Sewell supports pardon for Siegelman

December 22, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Politcal Reporter

US Representative Terri Sewell is calling on President Barack H. Obama to pardon former Governor Don Siegelman (D).

Congresswoman Sewell said in a statement, “I am proud of President Obama’s historic record on clemency, which exemplifies our belief that our Nation is one of second chances. On Monday, President Obama commuted the sentences of 9 Alabamians, including several from the 7th Congressional District. All of these individuals have demonstrated a willingness to make the most of their second chance, through educational courses, vocational training, and drug treatment.”
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Political Revenge, Schemes, Blowback

November 7, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

What do a conviction in New Jersey and a Montgomery Special Grand Jury have in common?

That is a question worthy of consideration, given recent events surrounding an ongoing investigation that appears to target Governor Robert Bentley and others in his political orbit.

The latest indication is that the Governor and his closest associates may be in the crosshairs of a criminal probe, over the firing of former ALEA Chief Spencer Collier and Bentley’s alleged affair with his former special advisor, Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
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Who Has the Moral Authority to Lead Ethics Reform?

September 19, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Even before former Speaker Mike Hubbard’s conviction on 12 counts of public corruption, due to criminal ethics violations, his minions were spinning a narrative that the laws, under which he was indicted, were hastily prepared and passed without question (merely a deceptive plan to cast doubt on his indictment).

To say that the 2010 ethics laws passed rapidly and without the body’s full understanding may be right, but to believe they were not conceived without purpose and understanding by those wrote them, is a lie.
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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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Sanderford Cancels Sunset Meeting

July 26, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—An email to members of the House Sunset Committee acquired by the Alabama Political Reporter states, the meeting scheduled for July 28, was canceled “due to lack of attendance.”

But, that’s just the cover story.

A controversy erupted last week after Republican Committee Chair Howard Sanderford (R-Huntsville) rescheduled a meeting of the committee, which conflicted with the Republican Convention in Cleveland.

Sanderford moved the meeting to July 28, which conflicts with the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. His action spurred Representative Laura Hall (D-Huntsville), a Democrat on the committee, to call foul, sending an email disclosing she had sent him an earlier message hoping the Committee’s meeting would not conflict with either convention. Hall’s correspondence indicates Sanderford sent a letter to her concerning rescheduling the meeting, which she found offensive: “I have received your letter and the response indicating what may be interpreted in a manner that quite frankly we don’t need in Alabama at this present time,” wrote Hall. She also added, “It is Senator Figures and my hope that you would want to create an environment of cooperation during these turbulent times in Alabama.”
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Members of Bi-Partisan Rural Caucus Offer Forum on Speaker Selection

July 20, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—An email from State Representative Johnny Mack Morrow (D-Red Bay), in which he extends an offer from members of the Alabama Rural Caucus, to host an event, “to discuss openly and freely, the selection of a new Speaker of the House,” was sent out yesterday.

SEE EMAIL

Disgraced former Speaker, Mike Hubbard, was removed from office after he was found guilty of 12 felony counts of public corruption. Since his conviction and removal, jockeying for the top spot has been an issue of grave concern among Republicans and Democrat House members.
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Hubbard: Defiant and Unrepentant

July 11, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Politcal Reporter

Michael G. Hubbard received a sentence of 96 years for his crimes.

However, because he was convicted under State ethics laws, Judge Jacob Walker, III, with advice from the State’s prosecution, gave him a split sentence of 4 years behind bars, with no “good time” or chance of parole, and 16 years probation.

There has been a cry of outrage over what is perceived as a light sentence for such a corrupt politician. But, this is actually a harsh sentence and a reasonable measure due to overcrowding in our State prison system. The State’s prosecution had recommended 5 years in prison and 12 years probation; very close to what Hubbard received.
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Clemency in Alabama is a Farce

April 25, 2016

By Stephen Cooper

In about two weeks, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley — himself a desperate cartoonish candidate for clemency from the people of Alabama (who he has so profoundly betrayed) — will be the sole arbiter of clemency for Mr. Vernon Madison, an African-American death row inmate; On May 12, Mr. Madison is scheduled to be executed in the death chamber at Holman Prison, in Atmore, Alabama, for his 1985 conviction for the murder of a Mobile police officer.
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