There have been several calls for Gov. Bentley to resign. Will people soon demand that he fire his political adviser and alleged mistress Rebekah Mason?
“I don’t think the governor’s going to make a move,” said Sen. Rusty Glover, R-Semmes.
Glover says he believes Mason is calling the shots in the Governor’s office and that creates a problem for Bentley’s long term survivability.
“It’s going to be very difficult for him to bounce back but as long as she’s there, I don’t see how it possible,” he said.
State Auditor Jim Zeigler questioned the Mason’s employment in the report he filed last Friday with the Alabama Ethics Commission.
“She is either a public employee or she’s not a public employee, and therefore must register as a lobbyist,” Zeigler said. “One or the other! There’s no third alternative.”
Mason is not registered as a lobbyist. Her exact employment status is murky. Former ALEA Director Spencer Collier referenced that last week.
“Ms. Mason is not elected,” he said. “I don’t think we even know who pays Mrs. Mason. I don’t think anyone knows where her pay comes from.”
Mason is paid by the Alabama Council for Excellent Government or ACEGOV – an organization formed last year to promote Bentley’s tax plan..
According to its website its goal is “more efficient, effective, accountable & excellent government.” ACEGOV is considered a so-called “dark money group” – a special type of non-profit political organization that under federal law does not have to reveal where its money comes or where it goes.
Mason, though, told the Anniston Star last week that ACEGOV paid her $15,000 last year. Also in 2015, Bentley’s campaign fund paid Mason’s public relations firm $61,450 for “consulting fees” in addition to $15,000 for various expenses.
ACEGOV’s board consists of Cooper Shattuck – a Former Bentley legal advisor, Marquita Davis – Former State Finance Director, and R.B. Walker an Alabama Power executive.