Republican Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama’s inappropriate relationship with a former aide resigned Monday under the threat of impeachment. But the departure of the state’s “Love Gov” is just the tip of the scandal plaguing his administration.
A 130-page report released by special counsel leading the impeachment investigation found that the governor had improperly used law enforcement to cover up his “inappropriate relationship” but very likely involved them in a massive voter suppression effort that targeted minority voters who generally vote for Democrats.
“In 2015, the Bentley administration announced it would shutter 31 driver’s license offices. The closures… [left] 8 of the state’s 11 majority-African American counties without an office that issues driver’s licenses,” notes Levy. Alabama, of course, “requires voters to present photo identification to cast a ballot.”
The ongoing scandal involves the state’s junior US senator, Luther Strange (R) who was the state’s Attorney General’s at the time of the closures of the driver’s license offices and who willfully ignored former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Director Spencer Collier’s warning that the action amounted to “a Voting Rights Act violation.”