Daily News Digest – September 18, 2018

Daily News Digest – September 18, 2018

PRESENTED BY THE ALABAMA COAL ASSOCIATION

Good morning! Lots of stories to pick through today. Here’s your Daily News for September 18.

1. Hearing set for Kavanaugh, accuser.

  • Buckle up for a crazy week of high-stakes political gamesmanship from Capitol Hill.
  • Next Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing in which Christine Blasey Ford will testify about her allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her at a high school party in the 80s. Kavanaugh will also testify, offering him a chance to respond.
  • Republicans had wanted a committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination this Thursday, setting up a floor vote in the next two weeks.
  • Democrats have one goal here: delay. They want to prevent a confirmation vote before the November election, which, depending on the results, could scuttle the nomination altogether.
  • As for tactics, get used to hearing these words: FBI investigation. DOJ has already said the FBI doesn’t investigate allegations like this as part of its background checks (of which it has already conducted six). But Democrats can still demand one and call the process incomplete when it doesn’t happen.
  • I don’t recommend spending a lot of time on Twitter this week.
  • Read the latest from the Associated PressFox News, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

2. Boeing makes pitch for missile defense.

  • Congress recently directed the Army to speed up its plans to acquire a cruise missile defense system.
  • That’s the kind of missile battery designed to stop slower, lower-tech, lower-altitude missiles. You’d think we would have something like that, but since the Cold War our focus has been on higher-tech, hyper-sonic ballistic missiles.
  • The threat is real, though, and the timeline is tight. Boeing is making a pitch to the Army saying it can deliver a system that saves time and money, while supporting jobs in its Huntsville, Alabama plant.
  • Meanwhile, Raytheon is considered the frontrunner for the project because it could repackage its existing Israeli Iron Dome or Norwegian NASAMS technology. That work wouldn’t be based in Raytheon’s Huntsville facility, but a longer term project could.
  • It’s not a giant defense procurement decision, but it’s an important one. And there are lots of implications for Alabama.
  • Read more in my full story HERE.

A message from the Alabama Coal Association

  • 80% of the coal produced in Alabama is high-quality metallurgical (met) coal, an essential ingredient in the production of steel.
  • 20% of coal mined in Alabama is thermal coal used for local power generation, which provides our state with greater energy security.

3. Maddox kicks off bus tour.

  • Democratic nominee for governor Walt Maddox kicked off his bus tour Monday.
  • He’ll seek to hit at least 35 stops throughout the state between now and election day.
  • Bus tours are common in politics, especially for challengers seeking media attention, because they give local reporters something to cover.
  • When the bus rolls into Dothan or Anniston or Guntersville, it’s likely going to make the evening news and run on the front page.
  • Read more about the Walt Maddox bus tour and see his schedule of stops HERE.
  • Meanwhile, Gov. Kay Ivey is set to receive a “major endorsement” today in Birmingham. No word on who it is, but it appears to be an organization or group and not necessarily just one person. So we’ll see later today.

4. Political moves and shakes.

There have been lots of moves and shakes over the last few weeks in Alabama politics, some well known and others not as much.
Here’s a rundown of which politicos are heading where. (Please let me know if I missed any.)
Philip Bryan
  • After serving as Chief of Staff to Senate President Pro-Tem Del Marsh for almost eight years, Philip Bryan announced a few weeks ago he is headed to the private sector.
  • Now it is official where he’s going: Philip has started with the Dax Swatek and Associates lobbying firm where he’ll work with Dax and Sommer Vaughn and their portfolio of clients.
  • It’s hard to imagine someone having a better feel for the Senate than the guy who has been working the floor for the Pro Tem the last two terms, so Philip is a blue-chip pick up for Dax.
Liz Filmore
  • Liz Filmore has been promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Kay Ivey.
  • She assumes the role after the departure of Jonathan Bargainer to the Alabama Petroleum Council a few weeks ago.
  • Liz had been working as the assistant to Chief of Staff Steve Pelham for the last few years.
Tara Preyer
  • After a stint lobbying in the non-profit advocacy world, Tara Preyer is returning to the Legislative Branch.
  • She’ll start working in Senate Secretary Pat Harris’ office beginning October 1.
  • Tara formerly worked in the House of Representatives, including the Speaker’s Office, and had most recently been advocating on behalf of VOICES for Alabama Children.
Hannah Keller
  • Legislative Assistant Hannah Keller is leaving Rep. Martha Roby’s office for the Department of Justice.
  • Hannah has worked her way up in Roby world, from intern to staff assistant to legislative aide.
  • She’ll now go to the world of law enforcement at the Department of Justice, and those jobs aren’t easy to get.
Congrats to everyone on the recent moves and best wishes for success in your new roles!
BCA posts top job
  • Speaking of moves and shakes, the Business Council of Alabama has now publicly posted the job for President/CEO and announced the search criteria.
  • The Business Council is seeking to replace Billy Canary, who stepped aside in July after 15 years in the job.
  • The posting outlines 14 criteria that speak to the influential and challenging nature of the job. Check that out HERE.

