“Now, there is a final reason, I think, that Jesus says, ‘Love your enemies.’ It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Good morning, this is your Alabama Daily News digest for Monday, January 15, 2018.
1. Texas-funded group tries to stir up trouble for Shelby
- No, Alabama’s Senate special election won’t ever end.
- Some Roy Moore supporters are still a little salty about December’s election loss, and a few have focused their ire on U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby.
- POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt first reported that a few Moore backers are floating a censure resolution within the Alabama Republican Party and a wealthy Texan is funding a robocall campaign attempting to stir up discontent against Alabama’s senior senator.
- This because Shelby said he wouldn’t vote for Moore after multiple allegations of sexual abuse and impropriety surfaced. Shelby did not support Democrat Doug Jones, but rather said he would write in a “respectable Republican.“
- Alabama’s business and political leaders aren’t too impressed with the censure and robocall effort. It earned a collective yawn from politicians and politicos I contacted over the weekend.
- The business community is especially not shy about defending Shelby. Business Council of Alabama CEO Billy Canary says Shelby’s “principled stance” made the difference in Alabama’s success landing the coveted F-35 mission in Montgomery and the $1.6 billion, 4,000 job Mazda-Toyota project in North Alabama.
- AL,com’s Leada Gore has a full story on those comments.
- And so do I.
WHY IT MATTERS
- It doesn’t, really. As Alabama’s senior statesman, Shelby can easily withstand minor political skirmishes, which this is.
- Even if this wasn’t minor, Shelby just started the second year of a six year term. The next time he would be on the ballot is 2022.
- This could be a warning shot to Alabama politicians who aren’t Richard Shelby to communicate that there are consequences to crossing Moore and his supporters. Perhaps that’s why the business community – which funds many campaigns for Alabama conservatives – shot right back and sent message of its own.
- Even if Alabama politicians won’t say so with qualifying still open, many national Republicans on the ballot in 2018 and the strategists running their campaigns are relieved to be spared the additional challenge of campaign ads tying them to an accused child molester.
- And, in case you haven’t heard, the prospect of the GOP weakening or even losing its majorities in the House and Senate has become very real.
2. Immigration deal still possible?
A bipartisan agreement among a handful of senators reportedly includes:
- a pathway to citizenship that would take up to 12 years
- $1.6 billion for “structures” including a wall for border security.
Read the full AP story on details of the agreement at www.ALDailyNews.com.
The agreement between three Republican and three Democratic senators would prevent deportation of hundreds of thousands of so-called “Dreamers,” who were brought to this country as children and are here illegally.
The immigration negotiations seemed to get upended by President Trump’s controversial remarks about certain, um, unfortunate countries. Still, AP reports that the talks continue and now the president is back to daring Democrats not to make a deal.
Over the weekend, President Trump repeatedly tweeted that he thought a deal on immigration was dead “because Democrats don’t really want it.”
While immigration gets all the headlines, remember that the federal government is scheduled to run out of money on January 19th at midnight. That’s four days from now.
3. 2018 political reads
The race for Governor seems to be heating up…
- Birmingham minister Scott Dawson is throwing his first salvo as a candidate for governor. Dawson is questioning why Alabama is not on the growing list of states beginning to require Medicaid recipients to work.
- AL.com’s John Sharp sees a North vs. South rivalry opening in the governor’s race.
- Meh, I’m not so sure about that. There are lots of reasons why the state’s regions bicker in the Legislature, and they usually all come down to funding. Beyond a local base of support, people vote for candidates, not area codes. Unless some local issue gets especially heated or one of the candidates says Florida has better beaches or something, I wouldn’t expect geographical loyalty to be the difference maker in this race.
‘Tis the season for reelection announcements
- Supreme Court Associate Justice Will Sellers officially announced his candidacy for a term on the court in his own right.
- Sen. Tom Whatley announced his bid for reelection this past week, citing his work on agriculture and autism.
- So did Rep. Danny Garrett, who committed to fighting predatory lending practices and upholding 2nd Amendment rights.
- David Wheeler is running for the Jefferson County House seat being vacated by Rep. Jack Williams.
With qualifying ongoing, these announcements will start coming in more rapidly. If you are a candidate for office or helping someone else run, make sure I get your announcement press release by putting todd@ALDailyNews.com on your distribution list.
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MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Columnist Alvin Benn: Martin Luther King Jr.: The man behind the movement.
AL.COM – Alabama, Mississippi only 2 states to celebrate joint MLK, Robert E. Lee Day.
AL.COM – Alabama history professor recalls friendship with Martin Luther King Jr.
AL.COM – How did Alabama earn a ‘C’ on its first-ever report card?
AL.COM – Alabama-born law professor named to Forbes ’30 under 30′.
SELMA TIMES JOURNAL – The Selma Times-Journal: Good luck to our legislators as they work to make a difference in our state.
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Some locals worry DACA repeal could affect family, friends.
ALEXANDER CITY OUTLOOK – Study ranks state among the nation’s worst to raise a family.
LAGNIAPPE – Sam Jones joins Herman Thomas, Greg Harris in District 99 race.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama GOP Rep. Byrne: Trump ‘sh*thole’ remarks a distraction.
DECATUR DAILY – The Decatur Daily: King’s words speak to all.
DECATUR DAILY – Employee training and hiring a key incentive in auto plant deal.
GADSDEN TIMES – King’s words still inspire nearly 50 years after his death.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Editor Troy Turner: A racist, or racially ignorant?
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Alabama college cuts ribbon on facility for adapted athletes.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Contributor R. A. Matthews: Martin Luther King, Jr. knew the answer.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump says that he is ‘not a racist,’ denies souring chances for immigration overhaul by using vulgarity.
WASHINGTON POST – New alarm among Republicans that Democrats could win big this year.
NEW YORK TIMES – Individual Mandate Now Gone, G.O.P. Targets the One for Employers