Tankersley Exit Interview: Final 

August 7, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

“Somebody should do something.”

After nearly five years of being rebuffed for his common-sense stance on the Ethics Commission, Dr. Stewart Hill Tankersley is doing something significant: Exposing institutional corruption and the particular failings of the Commission, sworn to hold every public official to the letter of the law.

Tankersley’s interview with APR confirms what close observers of the Commission have seen over the years.  By peeling back the ugly mechanisms of an almost lawless Commission, Tankersley has exposed  members who routinely entertain ex parte meetings with those seeking favorable outcomes on advisory opinions. Will it stop?  Will these revelations curtail the practice of granting sweetheart rulings for lawyers, lobbyists and their well-heeled clients? Will the Legislature step in and follow through on the ethics reform package prepared by the Attorney General’s Office for last session?

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Ethics Commission withdraws McCalla opinion after charities line-up

December 8, 2016

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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State Seeks Restitution From Disgraced Speaker Hubbard

August 8, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—In a Supplemental Brief in support of a sentencing recommendation filed Friday, the State is asking that disgraced former Speaker Mike Hubbard be ordered to pay, $1,125,000.00 in restitution for his criminal acts.

SEE BRIEF HERE

In July, Hubbard was convicted on 12 felony counts of public corruption, sentenced to four years hard time and sixteen years probation. The State had asked trial Judge Jacob Walker, III, to order restitution for Hubbard’s acts. However, Judge Walker said he couldn’t find statutory grounds for the State’s request, but allowed the State time to present additional case law.
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The Artist Cher Nailed It Long Ago

April 28, 2016

 

By Jack Campbell

When recording artist Cher released the hit “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” in 1971, she never envisioned that song would characterize the leadership of the GOP in Alabama some 45 years later. Even the people who are not historically tuned in to current affairs realize our state Party is headed for a disastrous future, plagued by public officials who are tainted by greed, extramarital sex, thievery, and secret, backroom deals.
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Acting Finance Director Asks For Donation From Lobbyist

January 14, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Recently, the Alabama Political Reporter obtained a copy of a fund-raising letter sent from Acting Finance Director Bill Newton to a registered lobbyist.

Newton is the Chair of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

(See Letter Here.)

bill-newton
Newton, who serves as chair for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, wanted to entice the lobbyist to give between, $5,000 and $25,000 to, “mingle with inductees and other music business celebrities in the elegant 360 Grille restaurant that towers above the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa.”
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