By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Just two weeks after appearing at Speaker Mike Hubbard pep rally, US Representative Mike Rogers (R-District 3) received a hefty campaign contribution from former Gov. Bob Riley.
On October 20, 2014, Hubbard was arrested and charged by the State with 23 felony counts of public corruption. A day later he held a pep rally in Auburn at which Rogers was a key speaker.
During the rally, where lawmakers were wearing “I like Mike” stickers, Rogers took to the microphone to accuse the State’s Republican Attorney General Luther Strange of “…Chicago style gutter politics.” In his statements, Rogers accused Strange of prosecuting Hubbard for political gain. He said, “Who’d like to be governor in four years? Who would like to get Mike Hubbard out of the picture or skin up as a candidate?”
Many politicos were shocked that Rogers would go so far as to insinuate that Strange’s political aspirations were at the heart to the State’s prosecution of Hubbard.
Hubbard and Rogers are close associates, but in politics, money is often a key motivation or at least a reward. On November 3, 2014, Riley contributed $2,600—the maximum allowed by federal law—to Rogers’ campaign.
Also one month later, longtime Riley donor and close associate, Wellborn Cabinets gave Rogers the same amount.
Rogers wrote the Forward to Hubbard’s vanity publication, Storming the State House. In his remarks Rogers says “As the architect of the Republican takeover effort, Mike Hubbard demonstrated each of these qualities along with an incredible work ethic, determination, and the self-discipline to pull it off.”
This was written at a time when, according to the State’s prosecution, Hubbard was using his office to benefit from hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees, contrary to the law.
Rogers also writes of his friend, “Since Mike and I are close friends who talk regularly, I was aware of his plans from their genesis and was in contact with him throughout the effort. Reading this book, however, gave me a whole new perspective on just how difficult and complicated the campaign to capture the House and Senate really was.”
After the release of 85 exhibits from the Hubbard investigation, many around the State have a whole new perspective on how Hubbard handled the ALGOP’s campaign contributions during the 2010 election cycle. According to the State, Hubbard laundered over a million dollars from the ALGOP though third parties and back into his own business interests.
Rogers has been conspicuously quiet since the recent filing requested by Hubbard criminal defense attorney J. Mark White.