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Gov. Robert Bentley speaks during a news conference about a lawsuit filed over federal non-compliance with the Refugee Act of 1980 at the Alabama Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., Jan. 7, 2016. (Photo by Albert Cesare/Montgomery Advertiser/AP)

Governor faces impeachment threat in Alabama

03/31/16 08:40AM

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.
Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders pose together onstage at the start of the U.S. Democratic presidential candidates' debate in Flint, Mich. on March 6, 2016. (Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters)

New differences emerge between Clinton and Sanders

03/31/16 08:00AM

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.
 
It wasn't the only difference, though.
Sanders on delegates and 50-state strategy

Sanders on delegates and 50-state strategy

03/30/16 10:07PM

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

Clinton: I'm not pivoting, I'm just outraged

Clinton: I'm not pivoting, I'm just outraged

03/30/16 09:37PM

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

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About The Rachel Maddow Show

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.

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