By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard was once revered, even feared for his fundraising prowess. But this ability to raise money has been weakened by the steady drip of information that has been trickling in regarding Hubbard’s alleged ties to criminal activities.
According to his campaign filings for March, Hubbard’s personal campaign account raised $8,700 while spending $126,624.
In March, Hubbard paid $55,000 to law the firms of White, Arnold & Dowd and $20,000 to Trussell, Funderburg, Rea and Bell.
Speaker Hubbard is represented by J. Mark White and Lance Bell and their respective firms.
Last year, White said he had put together a team of lawyers and investigators to look into individuals or groups who were spreading false information about Hubbard and his family.
This week, Rep. Greg Wren (R-Montgomery) entered into a plea agreement with the Attorney General’s Office. He admitted using his office for personal gain, and implicated Hubbard in his wrong doings.
Does this mean that White and Bell are going to accuse Wren of false statements or does this mean that the attorneys for Hubbard have a new mission?
In March, Hubbard spent almost half of his war chest on legal fees. The painfully small contributions may be a result of big donors not liking their money being used to pay criminal defense lawyers or just the fact that Hubbard is now, truly believed to be the target in the Lee County Grand Jury investigation.
Hubbard’s biggest contributor for March was the prestigious lobbying firm Fine-Geddy.
Their BISPAC gave Hubbard $5000 in donations. He also received $1000 from Check Smart a check cashing and title loan operation.
Hubbard’s expenses include payments $10,500 to Mclaughlin & Associates Inc., his usual polling firm. Oddly, the FCPA filings show a voided check for the same amount paid Mclaughlin & Associates. was Craftmaster Printers, Inc., a company partly owned by Hubbard, was paid $7139.56 and $1,900 to Majority Strategies, a Florida group that in 2010 subcontracted almost $850,000 to Hubbard. The money that Majority Strategies, funneled back to Hubbard was from a contract with the ALGOP over which Hubbard was the chairman at the time.
As for Hubbard’s self-described incumbent protection plan, that is Storming the Statehouse PAC, it once again raised zero funds in March.
Over the last four years, Hubbard has been able to keep many of his legislative troops in line by either promising them a large influx of campaign cash, or threatening to cut it off.
It appears now that Hubbard will no longer be able to offer campaign funds as bribes or threats.