By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, June 6, 2016, former Alabama Governor Bob Riley (R) told the court room that, “Mike is doing everything he possibly can not to break the law.” This was day nine of the ongoing felony ethics trial of current Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn).
Governor Riley is a prosecution witness who answered prosecution questions for seven hours on Friday and Monday. Defense counsel Lieutenant Governor Bill Baxley (D) cross examined the Republican Governor turned high powered lobbyist for close to two hours on Monday and that is expected to carry over on Tuesday.
Gov. Bob Riley testified, “Mike Hubbard is one of the best friends I have ever had.”
When IMG announced that it was severing ties with Hubbard’s company, the Auburn Network in twelve months Speaker Hubbard asked both Gov. Riley and his daughter, Minda Campbell Riley if he could quit his position as Speaker of the House and go to work for Bob Riley and Associates the powerful lobbying and consulting firm that Gov. Riley established after leaving the Governor’s mansion. Both said no that Hubbard needed to wait.
Gov. Riley testified that he did attempt to find supplemental income for Speaker Hubbard: “I was trying to help Mike Hubbard do anything to make a living. A lot of his friends were trying to figure out what he could do.”
Riley testified that Mike Hubbard did not become Chairman of the Republican Party to get business for his company, Craftmaster Printing; he became Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party because Gov. Riley told him to do it. Riley testified that after the 2006 election he called Rep. Mike Hubbard into his office and said there was something important that I need for you to do. Rep. Hubbard said of course Governor I will do anything you need me to do. Then I told him that I wanted him to be the Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. Mike said, I can’t take anything else on. That he did not have the time and that his business was already suffering. Riley told him, “This is something I really need you to consider.”
Riley testified that it was not Chairman Hubbard’s decision to use Mike Hubbard’s company, Craftmaster Printing, for the Alabama Republican Party’s printing needs: that that decision was made in a meeting by Gov. Riley, then ALGOP Chairman Mike Hubbard, and state Senator Del Marsh (R-Anniston).
Gov. Riley testified that he had used Craftmaster Printing when he ran for Congress and in both campaigns for Governor. When Mike Hubbard became Alabama GOP Chairman they moved in essence the same group of people who ran my 2006 campaign. Gov. Riley defeated then Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley (D). Gov. Riley joked to Baxley. “You might know her.” Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley is a former wife of lead defense counsel, former Lt. Gov. Bill Baxley.
Riley testified that as at Bob Riley and Associates most of his work is focused on consulting and that most of the lobbying that he personally does is on the federal level.
Gov. Riley testified that he did try to steer clients projects to the area of the South East Alabama Gas District (SEAGD) where Hubbard was getting paid as an economic development consultant.