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The Millbrook Independent

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Who is the target of AG’s special Lee County Grand Jury?
Written by News Desk   
Thursday, 29 August 2013 19:59

bobmartinBy Bob Martin, Publisher

The State Attorney General's office has impaneled a special grand jury in Lee County but won't divulge the target or targets.

Jurors were impaneled last week and the move by AG Luther Strange set off much speculation by State Capitol wags. The jurors will meet over the next several months to review what the attorney general has to present. Speculation and I stress the word speculation because that's all it is, already centers around House Speaker Mike Hubbard of Auburn. It's generally perceived in Montgomery that there is "no love lost" between Hubbard and the Attorney General.

According to the Auburn-Opelika News Assistant AG Matt "Bulldog" Hart addressed the jury pool, telling them that state prosecutors generally handle violations of ethical issues regarding public officials who use their public position for "some sort of personal gain and then the people who help them do it," according to transcripts obtained by the newspaper.

Hart continued, saying "Many times we do cases the local District Attorney cannot do because of a lack of resources and for issues that in which there may be a conflict. He said that normal grand juries "which typically convene between a week and a month, a special grand jury could be impaneled for upwards of six months to a year."

What we do know is that last year the AG's office subpoenaed an audit by the State Republican Party which showed a printing company (Craftmasters) owned by Hubbard in Lee County received hundreds of thousands of dollars during the 2010 campaign season.

The local DA, Robbie Treese, made no comment on the matter and no names or entities were listed in the transcript obtained by the News.

GOP's Alabama Growing Pains

Without much of a Democratic Party to squabble with, the Republican Party has begun to have its share of growing pains. This past week the state GOP had a heated discussion before soundly rejecting a proposed rule that said no member of the party's steering committee could publicly oppose a resolution adopted by the party's executive committee.

This attempt to change the bylaws was designed to remove from the steering committee Stephanie Petelos, the chairwomen of the College Republicans Federation of Alabama, who had spoken out in favor of gay marriage.

Speaking in favor of Petelos, State Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) said, "I hope that our party sees the need to reject this resolution and welcome the views of all of our party members and not just a selected few."

While some saw this quarrel as a black eye on the Republican Party, one Democratic observer had this perception on the matter, "It's a sad day for the Alabama Democrats when I'm reading about progressive speeches at the GOP meeting and nothing about the Democratic Party."

Our pretty well-heeled Congress people

The investigative website opensecrets.org has published its annual tally of the wealth of the members of Congress. You can go to the website and find out most anything about our senators and representatives.

The organization couldn't get the exact wealth of each member so they listed a minimum and a maximum estimate. Our two U. S. Senators are at the top of the Alabama list.

Sen. Richard Shelby's minimum wealth was listed at $4.68 million and the maximum was projected at $11.2 million. Sen. Jeff Sessions' range was $2.8 million to $10.8 million.

In the house Rep. Mike Rogers led the list with a minimum at of $1.6 million and a maximum of $3.6 million followed by Rep. Joe Bonner with a minimum of $1.1 million and a maximum $3.4 million; Rep. Bobby Aderholdt - $506,000 to $5.8 million; Rep. Spencer Bachus – $379,000 to $1.1 million; Rep. Mo Brooks - $343,000 to $1.3 million; Rep. Martha Roby - $277,000 to $1 million; Rep. Terri Sewell - -$638,000 to $1 million.

By far the two wealthiest are Rep. Michael McCall (R-Tex) - $306,437,919 to $694,811,003 and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif) $215,550,040 to 745,099,999.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 20:03
 
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