Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mike Hubbard and Don Siegelman are alike? Al.com's John Archibald must be joking--and he contradicts his own words in a column from about a year ago

John Archibald
It probably was inevitable that a member of the Alabama mainstream media (MSM) would compare indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) with imprisoned former Democratic governor Don Siegelman? It was a cinch that the MSMer's analysis would be wildly off target. But we never dreamed he would contradict his own words from roughly a year ago.

The journalist in question is al.com's John Archibald, who wrote "Why Mike Hubbard is like Don Siegelman." Archibald is no stranger to shallow, nonsensical analysis, so it's not a surprise that he would tackle this subject and screw it up. But you would think he might at least remember his own words from February 2014, in a post titled "This country is about to have a throwdown over abusive cops and courts."

Archibald's Hubbard/Siegelman commentary is goofy from the outset because there are almost no similarities between the two politicians and their criminal cases:

* Hubbard was indicted while in office and has refused to step down from his post, even temporarily, despite pleas from members of his own party; Siegelman was not in office when he was indicted.

* Hubbard's indictment appears to be lawful--it was filed inside the relevant statute of limitations and cites language that matches that from the state ethics law upon which it is based; the federal government filed an indictment against Siegelman almost one full year after the statute of limitations had lapsed, and the former governor was convicted based on jury instructions that match neither the statutory nor case-law language. In essence, Siegelman and codefendant Richard Scrushy were convicted of a "crime that does not exist."

* Hubbard was indicted by a state attorney general (Luther Strange) who is a member of his own party. Siegelman's indictment and prosecution were driven by members of the opposing party. Alabama attorney Jill Simpson swore in an affidavit, and testified under oath before Congress, that GOP operatives targeted Siegelman for political reasons--not because he had committed a crime.

Don Siegelman
I could go on and on about differences between Hubbard and Siegelman and their respective cases. But let's turn our attention to Archibald.

His main gripe seems to be that neither Hubbard nor Siegelman has admitted guilt. (I'm not a Mike Hubbard fan, but he hasn't even gone to trial, and he's entitled to plead not guilty and try to prove that in court. Under those circumstances, it would be nutty for him to admit fault.) Here is the key point Archibald seems to be making:

If we know one thing at all by now it is that Mike Hubbard will serve Mike Hubbard first. He will cling to the power he believes he rightfully claimed for himself from the Democrats and all the forces marshalled against him. He will hold to that power as long as he has fingernails to sink into it. Because he is just like every other politician who grabs hold and cannot let go.

He's just like those he ridiculed when he himself staked a claim to public service.

Like convicted Democratic former Gov. Don Siegelman.

They both refuse to acknowledge fault. They both refuse to accept responsibility. They point and blame, because they always used government as a way to service themselves privately instead of using it provide the public service they promised.

Archibald seems to be saying we have a justice system that always gets it right--that all prosecutors, lawyers, judges, and jurors are fair, honorable, serious, perceptive, and knowledgeable. This system, Archibald seems to assert, is infallible--and anyone who is indicted or found to be guilty under it has a duty to admit guilt.

That's a far cry from what Archibald wrote roughly one year ago. On that occasion, Archibald was understandably disturbed about the case of Sureshbhai Patel, a grandfather from India who was body slammed and partially paralyzed by Madison police officer Eric Parker. (We will be addressing the latest outrages in the Patel case soon.) Here is what Archibald wrote last February:

I've been asked a lot lately, in the wake of the gay marriage debate, what the next great civil or human rights battleground will be. And I think this is it.

Justice. And all that means.

It is the use of force by police. It is the fairness of justice for the rich and the poor alike. The battle is simmering now, in places like Ferguson and Madison, and more quietly in courts like those in Childersburg and Clanton, where the smallest of traffic offenses can lead to jail time for those who cannot pay immediately.

It was by far the most insightful piece I've seen from John Archibald, and I praised him for it publicly. Archibald correctly stated that our justice system is deeply flawed--and the law-enforcement and legal/judicial types who make it "hum" often have dubious motives.

