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Daily News Digest – May 21, 2018

 Good morning! That weekend wasn’t nearly long enough. Grab some coffee and settle in for your Daily News for Monday, May 21.

1. A change is gonna come: BCA eyes orderly transition amid smear campaign. 

  • One of Alabama’s largest and most influential political groups – The Business Council of Alabama – is about to attempt something it has never achieved before: a peaceful and orderly transition in leadership.
  • To understand why that has proven elusive in the past, one might only need look at the dramatic circumstances of the present.
  • The last year or so has seen the kind of public humiliation and vilification campaign rarely even launched toward elected officials. It has been ugly and, at least for me, puzzling.
  • Now, that effort could be a decisive factor in what the leadership of BCA is going to look like in the future, only perhaps not in the way its purveyors intended.
  • Read all about it HERE.

2. Rounding the turn into the final stretch.

Man, that went quick.

  • Today marks 15 days until Alabama’s June 5 primary elections.
  • It’s also the last day to register to vote. Here’s how to do that.
  • If you’re reading this, chances are you’re registered. But, you know, you can always forward to a friend who just moved or a recent high school grad.

New ads

  • It generally takes from 10-14 days for a good media campaign to sink in with voters.
  • So if any campaigns are planning any ads for the final stretch, we’ll start seeing them soon. (I’m hearing we could see some attack ads???)
  • Rick Pate has a new ad up for his campaign for Commissioner of Agriculture.
  • Brad Mendheim has a new ad up for his campaign for Supreme Court Place 1.
  • Both ads are on the UPDATED rundown HERE. (Also, I figured out how to disable a certain candidate’s super annoying auto play feature, so click with confidence.)


Something else that happens late in campaign season is candidates are required to file campaign finance reports on a weekly basis.

Reports filed last week showed:

  • Governor: Ivey raised 99K, has $1.268M on hand; Battle raised 91K, has $738K on hand; Hightower raised $51K, has $195K on hand; Dawson raised $15K, has $58K on hand. Maddox raised $104K, has $291K on hand; Cobb raised $26K, has $111K on hand.
  • Lt. Governor: Cavanaugh raised $76K, has $601K on hand; Ainsworth raised $7K, has $365K on hand; Glover raised $18K, has $18K on hand.
  • Attorney General: Marshall raised $37K, has $302K on hand; King raised $25K, has $284K on hand; Martin raised $21K, has $249K on hand; Bedsole raised $100, has $438K on hand.

We should have updated reports today.


A historic opportunity in the U.S. House

  • Earlier this year, the Senate showed that Washington’s ability to come together on commonsense, bi-partisan solutions isn’t dead.
  • It passed S. 2155 – The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act – which fixes ill-fitting financial regulations that have limited banks’ ability to serve their customers, clients and communities.
  • Alabama Senators Richard Shelby and Doug Jones both voted to pass it, a notable show of bi-partisan support.
  • Now it’s up to the House of Representatives to bring it home.
  • The Alabama Bankers Association strongly urges our Members of Congress to vote YES on this badly-needed bill.
  • Learn more about the bill and how it will lead to even more economic growth HERE.

3. Economy still looking good. 

  • The last state jobs report before the election is in and Alabama’s unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent for April. That’s pretty low.
  • Employers added an estimated 13,900 jobs in April, bringing the state’s total number of jobs to 2,039,200. That’s the highest total since 2007, before the recession happened.
  • Read Mike Cason’s story with statistics and perspective from Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington and spokeswoman Tara Hutchison HERE.
  • Booming economies are good for incumbents. Alabama’s continued strong showing could help explain why Gov. Kay Ivey’s opponents have found it difficult to generate a compelling narrative against her.

4. Hashing it out on sports betting. 

  • Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that states could legalize and regulate sports betting if they want, there’s been a lot of speculation about what Alabama would do.
  • Our Mississippi neighbors were Johnny-on-the-spot with a law already in place in anticipation of the ruling, and they’re looking to cash in.
  • You’d have to think other closeby states like Louisiana, Florida and Georgia might do the same.
  • Will Alabama follow suit? Should we?
  • Alabama Daily News contributor Matthew Stokes takes an honest look at what legalizing sports betting could mean in Alabama, for better or worse.
  • Read his latest column HERE.

5. Putting a period on last week’s drama. 

  • We’d all like to forget the ugliness that occurred last week in the Scott Dawson/Patricia Todd/Kay Ivey incident.
  • But, before we do, it’s only right that we take stock of what happened, why it matters, and what’s next.
  • That’s the subject of my column this week, which you can read online HERE.
  • I make these things available for Alabama’s newspapers that sometimes need good political content.
  • But, I encourage you to share the link via email and social media as well.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Updated: Candidates air TV ads.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – A change is gonna come: BCA eyes orderly transition despite smear campaign. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ADC endorses Maddox in race for governor.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Arrest records of Rosa Parks, MLK to be preserved.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stokes: Clear eyes needed on sports betting question.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Roby: House passes VA bill, funds Choice program.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS –  Stacy: A turn toward the dramatic in the Alabama governor’s race. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama closes shellfish growing waters in Bald.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Finalists named for book award honoring Harper Lee.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump ‘demands’ Justice Dept. investigate FBI.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Texas mourners endure grief that “none of us can understand”

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – U.S., China putting trade war on hold after progress in talks.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Chris Christie wants AG’s focus on ethics and consumer protection.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER –  Money flows in House District 88 race.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Community Hero: For LaDonna Brendle, riches come with helping those in need.

DOTHAN EAGLE – As governments seek to improve budgets, could property tax increases be an option?

DECATUR DAILY – Educators: Consistency needed in statewide incident reporting.

DECATUR DAILY – From bullied student to No. 1 in class: Elliott is West Morgan’s first black male valedictorian.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – State leaders split on House vote to reject farm bill.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Reporter Mary Sell’s Capital Notebook:  Alabama House Dems to meet in Florence.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Four Democrats contend for House District 83 nomination.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Columnist Tommy Stevenson’s At Large:  Days of the big political rallies, alas, are gone.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – ADC endorses Maddox in race for governor.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Employ Christian values; don’t boast about them.

ANNISTON STAR – Jacksonville hospital closing part of statewide trend.

ANNISTON STAR – Marsh, Willis differ on plan for Senate district.

ANNISTON STAR – Betting on sports gambling in Alabama.

ATHENS NEWS COURIER – Columnist Rebecca Croomes:  Never take it for granted.

DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Oakman seniors to be first generation college students.

DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Battle visits Walker County.

LAGNIAPPE – State RESTORE Act council will meet May 23.

AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey makes rare appearance at candidate forum with GOP rivals.

AL.COM – Religious daycare responsible for child’s traumatic brain injury; jury awards over $30 million.

AL.COM – Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville hotel coming to north Alabama.

AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith:  Addressing our tragedies one front porch safari at a time.

AL.COM – Contributor U. S. Rep. Mo Brooks:  Rep. Mo Brooks responds to John Archibald’s ‘vilifying’ column.

AL.COM – Contributor Frances Coleman:  Americans love to believe in the magic of royal weddings.

WASHINGTON POST – Justice Department calls for inquiry after Trump demands probe into whether FBI ‘infiltrated or surveilled’ his campaign.

WASHINGTON POST – Analysis:  China is winning Trump’s trade war.

NEW YORK TIMES – Contributor Mimi Swartz:  Things Have Changed Since Sandy Hook

NEW YORK TIMES – The Right Way to Fix the Prisons

NEW YORK TIMES – Anti-Gun Backlash From School Shooting? Probably Not in Texas

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