During the time that Luther Strange was the State Attorney General, he chose to ignore all the complaints submitted against Ana Franklin. During that time frame, the laws were definitely a sham. We have a new State Attorney General in Steve Marshall. Hopefully, he will make his mark on the politicians such as Hubbard, Franklin, Oliver and others who currently have a license to steal. Please read John Archibald's entire story. What do we the people have to lose when we have corrupt politicians from the top down? Our rights and our tax dollars. The corrupt politicians get rich while we struggle to make a living.
We have an opportunity right now to rid our state of the corruption that consumes both state and locally elected politicians.
We have an opportunity to ensure that Luther Strange does not win his bid for U.S. Senator. Send big Luther home to deal with his own personal issues that are as big as anything that Governor Bentley has been involved in.
Why Mike Hubbard's appeal is a threat to Alabama
Mike Hubbard, the erstwhile most powerful man in Alabama, wants to stay out of jail.
Of course he does. Because it's jail. And because falling from speaker of the house to speaker in the big house isn't a good trajectory.
So his case, and his four-year prison sentence for breaking a dozen ethics laws in the perpetual pursuit of personal gain, is on appeal.
His lawyers argue that what he did wasn't really against the law at all. It was all a misinterpretation of the ethics code Hubbard helped to pass.
If you believe that, you probably believe Robert Bentley and Rebekah Mason were just friends, or that Don Siegelman was framed.
If Hubbard's lawyers win, it would mean it's OK for Alabama politicians to vote on laws that benefit the people who pay them ridiculous amounts of money. It would mean it's fine for them to take cash from those who profit from public action, and it's OK to sell their positions to the highest bidder.
It's open season on ethics. And common decency, and honesty.
Maybe that's just me being radical me. Maybe the state said it better. This is the way the Alabama attorney general's office began its latest response to the appeal.
"If anything is illegal under Alabama's Ethics Laws, Hubbard's conduct is."
And on from there.
'Hubbard's conduct goes to the very heart of what the Ethics Laws prohibit, and the jury found that his conduct violated the law, as properly explained by the circuit court. At every turn, he sought to use his position to benefit himself and his businesses, while hiding the true nature of his interests from his colleagues, the public, and his staff. If Hubbard's conduct is not prohibited by the Ethics Laws, then the laws are a sham designed to let lawmakers disguise unethical conduct with a veneer of legality."
Let me repeat that. Just for emphasis. Because that is exactly what we're talking about: "If Hubbard's conduct is not prohibited by the Ethics Laws, then the laws are a sham designed to let lawmakers disguise unethical conduct with a veneer of legality."
Maybe that's exactly what they were meant to be. A sham.
"If Hubbard's conduct is not prohibited by the Ethics Laws, then the laws are a sham."
Designed to make you think politicians cared about ethics.
When they really just want a get-out-of-jail-free card.
Mike Hubbard's fate makes it significant enough. He was the architect of the Alabama GOP, the guy who uses his legendary will to build a supermajority in Montgomery, whose insatiable appetite for power and money blurred his own vision of right and wrong.
But this is bigger than Mike Hubbard. This is the foundation of what will be allowed in Alabama in the future, and what will be accepted as business as usual.
Politicians with their hands out, openly scratching the backs of those who pay the biggest bucks?
Or politicians held to the standard of the public good?
Hubbard's lawyers will have a few weeks to respond to the state, and the court should soon thereafter make a decision.
It will be a landmark moment in a landmark case. Because if Hubbard wins his argument - if Alabama ethics law is "misinterpreted" when it holds politicians to account for using their offices for personal gain - no one will ever be held to account.
And Alabama will remain corrupt.
Those unnamed, unindicted employees from Drummond and Balch & Bingham cited in the federal bribery case against former Rep. Oliver Robinson? They are Mike Hubbard all over again. Unless Mike Hubbard wins.
The ongoing attorney general's investigation of the Birmingham Water Works and other agencies? It is moving forward. Unless Mike Hubbard wins.
And the ethics law is a sham.