By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard has called a Caucus meeting for Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. in Montgomery.
According to a Caucus email obtained by the Alabama Political Reporter, the stated purpose of the meeting is to “determine, by a vote of the Caucus, our nominees for leadership positions and operating Rules for the upcoming quadrennium.”
The actual, underlying reason for the meeting is that Hubbard is terrified that he will be defeated as Speaker. In 2010, before winning the House, the Republican caucus decided to institute a “pledge” whereby leadership positions were determined by a vote in the caucus, which could not be changed when it came time for the actual process on the House floor.
When the “pledge” was instituted into the process Hubbard and his fellow House Republicans thought they would gain control of the House, but did not realize that they would have a supermajority. The reason for the “pledge” was to keep Democrats from having any say as to who would be elected Speaker or any other positions. However, by creating a supermajority, the need for the “pledge” was not really necessary.
But now, Hubbard wants to use the “pledge” to ensure that his fellow Republicans can’t vote against him as Speaker.
Hubbard is counting on not being indicted before the elections, with the idea of being elected Speaker before he faces any criminal charges. Hubbard could then hold the “pledge” over his caucus member’s heads as a way to retain his speaker’s seat even after indictments were served.
House members who spoke off the record for fear of retaliation are worried that Hubbard’s plan might work. “This is a diabolical scheme, because if he can pull this off we are almost trapped into keeping him as speaker, even while he faces criminal charges.”
Another Legislator says he thinks that the “pledge” would and should be void if Hubbard is in fact charged with committing crimes and using his office for personal gain. “After what the caucus did to Scott [Beason], it would be silly to think we would have to elect Mike, even if he is indicted.”
Many republicans have grown weary of Hubbard’s leadership and the impending threat of indictments and they are forming their own coalition to oust Hubbard from leadership. “If he is indicted he must step-down or be removed, said a long-serving republican House member, we cannot have an indicted Speaker, it is unacceptable.”
See email below:
Re: Important Caucus Meeting
All elected Republican Members of the Alabama House of Representatives will meet on Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. in Montgomery.
The purpose of this meeting will be to determine, by a vote of the Caucus, our nominees for leadership positions and operating Rules for the upcoming quadrennium. Since there will be a brand new legislature elected on November 4, it is imperative that we make decisions on our leadership and organization so that there will be no lack of direction as we head into the Legislative Orientation in December as well as the constitutionally-mandated Organizational Session in January.
Please mark this date on your calendar and if you are successful on Election Day, make certain that you attend this meeting.
The location of the meeting will be determined closer to the date.
Lunch will be served.