7 Things: Trump’s approval holds steady, Tuberville wrangles with immigration comments, ugly is the new normal in the U.S. Senate race and more …
7. Bill to do away with smoking in the car with kids moves forward
- The Alabama House of Representatives has passed the bill by State Representative Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham) that would block smoking or vaping in the car with anyone under the age of 14 years old.
- Those found in violation of the law would face a $100 fine, but could only be imposed in the event that someone was already stopped by police for speeding or another offense. The bill will now move to the Alabama Senate for final passage.
6. I guess we need a state law on tampons, sure
- State Representative Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham) has seized on her newfound fame as the “vasectomy bill” sponsor and now has introduced a feminine hygiene bill that would require schools to provide products to students in grades five through 12.
- Similar bills are being considered in Massachusetts and Maryland, and such requirements already exist in Illinois, California, New Hampshire and New York. This bill has been referred to the House Education Ways and Means Committee.
5. Alabama’s mayors want the ability to create occupational taxes; lawmakers work to take it
- The City of Montgomery is in the process of raising taxes on every person that works in the city, even if they live elsewhere. Lawmakers want to stop it but the mayors of the 10 largest cities are working together to oppose the bill because it limits a potential revenue source and they want the ability to implement this tax.
- State Representative Chris Sells (R-Greenville) argued before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee that the cities could raise the tax if they want but they will have to come to the legislature to do so because it raises a tax on people with no representation in the city. The mayors argued in a letter, “What it does is give the people outside a municipality a voice through us.”
4. Trump handed out a few pardons
- Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D), who was convicted of trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by President Barack Obama, has been pardoned by President Donald Trump, saying that Blagojevich’s sentence was “ridiculous.” This brings Trump’s total number of pardons during what is being reported as a “pardon spree” to 26.
- Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was sentenced for tax fraud, former 49ers owner Edward Debartolo, Jr., who was convicted for failure to report a bribe, and financier Michael Milken, who violated U.S. security laws, have all been pardoned by Trump as well.
3. The Senate election is heating up
- All three leading Republican U.S. Senate candidates have now gone negative, with former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions releasing a new campaign ad that goes after former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville and U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope).
- In the ad, there’s a claim that Byrne “stabbed Trump in the back right before the election” because he didn’t support him at the beginning of his presidential bid. The ad goes on to say, “Tuberville is a tourist in Alabama – he lives, votes, and pays taxes in Florida.”
2. Tuberville catching heat for immigration comments
- Recently, the U.S. Senate race in Alabama has gained national attention for remarks former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville said back in August when he stated, “We’re paying for illegals to come over here. … That’s Donald Trump’s fault.”
- While Tuberville did say that, he has been in clean-up mode as he clarifies his position saying that his immigration plan “mirrors everything Donald Trump has said on the issue.” He added, “We’ve got to close our borders, protect American jobs, stop illegal drugs, and block terrorists from sneaking into our country.” Tuberville also stated that he’s “simply backing President Trump’s policy … just like I’ll do in Washington.”
1. Donald Trump hits a new high in polling and with independents
- In a new NBC poll, President Donald Trump’s approval rating has hit 50%, even notching 50% with independents. This shows his numbers holding steady after improving post impeachment acquittal and as Democrats continue to battle for their party’s nomination.
- Speaking of Democrats, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has come out to a double-digit lead over Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg is effectively purchasing his way onto debate stages and into voters’ hearts with big ad buys and a campaign that makes voters think he has the endorsement of former President Barack Obama.