Given the seriousness of the scandal surrounding Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), many observers have been watching other state Republicans closely, looking for cues about the state of the governor's support from his ostensible allies. If Bentley is going to somehow survive the controversy, he'll need Alabama Republicans to rally to his defense.
That's clearly not happening. Not only is Bentley facing resignation calls from many Republican officials, but the Alabama Media Group reports that one state GOP lawmaker is moving forward with impeachment plans.
State Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, is moving to start impeachment against embattled Gov. Robert Bentley amid the scandal engulfing the governor's office surrounding his former senior political adviser, Rebekah Caldwell Mason. If the House impeaches Bentley, it would bring the governor one step closer to being removed from office by the legislature.
House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, confirmed to AL.com that Henry was planning on bringing the articles of impeachment against the governor as early as next week.
The same report noted that by Ford's assessment, more than half of the state House's members are in favor of impeachment, though this will be clearer next week when the chamber returns from its spring break.
Also yesterday, Bentley's top political adviser, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, announced her resignation. Mason is the woman with whom the governor admitting having inappropriate communications, though he claims not to have had a "physical relationship" with her.
"I have resigned as Senior Political Advisor to Governor Bentley and will no longer be paid from his campaign fund," Mason's statement read. "I have also ended my work with the Alabama Council For Excellent Government. My only plans are to focus my full attention on my precious children and my husband who I love dearly. They are the most important people in my life. Thank you for your prayers for our family."
Given that there's no evidence of official misconduct from Mason, it's not altogether clear why she has to go while the governor doesn't.
As the race for the Democratic nomination has progressed, there's been a fair amount of commentary about the similarities between Hillary Clinton's and Bernie Sanders' platforms. They bring very different backgrounds to the table, but when it comes to many of their top policy priorities, the presidential contenders tend to have similar goals, even if they disagree on precisely how to reach those goals.
But Clinton and Sanders sat down with Rachel yesterday -- I sure hope you saw last night's interviews -- and a surprising number of contrasts emerged between the two.
For example, Clinton, who has helped Democratic campaign committees and state parties raise money for the 2016 elections, twice emphasized how important she believes it is to help congressional Democrats. Sanders, an independent, is taking a wait-and-see approach.
MADDOW: I have to ask, though, if you have thought about whether or not you will, at some point, turn your fundraising ability toward helping the Democratic Party more broadly, to helping their campaign committees for the House and the Senate and for other -- for other elections?
SANDERS: Well, right now, Rachel, as you are more than aware, our job is to -- what I'm trying to do is to win the Democratic nomination. [...]
MADDOW: Well, obviously your priority is the nomination, but I mean you raised Secretary Clinton there. She has been fundraising both for the nomination and for the Democratic Party. At some point, do you think -- do you foresee a time during this campaign when you'll start doing that?
SANDERS: Well, we'll see. And, I mean right now, again, our focus is on winning the nomination.
This is a pretty important difference, which I suspect some party officials -- i.e., superdelegates -- noticed.
Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for president, talks with Rachel Maddow about whether he will help raise money for the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees and other party candidates. watch
Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for president, talks with Rachel Maddow about he objection to the conservative push to privatize the VA, and where he'd like to see more activism on behalf of veterans to help support their political interests. watch
Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for president, explains to Rachel Maddow the difference he sees between corporate political activism and influence, and billionaires rigging the political system in their own favor. watch
Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for president, criticizes Donald Trump's remarks on punishment for abortion, and criticizes the media for fixating too much on Trump's distractions and not focusing enough on issues of substance. watch
Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for president, talks with Rachel Maddow about his campaign's intention to convince Democratic super delegates to switch their support from Hillary Clinton, and the importance for Democrats to campaign with a 50-state strategy. watch
Rachel Maddow asks Hillary Clinton about whether her involvement in the Clinton Foundation presents the potential for ethical conflict despite the good works it does, because of potential overlap between campaign donors and foundation donors. watch
Hillary Clinton, Democratic candidate for president, talks with Rachel Maddow about President Obama's nomination for the vacancy on the Supreme Court and the importance of putting more Democrats in the Senate. watch
Hillary Clinton, Democratic candidate for president, explains that she respects the primary process and intends to fight for votes through to the convention, but sometimes she is compelled to address Republican candidates out of sheer outrage. watch
Hillary Clinton, Democratic candidate for president, talks with Rachel Maddow about the perils she sees in Donald Trump's foreign policy positions when it comes to forming valuable international coalitions. watch
Hillary Clinton, Democratic front-runner for the presidential nomination, talks with Rachel Maddow about how she is competing against Senator Bernie Sanders and the peculiarities of the party's delegate system. watch
Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life - as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise.