It took the GOP several years after George W. Bush became President to acquire the smell of corruption. Parties that are long in power often acquire that smell. In Alabama, the smell of corruption appears Washington bound as Governor Robert Bentley is set to name Luther Stranger as the state’s next Senator.
Governor Bentley is under investigation for corruption and the Alabama House of Representatives began considering impeachment charges against him. But Alabama’s Attorney General, Luther Strange, asked the House to suspend consideration of impeachment. He had empaneled a grand jury to investigate the governor and wanted it concluded.
Well, now Governor Bentley is going to name Luther Strange to replace Jeff Sessions in Washington. Convenient, huh? In addition to sending Strange to Washington after Strange got the House to stop impeachment proceedings, Bentley will also name Strange’s replacement, who will be in charge of the criminal investigation into the Governor.
To be fair to Strange, no one is accusing him of cutting a deal with Gov. Bentley. But it inarguably looks bad. Frankly, it also makes the Alabama House of Representatives look bad. It looks like they caved on their legislative responsibilities at the request of the executive branch of government, something they should not have done. Now the whole matter looks even more unseemly.
If Strange does go to Washington, this just gives the left another avenue to build a case for corruption against the GOP. A ready and waiting media will further push the narrative. Alabama will have the credibility of its newest senator impugned and Alabama will see distrust in its governance increase. Luther Strange is probably caught innocently in the middle, but perception is a powerful thing. Getting the legislature to suspend an impeachment against the Governor, then having the Governor appoint him as United States Senator, sure smells of quid pro quo.