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Daily News Digest – October 17, 2018

Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, October 17.

1. The knives come out.

What Happened
  • Gov. Kay Ivey is disputing claims that she had a “mini-stroke” three years ago.
  • Ivey was hospitalized for what she called altitude sickness during a 2015 trip to Colorado. Her doctor, Brian Elrod, said he examined her back then and going forward, never finding signs of a mini-stroke or other cardiac problems.
  • The claims came from former ALEA Director Spencer Collier and were first published by Bill Britt in Alabama Political Reporter.
  • Read the whole story, including the letter from the doctor, HERE.
Why it Matters
  • Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE remotely involved with Alabama politics has known this was coming.
  • Many thought the “Colorado hospital thing” would be used against Ivey in the GOP Primary.
  • But, seeing how churning a sexuality rumor backfired so badly for Scott Dawson (to say nothing of Rep. Patricia Todd), this opposition research was left on the shelf.
  • Age and vigor were always going to be themes for the Walt Maddox campaign (his first ad referenced his being 45 years old), so expect them to try to fan these flames over the next three weeks.
  • Uber Democratic consultant Joe Perkins, who is Maddox’s adviser and probably the most well-known opposition researcher in Alabama politics, was among the first to push it out via Twitter yesterday along with several Maddox staff.
What’s Next
  • I’m working on profile stories for both Ivey and Maddox (coming soon!), so I spent a day traveling with both.
  • Talking with Mayor Maddox, he acknowledged Ivey’s popularity and superior polling numbers, but suggested they were “soft.” In other words, those polling numbers could be brought down with a few damaging attacks.
  • Will this be damaging for Ivey? Maybe.
  • But, just like with the sexuality stuff from the primary, there is a serious risk of backlash. People know a politically-motivated hit when they see one. Scott Dawson lost respect and Patricia Todd lost her job when the public deemed their behavior unfair and unseemly.
  • We’ll see how far the Democrats try to go with this and what Republicans do to come to Ivey’s defense.

2. Race profile: Clarke & McNair battle for HD 97.

  • There’s a race to watch in Mobile this year: House District 97.
  • Rep. Adline Clarke is the incumbent. She has represented the reliably Democratic seat since 2013, when she replaced long-serving Rep. Yvonne Kennedy.
  • Stephen McNair is the Republican challenger and he’s counting on new conservative votes from the redrawn district and a bi-partisan message to lift his chances.
  • Another reason this is a race is the recent criticism Clarke has received in the pages of Lagniappe for her handling of the Mobile Housing Board.
  • Caroline Beck has all of that and more in her profile of the race HERE.

3. New Ad: dog vote or Bama vote?

  • Gov. Kay Ivey’s campaign is out with a new TV ad.
  • It touts Ivey’s “love” for “God, country, and family,” “the state of Alabama,” and “my dog, ‘Bear.'”
  • I have to say pandering to both the dog lover vote and the Bama fan vote in the space of 30 seconds is impressive.
  • How many thousands of dogs in Alabama over the years have been named Bear? Veterinarians, help me out.
  • To be fair, there are a ton of “Bos” and “Tigers” too. My parents have a very good dog named “Tiger.”
  • Lots of “Gus” doggos have have been confused by their new surname prefix “Dadgummit” lately.
  • Anyway, watch the ad HERE.

4. Roby urges Ag secretary to declare farm disaster in Wiregrass.

  • U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is urging Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to declare portions of the Wiregrass as agriculture disaster areas in the wake of Hurricane Michael.
  • Roby recently toured farms in her Southeast Alabama congressional district that received catastrophic and irreparable damage to their crops.
  • Cotton farms in the path of the storm were particularly affected as high winds and heavy rains made crops impossible to harvest mechanically.
  • In her letter, Roby calls agriculture the “backbone” of Alabama’s economy and says she’ll help Sonny out with any “needs” the USDA has. She’s on the House Appropriations Committee.
  • Read more HERE.

