Governor Robert Bentley says legislators need to worry about the needs of the state and not his personal problems.
“It is maybe the most important, major problem facing the state,” the Governor said Thursday at the Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka.
He was talking about state’s need for new prisons, but it may be a more accurate statement about his political scandal.
For the Governor, his tour of Tutwiler was a sign of business as usual, but for most others in the state, there’s nothing usual going on in Alabama right now. Calls for Bentley to resign or be impeach grow every day.
“I don’t think the people of Alabama are going to be very patient or wait very long on this one,” said Sen. Rusty Glover, R-Semmes.
“My constituents want something done today,” added Sen. Bill Hightower, R-Mobile.
The Governor, though, says the legislature needs to stay focused on the business of the state.
“I want them not to get fixated on any one particular, personal, issue,” Bentley said. “I want them to look at the state as a whole and see what needs to be done in this state.”
But the business of the state might be the last thing on the mind of house members when they return to work in Montgomery Tuesday. The first thing on their minds might be the future of Robert Bentley.
At least one state representative says he will file the paperwork to begin the impeachment process.
No doubt, prison reform is a huge issue for the state, but the Governor may not have enough political capital to get his plan passed, or any other of his initiatives. And he might not have enough support in the legislature to even keep his job.
Bentley says he plans to release a video answering many of the questions that have been raised about his relationship for his former top political advisor, Rebekah Mason, and about allegations of possible criminal activity. That way, political analysts say, Bentley can try to control the message and avoid another awkward and damaging press conference like he had last week.