The race is on for Senate

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

The decisive move by newly minted Governor Kay Ivey, to declare a Special Election for Jeff Sessions’ Senate Seat this year rather than next year changes the entire complexion of who will sit in that coveted seat. It also redefines the landscape of an ever changing and pivotal Alabama political scene.

This next year will be an adventure as we elect a Senator and concurrently the 2018 Governor’s Race will begin its evolution. We have already seen the downfall of a sitting governor this year and by September 26, we will see the election of a new junior U.S. Senator. There is an assumption that only a Republican can win statewide office in Alabama and winning the GOP primary is tantamount to election.
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The privilege of being a white college in Alabama

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There is some confusion over the term “white privilege.”

Apparently, quite a few white people are convinced that this term is hogwash, because upon birth they weren’t given a pot of gold and a new Firebird.

Simply because they’ve faced some hardships in life, they believe that that is clear and convincing proof that they have no more advantages in America than the average minority. Read More

Some are using a stalking horse to undermine ethics laws

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The greatest challenge before the Alabama State Legislature when it returns in February is not the budget, schools or Medicaid. It is the slight of hand chicanery used to undermine the State’s ethics laws.

Since the conviction of former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard on 12 felony ethics violations, a coordinated effort has been underway to weaken those laws, with particular focus on how they identify a “principal.” Read More

Ethics Commission withdraws McCalla opinion after charities line-up

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In a unanimous vote on September 1, 2016, the Alabama Ethics Commission issued advisory opinion 2016-24, which it believed clarified the question regarding public officials soliciting lobbyists and principals for contributions to a charitable organization, operating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

The issue was raised by the nonprofit group, Friends of McCalla.

After approving the opinion in a 5-0 vote, the Commission gave a 30-day window for public comment; however, it was extended past the 30 days to December 7.
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Hubbard Files Notice of Appeal on Felony Ethics Conviction

By Chip Brownlee
The Alabama Political Reporter

AUBURN — Mike Hubbard is fighting to avoid his four-year sentence in an over-crowded Alabama prison. Hubbard and his attorneys have filed a notice of appeal of his felony ethics conviction, ushering in another trial for the former Alabama House speaker.

Bill Baxley, Hubbard’s lead defense attorney, submitted the appeal with Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re very confident we’re going to prevail, and he’s going to be totally exonerated at the end of the day,” Baxley said.
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State May Come After Hubbard’s Assets

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Under the 2014 Forfeiture Act, the State can seize Mike Hubbard’s assets, because they were used in the commission of a crime. Hubbard, on June 10, was found guilty of twelve felony counts of public corruption for which he faces up to twenty years in State prison, and $30,000 in fines for each count.

The Criminal Proceeds Forfeiture Act provides that “any property, proceeds, or instrumentality of every kind, used or intended for use in the course of, derived from, or realized through the commission of a felony offense, as defined in this act, or as inducement or attempt or conspiracy to commit such offenses, is subject to civil forfeiture.”
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More Indictments Likely

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—When asked if there would be more indictments, Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis said, “No Comment.” That statement should strike fear in the heart of anyone named in the counts on which Mike Hubbard was found guilty.

Hubbard was found guilty on seven counts of receiving a thing of value from a lobbyist or a principal under Section 36-25-5.1 (a) which forbids “[a] public employee or public official or family member of the public employee or family member of the public official shall solicit or receive a thing of value from a lobbyist, subordinate of a lobbyist, or principal.”
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Former Deputy Attorney General Could Be Indicted

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—There is a very real possibility, that former Deputy Attorney General, Henry T. “Sonny” Reagan, will be indicted, due to his alleged role in trying to hinder the investigation into the crimes of former Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard. Hubbard has been found guilty of twelve felony counts of public corruption, Reagan has been accused of participating in a scheme to thwart the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Unit, from ever bringing Hubbard to justice.
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Hubbard Trial Day Seven: Only The Jury Knows

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

OPELIKA—On Day seven of the Speaker Mike Hubbard criminal public corruption trail, we heard testimony from Bobby Abrams, Rob Burton, and Jimmy Rane.

Abrams, who owns the company Capitol Cups, paid Hubbard $10,000 a month ostensibly to sell cups. Abrams admitted that if Hubbard had secured the letter for his patent in a timely fashion, it would have saved him millions of dollars. And while Hubbard was successful in moving the process forward, it was too little-too late; but he really appreciated his help. It was evident that Hubbard would not have had any success if he were not Speaker of the House.
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Mason Still Advising as Paranoia Runs Deep

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— “Bizarre” is how one staffer describes the atmosphere in the Governor’s Office—depressing, angry, and paranoid, say others.

Not only is former senior advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason continuing to advise Bentley via phone and texts, the pair is blaming Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart for all their troubles, say insiders close to the Governor.

Speaking on background, former staffers, several current staffers, and general supporters who are concerned for the administration’s future have reached out to alreporter.com to express worry over Mason’s reemergence as a “secret advisor,” and Gov. Bentley’s state of mind.
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