Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Governor Bentley’

Megan Rondini Fought #ALpolitics Corrupt Wealthy Power System

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 29, 2017

Megan Rondini Fought The Power Of Money

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on June 29, 2017
Used with permission

T. J. “Sweet T” Bunn, Jr., in his Tuscaloosa, AL residence

By now, a lot of people have read or heard the story about Megan Rondini and her encounter with T. J. “Sweet T” Bunn, Jr. Sweet T is the son of Terry J. Bunn, Sr., a well-known and powerful member of the oligarchy that runs the state of Alabama.

Sweet T is also the man Megan accused of raping her on the night of July 1, 2015, at his mansion in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He admits to having sex with Megan on the night in question, but claims it was consensual.

Megan was a 20-year old University of Alabama honors student. Sweet T was a 34-year old big game hunter and employee at his father’s Tuscaloosa-based construction firm.

The Deck Was Already Stacked Against Megan

At the time of the sexual encounter in question, Megan did not know how well connected Sweet T was to the governor of Alabama, the University of Alabama, and the Tuscaloosa District Attorney’s office. The Bunn family’s “pillar of the community” status in Tuscaloosa was recognized inside the local law enforcement community as well. All of these connections robbed Megan of a fair opportunity to receive justice from the night she reported her rape complaint against Sweet T until the day she committed suicide.

Megan Rondini

DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, AL

Following a rape kit exam at a local hospital after she escaped from Sweet T’s home, Megan entered the Sheriff’s Department as an alleged rape victim. At the most traumatic time in her life, Megan had no knowledge that the deck was already stacked against her. Once Megan named Sweet T as the perpetrator of her sexual assault, any chance she had of prosecuting a rape case against him evaporated.

What is worse, investigator Adam Jones bullied Megan by reading Miranda rights to her for actions she took in escaping from the scene of the alleged rape. Once Jones read her these constitutional rights, Megan was transformed from a sexual assault victim into a criminal suspect.

Using strong-arm tactics, criminal investigators were looking for ways to charge Megan with Read the rest of this entry »

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Corruption Runs Amok In Alabama

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 9, 2017

To be certain, few are likely as concerned that Alabama’s Republican Governor Robert Julian Bentley was maritally unfaithful to his wife, as they are that in the process, he abused, and misused the power and authority of his office to attempt to cover it up, and to deceive citizens and others about it. And that in that process, he is believed to have violated state, and very likely, Federal laws. The ordeal is, as things go, a drama of Shakespearean proportion and caliber.

The full report of the Impeachment Committee may be found online, and downloaded FREE from:
http://BentleyInvestigation.com/report.pdf

 

—EDITORIAL—

Whoring for Governor Bentley and Rebekah Mason

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on April 9, 2017
Used with permission

A lying, corrupt, and depraved Republican governor of Alabama is counting on Black members of the state legislature, all of whom are Democrats, to rise up and save him from impeachment.  No, this is not a Hollywood movie.  It is a real life drama that is playing out in real time in the Alabama State House.

The governor is Robert Bentley, who is generally regarded as the laughingstock of the nation today. Not only did Bentley engage in widespread public corruption and ethics violations with his married girlfriend, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, but the governor also (a) trashed the state’s two historically Black state universities, (b) deprived Black and poor Alabamians of adequate healthcare, (c) discriminated against Black voters in the state’s legislative redistricting plan, and (d) erected massive barriers to Black voter participation in the state’s electoral process.

In this Tuesday, November 4, 2014 file photo, retired physician, and Republican Gov. Dr. Robert Bentley, MD listens to a phone call as Rebekah Mason, right, announces his win for a second term as Alabama Governor, in Montgomery, AL. Bentley defeated his opponent, retired physician Democrat Dr. Parker Griffith, MD. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Yet, Bentley and Mason still exercise a shocking degree of dominion and control over many of the state’s Black lawmakers, including some of the ones who serve on the Judiciary Committee that is conducting Bentley’s impeachment proceedings.

For a fleeting moment in time, Bentley even had Judge Greg Griffin, a Black state circuit court jurist, thinking that he had the power and authority to lawfully block the Alabama Legislature’s impeachment proceedings. The Alabama Supreme Court overturned Judge Griffin’s ruling in record time. Griffin is a Bentley appointee to the bench.

Bentley has a well-known record of treating Black lawmakers like his personal servants.  When he is not whipping them for what he perceives as “bad” behavior, the governor is making these compromised souls carry his dirty, smelly political baggage.  They dutifully accommodate the governor’s commands for a mere pat on the head.

Alabamians will witness Black lawmakers engage in political servitude to Governor Bentley this week.  Please pay particular attention to Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama #ALpolitics @GovernorBentley Abused Office As Evidenced By Aircraft Use

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 11, 2016

—UPDATED 13 April 2016 to add helicopter/wallet detail.—

Alabama Governor Bentley used numerous state aircraft several hundreds – perhaps even thousands – of times, including ones registered to, or leased by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and Alabama Department of Transportation – not just the governor’s “official” craft, and used state money to pay for even more charters with numerous other private firms.

 

In fact, since the day of his initial inauguration, he and former wife Dianne flew 749 times – more than TWICE as much as former Governor Fob James.

 

The number of aircraft flights taken by former Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley, and paramour Rebeka Caldwell Mason are telling.

The destinations and purposes for many, if not most, of the trips – including ones he made for campaigning – were purposely vaguely listed to Read the rest of this entry »

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Even With #ALpolitics @ALGOP & @GovernorBentley’s Iron-Fisted Control, Alabama STILL Thanks God for Mississippi

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fraud, waste, and abuse are rampant in Sweet Home, and it’s KILLING the state.

Cronyism and corruption remains alive and well, despite claims to the contrary as asserted by the GOP, which now rules Alabama with an Iron Fist.

If it could be said that states have personalities, Alabama’s would be bipolar, and schizophrenic. Reeling from fear – though they deny it – they continue to perpetuate and indeed, cultivate the very worst of the very worst in human behavior.

It’s not that Alabama or its people are bad, it’s that fear rules their hearts, and fearing that want and poverty will overtake them (ALERT! It already has.), they continue to elect those who pander to their fears. As a result, they get what they deserve.

It’s HIGH TIME – as was said in the Star Trek television series – “to BOLDLY go where no man has gone before!”

No one praises cowards, or cowardice. And yet, so many praise Alabama’s politicians, who are veritable Cowardly Lions.

Alabama has had – and continues to have Read the rest of this entry »

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#ALpolitics Robert @GovernorBentley Update

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Robert Bentley Update

by Donald V. Watkins
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Our report for the U.S. Department of Justice on Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s criminal conduct in office has been written and vetted by our editors and attorneys. The report, which grew out of our Read the rest of this entry »

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Criminal Conduct Update: #ALpolitics Robert @GovernorBentley

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 16, 2015

Robert Bentley Update

by Donald Watkins, Monday, 16 November 2015 8:30PM CST

Alabama Governor, Robert Bentley, MD - (R)

Alabama Governor, Robert Bentley – (R)

Our report for the U.S. Department of Justice on Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s criminal conduct in office has been written. The report, which grew out of our Facebook news team’s special series of investigative articles titled “Forbidden Love” and “Executive Betrayal“, is undergoing a review by our editors and legal team. The report is tentatively scheduled to be delivered to the Justice Department on Read the rest of this entry »

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Why #ALpolitics Should’ve Elected @RonSparks2010 – @GovernorBentley In His Own Words: “I had no clue.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Having made no bones about it, I remain searingly and scathingly critical of Alabama Governor Robert Julian Bentley, a retired physician-turned-Republican legislator from Tuscaloosa, who is twice elected governor – in 2010, and in 2014.

