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Stealing the Statehouse 2

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Staff Report
Stealing the Statehouse (cont.)

Hubbard Holds Pricey Fundraiser in Capital Days Before Session, Dec 17, 2013

Will Accountability Act be Big Financial Boom for Former Governor and Partner? Dec 16, 2013

Hubbard: Keeping It In The Family, Dec 11, 2013

A New Mailer: Hubbard Seeks to Defend Himself by Blaming Others: Opinion, Dec 9, 2013

Marsh Testifies Six Hours Before Grand Jury; Collins Follows, Dec 4, 2013

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Moral Leadership or Political Convenience, Dec 3, 2013

Deny, Distract, Cover-up and Blame Others, Nov 27, 2013

New Mailer Asks “Who Does Mike Hubbard Really Represent?” Nov 26, 2013

Republican Leadership Readies for Hubbard Blood Bath, Nov 25, 2013

Public Service Announcement

Hubbard-Owned Business Printing for Dark Money Foundation, Nov 19, 2013

Hubbard Predicts Indictments, Nov 14, 2013

Alarms Were Raised at Auburn Concerning Hubbard in 2007, Nov 12, 2013

The GOP, Gaming and the Politics of Hypocrisy, Nov 4, 2013

 “Call Before You Dig” into Federal Funds, Hubbard Businesses Prosper from PSC Advertising, Oct 22, 2013

With Legal Fees Mounting, Hubbard Taps Local Bank for Sweetheart $1.06 Million Loan, Oct 14, 2013

Chief of Staff Seen with White-Collar Defense Attorney in Lee County, Oct 11, 2013

Hubbard Gives State Belated Gift of $2000 for Silk Plants Paid for With Campaign Funds, Oct 8, 2013

Hubbard’s Attorney Seeks to Woo Media while Threatening Critics —Opinion, Oct 7, 2013

Hubbard Cleaning Up Messy Campaign PAC? Oct 2, 2013

Hubbard: New Look, New Tone, Not Taking Campaign Contributions, Sept 30, 2013

Threats, Cover-ups and Campaign Cash, Hubbard Style, Sept 23, 2013

Frivolous Lawsuit Against Legislature Dismissed after Speaker Hubbard’s Testimony, Sept 18, 2013

$14 Million in Obama Stimulus Money Funded Mike Hubbard Center, Sept 17, 2013

Quiet Planning Behind Scenes to Replace Speaker, Sept 16, 2013

Hubbard in Full Damage Control Promising Big Money/Threatening Lawsuits—Opinion, Sept 12, 2013


Hubbard Closes PAC, Ends Lucrative Contract and Hires White-Collar Criminal Defense Attorney, Sept 9. 2013

Hubbard Furnishes Luxury Cloakroom for Legislators at Taxpayer Expense, Sept 21, 2013

Big Tax Hike May Be Linked to Hubbard Contract, Aug 14, 2013

Speaker Hubbard on the Verge —Opinion, Aug 6, 2013

Editorial: Message to Republican Legislators: Big Donors Off-Limits, July 16, 2013

Hubbard PAC’s: Who’s helping protect the incumbents? July 8, 2013

Hubbard Voted to Pass Bill Guaranteeing His Business Client Millions in Medicaid Funds, June 11, 2013

Ethics Chief Approves Speaker Contract, June 10, 2013

The Graftmaster Cometh: Hubbard Strikes Back at Critics, May 3, 2013

Hubbard’s House Conference Hauls in Cash, May 13, 2013

Alabama Shake(Down): Hubbard Style,  May 6, 2013

Are Barron-Johnson indictments a foreshadow of things to come?, Apr 29, 2013

Hubbard Consulting Contract Causes Stir, Apr 8, 2013

Anatomy of a Rigged Bid, Mar 20, 2013

Sealed Bids Delivered to Hubbard, Courier Now Revealed, Mar 14, 2013

Hubbard wildly increases spending in Speaker’s Office over Democrat Seth Hammett, Mar 12, 2013

Editorial: Who is going to make money on the Flexibility Act? Feb 25, 2013

Nonprofit founder claims Bob Riley directed donations to Mike Hubbard-owned businesses, Feb 21, 2013

Majority Strategies, Mike Hubbard, Brett Buerck, Feb 19, 2013

A cautionary tale: Head of Florida GOP Pleads Guilt to enriching himself with donor funds, Feb 12, 2013

Updated: Hubbard Enters Session Under Cloud of Grand Jury Investigation, Feb 6, 2013

Hubbard Reveals Storm PAC, Fundraiser or Pay-to-Play? Jan 16, 2013

Mike Hubbard and Craftmaster Printing: Part Two, A Tangled Web to Restructuring, Dec 17, 2012

