In “Hail Mary” Hubbard Subpoenas Governor

March 31, 2015

 By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—In what is being described as both a fit of desperation and a Hail-Mary pass, Speaker Mike Hubbard, (R-Auburn) has filed subpoenas for Governor Robert Bentley (R), Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis and the Custodian of Records for the Ethics Commission, according to a filing by the Attorney General’s Office late Monday.

Filing 1, Filing 2

 

Over the last month, Speaker Hubbard, through his criminal defense attorney J. Mark White, has subpoena 17 witnesses for an evidentiary hearing that has not even been granted yet by Lee Count Circuit Court Judge Jacob Walker, III.

 

Court observers speaking on background say that they believe that the Hubbard defense team wants to put the prosecution on trial prior to his felony trial in October.

 

Hubbard has been charged with 23 felony counts of public corruption.

 

One attorney familiar with the case said, “This is a ‘Hail Mary’ by White because he doesn’t have a real defense.”

 

In response to the prosecution’s motion to quash the subpoenas issued to Bentley and others, Judge Walker has ordered a hearing on April 3, 2015 at 1:45 pm in courtroom three of the Lee County Justice Center.

 

The purpose of the hearing is to further discuss issues to be heard on April 15 and 16, 2015, according to Judge Walker’s order.

 

The hearing of April 15 and 16 was to be on motions filed in the case, but Hubbard, in what is described by one attorney as a “fit of desperation,” apparently wants to turn the hearing into a media circus.

 

As for Hubbard’s request to call Gov. Bentley the state argues, “Hubbard’s subpoena… constitutes an improper attempt to obtain discovery to which he is not entitled and to conduct a baseless fishing expedition.”

 

The state contends that Hubbard’s subpoena of Bentley should be quashed because it represents an attempt to usurp this Court’s authority. Prosecutors also say that it violates executive privilege, “It is black-letter law in Alabama that testimony about the performance of a state officer’s official duties is protected from disclosure by executive privilege.”

 

The prosecution also claims that the Bentley subpoena is improper because it seeks information “protected by… deliberative-process privilege, legislative privilege, attorney-client privilege, and work product doctrine.”

Hubbard’s efforts to call Bentley and Davis is seen by legal observers as a last ditch offensive before the scheduled October criminal trial.

 

Lathan Meets With Laura Bush

March 31, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, March 26 former First Lady Laura Bush was in Homewood at Samford University.  Alabama Republican Party Chairwoman Terry Lathan called the wife of former President George W. Bush a, “First Class Lady.”

In a statement on Monday, March, Chairwoman Lathan said, “Speaking of ladies, it was an honor to attend Samford University’s Department of Education’s 100th Year program celebrating the education of Samford teachers. First Lady Laura Bush was the keynote guest speaking to a sold out crowd of 1,800 students, faculty and Laura fans. Along with Jefferson County Republican Executive Chairwoman Sallie Bryant, we enjoyed some great moments listening to Mrs. Bush.”
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Riley Alabama Figure Head for Florida-Owned SGO

March 31, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Federal filings show that an Alabama scholarship granting organization (SGO) is actually a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida nonprofit.

Former Gov. Bob Riley has promoted his Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund (AOSF) as if it were the soul of the State’s Accountability Act. Yet, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Florida-based Step Up For Students, Inc. (SUFS) headed by John T. Kirtley, the godfather of the Sunshine State’s massive and only SGO.
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Hubbard Cries Prosecutorial Misconduct

March 31, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Politcal Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) once again uses complaints from a disgraced Deputy Attorney General to justify dismissal of the felony charges against him.

In his court filing on Monday, Hubbard’s attorney, J. Mark White rehashes a series of complaints filed by former Deputy Attorney General Henry “Sonny” T. Reagan to ask the court to dismiss the case against Hubbard on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.

Hubbard’s attorney uses 123 pages to layout a case of misconduct by Special Attorney General W. Van Davis and Chief of the AG’s White Collar Crime Unit M. Matt Hart.

