What to do about Bentley?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Vice, vainer and corruption has left Alabama a leaderless State, but there is hope that some with integrity will step forward to fill the void.

Governor Robert Bentley has long ago forfeited any claim of moral leadership and to list his many failings would be as tedious as it is long.

However, calls for his impeachment may be premature.

How can those who defended former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard chanting “innocent until proven guilty” in the face of his indictment on 23 felony counts of public corruption now feign such righteous anger at this scoundrel Bentley? Hubbard was convicted of 12 of those charges and today, many of those same individuals who blithely ignored Hubbard’s malfeasance want to hang the fool on Goat Hill.
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The old AG has done the new AG no favors

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Steve Marshall might be a fine man.

He might be all of the things that his friends and his co-workers said he is during Marshall’s swearing-in ceremony as Alabama’s new Attorney General.

He might be.

But right now, most of the State and half of the big-time players around Montgomery believe he’s tainted.

He’s a patsy. He’s Gov. Robert Bentley’s get-out-of-jail-free card. He’s shady and crooked and part of the corruption.
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Senator Strange appoints former Chief Deputy as Chief of Staff

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Many questions surround the appointment of Luther Strange as US Senator, but Strange hiring Kevin Turner as his Chief of Staff is an unseen turn of events.

Turner served as Strange’s Chief Deputy until allegations of dubious actions in the criminal investigation of former Speaker Mike Hubbard surfaced. During the heat of the inquiry, sources from both within and outside of the Attorney General’s Office confirmed that Turner was orchestrating a plot to remove chief prosecutor Matt Hart from the Lee County Grand Jury investigation.
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Will US Attorney General Sessions press the rule of law in his home State?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions will face some tough questions about law and order in his home State as he takes the reins at Justice. Will he have his US Attorney for the Southern District enforce Federal law and close the casinos operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama? Will he demand his US Attorney for the Middle District to finally bring Federal charges against convicted felon former Speaker Mike Hubbard? And lastly, will his office take action into Governor Robert Bentley’s use of State resources to harm Spencer Collier as did the US Attorney in New Jersey?
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Hubbard appeal filing deadline extended again

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics conviction appeal has been delayed again.

On Monday, the Lee County Circuit Court asked for another time extension of 28 days to allow the Court Circuit Clerk to file the Court Record of Appeal. The Court of Criminal Appeals granted the extension Tuesday, giving the Lee County Circuit Court until March 1 to submit the record.

Hubbard’s case involves twelve felony ethics guilty charges, and, according to the Court documents, consists of “well over 550 filings” including motions, orders and other documents.  Circuit Clerk Mary Roberson said the filing will be “voluminous.”

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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

Speculation swirls around new Birmingham Water Works Board

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

For several years, lawmakers from Birmingham, Jefferson and surrounding counties have engaged in a turf war to reform the Birmingham Waterworks Board (BWWB). Even now, as the much sought after reforms have become law, as of January 1, 2017, the fight to maintain the status quo continues in backrooms and courtrooms. “Like the sewer debacle, it may require law-enforcement to finally clean up the mess that is the Water Board,” said a lawmaker, speaking on background, while referencing multi-count indictments over the Jefferson County sewer construction scandal in 2005. Read More

Top stories to watch in 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

2016 is over, and 2017 is here. 2016 was a year full of big political news, and we at The Alabama Political Reporter anticipate 2017 to be no less intense.

The election of Donald Trump (R) as President of the United States was the biggest national news story of 2016, and has caused enormous repercussions in Alabama. Below are some of the questions we are asking ourselves as we begin the new year…
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APR’s Top Stories of 2016

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It is sometimes hard to find material for a top-stories-of-the-year piece.

That is not the case for 2016.

If anything, trimming this one down to just 10 – by way of carefully including a number of stories inside broad categories – was the trouble. It was no easy task, but here’s the official APR rankings of Alabama’s Top 10 stories of 2016.

  1. Mike Hubbard gets a room at the Big House: There was no better political theater this year – and maybe this decade – than the ethics trial of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard.
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New filing claims Bentley used State resources to destroy a political enemy

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

It should come as no surprise that former top law enforcement officer Spencer Collier is filling in the blanks on fictitious defendants in his defamation and wrongful termination suit against Gov. Robert Bentley, Rebekah Caldwell Mason the Governor’s alleged lover, Mason’s husband Jon and a host of others.

What is consequential in the filing is Collier showing the pattern and practice of Bentley using State personnel and resources to damage a political enemy personally and professionally.
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