65th Speaker of the Alabama
House of Representatives
November 3, 2010 – June 10, 2016
|Preceded by||Seth Hammett|
|Succeeded by||Victor Gaston|
Alabama State Representative for
District 79 (Lee County)
November 4, 1998 – June 10, 2016
|Preceded by||Pete Turnham|
|Succeeded by||Joe Lovvorn|
|Born|| February 11, 1962|
Hartwell, Hart County
|Children||Clayte and Riley Hubbard|
|Alma mater|| Hart County High School|
Michael Gregory Hubbard, known as Mike Hubbard (born February 11, 1962), is a businessman and broadcaster from Auburn, Alabama, who served in the Alabama House of Representatives for District 79 in Lee County from 1998 to 2016. He was the House Speaker from 2010 until his automatic removal from the legislature on June 10, 2016, following his conviction of felony ethics violations. He was the House Republican Minority Leader from 2004 to 2010. From 2007 to 2011, he served two terms as the state Republican chairman in which capacity he was an automatic member of the Republican National Committee and engineered the largest fund-raising plan in the history of his state party. Under Hubbard's leadership, the GOP in 2010 secured a majority in the Alabama House for the first time since the end of Reconstruction.
In 2016, Hubbard forfeited his office when he was sentenced to four years in prison for violations of state ethics laws which he ironically had helped to write.
Hubbard was the class president at Hart County High School in his native Hartwell in northeastern Georgia. He beat Ralph Reed, later the first executive director of the Christian Coalition, to become the Georgia state champion in a high school speech contest. Hubbard then attended the University of Georgia at Athens on a journalism scholarship.
After graduation, Hubbard was employed from 1984 to 1990 as the associate sports information director for Auburn University. From 1990 to 1994, he was general manager of Host Communications. From 1994 to 2003, he owned and operated the Auburn Network, Inc., which operated four radio stations in the Auburn and Opelika area, published the quarterly magazine East Alabama Living, operated the advertising agency called, the Network Creative Media, and gained exclusive rights to broadcasting Auburn Tigers sporting events. The company made him wealthy. At their peak, the Hubbards had a net worth of $8.8 million, including commercial properties, stocks, their Auburn home, a farm, a lake house, and a beach condominium in the Florida Panhandle.
In 1996, Hubbard worked in public relations to elect Republican Bob Riley to fill Alabama's 3rd congressional district seat in the United States House of Representatives. Two years later, Hubbard won his first term in the Alabama state House. In 2002, Riley was elected governor and thereafter made Representative Hubbard the state party chairman. Hubbard grew close to the governor and even named his younger son, "Riley."
To win the House majority, Hubbard employed a program called "A Republican Handshake with Alabama," which promised immigration controls, spending cuts, a state constitutional amendment defining conception as the beginning of human life, and new ethics legislation, which the GOP claimed was needed because of earlier felony convictions of Democratic former Governor Don Siegelman. Along with the new Republican majority in the House, the GOP elected Robert Bentley to succeed Governor Riley, and the party acquired the majority in the state Senate. In a special session in December 2002, Hubbard' obtained passage of the pledged ethics reforms. Hubbard doubled the budget of the Speaker to nearly $900,000 and assumed an aggressive political stance.
In May 2011, Governing Magazine' named Hubbard one of seventeen "GOP Legislators to Watch" on a national level. The recipients of the honor were chosen on the basis of ambition, leadership, and political potential. In 2012, Hubbard wrote a book about the Republican surge in Alabama entitled Storming The State House: The Campaign That Liberated Alabama from 136 Years of Democrat Rule.
In 2013, Alabama Republicans approved House Bill 56, which authorized police to stop, search, and arrest those believed to be illegal immigrants, but the measure was soon declared unconstitutional by the federal courts. Hubbard also pushed to passage voter identification laws and the closing of driver's license offices in the poorest counties in the state.
In 2012, Speaker Hubbard voted to require school districts to schedule a longer summer break for public school pupils. That same year he voted to exclude insurance policies from covering elective abortions. In 2013, he voted to establish health care standards for abortuaries in Alabama. In 2014, he supported the bill to prohibit abortion after the detection of the heartbeat of the unborn child. He voted to display the Ten Commandments on public property, a measure which passed the House, 77-19. He supported drug testing for certain recipients of the public welfare system. In 2015, Hubbard supported legislation affirming the use of electrocution in executions. He voted to establish public charter schools in Alabama, a measure which passed the House, 58-41. He supported the bill to permit the home schooled to participate in athletic events at public schools, a measure approved by the full House, 52-43. He supported the increase in the cigarette tax; the legislation passed the House, 52-46. He voted against requiring animal shelters to compile monthly reports, a measure which the House disapproved, 28-67. In 2016, Hubbard voted to increase funding for new prison facilities, legislation which cleared the House, 52-33. He co-sponsored legislation to forbid the sale of fetal tissue or to permit its use in research, and in his final House vote opposed dilation abortions in Alabama.
In 2013, the Alabama legislature established a scholarship that assists middle class and wealthy families in sending their children to private schools. The program was managed by Hubbard's mentor, former Governor Bob Riley.
Hubbard had no private sector employment after he became Speaker, a part-time position that paid $60,000. His wife, Susan, earned $150,00 as a dean at Auburn University. Riley, meanwhile, helped Hubbard acquire a position paying $12,000 per month as a consultant with the Southeast Alabama Gas District.
