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Daily News Digest – June 4, 2018

Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Monday, June 4, 2018. 

1. Fair Play? Nasty AG race might have crossed a legal line.

  • Negative ads are nothing new in Alabama politics. They work and I think some voters secretly love the mudslinging.
  • They are also perfectly legal, so long as political committees and campaigns follow all the rules to ensure the public knows who is paying for the ads.
  • One group called Fair Play Alabama appears to be running afoul of those rules in its attacks against Attorney General Steve Marshall.
  • I keep saying rules. They’re actually laws.
  • First, no group called Fair Play Alabama is registered as a PAC or has disclosed spending on political ads with the Secretary of State, as required by law.
  • Second, there are reasons to believe Alice Martin campaign adviser Claire Austin is secretly involved in the group’s activities, which is a big no-no.
  • Claire insisted to me that she’s not, btw. So, judge for yourself after reading the full story HERE.
  • I’ve reached out to Sec. of State John Merrill to see what his office will do about violations of the Fair Campaign Practices Act. You can’t un-ring the bell of an attack ad, however false its content or pretenses may be.
  • But, Merrill’s office has sought to investigate/enforce FCPA violations pretty aggressively in the past.
  • Tip of the hat to Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg, whose radio segment about the last-minute, below-the-radar ad was the basis for the story.

2. One day more. 

  • 24 hours from right now, polls will be open in all 67 Alabama counties.
  • It’s your last chance to read up on candidates before you decide who will get your vote, and I’m here to help!

General Overview

  • Brian Lyman of The Montgomery Advertiser wrote as thorough a rundown of all the state’s top races as you’ll find. Read up on the GOP side HERE and the Democratic side HERE.
  • Jay Reeves of the Associated Press also did a thorough down-the-ballot analysis of all the state’s top races. Read it HERE.


  • Kim Chandler has a story outlining the various storylines in the Governor’s race HERE.
  • Brian Lyman has a story of his own HERE.
  • Wouldn’t you know they both quote Dave Mowery?
  • Mary Sell takes a look at where the candidates stand on the issues, with Democrats HERE and Republicans HERE.
  •’s John Sharp asks and tries to answer the only question that matters: Is Kay Ivey beatable? His story HERE.

Lt. Governor

  • John O’Conner of WSFA/Raycom has a thorough report on the race HERE.
  • Greg Garrison of has a write up on the Lt. Governor’s race. Read it HERE.

Attorney General

  • AP takes a look at the Democratic ballot for AG, where Chris Christie and Joseph Siegelman are facing off. Read that HERE.
  • Kim Chandler runs through the heated GOP race HERE.
  • Brian Lyman profiles the race HERE.

Supreme Court

  • WSFA/Raycom’s Valerie Lawson has some good coverage of the  Chief Justice race.
  • Melissa Brown’s report in the Advertiser is HERE.


  • Brian Lyman did weekender stories about the Alabama’s most competitive race Congressional primary in AL-2. His story about the GOP race is HERE.
  • (Tommy Amason did not take well to being excluded from the art in Saturday’s paper, btw)
  • Lyman’s story on the Democratic primary where Tabitha Isner faces Audra Scott Williams is HERE.
  • Mike Cason has a story about the AL-2 race and all its various angles HERE.
  • Flying somewhat under the radar has been the race in AL-5, where Congressman Mo Brooks faces a primary challenge from Clay Hinchman.
  • The Decatur Daily has a profile on the race HERE, YellowHammer News has a report HERE, and has a story HERE.

Okay, that’s plenty of reading.

Remember that several other candidate/race profile stories were included in Friday’s Digest, which is available online HERE.

3. What’s going on with Jim Ziegler?

  • Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler has surrendered his law license.
  • He told’s Mike Cason that he voluntarily decided to give up his license because he no longer wants to run for Attorney General. That story HERE.
  • But Inside Alabama Politics reported on Friday that Zeigler was forced to give up his license because of “disciplinary reasons related to his Elder Care Planning seminars and not providing services paid for.” Read that story HERE (subscription).
  • In any case, Ziegler said he plans to go to work as an investigative reporter once his public service career is over.
  • Does anyone doubt that he would be pretty awesome at that?

4. Big deal in Bessemer.

  • Amazon appears close to inking a deal to locate a major distribution center in Bessemer.
  • The project could create as many as 3,000 jobs by the time it opens in the fall of 2019.
  • That’s a big deal for Bessemer and the Birmingham area.
  • The Bessemer City Council and Jefferson County Commission will vote on an incentives package as soon as this week.
  • Read more in the Birmingham Business Journal HERE.

