By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, October 22, Congressman Mike Rogers (R from Saks) appeared to attack Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) for doing his job by appointing Acting Attorney General Van Davis (R from Pell City) to lead the investigation into alleged corruption by Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R from Auburn). On Monday, that investigation led to 23 indictments for ethics violations by the embattled Speaker.
>On Tuesday, Congressman Mike Rogers said, “The Democrats aren’t doing this. Who’d like to be governor in four years? Who would like to get Mike Hubbard out of the picture or skinned up as a candidate?”
The comments were made at Speaker Mike Hubbard’s post-indictment pep rally in Auburn, which was reportedly attended by over two dozen legislators and politicians.
At his rally on Tuesday, Speaker Hubbard said, “Why does the Attorney General’s Office think it’s a crime to own a business? And think it’s a crime to do business with anyone you didn’t know before you were elected to office?” Speaker Hubbard has called the case against him, “Political persecution,” and has posted videos of himself on Facebook and other social media denouncing the case against him as, “Politics at its worst.”
Hubbard’s supporters claim Luther Strange wants to be Governor and is using prosecutors, Davis and Matt Hart, to eliminate Mike Hubbard as a potential rival.
For his part, Attorney General Strange said to reporters, “I made the decision to recuse myself from the matter involving Speaker Hubbard several months ago. I did so based on the recommendations of our career prosecutors and to completely remove any appearance of politics being involved in the matter. Mr. Hubbard is entitled to the presumption of innocence and this matter will now be handled, as it should be, in the court system.”
Alabama House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D from Gadsden) said in a statement, “I am a firm believer in letting justice run its course. However, it now seems Speaker Hubbard is accusing Attorney General Luther Strange of playing politics to keep him out of a 2018 bid for Governor. I respect the offices of Attorney General and Speaker of the House. No matter what happens, I will work diligently with the whomever serves as Speaker. I am just curious as to how this could be a ‘political witch hunt’ for a 2018 gubernatorial battle when Strange and Speaker Hubbard are both currently amidst re-election campaigns?”
Strange’s opponent, State Representative Joe Hubbard (D from Montgomery and no relation to Mike Hubbard has criticized AG Strange for not doing enough in the Mike Hubbard case.
In a statement on Tuesday, Joe Hubbard wrote, “Luther Strange can not take credit for cleaning up corruption in Alabama, because he is part of the corruption. When a grand jury investigated questionable contracts paid to public officials, Luther Strange had to recuse because he was taking one of those contracts, too.”
Joe Hubbard went on, “Three agents of the Attorney General’s were indicted for perjury, and Luther Strange moved to dismiss the charges and cover up their illegal acts.” “Luther Strange was caught funneling out-of-state gambling money into his campaign illegally, and was forced to return the dirty money,” alleged Joe Hubbard.
“Now, Luther Strange’s own Deputy Attorney General has been caught obstructing justice in the Lee Country Corruption probe of House Speaker Mike Hubbard. Luther Strange can not lead the investigation into public corruption because he and his office are under investigation. As Attorney General, I will root out public corruption at every level in Alabama, and I will start with Luther Strange,” Rep. Joe Hubbard said.
According to some polls, the race for Alabama Attorney General is very close…..perhaps the only close race on the General Ballot.
It is odd that a sitting Republican Congressman would attack a sitting Republican Attorney General less than two weeks before a General Election.