“Rumors and Rumblings” is a weekly feature that runs each Wednesday. It includes short nuggets of information that we glean from conversations throughout the week. Have a tip? Send it here.
1. Laid off state political reporters are starting to land on their feet. Ex-Birmingham News DC reporter Mary Orndorff has landed at Gannett, Inc. and is covering Montgomery and Greenville, SC for the USA Today/Montgomery Advertiser parent company. Ex-Birmingham News political reporter Dave White has joined Governor Bentley’s policy shop and is focusing on Medicaid funding issues. Ex-Birminghan News local government reporter Tom Spencer is now a Senior Research Associate with the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. It’s good to see folks starting to come out on the other side of a tough time post-AMG layoffs.
2. A recent statewide poll showed that over 50% of Alabamians agree with the views of the Tea Party. This only further emphasizes that Republican primaries will likely be the only show in town for the foreseeable future. How does this reality effect the longterm political landscape in Alabama? What would it take for the Democrat party to regain relevance?
3. Democrat Chief Justice candidate Robert Vance’s television ad continues to run with a big ad buy across the state. These levels, which are normally only reached during Gubernatorial campaigns, are economically feasible due to the current lack of competition for political ad space. Additionally, According to television stations in the Birmingham and Huntsville media markets, Republican PSC candidate Twinkle Cavanaugh is up with an ad very similar to the one she ran in the primary. Meanwhile, the Baxley campaign is dark for the moment.
4. Congressman Mike Rogers is planning a fundraiser for November 1 in Birmingham at which they plan to raise approximately $100,000.
5. The special elections in House Districts 30 and 34 are coming up Tuesday. Mack Butler appears to be clearly in control in House District 30. The one to watch will be the HD 34 race as David Standridge attempts to overcome 5 opponents and avoid a runoff. Recent polling showed him hovering just below 50%.
6. Yellowhammer first mentioned way back in June that frustration on the 7th floor was mounting as Senator Ben Brooks put off vacating his Senate seat. Brooks won the Republican nomination for Mobile County circuit judge in March and faces no general election opponent. With only 3 weeks left until the election, it’s clear now that he will ride out his Senate term until he’s sworn in. As a result, constituents of Senate District 35 will be deprived of representation for a good chuck of the 2013 legislative session while the special election process plays out.