5. Skip Tucker and other opinions, man.

  • Skip Tucker talks about negative campaigning and how candidates, parties, and political organizations have changed their stripes over the years in his latest ADN column. Every news platform has it’s milestones, and today mine  marks the first time the term “cougar” has been published. Give it a read HERE.
  • The Alabama Policy Institute’s Parker Snider also discusses the elections in his latest column. He evokes Hugh Jackman’s performance of “Who am I?” in Les Miserables, though I’m more of a Colm Wilkinson / Gary Morris man myself.
  • conservative columnist Cameron Smith thinks everyone should be taking the Attorney General race pretty seriously. He has an interesting perspective on the race, which you can read about HERE.
  • Oh, and my column on the unfortunate turn for the dramatic in the governor’s race was in Sunday’s Advertiser. It’s an older take but a good one, I think. Give it a click HERE.
  • FYI: I am looking for a contributing columnist that comes from a more liberal/progressive bent. If you or someone you know might be interested, hit me up by replying to this email.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fair Play? AG race gets nasty and might have crossed a legal line.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Skip Tucker: Campaigns get testy, desperate toward the end.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – On the ballot: candidates for major office in Alabama’s June 5 primary.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey seeks to win primary without a runoff, takes few chances.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Parker Snider: Our Elected Officials, a Mirror of Ourselves

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Republicans turn up the heat in Alabama Attorney General race.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Dems Christie, Siegelman in Attorney General primary.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jim Bonner appealing ALGOP decision to disregard votes.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bessemer, JeffCo eye incentives for Amazon warehouse.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama death row inmate found dead inside cell.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – End of era? Tea Party class of House Republicans fades.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – China warns U.S. trade deals are off if tariffs go ahead.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Giuliani downplays idea of Trump self pardon.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Many breast cancer patients may be able to skip chemo, study finds.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Hot commodity: 3,000+ applied for 50 new jobs at Hyundai.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Tommy Amason pledges loyalty to Trump in congressional race.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Ivey, taking few chances, seeks to avoid runoff.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Generation caregiver: Aging Alabama needs an army of millennial nurses.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Mission continues to help those without hope.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Chess Bedsole wants attorney general’s office to focus on crime.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Contributor Todd Stacy:  Dramatic turn in Alabama governor’s race.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Columnist Vanzetta McPherson:  Sue Bell Cobb is best for Democrats and Alabama.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Contributor Orrin Ames:  The business community, through its ethics, may be the last hope for our nation’s dignity.

DOTHAN EAGLE – There’s help for domestic abuse victims.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Veteran Clayton Hinchman takes on incumbent Mo Brooks for the 5th Congressional seat in Alabama

AL.COM – Trade fears brew ahead of Canadian gathering in Alabama.

AL.COM – In Alabama primary, one big question: Is Kay Ivey unbeatable?

AL.COM – Former Alabama cop’s multiple DUIs bring death, pain, unanswered questions.

AL.COM – Arming administrators in Alabama schools: what you need to know.

AL.COM – Former state teacher of the year challenging Chip Beeker for Public Service Commission.

AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain:  The oxymoron of Christian populism.

AL.COM – Why do Alabama Democrats divide party seats by gender?

AL.COM – Black women changed Jim Crow South, now changing Alabama politics.

AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith:  Pay attention to the Alabama attorney general’s race.

AL.COM – Contributor Frances Coleman:  Why candidates should leave religion out of their campaigns.

AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson:  You should listen to the kids, Governor.

ANNISTON STAR – For Alabama Democrats, calling out Trump a tough choice.

ANNISTON STAR – Some teachers OK with arming school leaders; others want more police on campuses.

ANNISTON STAR – A hospital that will close.

ATHENS NEWS COURIER – DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL PREVIEW: Candidates favor gambling to fund state services.

ATHENS NEWS COURIER – GOP GUBERNATORIAL PREVIEW: Candidates tout conservative credentials, plans for growth.

LAGNIAPPE – Legislature streamlines remedy for tax-delinquent properties.

LAGNIAPPE – Longtime incumbent takes aim at fifth term.

LAGNIAPPE – 2 Democrats, 1 Republican vie for House seat.

DECATUR DAILY – Probate judges expect 25-30 percent voter turnout.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Shoals jobless rate is 3.8%.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Opposition to proposed Deshler monument builds.

DECATUR DAILY –  The Present of History:  Bicentennial events spotlight area’s race, gender, environmental and military past.

DECATUR DAILY –  Voting more than checking familiar name.

DECATUR DAILY – Democrats: Where gubernatorial candidates stand on issues.

DECATUR DAILY – Morgan sheriff candidates oppose taking food money.

DECATUR DAILY – Republicans: Where gubernatorial candidates stand on issues.

DECATUR DAILY – Brooks’ challenger touts military, business experience in race with ‘beast’.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Legislative race for Alabama Senate District 21 features rematch.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – District 16 candidates focus on small businesses.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Dems Christie, Siegelman in Alabama attorney general primary.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Republicans turn up heat in Alabama attorney general’s race.

WASHINGTON POST – GOP candidates echo Trump on immigration as president transforms party in his image.

NEW YORK TIMES – We ran out of words to describe how good the jobs numbers are.

Only the Advertiser’s front today…

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