By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—On Tuesday voters in Lee County received a campaign push-card that looks like an advertisement for a B-Movie or a Quentin Tarantino noir parody.
The mailer features Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard as “The Graftmaster.”
Hubbard is currently under a grand jury investigation for campaign-finance-related issues, some dealing with his printing company Craftmasters. Obviously “Graftmaster” is an ironic play-of-words on one of Mr. Hubbard most prized businesses.
A study of campaign finance records for the 2010 election cycle shows that Hubbard’s business interests were paid over $1,000,000 in campaign expenditures from at least 18 GOP candidates and at least 4 political action committees (PAC). This does not include the almost $800,000 spent with Majority Strategies for GOP printing that was sub-contracted to Hubbard’s Craftmasters as reported by AL.com. Craftmaster is just one of Hubbard’s businesses that grew out of his relationship with Auburn University.
The push-card reads, “Good Ole Boy Productions presents, Mike Hubbard as the Graftmaster.” With a tagline that proclaims “Watch in horror as he turns the loveliest village into his own person cash cow!”
Hubbard became a wealthy man through his affiliation with Auburn University and has used those relationship to climb from his humble beginnings in rural Georgia to the top of the political heap in Alabama.
No one has taken credit for the campaign mailer which says it is, “Paid for by Foundation for Education Accountability, P.O. Box 1874, Carrollton, GA 30112.”
The backside of the card refers to three news articles concerning questionable business and political activities by Hubbard.
The first is a reference to a 2002 story about how Hubbard, along with Lowell Baron and John Blackwell, “played behind the scenes to strong-arm Auburn University into giving up the rights to Auburn sports media costing the university millions of dollars.
The second is how former Auburn lobbyist Buddy Mitchell gave over the sealed bids of Hubbard’s competitors so that Hubbard would not lose his lucrative Auburn sports media contract.
The last story mentioned is a part of a in-depth report that Paul Davis was working on before his untimely death. Davis, it has been said, was in possession document damning to Mr. Hubbard and would have cut short Hubbard’s rise to power in Alabama.
Davis’ work has been the cornerstone of many other reports on Hubbard.
The mailer ends by saying, “Graftmaster Mike Hubbard is a great actor in a really bad movie.”
It seems campaign season has come early and Mike Hubbard along with Senator Del Marsh are in a fight for their future.