Lovvorn Avoided Runoff By Just 13 Votes

September 15, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, September 14, 2016, a pitiful 4008 people showed up to vote in the Alabama House District 79 Republican Primary. Those voters elected realtor Joseph “Joe” Lovvorn to the Alabama House of Representatives. Lovvorn narrowly won without a runoff between himself and businessman Sandy Toomer by just 13 votes.

On Tuesday, according to original reporting by WSFA Channel 12 in Montgomery, Lovvorn had just a 50.8 percent lead (we and WSFA reported that yesterday as 51 percent after rounding up. The final numbers provided by the Alabama Republican Party on Wednesday showed a distinct tightening.
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Joe Lovvorn Wins House District 79 Republican Primary

September 14, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Republican Primary Voters in House District 79 went to the polls to select whom they want to represent them in the Alabama House of Representatives. A narrow majority of 51 percent selected Joe Lovvorn out of a field of four in the heavily Republican Lee County District.

Lovvorn said in a statement, “”Thank you” doesn’t really seem adequate. My family and I are so humbled and so grateful.”
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Lovvorn’s Consultant Linked to Hubbard’s Machine

September 12, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The Republican primary to elect a replacement for disgraced lawmaker and convicted felon Rep. Mike Hubbard will be held on Tuesday.

Jay Conner, Joe Lovvorn, Sandy Toomer and Brett Smith are all in the running to represent District 79, but parts of the former Hubbard machine are pushing Lovvorn toward the winner’s circle.

Not only is Lovvorn receiving four times more money than his closest competitor, his campaign is receiving guidance from Montgomery-based Greystone Consulting.
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Big PAC Money Flows to One Candidate in Race to Replace Hubbard

September 9, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Four candidates are vying for the seat once held by convicted felon, Mike Hubbard in the Republican primary on September 13. The voters of District 79 have yet to pick a candidate, but the well-heeled of Auburn and influential Montgomery PACs have already chosen theirs.

Jay Conner, Joe Lovvorn, Sandy Toomer and Brett Smith are all in the running, but only Lovvorn is winning the “dash for cash” contest.
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Bentley Responds to Abortion Law Ruling

June 29, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, June 27, the United States Supreme Court ruled in “Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt” that a Texas law regulating abortion clinics goes too far. Alabama had a similar law. The Alabama law had already been ruled unconstitutional by Federal Judge Myron Thompson. After Monday’s ruling, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) commented on the decision.

Gov. Bentley said, “I am disappointed to see the US Supreme Court make a political decision in their ruling of the Texas abortion clinic regulation. As a physician, I am concerned about the medical condition of all women, especially when a woman is facing a serious health procedure. In this Texas case, the Supreme Court is making a medical ruling, without any sound medical expertise. Requiring a doctor to have admitting privileges at a local hospital protects the doctor and the patient. In 2013, I signed into law the Women’s Health and Safety Act that requires clinics that provide abortions to meet the same facility standards as ambulatory care centers, which include admitting privileges at local hospitals.”
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Primary to Replace Hubbard will be on September 13

June 20, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Friday, June 19, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) released a proclamation announcing the timeline to fill Mike Hubbard’s former seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. The disgraced former Speaker of the House represented House District 79, which covers Lee County.

Also on Friday, Hubbard’s 2014 Republican Party Primary opponent, Sandy Toomer, announced his intent to seek the office.

Toomer announced on Facebook, “I want to officially announce I will seek to qualify next week for the Special Election to fill the District 79 House Seat. Thank you for your support in 2014, and we look forward to your continued support in our campaign leading up to September 13th.”
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Coleman Revealed as Confidential Informant, Gave Affidavit to Mike Hubbard  

February 12, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Court filings state that, attorney and radio host, Baron Coleman gave his three-page affidavit to Speaker Mike Hubbard’s criminal lawyers, who used the information to renew its motion to dismiss Speaker Mike Hubbard’s felony case on prosecutorial misconduct and fraud.

In the State’s motion, it is revealed Coleman served as a confidential informant to the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Division since the fall 2012. According to the State, Coleman supplied information on Hubbard and other individuals. The State provided proof of Coleman’s status to the court ex parte, and in camera. The information provided to trial Judge Jacob Walker III, marked as Exhibit A, is under seal.
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State Claims Privilege Over Coleman Information

February 12, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—On Thursday, the State filed a response to the Defense’s renewed motion to dismiss the case against Mike Hubbard, on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct and fraud. In conjunction, a motion for a protective order regarding Baron Coleman’s disclosure of information.

