Taking Alabama Back from Corruption!

Every Alabamian has watched in despair as the politically corrupt have tightened their stranglehold on our state government. The Speaker of the House of Representatives stands convicted of 23 counts of misusing his office for personal gain and soliciting gifts from lobbyists. He remains free. Numerous other legislators have been forced from office for their own corrupt activities.

Most notably, though, Alabama spent three years as the lead joke on the national news as Robert Bentley made a mockery of public service. At the height of the scandal, Governor Bentley faced impeachment proceedings, four felony referrals from the Alabama Ethics Commission, a criminal grand jury, and the prospect of multiple court cases – both civil and criminal. The kind of deals that were once confined to smoky back rooms are now cut in plain view as those investigating the activities of the Governor and in charge of his investigations asked for favors from the very target of those investigations, lied about their activities, and appear to have traded their appointments for a favorable plea deal that allowed Governor Bentley to escape the consequences of his actions.

As a little boy, my dad would often point to the TV screen during news reports of the Governor and say, “Son, if you work hard, study hard, and apply yourself, you can grow up and be just like him”. I fear it has been far too long since any parent in their right mind in Alabama challenged their child to grow up and be like our Governor. That is unacceptable!

We stand in danger of an entire generation of children growing up in an Alabama where the lessons our leaders have taught us are that public service is dishonorable and that all politicians are corrupt. We can and we must change that.

To do so, we must have zero tolerance for corruption. We must remind those who hold public office that they serve a higher calling and that, if they betray their oaths, the constitution, and those they are sworn to serve, we are prepared to use the law to the fullest extent to make examples of them and hold them accountable.  At the same time, we must further tighten and strengthen our ethics laws to ensure that the penalties for public corruption are adequate to deter future corruption and to punish those who abuse the public trust. Only by doing so can we TAKE ALABAMA BACK from the corrupt.