Daily News Digest – May 22, 2018

Daily News Digest – May 22, 2018

Good morning! We are 14 days from the June 5 primary elections. Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, May 22.

1. Maddox consolidates support while Cobb unravels.

  • It was supposed to be a pretty competitive race for governor on the Democratic side.
  • Former Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb started out with good deal of statewide name recognition – arguably more so than Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox.
  • But, while Maddox is consolidating support and making good headlines, Cobb is unraveling and making news for all the wrong reasons.
  • The Alabama Democratic Conference’s endorsement of Maddox over the weekend might have been the final blow that puts this race out of runoff reach. The ADC is the the state’s largest African American voter coalition, and its widely distributed sample ballots are still pretty influential in democratic races.
  • Obviously disappointed by the endorsement, Cobb responded with a weird tweet invoking Meghan Markle and the royal wedding, which tells you all you need to know about the trajectory of this race.
  • Now, Maddox is touting a new poll claiming he can win without a runoff.

2. Profile treatment. 

Bill Hightower

  • AP Reporter Kim Chandler has a profile of State Senator Bill Hightower that is worth your time this morning.
  • Those who know Hightower understand how serious he is about issues like term limits and a flat tax. He believes they are fundamental to changing Alabama’s government culture.
  • “I think Alabama needs a businessman,” Hightower tells Kim. “I think Alabama needs something different than they ever had before,”
  • Read the full story HERE.

Chris Christie

  • Brian Lyman of The Montgomery Advertiser continues his 2018 political coverage with a profile of Democratic Attorney General Candidate Chris Christie.
  • Christie has an interesting story that really comes out in Brian’s reporting.
  • “My objective is not to put as many people in jail as possible, but to change the culture of Montgomery,” Christie tells Brian. “To have a culture of compliance. You start with an understandable ethics law, and you make sure people are educated about the law and the consequences of the law.”
  • Read the full story HERE.


Separating myth versus fact on S. 2155

  • The House of Representatives is poised to vote on S. 2155 – The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. 
  • But opponents of the bill have tried to unfairly characterize the legislation as some kind of giveaway to Wall Street or a deregulation of the banking industry.
  • Nothing could be further from the truth. 
  • The vast majority of the provisions in this bill are directed toward the more that 5,700 smaller community banks by reducing cost-prohibitive rules that were never meant for them.
  • The primary pillars of Dodd-Frank — higher capital standards, increased oversight of the most complex institutions, oversight of the derivatives markets, and greater coordination between regulators—remain unchanged.
  • This bill fixes Dodd-Frank provisions that had unintended consequences, making it hard for banks to fully serve their customers and communities and are unnecessarily holding back economic growth.
  • The Alabama Bankers Association strongly supports S. 2155 and urges our Members of Congress to vote YES on this badly-needed bill that is slated for a House vote TODAY.
  • Read more “myths versus facts” on S. 2155 HERE.

3. Fundraising report. 

Last week’s fundraising reports are in. Probably the biggest news was Troy King getting $130K in PAC money, which will give him a boost in these last few weeks and perhaps into the runoff.

For the Lt. Governor and Attorney General races, it’s time to start looking at these numbers for what might be available to candidates in a potential runoff. For AG, it’s almost guaranteed. For Lt. Gov, it’s somewhat likely.


  • Kay Ivey: raised $143K, spent $452K, has $959K on hand.
  • Tommy Battle: raised $103K, spent $427K, has $415K on hand
  • Bill Hightower: raised $86K, spent $20K, has $261K on hand
  • Scott Dawson: raised $17K, spent $19K, has $56k on hand
  • Sue Bell Cobb: raised $14K, spent $22K, has $103K on hand
  • Walt Maddox: raised $104K, spent $48K, has $292K on hand
  • James Fields: raised $0, spent $443, has $2,637 on hand

Lt. Governor

  • Twinkle Cavanaugh: raised $78K, spent $168K, has $511K on hand
  • Will Ainsworth: raised $10K, spent $1,884, has $374K on hand. (note: I neglected to include Ainsworth’s $58,000 major donation from Forestry yesterday, which brings his total from that week to $65K)
  • Rusty Glover: raised $34K, spent $50K, has $2,246 on hand.

