Daily News Digest – May 14, 2018

Daily News Digest – May 14, 2018

1. Larry Lee. Boy, I don’t know.  

  • Longtime education writer Larry Lee’s candidacy for the Montgomery School Board has attracted significant attention from all over the state. It’s weird, especially for a normally quiet local school board race.
  • But, it’s not the first time Lee has dusted up controversy in a campaign for public office.
  • During a run for Congress in the 1980s, Larry Lee caused an uproar within the Democratic Primary when he used an offensive racial slur to accuse his opponent of suspicious campaigning.
  • “As we say down home, there’s a n****r in the woodpile somewhere,” Lee is quoted as saying in The Montgomery Advertiser.
  • Lee used the phrase to assert that his opponent, Billy Joe Camp had not properly filed campaign finance reports.
  • That full story with clippings from the Advertiser HERE.
  • I don’t write about this lightly. I’ve been forwarded all kinds of tips and leads on this race, some of which are legit (like the Perry Hooper-AEA thing) and others are ticky-tack.
  • But, this is a real thing that happened and it’s a story. Also, my Google search history will likely NEVER recover.

2. Campaign update: Part One. 

We are 22 days out from the June 5 Primary Elections.

Sue Bell not doing so well

AG’s race

New ad from Scott Dawson

  • Birmingham minister Scott Dawson has hit the airwaves with his first campaign ad in his campaign for governor.
  • In a 30 second spot titled “Learning About Faith,” Dawson describes a formative event early in Dawson’s life when his father lost his job, but didn’t lose hope.
  • You can watch the ad HERE and find it on the updated rundown of all major candidate campaign ads HERE.

3. Campaign update: Part two.

Profile stories

  • Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle gets the profile treatment this week. AP’s Kim Chandler takes a look at Battle’s candidacy for governor, including his economic development success in Huntsville. Her story HERE.
  • Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has some profile stories as well. There’s this piece from AP’s Kim Chandler that focuses a lot on Maddox’s plan to propose a lottery to fund education and Medicaid expansion. Then there’s this one from AL.com’s Amy Yurnankin that looks at his tenure in Tuscaloosa as a blueprint for how he’d govern the state. .
  • Mobile State Senator Bill Hightower gets profiled by The Montgomery Advertiser’s Brian Lyman. He talks earmarking, term limits, collaboration with the Legislature and other ways he wants to change the governing process in Alabama. Read it HERE.
  • Attorney General candidate Chess Bedsole has this profile in the Opelika-Auburn News today. He talks about running the AG’s office “like a law firm.”

Glover in his own words

  • State Sen. Rusty Glover knows he doesn’t quite have the campaign funds he needs to compete over the airwaves with his  opponentsin the race for Lt. Governor.
  • So, he’s trying to get his message out the old fashioned way by being candid and forthcoming.
  • Glover lays out his candidacy and why it matters for the role of Lt. Governor HERE.

4. Leaks & leakers.

  • The government is full of leaks. Always has been.
  • It’s not all bad. As fictional West Wing Press Secretary CJ Creggsaid, “There is no group of people this large in the world that can keep a secret. I find it comforting. It’s how I know for sure that the government isn’t covering up aliens in New Mexico.” 
  • But leaks – lots of leaks – can make it really hard for an organization to work. That’s what the real life White House Communications Office is going through right now.
  • Last week it was leaked that White House adviser Kelly Sadler remarked that Sen. John McCain was “dying anyway” so they wouldn’t have to worry about his criticism much longer.
  • It was a brutal leak because the resulting story cut into an otherwise banner week for President Trump and the whole administration.
  • Press Secretary Sarah Sanders quickly called a meeting of the Comms staff to have a heart-to-heart talk about the leaks, the contents of which were quickly leaked to the media.
  • Now, Axios’ Jonathan Swan – the primary beneficiary of all these leaks – has a story on leak tradecraft that quotes leakers about how they like to leak. It’s all pretty remarkable.
  • For what it’s worth, if I were Sanders, I’d clean house – starting with Sadler. You have to be able to trust your staff and no one person is worth all this trouble.
  • Also, anyone who blithely jokes about a bone fide American hero’s battle with terminal cancer isn’t fit to work in the White House.

5. Headlines.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – School board candidate Larry Lee’s racial slur sparked controversy in 1982 Congressional campaign.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Battle: ‘We can do things better.’

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Maddox seeks lottery to fund education, Medicaid expansion.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Cobb aide arrested for sex offender violations.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Scott Dawson hits airwaves with first campaign ad.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Rusty Glover: in his own words.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sanders: aide’s anti-McCain comment should not have been leaked.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Israel kicks off U.S. Embassy celebration, boosts border fence.  

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump says U.S. will help penalized Chinese company.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former Alabama golfer Justin Thomas ranked world No. 1.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Birmingham’s Steel City Jazz Fest postponed to 2019.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Bill Hightower wants to change the governing process.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Black lawmakers unveil massive legislative package aimed at public schools, infrastructure.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Boundless love: Mother’s Day a special time for Montgomery’s Portis family.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama Senate election set for Tuesday.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – A world without internet exists for some in Alabama.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Nonprofit summer programs help address food insecurity.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Chess Bedsole hopes to run AG office ‘like a law firm’.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood highlighted by U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – For Dems, ‘blue wave’ is now a trickle.

AL.COM – Cobb campaign aide resigns after sex offender arrest she calls ‘politically motivated’.

AL.COM – Alabama Democratic governor’s campaign pledge a ‘political stunt,’ Maddox says.

AL.COM – Alabama is testing Auburn students, faculty, staff for tuberculosis.

AL.COM – Alabama superhero ‘President Austin’ Perine gives big to shelter.

AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald:  Dear moms: I shoulda said it a long time ago.

AL.COM – Alabama Superintendent Ed Richardson reflects before turning over reins.

AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire:  When sheriffs go bad, public records are the best defense.

AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson:  Though some feared the South, African-American families came and met history.

AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald:  The Alabama AG’s race is full O-craps!

AL.COM – Early season Gulf storm? Hurricane center says there’s a medium chance.

AL.COM – Should Alabama roads, bridges be in ‘state of emergency’?

AL.COM – ‘Not ready for that’: How Alabama Republicans thwarted marijuana decriminalization.

CULLMAN TIMES – Vote on immigration is needed.

DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE –Data shows Walker has worst drug problem in state.

DECATUR DAILY – GE Aviation facility to start production this year.

DECATUR DAILY – First-time political candidates up for election in House District 4 to replace Hammon.

DECATUR DAILY – Mother to Many: Foster mom cared for more than 60 children.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Funds provide medical equipment upgrades for free clinic.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Reporter Mary Sell’s Capital Notebook:  Superintendent to earn $245K.

GADSDEN TIMES – Columnist Matthew T. Mangino: Funding woes put indigent defense in peril.

ANNISTON STAR – Local advocates worried by proposed CHIP cuts.

ANNISTON STAR – New publisher, editor at Star as Davis leaves for public radio.

ANNISTON STAR – Publisher Bob Davis: Remember Alabama? Who can forget it?

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Governor candidate Walt Maddox seeks lottery, Medicaid expansion.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Columnist Tommy Stevenson’s At Large:  For GOP candidates, it’s religion and Trump.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump is telling the truth about American pharmaceuticals.

WASHINGTON POST – No apology forthcoming for ‘he’s dying anyway’ quip about McCain.

NEW YORK TIMES – Education Department Unwinds Unit Investigating Fraud at For-Profits

NEW YORK TIMES – Trying for House Gains, Democrats Bless Moderates and Annoy Liberals

Front pages (Images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)