Alabama Governor Bentley second term

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  Governor Robert Bentley says there are no easy solutions to the state's budget and prison problems. Bentley, in his second inaugural address, said state leaders face tough decisions as they come into office for the next four years. However, Bentley said state leaders will not shrink away from the challenge.

     A budget shortfall and the state's severely overcrowded prisons are expected to be the biggest problems facing the Legislature when it convenes in March. The governor is expected to give his proposals when he gives his State of the State address in March.


The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley has selected Alabama Power's top executive to serve as chairman of his inaugural committee.

Bentley says Mark Crosswhite of Birmingham will be in charge of planning an inauguration that brings people together regardless of political affiliation and that celebrates the things that make Alabama great.

Crosswhite is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Alabama Power.

The state teachers' lobby has given Democratic candidate for governor Parker Griffith another financial boost.

The Alabama Education Association contributed $300,000 to Griffith's campaign on Friday. AEA also gave Griffith $300,000 in September.

The teachers' lobby is by far Griffith's largest cash contributor. Campaign finance reports show AEA's contributions make up $600,000 of the $647,000 in contributions raised by Griffith. The former congressman has also loaned his campaign $391,000.

Griffith and Republican Gov. Robert Bentley face off Nov. 4.

Democratic candidate for governor Parker Griffith says that if elected, he would open discussions with the Poarch Creek Indians about a gambling compact that would allow them to operate casinos with more types of games.

Griffith said Thursday in Huntsville that the tribe has done a great job in Alabama, and he'd talk with them about expanding their gambling operations in some areas to generate more tax revenue for the state.

The tribe has casinos in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka, but they have only electronic games. They do not have table games.

Associated Press

The state teachers' organization, the Alabama Education Association, has become the biggest contributor to Democrat Parker Griffith's campaign for governor.

Griffith filed a campaign finance report late Thursday afternoon showing he had received a $300,000 contribution from AEA. Prior to the contribution, he was reporting $25,050 in his campaign account.

The contribution comes after AEA's political action committee reported borrowing $700,000 from a bank on Sept. 4.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is maintaining a large fundraising lead over Democratic challenger Parker Griffith.

The Republican incumbent has raised more than $5 million in contributions in his quest to win a second term.

Campaign fundraising reports filed Wednesday show that Bentley added more than $400,000 to his campaign war chest in August.

The Democratic nominee for governor, Parker Griffith, calls Republican incumbent Robert Bentley timid and irresponsible.

Griffith says he plans to focus his general election campaign on Bentley refusing to expand the state Medicaid program and not doing enough to increase jobs in the state.

Bentley said Wednesday he doesn't like negative campaigning, and he will focus his campaign on his records and his goals. He says politicians might not be very good candidates if they have to spend their time talking about how bad their opponents are.


Republican candidate for governor Stacy George says his state lottery proposal could produce up to $200 million annually to help five programs.

During a news conference Tuesday in Montgomery, George said he would divide the money between volunteer fire and rescue squads, technical college scholarships, voluntary pre-kindergarten, the state General Fund, and downtown revitalization projects. He says contracts for the revitalization would have to go to companies in the communities being served, which would generate jobs in each town.


A prison guard running against Gov. Robert Bentley says Alabama's prison system is at risk of a federal takeover because of severe overcrowding.

At a news conference Thursday in Montgomery, Stacy George said that if elected, he would create a second parole board like Gov. Bob Riley did to expedite the parole of non-violent inmates. George said he will ask the Legislature to repeal the habitual offender law that provides for longer sentences for repeat offenders and he will make the repeal retroactive. He says that could reduce the prison population by more than one-fourth.

Garry Knight / Flickr

Three candidates for governor are running on state lottery platforms.

Both Democratic candidates for governor, former U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith of Huntsville and Fayette businessman Kevin Bass, are proposing a lottery to pay for college scholarships. One of the Republican candidates, former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George, is advocating a lottery to pay for scholarships and several other programs.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says he's not running for governor of Alabama.

Battle announced on his website Tuesday he has decided against seeking the state's highest office. He calls being mayor of Huntsville a "dream job" he doesn't want to give up.

Battle is in his sixth year as mayor of the city of 184,000 residents.

Bentley's only announced GOP opponent is former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George. Among Democrats, former minor league baseball player and Fayette businessman Kevin Bass is running.


A longshot Republican candidate for governor is campaigning again after being sidelined by illness.

Former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George said Thursday that he was diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic on Oct. 2. The illness involves a low blood platelet count. It required lots of treatments to get his platelet count back to normal and end his fatigue. But George says he's back to running.

Gov. Robert Bentley has already raised more for his re-election campaign than he spent to win the Republican nomination for governor in 2010.

Bentley's campaign filed a campaign finance report showing he raised more than $746,000 in December. That brought his total fundraising to $3.3 million.

Bentley reported spending $2.6 million to win the Republican nomination in 2010. His entire campaign in 2010 cost $8.1 million.

Senator Billy Beasley / Facebook

Democratic state Sen. Billy Beasley of Clayton is considering running for governor.

The four-term legislator says his campaign platform would include repealing Alabama's new private school tax credits and holding a statewide referendum on legalizing a state lottery.

Beasley says he's assessing support and will make a decision soon. The deadline for Democrats and Republicans to sign up is Feb. 7.

The Alabama Forestry Association has thrown its support to Gov. Robert Bentley's re-election campaign.

Bentley said Thursday the forestry group was the first major organization to endorse him in 2010 and now it's the first for the 2014 election. But there's a big difference. It didn't endorse him in 2010 until after he won the Republican primary.

Robert Bentley is finding that raising campaign money as an incumbent governor is much easier than doing it as a state representative seeking statewide office for the first time.

Bentley filed a campaign finance report Tuesday night showing he took in $422,500 in contributions in his first month of fundraising for his re-election campaign. He had raised about $15,500 at the same point four years ago, when he was a little-known state representative from Tuscaloosa running in the Republican primary with six other candidates.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced he will seek a second term.

The 70-year-old Republican governor put to rest Tuesday any speculation about his future plans.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard says he has no plans to run against Bentley.

Bradley Byrne, who finished second to Bentley in the GOP race in 2010, says he hasn't decided what he will do in 2014. Tim James, who finished a close third, says he's not running now, but you never say never in politics.