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Stealing the Statehouse

Hubbard Pays Moore’s Way

MONTGOMERY—It should not come as a surprise to anyone who follows politics, that indicted lawmaker, Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, recorded paying his criminal defense attorney $25,000 out of his campaign contributions on May 9.
On his weekly FPCA filing for May 9, Moore listed an expenditure of $25,000 paid to Baxley, Dillard, McKnight & James, the law firm headed by Moore’s attorney, former Democrat, Lt. Gov. Bill Baxley.
Moore is charged with lying to the Grand Jury that is looking into possible corruption in State government. Moore’s arrest, as well as that of disgraced lawmaker, former Rep. Greg Wren, R-Montgomery, have one name in common in their indictments: House Speaker Hubbard.
Hubbard’s Storm PAC gave Moore $10,000 on the day Moore was served his indictments from the AG’s office and $15,000 just days after his arrest. Moore posted $10,000 in cash for his bail on April, 24.

Moore has recently received large donations from Hubbard’s closest allies, including Alabama 2014, managed by former Gov. Bob Riley.
According to April filings with the Secretary of State, Riley’s PAC gave Moore $25,000 on April 11. Donations made to Moore by Hubbard and Riley were the largest donations either PAC gave any single candidate.
Three groups with strong political ties to Hubbard have also given large contributions to Moore since his indictments. On his weekly report, Moore list $25,000 in total donations from the Automobile Dealers PAC, Alabama Builders PAC and Progress PAC, which is controlled by Billy Canary, head of the Business Council of Alabama, (BCA). Moore also received in-kind contributions from ALFA, and Riley.

In recent days, Moore has received $75,000 from Hubbard and close associates.
Using campaign contributions for legal expense is based on an opinion issued by the then Attorney General Bill Pryor in 2000.

In his opinion, Pryor states that the use of campaign funds to pay for a legal defense must be “related to the performance of the duties of the office held.”
It would seem that no reasonable person would conclude that perjury and giving false statements to a grand jury would be within the official duties of a State legislator; but, Moore is using his campaign contribution in just that manner.
So is Hubbard, who has paid around $150,000 in campaign donations to his attorneys J. Mark White and Lance Bell.
Hubbard and his attorneys have steadfastly maintained that their work has been related to an investigation of those who were disparaging Hubbard or his family. Therefore, Hubbard would not be allowed to use these funds to pay White or Bell because their services are not “legal fees incurred pursuant to the defense of a criminal indictment.”
Hubbard and White maintain that Hubbard has committed no wrong doing and is not a part of any investigation, much less, been indicted.
This all defies the intent of Pryor’s 2000, opinion and begs the question, “How is it legal for Moore and Hubbard to raid campaign coffers to pay silk-stocking criminal defense attorneys?


Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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Featured Opinion

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