By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—On October 21, American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc., (APCI) gave $20,000 in contributions to the PAC known as “Alabama 2014.” This political action committee is the vehicle by which former Gov. Bob Riley hopes to help Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh retain power over the Alabama legislature.
American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc., is a Bessemer-based Pharmacy group that employs Speaker Hubbard as a lobbyist.
In a series of eleven “Yes” votes cast on April 23rd on State House versions of the General Fund Budget, Hubbard actively sought to ensure his public relations client – American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc., – would become the sole company eligible to provide Pharmacy Benefits Manager services to Alabama’s Medicaid agency. At the time, Speaker Hubbard failed to let his House colleagues know about his financial arrangement with the pharmacy cooperative.
In the House, 23 words were added to the General Fund Budget bill that would have specially benefited Hubbard’s client. On the insistence of the government’s office the language in the budget was later changed in conference committee to omit the benefits to Hubbard’s lobbying client.
Now, this same group is giving to a PAC that acts as a shadow organization to protect incumbents and “real” Republicans in ALGOP primaries.
“Alabama 2014” acts outside of the auspices of the Governor and the Chairman of the Republican party.
It is an autonomous PAC dedicated to the will of three men: Riley, Hubbard and Marsh.
Why a former governor/turned high-priced lobbyist should be attracting major donors should be raising eyebrows. But, fear of the these individuals keeps most people silent and in-line.
Currently, the PAC has $1,071,050.87 on hand, even though it is late in October.
While Governor Bentley is raking in campaign cash, those operated by Riley, Hubbard and Marsh are barely on life support, compared to the goals the troika bragged about just a few months ago.
Most of the money flowing into the “Alabama 2014 PAC” is coming from large corporations who hope their campaign dollars will translate into easy access and favorable legislation.