So why should Don Siegelman admit guilt because of the findings from a court system that Archibald admits is a long way from infallible? Why should Mike Hubbard admit fault before he's even tried by such a system?

Mike Hubbard
Here is a question for John Archibald, and those who think like him: Imagine you received a letter from the IRS, claiming you owe $5.6 million in back taxes--due to profits from a car-dealership you opened three years ago. Imagine, however, that you've never opened a car dealership or any other sort of business--profitable or otherwise.

Do you just quietly take the IRS's word and start trying to figure out how you are going to pay $5.6 million--or maybe start thinking about what life will be like in federal prison? Or do you fight back--telling IRS officials they are wrong and offering proof that you do not owe back taxes?

Any rational person is going to fight back--realizing that our government entities can, and do, make mistakes.

But Don Siegelman and Mike Hubbard are supposed to just quietly take whatever the court system gives them? I don't buy it--and John Archibald's own words indicate he doesn't buy it either.


Anonymous said...

Archibald knows what he needs to write to avoid being included in the al.com layoffs. That colors all of his writing.

Anonymous said...

Has Archibald ever written anything that hints he understands the relevant law surrounding the Siegelman case?

Anonymous said...

anyone feeling patriotic?

Anonymous said...

Talk about talking out of two sides of your mouth. Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Mike Hubbard's crime was being the abettor for the $705,000.00 Bob Riley gave the City of Auburn in 2010.

legalschnauzer said...

Bob Riley gave the City of Auburn $705,000 in 2010, and Hubbard helped make that happen? I'm not familiar with that, but it's interesting. Can you provide more details, @5:31? Has this been left out of the indictment against Hubbard? To your knowledge, do prosecutors know about this and could officials in Auburn city government potentially be in trouble?

What was the supposed purpose for the $705,000?

Would welcome insights from @5:31 or others. This is a new one for me.

legalschnauzer said...

You are saying that I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth, @1:26? How so? Not sure I follow.

Anonymous said...

1:26 here. No...saying reporter is talking out of both sides.

Anonymous said...

A O News August 17 2010

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for sharing, @12:30. Think I found the article and will cut and paste below for folks to read. I don't think this article mentions Riley, but it sure seems likely that he was involved in this. Had to cut some of article due to space limitations in comments:

Hubbard Secures $705,000 for AHS Stadium Addition & Renovation

By David Morrison, Opelika Auburn News
Published: August 18, 2010
Auburn City School Superientendent Dr. James Terry Jenkins and Auburn High principal Dr. Todd Freeman had a little idea they wanted to run by state Rep. Mike Hubbard last October.
Prompted by the overflow crowds that were beginning to be a problem at Duck Samford Stadium, they contacted Hubbard with a blueprint for renovations and a request for help funding the construction.
They just wanted to see if Hubbard could help the project get off the ground. They got enough to fund the whole thing.
And install a new scoreboard to boot.
Hubbard, Jenkins, Freeman, athletic director Clay McCall and other Auburn officials unveiled the new-look Duck Samford Wednesday, a little more than two weeks before it needs to go live for the Tigers’ first home game, Sept. 10 against Enterprise.
“Mike has gone way beyond the call of duty, in our opinion,” Jenkins said. “When we approached Mike, not only did he do what we asked him to do, he far exceeded what we asked him to do. He has connections that are appreciated very much here.”
Hubbard helped secure $705,000 from the state Public School and College Authority to build 2,500 more seats for the stadium — bringing its capacity to 8,310 — new restrooms and a new digital scoreboard.
The new bleachers inhabit the hill on the south end of the stadium, as well adding onto the visitors’ side, which is also decked out with a new coaching box atop the stands.
McCall said the giant white “AHS” that used to occupy the hill is in storage for the time being.
“We just don’t want to put it up in an area that would not do justice for it,” McCall said.
The allocations for Auburn City Schools came in the form of a $650,000 grant on April 1, and a $55,000 one for the scoreboard on May 12.
Auburn was one of 10 school systems statewide to receive part of a nearly $1.3 million allocation from the Public School and College Authority for capital improvements in April, along with Mobile County ($249,851), Baldwin County ($149,760), Vestavia Hills ($120,000), Winston County ($30,000), Homewood, Hoover, Mountain Brook and Shelby County ($20,000 each) and St. Clair County ($1,000).
Hubbard said the interest accrued from the authority’s fund is used for “capital expenditures for educational facilities.”
“I said, ‘This is something we need to do,’ not only for the school system, but for the community,” Hubbard said. “I got to work and was able to secure the money. It reflects on what Auburn City Schools stands for, and the city of Auburn. The people of Auburn take a lot of pride in their school system, their athletic teams and their facilities.
“I believe this is going to rival any facility of its type in the entire state.”
Hubbardrepresents District 79 at the state legislature, which, according to statistics taken for the 2001 district reapportionment, includes nearly 29,000 residents in Auburn, 9,000 in Opelika and 6,500 in the rest of Lee County.

