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Daily News Digest – June 4, 2019

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

1. Court hears appeal.

  • The Alabama Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday morning in former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s appeal of his conviction on ethics charges.
  • The prominent Republican was convicted in 2016 of improperly receiving consulting contracts and business investments from company executives.
  • Hubbard’s attorney will argue that Hubbard committed no crimes and that prosecutors were stretching the bounds of the ethics law in their bid to send him to prison.
  • The Attorney General’s office will ask justices to uphold the conviction. They argue Hubbard monetized his public position for personal profit.
  • Hubbard was one of the state’s most influential Republicans, but his political career ended with the 2016 conviction. A judge sentenced Hubbard to four years in prison, but he is free on bond as he appeals.
  • The fact that the state’s high court agreed to take up the case and hear oral arguments is significant unto itself, not just for Hubbard, but for everyone who has to operate under the state’s ethics laws.
  • Last month, the Alabama Council of Association Executives filed an ex parte amicus brief asking the Court to “address and correct” the decision of Court of Criminal Appeals as it pertains to the definition of “principal” in the code. But the Attorney General’s office pushed back, and the Supreme Court ultimately denied the ACEA’s motion.
  • The Court’s docket has a helpful “Cliff’s notes” explanation of questions being addressed in the Hubbard appeal. You can read that document attached to the full AP story HERE.


2. Disaster aid passes.

  • A long-delayed $19.1 billion disaster aid bill has sailed through the House and headed to President Donald Trump for his expected signature, overcoming months of infighting, misjudgment and a feud between Trump and congressional Democrats.
  • Lawmakers gave the measure final congressional approval on Monday by a 354-58 vote. The 58 “no” votes were each Republicans, including many of the party’s most conservative members. They said the legislation — which reflects an increasingly permissive attitude in Washington on spending to address disasters that sooner or later hit every region of the country — shouldn’t be rushed through without a recorded vote.
  • Alabama Republican Reps. Mo Brooks and Gary Palmer were the only Alabama delegation members voting against final passage.
  • Alabama Reps. Terri Sewell, a Democrat, and Martha Roby, a Republican, each applauded the final passage of the bill. Roby represents Southeast Alabama, which was impacted by Hurricane Michael last October.
  • Their comments and the rest of the story HERE.


3. POTUS in London.

  • President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were welcomed to the United Kingdom in true royal fashion by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Monday.
  • Trump and the queen exchanged toasts at Buckingham Palace before about 170 guests at an elaborate state dinner held Monday in honor of the president and first lady.
  • Trump noted that the liberation of millions from tyranny in World War II “forever sealed” the bond between the United Kingdom and United States.
  • The queen told Trump that security and a shared heritage link the U.S. and U.K., saying, “tonight we celebrate an alliance that has helped to ensure the safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades, and which I believe will endure for many years to come.”
  • Moving from pageantry to policy today, Trump on Tuesday urged embattled Prime Minister Theresa May to “stick around” to complete a U.S.-U.K. trade deal, adding to this recent chapter of uncertainty in the allies’ storied relationship. May is set to resign on Friday as leader of the Conservative Party, and will remain Prime Minister until a successor is chosen.
  • The leaders’ top priority is a possible bilateral trade deal to be negotiated once – or if – the U.K. leaves the European Union.
  • Following Tuesday’s focus on business and trade, Trump will use the next two days to mark the 75th anniversary of the June 6, 1944, D-Day landing, likely the last significant commemoration most veterans of the battle will see.
  • Full story HERE.


4. Judge won’t grant request to block border funding.

  • A federal judge on Monday denied a House request to prevent President Donald Trump from tapping Defense Department money for his proposed border wall with Mexico, saying Congress lacked authority to sue.
  • U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, wrote that the House’s lawsuit was “about whether one chamber of Congress has the ‘constitutional means’ to conscript the Judiciary in a political turf war with the President over the implementation of legislation.”
  • McFadden said Congress didn’t have authority in this case but that he didn’t mean to imply the legislative body could never challenge the president in court over separation of powers.
  • “An old maxim in politics holds that, ‘Where you stand depends on where you sit,'” he wrote. “At law too, whether a plaintiff has standing often depends on where he sits. A seat in Congress comes with many prerogatives, but legal standing to superintend the execution of laws is not among them.”
  • The Justice Department welcomed the decision, saying the judge “rightly ruled that the House of Representatives cannot ask the judiciary to take its side in political disputes and cannot use federal courts to accomplish through litigation what it cannot achieve using the tools the Constitution gives to Congress.”
  • Trump’s victory is muted by a federal ruling in California last month that blocked construction of key sections of the wall. The administration plans to appeal the ruling by Haywood Gilliam Jr., an appointee of former President Barack Obama.
  • Full story HERE.


