Rep. Corey Harbison, R-Good Hope and Rep. Randall Shedd, R- Fairview
CULLMAN - Members of Cullman's legislative delegation took to social media on Sunday to voice their concern over Gov. Robert Bentley's appointment of Attorney Gen. Luther Strange as U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions' replacement. Sessions was sworn in as the nations's attorney general late Wednesday, and Strange as senator on Thursday. Reaction was swift from Alabama Republicans, reported WBRC FOX6 News in Birmingham.
Reporter Michael Doudna wrote:
“It’s one of the dumbest things that I have ever seen in my life," Rep. Mike Ball said.
"It creates some real dilemmas,” Sen. Trip Pittman said.
"Well I think it’s awkward," Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh said.
Most of the reactions stem not from issues with Strange but with the situation surrounding the appointment.
Strange was rumored to be investigating the governor, something he did not go into detail on on Thursday.
Lawmakers suspended their impeachment investigation into the governor on Nov. 3 after Strange said his office was conducting "related work."
Since that time, lawmakers haven't heard an update on the "related work," and Strange has since interviewed for, and now received, Bentley's appointment to the Senate.
“It makes us all look corrupt. It looks like collusion, and I believe the people of this state deserve better government,” Rep Ed Henry said.
There are plenty of lawmakers who believe Strange will do a good job as a senator; the main issue for lawmakers is the appearance something could have been worked out behind the scenes.
“If we hadn’t had everything that has happened in Alabama politics over the last couple of years, you might say that’s ridiculous, but this is Alabama,” Rep. Allen Farley said.
Today, Sunday, Rep. Corey Harbison, R-Good Hope and Rep. Randall Shedd, R- Fairview used Facebook to reach out to their constituents on the issue.
Editor's note: Harbison's and Shedd's posts are published as-written, with no editing.
I know we have many important issues that we need to deal with this legislative session. I try to get on Facebook and mass communicate to see how the people that I represent feel about certain issues.
My question today is, how do you feel about the governor? I am not referring to a possible affair that he may have been involved in. That is a personal matter and none of us are perfect or without sin. I'm not one to
cast the first stone.
I am troubled that the Governor would think that it's okay to fly to Washington, D.C. to President Trump's inauguration with the very people that this controversy has been centered around.
I believe that the U.S. Senate appointment made this state look very bad. Luther Strange would have been a good pick in normal circumstances. We are not facing normal circumstances. I don't know the inner workings of this appointment but from the outside looking in, it appears a deal was cut. This brought negative, national attention.
The Governor's attorney did admit that an expenditure was made from the Governor's campaign account for a person other than the Governors legal fees. Birmingham news reports say that the ethics commission ruled this type expense illegal and a felony.
How do you feel about these things? Do you feel it's in the best interest of the state to let it be or should the legislature step up the process of impeachment?
Rep. Randall Shedd- R-Fairview:
Legislative Update 2017 Session
House District 11
What is your opinion on Governor Bentley?
I want to hear from my people in my district and Facebook friends regarding the actions of Governor Bentley and what you would do if you served in the Alabama House of Representatives.
I would like to report on all of the legislative matters of the first week, however because this entire legislative session will probably be impacted by recent actions of Governor Bentley, I'm going to keep today's update to just this one subject.
Remember, I have not "bashed" Governor Bentley, and I take no pleasure in his difficulties.
I don't know what happened behind the scenes with the Governor's actions, but at least the appearance of potential problems exist when the Attorney General lets everyone in Alabama know he is investigating Governor Bentley then it looks like he tried to unring the bell and even stopped House impeachment proceedings, and after doing so lands a coveted appointment to the U.S. Senate by the Governor that he stopped impeachment.
If nothing else is wrong, it looks bad.
In all my speeches across my district, I've been saying we have to restore the public's confidence in state government. This action is going in the opposite direction.
Public confidence in state government is at a serious level.
I believe this coming week and especially Tuesday in the Alabama House of Representatives, it will be tense.
Keep in mind, a vote of impeachment in the House does not remove the Governor. It simply means (like a grand jury) there is evidence for a trial. The trial would be conducted in the Alabama Senate to decide if the Governor should be removed from office.
Keep in mind, I have not been grandstanding on the Governor's problems. I have not tried to gain politically by it. I did not sign the the original impeachment because I thought the Attorney General would address broken laws by the Governor, if he indeed has broken any laws. I didn't want to see the House tied up for weeks on this issue when we should be addressing all the important problems facing our state. I didn't want to see us pay $195 per hour for a lawyer for the impeachment committee and $195 per hour for a lawyer the defend the Governor, all paid by taxpayers.
However, recent actions by Governor Bentley and former Attorney General Luther Strange cause me to take a second look.
I do feel better that Steve Marshall is the new Attorney General. He is from one of my four counties that I represent and his reputation is a man of integrity.
Keep in mind, anyone can make an honest mistake. But, what we must decide, is this more than honest unintentional mistakes?
Should we (House of Representatives) address impeachment or leave it to state or federal investigators?
So, with this information let me ask you, if you could go to the microphone on the floor of the House of Representatives, what would you say?
If impeachment comes up for a vote in the House of Representative, what would you do?
I try to carefully consider all points of view when making a major decision. I need your help on this one.
I represent you in Montgomery. I want to hear from you on this important matter.
Please comment, email, text or whatever way you want to let me know your thoughts. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Text 256.531.6641.
District 11, Alabama
House of Representatives
Blount, Cullman, Marshall and Morgan Counties
1461 Welcome Road
Cullman, AL 35058
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