By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Thursday, the Republican majority of the Contract Review Permanent Legislative Oversight Committee granted a $96,000 contract to David Azbell.
Azbell, a political crony of Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, has a documented history of sexual harassment in the work place, as well as producing pornographic videos which he has distributed on the internet.
Senator Bill Holtzclaw and Senator Arthur Orr were contacted by alreporter.com for comment on why they voted to renew Azbell’s state contract. Not a single man returned calls or text messages. According to the contract proposal, Azbell receives $8,000 a month at taxpayer’s expense to provide “strategic communications and public relations services to members of the House Majority Caucus.” Yet, the republican members of the committee did not question why such a high-priced consultant is needed to serve Speaker Hubbard and the House republicans.
Hubbard, a man who has claimed that he is a real republican, increased spending in the Speaker’s office over his democratic predecessor by 82.6 percent. In 2008, under then-Speaker of the House Seth Hammett, a Democrat, the Office of the Speaker spent thousands of dollars in public money on “services” provided by outside consultants. It was $2,880.00 to be exact.
Last year, under Republican Mike Hubbard, Alabama taxpayers paid $135,820.74 for “Information and Research” – with most of that going to Hubbard’s top political consultant, Azbell.
To be clear, that is a 4700 PERCENT INCREASE in the amount of taxpayer dollars spent by the Office of the Speaker of the House on political consultants under Hubbard, a Republican and so-called fiscal conservative.
Holtzclaw and company questioned many proposed contracts during their review on Thursday, but Azbell’s contract sailed through without question.
The contract now goes to Gov. Bentley for his signature. The question is whether Bentley will approve a contract for a man who is an admitted sexual predator, who mocks Christian values and extols the virtues of “cigars, booze and good looking women.”