While I wished him well after his initial victory in the governor’s race against his Democratic opponent then-Secretary of Agriculture and Industries, Ron Sparks, he has disappointed the state since Inauguration Day 2011 when he put his foot in his mouth at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Montgomery, where on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 17, 2011 – mere hours after taking the oath of office and inauguration – he said in part, “There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit. But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister. 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.”

It was at that point that Rebekah Caldwell Mason became his Communication Director, and later, Senior Political Advisor-cum-paramour.

More to the point, however, I have maintained that among other things, as an elected official, he has been feckless, and clueless.

But, let’s let him speak for himself.

Here’s in part what Governor Bentley said in a speech to a statewide gathering of city officials in Montgomery, May 2013, “You know where I came up with that idea? Ron Sparks. Read the rest of this entry »

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#ALpolitics @GovernorBentley Hoodwinks @YHN & @ALdotcom

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bentley Hoodwinks Yellowhammer News and AL.com

Alabama Governor Bentley with paramour/ Rebekah Caldwell Mason, Communications Director cum Senior Political Advisor

Alabama Governor Bentley with paramour/ Rebekah Caldwell Mason, Communications Director cum Senior Political Advisor

by Donald V. Watkins
Published via Facebook Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Used with permission

Once again, Governor Robert Bentley has hoodwinked Yellowhammer News and AL.com. This time, Bentley has deceived these two news organizations by providing them with a handful of sanitized text messages between Rebekah Caldwell Mason and himself in response to their separate Open Records requests for emails and text messages between the two lovers.

Like former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Bentley withheld the more embarrassing text messages about his illicit love affair with Rebekah from public disclosure. Of particular significance are the text messages where Bentley describes his true love for Rebekah, including a text message Bentley thought he was sending to Rebekah that he mistakenly sent to his former wife Dianne instead.

Yellowhammer bought into Read the rest of this entry »

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Key Questions for #ALpolitics Mainstream Journalists

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Key Questions for Mainstream Journalists

By Donald V. Watkins
Posted to Facebook 6 October 2015
Used with permission

I know it is not my job to tell mainstream media journalists what questions to ask Governor Robert Bentley (assuming they have the courage to ask him any questions about his infidelity scandal), but I would suggest the questions below for them ask the governor (assuming they want to regain their credibility):

1. Why did you hire David Byrne as your chief legal advisor after he presided over the massive collapse of Read the rest of this entry »

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A Simple Guide For #ALpolitics Mainstream News Media Organizations

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 5, 2015

A Simple Guide For Mainstream News Media Organizations

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on October 5, 2015
Used with permission

I have a simple guide for Alabama’s mainstream news media organizations that want to assail or independently confirm the accuracy of our exclusive reporting on Governor Robert Bentley’s martial infidelity and misuse of taxpayer and donor money. Before starting, I want to note that I hold the individual record in Alabama for exposing the highest number of major corruption scandals involving public officials. Thus, I am going to give my fellow journalists some simple tips on effective investigative journalism as it relates to the governor’s cheating scandal.

First, ask for all of the text messages between the governor and Rebekah Caldwell Mason from January 2011 to the present. These records are public documents under Alabama’s Open Records Act. They are not confidential or privileged documents. They are Read the rest of this entry »

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#ALpolitics @GovernorBentley: Alabama’s “Counterfeit” Leader – Epilogue

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 4, 2015

Epilogue: Governor Robert Bentley, Alabama’s “Counterfeit” Leader

By Donald V.Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on October 4, 2015
Used with permission

Since our initial September 4, 2015 edition, we published a series of articles titled, “Forbidden Love” and “Executive Betrayal.” Those articles disclosed a flaming love affair between Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Rebekah Caldwell Mason, his married paramour and Senior Political Adviser. The adulterous love affair was underwritten by taxpayers, donors to the governor’s campaign organization, and contributors to a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation that Bentley used as a slush fund to sponsor his personal affair with Rebekah.

Alabama Governor Bentley with paramour/ Rebekah Caldwell Mason

Alabama Governor Bentley with paramour/ Rebekah Caldwell Mason

Infidelity between two married “Christian” lovers is a moral and religious issue. The use of state and federal funds along with donor money to carry on and conceal the affair is a criminal matter.

Bentley’s case is dripping with evidence of wire and mail fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, misuse of public funds, and Read the rest of this entry »

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#BREAKING! Seth Hammett, #ALpolitics @GovernorBentley’s Chief of Staff Resigns

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 2, 2015

Seth Hammett was three-time Speaker of House & represented Alabama's 92 District. He is a Democrat, while Bentley is a Republican.

Seth Hammett was three-time Speaker of House & represented Alabama’s 92 District until 2010, when he retired from the Legislature. He is a Democrat, while Bentley is a Republican.

Bentley’s Chief of Staff Resigns

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on October 2, 2015
Used with permission

Seth Hammett, Governor Robert Bentley’s chief of staff, has resigned his post. The governor announced Hammett’s departure today with the praise and fanfare needed to “mascara” over this surprising defection.

Hammett exited the scene at the governor’s office because he was not comfortable with the growing scandal that has ensnared the governor and senior political advisor, Rebekah Caldwell Mason.

Hammett was one the staffers Bentley dispatched to get troopers on the security detail to sign confidentiality statements as Read the rest of this entry »

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Getting the Alabama Media to Look the Other Way: #ALpolitics @GovernorBentley’s Executive Betrayal & Taxpayer Fleecing

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 2, 2015

Executive Betrayal – Robert Bentley’s Fleecing of Taxpayers and Donors – The Finale

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on October 2, 2015
Used with permission

Getting the Alabama Media to Look the Other Way

The Birmingham News (the “News”) is a media entity in the Alabama Media Group. The Mobile and Huntsville newspapers are also in this media group. The News was a willing participant in the FBI’s COINTELPRO program that was aimed at secretly spying on, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations. The News worked closely with the Alabama Sovereignty Commission and state and local officials who opposed racial integration in Alabama. In doing so, the News targeted individuals like Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Arrington, Jr., and other civil rights leaders from the 1950s to the 1970s for an unrelenting campaign of negative news reporting in an attempt to undermine their credibility. COINTELPRO came to an official end after it was publicly exposed in the 1976 Congressional “Church Committee” hearings. Unofficial activities continued.

