By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—In a February 2014 article at AL.com, John Archibald follows the money from a wealthy Chattanooga developer, into the campaign coffers of then, Gov. Bob Riley.
The report shows that in 2006, Franklin L. Haney passed at least $130,000 to Riley from PACs controlled by lobbyist Clark Richardson.
Archibald draws a line between the Haney contributions and Riley’s signing a lease on one of Haney’s buildings in Birmingham. Archibald wrote, “Annual rent on that building began at $1.2 million a year, according to the lease, but rises this year to $5 million for the remainder of the term; plus possible extra costs for operational expenses.”
What Archibald did not point out is that during the same time period, $130,000 in campaign contributions from Haney were routed from Richardson to New AL Leadership PAC, controlled by Monica Cooper, to the ALGOP, eventually landing in the bank account of Network Creative Media, a company owned by Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn).
The big difference in Haney’s contributions to Riley and the funds received by Hubbard, is that Haney’s money was washed and spun dry by the ALGOP before going into Hubbard’s personal account.
A total of $130,000 from Haney was given to New AL Leadership PAC via various Richardson controlled PACs all between October 17, 2006 and October 31, 2006.
$140,000 from New AL Leadership PAC was given to the ALGOP all on October 30, 2006.
$140,000 from AL GOP to Mike Hubbard’s business all between October 23, 2006 and October 27, 2006.
The money trail may appear winding, but that serves the purpose of hiding its intended receiver; an old trick of the lobbying trade.
The transactions are as follows:
Money from New AL Leadership PAC to AL GOP on 10/30/2006: $140,000.
Money from AL GOP to Mike Hubbard’s wholly-owned company Network Creative Media between 10/23/2006 and 10/27 2006: $140,340.21.
On October 30, 2006, the New AL Leadership PAC gave the ALGOP $140,000. Between October 23 and 27 the ALGOP gave $140,340.21 to Hubbard’s wholly-owned company Network Creative Media.
Funneling campaign contributions from the ALGOP and other PACs controlled by Hubbard into business he owns is a pattern and practice often used by Hubbard. (See Stealing the StateHouse)
It appears that $130,000 is a magic number that Haney and Richardson seem to use to buy influence among legislator.
*There are some obvious (perhaps on purpose) discrepancies between the dates the checks were written and when they were received, especially between the two PACs, BIZPAC and Free Enterprise PAC, and the AL Leadership PAC.
However, the dates do not change the ending balance.