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Daily News Digest – November 1, 2018

PRESENTED BY the Stop The HIT Coalition

Good morning! Hard to believe it is November. Counting today, there are SIX days until Election Day. Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, November 1.

1. Fall Squall coming through.

  • A line of severe thunderstorms is moving across the state this morning.
  • It’s one of those fall squalls that can quickly produce tornadoes, and the threat exists from Mobile to Huntsville.
  • It’s not just tornadoes, though, but microbursts and even straight line winds of up to 70mph.
  • See the latest radar images and county tornado watches, with links to forecasts and NWS models HERE.
  • Pay attention to warnings, and be safe!

2. House ratings.

  • There are 50 competitive races for the Alabama House of Representatives this year. And by competitive, I mean more than one person is running.
  • Most are either solidly Republican or solidly Democrat, based either on the demographics of the district, the popularity of the incumbent, or a little bit of both.
  • But that’s not the case for every district!
  • There are plenty of seats up for grabs in the House.
  • I made a chart rating each of the competitive seats on a scale of Solid Republican, Leans Republican, Toss-Up, Leans Democrat, Solid Democrat. Take a look HERE.
  • Thank you to everyone who contributed information in helping me develop these ratings.
  • See something off? Did I get it wrong? Shoot me a note and tell me if there is information I need to know that would swing a race into a different column.
  • I’m working on one for Senate races so send me what you have on those, too.

A Message from the Stop The HIT Coalition

  • Did you know Alabama small businesses and middle-class families will be hit with a new tax on January 1, 2020?
  • Absent immediate Senate action, the 2020 Health Insurance Tax (HIT) will begin driving up the cost of care for hardworking Alabamians by as much as $450 in 2020.
  • Senator Doug Jones can help address skyrocketing healthcare costs by co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation (S. 3063) to suspend the Health Insurance Tax in 2020.
  • Ask Senator Jones to stop the HIT on Alabama small businesses and hardworking families.

3. Marshall wants SCOTUS to rule on abortion law.

  • In 2016, Montgomery-based Federal Judge Myron Thompson ruled that an Alabama law banning dismemberment abortions was unconstitutional.
  • Since nearly all abortions in the 2nd trimester are D&E procedures (something I didn’t know), such a ban would essentially take away women’s right to get an abortion, Thompson ruled.
  • In August, the 11th Circuit upheld Thompson’s ruling. But in doing so, Appellate Judges Ed Carnes and Joel Dubina said that while they disagreed with Supreme Court precedent, they were bound by it.
  • Carnes wrote a 38-page opinion tearing into the Court’s abortion precedent in graphic detail.
  • Dubina wrote a short but biting concurrence quoting a Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia opinion that “the Court’s abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe v. Wade, has no basis in the Constitution.”
  • All that sets up a potential showdown at next rung up the judicial ladder: the U.S. Supreme Court. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed notice this week of his intent to appeal the lower court’s decision.
  • “The constitutionality of a state ban on dismemberment abortion is an important question of national significance. Litigation over similar abortion laws is pending in several other courts,” he wrote.
  • Who knows whether the Supreme Court will take up this appeal and/or the others like it from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Kansas. After the bitter confirmation fight over Justice Brett Kavanaugh, you could easily see how they might want to let a little time pass before diving right into Roe.
  • But if the now-conservative Court does want to take up states’ rights to regulate abortion, the 11th Circuit has served up the case and Alabama will be right in the middle of it.

4. Aderholt pitches farm relief, stumps for GOP hopefuls.

  • Congressman Robert Aderholt is teaming up with his Democratic counterpart on Agriculture Appropriations to convince their colleagues to fund additional disaster aid for farmers.
  • Aderholt and Rep. Sanford Bishop from neighboring Georgia co-wrote a letter to fellow appropriators saying farmers are reeling from recent natural disasters, and that’s on top of some commodity price drops.
  • While playing bi-partisan ball to help farmers recover, Aderholt is also stumping for GOP congressional hopefuls.
  • He was recently in Minnesota campaigning for  Jim Hagedorn and Tom Emmer.
  • Those districts are farm country, so it’s a big deal to have the chairman of the committee that funds Agriculture come support you.
  • It looks like they had fun, though. Aderholt got a turn at the wheel of a harvester bringing in the grain crop while Emmert drove the grain cart beside him.
  • Read more from Caroline Beck and watch the video HERE.

