By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
The single, most relevant thing we can take away from the numerous email exchanges between Speaker Mike Hubbard and his cohorts, is that each one is about how to make money off of State government, but not even one is about how to better serve the people of Alabama, or his House District. Not one.
Hubbard whines, threatens, pleads, and grovels in a most unmanly way, and never once is it about anything other than him, personally.
He never puts his Alabama family first. He has continually betrayed them for his own prurient interests.
Hubbard knows how to package an idea, but he doesn’t know how to be a leader without breaking the rules. He knows how to sell a concept, but like the car salesman who has lost his drivers license due to a drunk driving charge, he can only sell vehicles, but he can’t drive one, legally.
Hubbard is an actor, and not a very good one at that. In the small world of Alabama politics he wanted to be Michael Corleone to former Gov. Bob Riley’s, Godfather, but instead, it turned out he was more suited for the role of Fredo. In The Godfather, Fredo is a most obedient, and dutiful son, but he is simple-minded, and the weakness of character has dire consequences for he and his family. When his father, Don Corleone is gunned-down in the street by would be assassins, Fredo panics, fumbles his gun, and fails to return fire. Next, we see him sitting on the curb sobbing, paralyzed by his own failure. This is the real Mike Hubbard, who, at heart, is a greedy, little, sniffling coward. That sexy beast, Riley, is learning that his creation can’t be trusted, but he is playing both Hubbard, and the prosecution, trying to come out on the winning side of the equation.
Ultimately, it will be Riley’s son Rob, his wartime consigliere, who will decide when to have Hubbard rowed to his unexpected demise. Rob, and his sister Minda Riley Campbell, are both pretty good lawyers, and by now they have realized that J. Mark White, the attorney Rob recommended Hubbard hire, is digging an expensive grave for his client, and perhaps the Riley mob as well.
White has fumbled Hubbard’s defense in unimaginable ways. His calling for a, “More Defined Statement of Facts” led to the first barrage of emails, which showed that Hubbard was a double-dealing cheat. And again, his motion to dismiss on the grounds that State ethics laws were unconstitutional, opened the floodgates for further emails which revealed the machinations of Hubbard’s schemes to enrich himself, using his office for personal gain.
Interestingly, it was Augusta Dowd, not White, who issued a statement rebutting John Archibald’s rich denunciation of Hubbard. She thought the prosecution was “cherry picking” emails. Sorry Mrs. Dowd, they are his emails, and they are most likely the most damning.
“It’s ironic that I was the ‘architect’ of putting a pro-business legislature in place, yet businesses seem to want to avoid any personal association with me like the plague!,” wrote Hubbard to investment banker and BCA board member Will Brooke. Of course, this was right after asking Brooke, “Ya got a little something for me?”
Like Fredo, Hubbard begs from his betters, and threatens those he perceives as inferior. Hubbard packaged the Republican takeover of the legislature, but like Fredo, he was too corrupt and inept to hold on to it.
Fredo Corleone to Michael: “It ain’t the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says… like dumb… I’m smart and I want respect!”
Hubbard is smart, but he can’t handle things, important things, like his greed, his appetite, and his lust. These are the soul killers.
Fredo Corleone: “Every time I put my line in the water I said a Hail Mary, and every time I said a Hail Mary, I caught a fish.”
In a January 14, 2011 email Hubbard wrote to Riley, “I hope you know how much I love and respect you. I try every day to pattern myself after you as a husband, father, Christian and as a public servant. That’s a pretty lofty goal, but I try. If I can even come close, I will be happy.”
I’m sure that Hubbard is familiar with “The Godfather.” That being said, he may not want to accept an invitation from his Godfather to go fishing anytime soon. He most likely would metaphorically join Luca Brasi, who sleeps with the fishes.
RIP Fredo Hubbard.