Archive for April 11th, 2017

You’re going down in flames, you tax-fattened hyena! (#38 in a series)

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

This broke kind of late in the day yesterday. I’m a little behind because of that, and because I was distracted by the situation I alluded to in a previous post. (They’re still doing well, but still in the hospital being observed. Thanks for asking.) Also, Alabama isn’t part of my usual beat, though I was sort of vaguely aware the governor was embroiled in a controversy.

He resigned yesterday.

Even better:

Before making his resignation speech in the Capitol, Bentley pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor violations of the campaign finance law under a deal with the attorney general’s office. He agreed not to seek public office again. He will serve one year’s probation, perform 100 hours of community service, repay $8,912 he used from his campaign account to pay legal fees for former advisor Rebekah Mason and forfeit the remaining $36,912 in his campaign account to the state treasury.

The NYT also has a summary of events. The whole thing seems to have started with former advisor Mason, who was also having an affair with Governor Bentley. Which, you know, consenting adults, their thing, not my place to pass judgement and all that. But former Governor Bentley apparently decided it was a good idea to use his office and state resources to try to cover up the affair, and to intimidate people who knew about it. Funny thing is, that didn’t work out too well for him: there are supposedly copies of text messages and recordings of phone calls between the two circulating on the Internet. (I haven’t gone looking for those. While I take pleasure in the downfall of a tax-fattened hyena, even I have my limits.)

When will people learn: the cover-up is almost always worse than what’s being covered up?

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, and NASCAR.

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Remember BATFE’s secret slush fund?

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives used a secret, off-the-books bank account to rent a $21,000 suite at a Nascar race, take a trip to Las Vegas and donate money to the school of one of the agent’s children, according to records and interviews.

I could see maybe, possibly, someone making an argument that the NASCAR suite and Vegas trip were for legitimate investigative purposes. I wouldn’t buy that without a lot of supporting documentation, but I can see someone thinking that.

Giving money to “the school of one of the agent’s children”, though? I think someone’s going to prison over this.

(Speaking of going to prison, flaming hyenas watch to come.)

(Also, I think I need a BATFE tag. Should it be a subset of “Guns” or “Law’?)