5. News Briefs.

School Safety Advisory Committee meets
  • The new Legislative Advisory Committee on School Safety and Security held its first meeting Tuesday.
  • House Speaker Mac McCutcheon formed the group earlier this year and tasked it with reviewing and vetting legislation involving school security issues.
  • The panel is chaired by State Rep. Terri Collins and includes legislators, law enforcement officials, educators, and mental health professionals.
  • State Reps. Alan Baker, Rod Scott and Rex Reynolds are also on the committee.
  • Read more HERE.
Selma laying off 68 employees
  • Selma Mayor Darrio Melton has notified 68 city employees that they will be laid off effective Nov. 5.
  • Melton and the Selma City Council are in a dispute over whether the city’s budget passed in September was balanced. Melton claims the council didn’t account for $1.2 million in debt payments.
  • Melton says the city may not be able to make payroll this week. He says services will be cut back and some public buildings may close.
  • Read more HERE.
Democrats’ not-so-secret midterm strategy
  • Democrats nationwide have a clear strategy for the midterm elections: motivate non-white voters.
  • Many black and hispanic voters tend not to vote in non-presidential years, and Democrats are trying to reverse that trend in 2018.
  • “2016 was a low point for a lot of us,” said Jamal Watkins, vice president of engagement at the NAACP. “People have awakened and said, ‘Wait a minute, we can’t lose, and we can’t lose like this.’ Folks are fired up to reinvest in turnout.”
  • Read more HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey’s doctor disputes claim governor had ‘mini-stroke.’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Roby urges Ag Secretary to declare farm emergency in the Wiregrass.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – School safety advisory committee holds first meeting.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Clarke, McNair vie for House District 97 in Mobile.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Selma will layoff 68 employees.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gaza rocket hits home in Israel, military strikes back.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Democrats’ not-so-secret plan to fight midterm malaise.
AL.COM – Alabama sees hundreds of same-sex marriages each year, despite eight holdout counties.
AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey denies stroke, coverup claims by Spencer Collier.
AL.COM – New panel to advise Alabama lawmakers on school safety.
AL.COM – Sessions: ‘Activist’ judges try to mold immigration, climate change policies.
AL.COM – How the Sears’ catalog helped fight Jim Crow.
AL.COM – Alabama officials meet with Mazda, Toyota execs.
AL.COM – 1 injured in single-engine plane crash in Opelika
AL.COM – Hanceville man dies in Blount County crash
AL.COM – Faith Academy teacher killed in west Mobile crash
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Q&A: Alabama House District 3 hopefuls.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – House 3 candidate Mallory Hagan: ‘I am a political outsider … and I’m tired of career politicians’.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Incumbent Mike Rogers: ‘We have made great strides in turning the economy around’.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Montgomery police: 2 men shot on Happiness Avenue
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – GOP, Democrats split fundraising leads in six statewide races in early October
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Toddler stabbed, found burned in oven; grandmother charged with first-degree murder
DOTHAN EAGLE – Gordon, Lucy communities: ‘We’re trying our best to help each other’
DOTHAN EAGLE – Worried farmers explore options following hurricane devastation
DOTHAN EAGLE – Handful of Houston County roads currently closed
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – City school board examines reading and math scores
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Panel sought for University of Alabama’s racial history
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Forecasters: Rain possible Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Knoxville
DECATUR DAILY – Analysis: Trump’s Saudi bet has become much riskier
DECATUR DAILY – Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town
DECATUR DAILY – South Korean leader in Rome, praises pope’s peace message.
DECATUR DAILY – Medicaid expansion debate comes to Decatur.
TIMES DAILY – Issues grow as homeless population increases.