Today, the News plays a significant role in advancing and protecting the interests of unfit state officials. The latest case in point involves disgraced Governor Robert Bentley and his marital infidelity scandal. Bentley, who was recently divorced by his wife Dianne, used Read the rest of this entry »

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David Byrne: #ALpolitics @GovernorBentley’s Consigliere – Part 3, Executive Betrayal

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, September 25, 2015

Executive Betrayal – Robert Bentley’s Fleecing of Taxpayers and Donors – Part 3

David Byrne – Governor Bentley’s Consigliere

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on September 25, 2015
Used with permission

Bobby Lowder was the founder, President, CEO & Chairman of the Board of the failed Colonial Bank. During his tenure there, he was widely known as a manipulator, and micromanager of Auburn University, where he was also a member of the Board of Trustees, and donor. During his tenure there, the university experienced many scandals, including use of Lowder's private jet, and his undue influence upon the university president. He was named to be reappointed to the Auburn University Board of Trustees by Governor Bentley, though a a civil lawsuit in the Lee County Circuit Court asserted that Bentley's actions violated Alabama's Open Meetings Act. Under such pressure, Lowder withdrew his name from consideration, served the remainder of his term, and departed. Colonial BancGroup eventually came under Federal scrutiny & investigation for fraudulent practices, and on August 14, 2009, was closed by banking regulators, with all deposits and branches purchased by BB&T.

Bobby Lowder was the founder, President, CEO & Chairman of the Board of the failed Colonial Bank. He was widely known as a manipulator and micromanager of Auburn University, where he was a member of the Board of Trustees, and donor. During his tenure there, the university suffered many scandals, including use of Lowder’s private jet for recruiting an Athletic Director & Head Football Coach that violated NCAA rules. His undue influence upon the university extended even to the university president, who was fired after a No Confidence Vote by the Board of Trustees. Governor Bentley named Lowder to reappointment to the Board after Lowder donated $25,000 to Bentley’s gubernatorial election campaign. A civil lawsuit in the Lee County Circuit Court complained that Bentley’s actions violated Alabama’s Open Meetings Act, and under such pressure, Lowder withdrew his name from consideration, and shortly thereafter, the Alabama State Senate voted him off the board.

On August 14, 2009, federal and state regulators took control of Colonial BancGroup, a regional banking powerhouse based in Montgomery. The seizure of Colonial Bank’s 346 branches and $26 billion in assets made it the sixth-biggest bank failure in U.S. history, the worst of 2009, and the third largest during the credit crisis that plunged the financial markets into turmoil in 2008. Colonial’s collapse cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation $2.8 billion. Colonial’s shareholders lost billions of dollars in stock value. Thousands of bank employees lost their jobs.

David B. Byrne, Jr. David Byrne was admitted to the bar in 1966. He received his B.S. from The University of Alabama and his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law. David was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Jasons, Beta Gamma Sigma, Phi Eta Sigma, and Phi Alpha Delta. Professional Profile: Assistant U.S. Attorney, 1971-1974 Special Assistant Attorney General, State of Alabama, 1998 - Present Fellow, American Bar Association Fellow, American Board of Criminal Lawyers Fellow, Alabama Law Foundation Member, Advisory Committee on Criminal Procedure, Alabama Supreme Court, 1985 - 1989 Guest lecturer, University of Alabama (Criminal Procedure) Montgomery County Bar Association (President, 1985) Federal Bar Association (President, 1989) Member, Panel I State Bar Character and Fitness Committee Alabama Trial Lawyers Association Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (1991 - Present) United States Army, 1966 - 70, Captain, JAGC USAFR, 1971 - Present Military Judge, Colonel USAF Trial Judiciary, 1993 - Present

David B. Byrne, Jr. was admitted to the bar in 1966. He received his B.S. from The University of Alabama and his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law. He was
Assistant U.S. Attorney, 1971-1974, Special Assistant Attorney General, State of Alabama, 1998 – Present; United States Army, 1966 – 70, Captain, JAGC
USAFR, 1971 – Present
Military Judge, Colonel USAF Trial Judiciary, 1993 – Present

Although the public focused on the failed leadership of Bobby Lowder, Colonial’s founder and CEO, it was David B. Byrne, Jr., who was Read the rest of this entry »

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#ALpolitics @FirstLadyDB: Strength in the Face of Domestic Abuse

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Dianne Bentley: Strength in the Face of Domestic Abuse

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on September 23, 2015.
Used with permission

Governor Robert Bentley abused Dianne Bentley emotionally, psychologically, and verbally. The abuse started when Rebekah Mason became Bentley’s closest advisor and lover during the governor’ first term in office. Bentley’s domestic abuse of Dianne was pervasive, degrading, and ugly, and his malicious words and deeds, ultimately left Dianne feeling irrelevant, disgraced, and utterly inadequate.

As Bentley’s romance with Rebekah Mason heated up, so did his abuse of Dianne. Though not physical in nature, Bentley’s abusive conduct was so disparaging towards Dianne that even the couple’s four sons and some of his grandchildren have felt the need to disassociate from him.

Once Bentley became governor, he changed. He was Read the rest of this entry »

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Follow the Money, Part 2 – Executive Betrayal: Robert Bentley’s Fleecing of Taxpayers & Donors

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 20, 2015

Executive Betrayal:
Robert Bentley’s Fleecing of Taxpayers and Donors
Part 2

Follow the Money

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on September 20, 2015
Used with permission

Rebekah Caldwell Mason with husband Tony Mason (Facebook profile)

Rebekah Caldwell Mason with husband Tony Mason (Facebook profile)

UPDATE 21September2015: Today, the John Kasich for President Campaign issued a statement denying that Rebekah Mason is working for the Kasich Campaign. The statement was issued in response to the sentence in the article below that, “[Rebekah] is reportedly working for Presidential candidate John Kasich (R-Ohio)”. Everybody is distancing themselves from Rebekah, except Governor Bentley. No one is denying that Rebekah Mason secured Bentley’s endorsement of Kasich.

Rebekah Caldwell Mason, Governor Robert Bentley’s mistress and the de facto First Lady of Alabama, is married to Jonathan P. Mason. Jonathan was a weatherman at WVUA, a small local television station in Tuscaloosa. When Bentley took office in January of 2011, however, he made Jonathan the director of Serve Alabama, which is the state agency for the governor’s faith-based programs and services.

Serve Alabama functions as the Alabama State Service Commission, granting and administering ten state AmeriCorps programs across Alabama. It is the state’s lead agency for Volunteer and Donations Management after disasters. This office serves as a liaison to the state for faith-based and community-based non-profit groups.

Serve Alabama also administered FEMA’s Disaster Case Management Program for survivors of the April 2011 storms. It administers the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund. The office administers ReadyAlabama.gov, Alabama’s statewide disaster preparedness campaign.

Serve Alabama states that it Read the rest of this entry »

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#ALpolitics @GovernorBentley’s CPA & Fundraiser Leaves Over Unethical Request

