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Exposing Corruption & Hypocrisy In The Alabama GOP. Kudos To The Alabama Political Reporter!

by: countrycat

Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 15:16:06 PM CST


Over at the Alabama Political Reporter, Bill Britt has been busily shredding the already tattered Alabama GOP "big tent."  And I'm loving it.  If this doesn't rip the blinders off the traditional media and those who portrayed the GOP as the party of "reform," well, I guess nothing will.  Alabama GOP money laundering

Let's review Britt's recent articles.  I'll give you just a taste of each one because they're all worth a close read and we're happy to send him the traffic!

The saga began on Halloween, Britt gave the Alabama GOP quite the shock when he began reporting on Del Marsh's cozy relationship with the Poarch Creek Indians:

According to Robert McGhee, who serves on the Tribal Council and Governmental Relations for the PCI, Senator Del Marsh (R-Anniston) who was then head of finance for ALGOP under then Chairman Mike Hubbard, came to the PCI headquarters in Atmore, Alabama, and requested the contribution. When McGhee was asked if the request for the money came from Del Marsh, he said “Yes,” when asked again MaGhee said, “it wasn’t at our request, it was at his [Marsh’s] request.”

According to McGhee, Marsh made such request on two occasions, asking for $100K on one visit and $250K on the next, “We gave the money in the spirit of bi-partisan support for Alabama government,” said McGhee. 

Campaign finance laws do not allow for a donor to specify where money is spent once it is given, the PCI says that they were told the funds would be used to finance state GOP senate races. 

This means that the state GOP leadership was coordinating the flow of gambling money after carefully laundering it, not the PCI.

It continued with further reporting on the thinly-disguised game of gambling contribution money laundering that went on in the Alabama GOP.  In a delicious irony, Shadrack McGill received some of it.

Questions remain as to why Hubbard and Marsh would give large sums of gaming funds to freshmen GOP who had strong personal beliefs against gambling. 

Could there be a nefarious motive to later reveal to these naive senators that they have the taint of gambling money within their campaigns? Could this have been used to keep them in line should they cross party hierarchy?

Yesterday's post detailed Speaker Mike Hubbard's lucrative little payoff racket whereby he funneled campaign printing and advertising work to companies that he had a financial interest in.

A study of campaign finance records for the 2010 election cycle shows that Hubbard’s business interests were paid over $1,000,000 in campaign expenditures from at least 18 GOP candidates and at least 4 Political Action Committees (PAC).

This does not include the almost $800,000 spent with Majority Strategies for GOP printing that was sub-contracted to Hubbard’s Craftmasters as reported by AL.com.

Perhaps the most worrisome fact is that much of the money spent with Hubbard-owned businesses can be traced back to PACs controlled by Hubbard, the self-proclaimed “Architect” of the GOP takeover.

Somehow, Hubbard left a lot of these tidbits out of his "Storming the Statehouse" memoir. But one thing his office did NOT forget to do was harrass the reporter who broke the story....

The howling like a petulant child or the false accusations did not bother me as much as the threats to deny our news organization access and more. [Marsh Communications Director Derek] Trotter in no uncertain words informed me I would have a difficult time at the Statehouse if I did not pull they story. 

Needless to say our conversation did not end well. 

At 8:44am, I received a call from Marsh’s Chief of Staff Phillip Bryan. Bryan got his start in government with Mike Hubbard’s campaign to take over the Statehouse according to Hubbard’s book. 

Bryan immediately launched into a diatribe about how unprofessional I was and so forth, at which time I said I would take the story down and look closely at the facts and give them time to think about a response. 

[...]
I have been assured that retaliation is in the future and that I should be aware that advertising dollars may be held back.

What a bunch of whiners these guys are.

countrycat :: Exposing Corruption & Hypocrisy In The Alabama GOP. Kudos To The Alabama Political Reporter!
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Interesting, (4.00 / 1)
because I viewed the Alabama Political Reporter website as a Republican front.  Was I wrong?

I think they have a variety of voices (0.00 / 0)

when it comes to editorial stuff.  One of the reporters endorsed Romney...

But with actual reporting, they seem to play it pretty straight.  I don't really get a partisan vibe one way or the other in the news articles.



"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith




[ Parent ]
Bill Britt himself (4.00 / 2)

Has been VERY conservative, from what I've found in conversation with him, in his written pieces and his interviews on Capital Journal.  In my personal encounters with him last spring, I have also appreciated his respectfulness and ability to protect anonymous sources. Smart, gentlemanly person, strong sense of right and wrong, and strong conservative views. Having a viewpoint like that doesn't mean he can't do straight reporting, but it causes him to see facts from a particular perspective that is evident to me, at least in situations where I knew the "inside" story.  But we are all like that, everyone on this page as well, and me included! 

My guess is that Britt, because of his ethics, will not hold back telling the ugly truth if he can get sturdy evidence of a problem, even if he takes a personal hit to his career. I don't think that means he will abandon his political views, just that he would take his responsibility to expose discovered corruption seriously. I respect that-- I wish more people from both parties, whether reporters or general public, would have similar courage.



[ Parent ]
Bill Britt at Alabama Political Reporter (4.00 / 2)

Regardless of his personal views, Britt has been shedding light on the Republican cockroaches in Montgomery.  I would expect him to do the same to Democrats if their hands were in the till.

Brandon Mosely, the other APR employee, is just the opposite, parroting Fox News talking points and Republican press releases.  He's not so much a reporter as he is an echo chamber.

Hat's off to Britt.  Wish the 'buzz watchers' at al.com were half as good.

  



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