Attorney General

  • Steve Marshall: raised $163K, spent $188K, has $250K on hand
  • Troy King: raised $163K, spent $44K, has $403K on hand
  • Alice Martin: raised $22K, spent $90K, has $183K on hand
  • Chess Bedsole: raised $4K, spent $91K, has $351K on hand
  • Joseph Siegleman: raised $22K, spent $10K, has $90K on hand
  • Chris Christie: raised $17K, spent $37K, has $57K on hand

4. New Ads

More new campaign ads are in…

  • Kay Ivey has a closing argument ad that features President Trump, positive economic numbers, and her NRA endorsement.
  • Will Ainsworth has a new ad that hits on the school safety issue and touts his legislative proposal to arm trained teachers in school.
  • Court of Civil Appeals candidate Christie Edwards has a new ad introducing herself to the statewide electorate.
  • Watch them all in the updated rundown HERE.
  • And I PROMISE the Gerald Dial auto play is disabled now. Great ad, but man, I couldn’t take it anymore.

5. Update: BCA lowers the rhetoric.

  • I wrote yesterday about how the Business Council of Alabama executive board was meeting to discuss the future of the organization.
  • That happened, and Board Chairman Perry Hand released a statement afterward saying they had adopted a “succession plan” as CEO Billy Canary is set to retire when his contract is up in 2020.
  • “Our plan includes establishing strategic goals that will ensure unity for the business community as we enter the 2018 and 2020 election cycles and the 2019 legislative session,” Hand wrote.  “Today’s discussion allowed us to get out of the rumor mill and discuss the past and future of our organization.”
  • So, there you go.
  • It sounds like Perry Hand’s goal to take the drama and innuendo out of this situation succeeded.
  • Still, he took a few parting shots at “bloggers.” You can read his full statement HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Updated: Candidates air TV ads.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ADC endorses Maddox in race for governor.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Hightower runs for governor on term limits, flat tax.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump the dealmaker facing challenges ahead of North Korea summit.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – The Latest: Congress to review Russian probe information.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama boy drowns in rough surf along Florida coast.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Inmate escapes from Alabama prison for the elderly and sick.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – U.S., China putting trade war on hold after progress in talks.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Barry Moore discusses his run for Congress.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Chris Christie wants AG’s focus on ethics and consumer protection.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER –  Court Street fountain has seen a lot of history.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – BOE candidate Jannah Morgan Bailey: Local schools at critical crossroads

DECATUR DAILY – Calhoun offering free boot camps in manufacturing and construction.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Tired of hearing about school shootings? Here’s how we can fight back.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Careless shootings are as deadly as if intended.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Dawson: Statement about Ivey could tank the election.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Canary responds to YellowHammer News.  

ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER – Mistaken identity and racist, sexist, anti-Semitic posts could spell disaster in PSC race.

AL.COM – Alabama Commerce Department wins presidential export award.

AL.COM – Before royal wedding sermon, Most Rev. Michael Curry inspired crowd in Alabama.

AL.COM – Why some Alabama women feel left behind by the #metoo movement.

AL.COM – Alabama Democratic Conference releases full list of endorsements.

AL.COM – Alex Hoover’s mother attends signing of bill she championed.

AL.COM – Ivey says Neelley should not be paroled “not now, and not ever.”

AL.COM – ULA machinists vote to end strike against Alabama rocket plant.

WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post:  America paves the way to the next tragedy.

NEW YORK TIMES – By Demanding an Investigation, Trump Challenged a Constraint on His Power.

NEW YORK TIMES – Trump team’s infighting could sink China trade deal.

NEW YORK TIMES – Trump strategy on Mueller: Limit the investigation, attack the investigators.

NEW YORK TIMES – Columnist David Brooks:  What Moral Heroes Are Made Of

ALABAMA PUBLIC RADIO – Report Shows What Would Happen if Alabama Expanded Medicaid

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