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 19, 2015

Mike Echols, CPA, Mike H. Echols is a CPA living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Echols was born on December 22, 1951, has one daughter Christy (LeFon), and is married to Amy Echols (nee Amy Celeste Holt of Montgomery, Alabama). Her son is Christopher Gattozzi. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Kentuck Art Association in Northport, Alabama. She is the marketing director at the Tuscaloosa accounting firm JamisonMoneyFarmer PC. Echols studied at the University of Alabama from 1970-1974, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He belonged to the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Echols is the owner of Michael H Echols & Associates, PC. (aka Echols, Michael H & Associates P.C. and Echols Coogler and Associate PC CPA) Echols is a member of the Alabama Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs. Echols is also associated with Project Delivery Systems, Llc; Northport Professional Properties, Llc and Victory Ink Company, Inc. Echols belongs to Franklin Resources Group which is a public relations and lobbying firm based in Montgomery, Alabama, that is associated with many state-wide political action funds. Echols is a founding member of Tusco PAC, whose purpose is “to support candidates with a pro-business philosophy.” To support candidates with a pro-business philosophy. – See more at: http://openbama.org/pac/index/778#sthash.cWbsbhOo.dpufHe chaired the T Town PAC II, which was Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s largest source of campaign money in 2010. Echols received the 2003 Advocate of the Year Award from the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce for “his advocacy role on be behalf of his clients, business owners, and the community’s business climate through his counsel, active political involvement on behalf of business issues, consulting and support relationships.” Echols has chaired several statewide PACs, six of which have routinely made contributions in local elections. Alabama Political Reporter’s Beth Clayton reported, “In addition to chairing the T Town PAC II, Echols has been listed as both the chair and treasurer of numerous other PACs: Capital PAC, CMG PAC, GOTV PAC, KAW PAC, Pride PAC, Pride PAC II, T Town PAC, T Town PAC II and Tusco PAC, many of which are dissolved.” Echols was the treasurer for mayoral candidate Sammy Watson in 2005. Commenting in a Tuscaloosa News article by Stephanie Taylor about the Tuscaloosa Firefighters Public Relations Fund having contributed $40,000 to mayoral candidate Walt Maddox and $10,450 to City Council candidates in 2005 Echols said, “I don’t believe you saw any one group of special interests have that much money in a single race. Do people expect anything in return for making contributions? If they don’t, I’m proud of them.” Echols was the chair of Educate Tuscaloosa PAC, as reported by Jamon Smith in The Tuscaloosa News, which supported only non-incumbent school board candidates. The ET PAC’s campaign postcards and website had the same P.O. Box 2663 that was also found on the campaign materials of Lee Garrison, who ran successfully for the chairman of the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education. PACs associated with Echols contributed to incumbents in the 2013 Tuscaloosa municipal elections, including Mayor Walt Maddox and Council Members Bobby Howard, Bob Lundell, William Tinker, Harrison Taylor, Cynthia Almond and former Council Member Lee Garrison. Echols was the primary deal maker in 2012 for the proposed lease agreement between the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority, as Laurie Johns explained it, “involving a parcel of property next to Northridge High School which had come to be designated for use as a ‘public school facility’ without the input of the Board of Education.”

Mike Echols, CPA
Mike H. Echols lives in Tuscaloosa, AL, and was born December 22, 1951. He has one daughter Christy (LeFon), and is married to Amy Echols (nee Amy Celeste Holt of Montgomery, Alabama). Her son is Christopher Gattozzi. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Kentuck Art Association in Northport, AL, and is the Marketing Director at the Tuscaloosa accounting firm JamisonMoneyFarmer PC.
Mike studied at the University of Alabama from 1970-1974, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. And as a student, belonged to the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.
He owns Michael H Echols & Associates, PC, (aka Echols, Michael H & Associates P.C. and Echols Coogler and Associate PC CPA), is a member of the Alabama Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs, and is associated with Project Delivery Systems, LLC; Northport Professional Properties, LLC and Victory Ink Company, Inc.
He belongs to Franklin Resources Group, a public relations and lobbying firm based in Montgomery, AL, associated with many state-wide political action funds, and is a founding member of Tusco PAC, whose purpose is “to support candidates with a pro-business philosophy.”
Echols has chaired several statewide PACs, six of which have routinely made contributions in local elections. Alabama Political Reporter’s Beth Clayton reported, “In addition to chairing the T Town PAC II, Echols has been listed as both the chair and treasurer of numerous other PACs: Capital PAC, CMG PAC, GOTV PAC, KAW PAC, Pride PAC, Pride PAC II, T Town PAC, T Town PAC II and Tusco PAC, many of which are dissolved.”

EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS—

Mike Echols Splits From Bentley

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on September 18, 2015
Used with permission

Governor Robert Bentley’s long-time personal CPA and heavy hitting moneyman for the Robert Bentley Campaign Committee, has split from the governor. Echols, who handled the financial books and records for both the Bentleys and the Campaign Committee, resigned his post over a disagreement with Bentley about Rebekah Mason, the governor’s mistress and married paramour.

The precise nature of this dispute, which occurred several weeks ago, is not known at this time.

What is known, however, is that Bentley wanted Echols to do something questionable with the financial records relating to Rebekah Mason. The governor’s request did not sit well with Echols, a respected Tuscaloosa accountant and well-known PAC organizer. During a heated exchange between the two men, Echols refused the governor’s request and turned over the various checkbooks and financial records in his custody to Bentley. With this handover, the professional relationship between Echols and Bentley ended.

Echols has been Bentley’s accountant for many years. He was also the Campaign Committee’s accountant in 2010 and 2014.

In a slick move that is expected to become the focus of First Lady Dianne Bentley’s divorce proceedings, as well as law enforcement agencies in Washington, the governor stashed Read the rest of this entry »

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Executive Betrayal: #ALpolitics @GovernorBentley’s Fleecing of Taxpayers & Donors

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Executive Betrayal

Robert Bentley’s Fleecing of Taxpayers and Donors

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on September 16, 2015
Used with permission

Governor Robert Bentley could barely contain his lust and love for Rebekah Caldwell Mason in the months leading up to his re-election in 2014. He was so obsessed with Rebekah that he sent a romantic text written for Rebekah to First Lady Dianne Bentley by mistake. It was graphic in content. Ms. Bentley’s subsequent review of her husband’s text messages answered all of her questions about the nature and scope of the governor’s marital infidelity. The text message exchange between the two lovers, along with what Dianne overheard during the governor’s private phone calls to Rebekah, let her know that the governor, 72, was “head-over-heels” in love and lust with his 43-year-old paramour.

Alabama Governor Bentley with paramour/ Rebekah Caldwell Mason

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley with paramour Rebekah Caldwell Mason

Not only has Bentley proven to be a cheater and a sexual pervert, but now he has proven to be a crooked governor too. We have recently learned that Bentley not only had direct and personal knowledge of Rebekah’s handling of questionable financial practices with state and campaign monies, but he even went so far as to Read the rest of this entry »

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#ALpolitics @GovernorBentley’s Forbidden Love – Part 4

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 13, 2015

Forbidden Love

Robert Bentley’s Secret Love Affair – Part 4

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on September 13, 2015
Used with permission

State of the Union

The state of Alabama is flat broke.
The Legislature is in the midst of the Second Special Session
that was called to pass a
General Fund budget for 2015-2016,
having failed the task during both the
Regular Session
and the
First Special Session.

Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, (R, 79, Lee County/Auburn) is indicted on 23 state Felony Ethics Violation charges, which he earlier championed and helped pass, though he now claims they're "unconstitutional."

Mugshot, Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, (R, 79, Lee County-Auburn) is indicted on 23 state Felony Ethics Violation charges, changes to the law which he championed, and with the legislature, helped pass in 2010, though he now claims they’re “unconstitutional,” and “vague.”

Alabama has been named one of the most corrupt states in America by researchers at Harvard University.

Mike Hubbard, Alabama’s speaker of the house, is currently Read the rest of this entry »

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Bentley’s Real Executive Protection – Part 3, Forbidden Love: #ALpolitics @GovernorBentley’s Secret Love Affair

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, September 11, 2015

Bentley’s Real Executive Protection

Forbidden Love – Robert Bentley’s Secret Love Affair – Part 3

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on September 11, 2015
Used with permission

George L. Beck, Jr., is the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, which includes Montgomery.

