Moore Responds To SPLC Ethics Complaint

January 29, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Late on Wednesday, January 28, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) responded to a complaint by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that he violated judicial ethics by commenting unfavorably about a decision in federal court striking down Alabama’s defense of marriage act.  An unapologetic Chief Justice Moore claimed that he was doing his duty and that lower federal and appeals court decisions are not binding of state of Alabama judges who have equal authority
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The Road Ahead for Gov. Robert Bentley

January 22, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In his Inaugural Address, Governor Robert Bentley cited, in broad terms, his agenda for the next four years. Among those items were the never ending hopes of budget, prisons and healthcare reforms.

When Bentley says he loves the State of Alabama and its people, there is no question he means it. When he says, “when I walk out of these historic doors having served my time as Governor, I pray it will be said of me what is said in the book of Acts of King David, an imperfect man but one called and led by God for a specific task, a man after God’s own heart.” There is little reason to doubt his heart.
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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.

 

Gay Marriage Advocates Score Major Victory in Courts

October 7, 2014

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Most Americans grew up being taught in school that this nation was built based on “Judeo-Christian” values. The America of the 21st Century is increasingly secular as more and more Americans abandon the faith of their youth or at least come to the view that their faith is increasingly separate from their government and American society is changing in a number of ways.
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…And Justice For All

September 3, 2014

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The fate of the criminal investigation of Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and others, rests in the hands of the nine Justices of the Alabama Supreme Court. The Court has been asked by indicted lawmaker, Rep. Barry Moore, to declare the Grand Jury in Lee County improperly impaneled. If the Court agrees with Moore, the entire investigation will have been in vain and Hubbard and his cronies might just subvert justice with the help of the State’s highest court.

Justice is the bedrock of the Judeo – Christian faith, and the very foundation on which civil societies are formed. Without justice, the rule of law is simply a tool by which tyrants pacify the masses.

It is said that there are only two times in a persons life when they should expect fair and equal treatment: when the individual stands before a court of law and when they stand before their maker.

The people of Alabama should expect fair and equal treatment, especially by a court led by Chief Justice Roy Moore. Most Alabamians believe that Chief Justice Moore is an honest jurist, who reveres the law. Most believe that those elected to the State’s highest court are the same. However, in Montgomery, many think that justice can be bought and sold in much the same way that legislation has become a commodity under the reign of Speaker Hubbard.

As Speaker of the House, Hubbard has certainly proven that legislation can be purchased for a price. Now, he and his allies are at work to measure the cost of thwarted justice.

The nervous rumor around the Capitol is that the Supreme Court will side with Rep. Moore on a technicality, leaving the door open for Hubbard to escape. However, many attorneys believe that the entire code of Alabama would need to be rewritten, to allow such a travesty of justice to prevail.

Saint Augustine said that “In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?”

Would the Supreme Court of Alabama allow the thuggish elites of the State continue to rob the people of our State for own personal gain?

The men and women of the Supreme Court hold a lofty and weighty position. We count on them putting the law above all else. It is widely known that the law and justice can sometimes be at odds; just watch the antics of any good trail lawyer.

Those of us who want to see a brighter tomorrow for all of the people of our State, are watching almost breathlessly to see how the Court rules in the matter of Rep. Moore.

The future of our State may very well rest in the hands of those men and women with whom we have entrusted with the law.

Let us pray, that their actions will be so principled, as to wish it were so, for the whole world…. and justice for all.

 

Is Speaker Hubbard Planning to Purchase Justice?

September 1, 2014

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard needs your money.

Now, more than ever, the Speaker is desperate for cold, hard cash, after spending almost a million dollars on his reelection campaign and almost $200K from his personal campaign account to pay legal fees.

Currently, Hubbard has around $55,000 in his principle campaign account, not enough to pay his white collar criminal defense lawyer, J.Mark White. Hubbard’s Storming the Statehouse PAC has less than $10,000, a far cry from the millions he had once predicted for his “incumbent protection plan.” So, he needs more money and a lot more than a fist full of dollars.
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Deadline Passes for Arguments in Rep. Barry Moore Case

August 21, 2014

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Wednesday, August 20, was the deadline for arguments to be filed before the State’s Supreme Court in the Barry Moore perjury case.

Last month, Moore’s attorneys filed a motion with the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals asking the court to consider technical legal challenges to the prosecution case against Moore. Under a rarely used statue, Chief Justice Roy Moore and Criminal Appear Chief Mary Windom decided to lift the case up to the higher court, in an effort to expedite the proceedings.

Attorneys agreed that regardless of the outcome in the Criminal Court of Appeal, the matter would ultimately be appealed to the higher court.

