Good morning! France won the World Cup, but more importantly today is the start of SEC Media Days. Here’s your Daily News for July 16, 2017.
1. POTUS meets w/ Putin.
- President Donald Trump is meeting with Russian President Vladamir Putin today – well, right now actually.
- Putin was late (he’s notorious for that) and made Trump wait for about an hour.
- Trump tweeted this morning that chilly Russian ties are “thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” and that “President Obama thought that Crooked Hillary was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the FBI about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn’t happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it. When I won it became a big deal and the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by Strzok!”
- Don’t miss how the president acknowledges right there that Russian meddling took place. That’s significant.
- Russia denies any 2016 election meddling. Last week, the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian nationals for theft and conspiracy. 13 others were previously indicted.
- “Your first request of Vladimir Putin needs to be, tell us which airport we can pick up the 25 Russians that tried to interfere with the fundamentals of our democracy,” Congressman Trey Gowdy, told Face the Nation Sunday.
- Don’t forget, there’s a lot more to discuss than the 2016 election. There’s the ongoing cyber attacks on our country, the situation in Syria, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and preventing another arms build up.
- Read more from USA Today about what to expect from the Trump-Putin Summit HERE.
- Also read about that one time President Trump was furious with Putin and let him have it privately. Jonathan Swan’s report in AXIOS HERE.
2. Speaking of Putin…
- The race for Congress in the 2nd District is getting lots of national attention.
- The latest story was from Buzzfeed’s Alexis Levinson, who took on the question of whether or not this race is really about Trump.
- (The answers to that question are absolutely yes, kind of, and not at all, depending on who you ask.)
- Challenger Bobby Bright seems divided on that question himself. Sometimes it’s about Trump, like when he’s attacking incumbent Rep. Martha Roby for not supporting him. Sometimes it’s not about Trump at all, like when confronted with the fact that the President supports Roby.
- Alexis is a good reporter who has a knack for getting the quote that really illuminates an issue. Asked about Trump’s support for Roby, Bright told her this on the record:
“She told the president to step down and get out of the way, and then she went — every time he pooted, she was there to smell it,” Bright told BuzzFeed News. “And she’s continuing to do it.”
- FWIW, I’ve been asked repeatedly by reporters why Roby HASN’T kissed up to the president. But whatever.
- Red hats, party switches, and quotes like that are the stuff political obituaries are made of.
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. All about endorsements.
- The bitter race for Lieutenant Governor has pivoted from launching personal attacks to touting endorsements.
- And hey, I’ll take it.
- Alabama Daily News’ Will Whatley has a good write up on the latest endorsements for Twinkle Cavanaugh and Will Ainsworth and what they mean.
- For Cavanaugh: Connie Glover, wife of State Sen. Rusty Glover, Sonny Callahan, Mike Huckabee, etc.
- For Ainsworth: Tim James, Bill Armistead, Alice Martin and several of his House colleagues.
- Ainsworth is also getting help from an unlikely place: The Alabama Education Association, better known as the state’s teacher and education worker union.
- They are sending the below mailer out, presumably to AEA members, under their AVOTE political action committee banner.
- Playing footsie with AEA used to be a political no-no for Republicans. But, some candidates this cycle have not been shy to take donations or accept advertising from the teachers’ union.
- Ainsworth told me he “had no idea” they were sending it out.
4. Don’t forget about Montgomery.
- One of the most significant developments this election season has been the success of a local Montgomery effort to throw out incumbent school members who have allowed a drastic and dangerous decline in the quality of local schools.
- Runoffs remain in a handful of the districts, including for School Board President Robert Porterfield.
- The momentum for changes seems to only have grown since the primary. Sunday’s Montgomery Advertiser was focused on improving education, including two pieces that are worth your time this morning.
- First, from Vanzetta McPherson, a powerful column about the need for change at the School Board. It’s the kind you should share on social media. She writes:
A board member who presides over the drastic decline in the quality of public education – and refuses to accept responsibility for it – deserves the same fate as the coach who consistently loses games, the CEO who mismanages assets, and the lawyer or doctor who commits malpractice.
- Next, a story from reporter Andrew Yawn, who explores the education decline’s root causes in the city’s pervasive and systemic poverty. You should read every word, but here’s an excerpt:
“There are kids that don’t know if their power is going to be on when they get home from school or if their water is going to be turned off. That’s a real issue,” Landrum said. “There’s 15 or 20 times a year that I find out one of my kids, the basic necessities at home, they don’t have them. That’s just the ones that tell me. There’s a lot more that don’t.”
5. News Briefs
Cue Roy Moore
- In case you haven’t heard, Sacha Baron Cohen of “Borat” fame has a new series for Showtime in which he dupes politicians into silly or embarrassing interviews.
- The show debuted last night, but it’s subscription based. Still, you can see a preview of his interviews with current and former congressmen about a fake Israeli program to arm Kindergartners with guns in school.
- Roy Moore says he was duped into an interview, but that part hasn’t come yet. I can only imagine what that one might contain.