Anonymous said...

A client of Bradley Arant got caught up and had to be rescued.Dont bug me for his name.

legalschnauzer said...

Are you referring to the $705,000 Hubbard secured for City of Auburn, @4:12? A Bradley Arant client was involved in that?

Anonymous said...

Washington based DOJ officials prosecuted Milton Mcgregor.Why were they in Alabama to begin with?

Anonymous said...

Claudette Rogers' supervisor sent her to Auburn in Dec.2009. In Jan. 2010,The City of Auburn surveyed for a utility easement on the property Campus Crest Apts. are built on.The City informed the Contractor that he had dumped 300 truck loads of fill dirt on property, he did not own.(Robert Yancey property)
The Bingo investigation began in Feb.2010 By including Harri Anne,the prosecutors were trying to back-date the investigation. John McEachern was the Auburn-Opelika Division FBI Agent.

legalschnauzer said...

Could you provide some clarification, @8:09. Not sure I understand your point. Are you saying there are connections between Campus Crest, City of Auburn, and bingo trial?

MrsW said...

In Nov 2009,the Justice Dept.was inquiring into an elected official's property transactions. Campus Crest involuntary got caught up.The investigation then turned to bingo.

Anonymous said...

The Justice Dept.from DC came to Auburn looking for a elected official selling hot property.No need to panic.VP Joe Biden's friend Ted Rollins is in town buying property for Campus Crest.Sell him some hot property and problem solved.To avoid embarrasment,
procede no further.But why waste a Federal inquiry.Get rid of McGregor for good.
Also a good time to get a few buddies appointed Federal judges,and maybe wack Don Seigleman again.The whole damn thing is kind of amusing, until you consider we now have a Supreme Court Justice who did the wacking.

legalschnauzer said...

Interesting, @8:06. Not sure I follow everything you are saying, but Ted Rollins's side of the Rollins' empire is based in Delaware (Dover Downs, Rollins Jamaica, etc.), and they are well acquainted with Joe Biden. They also are well acquainted with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Is that the justice to whom you refer?

legalschnauzer said...

Mrs. W: You are referring to an Alabama elected official with property transactions in Auburn. That sounds Hubbardesque. How did investigation make the transition to bingo? Don't see that connection yet.

Anonymous said...

Good way to storm the statehouse

Anonymous said...

You are going to have to wait until after Hubbard,s trial(at least November)to fit all the pieces.

legalschnauzer said...

Do you think Ted Rollins could be called as a witness in the Hubbard trial?

Anonymous said...

First,let me say;Ted Rollins did the correct thing by building around the hot property.Lee Co property maps show the property fenced out of Campus Crest.A Bank ended up with some hot property also. Mike Hubbard's legal strategy of prosecutor mis-conduct relies on another event happening first.As for Rollins as a witness,yes.
If Mike can delay his trial one year,he will not be convicted.