01 Sep 2014
By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
The Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard needs your money.
Now, more than ever, the Speaker is desperate for cold, hard cash, after spending almost a million dollars on his reelection campaign and almost $200K from his personal campaign account to pay legal fees.
Currently, Hubbard has around $55,000 in his principle campaign account, not enough to pay his white collar criminal defense lawyer, J.Mark White. Hubbard’s Storming the Statehouse PAC has less than $10,000, a far cry from the millions he had once predicted for his “incumbent protection plan.” So, he needs more money and a lot more than a fist full of dollars.
On Thursday, September 4, at 11:30, Hubbard will be holding a pricy fundraiser to replenish the empty coffers of his Storming the State House PAC.
This may explain why over the last two weeks the persistent rumor around Montgomery is, that Hubbard, Bob Riley and Luther Strange have cut a deal with W. Van Davis and Matt Hart to drop the investigation into possible criminal actions perpetrated by Hubbard and his cronies.
The rumor—which is not new—is that Davis and Hart have agreed to end the investigation for the “good of the Republican party.” The idea that Davis and Hart would agree to turn a blind eye to crime for the sake of the ALGOP is laughable.
This rumor could not be further from the truth. Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of the character of Davis and Hart knows that these men would never end an investigation for political reasons.
But as usual, Hubbard and Riley think they can lie, cheat and steal their way to victory. In this case, the short-term goal is to lighten the wallets of big donors who are complicit or too afraid not pay tribute to the Alabama’s little Caesars.
Hubbard needs money now, while he prays that Riley and others can apply pressure to the State’s Supreme Court to toss-out the entire Grand Jury proceedings in Lee County.
Moore’s attorneys are arguing that W. Van Davis was improperly appointed “Special Attorney General,” and the proceedings of the Lee County Grand Jury are illegitimate. Therefore, the case against Moore, and by extension Hubbard, is void.
According to the revision made to Moore's motion, the Supreme Court has agreed to “decide fundamental constitutional issues affecting the jurisdiction of the 'special grand jury'... and the extraordinary recusal by the Attorney General of Alabama."
Moore’s attorney, Bill Baxley, is once again trying an argument that was thoroughly rejected by Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob A.Walker III in June.
The deadline for a reply to the Supreme Court in this matter passed on August 20.
It is also being bantered about that big donors like “Yellow Feller” Jimmy Rane, who owns Great Southern Wood and is also President Pro Tempore of the Auburn University Board of Trustees, are putting pressure on Big Luther as well as members of the State’s Supreme Court.
A year ago, while at the dedications of the Mike Hubbard Center at Auburn University, Rane said of the investigation into Hubbard’s suspected criminal activities, “ I know that Lee County has a good man… if a fistfight breaks out, give me a call.”
Rane is rumored to have recently appeared before the Lee Grand Jury. It is not known if he challenged Davis or Hart to a fistfight, but those who are close to Hubbard’s inner circle claim that Rane is fighting with big bags of money.
Is it possible that a court led by Chief Justice Roy Moore could be so easily influenced by a promise of campaign contributions or a threat to withhold the same? Has justice become so corrupt in the State as to believe that justice can be bought and sold for filthy lucre. Has politics so undermined the courts that they are little more that a corrupt and rotting corpse?
Would Supreme Court Justices Lyn Stuart, Michael F. Bolin, Tom Parker, Glenn Murdock, Greg Shaw, James Allen Main, Alisa Kelli Wise and Tommy Bryan stoop so low as to gather 30 pieces of silver at the feet of Hubbard, Riley or Rane?
Hubbard and Riley seem to always need more money. But, surely the High Court cannot be bought with fear or bribes?
Hubbard wants more money and the big mules and lobbyists will line up with their bankrolls.
Let’s pray it is the last time for the sake of justice in our State.
06 Aug 2014
By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Report
The time has come for Rep. Mike Hubbard to resign as Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives.
Since his days as Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party until now, Hubbard has presided over a profane orgy of greed and corruption. He has practiced the worst form of crony capitalism, erecting a patronage system, worthy of a third-world despot. Hubbard has sold legislation to the highest bidder, accepted bribes, embezzled funds and ruled over the House Caucus like a mad king.