Call Roger Stone
- Roger Stone – the flamboyant political consultant that helped Donald Trump get elected – is out campaigning today for Troy King.
- Weird timing, though, because Stone recently acknowledged that he is the unnamed Trump campaign adviser said to have communicated with a Russian hacker according to the indictment of 12 Russian nationals.
- I wonder if he’ll be doing any interviews.
Pence tweets/calls in support of Roby
- She already had the President’s endorsement, but Vice President Mike Pence is now shoring up support for Martha Roby in her reelection bid.
- The Veep tweeted his endorsement on Friday and recorded a phone call message to be distributed over the campaign’s final days.
Cool photo of the day.
Thousands brave the stormy weather to close out Sloss Music and Arts Festival in Birmingham yesterday.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Primary ad rundown.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pence tweets support for Roby
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Cavanaugh, Ainsworth tout endorsements.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marshall returns to campaign in heated AG race with King
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Runoffs for US House, state positions on runoff ballot.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Accusations fly in heated Alabama lt. gov. race.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Troy University Chancellor Endorses Dial.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – 1898 Charlottesville lynching victim joins those honored at EJI soil collection.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Bobby Bright hits local issues as congressional runoff approaches.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – With Trump’s endorsement, Roby emphasizes rural campaign.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Poverty and proficiency: how MPS’ struggles may lay outside the school system.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Vanzetta McPerson: time for change at the school board.
DOTHAN EAGLE – A measured approach to an unlikely threat.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Officials suggest offering support, not money, to panhandlers.
ATHENS NEWS COURIER – AG COMMISSIONER RACE: Pate wants to cut red tape.
ATHENS NEWS COURIER – Alabama, Georgia and three other states in speed enforcement task.
ATHENS NEWS COURIER – Contributor David Fernandes: Tariffs will harm, not help, Alabama.
CULLMAN TIMES – Cullman County D.A. endorses Marshall for attorney general.
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Columnist Jennifer Cohron: Barge packed with garbage became 3,000-ton floating hot potato.
SELMA TIMES JOURNAL – Editor Will Whaley: What will happen to the National Voting Rights Museum?
LAGNIAPPE – Fee dispute raises more questions about State Auditor Jim Zeigler.
LAGNIAPPE – PAC contributions flood into Senate District 32 race.
LAGNIAPPE – Candidates for District 102 talk endorsements.
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Rob Holbert: The plot thickens as runoffs approach.
DECATUR DAILY – US trade, immigration and biofuel policies hit farmers hard.
DECATUR DAILY – Trump names EU a global foe, raps media before Putin summit.
DECATUR DAILY – Primary runoff endorsements.
DECATUR DAILY – Lawyer: US trying to force Ed Henry to testify against others.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – West Alabama leaders visit Kentucky to study Lexington’s successes.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Lawyers fighting for two sentenced to life without parole as juveniles.
GADSDEN TIMES – Lisa Millican’s family fights for new laws.
ANNISTON STAR – America’s War on Poverty isn’t over.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Joel Rotenstreich is an Alabama Bright Light dedicated ‘to life’.
AL.COM – Runoffs for US House, state positions on Alabama runoff ballot.
AL.COM – Alabama is watching: Will Doug Jones support Kavanaugh for Supreme Court?
AL.COM – Primary runoff 2018: What to know ahead of Tuesday’s primaries.
AL.COM – Bribery trial week 3: ‘Dumb them down,’ and FBI agent testifies.
AL.COM – Alabama AG’s runoff starts close, ends in fight over money.
AL.COM – Alabama constables condemn officer’s arrest.
AL.COM – Millennials say Obama best president; Gen X, Baby Boomers say it’s Reagan.
AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: The immigration debate we’re not having.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: AG Marshall opens the door again for PAC-to-PAC money.
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: If you love someone with dementia … help!
AL.COM – Columnist Frances Coleman: Why we cared what happened in a faraway cave.
AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson: Shipt delivers jobs, hope for a city in dire need of both.
WASHINGTON POST – Ahead of Putin summit, Trump faults U.S. ‘stupidity’ for poor relations with Russia.
WASHINGTON POST – Immigrant kids held in shelters: ‘They told us to behave, or we’d be here forever’.
WASHINGTON POST – For Mueller, pushing to finish parts of Russia probe, question of American involvement remains.
WASHINGTON POST – Federal judge calls Friday filing by HHS ‘cover’ for its failings in reunification process.
NEW YORK TIMES – Warren is Preparing for 2020. So Are Biden, Booker, Harris and Sanders.
NEW YORK TIMES – Just Sitting Down With Trump, Putin Comes Out Ahead
NEW YORK TIMES – Cleaning Toilets, Following Rules: A Migrant Child’s Days in Detention
NEW YORK TIMES – Paychecks Lag as Profits Soar, and Prices Erode Wage Gains
NEW YORK TIMES – $88 Million and Counting: Trump Amasses Huge Head Start for 2020 Campaign
NEW YORK TIMES – Georgia Governor Candidate Caught Saying He’s in Race to Be the ‘Craziest’
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