Doing our duty as free press

October 16, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

As is often the case, one country’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter; and likewise, one person’s anonymous source is a patriot and someone else’s traitor.

Like much in politics, traitor versus patriot largely depends on who’s blowing the whistle and who’s caught up in the malaise. The press who reported weekly on the so-called scandal against Gov. Don Siegelman’s administration were heroes, and their confidential informants were simply whistleblowers doing their duty, according to state Republicans. But when APR spent four years chronicling the wrongdoings of then Speaker Mike Hubbard, we were liars and worse, and our sources, well, they were false and dishonest. Of course, during the Siegelman era, the same was said by the Democrats.

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Attorney General opens “dark money” group

July 17, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Republican State’s Attorney General Steve Marshall launched a non-profit organization in May as part of his campaign plan to win the seat he now occupies, thanks to disgraced former Governor Robert Bentley, who appointed him. Bentley has the State’s most famous non-profit group, ACEGOV.

Under current law, candidates like Marshall can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money with limited restrictions using groups that operate in gray areas of the law, as noted by The Center for Public Integrity.
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Siegelman released from prison, returns home for house arrest

February 9, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

After serving a six-year prison sentence, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman is back home in Alabama after being released from a Federal prison in Louisiana Wednesday morning.

The former governor arrived at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in the afternoon, where he was greeted by family, friends and supporters. He left the prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, earlier in the day.

“We are overjoyed at the thought that we will have him back with us again,” his attorney Gregory B. Craig said in a statement. “At a time of such unrest and uncertainty, the world will be a better place with Don Siegelman back in it.”

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Don Siegelman to be freed as early as Wednesday

February 7, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, February 7, 2017, the friends and family of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman (D) announced that the Governor could return home as soon as Wednesday. The former Governor will remain on strict probation until his sentence runs out this summer. Siegelman’s supporters have been asking that the former Governor be pardoned by the Administration of Barack H. Obama (D). That motion was denied literally in the last hours of the Obama Administration.
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Obama denies Siegelman pardon

January 19, 2017

By Bill Britt

Alabama Political Reporter

An email obtained by the Alabama Political Report from a US Pardons Attorney states that President Barack Obama has denied former Gov. Don Siegelman’s request for pardon.

The letter to Siegelman’s attorney Greg Craig, from US Pardons Officer William N. Taylor II reads “The application for pardon of your client, Mr. Don Eugene Siegelman, was carefully considered in this Department and the White House, and the decision was reached that favorable action is not warranted. Your client’s application was therefore denied by the President on January 18, 2017.” Read More

Opposition to Lottery is Growing

August 19, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Polls routinely show us that most people in Alabama favor having a lottery of some sort; but there is huge disagreement on the details and where that money should go. Four of the twelve legislative days in this Special Session have been burned up and no lottery bill has yet to pass on the floor of either House as opposition to the lottery as presented is only growing stronger and support for a lottery to bail out the General Fund is rapidly evaporating.
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Could Court’s Overturning of Virginia Governor’s Conviction be the Precedent that Frees Siegelman?

June 28, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, June 27, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) said in a statement that Monday’s US Supreme Court reversal of bribery convictions of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) could possibly free former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (D).

Zeigler is a career attorney. The conservative State Auditor said that today’s Supreme Court ruling is “very close to what Siegelman was convicted of.”

Zeigler said that the court unanimously voided the convictions of Governor McDonnell because jury instructions could have led the jury to believe that the actions of McDonnell were illegal when they were not.
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Series Part 3: How Can Alabama Address Its Medicaid Crisis?

May 5, 2016

By Henry C. Mabry

This is the final in a three-part series focusing on Alabama’s Medicaid issues.

More funds are available without raising taxes

Besides utilization, the other major issue concerns funding and this does not mean nickeling and diming taxpayers year end and year out to bandaid the system.  Funding can be addressed in two manners: one dealing with the short term and the other in dealing with the long term.  In the short term, various programs could be altered to optimize Medicaid funding.  This could save the state $250 million per year and prop up Medicaid needs for a number of years to come with limited additional General Fund contributions.
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Rough Men, Fair Justice

February 29, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Public corruption runs through our State like the Cahaba River. It is ancient, long and free-flowing, but unlike the Cahaba, it is never pretty, only foul, brutal and unrelenting.

Speaker Mike Hubbard is just the latest in a rouge’s gallery of those who shined for a brief moment, only to succumb to the lure of power used for personal gain.

In an effort to free Hubbard from his legal entanglement, his cronies and lawyers have turned the State’s justice system into a sideshow with Houdini-like misdirection.
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Hubbard Granted Continuance While PR Blitzkrieg Rages

November 18, 2014

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, has been granted a continuance of his trial on 23 felony counts of public corruption.

Hubbard’s trial was set for December 8 of this year, but his attorneys argued for more time to prepare their case.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker III granted Hubbard’s Motion to Continue and has set a pretrial scheduling conference for January 7, 2015.

Hubbard stands accused by the State in a 23 count indictment for using his office for personal gain, receiving money and other “things of value” from lobbyists and others, as well as improper use of State property.

Since his arrest on felony charges of public corruption, Hubbard has set out on a public relations blitzkrieg. He is attempting to convince voters, colleagues and the potential jury pool, that he is innocent, and that these charges are simply a Machiavellian plot hatched by Republican Attorney General Luther Strange, executed by “rogue prosecutors.”

Hubbard, through his attorneys, has hired one of the State’s top PR firms to spin his innocence, with the goal of winning his case through the media.  This is the same tactic used by former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford, Gov. Don Siegelman and others.

It is believed that the witness list against Hubbard is long and deep with once valued allies all willing to testify to the counts against him. Even Gov. Robert Bentley testified to the State’s prosecutors as to some of the actions of which Hubbard stands accused.

The latest PR move is a whisper campaign that the Alabama Supreme Court is going to rule that the Special Lee County Grand Jury was improperly impaneled. The court refused to formally address the motion when raised in the trial of Rep. Barry Moore. Many believe it is doubtful that a court led by Chief Justice Roy Moore would overturn a ruling made by the trial judge who found the Grand Jury proper. But, the public spin is in overdrive while the private maneuvering is intense.

It has been widely speculated that Rob Riley, son of former Gov. Bob Riley, reached out to at least one member of Bentley’s staff to encourage the Governor to intercede with Strange on Hubbard’s behalf. It has even been rumored that a Federal Judge was contacted as well.

For now, fear and intimidation has allowed Hubbard to continue to wield a big stick on Goat Hill, with lobbyists, House members, and even U.S. Representative Mike Roger lining up to point the finger at anyone except the man accused of breaking the law.

Judge Walker is not known for granting many continuances so it is believed that Hubbard may stand trial as early as mid to late January.

 

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