By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Recent court filings reveal that Speaker Mike Hubbard told former Gov. Bob Riley that the pair would need to form a “shadow party” to compete with the official Republican Party of Alabama.
An email published as a result of Hubbard’s criminal defense attorney J. Mark Whites’ request, has exposed a plan to form an alternative party machine to counter the ALGOP, should Bill Armistead win reelection as Chairman over their handpicked candidate, Matt Fridy.
Exhibit K contains a Jan 17, 2013 email exchange where Riley asked Hubbard how Fridy was fairing in the chairman’s race. Hubbard responded saying:
Riley to Hubbard
“How close is the chairmans [sic] race”
Hubbard to Riley
“Hard to Tell, Matt is working hard and has about 175 commitments so far. Of course, people so lie.”
Hubbard then adds, “If Armistead wins, we will just have to create a shadow party.”
Armistead did win reelection and the shadow party that Hubbard described went into action.
In reality, the shadow party had been in place since 2011. The dynamo to power the machine was Riley’s Alabama 2014 political action committee (PAC). It was later joined by Hubbard’s Storming the State House PAC.
Alabama 2014 PAC registered with the Secretary of State on March,12, 2011, after Armistead won the chairmanship race over Hubbard and Riley’s handpicked soldier, Jay Love in February.
The shadow party began to take shape as Hubbard, Riley and the Senate President Pro Tem banded together, after Armistead upset their plans to control the party apparatus.
Marsh told AP in March, 2011 that the PAC “hope to raise $2 million to $3 million to make sure true Republicans are elected in the primary.”
It would be Riley, Hubbard and Marsh who would decide who were real Republicans, even when it meant recruiting former Democrats to run against life long Republicans.
Not only did shadow party raise more money than ALGOP, it gloated in its success over Armistead and the official party.
In an email released at the request of Hubbard’s criminal defense attorney in his felony corruption case, Hubbard boasts to Riley about receiving a promise of $40,000 from Altria, the parent company of Phillip Morris, saying to Riley, “Let’s see Armistead and Lathan get one like that.” Hubbard was referring the Bill Armistead and Jerry Lathan the husband of Terry Lathan who would go on to replace Armistead.
All total Riley’s 2014 PAC and Hubbard’s Storming the State House PAC would raise $4,344,647 to ALGOP’s $3,870,397.
Hubbard’s Storm PAC lost steam as more information about the charges against him were revealed.