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Daily News Digest – May 23, 2018

Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, May 23.

1. Congress passes Dodd-Frank fix. 

  • Remember Dodd-Frank?
  • That was the regulatory law that Congress passed in 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis. It was supposed to rein in risky behavior from big banks and prevent bailouts.
  • The problem was it treated giant Wall Street Banks, who can afford big compliance costs, just the same as small local or regional banks, who cannot.
  • Congress has voted to fix that and several other problematic parts of the Dodd-Frank law. Read more about that HERE.
  • Each Member of Alabama’s Congressional Delegation voted for the bill. That’s a big deal. No other state with as diverse a delegation as we have had unanimous support.
  • Alabama is one of four states with unanimous, bipartisan support. The others are Montana and North Dakota, which only have one House Member, and West Virginia, which only has one Democrat in a heated reelection campaign.
  • That’s a feather in the cap for the Alabama Bankers, who you’ll hear from presently…


To Alabama’s Senators & Members of Congress: Thank You.

  • On behalf of Alabama’s banking industry, thank you to the Alabama Congressional Delegation for unanimously supporting S. 2155, The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. 
  • Alabama can be proud of its bi-partisan consensus of support from Senator Richard Shelby, Senator Doug Jones, Representative Robert Aderholt, Representative Mike Rogers, Representative Terri Sewell, Representative Martha Roby, Representative Mo Brooks, Representative Bradley Byrne, and Representative Gary Palmer.
  • For the first time in a decade, lawmakers in both parties have chosen to right-size financial rules that were not working as intended and holding the economy back.
  • Soon, with President Trump’s signature, this bill will help take Alabama’s economy to even greater heights by unleashing the lending potential so many communities and small businesses need.

2. AG suing feds in hopes of keeping congressional seat

  • It is entirely possible, if not likely, that Alabama will lose a congressional seat after the next census is taken.
  • Seats in Congress are apportioned by population, and other states are growing at a far faster rate than Alabama.
  • We can talk later about how awkward it’s going to be to redraw seven congressional districts into six. Somebody won’t be happy, and really it’s bad news for the state in general.
  • Enter Attorney General Steve Marshall, who is now suing the federal government arguing that the Census Bureau’s decision to count illegal immigrants will cost Alabama a seat in Congress. Joining Marshall in the suit is Congressman Mo Brooks.
  • The idea is that the immigrant population is growing rapidly in states with more lenient immigration laws, and those states could stand to gain politically.
  • “Alabama’s loss will be another state’s gain, as states with a growing illegal alien population will be the beneficiary of this reapportionment,” Marshall said.
  • Previously the Supreme Court has ruled that Members of Congress are elected to “serve all residents, not just those eligible or registered to vote.”
  • Read more HERE.

3. Talkin’ ’bout the polls. 

  • I referenced and linked a poll yesterday showing Walt Maddox trouncing the competition and really shouldn’t have without looking into / explaining the details of how it was taken.
  • Why? Because the details matter, and in this case, the methodology does not appear to be sound at all.
  • 13,000 respondents is an EXTREMELY high number in a survey. Unnecessarily high, actually. And I’m not sure how you live call that many people without spending more than $100,000.
  • It was meant to give Walt Maddox the appearance of momentum in the race, and it probably worked. But that doesn’t mean it was accurate.
  • One prominent Democratic pollster told me recently it is extremely difficult to accurately survey democrats in this primary election because no one knows what the turnout is going to look like.
  • On the Republican side, Tommy Battle’s campaign forwarded out some polling results from Ray Evans showing the Huntsville Mayor within striking distance of Kay Ivey.
  • Battle didn’t conduct the poll, just passed it along, and I don’t blame a campaign for grasping for straws in a race like this. But Mr. Evans “poll” is hardly scientific. Talking to him yesterday, he said he got the results surveying 512 people through “phone calling, direct mail and email.”
  • That’s not how this works.
  • The point is, with 13 days to go in this primary, be careful about buying into polls that don’t offer careful explanations of methodology.
  • I had hoped Alabama Daily News could do another quality survey on the top races, but that doesn’t appear possible.
  • As every politician running from behind says, “the only poll that matters is on election day.”

