By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—By now, most are aware that Speaker Mike Hubbard, in a fit of petty retribution, removed Rep. Phil Williams (R-Monrovia) from the chairmanship of the House Technology and Research Committee, replacing him with perceived Hubbard loyalist, Rep. Donnie Chesteen. But, Williams is not the only lawmaker Hubbard punished last week for not showing him unquestioning loyalty.
Most know Hubbard also removed Rep. Ed Henry from the House, Ways and Means Education Committee, replacing him with Rep. Jim Patterson. Henry has been an outspoken critic of Hubbard, and has even dared a face to face showdown with him.
Rep. Mike Holmes, who has been mentioned as Hubbard’s possible replacement, was removed from the House, Ways and Means General Fund Committee. He was replaced by AEA-backed newcomer Rep. Connie Rowe, who once stood against Hubbard, but of late, has been accepted into the fold.
Rep. Allen Treadway was taken off the County and Municipal government committee. His spot was given to newly elected Rep. Chris Blackshear.
Last week, Treadaway told al.com’s Kyle Whitmere, that he would be filing a bill that would require lawmakers indicted for felonies to step down from any leadership roles, until their cases had been resolved. Treadaway said, “What I’m trying to do is to remove the distraction and what I consider to be an embarrassment” …adding, “Also I wanted to let the public know where I stand,” Treadaway said. “Not all legislators are supportive [of Hubbard].”
Rep. Jim Carns was bounced from the Commerce committee, and his seat was given to Patterson. Carns has never been a Hubbard acolyte.
No House Democrats were reassigned or removed.
In a June 2007 op-ed in the Mobile Press Register, Hubbard wrote, “By continuing to defend [Gov. Don Siegelman] him, the (Party) is endorsing corruption, crime and cronyism at the highest levels of state government.”
It now seems those who promised to remove the stain of corruption from Montgomery, are content to cover it over by repeating the phrase, “innocent until proven guilty,” as long as Hubbard gives them a little bone to chew on.
Hubbard’s latest assault on his critics has angered some, confounded others, and has many lawmakers, who were once silent, considering moving against him.
This act of revenge has caused several legislators, who were taking a wait and see attitude, to reconsider replacing Hubbard. Hubbard’s trial on 23 counts of felony public corruption begins March 28.