AL Governor Bentley: Reform Ethics Law… the one I helped write.
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Governor Bentley’s office recently Tweeted the following message December 14, 2010 @14:50: Amend the Ethics law so that teachers are allowed to receive seasonal gifts. http://tinyurl.com/7n6w6jj
The reader should be aware that Dr. Bentley was a representative legislator from Tuscaloosa whom helped write, approve and pass the bill that became law when it was signed by then-governor Bob Riley, also a Republican.
However, it seems that gaffes, mis-steps faux pas, goof-ups, and other mistakes will be the hallmark of his term.
That’s genuinely sad.
First, after he was elected – before he was inaugurated – while at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church on Monday, January 17, 2011, he opened his mouth and said, ”Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”
When he was asked later if he meant to be insulting to people of other faiths, he said, ”We’re not trying to insult anybody.”
Rebekah Caldwell Mason, Communications Director for the governor, was asked about his remarks and said, ”He is the governor of all the people, Christians, non-Christians alike.”
It was very telling that he said this in conclusion: “You know, (for) a lot of people, it’s hard to trust a Republican governor. Let me tell you. I want to tell you today that I promise you that I’m going to do everything I can for everybody in this state.”
(What a bitch slap statement!)
Then, two high-profile, high-level automobile manufacturing executives from Mercedes-Benz and Honda – both which have manufacturing facilities in the state – were arrested under the provisions of HB56 – Alabama’s so-called “Immigration Law” – which Bentley as representative legislator also helped write and pass.
Now, HB56 – the law he helped write and pass – has come under national and federal scrutiny and ire for it’s numerous problems, which Governor Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange (R), have agreed needs “reform” or “change.” What’s equally perplexing is that AG Strange – what a name, eh? – is caught between a rock and a hard place, because on one hand, he has to defend the law in federal court, while simultaneously requesting reform to the governor and legislature.
Is that not strange… indeed, even schizophrenic?
But then, that’s Alabama’s Strange Attorney General and ironic Governor.
December 14, 2011
MONTGOMERY—Governor Robert Bentley today called on the Legislature to amend the ethics law to make it clear that teachers may receive seasonal gifts. The current law restricts public officials from accepting certain types of gifts. Last week the Ethics Commission issued an opinion stating that the law covers public officials and public employees equally, including K-12 teachers.
“We appreciate our teachers. They work hard all year to provide our children with the best education possible,” said Governor Robert Bentley. “All year we ask them to do a lot with a little. And if parents or students want to show their gratitude by giving those teachers a gift during the holiday season, they ought to be allowed to do that. We need to make sure the law is clear. Teachers shouldn’t be considered lawbreakers if they receive a gift from a student. ”
Senator Tom Whatley, Senator Cam Ward, Senator Gerald Dial, and Senator Slade Blackwell will co-sponsor a bill to be introduced in the upcoming legislative session that would further define how the law applies to teachers.
“We agree with Governor Bentley and the need to make sure the law is clear so teachers, parents, and students understand that Christmas gifts, seasonal gifts, and classroom donations to teachers and their classrooms from students, parents, and grandparents are perfectly acceptable,” said Senator Tom Whatley.
“Ethics reform was designed to curtail corruption among elected officials, it was never intended to have government act as a nanny state for little children giving appreciation gifts to their teachers,” said Senator Cam Ward.
“I agree with Governor Bentley and I appreciate Senator Whatley’s efforts to amend this law, and I join them in this effort,” said Senator Gerald Dial.
The Alabama Ethics Law was passed and signed in December 2010. It went into effect in March 2011.