Government affairs or an orgy of greed and corruption?

July 24, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

How much food and booze does it take to wash away embarrassment and shame? Is money the seductive elixir that so easily chills honest introspection, that allows our State’s leaders to dine freely on the spoils of corruption?

In August, many of the State’s top leaders will embark on an annual pilgrimage to Point Clear for the Business Council of Alabama’s (BCA) Governmental Affairs Conference.

Even though several BCA board members and its CEO, Billy Canary, were deeply involved in some of the schemes related to former Speaker Mike Hubbard’s conviction on 12 felony counts of public corruption, many State lawmakers, Supreme Court Justices, and the current Attorney General will be on hand at the BCA affair to pay homage to the lords of business. It is surprising that so many so-called public servants willingly feast at a table set by Canary and paid for by those who hope to use the guests for political gains. But perhaps they see Canary as a kind of  King Ferrante I of Naples who kept his people in submission and many of his enemies killed and mummified so that he could dine with them in peace.

What does this say about the integrity of these so-called public servants? Can an elected official eat at a table provided by those who according to the Hubbard trial sought to “buy the Speaker of the House” and serve in the House at the same time?

As scripture teaches, “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” — Book of Proverbs (KJV) 26:11.

Can the State Justices partake of the BCA’s riches and hospitality and remain impartial under the law?

Is the public to believe this is an educational experience and not merely a political buffet to fatten the bellies and egos of our State’s office holders? Isn’t it the wining and dining that leads to a roll in the sheets?

Canary, as head of BCA, has turned that once proud association into little more than a whorehouse for political elites and wannabes.

Canary and his kind put the “Affair” in government conferences. Psychology Today says, “an affair means you’re living a lie in some form… but if you fool yourself about the reasons for your affair and what it may set in motion, you can squander irreplaceable years, trapped within illusions and rationalizations.”

Sound familiar?

This passage is followed by the consequences: “When it all comes crashing down, loneliness and emptiness may be all that remains.”

Recently Canary had his underlings call several State lawmakers to uninvite them the summer gathering because they dared vote for the Autism bill that helps parents aid children with this debilitating malady.

After APR had reported on the uninvited, we received an email asking, “If you have to do something a certain way to get invited to the BCA conference, does conference attendance not then become a quid pro quo gratuity or thing of value?”

That would be a good question for Ethics Director Tom Albritton. Wonder if he’s invited?

BCA’s Senior Vice President for Communications, Nancy Hewston, recently told Yellowhammer News no one was uninvited calling our reports “Fake News.”

“The implication that our guest list was developed solely on one issue is false, and anyone who writes that is promoting fake news,” said Hewston.  “Let me be clear – no one was uninvited from this event.”

Hewston, it appears, like her boss Canary, has a rare relationship with the truth, in that it’s seldom used. Or perhaps she holds it in such high regard that she thinks it is too precious to be wasted on the public.

Hewston, also informed Yellowhammer—once Hubbard’s chosen forum for his news—”[W]e are proud that this annual event has such widespread interest and appeal.”

Former Attorney General Luther Strange was unwelcome at BCA events once his team began to investigate Hubbard. So what does it say about Strange’s replacement Steve Marshall who is not only a welcome guest he will also be a principal speaker at the BCA’s breakfast soiree, sponsored by Alliance for Alabama’s Infrastructure. And what is the Alliance for Alabama’s Infrastructure? It’s sleekly designed website claims it is a non-profit, which is focused on developing the State’s infrastructure. Oddly, its board is comprised of several individuals who could potentially profit personally from legislation funding of infrastructure projects.

Its web address is alabamaroads.org, and there are plenty of road builders and their partner’s listed on the site. Wonder if any of them deal in Astro-turf? A search of the Secretary of State’s records doesn’t return an Alabama Roads or Alliance for Alabama’s Infrastructure. Perhaps it’s listed some other way. What is evident from the nonprofit’s website is that BCA is playing a prominent role in this alliance.

Canary was very cross with Speaker Mac McCutcheon for not pushing through a gas tax for infrastructure. Was the Speaker uninvited? I doubt it.

BCA is the 800-pound gorilla for now, but it is as stinky and unruly as any wild beast. But is there anyone willing to bring it to heel?

There are those honest souls in Montgomery and Washington DC that are fighting for a change of leadership at BCA. There are a few who have no appetite for Canary tainted delights.

Hubbard, Canary, and former Gov. Bob Riley have feasted at an orgy of greed and corruption for years; this Summer’s BCA affair is just the scraps from their table.

Perhaps it is they who should be seated around King Ferrante’s table.

APR hopes to obtain a list of attendees for publication.

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