Montgomery, AL (WKRG)
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has a trump card, so to speak, when it comes to the US Senate appointment he can make provided Jeff Sessions is approved as the next US Attorney General.
In an article posted Monday morning, Alabama Reporter Editor-in-Chief Bill Britt says the Governor has made up his mind and has privately selected on ADECA head Jim Byard. Britt says this is a pick influenced by the Governor’s alleged mistress and former advisor Rebekah Mason.
“I think she is in the background much more than before but I don’t think she’s gone anywhere as he’s said before I can’t live without her so there’s nothing to indicate he’s living without her now,” said Bill Britt. Britt says Bentley has a tendency to change his mind on a dime and even reporting this pick could make him change.
“The last one to meet with Governor Bentley is the one he listens to there are so many instances of him changing his mind,” said Britt. He claims meeting with dozens of potential candidates is just Bentley going through the motions. He says the Governor could potentially string several candidates along.
“Let’s promise it to everyone and then call a special session to get a prison bill through and you can use it as leverage,” said Britt. “Unfortunately many times these appointments are all about ‘what can you do for me’ even though quid pro quo is illegal in this instance, there’s always a little ‘what can you do for me’?” Whoever gets Jeff Sessions’ job may just be a placeholder. Britt says none of ten people appointed to the US Senate in Alabama’s history have ever won reelection.
Luther Strange is the highest profile name to announce an intention to run for Sessions’ seat outright. Britt says Strange may decline to accept a Senate appointment so it doesn’t look like the Governor is interfering with a criminal investigation into Bentley’s office.
Yasamie August, Governor Bentleys Director of Communications, tells News 5 that the Governor only began interviews last week and no decision has been reached yet. “The Governor just began interviews on Thursday and any report that a decision has been made is incorrect.”, she said.
The Senate confirmation hearings on Sen. Sessions appointment are scheduled for January 10th and 11th.