A curious case of Canarys

July 19, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

It has become common to hear lawmakers say “BCA is the new AEA.” This statement refers to the fact that, under the leadership of convicted felon, former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, the Business Council of Alabama has risen to control the State’s Legislative agenda, much like the Alabama Education Association did in years past.

So egregious is BCA’s CEO Billy Canary’s latest behavior that he is receiving widespread criticism not only in Montgomery but in Washington DC, as well. High-level operatives and agents say Canary is no longer welcome in some Senate and Congressional offices. Lawmaker’s in the Nation’s Capital, as well as Montgomery, are set on isolating him until the BCA Board sees the light.
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Strange bedfellows: Big Luther hires associate of felon Hubbard

December 7, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Attorney General, Luther Strange, sent a statewide press release officially announcing his run for the US Senate. The announcement was hardly a surprise in political circles, as Strange has made his desire to return to the hallowed ground of DC, and the Georgetown cocktail circuit no secret. Many agree he is a senator right out of central casting. But what was a surprise, was the identity of the individual who sent the press statement, who is also listed as the media contact for Strange’s Senate bid.
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Systematic Venality Renders State Government Suspect

October 31, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not Guilty’.”

Corruption is a pervasive reality in all branches of our State government, and our lawmakers and media selectively look away far too often.

In the Executive Branch, Governor Robert Bentley is under investigation by both Federal and State law enforcement.

The Judicial Branch is refusing to unseal court records in the case against Chief Justice Roy Moore.
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Hubbard’s Co-author Receives a New Contract

September 22, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Co-author of convicted felon Mike Hubbard’s vanity fiction, “Storming the State House,” David Azbell continues to draw a taxpayer-funded check from the House Republican Caucus.

Earlier this month, Joint Legislative Contract Review approved a request for Azbell’s services as, “General consulting including constituent communications, written communications, strategic communications and other services,” for the House Majority Caucus.

Azbell’s contracts with the Caucus have brought him hundreds of thousands over the last several years, mainly doing Hubbard’s bidding. House Republican’s speaking on background express shock at Azbell being rehired. One lawmaker said, “If it’s a new day, why are we hiring Hubbard’s old cronies?” These lawmakers also say Azbell never worked for individual members, only Hubbard.
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Lovvorn’s Consultant Linked to Hubbard’s Machine

September 12, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The Republican primary to elect a replacement for disgraced lawmaker and convicted felon Rep. Mike Hubbard will be held on Tuesday.

Jay Conner, Joe Lovvorn, Sandy Toomer and Brett Smith are all in the running to represent District 79, but parts of the former Hubbard machine are pushing Lovvorn toward the winner’s circle.

Not only is Lovvorn receiving four times more money than his closest competitor, his campaign is receiving guidance from Montgomery-based Greystone Consulting.
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Big PAC Money Flows to One Candidate in Race to Replace Hubbard

September 9, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Four candidates are vying for the seat once held by convicted felon, Mike Hubbard in the Republican primary on September 13. The voters of District 79 have yet to pick a candidate, but the well-heeled of Auburn and influential Montgomery PACs have already chosen theirs.

Jay Conner, Joe Lovvorn, Sandy Toomer and Brett Smith are all in the running, but only Lovvorn is winning the “dash for cash” contest.
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Hubbard’s Post-Trial Snoozer

September 4, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

OPELIKA—While searching for any thread of an argument that might lead to a new trial for convicted felon Mike Hubbard—once the most powerful politico in the state—attorney Bill Baxley whined, fretted and accused state prosecutors of blindsiding, bushwhacking and bamboozling his client.

Having written about Hubbard’s misdeeds since late 2012, the courtroom drama ending with his conviction makes Baxley’s latest attempt at the September 2 hearing feel like Hubbard trial 2.0 ad nauseam. Only Baxley’s fantastical leaps of legal logic and strained linguistic gymnastics kept the proceedings remotely interesting. Baxley argued several points, only winning on one issue with Judge Walker’s ruling that Hubbard would not be required to pay $1.125 million in restitution, as the prosecution asked.
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Attorney General Reacts to Hubbard Loyalist’s Plans for Ethics Reform

September 2, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Alabama House Ethics Committee Chairman, Mike Ball (R-Madison), announced his plans (yesterday) to form a commission to review the state’s ethics laws. Ball, a staunch defender of convicted felon and former House Speaker, Mike Hubbard, told WHNT-TV in Huntsville that his committee would “review the State’s Ethics laws and recommend improvements in time for the opening of the Alabama Legislature next year.”

However, just hours after APR published its story on Ball’s plan, Attorney General Luther Strange, sent his comments.  “I am strongly opposed to Rep. Mike Ball’s idea of a commission to review Alabama’s ethics law. The whole point of such a commission would be to undermine the law,” said Strange.  “Alabamians want our ethics laws enforced, not gutted.”
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Felon Hubbard Seeks Friends and Cash

August 22, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Earlier this month, convicted felon and former Alabama Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard, sent an email to “business leader(s)” encouraging then to read his latest motion.

Hubbard writes, “…it very clearly lays out multiple reasons a new trial should be held, explains why the verdict on each charge was incorrect and how it negatively impacts business moving forward.”

Hubbard’s latest email appears to be a continuation of his public relations campaign to influence the public, remain relevant and raise much need cash for his criminal defense.
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Who Will Be McCutcheon’s Wise Counsel?

August 22, 2016

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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