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Too Little Too Late

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter


On Sunday, the Alabama Republican Party Steering Committee passed a resolution asking House Speaker Mike Hubbard to “suspend his role as Speaker until his trial is complete, and the indictments against him are resolved.”
At least the majority on the Steering Committee have finally addressed the cancer that has infected the State House. And I, like others, have prayed for a tipping point, that would see Hubbard removed.

In a press statement, ALGOP Chair Terry Lathan said, “The Alabama Republican Party strongly believes the needs of our state must be the first priority of our elected officials. The GOP controlled legislature needs full time focused attention on the people’s business. The distractions of Representative Hubbard’s legal situation will make it extremely difficult for him to meet the demands of his role as Alabama Speaker of the House of Representatives.”

She further added “As a servant of the people, we urge Representative Hubbard to put the larger interest of Alabama first.”

Hubbard, as expected, trotted out his tired, old horse to blame the messenger and accuse Lathan of having hurt feelings: “Her request is simply a symptom of lingering resentment against the leadership.” Hubbard says, she was mad because he and the legislature raised taxes on the working families of Alabama.

Hubbard is a narcissistic parasite, who should be frogmarched out of the State House by Republicans, not rewarded with the Speakership.

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Since his indictment on 23 felony counts of public corruption, Hubbard has continued to serve as Speaker during four sessions of the State Legislature. During that time, he has even attempted to pass legislation that would have made some of alleged crimes legal.

Rep. Ed Henry has seen the light, and has vowed to call for a vote to vacate the chair. Most see this as a losing move for Henry, but even if he loses the vote he wins, because his conscience will be clear. Others will not be able to say the same.

Across the State, every major editorial board, including this publication, has, in strongly worded prose, called for Hubbard to be removed as Speaker. ALGOP with delicately nuance language asked him to voluntarily step aside until the his trial was complete.

While the efforts of the Steering committee is commendable, it is far from being commanding. Leaders, such as Hubbard, have been indicted across the nation, and not one has been allowed to continue in a leadership position.
The ALGOP Steering committee seems to believe that Hubbard has a conscience. He may have had one a long time ago, but it is now seared with the hot iron of corruption and hubris. Hubbard will never step down from power. He must, like the money changers at the temple, be driven out.

For months, there has been a rumor that Hubbard would suspend his speakership, if pressure were to mount to a boiling point. However, it would be a convenient charade because he would continue to run the activities of the chamber from the floor.

With the withdrawal of his lead counsel, J. Mark White, and the firm of White Arnold and Dowd, the probability of Hubbard’s conviction has risen exponentially.

He is currently shopping for a criminal lawyer who will take his high profile case, simply for the publicity it will generate.

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Hubbard is in real trouble, according to those close to the case. It is not only the volume of evidence, or the witnesses who will testify for the prosecution, but Hubbard himself has become unstable.

Hubbard needs to go, but that hour has passed it would seem.

There is no decency left in him. At his core, Hubbard is a scared child running as fast as he can from the red clay roads of Georgia, but that clay is in his blood, and he will once again be barefoot and broke. He is a talentless corporal, who became a tyrant, and he will fall hard.

Sic semper tyrannis

Of course, in the House chambers, there cannot be found a single Cassius or Brutus brave enough to remove the dictator.

Hubbard is the dangerous consequence of a corrupt system. He will pass, and there will be a moment for change; but for now he must be endured. There is a cure, but the House Republicans seem to want the disease cut out by the brave men and women in the Attorney General’s Office.

There is a strange infection in the State House, that leads men to grovel for power, to bow and suck-up to leaders like Hubbard. I wish it were not so, I think Chairwoman Lathan feels the same way. Lathan did the right thing, but like so much of the response to Hubbard’s indictment, sadly it is too little too late.

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Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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