5. News Briefs.

A Sessions Story
  • On the question of what will happen next for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Wall Street Journal reporter Sadie Gurman got clever and went to Mobile to ask some of the friends who know him best.
  • Sitting down with Conrad Pierce and Bob Sharp in a Cracker Barrel, Gurman got these “Friends of Jeff” to open up about their conversations with the AG.
  • Their quotes are really something:
  • “I try to reassure him we’re backing him, we admire him, and we love and care about him.”
  • “I don’t want to put him on the spot. I don’t think he needs that… And I don’t know what he would tell me, anyway.”
  • “You’d feel the same way if your best friend was being criticized.”
  • Gurman’s full story is really good and well worth your time this morning.
  • It’s one of those “I wish I had written that” stories.
A rematch for Auditor
  • Kim Chandler continues her excellent campaign coverage this morning with a story on the race for Alabama Auditor.
  • The race a rematch between a Republican incumbent who has used the office to decry state corruption — and sometimes draw controversy himself — and a Democratic challenger who points to her background as an auditor.
  • Republican Auditor Jim Zeigler faces Democratic nominee Miranda Joseph in the Nov. 6 election.
  • Full story HERE.
More troops to border?
  • President Donald Trump says the number of military troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexican border could reach 15,000 — roughly double the number the Pentagon said it currently plans for a mission whose dimensions are shifting daily.
  • The Pentagon says “more than 7,000” troops were being sent to the southwest border to support the Customs and Border Protection agents. Officials said that number could reach a maximum of about 8,000 under present plans.
  • The troop numbers have been changing at a dizzying pace, with Trump drawing a hard line on immigration in the lead-up to the midterm elections.
  • He’s also doubling down on using an executive order to end birthright citizenship.
  • Read the full story HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Race Ratings: Alabama House.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Business Council honors Ivey with its Chairman’s Award
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Maxwell AFB gets long-awaited tower upgrade
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Aderholt pitches disaster aid, stumps for GOP candidates.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Zeigler, Joseph rematch for State Auditor
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marshall asks Supreme Court to review abortion law
AL.COM – Trump kicks off final campaign rally blitz in Fla., says media ‘want to stoke resentment’
AL.COM – Former Alabama couple found murdered in their Louisiana pool business; manhunt for suspect underway
AL.COM – Alabama wants US Supreme Court to review second term abortion ban.
AL.COM – Following harassment report, Stephen Black no longer employed at The University of Alabama.
AL.COM – Auburn opens new educational complex in Gulf Shores.
AL.COM – Legal action against Mobile care home after autistic man stomped to death.
AL.COM – George Soros-funded PACs give $150,000 to Maddox campaign.
AL.COM – Birmingham college student who walked 20 miles to 1st day of work to appear on Steve Harvey show.
AL.COM – UAB gives select employees incentives to live in 4 Birmingham neighborhoods.
AL.COM – Midwives eye next hurdle to delivering babies in Alabama.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: You only thought AEA was dead.
AL.COM – Voter suppression concerns surface in Huntsville as election nears.
AL.COM – Alabama Lt. Gov. candidate Will Ainsworth says wife was hurt in skeet shooting accident.
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: Take it from Birmingham: Hate destroys the hater.
AL.COM – Maxwell Air Force Base receives $18 million for tower.
AL.COM – State’s new mega-hotel ready to weather storms that may come.
AL.COM – Alabama is 9th in nation for student loan debt.
AL.COM – Contributor Tommy Battle: The Japan-Huntsville connection: Relationships matter.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Court proceedings delayed for 2 accused in Prattville barbershop massacre
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – A second migrant caravan of 2,000 is moving through southern Mexico
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – 6 things to know before you vote Tuesday
DOTHAN EAGLE – Two years later after Amanda Bond’s body was found, family prays justice will be served
