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Daily News Digest – May 3, 2018

 Good morning! First a correction: Secretary Sonny Perdue will be in Alabama today, not yesterday like I mistakenly wrote it. My apologies for not knowing what day of the week it is. ????Now, on to more polling in your Daily News for Thursday, May 3!

1. Boat race: AG primary is as tight as you thought it was. 

  • New polling shows a *very* close race between the top three Republican candidates for Alabama Attorney General.
  • How close? Click HERE to see the results of our Alabama Daily News / Leverage Public Strategies survey.
  • I’ll say this: it’s a wide open boat race.
  • Unlike the Lt. Governor’s race where one candidate has a distinct 12 point advantage going into the last month, the top three candidates are within the margin of error.
  • Remember: this is essentially a playoff. The top two candidates are almost certain to go to a runoff because it is unlikely any one will earn 50 percent plus one on June 5. All four candidates are playing for the next round and the margin between #2 and #3 could be thin.
  • More on that with some historical perspective plus the full poll results HERE.

2. Speaking of the AG race, the candidates mixed it up last night.

  • That’s a good tweet.
  • Four candidates for Attorney General – three Republicans and one Democrat – took part in a panel hosted by Faulkner University and the Federalist Society.
  • Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brian Lyman was there and wrote about the exchanges between the candidates.
  • Some questions and answers were about what you’d expect. Others were novel, or at least not overly canned, and allow us to see a little more into the candidates’ approach to legal matters.
  • Go read Brian’s story HERE.

3. Fundraising report: Governor’s race.


  • Kay Ivey raised $503,000, spent $804,000 and has a balance of $1.79 million.
  • Tommy Battle raised $253,000, spent $503,000 and has a balance of $1.1 million.
  • Scott Dawson raised $71,000, spent $327,000 and has a balance of $65,000.
  • Bill Hightower raised $105,000, spent $19,000 and has a balance of $504,000.


  • Walt Maddox raised $136,000, spent $82,000 and has a balance of $274,000.
  • Sue Bell Cobb raised $50,000, spent $167,000 and has a balance of $124,000.

**I’ll have more on campaign finance reports later today on and in tomorrow’s Daily News Digest.**

4. When your fixers need fixing. 

  • Last month, President Trump brought on Rudy Giuliani to be a “fixer” of sorts, going to bat for the president publicly to bring a swift end to the Mueller investigation.
  • Last night, Rudy may have stepped in it big time when he told Sean Hannity that Trump repaid attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels as part of their non-disclosure agreement.
  • His point was to say that the payments weren’t campaign related and, thus, not illegal. The problem is the president has already denied knowing about the payments or reimbursing Cohen.
  • Here’s the exchange:

GIULIANI: Having something to do with paying some Stormy Daniels woman $130,000? Which, I mean, is going to turn out to be perfectly legal. That money was not campaign money. Sorry, I’m giving you a fact now that you don’t know. It’s not campaign money. No campaign finance violation.

HANNITY: They funneled it through a law firm.

GIULIANI: They funneled through a law firm, and the president repaid it.

HANNITY: Oh. I didn’t know that. He did.


  • Giuliani also said this:

“He [the president] didn’t know about the specifics of it, as far as I know. But he did know about the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this, like I take care of things like this for my clients. I don’t burden them with every single thing that comes along. These are busy people.”

  • Yikes. Read the full story HERE.
  • President Trump is tweeting in his defense today in what looks like a statement a lawyer crafted. Read that HERE.
  • Giuliani could be absolutely right here and nothing illegal occurred. But, getting carried away like that on national television probably wasn’t a good idea.
  • Fixers like Giuliani, Cohen, and the doctor guy are supposed to make things better, not worse.

5. News briefs. 

  • Former State Rep. Perry Hooper has written the ALGOP Executive Committee asking it to not certify Montgomery School Board candidate Larry Lee as the Republican nominee if he wins the primary. In an exhaustive memo reported by YellowHammer News, Hooper takes Lee to task for his distant and recent history as a Democrat as well as his association with the AEA teachers’ union. This is fascinating considering everything going on in Montgomery right now. Read more HERE.
  • Speaking of Montgomery Public Schools, Andrew Yawn reports that current Board members are denying that the fix is in to hire Ann Roy Moore as the superintendent. Also, LEAD Academy is appealing a Montgomery judge’s ruling against their efforts to open Montgomery’s first public charter school, as WSFA’s Morgan Young reports.
  • If you’ve ever read the New York Times travel series “36 Hours in (name a city),” you know how interesting the articles can be. They’ve now profiled Montgomery, which is cool for the city and the state. Read that HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Boat race: Alabama AG primary is as close as you thought it was. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Computer forensics lab opens in Huntsville.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pharma Kaleo donates overdose-reversing drugs to Alabama.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Authorities: Slaying possibly linked to Alabama killing of ex-Green Bay Packer.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Nine killed in C-130 crash in Georgia.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Tensions simmer in Mexico as asylum seekers wait at border.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump hires lawyer who represented Clinton in impeachment.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS -Video: police inspect wires, iuse explosives in Las Vegas shooter’s room.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Giuliani: Trump repaid Cohen $130K for payment to Daniels

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump: ‘Stay tuned’ for news on Americans held in North Korea.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Some context for Rep. Roby’s speech to Montgomery business leaders this morning.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Autauga schools consider non-lethal weapons in classrooms.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – How much will you save when Alabama Power cuts rates?

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama attorney general candidates focus on ethics in Faulkner University debate.

AL.COM – Sue Bell Cobb was mostly right, Alabama trails in tax revenue.

AL.COM – Democrats losing millennial support, poll shows.

AL.COM – Put Lurleen Wallace’s portrait back in Rotunda: Auditor continues fight.

AL.COM – Protective Life closes acquisition of Boston company.

AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey raises another $500,000, widens fundraising lead.

AL.COM – Alabama’s sad spot on the list of ‘most fun states’.

AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire:  How former AG Troy King allowed sheriffs to pocket jail food money.

AL.COM – Crossville company gives $500,000 toward poultry research at Auburn.

AL.COM – Alabama, Massachusetts announce $26 million LPL settlement.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Americans don’t need warning labels on food.

ANNISTON STAR – Editor Phillip Tutor: Alabama’s new schools chief takes local experience with him.

ANNISTON STAR – The Anniston Star:  Constitutional chaos by design in Alabama.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – The Opelika-Auburn News:  Where is the Mike Hubbard case? This bench isn’t for sitting.

WASHINGTON POST – ‘The gloves may be coming off’: Shake-up of Trump legal team signals combative posture toward special counsel.

WASHINGTON POST – ‘We need some new blood’: Many Democrats call for next generation of House leaders.

WASHINGTON POST – Contributor Daniel Drezner:  Mike Pence’s peculiar sense of morality.

NEW YORK TIMES – 36 Hours in Montgomery, Ala.:  In Alabama’s capital you’ll find deep-fried bacon, stylish bars and revitalized neighborhoods. But the city’s real draw is its museums and other sites that focus on the evolution of civil rights.

NEW YORK TIMES – Giuliani Says Trump Repaid Cohen for Stormy Daniels Hush Money.

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