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7 Things: Ivey polling well, lockdowns not coming back to Alabama, war in Afghanistan coming to an end August 31 and more …

7. No fans and no fun at the Olympics

  • Just ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, it’s been announced by organizers that no spectators will be allowed at the games. This is due to Tokyo recently declaring a state of emergency for the increase of coronavirus cases.
  • Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee president Seiko Hashimoto said that there was “no choice but to hold the Games in a limited way.” There may still be spectators allowed at events outside of Tokyo.

6. Democrats launch $25 million attack on voter integrity laws

  • Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the Democratic National Committee is spending $25 million in their new “I Will Vote Campaign.” to counter voter integrity laws passed in states across the country after the 2020 presidential election.
  • Harris called this effort “the fight of our nation’s lifetime,” but emphasized that it’s “about all voters.” She added, “We want to help you vote, and we want to help make sure your vote is counted. And that is because our democracy is strong when everyone participates, and it is weaker….when people are left out.”

5. Jessica Taylor launches her U.S. Senate campaign

  • Previously, Jessica Taylor came in third as a 2020 candidate for the second congressional district in Alabama, and now she’s announced that she’s running for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby’s (R-AL) seat. She struck a very conservative tone and released a video targeting Vice President Kamala Harris, socialists, big tech, the woke police, the fake news media and radical liberals in Washington, D.C. in a flashy Youtube ad announcing her candidacy.
  • The race has become a bit more crowded, now, as it includes U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), former Business Council of Alabama president Katie Britt and former U.S. ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard.

4. Huntsville officer continues to be paid

  • Huntsville police officer William Ben Darby was convicted of murdering Jeffery Parker about two months ago and is still waiting to be sentenced. While he waits, he’s remained on the city’s payroll. He has been stripped of his law enforcement certification.
  • Since being convicted, Darby has been using sick leave, totaling about $2,162 every other week before taxes. Darby’s pay details were found through a public open records request. However, police department employees were also apparently asked through email to donate leave time to an anonymous employee just over a week after Darby was convicted.

3. Afghanistan presence will end August 31

  • According to President Joe Biden, the presence in Afghanistan will end on August 31. He said, “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build.” This comes after Biden pledges to end the U.S. presence in the country earlier this year.
  • Biden added that he “will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan, with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.” During his statements, Biden mentioned that he believes the Afghan military can adequately defend the country.

2. Alabama isn’t heading for another lockdown

  • Governor Kay Ivey objected to the narrative that Alabama could be headed toward another lockdown or restrictions due to the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus. This came after a report from AL.com that quoted Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo saying that the state could face more hospitalizations and then restrictions.
  • Ivey called the headline of the story “misleading” and added, “Alabama is OPEN for business. Vaccines are readily available and I encourage folks to get one. The state of emergency & health orders have expired. We are moving forward.”

1. Tell me more about how Ivey’s reelection is in trouble

  • Criticism of Governor Kay Ivey over the lockdown, mask orders and gas taxes are apparently not putting her reelection in jeopardy as she continues to run with no real serious opposition while raking in endorsements and money. 
  • In fact, Governor Kay Ivey could be easily cruising to reelection because a new poll shows her to be more popular than she has been at any point of her time as Alabama’s 57th governor. Her favorability rating is higher now than when she crushed Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, and she can still point to low unemployment numbers and a recovering economy. Her approval rating among primary voters is 80% or higher in all media markets. According to the survey, 69% said they would choose her over suggested candidates State Auditor Jim Zeigler, Tim James and Lynda Blanchard.

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