Varying Viewpoints in Hubbard Ethics Trial, New Voter Registration App Launches

May 25, 2016

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard and wife Susan enter Lee County Courthouse
Credit Brynn Anderson / AP

Prosecutors and defense lawyers are presenting very different views of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard as he stands trial on felony ethics charges.

Prosecutors told jurors in opening statements yesterday that Hubbard made around $2.3 million illegally off his elected office and past chairmanship of Alabama’s Republican Party. But the defense argues Hubbard was scrupulously honest, even asking for an ethics opinion before accepting money as a consultant.

Two lobbyists who once served as executive directors of the state party took the witness stand for the state yesterday, and prosecutors say they'll continue calling more witnesses as the trial continues today.

Hubbard would be removed from office automatically if convicted on even one of 23 charges accusing him of using the speaker position and GOP chairmanship for personal financial gain.

Getting registered to vote in Alabama just got a whole lot easier.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill just announced the launch of the Vote for Alabama app. Voters can use the app on their mobile devices to register to vote, locate their registration information, and find which polling booth they should visit when election day comes.

Merrill hopes this app will become the future of voting across the state.

“We’ve had more than 100,000 people use the system since we started the electronic registration on January 22, 2016. We hope that these two sources will become the primary instruments people will use when registering to vote or modifying their voter record.”

The app is aimed at saving taxpayer dollars as well as increasing the accuracy of voter polls. The Vote for Alabama app is now available for all Apple and Android devices.

Four chefs from around Alabama will be rolling up their sleeves today.

The second annual Alabama Seafood Cook-Off is being held at the Wharf in Orange Beach. Chef Gillian Clark from Mobile, Leonardo Maurelli from Auburn, Brody Olive of Orange Beach, and Josh Quick from Florence will all be competing. The winner goes to the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans.

Chris Blankenship is one of the judges. He’s also director of Alabama’s Marine Resources Division. He says the contest means a lot more than just deciding who the best seafood chef is.

“We have some of the best seafood in the world right here, off our small coastline here in Alabama. And so having these types of contests, and the work of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission, really highlights that and gets people thinking of what we have here.”

Along with going to the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, today’s winner will also qualify for the World Food Championship later this year in Orange Beach.