TIMES DAILY – Anti-bullying rally targets sixth graders.
TIMES DAILY – Hurricane is blamed for 16 deaths in Florida alone
TIMES DAILY – Sears’ bankruptcy will have ripple effect, not all of it bad
TIMES DAILY – Anna Burns wins Booker Prize with Troubles tale ‘Milkman’
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Roby makes push for agricultural disaster area declaration in Hurricane Michael’s wake
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Steve Marshall holds annual law enforcement summit, honors fallen officers
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Doug Jones just doesn’t get it; he represents Alabama and is not Chuck Schumer’s personal senator
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Company got $173M contract, expected to locate at SARA
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Food, supplies scarce for some in storm’s path
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Mahon, Gitty-Up-N-Go challenges others to give, will match up to $20K
TROY MESSENGER – Nuts of all kinds wanted for Nutter Butter Parade
TROY MESSENGER – PCBOE allocates funds for PCHS soccer team
TROY MESSENGER – Farmers appreciation supper Monday night at Brundidge Station
THE ANNISTON STAR – John McCain, war hero, political maverick and GOP standard-bearer, dies at 81
THE ANNISTON STAR – Jones: Supreme Court nomination shouldn’t wait for midterm
THE ANNISTON STAR – Billy Graham, America’s pre-eminent evangelist, dies at 99
GADSDEN TIMES – Hurricane blamed for 16 deaths
GADSDEN TIMES – City council moves board of education referendum to January
GADSDEN TIMES – County Commission bids farewell to three longstanding members
OANOW – Major downtown hotel project on Auburn City Council agenda
CULLMAN TIMES – Hanceville man dies in wreck
CULLMAN TIMES – 2 men face multiple drug charges
CULLMAN TIMES – Red Cross bus wrecks on I-65 in Cullman County
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Pedestrian struck, killed while crossing U.S. 280
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Work may finally begin on Pine Mountain Preserve in Westover
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Week 9 predictions: Getting ready for an action-packed Friday
THE MADISON RECORD – Mad Al’s Insane Halloween to chill/thrill on Oct. 31
THE MADISON RECORD – North Alabama delegation visiting with international partners this week in Japan
THE MADISON RECORD – McCollum served as paratrooper, fought at Normandy
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – One dead, two wounded in Sumiton shooting
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Double shooting ruled murder-suicide
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – State Farm is ‘Protecting our Protectors’
NEW YORK TIMES – Struggling to Bring the ‘Blue Wave’ to Deep-Red Alabama
NEW YORK TIMES – No, Trump’s Tax Cut Isn’t Paying for Itself (at Least Not Yet)
NEW YORK TIMES – The Jamal Khashoggi Case: Suspects Had Ties to Saudi Crown Prince
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Jumps to the Defense of Saudi Arabia in Khashoggi Case
NEW YORK TIMES – Mike Pompeo Meets Turkish President to Discuss Saudi Journalist’s Fate.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump appears to make room for Saudis to deny involvement in Khashoggi disappearance
WASHINGTON POST – Pompeo says Saudis promise to punish wrongdoers in Khashoggi case
WASHINGTON POST – Suspects in disappearance of Khashoggi linked to Saudi security services.
WASHINGTON POST – McConnell calls deficit ‘very disturbing,’ blames federal spending, dismisses criticism of tax cut.
WASHINGTON POST – Paralyzing polio-like illness mainly affecting children confirmed in 22 states, CDC says.
WASHINGTON POST – America has a record 7.1 million job openings, making it an especially advantageous time to ask for a raise.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump says it’s not his fault if Republicans lose the House.
WASHINGTON POST – Contributor Sally Yates: Don’t let Trump’s use of celebrities distract you from his criminal-justice failures.
USA TODAY – Mega Millions jackpot jumps to $868 million, second-largest in US history
USA TODAY – How to buy legal marijuana in Canada by mail or in person if you’re an adult
USA TODAY – Brewers seethe after Manny Machado kicks Jesus Aguilar: ‘Dirty play by a dirty player’
POLITICO – Trump won’t take blame if GOP struggles in midterms
POLITICO – Inside the race to hack-proof the Democratic Party
POLITICO – RNC posts $56 million quarter as donations boom ahead of midterms


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