Monday, May 11, 2015

Will Poarch Creeks pay Mike Hubbard's legal expenses if he helps pave the way for exclusive gaming rights?

Mike Hubbard
The Poarch Creek Indians apparently have reached a deal to pay legal expenses for Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) in exchange for his opposition to a bill that would end the tribe's virtual monopoly on gaming in the state, according to a political-newsletter report.

Inside Alabama Politics (IAP) also reports that a television show hosted by Montgomery-based journalist Bill Britt has been forced to change stations and time slots, apparently because Hubbard has warned potential advertisers to steer clear of the show.

Could Hubbard face legal repercussions for such actions? Well, if a quid pro quo ("something for something") deal is proven with the Poarch Creeks, it almost certainly would amount to a violation of federal bribery laws. Hubbard already faces a 23-count indictment for alleged violations of state ethics laws, hence the need for someone to pay escalating legal bills.

If Hubbard is proven to have scared away advertisers on Voice of Alabama Politics, Britt likely would have a strong civil case for tortious interference, which could result in significant damages. Britt has been perhaps Hubbard's most dogged and consistent critic, writing dozens of investigative pieces at Alabama Political Reporter about Hubbard's apparent inclination to use his political office for personal gain.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh has sponsored a bill that would address the state's budget shortfall by creating a lottery and casino gaming at several dog tracks. Have the Poarch Creeks promised to pay Hubbard for assurances that the Marsh bill does not pass in the House. If such a corrupt deal is proven, Hubbard's legal woes might just be starting. Reports IAP:
It’s widely rumored on Goat Hill that Hubbard has already negotiated a secret deal with PCI which would allow the tribe to continue its gambling monopoly in Alabama. That should come as no surprise, since Hubbard has long-standing financial ties to PCI. Another rumor circulating this week was the PCI have offered to pay Hubbard’s legal defense bill, for assurances Marsh’s bill doesn’t pass the House.

It was widely reported after the 2010 election cycle by publications such as Politico, the Birmingham News, and The Montgomery Independent that $550,000 in campaign contributions from PCI were laundered through the Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington into political action committees in Alabama controlled by Hubbard.
A corrupt deal with the Poarch Creeks could help cost Hubbard his freedom, which already is on shaky ground. A scheme to interfere with Bill Britt's business relationships could cost Hubbard big bucks. Reports IAP:
The political commentary show, Voice of Alabama Politics, has moved from its Sunday morning time on ABC, to Sunday evening on Alabama Cable Network.

“Speaker Hubbard has used his considerable political influence to warn people off of advertising on our show because he wants to muzzle anyone who will report or speak about his leadership,” host Bill Britt told his viewers this week.

The V can now be seen every Sunday at 6:30 PM on Charter Cable channel 80 as well as every Sunday morning on YouTube.
Hubbard's connections to the Poarch Creeks also are a part of this story, according to IAP:
Britt, a constant critic of Speaker Mike Hubbard, when asked by IAP if it was his understanding Hubbard directed the Poarch Creek Indians to stop advertising on The V, he responded, “that is what I was told as to why they pulled their advertising. Jim Barton (a principal with the lobbying firm Barton and Kinney LLC, who represent the PCI) delivered the message from Hubbard to the tribe is my understanding.”


Anonymous said...

Maybe "Hub" figures he's already in trouble with the state, so why not risk trouble with the feds?

Anonymous said...

Mike Hubbard seems to have trouble keeping his nose out of other people's business. Reminds me of that woman who used to live across the street from Samantha and Daren on "Bewitched."

legalschnauzer said...

You're talking about Gladys Kravitz on "Bewitched," @9:59. Hah, what a great character. Thanks for the memories. Gladys even has her own Wikipedia entry:

Anonymous said...

What if Del Marsh is proposing his lottery/casino bill only to scare the Indians into helping his buddy Hubbard with legal bills?

What if Marsh and Hubbard have colluded on this, and they have no intention of passing a lottery/casino bill?

What if they have no intention of doing anything about the budget problem--they just want to scam money out of the tribe?

Anonymous said...

There is not going to be legalized lottery or casino in Alabama. This is all a smoke screen, in the end PCI monopoly will remain and they will increase their $250 million offer and Bentley, Hubbard, Marsh and Riley will approve. VictoryLand will remain closed and Greentrack will remain open.

Berle said...

Mike Hubbard has the most obvious case of "short man's syndrome" I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Hah, good one, Berle. No matter how much Mikey steals or betrays the public trust, he will always be a short man. Nuthin gonna change that.

e.a.f. said...

you really have to wonder about the voters in Alabama, when they keep voting the same people into office and they the voters aren't getting much out of it.

You'd think voters would want the State to be in control of the gambling so they could scoop some of the money to be used as state revenue.