Audit Finds Craftmasters Made Over $800,000 From Republican Party in 2010 Election, Dec 17, 2012

Mike Hubbard and Craftmaster Printing: Part One, Failure at the Door, Dec 16, 2012

Grand Jury Subpoenas Hubbard’s Records, Dec 13, 2012

GOP’s Financial Dealings in 2010 Takeover of the Statehouse, Nov 26, 2012

“Storming the Statehouse” and the game of quid pro quo, Nov 25, 2012

Threats, Lies and bullying, the unfortunate blowback to a story, Nov 2, 2012

UPDATE: 2010: ALGOP finance chairman pays a visit on Poarch Creek Band of Indians, Oct 31, 2012

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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National

Today is Thanksgiving

Today is a national and state holiday. Schools, banks, government offices and many private businesses are closed.

Brandon Moseley

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Four hundred years ago, on Nov. 11, 1620, after 66 days at sea, a group of English settlers landed near what is today Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Onboard the Mayflower were 102 men, women, and children, including one baby born during the Atlantic crossing, who made up the Pilgrims.

The Mayflower, captained by Christopher Jones, had been bound for the mouth of the Hudson River. The ship took a northerly course to avoid pirates, but the decision to avoid the then widely traveled sea lanes to the New World took the ship into bad weather, which had blown the Mayflower miles off course and left the ship damaged. Off Cape Cod, the adult males in the group made the fateful decision to build an entire colony where none had existed prior. They wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact.

“In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc. Having undertaken for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together in a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.”

After a few weeks off Cape Cod, they sailed up the coast until they reached Plymouth. There they found a Wampanoag Indian village that had been abandoned due to some sort of plague. During the Winter of 1620-1621 they lived aboard the Mayflower and would row to shore each day to build houses. Finally, they had built enough houses to actually move to the colony, but the cold, damp conditions aboard the ship had been costly.

Some 28 men, 13 women (one of them in child birth), and 8 children died in that winter. Governor John Carver would die in April. His widow, Kathrine White Carver, would follow a few weeks later. There is some recent archaeological evidence suggesting that some of the dead were butchered and eaten by the survivors.

The Mayflower and her crew left for England on April 5, 1621, never to return.

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About 40 of the Pilgrims were religious Separatists, members of a Puritan sect that had split from the Church of England, in defiance of English law. In 1609, they immigrated to Holland to practice their religion but ran into problems there too. Others in the group had remained part of the Church of England but were sympathetic to their Separatist friends. They did not call themselves Pilgrims, that term was adopted at the bicentennial for the Mayflower voyage. The members of core Separatist sect referred to themselves as “Saints” and people not in their sect as “Strangers.”

In March 1621, an English speaking Native American, named Samoset, visited the Plymouth colony and asked for beer. He spent the night talking with the settlers and later introduced them to Squanto, who spoke even better English. Squanto introduced them to the chief of the Wampanoag, Massasoit.

Squanto moved in with the Pilgrims, serving as their advisor and translator. The friendly Wampanoag tribe taught the Pilgrims how to hunt and grow crops. The two groups began trading furs with each other.

William Bradford, a Separatist who helped draft the Mayflower Compact, became the longtime Plymouth Governor. He was also the writer of the first history of the Plymouth Colony and the Mayflower. Bradford’s more notable descendants include author, dictionary writer and scholar Noah Webster; TV chef Julia Child; and Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Public Service Announcement

In the fall of 1621, 399 years ago, the Pilgrims invited their Wampanoag Indian friends to a feast celebrating their first harvest and a year in the New World with a three-day festival. This has become known as the first Thanksgiving.

Today is a national and state holiday. Schools, banks, government offices and many private businesses are closed.

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Health

Alabama hospitals nearing COVID-19 summer surge levels

Wednesday was the 18th straight day with more than 1,000 people in hospitals in Alabama with COVID-19. 

Eddie Burkhalter

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UAB Chief of Hospital Medicine Dr. Kierstin Kennedy.

Alabama hospitals reported caring for 1,483 people infected with COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest number of patients since Aug. 11, when the state was enduring its summer surge. Wednesday was also the 18th straight day with more than 1,000 people in hospitals in Alabama with COVID-19. 

The seven-day average of hospitalizations was 1,370 on Wednesday, the 36th straight day of that average rising. The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 2,453 new cases Wednesday. The 14-day average of new cases was — for the eighth day in a row — at a record high of 2,192. 

Across the country, more than 80,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday, a record high and the 15th straight day of record hospitalizations nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project, a coronavirus tracking website.

