By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Over the last several years, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) has been admired and feared for his fundraising prowess. But, once again in October, Hubbard’s campaign coffers remain woefully underfunded.
In his latest filings with the Secretary of State, Hubbard reports only receiving $72,335.00 in campaign contributions for the month; the lion’s share of funds coming from three political action committees.
IMPAC, NEWPAC and LEGPAC, each gave Hubbard $10,000 a piece for a combined total of $30,000. The money given to Hubbard from these PACs can be traced back to the Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. owned by Jimmy Rane.
The Great Southern Wood Preserving Inc., better known as Yella Wood, was by far Hubbard’s biggest donor.
The only other contributions of $5000 or more came from the Retailers of Alabama PAC giving $10,000 and the Automobile Association giving $5000. Other smaller donations came from big tobacco and beer makers.
The wealthy Rane is not only the head of Yella Wood, he is a trustee at Auburn University, the school where Hubbard has made his fortune.
Recently, the University named a building after Hubbard, who used his political connections to secure $14.4 million in federal grant money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—passed by the Obama administration—to build the $28.8 million dollar facility.
At the event, Rane said he was ready to back Hubbard if there was a fist-fight. It appears that his $30 grand contribution is a first blow.
Earlier in the year, Hubbard told a meeting of the Young Republicans in Birmingham that he had $10,000,000 on hand to protect incumbent Republicans, but none of Hubbard’s PACs have come close to that amount.
Storming the Statehouse PAC, named after Hubbard’s vanity book by the same name, only raised $2500 in October giving the PAC a total of $313,283.15 on hand.
Back in the summer, Hubbard was promising current House members that if they’d stay with him and win the 2014 elections, he would give each winner $100,000 for their campaign funds.
So, it is that the beleaguered Speaker has gone from $10 million on hand to IOUs.