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Daily News Digest – May 1, 2018

 Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, May 1.

1. Poll: Ivey leads race for gov, lots of undecideds.

  • Our first Alabama Daily News / Leverage Public Strategies survey results are in.
  • First up, the race for Governor on the GOP side.
  • Not surprisingly, incumbent Kay Ivey is leading the pack.
  • Her total (47%) is just shy of the majority she needs to avoid a runoff with Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (11%), Birmingham minister Scott Dawson (9%) and State Sen. Bill Hightower (4%).
  • What you may be surprised to see, though, is that her number is lower than the typical mid-60s approval rating she generally enjoys.
  • That’s because we’re testing voters’ ballot choice – not whether they have a favorable impression of a candidate or think they are doing a good job.
  • That’s a different question, and many voters like to take their time when making that choice.
  • There are some interesting data points geographically and demographically. You can read all about that along with my analysis HERE.
  • Tune in tomorrow for results on the Lt. Governor’s race.  

2. Mueller questions leaked.

  • Robert Mueller, the Department of Justice Special Counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, has a list of questions he wants to ask President Trump.
  • Now we have the list, too, and you can read them HERE.
  • Not to spoil it, but most aren’t too surprising if you’ve been keeping up with the story at all.
  • Read this excerpt from the New York Times scoop and tell me if it sounds all that surprising:

The open-ended queries appear to be an attempt to penetrate the president’s thinking, to get at the motivation behind some of his most combative Twitter posts and to examine his relationships with his family and his closest advisers.

They deal chiefly with the president’s high-profile firings of the F.B.I. director and his first national security adviser, his treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Read more HERE.

3. Big Pre-K expansion coming this fall.

  • The perennial bright spot in Alabama’s education system keeps getting brighter.
  • First Class Pre-K will add 107 classrooms in 33 counties this fall. That brings the total number of classrooms past 1,000 serving more than 19,000 students.
  • First Class has consistently been ranked the nation’s top pre-K program for quality. The trick for educators and policymakers has been maintaining that quality while expanding access to more students statewide.
  • This year the Legislature increased pre-K funding by $18.5 million, bringing the total up to $96 million for the upcoming fiscal year. Thus, the capacity expansion.
  • Kudos to Gov. Ivey, Secretary of Early Childhood Education Jeana Ross, Alabama lawmakers, and especially all the hardworking teachers and support staff who have made believers out of once-doubtful politicians.
  • Read more about the expansion and what it means HERE.
  • See a map and list of what new First Class Pre-K locations will be coming online HERE.

4. Roy Moore keeps it coming.

  • Roy Moore has filed a new lawsuit against his accusers.
  • This time in his home of Etowah County where he thinks he’ll get a fair hearing from those who know him and the accusers.
  • His new attorney, Melissa Isaak, said this:

“We intend to show the people of Alabama that a political conspiracy came about to ruin his campaign for Senate and to defame him, to defame his character so the people of Alabama would not vote for him in the special Senate election,” Isaak said.

  • There is some news here: Moore said he is not planning on running for political office in Alabama again.
  • Yeah, that might be the whole “I have no plans” politician speak, but it sounds legit. If so, it’s the end of an era.
  • Read more HERE.

5. News briefs. 

  • The band ALABAMA is playing a benefit concert for Jacksonville storm victims. Good on them for contributing their time and talents to a great cause. Do you ever really get tired of their music? Have to say one of my favorite Capitol Hill experiences was watching them bring the house down and totally upstage Barry Manilow at the 4th of July concert at the Capitol.
  • The White House is delaying the implementation of those steel & aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico. Hard to fight a trade war on three continents, and we do get an awful lot of aluminum from Canada. Read more HERE.
  • Israeli spies somehow stole a trove of documents from Iran that show the country has been lying about the nature of its nuclear program for years. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “Iran hid a vast atomic archive from the world and from the IAEA – until today.” Read more HERE.
  • Amid all the optimism that we might be nearing a historic breakthrough with North Korea re: it’s nuclear ambitions, National Review writer David French says don’t be naive. Read  his piece HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New poll shows Ivey leading race for governor, just shy of majority. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge sets ‘Mockingbird’ trial if Alabama judge approves it.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Roy Moore: new suit against accusers.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Dothan Police: student arrested after threats cause school absences.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: White House delays tariffs on EU, Canada, Mexico.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Waffle House: workers were right to call police in Alabama case.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Counselors on hand at Parker High School after 3 killed in wreck.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Report: Mueller gives list of questions to Trump’s lawyers.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Kelly calls ‘BS’ on report that he called Trump ‘an idiot.’

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Twin bombings in Afghanistan kill 25, including 9 reporters.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – MPS Board selects four superintendent finalists.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Downtown Montgomery hopes for new momentum.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Police: 15-year-old arrested, charged with threat toward Dothan High School.

AL.COM – What Roy Moore said about needing money, running for office.

AL.COM – Abortion in Alabama is on the rise.

AL.COM – Ron Sparks backs Walt Maddox in Democratic gubernatorial primary.

AL.COM – Alabama’s prekindergarten program to add 107 classrooms.

AL.COM – Legislators answer criticism over Waffle House arrest.

AL.COM – Waffle House doubles down on arrest; Black Lives Matter plans protest.

AL.COM – ‘Outraged’ Birmingham mayor calls for public’s help after sleeping 12-year-old shot.

AL.COM – Contributor John Meredith:  Gloves come off in gubernatorial races.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Columnist Mark Mayfield:  A senator playing the long game.

ANNISTON STAR – Federal aid process underway for JSU tornado disaster relief.

ANNISTON STAR – Social, bureaucratic issues need decisions:  A look at the proposed state constitutional amendments Alabama voters will consider in November.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump delays steel and aluminum tariffs for Canada, Mexico and European Union, pulling back on major trade threat.

WASHINGTON POST – Report: Mueller team gives Trump lawyers a list of questions.

WASHINGTON POST – Remembering a past many Americans would rather forget.

WASHINGTON POST – Columnist Michael Gerson:  The rhetoric of our era has reached its vile peak.

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