By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday (as everyone in Montgomery has expected for weeks), House member Greg Wren (R) from Montgomery pled guilty to attempting to use his office for personal gain. The loss of a key lieutenant was bad enough for Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn; but this was followed by Wren agreeing to cooperate with State White Collar Crimes Division prosecutors in possible further investigations and Wren naming the popular Speaker of the House not once, but three times.
Mike Hubbard has never been one to stand back and let events unfold. Instead the Speaker has launched his own communications campaign to get his side of the story out in the public and influence future voters—and in the worst case scenario, potential future jurors.
Speaker Hubbard said on Facebook, “The smears from Montgomery’s liberal special interest groups are ridiculous and false. Even worse, the media treats distortions as fact. Share if you’re tired of the drive-by media working hand-in-hand with the Democratic machine.”
Speaker Hubbard told the Associated Press (AP) that despite Greg Wren’s statement to the contrary: “The situation that happened this week has nothing to do with me.”
Eerily mimicking Governor Don Seigelman’s (D) strategy when prosecutors were investigating allegations of impropriety, Speaker Hubbard dismissed all of the allegations swirling around him as politics. “Ultimately it is political. You look at the position I have and it’s pretty easy to see why I’ve become the target,” he said.
Mike Hubbard was elected to the Alabama Legislature in 1998. Eventually he became House Minority Leader and then Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. As Chairman in 2010, he used the combination of Alabama voters’ dissatisfaction with Obamacare, a vote selling scandal by Senate Democrats, and growing voter identification with the Republican Party to lead a campaign that led to Republicans winning super majorities in both Houses of the state legislature and every state wide elected office in Alabama
Wren admitted that he put language in the state General Fund budget at the request of the American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc. of Bessemer. The language would have required that the state Medicaid program hire the company as Pharmacy Benefit Manager a contract worth $ billions in revenue for the group of independent pharmacies.
Hubbard said, “The main thing to understand is I didn’t benefit one way or the other whether the language was in there or not.” The Speaker also denied stripping funding from the Alabama Attorney General’s Office in the 2015 budget as retaliation for the ongoing investigations.
Hubbard said on Facebook, “It’s that time of year again. The liberal special interest groups have started spreading lies about conservatives to win elections. I’m not backing down though; I’m still fighting for you.”
The Speaker vowed, “I’m going on the offense.”
Hubbard’s Attorney and Chairman of the St. Clair County Republican Party Lance Bell said on Facebook, “I am proud to represent the Speaker. Fine family man and great leader.”