Moore’s attorneys are arguing that W. Van Davis was improperly appointed “Special Attorney General,” and therefore the proceedings of the Lee County grand jury are illegitimate. Therefore, the case against Moore, and by extension Hubbard or others is void.

According to the revision made to Moore’s motion, the Supreme Court has agreed to “decide fundamental constitutional issues affecting the jurisdiction of the ‘special grand jury’… and the extraordinary recusal by the Attorney General of Alabama.”

Moore’s attorney Bill Baxley is once again trying an argument that was thoroughly rejected by Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob A.Walker III in June.

Baxley tired to convince Judge Walker that Attorney General Luther Strange did not have the authority to appoint W. Van Davis, as his representative in the Lee Country investigation.

Judge Walker dismissed that argument saying, “The Court accepted an in camera document from the State, which supports the position that Mr. Davis was appointed by the Attorney General to assume oversight of a legislative corruption investigation on or around January 31st, 2013, as well as any criminal matters arising from that investigation. Furthermore, the letter informs Mr. Davis that the chief of the special prosecution division will report directly to him. These actions appear to be supported by the authority of sections 12-17-184(10), 12-17-216 and 36-15-15 of the Code of Alabama. A redacted copy of the letter which was filed under seal is attached to this order as Exhibit A.”

According to Alabama code, a District Attorney is required to, “go to any place in the State of Alabama and prosecute any case or cases, or work with any grand jury, when called upon to do so by the Attorney General or the Governor of the State of Alabama, and to attend sessions of courts and transact all of the duties of the district attorney in the courts whenever called upon by the Attorney General or the Governor to do so.”

Speaker Mike Hubbard’s white collar criminal defense attorney, J. Mark White, has stated to the press that this only applies to district attorneys, suggesting that Davis does not fit the requirement because he is retired from his post as St. Clair County DA.

However, Davis is a Supernumerary District Attorney, and according to State code cited by Judge Walker,

“Supernumerary district attorneys shall take the oath of office prescribed by the constitution for judicial officers and shall have and exercise all the duties, power and authority of district attorneys of the judicial circuits or circuit courts and shall, upon request of the Governor, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or the Attorney General, conduct investigations, attend any regular, adjourned or special session of any circuit court in any of the judicial circuits of Alabama for the investigation of or the prosecution of any criminal case or the prosecution or defense of any case in which the state is interested.”

If for some reason the Supreme Court of Alabama decides to rule in favor of Moore, legal authorities say this would open a “Pandora’s box” of litigation.

In 2010, the State’s case against chancellor of Alabama’s two-year college system, Roy Johnson, was prosecuted by another St. Clair County DA, Richard Minor, who was acting as a Special Attorney General in the case, after AG Troy King recused himself. Ironically, Johnson pleaded guilty to the State ethics charge before Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob A. Walker III.

If the court suddenly ruled the use of DA’s as Special Attorney Generals, then several lawyers believe Johnson could appeal his conviction by the State.

For now, Moore, Hubbard and other nervous lawmakers will have to wait for the Roy Moore court to issue its ruling.

The Alabama Political Reporter’s Lee Hedgepeth contributed to this report.

Justice Moore Says Commission a “usurpation” of the people’s rights

March 4, 2014

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The idea to rewrite the Alabama State Constitution of 1901 one section at a time was the brain child of the Legislative Republican Super Majority under the direction of Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) and Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn).
Now, conservative Chief Justice Roy Moore says the Constitutional Revision Commission and its action are unconstitutional and a “usurpation” of the people’s rights. See Moore’s opinion here.
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Virginia Decision Increases Likelihood of Federal Courts Intervention in Gay Marriage

February 17, 2014

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen ruled in a 41 page opinion that Virginia’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman only and “any other Virginia law that bars same-sex marriage or prohibits Virginia’s recognition of lawful same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions unconstitutional.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) who refused to defend the Virginia law said, “The decision is a victory for the Constitution and for treating everyone equally under the law,” Mr. Herring said. “It is the latest step in a journey towards equality for all Virginians, no matter who they are or whom they love.”
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Jenkins Ends Quest for Congress Due to Lack of Support

February 11, 2014

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Major Party Candidate qualifying ended on Friday and Republican Matt Jenkins did not qualify to run in Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District. Jenkins announced that he had chosen to end his campaign due to a lack of support and poor fundraising.

Jenkins said in a statement released to Facebook, “America is the greatest nation on earth and I have been proud to serve her through public service since 1999. That public service has been in the US Navy, through work with University of Alabama Veterans and through work as an Alabama Young Republican. Back in September I decided to continue public service by running for United States Congress in the 7th District of Alabama.”
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