Daily News Digest – May 17, 2018

Daily News Digest – May 17, 2018

Good morning! I started out hearing Laurel, then it went Yanni, and now I can hear both if I just focus my hearing a little. What do you hear? It’s May 17. Here’s your Daily News. 

1. Second day stories.

It’s Day Two of the story that wouldn’t be denied. Here’s where we stand…

Gov. Kay Ivey

  • Ivey did a series of television news interviews from the Governor’s Mansion yesterday correcting the record and telling how disappointed she was with the whole ordeal.
  • “Shame on her,” Ivey said of retiring State Rep. Patricia Todd,who recklessly and audaciously claimed the governor was gay on Twitter.
  • My count was 10 stations in all six markets running some type of interview footage. Here’s WSFA/Raycom and here’s WHNT via YellowHammer.
  • That’s a well-executed response, and it seems to be working for Ivey so far. She may come out of this with a bump in the polls.

Patricia Todd

  • Patricia Todd did not have a good day.
  • Gay rights groups are calling her attempt to “out” the governor “reckless and unacceptable” and “an act of violence.”
  • Todd’s new employer, One Orlando is meeting to decide whether to terminate her and who could blame them.
  • I’d bet just about anything an apology is coming today.

Other candidates

What’s next

  • Someone tell me a way in which all this hurts Kay Ivey in a meaningful way because I’m trying to find one.
  • Sure, there might be a handful of major league homophobes out there who will believe juicy gossip over Ivey’s word. But, I’m not sure those were ever her voters anyway.
  • This whole episode could help Ivey by effectively inoculating her from future attacks.
  • Those attacks are coming, by the way, whether here in the next few weeks or in the Fall.
  • But this badly-executed and salacious attack will only cause voters to be more wary of future ones.

2. It’s go time on the Farm Bill. 

  • While so much attention is focused on legal skirmishes at the White House and confirmation fights in the Senate, the House of Representatives is quietly considering legislation that would impact Alabamians in a far more meaningful way than all those other Beltway battles combined: the Farm Bill. 
  • It’s a big, complicated bill with a lot of competing interests, and Alabama’s point man on the Agriculture Committee, Congressman Mike Rogers, is hoping to bring home a win.
  • It’s not a sure thing.
  • Democrats are universally opposed to the bill, citing the food stamp work requirements (though it might just be Trump resistance).
  • The Freedom Caucus is holding out their votes to try to get an immigration bill to the floor.
  • In a phone interview from his Capitol Hill office, Rogers explained the importance of the Farm Bill in a pigskin parlance that most Alabamians will appreciate.
  • Read that HERE.

3. One year mark: Byrne says Mueller should wrap up probe. 

  • Today marks one year since Special Counsel Robert Mueller began his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
  • You’re going to hear a lot of calls for Mueller to bring the probe to an end. Rudy Giuliani made the rounds on television last night doing just that.
  • Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne is also calling on Mueller to wrap it up.
  • Byrne says:

Mr. Mueller has a large team of lawyers and has spent millions of dollars over the past year, yet there still is no indication of illegal Russian collusion. While this constant drama of targeted leaks and far-flung investigations may be good for the national news media and liberal fundraising, it is not good for our country.

  • Read his full comments HERE.

4. Infrastructure Week

  • If only the Doc Brown gif made it true!
  • It’s Infrastructure Week, and what a difference a year makes.
  • Last year around this time, many state lawmakers left Montgomery disappointed that the Legislature failed to pass a badly-needed infrastructure investment plan. The gas tax proposal was declared “dead.”
  • Fast forward a year, and it’s not dead at all.
  • It’s a frequent topic of conversation on the campaign trail. Instead of feeling the pressure from anti-tax groups to oppose infrastructure efforts, candidates are feeling pressure from constituents to do something about crumbling roads.
  • A clever campaign by the Alliance for Alabama’s Infrastructureis helping drive that train. Their Fix My Roads Alabama Facebook page has become a clearing house of images and stories of woefully bad roads from around the state.
  • Many State House types have wondered what the “next autism” bill might be, referring to the legislation that Alabama lawmakers couldn’t pass quickly enough after a groundswell of supporters organized on social media.
  • Roads and bridges don’t exactly tug at the heartstrings like that issue. However, if this campaign takes off and enough everyday people become engaged on a personal level, it could have an impact.

