Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Web press breaks story on sex scandal involving Alabama's "family values" governor Robert Bentley--and also raises issues about possible criminal acts

Could Gov. Robert Bentley, and mistress Rebekah Caldwell
Mason, have criminal charges in their futures.
(From alreporter.com)
Perhaps no story in recent months illustrates the value of the Web press like the sex scandal involving Alabama's "family values" governor, Dr. Robert Bentley, and aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason, which exploded on the national stage last week. The Web press has not just focused on the titillation factor, although the word "breasts" has proven to be a prominent component to the story. The serious side of the story, about misconduct and possible criminality, also made its debut in the digital arena.

Maybe that's why Bentley pressured law enforcement to target me and attorney Donald Watkins in an effort to shut down reporting about the gubernatorial love nest. Maybe he feared our reporting would go beyond groping and groaning and focus on abuse of the governor's official position. If so, Bentley was right to be fearful of that.

How do we know? Well, the story of the Bentley/Mason extramarital affair broke here, at Legal Schnauzer, last August--almost seven months before national news outlets, such as The New York Times, Washington Post, and Rachel Maddow Show, took notice last week. And we did not just ouline the story's "T and A" elements, the kind that tend to make a blog's page views soar. We also addressed the unsexy notion that the public trust had been betrayed, the state's government had been compromised, and criminal acts might be involved.

Consider the following words from our original report--and then we invite you to consider them in light of recent reports that members of Bentley's cabinet had received raises (double-digit percentage increases in some cases) that one state senator called "outrageous." From Legal Schnauzer on August 31, 2015:

Rebekah Caldwell Mason, sources say, quickly became more than just a communications director to Bentley. Their affair became so widely known that it diluted any moral authority the governor might have had. "He's been impotent as governor for at least the last six months," one source told Legal Schnauzer. "People have been going into his office and saying, 'Do what I want or I'm going to play the girlfriend card.' People have been running all over him."

What happens when an "impotent" governor allows people to "run all over him" because he's afraid they will play the "girlfriend card" if they don't get their way? Is that the kind of thing that leads to "outrageous" raises for cabinet members?

Well, consider some of the details about the pay-raise story, from Associated Press:

While many cabinet members are making more money this year, four cabinet members received raises of about $70,000, according to state pay records.

The salaries of Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Director Jim Byard, Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Administrator Mac Gipson, Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee and Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling increased from $91,014 to about $164,000. The pay increases were first reported . . . by the blog Inside Alabama Politics.

Did Byard, Gipson, Magee, or Ridling apply improper pressure to get their raises by playing the "girlfriend card" with Bentley? We don't have a yes-or-no answer to that question yet. But our blog raised the specter of such chicanery last summer.

As one of our sources said in the original report:

I have . . . been told that Bentley's trooper facilitated the affair, and that the state jet was used extensively to facilitate it. And that Bentley and Mason actually used it as a bedroom at times when Mrs. Bentley was still living in the mansion. . . . The use of state resources to facilitate an affair would surely violate state law. . . .

Here's how we tried to put the story into perspective--and this was almost seven months ago:

The Bentley-Mason affair, in the aftermath of Dianne Bentley's divorce complaint, has left the governor's administration teetering. Legal fallout from the affair could have ugly consequences, including Bentley's resignation and a possible criminal investigation.

It's no secret that sex "sells"--and helps drive blog page views. But has the Bentley/Mason story been about more serious matters? Yes, it has--right from the start.


Anonymous said...


Why don't they arrest those thugs that assault you and your wife? All it takes is to piss off the wrong people and they'll ruin you and then turn around and play the victim. Whores the lot of them.

Anonymous said...

The "impotent" governor. That pretty well sums it up.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for sharing, @11:13. The individuals who assaulted Carol and me are cops, so that makes seeking justice a little trickier. But we will get justice, one way or another--not only for the rogue cops, but for the administrative crooks who sicced law enforcement on us in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Thus blog kicks ass. AL.com is a friggin joke compared to what you are doing! I bet your page views are substantial. Best to you patriot.

Anonymous said...

This story never sees the light of day without this blog. Bentley knew the mainstream press would cower before him--and you would not. That's why he wanted dirt on you.

Anonymous said...

