7 Things: Jones chooses sides in the Democratic Civil War, Birmingham mayor wants to pardon pot conviction, Iron Bowl attack ads are coming and more …
7. Good dog honored at the White House
- Conan, the dog that was part of the mission to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and was injured, has been honored at the White House where he visited President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
- During the visit, Trump said that Conan was given a plaque and a medal, and he stated that the mission was a “flawless attack.” He also joked “Conan is trained to attack if you open your mouth” as he warned the press to be careful.
6. Democratic congresswoman backs off impeachment
- U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) has declared that she is no longer in favor of impeaching and removing President Donald Trump from office. She told a radio show over the weekend, “We are so close to an election. I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don’t see the value of taking him out of office.”
- In an apparent flip-flop, Lawrence wants Congress to censure the resident instead, explaining, “I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable.”
5. Ex-White House counsel must testify
- U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has ruled that former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify before Congress in compliance with a subpoena issued on April 22.
- Jackson said during her ruling that “this Court holds that Executive branch officials are not absolutely immune from compulsory congressional process.” She did allow that if McGahn wishes to use executive privilege to avoid testifying, he has to appear before Congress himself to do so.
4. ALFA chooses not to endorse Mo Brooks
- In a somewhat unprecedented move, the Alabama Farmer Association decided they would not endorse an incumbent Republican who is all but assured to win reelection in 2020. instead of endorsing U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), the group tossed an endorsement to Chris Lewis.
- Brooks responded to the endorsement by highlighting the positions he finds himself in disagreement with ALFA on. He stated, “I support border security and resulting higher wages and lower tax burdens for American families. I support fair trade agreements that cut the hundreds of billions of dollars of American wealth that is hemorrhaging each year to China and other bad trade partners. I support enterprises competing without taxpayer subsidies.”
3. Sessions allies will come out swinging during the Iron Bowl
- Your Iron Bowl viewing will undoubtedly be filled with a few political ads. One of those will come in the form of an attack on GOP U.S. Senate candidate Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) from the Jeff Sessions-aligned Club for Growth PAC accusing him of working to send taxpayer money to China, Russia and Sudan.
- The attack ad is pretty confusing but centers around three “aye” votes Byrne cast: a continuing resolution vote 2014, a procedural vote in 2015 and a 2015 infrastructure bill, but the purpose of the ad is to make you question those votes by making them seem ominous. As Yellowhammer News’ Sean Ross points out, “Of these three votes in question, the entire Alabama delegation voted “aye” on the first, everyone but Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) voted “aye” on the second and everyone but Palmer and Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) voted “aye” on the latter.”
2. Birmingham mayor wants to pardon marijuana convictions
- Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has announced his new initiative called “Pardons for Progress” where those convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession within the city of Birmingham would be pardoned.
- Woodfin has said that some of those “who have been convicted deserve a second chance in order to secure a job that may be blocked due to a one-time possession conviction.” He clarified that people would be able to seek a pardon and would “receive a pardon if the individual meets certain requirements.”
1. Doug Jones appears to be over Alabama Democratic Party infighting
- U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has made it no secret that he supports State Representative Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) as the head of the Alabama Democratic party, and he confirmed that support during an interview with FM Talk 1065’s “Mobile Mornings” on Monday.
- Jones went on to discuss Nancy Worley’s comments about the “splinter faction” of the Democrats in Alabama that don’t support her and has held the position that she’s still the head of the “state democratic executive committee,” to which Jones replied was “just silly, it’s just a silly comment.” He then listed why he sees England as a more qualified candidate.