Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn, photo above) made news recently with reports that he plans to write a book called Storm in the State House, about the Republican Party's 2010 takeover of the Alabama Legislature.
A followup report, from Bob Martin of The Montgomery Independent, indicates Hubbard might want to change the name of his tome. Scam in the State House probably would be a more appropriate title.
If Hubbard's ethics looked shaky in the initial article, they look positively Nixonian in the followup.
We learned in the first article that since 2007, the year Hubbard became Alabama Republican Party chair, about $136,000 of taxpayer funds have been used for what appear to be purely partisan activities. The money went to David Azbell, of the Montgomery lobbying firm Swatek Azbell Howe and Ross (SAHR), with at least $80,000 going for public-relations work on behalf of the House Republican Caucus. An undetermined portion of the total appears to have gone for Azbell's work in "helping Hubbard with research, writing, and editing" on Storm in the State House.
Particularly curious is the fact that Azbell's monthly check shot from $2,000 to $8,000 in March 2011, about the time Hubbard began to express interest in writing a book.
All of this raises troubling questions: