Good morning! Lots of stories today so pour some coffee and buckle in. Here’s your Daily News for August 2, 2018.
1. Ivey releases first general election ad.
- Gov. Kay Ivey’s campaign is releasing its first TV ad of the general election today.
- That’s right. The ads have started back.
- But, don’t worry! This is a nice one.
- The ad shows Ivey in a classroom discussing how her experience as a former teacher helps her understand the challenges facing education.
- It also cleverly ties in an economic message. We are focused on workforce preparedness because “we are creating record jobs.”
- CAROLINE BECK had a sneak peek. You can read her story and watch the ad for yourself HERE.
- Don’t miss the exchange at the end between the Gov and a little girl that is just adorbs.
2. Shelby has a day.
- Alabama’s senior senator celebrated his 10,000th vote Wednesday.
- That’s a significant milestone, no doubt. But it came amid some really meaningful, substantial accomplishments.
- Shelby and his colleagues moved to pass a four-bill minibus appropriations package funding Interior, Treasury, Agriculture, Transportation, EPA & HUD. That means the Senate has now cleared seven of the 12 appropriations titles before August, something that hasn’t happened in almost 20 years.
- I know I keep harping on this Senate appropriations progress under Shelby’s chairmanship, but it really is a big deal.
- In a rare Senate moment, Shelby’s colleagues came to the floor to recognize him. The whole thing, including remarks from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Appropriations Ranking Member Pat Leahy really is worth a watch HERE.
- Shelby also noted the confirmation of two federal district judges for Alabama: Emily Marks for the Middle District and Jeffrey Beaverstock for the Southern District.
- Senators play a key role in the nominations and confirmations of federal judges in their states.
A message from The Prosper Group
- The Prosper Group would like to congratulate our clients in Alabama who won their primary races this year!
- From websites to emails to online ads to social media, we helped our clients in many ways. One great example – with a budget of $175,000, we placed over 350 ads that were viewed more than 18 million times (yes – 18 million!) – resulting in big wins for our clients.
- We would love to help YOU win in November! If you would like to learn more about our work in Alabama, please tap or click here.
3. Ethics Commission clears Tuggle for Speaker’s Chief
- The Alabama Ethics Commission has cleared outgoing State Rep. Mark Tuggle to serve as chief of staff for House Speaker Mac McCutcheon.
- In an advisory opinion, the Commission said Tuggle can take the job and advance the Speaker’s agenda provided he does not engage in lobbying to “personally benefit himself, his family, or any business with which he is associated.”
- A ‘revolving door’ provision within the state’s Ethics Code prohibits former lawmakers from lobbying the Legislature for two years after they leave office. The idea is to prevent lawmakers from seeking potentially lucrative lobbying jobs from firms trying to win their votes.
- There are exceptions for state service jobs like this, the Commission said.
- You may remember I reported back in May that Tuggle was rumored to be replacing outgoing chief of staff Jimmy Entrekin, who recently became general counsel for the Legislative Services Agency.
- FWIW, I think a former lawmaker like Mr. Tuggle could be uniquely effective in that position because of existing relationships and status as a former member. But it would have been tough to do the job if he couldn’t lobby legislators.
4. March for Our Live takes State House.
- Gun reform activists, including survivors from the Parkland, Florida shooting, took to the Alabama State House yesterday.
- They were protesting gun policies generally, lawmakers’ NRA support and membership specifically, and overall just making their voices heard.
- The protest got plenty of media coverage, including a front page story in the Advertiser from Melissa Brown. Mike of AL.com has a thorough write-up of the group’s activities Wednesday.
- They also got support from Democratic Congressional candidate Tabitha Isner, who posted video and photos on Twitter(her photo is above.)
- The problem, aside from the unfortunate rain, is that the Legislature is adjourned. They won’t be back until March, and even then it will be a much different Legislature.
- Also, the State House doesn’t allow mass protests without prior notification. And, with all the legislative conferences going on this time of year, I bet hardly any legislative staff was there.
- So, the student activists earned some good media, but you probably don’t advance your policy goals by picking on Elaine Beech and staff secretaries.
5. News briefs.
Manafort trial begins
- The trial of Trump 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort began Wednesday.
- He is charged with bank fraud and tax evasion. Prosecutors want to use his wealth to paint him as a crook, but the judge won’t allow it.
- Remember Manafort was charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, so a lot of people think the government is trying to get him to flip on Trump.
- That might explain the next thing…
Trump back to beating up Sessions
- In a recent tweet-storm, President Trump wrote “This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!”
- Sessions has recused himself from the Russia election probe, so unless he un-recuses somehow, Sessions can’t really end it. Trump could fire Sessions whenever he wants, though, effectively ending it.
- White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the tweets did not constitute an order from the president, but rather just part of his “fighting back.”
