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Was Rep. Wren just the first domino to fall?
Written by News Desk   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 19:02

bobmartinBy This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Publisher

When dominos fall, they usually fall in multiples.

"Mommas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys" is a line from one of my favorite old western songs. Perhaps a modern day version using "legislators" could give all those cowboys in that line a well-deserved break.

A Montgomery blog this past week reported that Alabama's Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard, cast at least 12 votes to facilitate the passage of a bill that would give one of his clients, American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc., a monopoly over administering a Pharmacy Benefit Plan for the state's multimillion dollar Medicaid program.

This information came to light in Rep. Greg Wren's recent plea agreement and if proven true could perhaps result in some difficulties for Mr. Hubbard.

Language in the Wren statement indicated that Hubbard endorsed the Pharmacy Cooperative's language and directed the legislative staff to add it in the General Fund Budget Bill which was eventually approved by the Legislature. Wren's statement indicated that it was the speaker, not him who directed the language to be put in the budget legislation.

The blog, Alabama Political Reporter, wrote that Hubbard's attorney, Mark White of Birmingham, has stated to the media that Wren's case has nothing to do with any actions by Hubbard. He has also stated to the media that Hubbard no longer does work for the pharmacy cooperative. Also, according to reports on the blog Hubbard's contract with the cooperative was vetted by the state's ethics commission. However the Ethics Commission's director, Jim Sumner had denied that happened.

Sumner, according to the report, said he never saw a contract and never asked to see a contract.

So stay tuned; it could be a hot summer in Monkey Town. The speaker posted on Facebook the following: "The smears from Montgomery's liberal special interest groups are ridiculous and false. Even worse, the media treats distortions as fact. Share if you're tired of the drive-by media working hand-in-hand with the Democratic machine."

Ah, the enemies are all those nasty liberals.

With regard to Rep. Wren, he came out much better than I expected; pleading guilty to a misdemeanor ethics violation and agreeing to assist prosecutors with an ongoing investigation of state government. Wren, 59, of Montgomery, resigned from the Alabama Legislature effective immediately as a condition of the plea deal. He admitted to taking action in the Legislature that could have steered Medicaid pharmacy business to a Bessemer pharmacy cooperative that had ties to another company that hired Wren as an $8,000-a-month consultant. Wren's attorney, James Anderson, said Wren did not know about the relationship between the two companies. He said the charge was a misdemeanor because it was not an intentional violation of state ethics law. Speaking outside the courtroom, Wren said, "I'm kind of glad to have this behind me. It's been a difficult process. I look forward to the future and just a change in scenery."

Palin coming to the Gulf Coast

Baldwin County GOP Chairman Matt Simpson has announced that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee will make an appearance at a Baldwin County Republican event in Orange Beach on April 25th.

"We are excited to bring Gov. Palin to Baldwin County," Simpson says. The event will be at the Wharf . A sell out is expected but there are still tickets available according to Simpson."This event is a little more than a month before the June Primary so we are expecting a large turnout," he added. It will be Gov. Palin's second appearance in the county. She appeared at an event in the county in 2011. Those interested in purchasing tickets should visit the Baldwin County Republican Party's website. The cost of tickets ranges from $125 to $2,500.

And Alvin never fails to entertain

"The majority of white people in Alabama are against interracial marriage and they are against adoption of black children." - Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery.

These words, to which a group of Alabama parents who have adopted African American children responded to as untrue last week on the State Capitol steps, were the parting words for the recent legislative session from the bombastic Montgomery legislator. I would hope those responding are correct...but somehow I'm not so sure they are.

E-mail Bob Martin at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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