The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

December 17, 2012

Alabama GOP releases audit subpoenaed by AG

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's attorney general has subpoenaed financial records from the state Republican Party that show more than $800,000 in party money was paid to an Auburn printing company while one of its owners, House Speaker Mike Hubbard, was serving as the party chairman.

The records sought by the attorney general included an audit the party had done of its spending in the 2010 campaign. The party released the audit publicly Monday.

Hubbard said he was glad the party made the audit public because he has been requesting the release since October and is proud of what the party accomplished. But he said, "I'm sorry it finally took the attorney general to get it released."

Hubbard led the GOP through the 2010 election when the party won every statewide race and picked up a majority in the Legislature for the first time in 136 years. After that, Hubbard stepped down to become speaker of the House and was replaced as party chairman by former state Sen. Bill Armistead in early 2011. Armistead then ordered an audit of the party's spending in the 2010 campaign. He said Monday he did it because it's a good business practice and he wasn't looking for anything in particular.

The party's steering committee originally planned to keep the seven-page report private, but decided to release it Monday after the attorney general sought it and other financial records from 2010. Armistead said Monday he could not discuss the subpoena.

The financial report, conducted by Warren Averett, found that the party paid $83,524 directly to Craftmasters Printers, an Auburn-based company where Hubbard owns 26 percent. The audit also found that one of the companies hired by the party in the 2010 election, Majority Strategies, paid $752,262 to Craftmasters for help with printing, postage, mailing and shipping of direct mail campaign literature.

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