to give false information to the attorney general’s office? Is that true and if so why? Today another state lawmaker is saying that you pressured him not to take his concerns about financial spending in your office, possibly connected to the relationship, to the attorney general’s office. Is that true? What is your response to that?
“That will be brought out when all is released,” said Bentley.
Q: Governor there are some people calling for recall legislation at this point. Any thoughts on changing your position on whether you’ll resign?
“No,” replied Bentley.
State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow of Red Bay says he wants to focus on what’s best for his district and does not on the scandal. However, Morrow did weigh in on how he thinks the governor should proceed.
“Personally. I think he should step down. I think maybe as governor he is ineffective because of the distraction and I hope, I hope I’m proven wrong. Today was his first test to see if he can be effective and I hope, I hope the governor can get beyond this. I think it’s going to be a difficult battle. I think it’s going to be an uphill battle because his credibility is certainly gone at this point, but you know people, people are very forgiving. It’s those people that won’t admit they make mistakes and ask forgiveness- those are the people that go down in history as the scandal that brought them down,” said Morrow.
Morrow says he does not think Governor Bentley’s apology was sufficient.
“No, I think he needs to go beyond that. He needs to make a full…first of all have full disclosure if he has not and tell everything and then at that point just ask the people of Alabama for their forgiveness. And then it’s up to the people. It’s up to the people to say do we, do we want to do this? You know as I said they’re very forgiving people, if you ask for their forgiveness,” said Morrow.