Hubbard’s leadership has brought about a catastrophic breakdown in the rule of law, leading to the odious decay of moral order within the halls of the State House. Hubbard’s ethical ambiguity and narcissistic behavior has created a government where only an elite few profit from a system of patronage and graft.
His hired and elected henchmen stalk the halls of the State House like a roaming gang of bandits, taking what they want without regard for what is best for our State. He has colluded with business interests and lobbyists to forge a shadowy coalition which ensures more profit for the wealthy, while guaranteeing ever dismissing returns for the poor and working class.
Thanks to the testimony of disgraced lawmaker, Greg Wren, the public learned how Hubbard sold legislation to benefit his clients. From the felony indictments of Rep. Barry Moore, it has been made known that Hubbard threatened to destroy economic development just to win an election. The audit of the ALGOP shows how Hubbard embezzled money from his own party, passing hundreds of thousand of dollars through a third party back to his own business interests.
And now, the current revelation that even the Republican State Leadership Committee, believes that Hubbard has crossed too many lines to be trusted.
He has used over $200,000 in campaign contributions to illegally pay his white collar defense team. This money is coming from corporations, lobbyists and wealthy individuals who have business before the State Legislature.
Hubbard is a lawless thug, who has and will continue to embarrass the Republican Party and the State of Alabama. It is time for honorable lawmakers like Sen. Richard Shelby, Sen Jeff Sessions and the Congressional delegation, along with Governor Robert Bentley, to call for Hubbard to stand down.
Considering his impending indictment, if Hubbard is allowed to remain Speaker, it will forever be a blemish on the good character of our best men and women.
It is often said that for evil to prevail, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing.
Mike Hubbard, must go.
05 Jun 2014
By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Many people had hoped that Tuesday’s Republican primary would be a day of reckoning for Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and his cronies.
Hubbard won his election with under 3000 votes in a District that has over 20,000 voters. A very small percentage of the people in his district actually voted for the proclaimed, “most powerful man in Alabama politics.”
Even with the help of former Gov. Bob Riley, US Congressman Mike Rogers and BCA Chief Billy Canary going door-to-door on his behalf, Hubbard received less votes than almost any other legislator running in the primary.
This does not sound like an all powerful man or a sixteen year incumbent. This is a man barely hanging on to his job.
After his win, Hubbard crowed to the press that the Lee County Grand Jury investigations were just a distraction, used by his rivals, insisting that he was innocent. Hubbard, said, "Obviously, I can't go too much into it, and they know that I can't go too much into it...But it's all political and designed to affect this election. Hopefully this will send a pretty clear message to those folks as well."
“Those folks,” are Attorney General Strange, Van Davis, and Matt Hart. He wants them to believe that he is all powerful.
A few thousand votes may win an election, but that doesn’t make him more powerful than our justice system. No man is above the law.
On Tuesday, Hubbard lost 6 House seats that belonged to his loyal confederates. This included Rep. Charles Newton of Greenville, Rep. Kurt Wallace of Chilton County, Rep. Bill Roberts of Jasper, Rep. Richard Baughn of Walker County, Rep Wayne Johnson of Madison County and another Hubbardite Rep. Mac Buttram of Cullman is in a run-off. Additionally Republican Issac Whorton of Valley beat the speaker’s hand-picked candidate Randy Price to replace incumbent Rep. DuWayne Bridges.
These losses, coupled with a growing dissatisfaction among incumbents, could cost Hubbard his Speaker’s gavel.
Many of the House legislators first elected in 2010, have appeared before the Grand Jury in Lee County. Surely some of them no longer feel a loyalty to Hubbard.
His arrogance in staring down the State’s Attorney and his appointed prosecutors cannot sit well with the men and women charged with upholding the laws of our State.
Perhaps there are more than a few legislators that are fed-up with Hubbard’s arrogance, bullying and using his office for personal gain. There is no reason to believe that Strange, Davis or Hart will shrink from their duty. And there is no reason to think that all House members still labor under Hubbard’s spell.
I would like for all of the men and women who fought hard to defeat Hubbard in Tuesday’s primary to remember the Alamo.