The state attorney general's office began an investigation of Speaker Hubbard. State Attorney General Luther Strange recused himself from the case, and W. Van Davis was appointed as a special prosecutor. On October 20, 2014, a Lee County grand jury indicted Hubbard on twenty-three counts relating to misusing his office for personal gain and pursuing gifts from lobbyists. On each count, Hubbard faced the possibility of two to twenty years in prison and fines of as much as $30,000.
The Hubbard investigation prompted charges against two other Republican legislators. Greg Wren, who represented District 75 in the capital city of Montgomery, pleaded guilty to a charge of knowingly using his office for personal gain and resigned from the legislature. District 91 Representative Barry Moore of Enterprise was charged with two counts of felony perjury, and two counts of issuing false statements, but he was exonerated on all counts. The Hubbard probe also exposed Governor Bentley's sex scandal, which brought about Bentley's resignation in 2017 and the installation of Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey as his successor.
Hubbard's legal counsel was the Democratic former state Attorney General Bill Baxley. Two months after the indictment, Hubbard won reelection in a landslide on November 4, 2014. He defeated businessman Fred "Sandy" Toomer in the Republican primary, 2,947 (60.2 percent) to 1,948 (39.8 percent). In the November 4 general election, he defeated the Democrat Shirley Scott-Harris, 5,136 (58.5 percent) to 3,535 (40.3 percent). He was reelected Speaker, 99-1, with four abstentions.
When several Republican lawmakers proposed that party leaders step down when under felony indictment, Hubbard removed them from their committees and  repeatedly refused to resign the Speakership. District 6 state Representative Phil Williams of Huntsville was removed from the House Technology Committee after he helped to kill legislation that would have given Hubbard budgetary control over prosecutors in the state attorney general's office.
At the time of Hubbard's trial, impeachment proceedings began against Governor Bentley, and the conservative Roy Moore was suspended for a second time as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court regarding his opposition to county clerks being compelled to issue same-sex marriage licenses. In a special election on September 2017, Moore defeated Luther Strange in a bid for the Republican nomination to succeed U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, who had joined the Trump administration as United States Attorney General.
Guilty on twelve counts
After seven hours of deliberations on June 10, 2016, the jury found Hubbard guilty on twelve of the twenty-three charges. He was taken into custody but released on a $160,000 bond. On July 8, 2016, he was sentenced to "four years in prison, eight years on probation and ordered to pay a $210,000 fine on the twelve felony ethics violations." Then on August 5, Hubbard filed a motion seeking either acquittal, or dismissal of the charges, or a new trial. Hubbard claims that "the state presented faulty expert testimony about the ethics law."
Hubbard filed a request to have the state investigate possible misconduct by the jurors who convicted him. On September 2, 2016, Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker denied that request. The state proposed that Hubbard pay $1,125,000 in restitution, but Judge Walker denied the requst, and Hubbard remained free on bond.
Still free on bond
Well into 2017, Hubbard was still free on bond while awaiting his appeal and was engaged in the pursuit of voice-over work in broadcasting.
- Mike Hubbard. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on November 3, 2017.
- Mike Hubbard. Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on November 1, 2017.
- Joe Miller (May 16, 2016). Is Mike Hubbard the Most Corrupt Politician in America?. The New Republic. Retrieved on November 3, 2017.
- Joe Miller (June 17, 2016). Beyond Mike Hubbard: How Deep Does Corruption in Alabama Go. The New Republic. Retrieved on November 3, 2017.
- Joe Miller (May 23, 2016). How a Corrupt GOP Is Running Alabama Into the Ground. The New Republic. Retrieved on November 3, 2017.
- George Talbot (June 20, 2012). Four revelations from Storming the State House. The Birmingham News. Retrieved on November 1, 2017.
- Alabama's Draconian Anti-Immigrant Law Dies With A Whimper. Buzzfeed.com (November 3, 2014). Retrieved on May 21, 2016.
- Mike Hubbard's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on November 3, 2017.
- Mike Cason (October 20, 2014). Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard indicted on 23 felony corruption charges by Lee County Grand Jury. AL.com. Retrieved on November 1, 2017.
- Antrenise Cole (April 1, 2014). Rep. Greg Wren arrested and convicted. Birmingham Business Journal. Retrieved on November 2, 2017.
- Barry Moore. Ballotpedia. Retrieved on November 1, 2017.
- Campbell Robertson (May 16, 2016). Scandals Embroil Alabama Governor, Speaker and Chief Justice A9. The New York Times. Retrieved on November 3, 2017.
- Mike Cason (July 8, 2016). Former Alabama speaker Mike Hubbard sentenced to 4 years in prison. AL.com. Retrieved on November 3, 2016.
- Mike Cason (August 7, 2016). Former Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard seeks new trial. AL.com. Retrieved on November 3, 2017.
- Bill Britt (August 8, 2016). States Seeks Restitution from Disgraced Speaker Hubbard. Alreporter.com. Retrieved on November 3, 2017.
- Mike Cason (September 2, 2016). Judge denies Mike Hubbard request for sheriff's investigation of jurors. AL.com. Retrieved on November 3, 2017.
- Brian Lawson (March 2, 2017). Former House Speaker Mike Hubbard remains free on bond. WHNT.com. Retrieved on November 1, 2017.