George L. Beck Jr. was sworn in as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama on July 6, 2011. He was nominated by President Obama on March 31,2011, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 30, 2011. Prior to being appointed, George Beck served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Alabama for eight years, and Judge Advocate General for the Corps of Alabama Army National Guard for over thirty years, retiring at the rank of Colonel. He joined a private law firm in January 2004 where he remained until he was confirmed as U.S. Attorney. Mr. Beck received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his law degree from the University of Alabama.

George L. Beck Jr. was sworn in as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama on July 6, 2011. He was nominated by President Obama on March 31,2011, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 30, 2011.
Prior to being appointed, George Beck served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Alabama for eight years, and Judge Advocate General for the Corps of Alabama Army National Guard for over thirty years, retiring at the rank of Colonel. He joined a private law firm in January 2004 where he remained until he was confirmed as U.S. Attorney.
Mr. Beck received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his law degree from the University of Alabama.

President Obama appointed Beck to the top federal prosecutor’s job in Montgomery in 2011. Beck’s Senate confirmation took a mere three months from the date of his nomination, even in the midst of a gridlocked Congress, because Beck enjoyed the support and loyalty of Alabama’s two Republican senators, as well as its Republican governor and state attorney general. For all practical purposes, Beck is a “closet” Republican.

Beck received his law degree from the University of Alabama, where he was a law school classmate and personal friend of David Byrne, Governor Robert Bentley’s chief legal advisor. Over the years, the two men formed Read the rest of this entry »

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When Will Alabama’s D-I-V-O-R-C-E From Robert Bentley & GOP Be Final?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 28, 2015

It seems that after 50 years, Dear Old Governor Bentley’s wife Dianne has filed for divorce citing “such a complete incompatibility of temperament that the parties can no longer live together.”

Seriously, divorce is a tragedy. The real reason behind First Lady Dianne Bentley’s divorce was infidelity.

And yet we know the real reason, which is sort of Ashley Madisonesque in nature, because Governor Bentley has been continually screwing over the state for the last 5 years.

Of course, impotence could also factor into the mix, since he’s quite obviously had a hard-on for them, rather than her.

We should thank Alabama’s former First Family for such a fine example of Family Values to the state’s citizens.

Rumor has it, also, that the Governor spoke with Senator Cam Ward who exults under a DUI charge, keeping his Driver License, while any other lowly peon would have to walk, ride a bicycle, take a taxi, public transportation, or beg a ride, and whom also is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Governor Bentley asked Ward saying, “What can I do to a woman that I cannot do to you?”

Ward allegedly replied, Read the rest of this entry »

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UPDATED: If #ALpolitics Would #ExpandMedicaidNow, They Could CUT Medicaid Co$t$ More Than 50%

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 6, 2015

UPDATE: Tuesday, 11 August 2015
CORRECTION ADDENDUM

In my first & earlier calculations, I inadvertently overlooked multiplying the Annual Medicaid Spending in Alabama figure (which is a TOTAL of $5,241,269,869) by 70%, which would represent the portion paid for by the Federal government. Alabama’s 30% share of that figure (the share paid for by the state) would be $1,572,380,960.70. It would also be reasonable to expect that Expanding Medicaid in Alabama to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level would increase total economic activity (through Medicaid spending) in the state at least 38%. So to Expand Medicaid, the baseline figure for TOTAL Medicaid spending (combined Federal and State funds) would approximate $7,232,952,419. According to the provisions of the law, Alabama’s sharing portion (if Governor Bentley chose to Expand Medicaid) would still be 2016-100%; 2017-5%; 2018-6%; 2019-7%; 2020 and beyond-10%. The corrections to the figures herein are dollar amounts only (based on the $7,232,952,419 total expanded figure), not the %ages. Data & figures are now also shown in table format.

Folks, it may (or may not) surprise you to know a sampling of the collective thoughts of our wrong-wing friends, and relatives on matters political in Alabama, especially as they pertain to Medicaid.

Here’s a verbatim excerpted sampling of what I came across today.

• No one want increased entitlements. Too much waste and abuse. get a job folks. no to medicaid
• Medicaid is a lifestyle
• scare tactic. nursing homes overcharge. working people of Alabama are tired of taking care of lazy people
• ask any hospital administrator or physician in private practice. Medicaid devalues services. Reject medicaid

I dare say, MOST are clueless about the genuinely tangible economic and public health benefits Medicaid provides to this state, and the revenue and jobs it creates. All they hear are the wails and moans of representatives and/or senators – mostly of whom, if not exclusively, are Republican.

Where does Alabama's Medicaid money come from? Where does it go?

Where does Alabama’s Medicaid money come from?
Where does it go?
Source: Alabama Medicaid Agency Annual Report – FY 2012

Medicaid is a Federal/State matching/sharing program which provides (pays for) healthcare services for the impoverished wherein states pay a minority matching portion, while the Federal Government through CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) pays the majority portion. Within reasonable guidelines, the states have broad discretion and liberty to operate Medicaid according to the way they see fit, and the needs of the residents they serve. There are, however, certain minimums standards to which every state must adhere.

Under the provisions of the OLD law, the states that do NOT Expand Medicaid pay a higher %age rate for their services than they would if they were to Expand Medicaid to provide services to those whom are at 138% of the Federal Poverty guidelines – which is what the PPACA provides. The PPACA is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act- though it’s more often called the ACA “Affordable Care Act,” and colloquially referred to as “ObamaCare.”

Under the provisions of the PPACA, states that choose to Expand Medicaid will have 100% of those costs paid-for by the CMS beginning 2014, until 2016. The incentive for expansion is based upon Read the rest of this entry »

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Sodomy: A prime example of what’s wrong with #ALpolitics

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 12, 2015

A dear friend who is a long-time retiree, aged 78 years, entire subsistence is from a meager pension (earned from a lifetime of work in a unionized organization), supplemented with a paltry Social Security check.

She’s lived through breast cancer surgery (mastectomy) & reconstruction, other major surgeries (knee replacements) and procedures, and lives in a trailer which she owns, situated upon a lot which she rents. She has resided there many, many years.

To save money, she recently Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama May 2015 Unemployment Higher Than Reported

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 20, 2015

Alabama Unemployment Rates May 2015 by County with Totals

Alabama May 2015 Unemployment Rates by County with Totals

According to the Alabama Department of Labor, the Seasonally Adjusted preliminary state Unemployment Rate for May 2015 was 6.1%. The Not Seasonally Adjusted rate was 6.2%.

However, as I have written previously (October 2014, Analysis: Alabama Unemployment Higher Than Stated), the rate is subject to flaw precisely because it is Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama State Legislature Could Undo DOJ-ADOC Tutwiler Agreement & Force Federal Takeover

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 29, 2015

To The Reader:
If you are not a regular follower of Alabama politics, some, or perhaps most, of the items mentioned herein may very well be alien to you. Yet even if you are – even to a small extent – an adherent of the same, it very well may still be strange to you. It’s strange to most… save for those who wallow in such mire, namely, the Alabama Legislature and politicians in Alabama.