After a 13 day siege, Mexican troops, under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna, launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas). Santa Anna and his forces cruelly slaughtered all the combatants defending the Alamo, including Jim Bowie, William Travis and Davy Crockett. All seemed lost at the Battle of the Alamo but something happened. A cry went out from the Alamo and Texas settlers and men from all over the country came to seek revenge for Santa Anna’s arrogance and cruelty.
On April 21, 1836, the army raised after the Alamo, defeated Santa Anna’s troops at the Battle of San Jacinto, ending the revolution. Hubbard, may have won a small victory on Tuesday, but he is not the most powerful man in State politics.
Gov. Bentley could have Speaker Hubbard removed at anytime. All Bentley would have to do is call each House member to his office and say, I am the Governor, I can use the powers of my office and my good will to help you serve your District, or I can use it against you. I prefer to be of help, but I want a Speaker who will help me make our State better and Hubbard is not that man. The Governor could then state the name of his choice.
Hubbard is a thug, Bentley is a good man, and it is time for the good man to put his foot down and remove the thug. Or, he can wait around and let Matt Hart and Van Davis do it for him. But it would be encouraging to see the Governor lead.
Yes, there was a message Tuesday night: Hubbard is weak. It is time for brave men and women to stand up and remove him as Speaker of the House.
Tuesday the good people of Alabama lost a battle...but let’s not forget the lesson of The Alamo.
07 Jul 2014
By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—William Mulholland has survived twenty-one years in both State and Federal prisons, and is now using his experience to help prepare those who are about to enter the correctional system.
Mulholland is the author of, Prison Etiquette "The real guide and secret codes to living and surviving in prison.” He also operates a prison consulting firm that offers instruction on how to mentally and physically survive incarceration:
"Everything in prison is violence. Everything you do. EVERYTHING. Yet, it is absolutely possible to avoid. When you know the system, it is possible to not get encompassed in violence." says Mulholland.
The investigation into possible criminal wrong doing by Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard has already led to the conviction of disgraced former State Representative Greg Wren, R-Montgomery and the arrest of Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, who is facing serious jail time if convicted on four felony counts of making false statements and perjury.
Wren avoided prison by turning State's evidence, offering to be a witness for the State against Hubbard and his alleged accomplices. However, Wren is believed to be the only lawmaker who will receive such a sweetheart deal; others, if convicted, may face imprisonment in a State penitentiary.
According to Mulholland, prisons operate on a certain set of rules. There is a set code of conduct. If the rules are understood and obeyed, then a prisoner is more likely to survive. If the code of conduct is broken, danger lurks at every turn.
“I teach. I don’t sell fear...I educate people on fear. Violence is brought on by a person doing harm, for the most part. But some people don’t know they are causing harm or breaking the code at first until it is too late,” Mulholland told Richard Dool in an article for HLN.
Mulholland points out that even a small infraction such as walking on the wrong side of the hall or walking on a freshly mopped floor can lead to a violent confrontation. “You might bump into a guy and get stabbed because you didn’t say excuse me. If a guy is mopping a floor, that is his floor. If you walk across his wet floor that he just cleaned that could be a problem,” Mulholland said.
Men like Moore and Hubbard have led soft lives of privilege and they are not conditioned to endure the strict code of conduct that rules the dark world of the State prison system.
Respect underlies much of the prisoner’s code, and disrespect is a quick way to earn punishment from other inmates. Men like Hubbard and Moore have a history of disrespecting those they consider inferior; an attitude that will set-in-motion violent retribution behind bars.
Many who work in security at the State House have incurred the wrath of both Hubbard and Moore. Moore has, on several occasions, shown utter disrespect and hostility toward police officers who were simply doing their job. This type of behavior in a prison setting could certainly lead to a very unpleasant stay for Moore. A legislative badge doesn’t frighten a convict or a corrections officer.
As for Hubbard, he might find it difficult to bully convicts the way he has lawmakers, the press and others. Hubbard would find his power to intimidate sorely lacking against the hardened men at a state correction facility.
Mulholland says there are goldfish and there are piranhas in prison. On the outside, Hubbard is used to being the big fish, but in lockdown, he would just be some new chum.
