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Daily News Digest – July 11, 2018

Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

1. King keeps hammering; Marshall fights back. 

  • Troy King continued his aggressive onslaught against Steve Marshall this week.
  • He has a new attack ad and new accusations that Marshall’s contributions from the Republican Attorneys General Association are improper.
  • Now, Marshall is fighting back, writes CAROLINE BECK in her inaugural piece for Alabama Daily News.
  • His campaign calls the attacks “absurd” and says King “was fired by Alabama Republicans in 2010 for pulling political stunts like this.”
  • RAGA is fighting back, too, pointing out that King himself was an active part of the group during his time as AG and calling the attack a “desperate ploy.”
  • From my view, one mistake King risks here is competing messaging. He’s calling Marshall a Democrat on TV, but then highlighting his support from a major Republican group.

2. Scoop: Clinton Carter leaving Finance for UNC.

  • Alabama State Finance Director Clinton Carter is departing his top cabinet post for a senior position in the University of North Carolina System.
  • Carter has been appointed Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer of the UNC System.
  • UNC President Margaret Spellings – who was President George W. Bush’s Education Secretary – cited Carter’s experience in state budgeting as one of the factors for recruiting him to “make an immediate difference for our students, our institutions, and our taxpayers.”
  • Finance Director is one of the top – if not the top – Cabinet posts in state government. Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said Carter had informed her of his new position, which he’ll take in mid-August.

Other political moves and shakes

  • Joe Williams, longtime District Director for Rep. Martha Roby, has started with the Alabama Community College System as Regional Liaison. His 16-county territory will largely mirror the 2nd District, which he has worked in for 19 years.
  • Lori Ward Williams (no relation) has been promoted by Roby to the District Director spot. Also promoted is Mike Albares, who will become Deputy Chief of Staff on top of his Legislative Director duties.
  • Susannah Cleveland recently started as a Field Officer Sen. Richard Shelby’s Montgomery office. She has a background in politics, but has built a career as a teacher (and actually taught me government & civics ????).
  • Drew Tharpe, who worked for several years as a legislative aide to Rep. Mo Brooks, has started a new job with Maynard Cooper & Gale’s Washington, D.C. lobbying shop.
  • Finally – and sadly – Decatur Daily / Times-Daily reporter Mary Sell announced her departure from the Capitol Press Corps earlier this week. By all accounts, Mary is a well-respected reporter, which is evident from all the responses she got on Twitter.
  • Know of any other staff moves and shakes? Send them to me at [email protected].

A message from Troy University

  • When one of their own began his battle against Hodgkin’s disease, the members of TROY’s FarmHouse Fraternity chapter resolved that they would not rest until a cure was found for the blood-borne cancer.
  • Learn more about their amazing work and how it helps make the TROY family so special HERE.

3. New ads. 

  • The ad rundown is updated again.
  • You’re going to want to see Ag Commissioner candidate Gerald Dial’s fierce ad attacking opponent Rick Pate.
  • Holy moly. Bringing a man’s ex wife into it.
  • Pate has previously refuted claims of domestic abuse, but something tells me they’ll have more to say now that Dial has thrown it up on TV.
  • Ads always get harder-hitting toward the end, and this primary runoff is offering up some doozies.
  • I turned on the comments on the rundown story in case you want to opine, Doc’s Political Parlor style.

4. The Senate and SCOTUS.

  • There are two new polls out today that shed some light on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation battle and who will control the U.S. Senate after this year.
  • The first, by Axios, shows a Senate battleground in which Democrats could possibly pick up two GOP-held Senate seats (Nevada, Arizona) but could also lose three or more to Republicans (Florida, North Dakota, Indiana).
  • The second, by the Tarrance Group, shows a snapshot of voters’ opinions about the Supreme Court confirmation for vulnerable Senators.
  • By some pretty substantial margins, voters in Florida, Missouri, North Dakota(!), West Virginia, and Indiana say they think President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee should be confirmed.
  • I would imagine numbers in Alabama would favor confirmation as well.
  • Why does it matter? Democratic Senators Heitkamp, Manchin, Donnelly, Nelson and McCaskill are already facing tough reelection battles. If numbers like these hold, they will be hard-pressed to vote against Kavanaugh just weeks before election day.