4. New (attack) Ads

  • Tommy Battle has a new ad airing here in the final stretch. He’s sitting on the back of a pick-up truck using plainspoken language to explain why he’s running for governor. If there is still a possibility of a runoff, Battle’s ability to run ads like this statewide will help him get in it.
  • Troy King has a new ad that is the first semi-attack I’ve seen in this race. He says he pushed for a tough sex offender law and that “Steve Marshall’s paid lobbyists” tried to weaken that law. It’s kind of in passing, and I have no idea what he’s referring to (if you do, please clue me in). It might be more of a table-setter for what we are going to see in a runoff that is likely to feature King and Marshall. It’ll get ugly.
  • Alice Martin is coming after both Steve Marshall and Troy King in her new spot. It has good production value and it is hard-hitting. We’ll see if it’s enough to bring down their numbers and get her into the runoff.
  • Bobby Bright finally came with an attack ad against Martha Roby that most have been expecting for a while now. It’s not going to win any awards for production value and I don’t think it’s running outside the Wiregrass. Bright doesn’t have a choice but to attack Roby, but he’s playing with fire here. If there is a runoff in this race, an ad like this only invites Roby or the NRCC to spend plenty of $$$ reminding folks of Bright’s support for Nancy Pelosi.
  • These ads can be seen on the updated rundown HERE!
  • Have you seen any other ads out there that I’m missing? Please reply to this email and let me know.

5. What’s going on with Paul Ryan and House Leadership?

  • We are in the middle of a midterm election year and House Speaker Paul Ryan is retiring at the end of it.
  • That makes it a pretty odd time to have a congressional leadership battle, but that appears to be what is happening.
  • The Freedom Caucus is furious that they can’t get a conservative immigration bill onto the floor for a vote. Moderates are mad that they can’t get a vote on a more progressive immigration bill.
  • Mick Mulvaney is no help and don’t forget that a section of the GOP conference is messaging daily on the Trump/Justice Department feud.
  • All this helped sink the Farm Bill last week. And there are other important measures on the agenda, like the National Defense Authorization Act.
  • When Paul Ryan was put in the Speaker’s chair three years ago, it was said no one else could deal with all the factions of the House GOP. Now, perhaps no one can.
  • [Cough, just need earmarks, cough.]
  • Read more in today’s Washington PostNew York Times, and POLITICO.

Bonus: Skip Tucker 

  • Skip Tucker is back with his weekly contribution at Alabama Daily News.
  • Skip takes a look at vote fraud, both in the old days and today.
  • It’s interesting to hear and read stories about the days when shenanigans went on. Hopefully we’re past most of that, but you can never be too careful.
  • Give his piece a read HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Updated: Candidates air TV ads.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marshall sues over inclusion of illegal immigrants in census.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tropical depression could develop in Gulf.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey opposes release of Judith Ann Neelley.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Phenix City Schools: no punishment for racist video.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Congress moves to dismantle part of “Dodd-Frank”

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – History made in Georgia as four states vote ahead of midterms.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – AEA files for re-hearing in Georgia Washington suit.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Emergency drug for treating opioid overdose comes to Wiregrass first responders.

DOTHAN EAGLE – A numbers game.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Battle camp says it is closing the gap with Ivey.

DECATUR DAILY – Census lawsuit another Alabama misstep.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Candidates weigh in on D-6 Senate race.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Support effort to end tariffs on newsprint.

GADSDEN TIMES – Neelley’s parole hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

ANNISTON STAR – A glimpse of the new JSU.

AL.COM – Tourist spending in Alabama hits all-time high; state records largest growth in visitors.

AL.COM – What’s the path to victory for GOP gov candidates?

AL.COM – AG Steve Marshall, Rep. Mo Brooks sue Census Bureau over immigrant rule.

AL.COM – Teens shown chanting N-word, cursing NAACP are Phenix City students, officials say.

AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey still out front in fundraising in governor’s race.

AL.COM – Doug Jones’ first bill as a lead sponsor is about improving rural health care.

AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith:  Walt Maddox has my respect and gives Democrats a chance.

AL.COM – Mo Brooks’ opponent fires back on ‘falling rocks’.

AL.COM – Southern Co. selling off billions in assets, including all Florida assets.

AL.COM – Remington exits Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

AL.COM – State launches Mobile, Baldwin task force to combat skimming.

WASHINGTON POST – Democratic voters reject tradition, choosing outsiders in their quest to regain power.

WASHINGTON POST – Congress approves plan to roll back post-financial-crisis rules for banks.

WASHINGTON POST – ‘We need Republicans’: Trump makes midterms appeal to social conservatives at anti-abortion gala.

WASHINGTON POST – A one-time business associate of Michael Cohen known as New York’s ‘Taxi King’ has agreed to cooperate with federal investigators.

NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Backs Away From Demand for Immediate North Korean Denuclearization

NEW YORK TIMES – Paul Ryan’s Hold on Speaker’s Job Is Tested by G.O.P. Infighting.

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