5. News briefs.

Tariffs
  • The Trump administration will impose tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods starting next week, escalating a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.
  • That’s more than one third of all Chinese imports.
  • The tariffs will start at 10 percent, beginning Monday of next week, and then rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1.
  • China could retaliate as soon as this week, and then Trump could ratchet it up further by taxing basically everything we import from China.
  • This might mean some pain for consumers, but the American economy is in about as good of position as it could be to withstand a trade war.
  • This is all about getting China to stop being jerks and stealing technology. This scene from Silicon Valley kinda sorta explains it.
  • Full story HERE.
Opioid bill passes
  • Republicans and Democrats joined forces to speed legislation combating the misuse of opioids and other addictive drugs through Senate passage Monday, a rare campaign-season show of unity against a growing and deadly health care crisis.
  • Both Alabama Senators Richard Shelby and Doug Jones supported the measure and celebrated the bill’s passage.
  • Those comments and an explanation of what the bill does in the full story HERE.
FISA Docs Declassified
  • President Trump has declassified a trove of documents related to the FBI’s Russia investigation, including a portion of a secret surveillance warrant application and former FBI Director James Comey’s text messages.
  • This will result in the release of text messages and documents involving several top Justice Department and FBI officials. This has to do with theForeign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrant to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in 2016.
  • The declassification doesn’t happen overnight, though. First authorities have to go through and make sure sensitive information compromising national security isn’t released.
  • Full story HERE.
API’s latest on amendments
  • Parker Snider and Nikki Richardson of the Alabama Policy Institute have a new op-ed today urging Alabama voters to vote yes on Proposed Amendment Two.
  • The amendment, if approved, would add language to the state constitution acknowledging the sanctity of unborn life and stipulating that the state constitution provides no right to abortion.
  • Read their full piece HERE.

Headlines.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Boeing makes pitch for Army’s stop-gap cruise missile defense mission.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Maddox kicks of bus tour in Alabama governor’s race.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Hearing sets up dramatic showdown between Kavanaugh, accuser.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – GOP, Dems unite behind bill to address deadly opioid crisis.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump declassifies documents related to FBI Russia probe.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump imposes tariffs on $200B more of Chinese goods.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US-China tariffs: What’s behind them, who stands to be hurt?
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Federal lawyers: Gulf oil leak spills much more than thought.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Policy Institute: Support Amendment Two.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama Legislature: GOP has money edge; House Dems push in suburbs.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – ASU student shot during armed robbery on campus.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Dothan World War II veteran, former POW, receives recognition from French Consulate.
DOTHAN EAGLE – $30M should produce dramatic results, not indiscernible differences.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Dale Jackson: Alabama is to blame for Brett Kavanaugh getting Roy Moore’d.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – $61K grant to expand High Hopes At-Risk programs.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Brooks talks economy, tax cuts.
GADSDEN TIMES – GSCC selling radio station license; NPR broadcasts to end.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Who should get credit for growing economy?
ANNISTON STAR – Alabama ranks in top 5 for obesity, but exercise helps some fight back.
ANNISTON STAR – Church-state flubs can be costly, association tells school officials.
AL.COM – Alabama prisons face contempt hearing on mental health staffing.
AL.COM – ‘We got us one’: Photo shows white Moody students standing on black student.
AL.COM – Statue of Dred Scott could be placed near Alabama Confederate statue.
AL.COM – Good news – and bad news – when it comes to Alabama’s median income.
AL.COM – FEMA director blames Puerto Rico deaths on wrecks, domestic violence.
AL.COM – Walt Maddox aims to connect with voters on bus tour.
WASHINGTON POST – Senate committee to hold public hearing with Kavanaugh, accuser after sexual assault allegation.
WASHINGTON POST – FEMA chief Brock Long facing possible criminal investigation.
WASHINGTON POST – Senate passes sweeping opioids package.
NEW YORK TIMES – China once looked tough on trade. Now its options are dwindling.
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Says Tariffs Will Save American Factories. History Shows Otherwise.
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump to Cap Refugees Allowed Into U.S. at 30,000, a Record Low.

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