5. One fun thing: It’s back.

  • The sign. It’s back. And this is all somehow comforting. When you’re from Autauga County, it’s the little things.
  • Thanks Jim Byard for the photo and tweet.
  • And I’m not a big fan of interstate signs, but how about Ag Commish candidate Rick Pate’s sign guy being Johnny on the Spot. 


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Rogers: Farm Bill vital to Alabama’s economy.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Dawson, Ivey and Patricia Todd: what happened.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lynching memorial could be game-changer for Montgomery tourism.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Where ‘Great Gatsby’ writer lived, a museum with an Airbnb.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – SEC Visionary: former commissioner Mike Slive dies at 78.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – On eve of anniversary, Giuliani says probe should end.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump Jr. saw no issue with Trump Tower Russian meeting.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS -‘Disgusting lie being pushed by a paid left-wing liberal political operative’ — Alabama Gov. Ivey responds in TV interview (VIDEO).

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – ‘Racism is racism whether it’s black or white’ — black radio talk show host confronts Alabama pastor.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Southeast Alabama Medical Center to develop major new property.

DOTHAN EAGLE – We can’t un-hear this, but we don’t have to listen.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – MPD honors fallen officers.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Burkette wins lengthy Senate District 26 race, for now.

DECATUR DAILY – Couple removed from jobs at state department of education.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – One Place is a victim advocacy success story.

GADSDEN TIMES – Ivey denies gay accusations.

ANNISTON STAR – Todd, Ivey and a bad episode of Alabama politics.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Supreme Court’s latest decision on sports gambling prompts concern.

AL.COM – Reform commission to consider changes to Alabama ethics law.

AL.COM – Alabama’s Kay Ivey is nation’s third most popular governor.

AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey wants to know costs, timeline on school safety upgrades.

AL.COM – Scott Dawson raised gay issue, but says rumors ‘not orchestrated’.

AL.COM – Alabama lawmaker’s attempt to out Ivey ‘act of violence,’ group says.

AL.COM – LGBTQ nonprofit that hired Patricia Todd could decide her fate Friday after Kay Ivey ‘gay’ tweet.

AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey on gay accusations: ‘It’s false. It’s wrong’.

AL.COM – Patricia Todd on suggesting Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is gay: ‘I hate hypocrites’.

AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald:  LGBTQ group raises red flags – but not for its politics.

AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire:  Trouble in Troy’s Kingdom: Former AG’s business affairs are a tangled mess.

AL.COM – Amazon could be considering Bessemer for development.

AL.COM – Cadence Bank CEO: No near term impact for Birmingham in HQ move.

AL.COM – Columnist Elizabeth BeShears:  Are the incentives for aspiring judges out of whack?

ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER – Contributors Tony Kennon and Robert Craft:  Let’s get our facts straight on the bridge.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump reports apparent payment through Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels in new financial disclosure.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump suggests Justice Department investigate Oakland’s Democratic mayor for tipping off immigrants.

WASHINGTON POST – Senators, watchdog hit Social Security over closed offices and poor service.

NEW YORK TIMES – He Walked for His Right to Vote. Now He’s Running for Office.

NEW YORK TIMES – A Lawyer for Payday Lenders Is Confirmed for F.T.C. Job

NEW YORK TIMES – Fertility Rate Fell to a Record Low, for a Second Straight Year

NEW YORK TIMES – Contributor Ellen Shell:  College May Not Be Worth It Anymore.

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