"Malice in Hubbardland" (cont.) Signs, chief swapping & special election abuse
February 1, 2019 | View PDF
“I don't like the looks of it,' said the King: 'however, it may kiss my hand, if it likes.' 'I'd rather not,' the Cat remarked.” The King and the Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
Forgive the length of my last column, much to write about in retrospect and on the continuing malice ‘public servant’ Hubbard put in place and orchestrates in our State. First, many thanks for all the comments - as usual ‘nastygrams’ tend to be more entertaining than the kudos. Second, I had absolutely NOTHING to do with the on-line O/A News poll [https://www.oanow.com/should-the-auburn-city-council-vote-to-change-the-name/poll_6ed90f6a 0f6c-11e9b5a913f27181aa57.html?fbclid=IwAR122dwnV2PPXvfjdCqKWeEt8o-SpRS4_rAJ9bTk3s-JmE03uefu7BQmdhM] on removing ‘Mr. Boulevard’s’ sign in Auburn. Last I looked 16% wanted Hubbard’s name to remain venerated on the streets of this town I once held dear. Of course, he’s also emblazoned on a building to further display the shame of what is heralded in Auburn. The 16% who do NOT want Felon Hubbard’s name removed coincides with the small percent of eligible voters who reinstalled this ‘public servant’ in his low turnout, hyper-gerrymandered State House victories.
Others found facts on the corrupt Lee County Commission I regularly witness (with my eldest Godson) hard to believe; no one would seriously advocate voting against reinstating all those worthy taxes. With all due respect to Felon Hubbard’s minion Superintendent Delano I will not vote for any of them, even though I would have if placed on the last general election ballot. I understand most productive citizens will not even know there is a vote on February 19th (by design) to go put a little fear in these parasitic educrats for this misuse of special elections, but if enough showed to close the margin of victory, waste of this sort would attenuate. Taxpayers will spend $80,000 on this special election, not that this school superintendant has shown much concern for taxpayer money these past years. “Political Theft By Deception” (http://www.alabamagazette.com/story/2014/10/01/news/political-theft-by-deception/316.html) is nothing new in Hubbardland, from the $3 million wasted on the Statewide special election sham result (14% turnout 49 days before a general election) to rob the ETF back in 2012 to 4.5% turnout to get the last Lee County sales tax to pass after failing twice on a general election.
What can be more revealing Delano et al Hubbardland thugs have little confidence in their inferior, over-subsidized result than going through the effort to put these votes on a special election, waste tens of thousands of tax dollars and productive (non-special interested) voters time and effort instead of putting it on the recent general election to get a more representative result? I pray our honest legislators on Goat Hill follow-up on Sen. Glover’s recently passed amendment to again display courage and statesmanship in crafting sound text to stop political theft via this sort of deception to pass/reinstall tax increases.
Removing Hubbard as Speaker of the House has made little difference as this felon’s minions shameless, crony ‘bidness as usual’ practices continue. Others expressed shared doubts Ms. Britt (former Chief of Staff to Sen. Shelby) replacing President/CEO Canary is in fact a sign of major changes at the BCA. She’s been a part of the ‘Cash-register’ Shelby ethos who’s amassed huge campaign contributions and is among our most incompetent Chairs of the US Senate appropriations committee. Sequestration was a gutless embarrassment and showed our Senator did not have the courage (or concern - does it really matter?) to make the tough decisions on funding - esp. on issues of defense/national security.
Further evidence Malice in Hubbardland is alive and well was revealed in the recent ‘chief swaps’ in the Heart of Dixie. Gov. Kay Ivey’s chief of staff Steve Pelham was installed as Auburn University chief of staff to replace President Leath’s Lackey who quickly left for NC upon evaluating the situation here, after narrowly escaping Iowa State. Pelham is also installed as vice president for economic development, effective February 1st so there’s plenty of largess in play in this dual role. Another longtime BCA type crony, Jo Bonner, moves into the Governor’s chief of staff slot vacated by Pelham… how convenient. Pelham allegedly hit it off with fellow ‘public servant’ Leath as this beleaguered president had to interact with the Gov. (as President of the AU Board of Trustees) in his poor handling of athletics scandals, FBI investigations, increased faculty lawsuits, etc. Several “Goat Hill insiders” I’ve spoken to assert Pelham has been the de facto governor under Ivey’s ‘AWOL stewardship’ these past years.
