WTVM Editorial 3/23/16: The scandal atop Alabama politics

WTVM Editorial 3/23/16: The scandal atop Alabama politics

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Rebekah Mason, the former Miss Alabama contestant who climbed the political ladder all the way to become Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's Senior Political Advisor, says she plans to continue working for him, even after word of their alleged affair exploded in the news.

The governor apologized for inappropriate comments he made to Mason, some of which were caught on tape, but both of them denied any physical affair.

Think for a moment about Mason's pledge to keep working on Bentley's behalf even as the chaos of the affair allegations swamp them both.

As a Senior Political advisor, she should know enough to realize that will be a nearly impossible chore.

Can the pair really expect to get any real work done during such major personal and professional distractions? It's hard to see how either of them can go back to business as usual now.

She and the governor both appear to be tone deaf to the climate of distrust their actions have created - whether those actions really were sexual or not.

The still-married Mason was quick to claim that the accusations of an affair are nothing more than gender bias because she's a woman, while the divorced governor claims he committed no legal wrongdoing and asks the people of his state to trust him.

No matter how this sad chapter in Alabama politics ends, people like Mason and Bentley, whose credibility depends on trust, seem not to understand that the trust they ask for is only earned by doing the right thing, even when it's difficult.

It's not too much to ask our elected officials and the staff around them, to act professionally and in the public's interest.

When that doesn't happen, the public's trust is already lost.

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General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

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