Daily News Digest – June 19, 2018

Daily News Digest – June 19, 2018

Good morning! I quit watching MTV a long time ago, but it was good to see the kids getting at least some good influence yesterday from this really amazing speech by Chris Pratt.  Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, June 19, 2018. 

1. Alabama Power severs ties with Business Council. 

What happened

  • Alabama Power has officially severed ties with the Business Council of Alabama.
  • The Power Company has been trying since August to remove BCA’s Billy Canary, who has been CEO for about 15 years.
  • The BCA board said no, resisting what some saw as a takeover attempt, and opted for a more formal transition process ending with Canary being replaced next year.
  • That wasn’t quick enough.
  • So, deadlines and demands not met, Power Company CEO Mark Crosswhite said goodbye in a letter to BCA Chairman Perry Hand.
  • Hand wrote back saying sorry to see you go, but by the way you haven’t been paying dues anyway.
  • The exchange was a little tense. I wrote about all that, including a few extra details, which you can read HERE.

Why it matters

  • The Power Company is one of the state’s largest and most prominent for-profit entities. BCA is the state’s premiere business advocacy organization.
  • Both organizations say what they are doing is to serve the best interests of the business community – the Power Company by calling out what it says is ineffective leadership, and BCA by not allowing the state’s most powerful company to completely overtake the interests of all the others.
  • The two entities have not seen the world the same way for some time, so a breakup is not surprising. The Advertiser’s Brian Lyman wrote about some of those differences today, and I wrote about them some time back.
  • But it’s still a big deal in the Alabama political world.

What’s next

  • Some are speculating that other corporations could follow Alabama Power in severing ties with BCA and starting their own business group.
  • The decision to exit BCA comes one month until runoff elections for state primary contests in which the business community is actively engaged.
  • BCA Chairman Perry Hand at least kept the door open to the power company returning to the fold once tensions cooled.
  • “Our door remains open to you and all Alabama businesses who wish to move our state forward,” he wrote.

2. Gov. Ivey has a day.

  • Gov. Kay Ivey had an interesting Monday.
  • First, she was at the White House for the president’s Space Force announcement.
  • Ivey and Congressman Robert Adherholt each got special shout outs from President Trump, which you can watch HERE.
  • That has to be cool. And for a Republican politician it’s almost priceless.
  • Then, hours later, Ivey spoke up and spoke out against President Trump’s tariff policies, saying they could hurt Alabama’s manufacturing industry.
  • In a release, Ivey said:

“Import tariffs, and any retaliatory tariffs on American made goods, will harm Alabama, the companies that have invested billions of dollars in our state, and the thousands of households which are dependent upon those companies for a good-paying job. I strongly oppose any efforts that may harm those companies that employ thousands of Alabamians and contribute billions to our economy.”

  • It’s not like Ivey called out Trump in some personal or negative way. Still, many Republican politicians have not been willing to disagree with anything the president does for fear of retribution from the White House or voters.
  • Meanwhile, Trump is upping the ante and threatening more tariffs.
  • Read more about Ivey’s comments and how tariffs could affect Alabama’s economy HERE.

3. Senate passes Defense bill. 

  • The Senate last night passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
  • This is the bill that authorizes funding and sets policy for the Department of Defense, so it is bigly important to Alabama.
  • Of note, the bill included language that would ban Chinese telecom giant ZTE from conducting business in the United States. The Trump administration had sought waivers for ZTE.
  • It looks like the fight over that and other lingering disagreements with the bill will get worked out in a conference committee between the House and Senate.
  • The Alabama delegation will be looking to remove language that would harm United Launch Alliance and threaten their Alabama-based jobs.
  • Sen. Richard Shelby appears ready to get the authorization part finished and move on to appropriations.  He said:

“The Senate’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act is a critical step in providing our military with the resources they need to best defend America. I support this measure and look forward to securing our military’s funding as chairman of the Appropriations Committee and its subcommittee on defense.”

4. The Latest on Immigration. 

“Surely it is the beginning of the unraveling of democracy when the body who makes the laws, instead of changing them, tells the enforcement body not to enforce the law,” Nielsen said. “I ask Congress to act this week so that we can secure our borders and uphold our humanitarian ideas.”

5. Headlines.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey says import tariffs could hurt Alabama industry. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Power severs ties with Business Council. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: Immigration is tough, but not this tough. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama, other states’ redistricting plans facing court challenge.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Unapologetic Trump digs in on immigration despite outrage.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Upping the ante: Trump threatens new tariffs on Chinese imports.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump announces plans for creation of “Space Force.”

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Governor Ivey: Trump tariffs ‘will harm Alabama’.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – SPLC to pay anti-extremist UK group in $3.4 million settlement.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama Power withdraws from Business Council.

AL.COM – Ivey ‘strongly’ opposes import tariffs, would ‘harm Alabama’.

AL.COM – Alabama Power leaving Business Council of Alabama.

AL.COM – Alabama bishop calls on government to reunite immigrant families.

AL.COM – Sessions: America is ‘dedicated to caring for children’

AL.COM – Alabama state senator’s son shot in Foley.

AL.COM – Former Alabama coach Bill Curry takes apparent shot at Jeff Sessions over immigration policy.

AL.COM – 46 percent of Republicans agree with Trump policy of separating immigrant families, poll shows.

AL.COM – Columnist Amanda Walker:  Suspended Wilcox County Chief Probate Clerk, ‘I will not take the fall for a con’.

ALABAMA POLITIAL REPORTER – Breaking News: Alabama Power withdraws from BCA.

ALABAMA POLITIAL REPORTER – Countryman refuses to endorse Maddox, will continue campaign as a write-in.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump defiant as crisis grows over family separation at the border.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump escalates China trade war, threatens tariffs on $200 billion in products.

WASHINGTON POST – Efforts to limit partisan gerrymandering falter at Supreme Court.

NEW YORK TIMES – How Anti-Immigration Passion Was Inflamed From the Fringe

NEW YORK TIMES – Judge: Kansas Cannot Require Proof of Citizenship to Vote

NEW YORK TIMES – Experts Say Auto Tariffs Would Raise Prices, Cost Jobs

NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Clears Way for Health Plans With Lower Costs and Fewer Benefits

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