Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
Credit: Spc. Brenda Thomas/Wikimedia Commons

He won’t admit it, but Alabama Governor Robert Bentley pretty clearly had an affair with one of his top staffers. The best proof of this is an audiotape that just surfaced of Bentley and his chief adviser, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, having a very suggestive telephone conversation. The governor says he loves her, talks about locking the door if they’re going to repeat what they did yesterday, refers to touching her breasts, and more along the same lines. If this isn’t proof enough for you, the source of the tape is someone in Bentley’s family who suspected an affair was going on, and who took the tape to law enforcement in an effort to get Bentley to discontinue the affair. At the same time, in August 2014, Bentley’s wife of 50 years filed for divorce. Clearly she had all the proof she needed.

While rumors of an affair have swirled for a long time, it’s coming to light now because Bentley fired Alabama’s top police officer and this police officer immediately went to the press to argue that he had proof of the affair and that he had been fired for cooperating in an investigation of the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives. He also accused the governor of misusing states funds to conduct and hide his affair.

So, aside from what one might think about adultery (Rebekah Caldwell Mason is married), there are some potential legal questions here.

Mainly, though, this is another example of hypocrisy. Gov. Bentley is a Deacon and Sunday School Teacher at the First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa. He has served on the church’s Youth for Christ Advisory and Family Counseling Advisory boards. He was a 2009 recipient of the Christian Coalition of Alabama’s Statesmanship Award.

Back in January 2011, after he was elected but before he took office, Gov. Bentley spoke at Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. What he said offended a lot of people.

“There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit,” Bentley said. “But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister.”

Bentley added, “Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”

Telling people who aren’t Christians that they aren’t your brothers and sisters seems pretty obnoxious but, Bentley tried to be reassuring, “We’re not trying to insult anybody.”

In any case, he strongly carved out the “Holier Than Thou” position and then proceeded to conduct an extramarital affair, possibly including the misuse of state funds, improperly tried to influence a corruption case against the Alabama Speaker, and he’s still lying about it.

He claims he acted inappropriately but he never had an actual physical relationship with his staffer.

No one believes him.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at