Good morning! Ace Atkins and Anthony Ray Hinton are featured at the Alabama Book Festival if you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend. Here’s your Daily News for Friday, April 20.
💣 Comey memos, Giuliani’s back, and Cohen cooperates: lots happening in Trump world.
Comey soaks in the limelight
- Former FBI Director James Comey’s book publicity tour continues.
- Late last night, 15 memos Comey wrote about his interactions with President Trump were leaked. You can read about that see the memos for yourself HERE.
- The basics: Trump demanded loyalty, was worried about his wife reading about the weird Russian sexual rumors, had serious doubts about Mike Flynn’s judgment, and sees leaks and controversies as distractions from doing his job running the country.
- Not all that surprising, but revealing of the president’s humanity in a way.
- Rudy Giuliani is back – he has signed onto President Trump’s legal team.
- Look for Rudy to be a regular presence on the television news circuit defending the president and trying to bring a quick end to the Mueller probe.
- Important: Bloomberg reports that Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein told the president that he is not a target of either the Mueller investigation or the raid of his attorney Michael Cohen’s home and office. But, that doesn’t mean he can’t become one.
- Speaking of Michael Cohen, POLITICO reports that he is likely to cooperate with authorities rather than face serious jail time.
- This is the investigation into Cohen’s payments to Stormy Daniels, and perhaps some other international dealings.
- It could be a much bigger problem than the Mueller probe.
🙋♂️ Big day: State Superintendent to be selected.
All bets are on Jefferson County Superintendent Craig Pouncey getting the job, maybe even on the first vote.
Hoover Superintendent Kathy Murphy is said to have an outside chance. It would probably take something going really well for her and really badly for Pouncey in the interviews.
As I’ve mentioned, there are a few storylines to watch:
- The frontrunner is suing a Board member, which is awkward;
- There are no minority finalists for at least the 3rd straight superintendent search, which could become a thing;
- There could be a behind-the-scenes deal to re-open the standards and curricula can of worms.
Also read: Trisha Crain’s story in AL.com.
☠ Moody executed.
- Walter Leroy Moody Jr. was executed last night for the assassination of federal Judge Robert Vance.
- Moody was found guilty in both federal and state courts for mailing a pipe bomb to the judge’s Birmingham home.
- AP’s Kim Chandler was at Holman Prison in Atmore covering the execution. She reports Moody had no statement or last words before the lethal injection was carried out. Read her full report HERE.
- This case had a lengthy appeals process. At 83, Moody becomes the oldest person executed by the state in modern times.
- Attorney General Steve Marshall, whose office fights all those appeals on behalf of the state, spoke to that in a statement released after the execution
“Nearly 30 years ago, 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Vance was brutally slain when a pipe bomb sent to his Birmingham home exploded… Tonight, Mr. Moody’s appeals finally came to a rightful end. Justice has been served.”
- Gov. Kay Ivey released this statement about her reasons for allowing the execution to be carried out:
“I approach every execution by giving the condemned, and the issues raised by the underlying case, the careful consideration both deserve… The crimes committed by Mr. Moody were intentional, well-planned and aimed at inflicting the most possible harm. A jury found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and his conviction has been upheld at every level of the judicial system. After considering the facts of his horrendous and intentional crime, I have allowed Mr. Moody’s sentence to be carried out in accordance with the laws of this state and in the interest of ensuring justice for the victim and his family.”
📺 Tommy Battle goes a different route to debate Gov. Ivey.
- Huntsville Mayor and candidate for governor Tommy Battle is trying a different approach to debating Gov. Kay Ivey.
- Ivey hasn’t yet agreed to a debate with her GOP challengers, a choice that is probably politically wise but is nonetheless earning her the scorn of her challengers and many media types.
- Team Battle is seeking to capitalize on the debate / no debate storyline with a series of online videos where the mayor responds to clipped video of the governor’s remarks.
- This first one is about the state’s budgets and Battle’s position that Alabama should not unify the Education Trust Fund and General Fund Budgets.
