BCA’s Canary linked to lobbying firm partnership

February 5, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Documents recently uncovered by the Alabama Political Reporter appear to show that Business Council of Alabama (BCA) C.E.O. Billy Canary has personally profited through private ownership of a favored lobbying firm while acting in his official capacity to represent the association’s membership before the State Legislature.

For years, Montgomery’s chattering-class echoed with rumors that lobbyist Dax R. Swatek and Canary enjoyed a profitable business partnership. The recently discovered document reveals there is real substance to the story and now suddenly it appears there is more evidence on how BCA has run their powerful lobbying efforts for more than a decade.

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Witnesses for the Prosecution: Politicos, Business Titans, Lobbyists

April 19, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—A who’s-who of politicos, business titans, lobbyists, and operatives, are among the some 135 witnesses called by the prosecution, in the felony public corruption trial of Speaker Mike Hubbard.

It has been said, that Hubbard would be very surprised to see who may be testifying against him. Given the names of those who may take the stand to detail his alleged crimes and schemes, he should be terrified. From his mentor, former Gov. Bob Riley, to his closest allies at Swatek, Azbell, Howe, & Ross, all will be on cue at the Lee County Justice Center on May 9, according to the subpoenas. Judge Jacob Walker, III, has set the trial date as May 16, but may change to the earlier date of May 9.
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Hubbard’s Chief Consultant says, “Cigars, Booze and Good Looking Women: That’s How Azbell Rolls in Vegas”

March 13, 2013

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MONTGOMERY—In what can be only be characterized as shocking, David Azbell, chief consultant to Speaker of the House Hubbard, made a video of himself partying in Las Vegas. Azbell who is paid $8000 dollars a month in his position with Hubbard, is also founding partner of Swatek, Azbell, Howe & Ross (SAHR), a governmental and political affairs firm located in Montgomery, Alabama.
Azbell co-authored Hubbard’s vanity publishing project, “Storming the StateHouse.” Hubbard, has long portrayed himself and those in his service as anti-gambling, religious conservatives. However, it appears that his right-hand associated has a liking for, “Cigars, Booze and Good Looking Women.”
How is it that Speaker Hubbard employs a man who makes a video in which he appears to be extolling the virtues of gambling, strippers, sex-clubs and other vices?
Azbell’s video which has been posted online for over nine months recently surfaced. As a partner with Dax Swatek, Tim Howe and John Ross, Azbell represents some of Alabama’s most important lobbying groups such as the Road Builder’s Association, Learning Through Sports, and The Alabama Asphalt Pavement Association.
It seems incredible to believe that Mike Hubbard, a man known for his constant vigilance, was unaware of Azbell, semi-pornography video.
However, this is not the first time Azbell’s judgement has come into question during his relationship with Hubbard and friends. It has been long rumored that Azbell left the staff of Governor Bob Riley under a cloud of suspicion involving a young staffer. Toby Roth, who was Bob Riley’s Chief of Staff, is said to be the man who handle the settlement with the young staffer in question. Roth refused to answer any questions concerning the matter. The Alabama Political Report has filed a under the Open Record Act requesting all email communications between the staffer and Roth. A staffer who served in the office at the time said that the individual received a settlement in the $50,000 dollar range.
Hubbard, who continues to preach a gospel of conservative government and Alabama Values, seems to find no reason to not employee a man like Azbell who has shown questionable judgement if not outright contempt for the values most Alabamians hold dear.

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