Want Mike Hubbard on your voicemail?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

What’s a convicted felon to do while out on bond?

If you’re the disgraced felon, and former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, you offer to be “the voice” of products and services. In a letter widely distributed to media companies, Hubbard wrote, “Performing voice-overs for various projects has been one of my favorite and most enjoyable jobs during my career in collegiate sports and broadcasting.”
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Nixonian plots, half-wit schemes

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The scheme to defame the State’s former top law enforcement officer, Spencer Collier, is very similar to the New Jersey “Bridgegate” trial that has seen two of Governor Chris Christies’s allies convicted of using state resources and personnel for political retribution.

Now, an investigation by Senators Gerald Dial and Quintin Ross has discovered that a “dirty tricks” operation used State assets and employees to derail the election of Dr. Craig Pouncey as Alabama’s school superintendent in much the same way.
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We Can’t Expect Change Without Voting For It, Too

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, Joe Lovvorn narrowly prevailed in a field of four candidates for the GOP nomination to fill former Speaker Mike Hubbard’s seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. Hubbard vacated his seat under State law when he was convicted of more felonies than you can count on both hands.

Campaign finance records show that Lovvorn was backed by many of the same high-dollar Montgomery brokers who rolled Hubbard into power.
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Who Will Be McCutcheon’s Wise Counsel?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Last week, intense debate over the lottery bill roiled the Senate Chamber. The State House, especially on the fifth floor, seemed to exude a new confidence; a possibility of change.

Speaker Mac McCutcheon set the tone when he said, “the days of the Imperial Speakership are over” and pledged to reclaim the House of Representatives as the people’s House.

One long-serving staffer observed, “I haven’t seen it this way in years, it’s like it was before people were afraid. People are laughing and enjoying being here again.”
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Anonymous Accusations Against Superintendent Candidate

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Earlier this week, the Alabama Political Reporter asked why the Ethics Commission had inserted itself into the selection process for the next State Superintendent of the Department of Education.

Building upon the investigation into what appears to be a smear campaign against Dr. Craig Pouncey, a candidate for superintendent. New information indicates the Ethics Commission was an unwitting participant in the scheme to derail Pouncey’s candidacy, according to multiple sources.
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Dues Checks-Off Back On

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Now that the Republican supermajority has successfully brought the once powerful Alabama Education Association (AEA) to heel, it appears the organization will, once again, be allowed to deduct membership dues directly from employees paychecks. According to insiders AEA can still lobby and promote public education, but must “certify” that it won’t run “specific candidates” for office.

“Good News! AEA payroll deduction of dues is back by popular demand,” began a letter from AEA Executive Director Dr. Brenda Pike, informing members that beginning in September, dues may be directly paid via payroll deduction.
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Siegelman Says: Not This Lottery

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Seventeen years ago, one Alabama Governor proposed a lottery amendment to the Constitution. It sailed through the Alabama Legislature and went to the people of Alabama who decisively rejected the proposal. Now a new Alabama Governor, Robert Bentley (R), is proposing a new lottery amendment; but that former Governor, Don Siegelman (D), is urging that this new lottery proposal be rejected.

Gov. Siegelman said, “I had been asking the people of Alabama to establish a lottery since 1989. Over and over I pleaded “Every child, regardless of where they are born or to whom, deserve the right to quality education and every child should have the hope and dream of knowing that if they make their grades and stay out of trouble, they’ll be able to go to college free. In 1998 I was elected Governor again calling for an “Education Lottery”. A Georgia style lottery with 100% of the proceeds going into the “Alabama Education Trust Fund”.
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BCA’s Canary Cares About Next Superintendent of Education

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Business Council of Alabama CEO, Billy Canary, and former State Superintendent of Education and current leader of BCA’s education arm, Joe Morton, recently co-authored an Op-Ed in which they pose questions they want answered by the State Superintendent candidates.

Canary and Morton write, “no way are we trying to influence the vote or the final selection…[of State Superintendent]” This is like a hooker telling a John that hard cash will have no bearing on the outcome of their date.
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One of Alabama’s Richest Men has Died

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

One of Alabama’s richest residents, Garry Neil Drummond, died on Wednesday, July 13. The longtime Chairman and CEO of the Drummond Company was 78.

Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) wrote: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Garry Neil Drummond, who passed away today at the age of 78. Garry Neil’s life was an American success story, starting out working for his father in the coal mines of Walker County at age 15 and eventually becoming CEO of the Drummond Company. His extraordinary vision and leadership turned Drummond from a small company providing coal to homes and farms in Alabama into a world-wide leader in energy production. But more than that, Garry Neil devoted himself to his native Alabama, supporting a number of civic and community groups including the Big Oak Ranch, Inc., Boy Scouts of America Greater Alabama Council, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, and the Birmingham Rotary Club, as well as being a long-time member of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees where he was President Pro Tem of the Board. My heart goes out to his wife, Peggy, their four children and extended family. I know that Garry Neil’s influence and presence will be greatly missed.”
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Senator Dial Calls on Board to Ignore Special Interests in Superintendent Selection

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— State Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) sent a letter on Wednesday, cautioning members of the State Board of Education to ignore the corrupting influence of special interest groups and legislators, who are working to influence the appointment of a new Superintendent of Education.

In his letter Dial wrote, “I have read the many comments concerning the process of selecting the next Superintendent of Education. Several stories and articles have surfaced, the fact that Specific individual members of the legislature are trying to discredit one specific candidate by being less than truthful about his qualifications is very troubling to me and others.”
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