What I write herein this blog, and this entry in particular, contains fact, and opinion. It’s difficult to NOT have opinion when faced with facts… particularly when innocent lives are at stake. And innocent lives ARE at stake in Alabama.

I ask your indulgence.

From Day One of his first term in office (January 17, 2010) Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s administration has been pockmarked with allegations of corruption, wrong-doing, violations of Federal Law, incompetence, lies, thefts, and deceptions.

I have written and opined about Governor Bentley’s bald-faced lies from his first campaign for governor (Alabama Governor Bentley Broke 20 Promises From 2010 Campaign), and his propensities and predilections toward falsehoods are well-documented in other news media from his campaign for a second term as governor, and after his re-election.

Examples include:
23-Felony Ethics Count indicted Rep. Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) re-elected GOP Speaker of the House
Rep. Greg Wren (R-Montgomery) plead guilty to misdemeanor Hubbard-related ethics charge and resigned his House seat
Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) charged with perjury and false statements related to Lee County grand jury in January in Hubbard case
Moles in GOP Attorney General Luther Strange’s office attempting to corrupt Hubbard’s prosecution
Prison rapes & long-term cover-up of criminal wrongdoing at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, and Alabama Department Of Corrections (ADOC)
ADOC purchased on the black market medicines to be misused for execution, which the FDA seized
ADOC neglected prisoners’ minor healthcare problems, which lead to their death
Legislature reneged repayment on money “borrowed” from Alabama Trust Fund

Facing an immediate General Fund Budget shortfall of $250 Million, and a projected $750 Million long-term deficit, shortly after re-election to a second term, Governor Bentley reneged on a campaign promise to not raise taxes. The most fearfully pressing of the concerns remains the prospects of a Federal take-over of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). At 200% capacity, and grossly understaffed, the ADOC is still teetering upon the precipice of a Federal take-over by the Department of Justice. The DOJ took over California’s Prison System with with much less overcrowding, approximately 140%.

The DOJ sent Governor Bentley a 36-page “love letter” dated January 17, 2014 which was entitled Investigation of the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women and Notice of Expanded Investigation in which they detailed numerous counts of prisoner abuse, sexual abuse of prisoners, criminal activity by guards upon inmates, and other horrific crimes against humanity.

USDOJ Tutwiler ADOC Findings 1-17-14

Only today, Governor Bentley crowed about reaching a 65+ page Settlement Agreement with the DOJ in which ADOC and the State of Alabama promised to “implement all policies and procedures required by the agreement within nine months of the effective date of the Agreement,” and which “will terminate when Defendants have achieved substantial compliance with each provision of the Agreement, and have maintained substantial compliance for three consecutive Court-filed compliance reports.”

ADOC-DOJ-Settlement-Package-05-28-15

While there is a nine month implementation time line, there is a possibility of Read the rest of this entry »

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The Power of One Small Idea: How Alabama could hit a home run WITHOUT raising taxes in the budget crisis.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 17, 2015

Creativity is in short supply in Monkeytown, Alabama.

I refer, of course, to Montgomery.

And to be certain, there is a backstory on the nickname.

Seems the Montgomery Zoo was originally located in Oak Park, and then named Oak Park Zoo. The zoo also had an island of monkeys, which once escaped. Hence, the nick name.

For what it’s worth, the Montgomery City Planetarium, formerly known as Gayle Planetarium, is also located in Oak Park. I encourage you to go there, sometime! I have.

But back to the creativity thing.

Alabama is in dire straits fiscally. But, then again, that’s nothing new. Governor Bentley has promised (and broken) numerous pledges in his first & second campaigns. The one bothering most folks is the “read my lips… no new taxes” promise he unwisely made while campaigning for a second term.

It may not be the lie the second time around, as much as it is the entire deception thing from the get-go. Because he, the AL GOP, and the entire Legislature knew all about this well in advance. They knew there would come a day when the monies they “borrowed” from the Alabama Trust Fund must be repaid. That day has come… and is now gone. They’re essentially reneging on their promise, which not only makes them liars, but thieves as well, since money is involved.

So, you’re damn skippy the people are hopping mad!

Again, to be certain, Alabama is in a Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Get Elected In Alabama: Convince the “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command” to vote for you.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 14, 2015

It’s a classic variation upon the theme of a “straw man argument.”

But if you’re like most folks in Alabama, you’re probably so “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command” to know what that is.

So, I’ll tell you.

You cite an example of thing you oppose (and which many others would oppose) – even though it’s false (example: “The air in our city has killed thousands of babies!”) – and hammer on it, until you beat it up. Never mind that the example you use is pure bullshit and a total lie. That way, you get your opponent distracted from the REAL issues by responding to your bullshit lies. Studies have shown that when you repeat a lie – even if you are repeating it to refute it – the repetition can reinforce the lie in the minds of some people.

Read on.

Insight: How To Get Elected In Alabama

By Hardy Jackson

In my more than half-a-century of following politics — state, local and national — I cannot recall such a general disgust with the quality of the folks who govern us.

How, I hear it asked repeatedly, did these people get elected?

The answer, of course, is that they got the most votes.

But that is not the answer most people want.How to Get Elected in AL politics

What they want to know is how these politicians were able to convince a majority of Alabama voters to cast a ballot for them.

Well, I’m gonna tell you.

Today, politicians in Alabama get elected because they have mastered a strategy that has gotten Alabama politicians elected as long as there have been politicians and elections in this state.

Here is how it works.

First, a candidate must convince voters that Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Politics: Just Another Day In Paradise

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Opining upon the notion of Alabama State Senator Del Marsh’s casino gambling plan to fund Medicaid, someone wrote, “[It’s] The only voluntary tax I know of. If you don’t want to play don’t pay.”

The retort was, “I’m finding myself more open to this lately however; once someone loses their house, job, family etc., don’t come crying for taxpayers to take care of you.”

To which came this reply, “Those people are already finding ways to gamble their lives away. They don’t need a lottery.”

My response follows.

“Those people,” are the Legislators.

In this one thing, I share the Governor’s sentiment – which he ineffectually (no surprise there) communicates:

Lottery will NEVER remedy poor fiscal policy, with which Alabama is replete.

In almost every lottery situation, law demands that the proceeds from lottery are to be used to supplement – not supplant – existing revenue. And in this single instance authored by Senator Del Marsh (R, Anniston) it is being used to supplant – to replace – existing sources of revenue. And that is Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Governor Bentley signs Executive Order No.4 Creating Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Yesterday, Monday, April 6, 2015, Alabama Governor Robert J. Bentley, MD signed Executive Order No.4 creating a 38-member “Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force.”

Though the unspoken ostensible purpose of the task force is to likely make recommendations to the Governor for the expansion of Medicaid in Alabama, it’s being couched to the less-than-observant (or less-than-smart, take your pick), as a home-grown alternative to the big bad wolf of D.C. known as “ObamaCare.”

Again, for the benefit of the uneducated, in addition to decreasing fraud, waste and abuse, increasing efficiency, eliminating discrimination against women, children & people with “pre-existing” conditions, mandating numerous improvements to the quality of the delivery of healthcare from all states in order to receive payment (performance-based payment), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (sometimes abbreviated as ACA, though popularly known as “ObamaCare”), contains a provision encouraging (but not requiring – that decision was made the U.S. Supreme Court) the state’s governors to expand Medicaid for their impoverished residents. The law provides for 100% payment for so doing, then gradually declines to 90%.

