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Weekend Digest – July 12, 2020

Good afternoon and Happy Sunday!
Here’s your Daily News for July 12.

1. Merrill: Masks can’t be required at polls

  • Alabama’s elections chief said Friday that he is telling local officials that they cannot require voters to wear masks at polling places during Tuesday’s election.
  • Several cities and counties have local mandates to wear masks in public places after Alabama saw a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and the total number of people hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • “While it can be ‘strongly recommended’ that an individual wear a mask, it cannot be required,” Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said he told county election officials.
  • “In our state, we will continue to see that the right for every eligible Alabamian to vote is protected,” Merrill said.
  • Merrill said a June 30 notice from Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said it is clear that “state law does not allow for an individual’s qualification to vote to be contingent upon the wearing of a mask or face covering, respecting social distancing, using gloves, or having a temperature in a normal range.”
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.


2. ADOC: Plan in the works to test entire inmate population

  • The Alabama Department of Corrections says it will eventually test every prison inmate for COVID-19. A timeline is being developed of how and when this increase will occur.
  • In a press release, ADOC says this expansion of testing is a way to “enhance its virus containment and clinical management strategies to best protect the safety, security and wellbeing of its staff and inmate population.”
  • The first phase of testing will be for those most medically vulnerable within the inmate population, the release said.
  • Several advocacy groups as well as Democrat lawmakers, including party leader Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, for months have called on ADOC to expand testing in its crowded prisons.
  • Inmates will also be tested prior to their release and notification of positive results will be provided to the health department of the county where the inmate will reside.
  • Read more about the expanded testing from me HERE.


3. Marsh: Poor choice of words on COVID-19 cases

  • The Republican leader of the Alabama Senate said he used a poor choice of words when he suggested he wanted more people to get infected with the new coronavirus.
  • “It was a poor choice of words on my end,” Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh told The Associated Press, saying he didn’t wish for anyone to become ill.
  • Marsh drew criticisms for comments to reporters Thursday when asked about rising COVID-19 infection numbers in Alabama. He suggested more infections meant the state was closer to herd immunity.
  • “I’m not as concerned so much as the number of cases, in fact, quite honestly, I want to see more people because we start reaching an immunity as more people have it and get through it,” Marsh told news outlets.
  • “I don’t want any deaths, as few as possible. I get it. So those people who are susceptible to the disease, especially those with pre-existing conditions, elderly population, those folks we need to do all we can to protect them.”
  • Marsh said if a vaccine doesn’t come, he hopes herd immunity will eventually protect people from the illness caused by the new coronavirus.
  • Read the full story HERE.


4. AL-2 GOP runoff: Who is the truest conservative?

  • In the GOP campaign for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman and former Enterprise State Rep. Barry Moore have demonstrated their devotion for President Trump from day one. But as time runs out for Tuesday’s GOP runoff, both are trying to prove who is the most reliably conservative – and who is not.
  • Coleman has faced attacks saying that he has donated money to democratic candidates in the past and didn’t donate to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
  • Moore’s loyalty to Trump has been called into question after records showed he did not vote in the 2016 primary election.
  • Current AL-2 seat holder, Rep. Martha Roby has now officially come out to endorse Coleman while Moore has received endorsements from conservative groups like Eagle Forum and the House Freedom Fund.
  • Voters will decide which candidate gets to move onto the general election on Tuesday.
  • Read my full rundown of the race HERE.


5. Dueling Op-eds: Vote Sessions or Tuberville?

  • We’ve got two Op-ed columns for you today promoting and defending the two candidates in the GOP Senate runoff.
  • For Jeff Sessions, columnist Guy Martin is cautioning voters to think about after Tuesday’s election and consider which candidate would best face off Sen. Doug Jones in the November general election. Martin believes Sessions is the candidate to do that.
  • For Tommy Tuberville, former State Rep. Perry Hooper contributes a column arguing that Alabama’s leadership needs a change and the former coach is the one to bring it. Hooper remarks on Tuberville’s leadership qualities at Auburn and says he will defend conservative principles.
  • Read Martin’s Op-ed HERE and read Hooper’s op-ed HERE.


Week In Good News

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. donates nearly 300,000 eggs to Alabama food banks
  • On Friday, Alabama received 280,800 eggs from Cal-Maine Foods, Inc.
  • The eggs were donated to the Feeding America Food Banks across the state and other organizations. The eggs were produced in Alabama with the goal of helping families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Commissioner of Agriculture Rick Pate joined with the Alabama Trucking Association and the Montgomery Area Food Bank to promote the donation and organize the distribution of eggs.
  • Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. The Feeding America network of food banks feeds approximately 40 million people at risk of hunger, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors. The network provides over 4.3 billion meals annually, helping 1 in 7 Americans facing hunger.
  • “This is more than eggs. What this does is show someone’s kindness and compassion,” Rich Deem, CEO of the Montgomery Area Food Bank said.
  • Read more about the donation from Reshad Hudson HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AL-2 GOP runoff, candidates battle for who is the truest Republican
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marsh: Poor choice of words on COVID-19 cases
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama elections chief: Masks can’t be required at polls.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ADOC says plan in the works to test entire inmate population
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Perry Hooper: Support Tommy Tuberville
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Guy Martin: Tuberville or Sessions?
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – July 10, 2020
AL.COM – Alabama adds almost 9,000 coronavirus cases in last 7 days, 1,402 since yesterday
AL.COM – Sessions defends himself against ‘juvenile insults’ from Trump; blasts Tuberville for ducking media
AL.COM – A Democratic rarity in AL01: Two candidates square off in primary runoff
AL.COM – Alabama adds almost 9,000 coronavirus cases in last 7 days, 1,402 since yesterday
AL.COM – Anti-Trumper, tax raiser: Mud slinging ahead of Alabama congressional GOP runoff
AL.COM – Rise in coronavirus patients putting strain on Alabama hospitals, healthcare workers
AL.COM – Trump declares major disaster in Alabama for April 19 tornadoes, storms.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Alabama Senate leader’s coronavirus plan: Get sick, try not to die
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Trump tweets support for Tuberville; Sessions responds.
TIMES DAILY – Paycheck Protection Program helped numerous Shoals businesses.
TIMES DAILY – UNA details plans for fall reopening.
TIMES DAILY – K-12 school system to spend $12.4M on virtual option.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Two wounded in mall shooting.
ANNISTON STAR – Anniston faith leaders pray for unity at Zinn Park.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Gun sales, permits, background checks skyrocketing.
WASHINGTON POST – After the fastest recession in U.S. history, the economic recovery may be fizzling.
WASHINGTON POST – They lost the Civil War and fled to Brazil. Their descendants refuse to take down the Confederate flag.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump confidant Roger Stone leaped over thousands of inmates seeking clemency.
WASHINGTON POST – The once-mocked ‘Never Trump’ movement becomes a sudden campaign force
WASHINGTON POST – A onetime Alabama favorite son hopes to win back his Senate seat. Trump stands in the way
NEW YORK TIMES – How to Reopen Schools: What Science and Other Countries Teach Us
NEW YORK TIMES – Columnist Frank Bruni: The Republicans Who Want to Destroy Trump: Their party’s a lost cause. America isn’t

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