By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY— The political direct mail firm Majority Strategies, Inc. received around 187 checks from the ALGOP in 2010.
All of the $788,671.30 in checks the Alabama Republican Party sent to Majority Strategies where mailed to 274 Marconi Blvd, Suite 260, Columbus, OH 43215, according to the FPCA filings by the ALGOP.
This seemed odd, due to the fact that the company was listed as, ”Not in good standing” with the Ohio Secretary of State in 2010. The Secretary of State’s records show that Majority Strategies Inc. was dissolved in Ohio in January of 2010.
It is also of interest that the Attorney General’s White Collar Divison led by Matt Hart in December 2012 sieged documents related to a subcontracting deal between Majority Strategies and a business interest of then Chairman of the ALGOP, Mike Hubbard.
One of the firm’s leading partners, Brett Buerck, says that all the checks from ALGOP were received in Florida not in Ohio, “The reason I know that all those checks came to Florida is because we received them and all their bills were paid.”
Buerck said that the address on the checks sent to Ohio were to the company’s old address and that the company ceased business in Ohio in 2007: “I guess we didn’t do all the shutting down of the old business until 2010,” said Buerck. He also said, “You assume that because something is recorded on a website that it is correct… maybe government bureaucrats are not as up to date on things as the real world is.”
Buerck seems to blame the error on some kind of government glitch.
During the period of time that most of the 187 checks were recorded by the ALGOP as going to Ohio, John Ross was the Executive Director of the ALGOP under the direction of then Chairman Mike Hubbard. In fact, Hubbard has claimed that Ross was the person that negotiated an almost million dollar subcontracting agreement between Majority Strategies Inc. and Hubbard’s business interest Craftmaster Printers Inc. The subcontracting deal was paid for by the ALGOP.
In 2010, when the checks from ALGOP went to Majority Strategies Inc. Ross was not only the Executive Director of ALGOP, he was also the Chairman of the 136 Years PAC, which directed business to Majority Strategies Inc.
However, Ross’ PAC filings show that the PAC mailed its checks to 135 Professional Drive, Suite 104, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082, which is the Florida address of Majority Strategies, Inc.
Perhaps, as Buerck said, these are little more than clerical errors.
Buerck takes issue with some of the Alabama Political Reporter’s articles that have been written about him:
“You been writing a lot about me over the last couple of years…I don’t have horns and a tail, even thought that is what your website reports…There is not a conspiracy out there…sometimes things are a lot simpler than they seem.”
But given the history of Majority Strategies, Buerck and his associates, an Occam’s razor approach may not be the correct one. Both Buerck and the founder of Majority Strategies Sam Van Voorhis were the subjects of a Federal investigation in which the Ohio Republican Speaker of the House resigned in shame.
Buerck and Van Voorhis were part of an FBI/IRS probe into money laundering, kickback and a pay-to-play scheme, eerily similar to the current investigation of Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard.
The Speaker of the House in Ohio, left politics, in shame, Buerck scurried out of town and the investigation ended.
Hubbard’s business interest, Craftmaster Printers, Inc., has reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars while he was Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.
This may not have been illegal, but it seems to have been apart of the State’s investigations into wrong doing by Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard.