A Florida political consultant testified Thursday that he believed he had no choice but to subcontract Alabama Republican Party campaign printing work back to a firm owned by the party’s chair.
The chair at the time was Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, now on trial for ethics violations. On Thursday, jurors heard that about party campaign work that was sent to Hubbard’s company, and conflicting evidence about Hubbard’s role in that.
Prosecutors have accused Hubbard of using his political positions as speaker and Republican Party chair to make money and solicit favors such as investments from lobbyists. Defense lawyers argue that the transactions were above board.
Randy Kammerdiner, co-owner of Majority Strategies, designed glossy direct mail pieces for the Republicans’ 2010 campaign to take over the Alabama Legislature. He testified that he believed party officials wanted the fliers printed at Craftmaster, where Hubbard was a co-owner.
Prosecutor Matt Hart asked Kammerdiner if he felt he had any other option but Craftmaster for the printing work.
“No,” Kammerdiner replied.
Prosecutors also showed jurors a 2010 email from Kammerdiner to a state party employee, which said: “Per Mike, we’re printing at Craftmaster and just passing the actual charges on to you all.”
However, under cross-examination by defense lawyer Lance Bell, Kammerdiner said Hubbard never directed him to use his firm.
“I never had a specific conversation with Mike Hubbard saying I had to use Craftmaster.” Kammerdiner said. The political consultant also testified that the firm had previously used Craftmaster before Hubbard became party chair and the party was probably getting a “better deal” because they avoided the normal markup Majority Strategies applies to printing costs.
Republished with permission of The Associated Press.