Target: Alabama Governor, Robert Bentley
Goal: Stop a mansion renovation project and return the money to the oil spill fund.
BP gave the Alabama government $25 million to clean up the Gulf Coast oil spill back in 2010. However, Governor Robert Bentley decided to use $1.8 million of that fund to renovate a governor’s retreat mansion on the beach, which was damaged by a hurricane in 1997. The governor cannot seek another term in office so he isn’t making any apologies, and that has sparked a debate. Why is a state that is short on cash supporting the renovation of a mansion used only by governors?
State Auditor Jim Zeigler has stated that this is yet another example of Alabama’s poor use of their money. It isn’t the first time they take money meant for something else to fund a pet project; Alabama’s government tried to use BP’s oil spill fund to build a new hotel and conference center. Governor Bentley has defended the project by claiming that the money is leftover from the BP fund. He claims to only want to use the mansion for official business and forcefully denies Zeigler’s assertion on Facebook that he only seeks to upgrade the mansion after losing two beach homes in his divorce. Zeigler argues that the money can be used for more important matters, instead of being wasted on a mansion that hasn’t been touched in years.
Sign the petition below to take action against this plan and to demand that the money is put to better use.
Dear Governor Bentley,
There are better projects to fund instead of this mansion renovation project, including the actual reason for the money: cleaning up the BP oil spill. The mansion has not been used in many years and is not a priority when it comes to government. The million dollars required to renovate the mansion could instead be distributed to other aspects of the government, even if you don’t want to use it to clean up beaches, aquatic life, and ocean water quality. You could instead increase the education fund so that schools no longer have to cut programs from their curriculum. The money could be sent to help out the poorer sides of town, or can be used to build homeless shelters. The possibilities are endless with 1.8 million dollars.
Your state already has a reputation of wrongfully taking money from projects that need it to fund private projects. This is evident when your government attempted to use some of the BP funds to build a new hotel and conference center. Instead of building new ones, just put some money into the existing ones. If the funds are truly leftovers of the original BP clean up fund, please use that money wisely and use it to help the general public, not to help your fellow politicians gain another mansion they can relax in.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jay Reeves