Governors in Kentucky and Arkansas have decided to Expand Medicaid in their states, and are already enjoying savings.

Governors in Kentucky and Arkansas have decided to Expand Medicaid in their states, and are already enjoying savings.

Currently, Alabama’s matching portion (the %age it pays to purchase Medicaid) is 32.4%; so to expand Medicaid, and have it ALL paid for, and then to pay a LOWER rate than is presently being paid is one of the smartest fiscal decisions the state could make.

Already, the Governors of Kentucky and Arkansas – both well-known Republican strongholds, with opposition to the ACA – have expanded Medicaid in their states, and are already reaping the rewards.

Here’s a chart showing the compensation plan to the states: Read the rest of this entry »

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How Inefficient Is The Alabama Legislature?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What’s wrong with Alabama?

How much time do you have?

That’d be an entirely accurate response, of course.

How much bad does it take before the sweet turns sour?

How much bad does it take before the sweet turns sour?

To be certain, criticizing the machinations and politics of Alabama is somewhat like criticizing one’s family – only family members can do it with complete immunity. Outsiders stand the risk of getting punched out.

Here’s one well-known complaint: The Legislature.

Sure, even Washington politicians get lambasted, as, I suppose, does every other politician in our union, at every level – federal, state, county, and local.

But here’s the rub: In Alabama, the legislature takes great pride in calling themselves “part-time” legislators, and boast of having full-time jobs “back home” in the community of their residence. Sure, that sounds nice, but what does it really look like?

By law, in Alabama, the Legislature can meet for NO MORE than 30 days Read the rest of this entry »

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#ALpolitics Inauguration Day 2015: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 19, 2015

Oh! The Irony!

Every quadrennium, January 19 commemorates a special event in Alabama. It is Inauguration Day, when a new Governor takes the Oath of Office, and a new administration of state government begins. Second, this year, January 19, 2015 is unique because it marks the simultaneous and concurrent celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Ironically, Alabama commemorates the birthday of Robert E. Lee, General of the Confederacy, in conjunction with MLK Day.

Commemorative marker, Jefferson Davis Confederate Presidency Oath, Alabama State Capitol Buiding, Montgomery

Commemorative marker, Jefferson Davis Confederate Presidency Oath, Alabama State Capitol Building, Montgomery

So, today marked a triple peculiarity; 1.) a re-elected governor sworn in on; 2.) the day the state and nation celebrate the life and Civil Rights accomplishments of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and; 3.) the state celebrates the birthday of the General of the Confederate Army, Robert E. Lee.

There could hardly be any greater irony.

Freedom and equal rights under Constitutional law is simultaneously celebrated with the memory of a rebellious, oppressive regime which had a vested interest in indentured servitude… more often known as “slavery.” Patterson Hood, founder of the alt-rock Southern Rock group Drive-By Truckers, has described it as “the duality of the Southern thing.”

It reminds me of a hit song in the late 1970’s by a Christian Rock duet named DeGarmo & Key entitled “God Good, Devil Bad” which partial lyrics were:
“I met a man in the Nassau hotel,
“A stranger to my eyes.
“He had a tattoo on his arm of Jesus
“And the Devil side by side.
“I found the nerve so I said “Hey buddy!
“Just whats the matter with you?
“Don’t you know that you can’t serve two masters
“A real man’s gotta choose!”

“I said… Read the rest of this entry »

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Analysis: Alabama Unemployment Higher Than Stated

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bentley UR Tweet 10-17-14

Alabama Governor Bentley claims he, and his policies – whatever they are (he has none… just look for your self) – have been responsible for declining Alabama Unemployment. Fact is, he’s blowing smoke.

Bentley UR Tweet Claim 10-17-14

Alabama Governor Bentley claims he, and his policies – whatever they are (he has none… just look for your self) – have been responsible for declining Alabama Unemployment. Fact is, he’s blowing smoke.

Alabama’s Republican Governor Robert Bentley, MD has crowed about “success” in lowering Alabama unemployment during the past 4 years of his term.

However, to be certain, a random statistical examination of the state’s Unemployment rate shows that it is very likely, AT LEAST two points higher than reported.  Here’s how.

Unemployment is calculated as a simple average. Take the number of people working, added into the number of people NOT working, AND who WANT to work, divided by the people who are available to work, gives the unemployment rate.

Here’s how the Bureau of  Labor Statistics defines the parameters of the equation:

What are the basic concepts of employment and unemployment?

The basic concepts involved in identifying the employed and unemployed are quite simple:
• People with jobs are employed.
• People who are jobless, looking for a job, and available for work are unemployed.
• The labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed.
• People who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force.

Simply put, the formula is:

Unemployment Rate = Unemployed


Employed + Unemployed

 

However, if you’ve had a college course in Statistics – and most folks in Alabama have not (it’s part of maintaining the policy of “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”) – then you’d understand that a random sample of the set would show essentially the same results.

And face it… most folks in Alabama DO NOT HAVE A COLLEGE EDUCATION. In fact, according to the Alabama Department of Education, Alabama’s High School Drop Out rate is 28%. Page 2, Frame 2 of the linked document shows the 2010-2011 TOTAL Graduation Rate as 72%.

Face it… ALABAMA IS

Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Governor Bentley Broke 20 Promises From 2010 Campaign

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 13, 2014

Broken Bentley Campaign Promises2sB

Robert Bentley, MD will say ANYTHING to get elected. In fact, he did. Is there any reason to believe he won’t do it again? He had no intention of fulfilling any of those promises. And that, my friends, is the definition of a sociopathic liar.
Sociopathic Liars are defined as someone who lies continuously in an attempt to get their own way, without showing care or concern for others. These individuals are goal-oriented. Even though it might seem hard to believe, lying is focused – they are focused on getting their own way. Sociopaths don’t have a lot of respect or regard for the feelings and rights of others. They tend to be charismatic and charming, but they will use their exceptional social skills in a self-centered and manipulative manner.

Having met with Alabama Governor Bentley a couple times, I can attest that he came across to me as a “nice guy,” a decent human being.

However – and to be absolutely certain – when I refer to Robert Bentley, or Governor Bentley, I mean to refer to him as an elected political figure, nothing more. And in that sense, as a legislator from Tuscaloosa, he was an inept, do-nothing, milquetoast, mamby-pamby, clueless, bumbling, cowardly, lazy, yellow-bellied, gutless, craven, unimaginative, clueless, pedestrian, hackneyed, lame and feeble Representative.

As Governor, he has given Alabama all that, and more… in spades!

As an elected official, Governor Bentley is a liar, and there are LITERALLY 15-20 broken promises he made while in the 2010 campaign that were very likely the hopes upon which Alabamians hung their hat, and ideas for which they cast their vote. His Democratic contender – Ron Sparks – was a man who, as Secretary of Agriculture and Industries, had his finger on the economic pulse of the state of Alabama. Ron was the man whom opened doors of market opportunity for Alabama’s farmers to sell poultry in foreign markets. Ron regularly communicated with the captains of industry in Alabama, as well the numerous entrepreneurs, small businesses owners, and Mom & Pop shops, which are the lifeblood of any economy.

Bentley’s campaign is nothing more one Broken Promise after another. It is a history of lies, infidelity, and willful deception. To characterize his administration as duplicitous would be generously diplomatic. To say it has been treacherously fraudulent would be more accurate.

