By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—In his vanity publication Storming the State House, Mike Hubbard spends six pages recounting the recruitment of candidate Barry Moore and his “fireball” wife Heather, as he described her in the book.
Moore, who is the State Representative for District 91, has been one of Hubbard’s most loyal followers since winning the seat in 2010. Moore’s loyalty has been rewarded as he and his wife have learned like Hubbard to prosper at the State’s expense.
Hubbard’s account of recruiting the couple at a dinner takes up more ink in his self-published bio than did his description of his own parents.
Hubbard was especially taken with Moore’s wife Heather saying she, “would be key to her husband’s political success.”
With the help of over $150,000 contributed by Hubbard-controlled PACs, Moore defeated Democrat incumbent, Terry Spicer, in 2010.
In Storming the State House Hubbard wrote, “I told the Moore’s that this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the two of them to do the State a tremendous service—first of all by defeating a double-dipping Democrat like Spicer, and secondly by being a part of a historic Republican majority that would fundamentally change the way Montgomery operates.”
The Moores were soon to learn that part of the fundamental change in Montgomery would involve a new form of double-dipping into State riches, courtesy of their benefactor Hubbard.
While Moore did not get a plum committee chairmanship, he got something he never had before: a state contract.
Just two months after being elected (FY 2011), Moore received a contract with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) in the amount of $27,500. The contract was executed in the name of Hopper-Moore, Inc., doing business as Barry Services. Hooper-Moore is registered as a “minority-owned business” because Moore’s wife Heather is purportedly part-Native American.
On December 15, 2011 (FY 2012), two additional payments were made to Hopper-Moore from Environmental Management, one in the amount of $8,950, and the other $16,900. The three contracts in FY 2011 and FY 2012 were for “solid waste.”
In a continued acknowledgement of his faithful service in Fiscal year 2013, Moore’s company received yet another contract with ADEM, this time in the amount of $11,262 for “sanitation services.” Add up the four payments made to Hopper-Moore since January of 2011, and the total comes to $64, 612, not exactly small change from the State’s coffers. Prior to Moore’s election as State representative in District 91, neither he nor his wife had ever done business with the State. But, after becoming a loyal follower of Speaker Hubbard, the reward for public service became an opportunity to double-dip into the pool of taxpayer-funded government payola.
Once again in his vanity tome, Hubbard comments on the pleasure he had seeing Moore climb toward a win over Spicer:
“I recall being pleasantly surprised to see Barry Moore in House District 91 and Richard Baughn in House District 14 leading in their races. I was particularly interested in these races because our nominees were running against two of the strongest Democrats in the legislature — Terry Spicer of Elba and House Majority Leader Ken Guin of Carbon Hill.”
Richard Baughn went on to defeat Democrat House Majority Leader Guin. But this may turn out to be mixed blessing seeing that before Christmas, Baughn appeared before the State Attorney General’s Special Grand Jury in Lee County.
It is widely believed that the Special Grand Jury in Lee County is looking into wrongdoing by Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and his associates.
It is also believed that Moore has recently or will in the very near future make an appearance before the Grand Jury to give an account of threats that he is alleged to have made on Hubbard’s behalf.
From the heady days of being personally recruited by Hubbard, to the rewards of thousands in taxpayer dollars, Moore’s rise has been steady. With the up-coming elections and the specter of a Grand Jury investigation, the light of day may be much harsher than the rustic ambience the night Hubbard wooed the Moore’s at the Santa Fe Steak House on Highway 231.
Of that encounter Hubbard said, “I delivered my best sales pitch.”