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Daily News Digest – August 3, 2018

Good morning and Happy Friday!  Here’s your Daily News for August 3, 2018.

1. Cohen is radioactive.  

  • Michael Cohen, the Trump world attorney that has decided to turn on the president, was reportedly offered money to help get a North Alabama nuclear power plant approved and funded.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Franklin Haney, the Chattanooga developer who is trying to bring the mothballed Bellefonte nuclear power plant online, offered Cohen $10 million if he could secure a $5 billion federal loan and approval from the Department of Energy.
  • Cohen is being investigated for unregistered lobbying activities, which, if true, this would fit into.

Can’t catch a break

  • Haney, who finally seems to be having some success getting the plant going, also gave hefty sums to former Gov. Robert Bentley and the ACEGOV fund used to support his agenda.
  • Under oath as part of the Spencer Collier trial, Bentley confirmed the group had received money from Haney but wouldn’t say how much.
  • Haney’s attorneys say there was never a contract with Michael Cohen.
  • The WSJ can’t confirm if money actually changed hands.
  • It’s not illegal to pay someone to help petition the government for funding or license approvals. That’s called lobbying. But, there are all kinds of rules for lobbying, like being registered in the first place, which Cohen wasn’t.
  • Read the whole story in the Wall Street Journal HERE.

2. Maddox campaigns on public safety.

  • Democratic candidate for governor Walt Maddox is campaigning on a plan to improve public safety.
  • More state troopers on the highways, more funding for the Department of Forensic Sciences, reforming Alabama’s rape statute, and mandatory Driver’s Education are among the key components of his plan.
  • Maddox said he would pay for it all by “taxing existing gambling” and by reaching a compact with the Poarch Creek Indians.
  • Read and watch the story from WSFA’s Holly Long for more.


A message from The Prosper Group

  • The Prosper Group would like to congratulate our clients in Alabama who won their primary races this year!
  • From websites to emails to online ads to social media, we helped our clients in many ways. One great example – with a budget of $175,000, we placed over 350 ads that were viewed more than 18 million times (yes – 18 million!) – resulting in big wins for our clients.
  • We would love to help YOU win in November! If you would like to learn more about our work in Alabama, please tap or click here.


3. Dems pitch labor. 

  • The AFL-CIO, Alabama’s largest non-public sector labor union, had a candidate forum Thursday and a slew of Democratic candidates came to make their pitches.
  • If Democrats are to be competitive in the November election, support from organized labor will be key.
  • In modern times, an endorsement from union leadership doesn’t always translate into support and votes from rank and file union members. Case-in-point: Trump vs. Clinton. 
  • Union president Bren Riley seems to get that and told The Montgomery Advertiser’s Brian Lyman that the group is “working to make our endorsement worth more than a check.”
  • Go read Brian’s full story, which includes an interesting kicker on the reaction to and comments from former Gov. Don Siegelman. 

4. Need wastewater help?

  • There have been several stories recently about the difficulty of accessing sanitary wastewater systems.
  • The problem is especially bad in rural communities where local governments can’t afford to run sewage lines.
  • Well, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is here to help.
  • The USDA’s Office of Rural Development is offering $4 billion in federal grants and loans to finance “clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.”
  • That four billion with a “B.”
  • But, if your community/organization wants one of these loans, you need to get on it. The applications have to be submitted and approved by the end of the fiscal year, which is the end of September.
  • USDA State Director Chris Beeker said “This is great news for Alabama communities, but applicants will need to act quickly to take advantage of this financing.”
  • Find out more about the grants/loans and how to get in touch with the USDA HERE.

5. News briefs. 

Dauphin Island swimmers 

Rosa Parks letter

  • A letter written by Rosa Parks describing a Montgomery home bombing has been purchased by the couple the attack targeted.
  • Rev. Robert Graetz and his wife Jeannie purchased the letter at auction and are donating it to Alabama State University.
  • The Graetzs were white supporters of the Civil Rights Movement and their home was bombed twice.

Ivanka differs

  • At an AXIOS forum Thursday, Ivanka Trump openly talked about areas in which she and her father disagree.
  • Among them: immigrant family separation policy and thinking media is the “enemy of the people.”
  • Read about her comments HERE and watch the forum for yourself at AXIOS.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama tops preseason coaches’ poll; Auburn 10th. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Rosa Parks’ Letter About ’57 Bombing Bought by Targeted Pair.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Body Found After Father, Son Disappear off Alabama Coast.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Roaring Jets Trigger Queasy Memories for Chris Petersen.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump Proposes Car-Mileage Rollback; States Sue in Protest.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivanka Trump: Family Separation a ‘Low Point’ in White House.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – History at Stake in Tennessee Clash for US Senate.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump Trashes Media as ‘Fake, Fake Disgusting News’ at Rally.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Florida Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Go After Trump.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Walt Maddox, Alabama Democrats pitch jobs, education, and health care to AFL-CIO.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – More than 100K have visited the lynching memorial in Montgomery.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Doug Jones plans health care swing through Alabama.

DOTHAN EAGLE – New Troy University academic offering taps hot field of geomatics.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Dale Jackson: The president’s destruction of formerly beloved Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is happening for absolutely no reason. 

GADSDEN TIMES – Radioactive waste transports to pass through Etowah County.

GADSDEN TIMES – Moores’ lawsuits likely headed nowhere.

ANNISTON STAR – Listen to Pope Francis about the death penalty.

AL.COM – Two confirmed by Senate for federal judgeships in Alabama.

AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey buys first TV ad of general election campaign.

AL.COM – Judge sets January trial date in lawmakers’ bribery case.

AL.COM – Haney offered former Trump attorney $10 million for help to get Bellefonte loan, report says.

AL.COM – Doug Jones organizes Birmingham roundtable discussion of opioid crisis.

AL.COM – West Nile Virus detected throughout Mobile County.

AL.COM – Shelby earns praise from Senate leaders for speedy appropriations process.

AL.COM – Honda opens $85 million logistics expansion in Lincoln.

AL.COM – What’s future of TVA land in Shoals with sale complete?

AL.COM – ADEM director responds to calls for his firing over corruption allegations.

AL.COM – Jefferson County school board questions political use of payroll deductions.

AL.COM – Jerry Falwell Jr. suggests Jeff Sessions was ‘phony’ Trump supporter.

AL.COM – 25 best school districts in Alabama: 2018-2019 edition.

AL.COM – Jeff Sessions’ approval rating below that of Nancy Pelosi, poll shows.

AL.COM – What did Alabama pastors say in Trump meeting?

WASHINGTON POST – Trump administration puts burden on ACLU to find deported parents separated from children.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump administration to freeze fuel-efficiency requirements in move likely to spur legal battle with states.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump calls on Congress to attach work requirements to food stamps.

WASHINGTON POST – Rubio introduces plan to use Social Security to fund family leave.

NEW YORK TIMES – Russian Threat ‘Is Real,’ Trump Officials Say, Vowing to Protect U.S. Elections

NEW YORK TIMES – Pope Francis Declares Death Penalty Unacceptable in All Cases

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