Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mike Hubbard represents the tip of a corrupt iceberg that remains anchored in Alabama's political waters

Mike Hubbard's mugshot
Does yesterday's indictment and arrest of House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) mean Alabama soon will lose its place among the 10 most corrupt states in the country?

Don't bet on it.

Alabama was the No. 6 most corrupt state in a recent Fortune magazine ranking and probably deserved to be No.1, thanks to our tendency to elect self-serving "leaders" like Hubbard.

Hubbard is a major public figure, and if he is convicted, it would represent a rare instance of a white, conservative Republican being held accountable for his misdeeds. That hardly has ever happened since Karl Rove arrived on the Alabama political scene in 1994, followed a few years later by Jack Abramoff and millions of dollars in Mississippi gaming cash.

Rove and Abramoff helped lay the foundation for the Riley Machine, led by former Governor Bob Riley (2002-2010) and driven largely by his children, Birmingham lawyers Rob Riley and Minda Riley Campbell.

Without the support of Team Riley, Hubbard probably never would have risen to political heights. One publication recently called Hubbard "Riley's second son." Hubbard even named one of his son's "Riley," in honor of the former governor.

Yesterday's indictment provides details about deals Hubbard tried to make with several members of the Riley Machine--including Bob Riley, Minda Riley Campbell, and political consultant Dax Swatek. According to a report at al.com, most of those approached gave Hubbard what he wanted. From Mike Cason's article:

According to the indictment, Hubbard solicited favors from some of Alabama's rich and powerful. They include former Alabama Governor Bob Riley, Business Council of Alabama CEO Billy Canary, Hoar Construction CEO Rob Burton, Great Southern Wood CEO Jimmy Rane, former Sterne Agee CEO James Holbrook, lobbyist Minda Riley Campbell, Harbert Management Corp. vice president Will Brooke and political operative Dax Swatek.

Most gave Hubbard what he wanted, according to the indictment, including major investments into Hubbard's company, Craftmaster Printing.

That raises this question: Did most of these deals amount to illegal "quid pro quos," where there was an agreement for the giver to receive something in return for his gift? If so, both parties in the deals should be subject to prosecution, as happened in the case of former Democratic governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.

That probably would be covered by federal bribery law (see 18 U.S. Code 666), but we do not know at this point if the U.S. Department of Justice is involved.

So far, Hubbard is the only major team member to have his mugshot taken. That means the question now about the Lee County grand jury is this: What's next?

If Mike Hubbard proves to be the "big fish" that was caught in the net, not much will have been accomplished. The real big fish--members of the Riley family--are still swimming in Alabama's murky political waters.

That's where the attention of law enforcement needs to turn next.


Anonymous said...

Time for the dominos to start falling. All of them should be locked up.

Anonymous said...

e.a.f. on 10/20/14 @ 10:21 PM

Your thoughts of screen play preparations are not to be taken lightly; adventures of love in the afternoon and cheap cheating in the evening time are but footnotes, after all, all that is at stake for Alabamians is the achieving of legally and lawfully due honest and trustworthy transparent government officials, validated by Alabamians their employed-elected officials' individual dedications and commitments in the upholding of their hand given to official sworn oath and bond, subsequent mid-terms forward; whatever movements previously to undermine and/or take advantage of the tax payer's coffers and national reputation is due to be held publicly accountable for actions during performances of duties while in their official capacities under color of law.
What you think about title, "We The People" or "Alabama, state in DISgrace"?

David in S. Alabama said...

The next question is will those named in the indictment like Bob Riley also be indicted?

Anonymous said...

Upon Don Siegelman let go from prison and Karl Rove replaces him, then "Justice" can serve the people of America-Alabama.

And of course in prison with Rove, the entire gang of the Project for a New American Century.

The actions to jail Rove and PNAC can prove USA is on the path of higher intelligence.

Until the destroyers of our country are held to the highest Justice, there is only the continuing supreme injustice.

e.a.f. said...

if its a case of bribery, it takes 2 to tango. Like one gives/offers the bribe. The other accepts the bribe. You'd think both parties would get charged. In Canada we saw this work out ever so well. The one who accepted the bribe has 31 charges leveled at him, Mike Duffy. The guy, who offered the bribe, Nigel Wright, working as chief of staff in the prime minister's office, well he just got another job in England and no charges.
It sometimes looks like no matter what the country, those conservative types are all about the same. We can only hope they wind up the same way, in jail, both the bribes and the bribers. its only fair. Unfortunately, its usually the one with the lesser wealth who gets tossed to the dogs. the ultra elite still skate.