Alabama Governor Robert Bentley resigned today in order to avoid impeachment over his affair with aide Rebekah Mason and his attempts to cover it up.
The mild-mannered 74-year-old Republican and one-time Baptist deacon was at peace with the decision and planned to announce it during a Cabinet meeting Monday afternoon, according to the person, who was not authorized to release the information and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
The sex-tinged scandal gathered force over the past few days and legislators turned up the pressure by opening impeachment hearings Monday. Bentley had steadfastly refused to resign, even though it appeared he had practically no support in the GOP-controlled Legislature.
Rachel Maddow pointed out his sick hypocrisy last year:
This isn’t just a personal story. Governor Bentley ran for this office that he holds on the grounds that he was a family values candidate—a God fearing family man—whose campaign ads featured him talking about the Bible while posing with his wife and all of his grandkids. he ran as a man who so believes in the sanctity of traditional marriage that he would fight same-sex marriage with every fiber of his being. His administration filed a Supreme Court brief that said marriages between same-sex couples should not even be thought of as marriages, they should be seen as social experiments.
Nobody’s love life is a political matter. Unless you as a politician make your love life and your personal life a political matter. And Robert Bentley, the Governor of Alabama, has done that. He has been a crusading family values politician who has campaigned on the superior morality of his own marriage, his own family and his own family values, and how he’s going to save Alabama from other people’s terrible, immoral family choices because his values and his family are superior.
Talking Points Memo reports that Bentley’s wife watched his affair unspool on the iPad he had gifted to her, which was still connected to his iCloud account:
Unbeknownst to the governor and Mason, the frequent romantic texts they exchanged were all visible to Dianne Bentley. The governor’s state-issued cell phone’s cloud was linked to his state-issued iPad, which he had gifted to his then-wife, allowing her to watch the rumored affair unfold in real time.
“I’m so in love with you,” Bentley wrote to Mason in one text, along with two heart-eye emojis. “We are pitiful.”
“Poor Robert. Poor Rebekah,” he added.
“Yes… Bless our hearts… And other parts,” Mason wrote back.
“Magnetic,” Bentley replied.
The device oversight was only one of Bentley’s errors.
In spring 2014, he mistakenly sent a text to his wife reading, “I love you Rebekah,” along with an emoji of a red rose.