5. News Briefs. 


  • AP Reporter Kim Chandler has a new dispatch on the Roby/Bright runoff.
  • She followed both candidates around and got some choice quotes from voters.
  • Read that HERE.


  • Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brian Lyman did a fundraising update on the major runoff races.
  • His story is worth your time, especially if you like to keep up with where everybody’s political money is coming from.

Birmingham on the move

Death Row inmates ask for Nitrogen Gas execution

  • Eight death row inmates are asking to be put to death via nitrogen gas.
  • It’s significant because there’s an ongoing lawsuit challenging Alabama’s execution methods. The inmates submitted their requests via a court motion.
  • Alabama enacted nitrogen gas as a voluntary execution option for death row inmates earlier this year.
  • Bill sponsor Sen. Trip Pittman argued that the use of gas makes sense because it is painless and would prevent some of the problems associated with lethal injections.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – UPDATED: Primary runoff ad rundown. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marshall: King attacks ‘absurd’

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Finance Director Clinton Carter departing for UNC post. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In Alabama, a onetime Trump critic fights a former Democrat. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jones bill would release records from civil-rights cold cases

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump pardons ranchers in case that inspired 2016 occupation

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS –  U.S. job openings slip in May, as quits reach 17-year high

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump replacement for Obama climate plan moves forward

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 8 Alabama inmates ask for execution by nitrogen gas

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US proposes tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese imports

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump says drug maker Pfizer ‘rolling back price hikes’

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Incumbents pull in money ahead of July 17 runoff.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Black women’s groups step up efforts to energize African-American voters in the South.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – 8 Alabama inmates ask for execution by nitrogen gas.

DOTHAN EAGLE – An influx of inmates with HIV and other specialty medical needs causes Houston County Jail medical expenditures to skyrocket.

DECATUR DAILY – State health officer at opioid summit: ‘I don’t know of a bigger public health crisis’.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Lawmaker seeks Medal of Honor for war hero.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Alabama senators weigh in on Kavanaugh.

ANNISTON STAR – Editor Phillip Tutor: Dying dogs and Alabama’s response.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Attorney General Steve Marshall announces endorsements from 25 Republican District Attorneys.

AL.COM – Sen. Doug Jones introduces civil rights cold cases bill.

AL.COM – Office for Civil Rights investigating UAB for possible Title IX violation.

AL.COM – Maddox campaign: Senate doesn’t care what Ivey thinks about Supreme Court pick.

AL.COM – Mo Brooks backs Congressional colleague accused of ignoring sexual abuse.

AL.COM – Airbus gets big JetBlue order for new A220 jetliners.

AL.COM – Mercedes-Benz posted best half year in company history.

AL.COM – Alabama Power customers will see lower bills starting this month.

AL.COM – ‘Think Birmingham first’: How the city landed DC BLOX.

AL.COM – Airbus introduces ‘latest addition to the family,’ jet to be built in Alabama.

AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith:  My four-year-old knows how to start a conversation. Do you?

AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson:  Lesson in DC BLOX win: When no one tries to claim the credit, everyone shares it.

AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire:  Only mystery left in Alabama corruption trial: Why isn’t Luther Strange a defendant?

WASHINGTON POST – Pfizer buckles under pressure from Trump, delays drug price increases.

WASHINGTON POST – Administration slashes grants to help Americans get Affordable Care Act coverage.

WASHINGTON POST – In Alabama, a onetime Trump critic fights GOP challenger.

NEW YORK TIMES – How Trump’s Trade War Went From 18 Products to 10,000

NEW YORK TIMES – Senate Democrats come out swinging in long-shot fight to block Kavanaugh. 

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