By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—In July, the Storming the Statehouse Political Action Committee, led by Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, raked in only $1,000 in campaign contributions; in August that number was zero.
In the August report filed with the Secretary of State, Hubbard’s PAC lists no donations, only an expense of $2,812.63 paid to the fund-raising outfit, Kate M. Anderson, LLC.
Storm PAC, which was touted as Hubbard’s machine to raise millions to protect incumbent republicans has only $283,564.15 in its account. This is far short of the $10 million Hubbard told the Young Republicans he had in the bank back in the summer.
As the self proclaimed “Architect of the Republican takeover” and the man “…whose vision and partisan vigor directly led to the GOP ‘tsunami’ that hit Alabama in November 2010,” Hubbard has fallen far from his once lofty heights.
Even his personal campaign warchest raised only a total of $37,844.00 during the reporting period. Of that, nearly half ($17,797.00) were not even contributions to Hubbard’s personal campaign committee. They were transfers from contributions people or businesses had made to his leadership political action committee, Network PAC. Hubbard has been, in essence, shifting money from one pocket to the other.
Hubbard’s largest single campaign contribution, $15,000, came from his own PAC to his personal campaign account.
The next largest contributions of $5,000.00 each, came from Alabama Power, the Employees State PAC and from a man named Wayne T. Smith from Nashville.
According to the Nashville Business Journal, Wayne T. Smith happens to be the highest-paid CEO of a large, publicly-traded healthcare system. His salary was $17.8 million in 2010, the paper wrote.
Smith is an Auburn graduate, perhaps explaining his interest in the political fortunes of Hubbard.
As for expenses, Hubbard’s personal campaign fund spent $20,944.08.
The highest expenditure was McLauglin & Associates, Inc., a New York polling firm favored by Hubbard. In August, he also paid $4000 to the Georgia-based direct mail provider, Stoneridge Group LLC.
Another $4,000 went to Gridiron Communications who specialize in “winning strategy for any campaign” using “an ultra-cool team consist[ing] of experienced political consultants, talented graphic designers, and many campaign veterans for whom the lure of politics and campaigning still exists” according to the company’s website. Oddly, Hubbard lists a reimbursement of $2576.32 to the State of Alabama.
Largely, Hubbard used his personal campaign funds and those from his PAC, for polling his district and to hire out of state campaign strategist to help him retain his House seat.
Storm PAC, which Hubbard bragged was his weapon to protect incumbents, didn’t give a nickel to anyone.
Hubbard has used the promise of money to keep House members in line and to buy some measure of loyalty. So far, Hubbard has not produced the millions he had promised or the thousands he swore to legislators he would give them.
Many believe that Hubbard has money stuffed-away in various non-profit foundations like the Alabama House Republican Caucus Foundation.
If Hubbard is indicted, that money will have an odor that will stink from Mobile to Muscle Shoals, and candidates who accept Hubbard’s money will have the same taint of corruption following them.
Outside of Hubbard and his closest allies, no one is sure where the millions Hubbard has claimed to have are stored…if they exist at all.