5. Steve Flowers: Celebrating Boys & Girls State.


  • Summer in Alabama means it’s time for Boys State and Girls State, the annual high school leadership gatherings where rising juniors dabble in state politics for a week.
  • Steve Flowers is reminiscing about his Boys State days and also celebrating how the unique program has shaped so many state leaders.
  • In particular, Steve mentions the state’s top leader – Gov. Kay Ivey, and a rising one, Business Council of Alabama President Katie Boyd Britt – both products of Girls State from different generations. Also mentioned, Cathy Johnson Randall, a close friend of Ivey’s that went on to serve as President of Girls Nation.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“Boys State has spawned Alabama’s governmental leaders for decades. I attended Boys State 50-years ago this month. I remember it like it was yesterday. It is a lifetime memory. You make friends that last throughout life and have resurfaced my entire life. One of my contemporaries from Boys State, who became a lifetime friend, is current Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Tom Parker.
“Now that women have taken their rightful place in Alabama governmental positions, it is appropriate that our top two female leaders in Alabama got their start at Alabama Girls State. Governor Kay Ivey and BCA CEO Katie Britt were leaders at Girls State. Katie Britt, who was young Katie Boyd, has always been an outstanding leader. Katie became Governor of Girls State.”
  • Read the full column HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Gut check’ session ends, here’s what they did
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Supreme Court to hear arguments in Hubbard appeal
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House sends long-delayed $19.1B disaster aid bill to Trump
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump turns from pomp to business in UK visit
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge rejects Congress’ challenge of border wall funding
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Steve Flowers: Legends of Girls State
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: A positive step for reading
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – June 3, 2019
AL.COM  – Birmingham’s historic 4th Avenue Business District selected for revitalization program
AL.COM  – 2 more Alabama cities selected for Department of Justice violent crime initiative
AL.COM  – Alabama city 4th best in U.S. for career opportunities
AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: How I learned to quit worrying and love the special session
AL.COM  – Alabama delegation in Montreal for trade conference
Montgomery Advertiser – Confederate named high schools: Some say no more, others say changing names unnecessary.
Montgomery Advertiser – Perspective: Roy Jeffs, son of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, dies by suicide
Montgomery Advertiser – Teen charged with robbery now facing additional robbery, burglary charges
Montgomery Advertiser – Police seeking information about man wanted in connection to April homicide
YellowHammer News – Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris slams Alabama abortion ban — These folks ‘couldn’t care less’ after baby is born
YellowHammer News – Medicare for All: A plan driven by politics, not patients
YellowHammer News – Huntsville named nation’s fourth best city for career opportunities
Dothan Eagle – Mother of twins works through adversity to earn degree at Wallace
Dothan Eagle – Government Oversight: Houston County government recaps amount of work performed in Hurricane Michael cleanup
Dothan Eagle  – WIC income guidelines have changed, so more Alabamians may be eligible for assistance.
Dothan Eagle – Editorial: Lawmakers earned their keep.
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa County man faces 15 child porn charges
Tuscaloosa News – Prosecutor shifts Smollett recusal reasons, releases files
Decatur Daily – Decatur school board moves administrators
Decatur Daily – Police, patrons plentiful at aquatic center Monday
Decatur Daily – 1-year-old dies in Woodall Road wreck
Times Daily – Pre-K funding expansion means more opportunities for 4-year-olds
Times Daily – West Florence road projects move forward
Times Daily – UNA STEM Camps to teach, inspire students in June
Gadsden Times – High-profile bills dead as session ends
Anniston Star – Police investigating strangulation incident
Anniston Star – Anniston, Oxford enter federal crime partnership
Troy Messenger – Linemen put their lives on the line
Troy Messenger – Chicken houses destroyed in fire
Troy Messenger – Local mental health bill awaits governor’s signature
Andalusia Star News – Congress OKs $19B for victims of disaster
Opelika-Auburn News – Georgia officials recover 30 dogs during hoarding investigation
Opelika-Auburn News – Mike Hubbard appeal goes Tuesday to Alabama Supreme Court
Opelika-Auburn News – Sexual assault suspect arrested in Auburn, charged with numerous theft offenses
Daily Mountain Eagle – Engineer: Airport Road work will be on and off
Daily Mountain Eagle – Ground broken for Dora Veterans Memorial
Trussville Tribune – Coyote breaks into Argo home, kills family cat
Athens News Courier – Son accused of stealing dad’s Harley
Athens News Courier – 2 arrested on drug charges in Limestone
WSFA Montgomery – Ala. FFA state convention brings thousands of students to Montgomery
WSFA Montgomery – Nearly 12 million patients’ personal info exposed in Quest Diagnostics data breach
WSFA Montgomery – Carbon Hill mayor defends social media comments on killing homosexuals, transgender people and Democrats
Fox 6 Birmingham – B’ham police asking for assistance finding missing man
Fox 6 Birmingham – Man killed in I-65 wreck near downtown B’ham
WKRG Mobile – ECSO looks for two witnesses to Cobb Lane murder
WKRG Mobile – Funeral reflects bipartisan work of former US Sen. Cochran
WTVY Dothan – Headland teams up with Main Street Alabama to revitalize downtown
WASHINGTON POST  – GOP lawmakers discuss vote to block Trump’s new tariffs on Mexico, in what would be a dramatic act of defiance
WASHINGTON POST  – House committee to vote on holding Barr and Ross in contempt for failing to provide documents related to 2020 Census citizenship question
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump urges customers to drop AT&T to punish CNN over its coverage of him.
WASHINGTON POST  – Virginia College students sue DeVos for reinstating controversial for-profit college accreditor
NEW YORK TIMES  – Congress Gives Final Approval to Long-Delayed Disaster Aid
NEW YORK TIMES  – Can Congress Avoid a Debt Default and $125 Billion in Spending Cuts?


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