Here’s the campaign fund-raising tote board:
Incumbent Gov. Robert Bentley: $2.1 million.
GOP primary challenger Stacy Lee George: $48.
Put another way, Bentley has raised 4,375,000 percent more than his only announced Republican opponent.
Fiscally speaking, Bentley is in rarified air during his re-election campaign; the contest isn’t a contest at all. It’s a whooping. We suppose Democrats will have a candidate on the ballot, though no one knows who it’ll be just yet. Bentley’s early GOP opponents aren’t likely to provide much opposition. And people such as William J. Dore, a Louisiana oilman and backer of former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, are presenting him with handsome checks for his re-election fund.
Dore, campaign finance records show, donated $100,000 to Bentley on Oct. 17, a quarter of the governor’s entire monthly fundraising haul.
Dore may like “the governor’s strong conservative message,” as a Bentley spokeswoman told The Star, but neither Alabama nor its residents is getting its money’s worth thus far from Gov. Shrug.
Consider the governor’s greatest hits:
He has denied health-care coverage to 300,000 Alabamians by refusing to expand Medicaid through a program in which the federal government would pay for an overwhelming portion of the expense. It’s “irresponsible” to turn down the federal money, Retirement Systems of Alabama CEO David Bronner has said. We concur.
He has refused to implement insurance marketplace provisions of the Affordable Care Act, known widely as Obamacare. While other states, such as Kentucky, are bending over backwards to help their residents navigate the online signup for health care insurance, Bentley-guided Alabama is putting up the stop sign.
He signed into law the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, a deplorable piece of legislation that demonized the undocumented and lathered the entire state in the sticky residue of unsightly PR. His signature on that 2011 bill damaged the state’s brand, telling the world that state government here is ruled by indefensible ideology, not facts.
Nearly three years of Bentley leadership has set Alabama on a damaging course. He’s proven adept at fighting Washington, not improving the lives of Alabamians or the state’s good name.
That’s what William J. Dore and those like him are getting for their money.