Judge Walker Issues Late Night Order on Coleman Tapes

March 14, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Despite Baron Coleman’s assurances to Judge Jacob Walker III, that he would not release taped conversations between he and Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart, the judge issued a protective order barring him from disseminating them publicly, then hours later he issued an amended version which included Coleman’s statements to the court in a closed hearing.

Coleman told the court he secretly recorded conversations between he and Hart and that he “put two and two together,” and now claims the tapes may show prosecutorial misconduct in the felony case against Speaker Mike Hubbard.
Read More

Coleman Ordered to Turn Over Secret Recordings

March 10, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Attorney and radio talk show host, Baron Coleman, has been ordered to turn over secret recordings to the trial Judge in the felony corruption case of Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Coleman, said he has recorded the Attorney General’s Chief of the Special Prosecutions Unit, Matt Hart, and perhaps others without their knowledge.

Order for Coleman

Judge Jacob Walker, III, on Wednesday, ordered Coleman to turn over all tape recordings he has claimed show Grand Jury leaks. Coleman alleges to have been given some Grand Jury information, illegally. Coleman has also told the court he “concluded” and “put two and two together,” to accuse Hart, of giving him secret Grand Jury information.
Read More

Insiders Claim Governor Asked Chief Lawman to Lie to Attorney General

March 3, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Politcal Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Insiders privy to meetings between Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier and Gov. Robert Bentley claim, the Governor asked Collier to tell the State’s Attorney General’s Office that an investigation into Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart was on going, when it was not.

Bentley’s conversation with Collier was due to an investigation into allegations made by attorney and radio host, Baron Coleman, that he concluded that Hart had improperly share Grand Jury information with him. This resulted in an affidavit from Collier and Special Agent Jack Wilson, stating the Coleman allegations against Hart had no merit.
Read More

Hubbard Takes Revenge on More Critics

February 1, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—By now, most are aware that Speaker Mike Hubbard, in a fit of petty retribution, removed Rep. Phil Williams (R-Monrovia) from the chairmanship of the House Technology and Research Committee, replacing him with perceived Hubbard loyalist, Rep. Donnie Chesteen. But, Williams is not the only lawmaker Hubbard punished last week for not showing him unquestioning loyalty.

Most know Hubbard also removed Rep. Ed Henry from the House, Ways and Means Education Committee, replacing him with Rep. Jim Patterson. Henry has been an outspoken critic of Hubbard, and has even dared a face to face showdown with him.
Read More

Williams, Henry Deny Seeking Democrat’s Support

January 29, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— Two Republican State Representatives deny accusations they were recruiting Democrats in an effort to oust Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Rep. Phil Williams (R-Madison) hasn’t made a secret of his campaign to replace Hubbard, neither has Rep. Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) denied his support for Williams.

phil-williamsChuck Dean (al.com) recently reported, “The effort by some Republicans to oust House Speaker Mike Hubbard has them crossing party lines, seeking the votes of Democrats and offering their old political rivals incentives to help them unseat one of the most influential Republicans in the State.”
Read More

Dishonest Brokers

December 29, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Opinion

In an al.com report by Mike Cason, Ethics Director, Tom Albritton, carefully worded his response regarding the resignation of Commission Vice Chair, V. Larkin Martin. Eight hours after this publication release its story on Martin.

(In a phone conversation with Cason, he admitted he had first learned of the story by reading alreporter.com, but said he didn’t feel he needed to give us credit for breaking the story, because he just took the idea, not the words. This is not the first time Cason, or other so-called journalists have copied our work without attribution.)
Read More

Court Filing Show Cozy Relationship With Reporters

March 24, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter 

MONTGOMERY—Recently filed court documents in the Speaker Mike Hubbard felon case show that Hubbard and his attorney privately met with reporters on the day of his indictment to encourage favorable reporting after his arrest.

According to the State’s prosecution, Chuck Dean of al.com and AP reporter Kim Chandler previously of al.com, met with Hubbard and his criminal defense attorney J. Mark White on the day of his arrest and reported Hubbard’s allegations of political witch hunt and denials of wrong doing.
Read More

Kennedy Out But His Words Ring True

February 23, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

According to a Facebook post by Veronica Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Joey Kennedy has been fired from the Alabama Media Group.

“For those of you who haven’t heard: My husband, Joey Kennedy, was fired by Alabama Media Group on Thursday for being ‘too personally involved’ in covering his beat and for ‘threatening sources’ wrote Mrs. Kennedy wrote of her husband’s fate.