White claims that the prosecution, the investigation and the Grand Jury have all been tainted. However, the star witness in the complaint is Reagan, who resigned his position at the Attorney General’s Office in lieu of termination. AG Strange described the reason for Reagan’s resignation: “…the fact that Mr. Reagan breached his duty of loyalty to the State of Alabama and this Office, failed to safeguard the confidences of the Office, and violated the trust of his colleagues, all in violation of the policies of this Office and the Rules of the State Personnel Board.”

Hubbard’s team is also basing this motion solely on a man who, according to his boss, “took part in inter-office conversations related to the Special Grand Jury, all the while concealing his simultaneous representation by the criminal defense team.”

We have learned from court records requested by White that Reagan was giving confidential Grand Jury information to Rob Riley and Hubbard as early as 2013.

It is also known that Reagan shared attorneys with not only Hubbard but with Rep. Barry Moore (R- Enterprise), who was accused of lying to the same Grand Jury that indicted Hubbard (Moore was later acquitted).

White also accuses Hart of leaking information to this reporter (not true) as well as John Archibald of al.com.

Hubbard’s “mouthpiece” uses a secretly taped conversation between radio talking-head Leland Whaley and Hart as evidence of leaking confidential information. 

It seems Hubbard just wants to put the prosecution on trial at the April 15, hearing before Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker.

According to the motion, Hubbard’s defense has subpoenaed: Lori Arnold, the Custodian of Records; Charla Doucet; Tim Fuhrman; Claire Haynes; Bill Lisenby, Jr.; Jesse Seroyer; Howard E. Sisson; Luther Strange; Kevin Turner; and Amber Lunceford Turnow to testify.

Stutts Becomes Pariah (Opinion)

March 31, 2015

 

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Newly-minted State Senator Dr. Larry Stutts (R-Sheffield) a OB/GYN wants to keep the government out of the exam room, especially when it comes to the field of women’s health; an area in which he would seem to be qualified.

Many would agree with him that most medical decisions should be between a woman and her doctor, without fear of the government meddling. But, we also want to keep our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives out of the morgue.
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Public Hearing on SB 289 on Monday, April 6

March 31, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Senate Bill 289 would repeal a 1998 law requiring that insurance companies pay for a 48 hour hospital stay following natural child births and longer for caesarian section.  Passage would allow insurance companies to send women and infants home sooner following deliveries and save money.  Critics warn that potential complications could result in potentially some loss of life.

The earlier legislation was sponsored by Sen. Roger Bedford (D from Russellville).  His wife Maudie was a vocal proponent for the 48 hour rule.
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We have to make sure women are getting the care they need

March 31, 2015

by Rep. Darrio Melton 

Expecting a child is one of the most exciting, terrifying and joyous time for a family. An expectant mother usually has a list of questions, plans and preparations to get ready for the big day, but whether she’ll get the appropriate level of care at the hospital shouldn’t have to be on the list with diapers and burp cloths.

But soon, expectant mothers in Alabama might have more to worry about than just bringing a new, healthy baby into the world.
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Code of Honor: What Does it Mean?

March 31, 2015

 

By Larry Sims

To convince Americans to ratify the Constitution, James Madison offered this contribution: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions. Federalist 51.”  
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Zeigler Charges that Public Dollars were Used to Promote Tax Increase

March 31, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, March 31 voters in Baldwin County go to the polls to decide whether or not they want to pay higher taxes to support the Baldwin County School System.  On Monday State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) charged that the Baldwin County School Board has misappropriated existing tax dollars to promote a “yes” vote on their referendum.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler wrote on Facebook, “Over $210,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent by the Baldwin Ct Board of Education pushing the yes vote in this Tuesday’s tax increase referendum in Baldwin County.
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Revisions to Accountability Act Would Keep Riley SGO from Failure

March 30, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Current legislation before the State Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee changes the terms of the Alabama Accountability Act to potentially benefit one particular Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). The primary beneficiary of the revised law would appear to be the Florida-owned SGO led by former Governor Bob Riley (Riley’s SGO is a whole subsidiary of Florida-based Step Up for Students, according to its 990s).
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