The CDC this week recommended people not travel for Thanksgiving to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

“The only way for us to successfully get through this pandemic is if we work together,” said Dr. Kierstin Kennedy, UAB’s chief of hospital medicine, in a message Tuesday. “There’s no one subset of the community that’s going to be able to carry the weight of this pandemic and so we all have to take part in wearing our masks, keeping our distance, making sure that we’re washing our hands.” 

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Kennedy said the best way she can describe the current situation is “Russian Roulette.” 

“Not only in the form of, maybe you get it and you don’t get sick or maybe you get it and you end up in the ICU,” Kennedy said, “but if you do end up sick, are you going to get to the hospital at a time when we’ve got capacity, and we’ve got enough people to take care of you? And that is a scary thought.” 

The Alabama Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported an increase of 60 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. Deaths take time to confirm and the date a death is reported does not necessarily reflect the date on which the individual died. At least 23 of those deaths occurred in November, and 30 occurred in other months. Seven were undated. Data for the last two to three weeks are incomplete.

Public Service Announcement

As of Wednesday, at least 3,532 Alabamians have died of COVID-19, according to the Department of Public Health. During November, at least 195 people have died in Alabama from COVID-19. But ADPH is sure to add more to the month’s tally in the weeks to come as data becomes more complete.

ADPH on Wednesday announced a change that nearly doubled the department’s estimate of people who have recovered from COVID-19, bringing that figure up to 161,946. That change also alters APR’s estimates of how many cases are considered active.

ADPH’s Infectious Disease and Outbreak team “updated some parameters” in the department’s Alabama NEDSS Base Surveillance System, which resulted in the increase, the department said.

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Corruption

Judge reduces former Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard’s prison sentence

The trial court judge ordered his 48-month sentence reduced to 28 months.

Eddie Burkhalter

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Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard was booked into jail to begin serving his four-year sentence for ethics violations in September. (VIA LEE COUNTY DETENTION CENTER)

Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Walker on Wednesday reduced former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s prison sentence from four years to just more than two. 

Walker in his order filed Wednesday noted that Hubbard was sentenced to fours years on Aug. 9, 2016, after being convicted of 12 felony ethics charges for misusing his office for personal gain, but that on Aug. 27, 2018, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals reversed convictions on one counts. The Alabama Supreme Court later struck down another five counts.

Hubbard’s attorneys on Sept. 18 filed a motion to revise his sentence, to which the state objected, according to court records, arguing that “Hubbard’s refusal to admit any guilt or express any remorse makes him wholly unfit to receive any leniency.”   

Walker in his order cited state code and wrote that the power of the courts to grant probation “is a matter of grace and lies entirely within the sound discretion of the trial court.” 

“Furthermore, the Court must consider the nature of the Defendant’s crimes. Acts of public corruption harm not just those directly involved, but harm society as a whole,” Walker wrote.

Walker ruled that because six of Hubbard’s original felony counts were later reversed, his sentence should be changed to reflect that, and ordered his 48-month sentence reduced to 28 months. 

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Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Wednesday said Walker’s decision to reduce Hubbard’s sentence was the wrong message to send.

“Mr. Hubbard was convicted of the intentional violation of Alabama’s ethics laws, the same laws he championed in the legislature only later to brazenly disregard for his personal enrichment,” Marshall said in a statement. “Even as he sits in state prison as a six-time felon, Mike Hubbard continues to deny any guilt or offer any remorse for his actions in violation of the law.  Reducing his original four-year sentence sends precisely the wrong message to would-be violators of Alabama’s ethics laws.”

Hubbard was booked into the Lee County Jail on Sept. 11, more than four years after his conviction. On Nov. 5 he was taken into custody by the Department of Corrections.

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News

Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19, has “mild symptoms”

It’s unlikely Saban will be able to coach in person during Saturday’s Iron Bowl against Auburn.

Eddie Burkhalter

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University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban.

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Iron Bowl and has mild symptoms, according to a statement from the university on Wednesday. 

“This morning we received notification that Coach Saban tested positive for COVID-19,” said Dr. Jimmy Robinson and Jeff Allan, associate athletic director, in the statement. “He has very mild symptoms, so this test will not be categorized as a false positive. He will follow all appropriate guidelines and isolate at home.” 

Saban had previously tested positive before Alabama’s game against Georgia but was asymptomatic and subsequently tested negative three times, a sign that the positive test could have been a false positive. He returned to coach that game. 

It’s unlikely Saban will be able to coach in person during Saturday’s Iron Bowl against Auburn, given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for quarantining after testing positive and with symptoms. Neither Saban nor the university had spoken about that possibility as of Wednesday morning.

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