DOTHAN EAGLE – Electronic poll books alter voting process in Houston County
DOTHAN EAGLE – 4 statewide amendments – addressing subjects like The Ten Commandments and abortion – will appear on ballots Nov. 6
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Ainsworth, Boyd seek office of lieutenant governor
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Top wheelchair tennis players in Tuscaloosa for Alabama Open
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Sample ballot will be in Sunday’s newspaper
DECATUR DAILY – Decatur council rejects retiree bonus
DECATUR DAILY – Demolition permit bought for removal of rusty water tower
DECATUR DAILY – Scottsboro Boys marker reflects courage
TIMES DAILY – Testimony ends in Gargis case
TIMES DAILY – Teen Pizza Robbers
TIMES DAILY – Pack a Purse campaign in stretch run
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – More conservative state leaders voice their support for Amendment Two
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – The story of an Alabama dog rescuer with a ‘heart of gold’
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Montgomery’s Maxwell Air Force Base receives $18M for new air traffic control tower
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – 4 proposed amendments address Ten Commandments, abortion, elections
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Peer Helpers answer ‘Dose of Prevention’ challenge
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Donut sales to benefit ‘Love Garden’
TROY MESSENGER – Jerry Dempsey Touchstone
TROY MESSENGER – AMAZING AG: Farm City junior ambassadors take part in agriculture tour
THE ANNISTON STAR – Building project designed to foster math skills among fifth-graders
THE ANNISTON STAR – Former Alabama couple found slain at Louisiana business
THE ANNISTON STAR – Police investigate dog’s death in fall from bridge
GADSDEN TIMES – Trump says border troops could hit 15K, surprising Pentagon
GADSDEN TIMES – Montgomery Acad. eliminates Glencoe at state volleyball tourney
GADSDEN TIMES – GCHS students get hands-on experience with GFD
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – PHOTOS: Local readers share the fun with pics of Halloween costumes
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Auburn woman charged Tuesday with felony vehicle break-ins, theft
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Oxford, Miss., police seek info on Auburn game day assault and attempted kidnapping suspect
CULLMAN TIMES – Little receives nation’s highest EMA honor
CULLMAN TIMES – More than $250,000 raised at annual Wallace luncheon
CULLMAN TIMES – ‘Nasty’ November weather arrives
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Parent University offers information to combat drug use
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Westminster falls in Elite 8
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Burger King, Popeye’s coming to Harpersville after incentives approved
THE MADISON RECORD – New traffic light operational on County Line Road
THE MADISON RECORD – Lane closure on Old Railroad Bed Road scheduled for Nov. 1-2
THE MADISON RECORD – Bump Life Studios remembers, raises awareness for pregnancy and infant loss
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Fun for all ages
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Bevill’s media specialist retires
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Child found safe after wandering from Jasper daycare
NEW YORK TIMES – How Vilification of George Soros Moved From the Fringes to the Mainstream
NEW YORK TIMES – Google Faces Internal Backlash Over
NEW YORK TIMES – U.S. and Britain Seek Yemen Cease-Fire as Relations With Saudis Cool
WASHINGTON POST – Democrats in prime position to take House, but battleground district poll shows wild cards remain
WASHINGTON POST – Trump’s moves on immigration roil midterm campaign for both parties
WASHINGTON POST – For Trump, a ‘national emergency’ is anything he says it is – including the migrant caravan
USA TODAY – Napping American Airlines baggage handler trapped in cargo hold on flight to Chicago
USA TODAY – Donald Trump launches campaign tour by pounding immigration debate
USA TODAY – Midterms: Mike Pence, casting himself as the ‘Walmart’ politician, is a ‘secret weapon’ for many 2018 candidates
POLITICO – Trump declares ‘the blue wave is dead’
POLITICO – Poll: Majority blames both Trump and media for dividing country
POLITICO – MacArthur, Kim debate Trump policies, but steer clear of Trump

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