- Rudy Giuliani said Trump really meant DOJ generally.
- I went on a nerdy rant yesterday about how President Trump is kind of owning China right now with the tariff situation.
- Smelling blood in the water, the U.S. is now “turning up the heat” on China according to the Wall Street Journal.
- And today China is all like, “hey guys, seriously chill out, for real.”
Bonus: Matthew Stokes
- I love having Matthew Stokes as a contributing writer at Alabama Daily News because his columns make me think.
- Matthew is a conservative committed not just to winning, but winning the right way.
- In this week’s piece, he explores the nature of conservatism in an environment where populism usually wins the day.
- Here’s an excerpt:
I do worry at times about Republicans who too easily invoke Reagan’s memory without a full picture of the Gipper’s best qualities. Nostalgia is a cruel mistress and the outlook of conservatism and, by extension, the Republican Party, risks being stunted.
The thing that is most often missing in modern attempts to emulate Reagan is that he was very well-versed in conservative ideas. During all of those years of traveling around as a spokesman for General Electric, he wasn’t snoozing on the train or plane. He was devouring books and magazines dedicated to conservative ideas and legislation.
Current leaders in the GOP should do the same…
- Read the whole thing HERE.
Wait, one more thing…
- Tired of talking about politics?
- Tired of hearing about politics?
- Tired of reading about politics?
- Well, I kind of hope not because that’s what I do. But, everyone needs a break sometimes.
- Maybe August is a good time for a politics “cleanse”, writes former American Enterprise Institute Arthur Brooks.
If you stop talking about politics for a couple of weeks, nothing will change, except you might get invited again to parties. You have nothing to lose but your loneliness. And besides, whether you know it or not, you probably need a break.
- His full piece is worth a read. Just don’t go do anything crazy like unsubscribe from the Daily News 😉.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New Kay Ivey ad highlights education.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ethics Commission clears Tuggle as Speaker’s Office Chief.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Shelby honored for Senate tenure, appropriations accomplishments.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: What is Conservatism?
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – China appeals for US calm after new tariff threat.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Is Trump onto something with China tariffs?
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge Blocks Release of Blueprints for 3D-Printed Guns.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – White House: Trump’s Tweet About Russia Probe Was an Opinion.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Witnesses: Manafort Himself Directed Millions of Dollars.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge Refuses to Move Officer’s Murder Trial.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Birmingham Student Chosen as National Student Poet.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Chase Ends With Suspect Jumping Off Bridge.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Graetzes buy Rosa Parks letter, donate to ASU.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – ‘We’re speaking out on a nation’s epidemic’: Parkland shooting survivors protest in Montgomery.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Ethics Commission says legislator can work for House Speaker.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Dothan location of Rural King set for Aug. 18 opening
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – WATCH: Anti-gun protesters gather at Alabama State House.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Approval for Attorney General Sessions has tanked amid Trump’s attacks, poll suggests
DECATUR DAILY – Decatur schools to focus on absenteeism, attitude.
DECATUR DAILY – 3D guns are no cause for panic.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Tuscaloosa County’s new emergency operations center opens.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – With voter turnout low, who needs suppression?
ANNISTON STAR – Jacksonville Federal-Mogul announces another round of layoffs, will remain open.
AL.COM – How prosecutors say diabetes clinic scandal unfolded in Alabama State House.
AL.COM – Stoneman Douglas students take gun safety message to Alabama State House.
AL.COM – Former Birmingham Mayor Bell violated minor ethics law, commission says.
AL.COM – Milton McGregor’s family wants to continue operating greyhound tracks.
AL.COM – Trump calls on Sessions to end Mueller’s Russia probe.
AL.COM – Activists call for Birmingham NAACP president’s resignation after federal bribery trial.
AL.COM – Why Alabama is far behind Mississippi on sports gambling.
AL.COM – Who are Alabama’s oldest and longest-serving prisoners?
AL.COM – Truth and healing: Shemekia Copeland, Alabama producer deliver ‘America’s Child’
AL.COM – Contributor Quin Hillyer: Why Doug Jones should support Kavanaugh.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Kay Ivey is in the can.
AL.COM – An Anniston firm is preparing people, companies for mass shootings.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump calls Manafort prosecution ‘a hoax,’ says Sessions should stop Mueller investigation ‘right now’.
WASHINGTON POST – As midterm elections approach, a growing concern that the nation is not protected from Russian interference.
WASHINGTON POST – TSA mulls a plan to eliminate security checkpoints at 150 smaller airports.
WASHINGTON POST – Columnist Margaret Sullivan: As the bizarre QAnon group emerges, Trump rallies go from nasty to dangerous.
WASHINGTON POST – Immigration crackdown: U.S. soldier honored for service could be heading for ICE custody.