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Roger Shuler, the dogged reporter and blogger who has exposed injustice in Alabama for years, tells how his reporting led to Gov. Bentley's resignation yesterday.Shuler's new reports on Bentley's resignation and the fallout are here and here.
Shuler's reporting exposed the "Luv Gov" and his affair with top staffer Rebekah Caldwell Mason, and initially was trashed by mainstream media, especially reporter John Archibald at the Birmingham News and al.com--who was heaped with praise and given total credit for the story by Rachel Maddow on April 10.
In this conversation, PBC gives Shuler the credit he is due. Shuler notes that this story came to him--after Bentley's wife of 50 years filed for divorce, his sources called him, like fishing at a trout farm. And he responds to the Maddow report by noting that Archibald and colleague Chuck Dean tried to cover up the story by sliming Shuler and his blog.
Over the past few years, Shuler has exposed the affairs of Alabama public figures who present a conservative, religious exterior while chasing skirts online (at the Ashley Madison cheaters site) and in real time. Efforts to silence him included a bogus 5-month stretch in jail, foreclosure of his home in Alabama, and a brutal, illegal eviction by deputies in Springfield MO that left his wife's arm shattered, just 9 days after his first report on Bentley.
We note that Luther Strange, now US Senator replacing Jeff Sessions, may have engaged in a corrupt deal with Bentley, when Strange discouraged the legislature from impeaching Bentley, as he was running the lead investigation. But just before the November 2016 election, Strange closed his investigation without charging Bentley, and was rewarded with the Senate appointment a few weeks later.
The investigations also showed that Bentley used state authority and resources to try to silence witnesses and reporters, and that Shuler was a likely target. As GOP leaders rush to close the case and move on, questions remain about Mason and the almost $1 million she and her husband were paid by state and private funds.