For years Kennedy has been pilloried over of his left-leaning columns. But, it was his refusal to tailor his message to fit nicely into the every growing echo chamber of faux right-wing talking points that led to his declining voice on the pages of the Birmingham News and al.com.
Read More

Media Silence Is The Key To Hubbard’s Survival

January 27, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In what universe do we find Liberal Democrats from New York calling for the indicted speaker of the General Assembly to step down from his leadership post and so-called Southern Republican Conservatives doing just the opposite? Welcome to the “Brave New World: Politics of the Absurd.”

Last week, Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the New York Assembly, was indicted on five counts of public corruption. Silver, a democrat, is considered the most power politico in the Empire State. Within days of his indictment he has been forced to step down as the head to the State’s General Assembly.

Here in the Heart of Dixie, the bastion of conservative law and order, they held a pep rally for Speaker Mike Hubbard, after he was charged with 23 felony counts of public corruption.

What do the Northern Democratic elite know that Southern Republican elite do not? Perhaps a better question is, what do New York Democrats fear that Alabama Republicans do not?

New York Democrats fear the press. Alabama politicians fear the press too, but here in Dixie, the press has been practically silent. Within hours of Silver’s arrest, the New York Times called for Silver to resign from the New York Assembly.

(See article here.)

The Times editorial board wrote, “In New York’s sleazy political world, where fairly obvious corruption is not just tolerated but encouraged by ethics laws that barely deserve the name, Mr. Silver does not have to relinquish his power even temporarily. That, in fact, is something he should have done two years ago…”

The Poughkeepsie Journal editorial board shared the same theme, as did the New York Daily News and others. The News board wrote, “They got the bastard. So say the feds. Presumption of innocence granted, it was a pleasure to see Sheldon Silver in handcuffs, for his offenses against New Yorkers have long been criminal. As Assembly speaker, Silver has practiced gangster rule fit for a Mafia social club without the guns and goons. Cross him and you were dead politically. Pay tribute and you prospered—if he felt like it.”

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle editorial board said, “No matter how you regard New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, his arrest Thursday on corruption-related charges is a potential disaster for the smooth functioning of the Legislature.”

The editorial board at syracuse.com opined, “It should go without saying that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver— charged Thursday with taking millions of dollars in graft—must resign from that job. He’s politically crippled, ethically bankrupt and supremely unfit to lead.”

(See article here.)

Please note that these editorial boards did not ask just for Silver to step down temporarily as Speaker, they called for him to resign.

Interestingly, syracuse.com is owned by the same company as al.com, and this may illustrate the problem most clearly.

Here in Alabama, only the Alabama Political Reporter and the Dothan Eagle has called for Hubbard to step down.

(See article here.)

The Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and the Press Register are all represented by al.com, and their editorial board has been timid when it comes to Hubbard. The Anniston Star: quiet. The Decatur Daily: nothing. The Gadsden Times, well, silent. 

John Archibald and Josh Moon have made some serious jabs at the farce surrounding Hubbard but the full force of their news organizations has been absent. 

In Alabama, the Fourth Estate has been cowed by Hubbard and comprised by his attorney J. Mark White. For over two years, White and Hubbard lied to the media about the State’s investigation into Hubbard’s wrong doing. (Is this not an excellent reason to distrust every word that comes from their mouths?) Yet, reporters still cover their spin as if it were gospel. White even makes sure that certain reporters are given Hubbard’s legal motions even before the State prosecutors see them.

Alabama news outlets are running on a treadmill while the Grim Reaper gains ground, and the very reason is not the decline in readership, per se, but the absence of courage and integrity to stand up and fight. That attracts loyal readers.

In New York, Democrats control the government. They called for the all-powerful Democratic speaker to resign. Add to that, the same call from the press, and Silver had to, at least, relinquish his leadership roll in the Assembly. Here in Alabama, the press is as silent as the grave, and this is why Hubbard remains Speaker.

The editorial boards of Alabama’s leading publicans remain quiet at this time of great political crisis. They are the ones who are supposed to represent the people of our State, calling for justice and pointing a finger at corruption. But, with lips sealed and hands buried deep in their pockets, they let the corrupt run amok without so much as a peep.

The press is what New York Democrats fear, but in Alabama, the Republicans know a majority of them will be as silent as lambs.

 

Beware: You Are Next

November 19, 2014

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Read More

© Copyright 2017 Alabama Political Reporter