Pelham graduated from Auburn in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in public administration, a program under recent scrutiny for possible ‘clustering’ of athletes under the Jay Jacobs administration. Some think Pelham’s move is just another Jacobs type ‘true Auburn man’ move to further plunder the RSA - “Trump up” his final three years of State paycheck earnings to further saddle Alabama taxpayers with greater burdens. After a few years as a private consultant, Pelham became Ivey’s chief of staff when she was elected Lt. Gov. in 2011 and continued as her top advisor as Governor. A cursory search suggests Pelham has been a successfully elusive ‘public servant’ who is among the many glad to see our recently re-installed AG quickly snuffed out Matt Hart and appears to have killed investigation into Hubbardland type corruption.
Others suggest Pelham will be an effective ‘hatchet man’ for President Leath at a University bent on crushing dissent from those trying to honestly move Auburn forward. Of course it is easier to simply reallocate some contract and grant accounting figures to appear to be classified an R1 university than to do the difficult work to provide an academic environment which rewards productivity over parasites and cronyism. Little surprise after so few pressed President Leath on his ‘ledgerdemain’ asserting 500 new hires where 40% are simply new employees replacing existing faculty lines/positions.
A reoccurring Hubbardland theme is suppression of dissenting speech. One would reasonably expect AAUP [American Association of University Professors] chapters to be bastions of free expression, yet the rot promoted by Hubbard (and fellow ‘public servant’ mentor Lowder) is so pervasive the AAUP chapter at Auburn has become a repressive force. Historically, the organization was dedicated to the principle of free speech and academic freedom, reflected by their annual Glenn Howze award, given to an individual who’d made significant contributions to advancing such principles at the University. After decades of exposure to Lowder, Hubbard and their assorted minions, even the AAUP chapter at Auburn is another weapon in their arsenal of suppression. The Glenn Howze award was presented continuously from 1994 to 2015, then suddenly no awards since 2016. Not for lack of a deserving candidate, but because there was an exemplary candidate.
Prof. Stern, the unflappable chair of the AU Econ Department courageously exposed interference of athletic department administrators (Felon Hubbard cronies) in the governance of academic curricula, including explicit institutional bribes in exchange for curricular decisions. Stern’s efforts received national exposure as a lead Sports article in the Wall Street Journal and later the front cover article of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Prof. Barry Burkhart, prior Glenn Howze award recipient and close personal friend of Howze wholeheartedly nominated Stern for the award. Sadly, the body-politic of the University had become so captured by the many years of Hubbard, Lowder et al corruption and repression, the cancer had deeply metastasized into this AAUP chapter. Rather than present the award to Stern, they were willing to disgrace Glenn Howze’s memory and end the award these past years. In 2016, the celebration of free speech literally and figuratively died at AU.
In closing, these Hubbardland ‘chief swaps’ undisciplined special election abuse, etc. offer little hope things will improve. Wish these thugs truly cared about the future debt/tax burden of our children and students instead of churning more graft and ‘trumping up’ their RSA checks. I grow wearing observing the ranks of these political ‘Hubbard Grubbers’ increasing, who genuinely believe being a good political thief is evidence of great business acumen - perhaps a sign of the times when an ‘Art of the Steal’ reality TV star is what these political grubbers aspire to… Funny thing, when I happen to channel surf on Saturday mornings to hear Hubbard Grubber on his radio station (always good to listen to the ads to know what businesses to avoid) I can’t help but think, man this guy could’ve been a decent disk jockey and may have had an honest decent life instead of being a ‘public servant.’