Coleman, who filed an affidavit on Feb. 2, 2016, claimed that he concluded that Assistant Deputy Attorney Matt Hart relayed Grand Jury information to him, in violation of the Grand Jury Secrecy Act. He said in his affidavit that information was used in a “whisper campaign” for Sandy Toomer’s run for Hubbard’s House seat.
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Toomer’s Attorney Notifies Auburn of Hubbard Unauthorized Use of Insignia

May 30, 2014

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—In a new attack ad on the former Auburn Executive Director of Government Affairs, Buddy Michell and candidate Sandy Toomer, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard hurls insults with abandon.

SEE VIDEO

It also prominently displays the Auburn University insignia, with a voiceover that says Sandy Toomer took thousands of dollars from “special interests” to attack Mike Hubbard.

Toomer’s attorney, former Attorney General Troy King, has notified Auburn of the unauthorized use of the insignia by Hubbard.
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Mitchell’s Attorney Calls Hubbard Out

May 29, 2014

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Report
 
MONTGOMERY—In what may seem like a move from the play book of Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, Buddy Mitchell’s attorney has sent Hubbard a letter demanding an immediate retraction of his defamatory statements against Mitchell.
 
Hubbard’s reaction to a television commercial Mitchell cut for Sandy Toomer, sent him into a insult- ladened tirade against Mitchell, a man he once called a good friend.
 
Mitchell’s Attorney Tommy Gallion says Hubbard made “false, defamatory,” statements about his client and that he had impugned his “character and integrity in violation of the laws of the State of Alabama.”
 
As to Hubbard’s remarks to the media, Gallion says,
 
“On or about May 27, 2014, in defending yourself from the contents of a sworn affidavit signed by Mr. Mitchell and used in a political ad by your opponent, you stated: ‘by using a disgraced, bitter and desperate former lobbyist. …’ In addition, you stated to the news media that Mr. Mitchell’s affidavit was ‘false.’ In making this statement, you have accused my client, who executed his affidavit under oath, of committing the criminal act of perjury.”
 
Several attorneys confirmed that Hubbard’s statements about Mitchell’s character crossed the line, and are actionable under state law.
 
Curiously, Hubbard’s original statement that Mitchell was a “DISGRACED, bitter and desperate former lobbyist,” was changed in an AP report to read DISGRUNTLED, (emphasis added).
 
In the letter to Hubbard, Mitchell’s attorney states, “My client is neither a disgraced, bitter, nor desperate person. You know the facts and know that Mr. Mitchell is telling the truth and your defamatory statements are false and you know they are false and have  caused him great embarrassment. My client stands by his statements as being true and accurate. For you to use your political position to cause him harm is disgraceful and unacceptable.”
 
In the commercial, Mitchell speaks directly into the camera stating what he said earlier in a sworn affidavit.
 
Mitchell says that he assisted Hubbard in a bid rigging scheme that cost the Auburn University millions in sports revenue. Mitchell says that on a request from a Auburn Trustee he delivered to Hubbard bids submit by other media entities that sought the right to operate Auburn’s multi-million dollars sports rights contract.
 
As required by State law, Gallion has given Hubbard 10 days to retract his statements, “pursuant to Ala. Code § 6-5-185 (1975), that you publish a retraction of these defamatory statements about Mr. Mitchell within ten (10) days of the date of this letter. This retraction should be made in the same medium or publication as the statements were originally promulgated and in a prominent position therein.  Please take note that your refusal to publish a full and fair retraction of these statements within ten (I0) days in the manner set forth above will entitle Mr.Mitchell to punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.”
 
Hubbard worked at Auburn University for six years as an assistant sports information director before leaving in 1990 to work for Host Communications, Inc., which held the multimedia rights to Auburn athletics.
 
After learning the business, Hubbard then wrestled the contract away from Host through a no-bid contract in 1994 and formed the Auburn Network.
 
In the late 1990s, the Auburn Network began experiencing financial difficulties.
 
Trying to rebuild and facing what he apparently perceived as possible retribution from the school’s athletic director, Hubbard turned to then-Auburn University chief lobbyist Buddy Mitchell for assistance.
 
Mitchell said Hubbard first acknowledged to him his that company was on the verge of bankruptcy.
 
Initially forced by Auburn to go through a competitive bid process for the first time, according to Mitchell’s statements, Hubbard was given access to all of his competitor’s proprietary proposals prior to making his winning offer for the contract.
 
For years it was speculated that Hubbard was given an unfair advantage in obtaining the Auburn contract.
 
Mitchell’s statements to the Alabama Political Reporter in 2013, revealed for the first time that it was Mitchell that enabled Hubbard to retain the multi-million dollars contract.
 
Hubbard is in a battle for his political life and perhaps his freedom as a Grand Jury in Lee County is looking into public corruption that is believed to lead directly to Hubbard.

 

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