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Alabama 'Love Gov' Robert Bentley Not First to Face Recall Attempt

There's a whole bipartisan array of other governors who have been taken to the legislative woodshed for various offenses.
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Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, the conservative Republican accused of carrying on an adulterous affair with a top aide, is not the first governor to face an attempt to boot him from office.

In 2012, Wisconsin's anti-union Republican Gov. Scott Walker survived a recall election.

But California Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, didn't. He was ousted in 2003 in a recall election, paving the way for Austrian muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, to take over in Sacramento.

And there's a whole bipartisan array of other governors who have been taken to the legislative woodshed for various offenses, including disgracing themselves while in office.

Here's the list:

Rod Blagojevich

The helmet-haired Illinois governor was impeached in 2009 on corruption charges and subsequently booted from office. A Democrat from Chicago and one-time "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant, Blagojevich is now serving 14 years in federal prison after he was convicted of trying to sell or trade President Obama's old Senate seat and a raft of other corruption charges.

Evan Mecham

The Arizona Republican was impeached in 1988 after a state grand jury convicted him on six felony charges of fraud, perjury and filing false documents. He tried to thwart a recall election by branding his opponents "a band of homosexuals and dissident Democrats." And during his impeachment trial, Mecham's supporters compared what happened to him to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Henry S. Johnston

The Oklahoma Democrat survived one attempted impeachment but not a second. The first time was in 1928, when he was accused of giving his female secretary too much say in how the state was run. Johnston called in the National Guard to prevent lawmakers from convening, and the state's Supreme Court sided with him. But in 1929, Johnston was impeached for incompetence and ousted from office.

Jack C. Walton

Another Oklahoma Democrat, Walton declared martial law in 1923 when he got wind of an investigation into his office. He was impeached and eventually ousted.

James E. Ferguson

"Pa Ferguson," as he was known in Texas, was impeached in 1917 after he was indicted for embezzlement and other charges. He resigned before he was convicted and was barred from ever holding public office in Texas again.

William Sulzer

Known as "Plain Bill," Sulzer was a Democrat who defied his Tammany Hall backers and tried to turn reformer. For that, he was impeached in 1913 after he was convicted of stealing campaign contributions. Despite that, Sulzer was elected to the New York State Assembly a few weeks later.

David Butler

A Republican and the first governor of Nebraska, Butler was booted after he was found guilty of misusing money from state education fund. But that was not the end of Butler's political career. In 1882, he was elected to the state Senate after the record of his impeachment was expunged.

William W. Holden

Once a pro-slavery North Carolina Democrat, Holden sided with the Union during the Civil War and was appointed governor by President Andrew Johnson. He became a Republican and was elected governor in 1868 and tried to go after the Ku Klux Klan. But after the Democrats regained control of the Legislature, Holden was impeached and bounced from office. Holden was posthumously pardoned in 2011.

Charles Robinson

A Kansas Republican and an abolitionist, Robinson in 1861 became the first governor to be impeached — thanks to the machinations of a political rival. But Robinson was not removed from office and was acquitted of all the charges leveled against him.