Political Analyst Jess Brown discusses scandals rocking three branches of Alabama government

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – One thing people love to talk about in the State of Alabama is politics.  The tiniest changes keep the stories fresh and the jaws moving when it comes to what the news means for the state.  This week WHNT News 19’s Political Analyst Jess Brown stopped by to talk a little politics and to give his opinion on how some of the biggest scandals will affect our government.

The conviction of Mike Hubbard on ethics charges and his subsequent sentencing is the latest in a long list of scandals, putting the reputation of the legislature in the spotlight.  “To be blunt about it the reputation of the legislature probably wasn’t that high to begin with.”  says Brown.  “Generally voters in most states are always down on their legislature.  Ours has had an especially bad reputation over the years.  This didn’t help that reputation at all, but I think in the near term what it means is speaker Hubbard was the political glue that held together the Republican caucus, the Republican members of the Alabama state house.  With his rather sudden exit, I think it’s going to leave a bit of a vacuum there.  It will be interesting to see who becomes speaker, but I don’t think any new speaker will have that kind of control.  There won’t be the centralized power in the house of representatives that we’ve seen for generally the last six years under Hubbard.”

Chief Justice Roy Moore is also on the hot seat for his decision to try to block gay couples from getting married despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage.  “We have the head of the judicial branch, Chief Justice Moore for the second time, charged by some of his professional peers with engagement in unethical conduct not becoming judicial or ethical standards.” explains Brown.  “I don’t know of another time in American history where you can find a state with the leadership of all three branches of state government are facing ethics slash legal problems relating to abuse of power.”

Governor Robert Bentley’s brush with scandal has many asking for his impeachment.  “He cannot recover politically.”  claims Brown.  “He is fundamentally wounded politically, because this action is so diametrically opposite to the image he presented to the people of Alabama in 2010.  He was the good doctor, deacon, do the right thing.  Not so much a political animal.  His behavior as revealed in the tapes and other things has fundamentally weakened him.  His capacity to influence public policy now, is very weak.  I’ve learned never to rule out almost anything in Alabama politics, but I don’t think he can survive.  My guess is he will eventually leave of his own accord.  He’ll resign.”

View our entire conversation with WHNT News 19’s Political Analyst Jess Brown here in three parts: