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Daily News Digest – October 4, 2018

Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, October 4.

1. It’s gonna be a day.

  • The FBI report is in.
  • The supplemental investigation into allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was delivered to the White House late last night and to the Senate this morning. Senators and certain staff can review the report, but it won’t be aired publicly. At least it’s not supposed to be. FBI background checks on nominees are confidential, but don’t be surprised if something leaks out.
  • The Senate side of the Capitol is in a frenzy. Capitol Police have beefed up their presence to deal with unprecedented protests and mobs following senators around.
  • staffer was arrested yesterday for “doxing” or publishing the home addresses of senators to help protestors confront them.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said organized protests would not “scare us out of doing our duty” as he filed a cloture motion setting up a key procedural vote on Friday. That means a final vote to confirm would be Saturday or Sunday.
  • The swing votes are Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. I think Murkowski and Flake vote no and the rest vote yes.
  • New polling affirms the growing notion that the confirmation battle has awoken complacent Republicans for the midterm elections.
  • According to a new Marist/NPR survey, the enthusiasm gap for Democrats has shrunk from 10 points to just two. And Democrats’ 12 point generic ballot advantage over Republicans has eroded to six in just a month.
  • That’s a big deal. Go deeper with Mike Allen on that if you want.

2. Race profile: Senate District 2.

  • Continuing ADN’s coverage of the competitive State House races, Will Whatley takes a look at the race for State Senate in District 2.
  • That’s the Huntsville-Madison area. It’s the seat being vacated by Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, who is stepping aside after two terms.
  • Tom Butler, who Holtzclaw defeated in 2010, is running for his old seat back, this time as a Republican.
  • He faces Democrat Amy Wasyluka, a political newcomer.
  • It could be a close race, which is why we’re covering it.
  • Read Will’s full story HERE.


3. Who raised and spent what?

  • Fundraising reports are in.
  • You probably saw the top numbers: Gov. Kay Ivey raised a very healthy $735,000 in September. That outpaced Mayor Walt Maddox, who raised $349,000.
  • But both candidates have just over $500,000 going into the homestretch.
  • Read more on those numbers from Kim Chandler plus the rest of major candidate money raised, money spent, and cash on hand HERE.

4. Kids Count.

  • The “Kids Count” Data Book is out.
  • VOICES for Alabama’s Children releases the report every year to document the state’s progress in certain criteria for child wellbeing.
  • This year Alabama received its highest ever ranking at 42.
  • The bright spots are high percentage of kids with health insurance and the best pre-k program in the nation. Yet access to quality doctors and those pre-k classes is limited in certain areas.
  • Anna Claire Vollers did a good write up about the report that is worth your time this morning.
  • Better yet, read the Kids Count Data Book for yourself HERE.
  • It’s chock full of data, but they do a great job with graphics to make it easy to digest.

5. News Briefs.

Opioid Bill Passes
  • The U.S. Senate gave final passage to sweeping legislation aimed at combatting the nation’s opioid problem.
  • It was a bipartisan bill and all but one member of the Alabama Congressional Delegation voted in favor of it.
  • From The Washington Post:
  • “It is one of Congress’s most significant legislative achievements this year, a rare bipartisan response to a growing public health crisis that resulted in 72,000 drug-overdose deaths last year.”
  • Read more HERE.
Man arrested in poison mailing case
  • A Navy veteran in Utah was arrested Wednesday in connection with suspicious envelopes that were sent to President Donald Trump and top military chiefs.
  • William Clyde Allen III, 39, was taken into custody according to U.S. attorney’s office.
  • The envelopes were once thought to contain ricin and later found to be castor seeds, the substance from which the poison is derived. They can cause injury if swallowed, but it’s not the deadly poison that ricin is.
  • Read more HERE.
DeVos in Huntsville
  • Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is in Alabama this week promoting her “Rethink School” initiative.
  • [Not to be too critical, but really? Rethink school? That’s the branding we’re going with? Not, say, Reimagine School?]
  • The whole point is to get states and districts to be more creative and try new things in making schools work better for students.
  • She was in Huntsville at the Space & Rocket Center yesterday and she’ll be at Shelton State in Tuscaloosa today.
Bad egg
  • 38 people have gotten sick from cage free eggs produced in Cullman.
  • The FDA issued a recall last month and said this week that 10 people were hospitalized for salmonella, but nobody died.
  • Most of the cases were from eggs sold in Tennessee.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey extends fundraising lead over Maddox; Full fundraising report.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Butler, Wasyluka square off for Senate District 2
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate gets confidential FBI files on Kavanaugh allegations.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Security stepped up at Capitol amid Kavanaugh controversy.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US Navy veteran arrested in Utah in suspicious mailings.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – FDA: 38 sick from tainted eggs from Alabama.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama school bus gets caught in crossfire leaving depot.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – New VA rankings: Montgomery one of the nation’s worst hospitals
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – In Montgomery swing, Walt Maddox talks of ‘two Alabamas’.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Local leaders gather to discuss homeless problem, solutions.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – 2018 POWER & INFLUENCE 50: Alabama’s most powerful & influential lobbyists, consultants and economic developers.
DECATUR DAILY – Family: Alabama prison was ‘indifferent’ as inmate was dying.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Unsubstantiated claims could alter the very nature of the country.
ANNISTON STAR – Money from Washington for JSU.
ANNISTON STAR – Editor Phillip Tutor: The American Dream for poor kids in Calhoun County.
AL.COM – U.S. Education Secretary urges communities to ‘Rethink School’ during Huntsville visit.
AL.COM – Ethics Commission finds probable cause Limestone sheriff violated law.
AL.COM – Prosecutors deny misconduct in legislative bribery case.
AL.COM – Pay for future Amazon employees in Bessemer comes with a trade-off: No bonuses, stock options.
AL.COM – Meet 2018’s Women Who Shape the State
AL.COM – Huntsville cybersecurity firm gets $12.1 billion contract.
AL.COM – Committee recommends 5th Alabama veterans home in southeastern region.
AL.COM – Former Alabama police officer federally indicted on civil rights violations.
AL.COM – 2018 Kids Count Data Book ranks Alabama counties for child well being.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: What does Kay Ivey really have in the bag?
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: Even judges with superpowers can’t ward off this evil.
WASHINGTON POST – Senate moves ahead on Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination with a procedural vote expected Friday.
WASHINGTON POST – Adopting Trumpian strategy, Republicans level personal attacks against Kavanaugh accusers.
WASHINGTON POST – Steel is surging under Trump. Will workers benefit?
WASHINGTON POST – GOP candidates pay the price for attempts to kill Obamacare and its guarantee of coverage for preexisting conditions.
WASHINGTON POST – Columnist George Will: Jeff Flake let down the GOP — and served the nation.
WASHINGTON POST – Federal judge, citing Trump racial bias, says administration can’t strip legal status from 300,000 Haitians, Salvadorans and others — for now.
WASHINGTON POST – Senate easily passes sweeping opioids legislation, sending to President Trump.
WASHINGTON POST – Employers are courting less-educated workers — finally — but they aren’t offering pay increases.

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