Hope someday to see this blog reporting that the Love Gov and his crew have been booked in for a long stay at a PMITAFP.

Anonymous said...


Why would the two who are unmarried and not having sexual relations jointly rent a safety deposit box?

Do they have shared financial interests of some sort?

Or are they having sex?

Or possibly both?

How may shady LLCs are about to be revealed?

Anonymous said...


Bentley tried to neuter the guard dog, now he's gonna get bit

"Just when it seemed the junkyard dog of Alabama public corruption investigations might get neutered, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has reminded everyone why we need someone like Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart guarding the grounds.".

I thought the Legal Schnauzer was the "junkyard dog of Alabama public corruption investigations" but maybe not. LS and Donald Watkins aren't mentioned once in this story. It must be a lot of trouble to write this story without mentioning a LS and Watkins and a safety deposit box and a few blogs (and a lawsuit and ...).

Anonymous said...

Amazing they say you aren't a journalist. A journalist is only as good as his sources. Your sources are impeccable.

Anonymous said...

LS: Thought the below might be of interest to you.

Here in DC (jokingly referred to by cynics as the District of Corruption), we had a rather large scandal in the 2010 Mayoral election, when Vince Gray, the older Chairman of our City Council, took on the much-younger Mayor Adrian Fenty (who had won election in 2006 earlier in a landslide at age 36 but had pissed off a good portion of the electorate in the ensuing 4 years) and won pretty handily.

It came out that there had been an illegal "shadow campaign" run by Gray's backers, the major financier of which was a long-time contractor by the name of Jeff Thompson who had made multi-millions with his accounting firm and all of his LLCs, which he used as shell companies to launder political contributions.

It became hot enough that the former U.S. Attorney for the District (Ron Machen) was brought in and spent two years putting pressure on all involved, trying to reel in Gray. He did get Thompson and about six or seven associates of Gray, but couldn't pin anything on Gray. His investigation and announcement of a pending indictment of Gray in March of 2014 did ruin Gray's bid to keep his seat and replace him with a Fenty crony, Muriel Bowser, who is a total puppet of her moneyed backers.

Thompson also gave millions to Hillary in her earlier campaigns and to other Dem politicos around the country. He is a tough cookie and is still fighting back. Rumor has it that the Dems don't want to do anything untoward about him because he could cause major problems until after the election. Sound familiar? There are no "clean hands" in politics.


Anonymous said...

These latest revelations certainly do put those "outrageous" pay raises in a new perspective.

Anonymous said...

Roger, do you have any news to break regarding a lawsuit filed recently in Alabama?

legalschnauzer said...

I'm not in a position to write about it yet. I will be soon.

Anonymous said...

The web press is the future. Your blog proves it. I am astounded at how resilient you are. You rely on tried and true journalistic tactics that few any longer engage in. Quite remarkable that you would break this story after being incarcerated by the same regime. It looks like Bentley will have to resign soon. It is getting ridiculous. If Hubbard goes down, that leaves Big Luther and Roy Moore. I guess they'll flip for it.Whatever happens Alabama is screwed. Young folk should be encouraged to find work out of Alabama and get far away from it. There's a whole world out there much less repressed. I'm surprised national news outlets haven't written about you more. Maybe they will. I guess when Bentley resigns they will. You are toppling the machine.

Anonymous said...

News to break on a new lawsuit? Did you get sued by one of the AM members you wrote about?

legalschnauzer said...

Nope, sorry to disappoint you, @1:32. BTW, what grounds would any of the AM subjects have to sue me?

Anonymous said...

I think you mistook my intent - I am not hoping to see you get sued. I just think it is very likely to happen. You have been outing some "legal alligators," the type who sue for a living. One of them is going to go after you, even if the claims are iffy. You are not worried about this?

legalschnauzer said...

Look, if you are afraid of being targeted with a bogus lawsuit, you should not live in America--and you certainly should never post anything online. I've been a professional journalist for more than 35 years and built a significant body of work; there probably are several books worth of material in this blog. Every time you open your mouth, you are at risk of saying something that could get you sued. Are you worried about that? I doubt it, and you shouldn't be. If you don't think I'm willing to stand up to "legal alligators," you haven't read this blog very closely.