- It’s a clever tactic. We’ll see if it has an effect.
🍗 Shelby treats Senate colleagues to Alabama fare.
- Fried shrimp, fried chicken, fried oysters, mac & cheese, cornbread, coleslaw, and peach cobbler (the kind cooked with biscuits) with vanilla ice cream.
- Now, that’s an Alabama feast.
- It is also the menu Senator Richard Shelby served up for his turn at hosting the Senate Republican Caucus’ Thursday lunch.
- The Thursday lunch allows Republican senators to take turns showcasing particular foods from their state. Per tradition, hosting senators offer a state-specific gift to their colleagues. Shelby chose Priester’s Pecans, a special Lowndes County treat.
- Shelby said:
“The Thursday lunch in the Republican Senate Caucus is traditionally hosted by a different member every Thursday that the Senate is in session. Being the host, I presided over the lunch and called on each of my colleagues for comments or discussion. As always, it was good to spend time with my fellow Senators, speaking about issues of importance over an Alabama meal.”
- Only one problem: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who is an Alabama native – was apparently disappointed that no fried okra was served. Can’t blame him.
- Okay, if you read all that and are not picking out a good Southern meat-and-three for lunch today, I don’t want to know you.
- Hat tip to my friend David Popp in Leader McConnell’s office for flagging this fun story. And thank you to the good folks in Senator Shelby’s office for providing the photos and background information.
- Read more and share the article HERE.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama education board set to select new superintendent.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Moody executed for 1989 mail bomb slaying of federal judge.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Shelby treats Senate Colleagues to Alabama fare.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Mayor: ‘poop train’ finally empty, sludge gone.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: In Comey memos, Trump talks of jailing journalists and Russian ‘hookers’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Trump legal team gets Giuliani for Russia probe.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Saban responds to comment saying QB Hurts might transfer.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Alabama, Notre Dame schedule 2028-2029 match ups.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – House where Rosa Parks sought refuge will be displayed.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – EJI’s lynching memorial: If not in Montgomery, then where?
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Walt Maddox focuses on health care, education in run for governor.
OPELIKA AUBURN NEWS – Cobb hopes to instill ‘Lifelong Learner Lottery’ if elected.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Don’t dump that here.
AL.COM – Walter Leroy Moody executed for 1989 bombing that killed Judge Robert Vance.
AL.COM – Sadie Grace Andrews’ family sees Ivey sign grease trap safety bill.
AL.COM – Autocar opens $120 million manufacturing facility.
AL.COM – Why Ivey’s no-show dominated the ‘organized, informative’ Reckon debate.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Look out, Roy Moore is behind you.
AL.COM – Mo Brooks has large fundraising lead in re-election bid.
AL.COM – NAACP blasts Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey over Confederate monument ad.
AL.COM – How much Alabama legislators are paid and how that compares to other states.
DECATUR DAILY – Opinion: Confederate monuments not pressing issue.
DECATUR DAILY – State will have to pay more for prison employees in future.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – At least 3 could bid on TVA land today.
GADSDEN TIMES – Maddox: Senate win ‘floor, not ceiling’ for Democrats.
GADSDEN TIMES – Scope of damage to JSU remains brutal.
ANNISTON STAR – ‘Rolling the dice’ with the IRS.
ANNISTON STAR – Why Alabama teachers aren’t going on strike.
WASHINGTON POST – Comey memos offer new details on his interactions with Trump as the FBI’s Russia probe intensified.
WASHINGTON POST – Razor-thin Senate majority, bloody primary fights hamstring GOP.
WASHINGTON POST – Abortion battles are heating up ahead of November midterms.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump administration looks to encourage U.S. arms sales abroad, including drone exports.
NEW YORK TIMES – Free of New York’s Stinky Sludge Train, an Alabama Town Is Still Steaming
NEW YORK TIMES – In a Trade War, China Might Boycott U.S. Goods. That Could Backfire.
NEW YORK TIMES – F.D.A. Panel Recommends Approval of Cannabis-Based Drug for Epilepsy