State House

Florida Lawmaker Quits Over Use of Racial Slurs

Florida state Sen. Frank Artiles (R), “who unleashed an expletive-laden rant over drinks with two other lawmakers this week, uttering a racial slur for black people and other vulgarities, resigned from his position on Friday,” the New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, the Miami Herald reports Artiles has come under scrutiny for listing a former Hooters “calendar girl” and a Playboy model as a “consultant” in his latest campaign finance filings.

Florida Lawmaker Refers to Colleagues as ‘Niggas’

Florida state Sen. Frank Artiles (R) dropped the n-word to a pair of African-American colleagues in private conversation Monday night — after calling one of them a “fucking asshole,” a “bitch” and a “girl,” the Miami Herald reports.

Artiles later apologized: “In an exchange with a colleague of mine in the Senate, I unfortunately let my temper get the best of me. There is no excuse for the exchange that occurred and I have apologized to my Senate colleagues and regret the incident profusely.”

Christie Angling for a Comeback

Politico: “The New Jersey governor remains one of the country’s most unpopular executives, after a dismal year in which two allies were sentenced to prison, the state’s credit rating continued to drop, and his White House dreams were conspicuously dashed by Donald Trump.”

“But Christie, entering into the last eight months in office, often seems happier and more focused than at any point since the Bridgegate scandal broke, several people close to him say. He is again taking on an ambitious agenda in New Jersey, trying to buttress and shape his once-enviable legacy.”

“And he is enjoying significant influence in Trump’s world, spearheading a new national anti-addiction effort, talking to the president several times per week, and recently spending much of two days in the Oval Office advising Trump.”

Video Causes GOP to Pull Support from Candidate

“The video clip is just 10 seconds long, but it was enough to cause Cape May County Republicans to pull support from the candidate they had endorsed for Assembly in what was supposed to be one of the most competitive districts in the state,” Politico reports.

Said Brian McDowell (R): “Let me tell you right now. You should fuck me. It would really be good. Listen, you never know.”

GOP Lawmaker Compares Lincoln to Hitler

North Carolina state Rep. Larry Pittman (R) said in a Facebook post that President Abraham Lincoln was a “tyrant” similar to Germany’s Adolf Hitler, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

A commenter reminded Pittman that the Supreme Court ruling settled the law on gay marriage and that the lawmaker should “get over it.”

Pittman’s response: “And if Hitler had won, should the world just get over it? Lincoln was the same sort of tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional.”

America’s Most and Least Popular

A new series of Morning Consult polls finds that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is America’s most popular senator, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) held his spot as the least popular.

Among governors, New Jersey’s Chris Christie (R) is the least popular, while Republicans in traditionally blue states — Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland — are the most popular.

Bentley Takes Plea Deal and Resigns

Embattled Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) “agreed to a deal that forced him to resign the office of governor, plead guilty to two misdemeanors and agree to never again to hold public office,” the Birmingham News reports.

“The extraordinary agreement, hammered out over the weekend and throughout the day… requires Bentley to repay the state for misused funds and perform community service. In response, the state attorney general’s office will not pursue other felonies against Bentley, including those referred for prosecution last week by the Alabama Ethics Commission.”

“Whether the governor faces jail time on the misdemeanors – which are technically punishable by as much as a year in prison – is left to the judge who will sentence him. It is unlikely he will serve time.”

Bentley Expected to Resign as Alabama Governor

“It Is becoming clear that Robert Bentley (R) will not last the week as governor,” the Birmingham News reports.

“Sources in Montgomery say his lawyers have been involved in negotiations to step down from the governorship and plead to lesser charges, allowing Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey to step up as governor.”

“Sources believe he will resign the governorship by Wednesday.”

The Daily Beast has a good summary of the evidence against Bentley.

Alabama Supreme Court Allows Impeachment to Proceed

The Alabama Supreme Court “allowed the impeachment of Governor Robert Bentley to start next week, staying a temporary restraining order from a lower court that had blocked hearings,” Reuters reports.

“Bentley, a Republican, has been battling impeachment efforts over the last year related to political fallout from his relationship with a former aide.”

Bentley Adviser Sought DMV Closures in Black Counties

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s (R) former top advisor and secret paramour Rebekah Mason “led a politically-motivated effort in 2015 to close 31 driver’s license offices in mostly black counties, a move that embarrassed the state and was later reversed,” the Birmingham News reports.

“Mason’s role was highlighted in a 131-page report released Friday by the investigator leading impeachment efforts against Gov. Bentley, a report largely focused on the relationship between Mason and Bentley.”

Bentley Sues to Stop Impeachment

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) “simultaneously sued to block potential impeachment proceedings and apologized to voters Friday, assuring them he has done nothing illegal and vowing to stay in office in the face of a sex-tinged scandal,” the AP reports.

“The governor’s defiance comes at the end of particularly difficult week. Calls for Bentley’s resignation have grown, and he learned he could face criminal prosecution after the Alabama Ethics Commission found probable cause that he broke ethics and campaign law.”

Donald Trump Jr. for Governor?

Donald Trump Jr. “wants to run for political office, telling members of an elite gun club that he could set his sights on becoming governor of New York,” the New York Post reports.

Said one guest: “Don Jr. said he is interested in running for office, such as governor of New York, but the position of mayor of New York would be less interesting to him.”

Trump himself reportedly said: “Going back to doing deals is boring after 18 months. The politics bug bit me.”