Here are what I consider the Top Ten Bentley Campaign Lies from 2010. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Governor Bentley OK’d $580K Trooper Gate pay, lied about it

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 13, 2014

#ALPolitics @GovernorBentley OK’d $580K #TrooperGate pay, lied about it  http://j.mp/TrooperGate

Alabama Republican Governor Robert Bentley, MD, OK’d $580,000 Trooper Gate pay, then lied about it
http://j.mp/TrooperGate

Bentley Punished DPS Bosses for Questioning Lewis’ Gigantic Overtime Pay

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on October 12, 2014
Used with permission

Retired state trooper Capt. Mark Whitaker ran the Protective Services Division and Capitol Police in the Alabama Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) until this year. This is the DPS division responsible for guarding and driving Governor Robert Bentley. Wendell Ray Lewis was a sergeant under his command.

While running his division, Whitaker learned that Lewis’ overtime pay was pre-approved by Bentley and never to be questioned. This was even true with regard to Lewis’ claimed entitlement to 24 hours of overtime for a single day. Prior to Lewis, Whitaker had never seen a trooper make a claim for or receive 24 hours of overtime pay for a single day.

On January 14, 2014, Whitaker was called into then-DPS Director Hugh McCall’s office where McCall told Whitaker that his entire division would be transferred to the newly created Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (“ALEA”). As a result of the transfer, Whitaker, a highly respected captain, would fall under the command and supervision of Lewis, who at that time was a sergeant. Unbelievably, Captain Whitaker would be reporting to Sgt. Lewis.

This order came directly from Governor Bentley.

This humiliating role reversal was the ultimate insult for Whitaker, a career officer who had climbed the ranks within DPS and earned his command position. According to published reports, Whitaker believes this demeaning and insulting personnel action – a captain reporting to a sergeant – occurred merely because he sought to question Lewis’ overtime pay in the months prior.

“This is what I get for doing my job,” Whitaker complained to McCall at the time. He retired soon after.

Whitaker is the second high-ranking trooper to retire over the Bentley-Lewis overtime pay scandal. In 2011, Major Marc McHenry, now retired, served as the DPS chief over Protective Services and the Capitol Police. Lewis also worked under McHenry.

When McHenry realized in 2011 that Lewis had accumulated a gigantic amount of overtime pay, he tried to put an end to Lewis’ financial windfall. At the time, troopers were not being paid for overtime. They were given time off instead.

McHenry sent the issue to Lewis’ supervisor, and two days later he was Read the rest of this entry »

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“No, Dr. Bentley, we are in no way prepared for Ebola.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 10, 2014

Pippa Abston, MD, PhD, is considered by many, to be the preeminent, board-certified general pediatric physician in the Tennessee Valley, and is author of the following commentary, written in response to a news item entitled “Ebola hasn’t surfaced in Alabama but state ready, Gov. Bentley says,” published October 08, 2014 at 9:03 AM, updated October 08, 2014 at 12:59 PM at http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2014/10/gov_robert_bentley_on_ebola_vi.html.

In his press conference, Governor Bentley said, “In the event that Ebola spreads to Alabama, we are ready and we are prepared to respond.”

Thursday, 9October2014, 6:18am

By Pippa Abston, MD, PhD

Governor of Alabama, Dr. Robert Bentley, MD makes a Press Conference Wednesday, 08October2014 to assert Alabama state readiness for Ebola virus.

Alabama Governor, Dr. Robert Bentley, MD (a retired dermatologist) holds a Press Conference Wednesday, 08 October 2014 purporting to assert state readiness for the Ebola virus.

No, Dr. Bentley, we are in no way prepared.

First and most seriously, people lack insurance or have high co-pays/ deductibles, so they will delay going to the doctor or ER and expose others in the meantime.

Second, our public health infrastructure is underfunded and understaffed.

A couple of years ago I let the local HD (Health Department) know about a new viral syndrome I was seeing, which needed Read the rest of this entry »

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Analysis – Examining the Record: Is Alabama Governor Bentley a “Jobs Creator” or a Drag on the State Economy?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 12, 2014

When campaigning for the office of Alabama’s Governor, Robert Bentley – a retired dermatologist physician who at the time was an elected representative from Tuscaloosa County – promised if elected governor that, “I will forgo a salary as state representative for the rest of my term and will not accept a salary as Governor until Alabama reaches full employment.”
ref: http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/06/robert_bentley_extends_no-sala.html

When pressed on the matter, he later defined “full employment” as having state unemployment somewhere around 5%. It is a promise to which, as of the date of this entry – 12 April 2014 – he has kept. In other words, Alabama has NOT reached “full employment,” and he has not been paid a salary. He has, however, been compensated for out-of-pocket expenses (the governor’s office has a budget, so why would he personally have any such expenses for work in an official capacity?), though he has received – as legislator, a legally-mandated $1.00 per month salary. Since his election to the governorship, he has not received a salary.

Let’s examine Governor Bentley‘s employment record.

During Governor Robert Bentley’s watch, International Paper – the large paper mill formerly known as Champion Paper, in Courtland, and the largest employer in Lawrence County – closed and cost the area economy & state 1100 jobs. Those jobs were Read the rest of this entry »

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How Governor Bentley & Alabama’s GOP dominated state legislature raped their “constituency”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 29, 2012

Allow me to be more explicitly succinct: Governor Bentley and the GOP led legislature are lying sons-of-bitches who ought to burn in Hades for how they’ve raped and lied to the people of the state of Alabama.

I have only one thing for them: Utter Contempt.

The $437 Million Hustle

Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 9:07 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 9:12 AM
By George Talbot

Alabama voter Amendment 1 ATF

Bridget Stafford of Montgomery casts her vote on Amendment 1 at Vaughn Park Church of Christ in Montgomery, Ala., Sept. 18, 2012. (Julie Bennett | al.com)

In honor of the constitutional amendment approved by Alabama voters on Sept. 18, we here at the South Alabama Political Animals Club would like to introduce a new award.

Let’s call it the Karl Rove – James Carville Political Slickum Trophy. The inaugural winners? Gov. Robert Bentley, House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate President Del Marsh, who pulled off a political hustle as sharp as anything outside of a Chicago pool hall.

The Republican leaders were in a jam, and got Democratic voters to bail them out. Impossible, you say?

The numbers don’t lie. The amendment, which allows the state to tap into the Alabama Trust Fund to pay for government operating expenses, won by big margins in Democratic precincts, and was soundly rejected in the state’s more conservative corners.

Voters in deeply Republican Baldwin, Cullman, Madison and Shelby counties, for instance, shot down the measure by nearly 2 to 1. But the GOP proposal reaped a bounty of support from Democratic voters in Mobile, Jefferson and Montgomery counties.

The margins were even greater in the Black Belt, Alabama’s last Democratic stronghold, where the amendment rode a wave of “yes” votes in Greene, Perry and Wilcox counties. In Dallas County, it got eight “yes” votes for every one “no.”

How’d that happen?

Supporters of the proposal, organized as the Keep Alabama Working political action committee, raised big money from groups that would have taken a budget hit if the measure had failed – chiefly nursing homes and hospitals.

Much of that money was raised and spent by Read the rest of this entry »

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