Alabama’s prisons are some of the worst in the nation; the most overcrowded and underfunded. Hubbard, has overseen the funding for the State’s prisons and has given only lip service to its reform. Perhaps as an inmate he would have more regard for the humanity of prisoners.
But, felons can’t vote, much less be Speaker of the House.
03 Jun 2014
By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Today’s election may be a dark day for our State or a bright, new beginning for all our people.
The future of Alabama may be reflected in the attitude of current Gov. Robert Bentley or that of former Gov. Bob Riley.
Riley, who now serves as a lobbyist for some of the most powerful outside groups, hoping to make billions of dollars off our State, stands in stark contrast to Gov. Bentley, who wants to create a better tomorrow for all Alabamians.
A clear difference between the two mens' visions can be seen in the Senate District 8 race. Riley has been campaigning hard for new comer Steve Livingston, R-Scottsboro, while our current Gov. Bentley has endorsed State Rep. Todd Greeson, R-Ider. Both men are running for the Senate seat vacated by Sen. Shadrack McGill.
Greeson, a long serving Republican Representative, is being opposed by Riley and Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, because he dared to challenge Riley’s massive tax increase and because he is anti-Common Core and pro-public education.
Livingston, an unknown entity, has received thousands of dollars in contributions, not only from Riley and the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), but from groups that hope to expand charter schools and voucher programs in the State.
Greeson is a pro-life, NRA conservative, who dared cross swords with Riley and Hubbard. His opponent has received the backing of a San Francisco billionaire, who would like to see Alabama become the poster child for Common Core and privatized education.
While Greeson, like Bentley, is social conservative who wants prosperity for all, Livingston has aligned himself with the powerful business interests who see our citizens as grist for the money mill.
Riley stands to make millions from privatized education, once again trading on his name, power and influence to enrich himself and his family; a very bright contrast to Bentley who does not even take a salary from the State.
So concerned are Riley and Hubbard about their loss of power, that yesterday Riley was in Auburn going door to door for Hubbard reelection campaign. Since when does a former governor knock on doors for a candidate?
Of course if Hubbard were to lose, Riley would see his own power reduced to a state of ruin.
These men are so covetous of wealth and power that they would sell our State to the highest bidder.
Today will not just be a vote for a set of candidates, but for the future of Alabama and the ALGOP.
Yesterday a friend of mine, Connie Norris, took to Facebook to post the following:
“Today will be one of the darkest days in Alabama history as some forces continue attempts to destroy the chances of good Republican candidates who simply want an opportunity to represent you. Aggressive ads linking every Republican not among their favored to “Obama”, “Liberal Democrats”, and AEA may help them prevail at the polls, yet they’ve lifted the veil exposing themselves, strengthening the bond among a multitude of conservative organizations while adding a host of individuals who had been skeptical about their roles.”
In 2010, Hubbard and Riley along with Del Marsh, recruited a slate of men and women to take over the State House. Many of these 2010 recruits face Republican challengers who have come to believe that Hubbard and his minions have corrupted State government.
The individuals who have shown the courage to challenge the Hubbard/Riley machine, have been tarred with lies and smeared with the worse kind of race-baiting vitriol.
Again I let my friend speak:
“They’ve assaulted Dr. Stan Cooke, a pastor and candidate for lieutenant governor… they have attacked, Sandy Toomer, a former missionary pilot trained at Moody Bible Institute who served God in Ecuador seven years…, they have attacked Tim Sprayberry [placing] the God-honoring Sprayberry in bed with President Obama.”
Connie sees this for what it is: an attempt by corrupt men to destroy any chance our State has for a brighter tomorrow.
Finally, Connie ended her post by saying, “There are many outstanding people who do not have the big money to respond to well-financed assaults against them or to replace signs stolen from roadsides and private property. So go ahead and make our day. They took the State House by storm, and despite the outcome of this election, there is a citizen tsunami on the horizon that will make their storm look like a spring shower.”
So, as you vote today, there is a clear choice between those who would see our State sacked for their personal gain and those who will work for a better home called Alabama.
Choose wisely....our future depends on it.