Daily Presidential Update
30 Day Poll Averages:
Swing State Polls over the last 2 days:
Tuesday, Oct. 16:
New Hampshire (Suffolk/7 News) – Romney 47, Obama 47
Monday, Oct. 15:
Pennsylvania (Morning Call) – Obama 49, Romney 45
Iowa (ARG) – Romney 48, Obama 48
Virginia (ARG) – Romney 48, Obama 47
Colorado (Gravis) – Obama 48, Romney 46
Florida (Gravis) Romney 49, Obama 48
North Carolina (PPP) – Romney 49, Obama 47
AL.COM: Citing Obamacare, Infirmary Health System announces it will close Infirmary West Hospital
Citing Obamacare, the Infirmary Health System this afternoon announced it would close its Infirmary West Hospital on Girby Road by the end of the month.
Mark Nix, the president and CEO of the Infirmary Health, said in a prepared statement that officials decided to close the 124-bed hospital after a yearlong evaluation.
“We made this decision after evaluating the utilization of the facility, the healthcare needs of the community served by Infirmary West and determining how we could better utilize our resources to improve and expand health services in this area of our community,” Nix said in the statement. “The passage of the ‘Affordable Care Act’ (Healthcare Reform), challenges hospitals and health systems to re-evaluate how to best allocate their resources to serve the needs of our community,”
Democrat nominee for Chief Justice Bob Vance is out with another ad, “The Position.” The campaign is still up with over 1,000 gross rating points statewide. Thoughts on the ad?
GADSDEN TIMES: Bentley outlines retirement incentive proposal
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley plans to ask legislators to pass a bill offering eligible state employees an incentive if they voluntarily retire.
The governor announced details of the plan at a news conference Monday in Huntsville. He said it would either pay 100 percent of monthly premiums for health insurance for five years or offer $15,000 in cash payments in two $7,500 installments. The first installment would be paid when the employee retires and the second would be paid in January of 2014.
He said the program would help retiring workers while also saving taxpayers between $18 million and $26 million a year.
“This program will save taxpayer dollars in both the short term and the long term. The result will be a less costly, more efficient state government,” Bentley said.
Republican Rep. Mac McCutcheon of Capshaw said he would introduce the legislation in the session that begins Feb. 5.
If approved, Bentley said the retirement incentives would be available to merit and non-merit employees of executive, judicial and legislative branches. It would not be available to education employees, but the governor’s office said a separate voluntary retirement incentive for teachers could be introduced later.
The above video first appeared on Yellowhammer last week… AL.com is out with a piece on it today.
Last week, a professionally produced video attack on the Southern Environmental Law Center turned up on the internet.
The video, entitled “We Know Best” casts the environmental watchdog group as a bunch of meddling, out of state snobs determined to “lower job creation in Alabama.”
The maker of the video goes out of his or her way to disguise their identity, and all materials associated with it are from the “Southern Environmental Laws Center. Note the addition of the letter “S” on the word law.
An email sent to al.com with the link to the video muddies the water further by including a phone number for an SELC office in North Carolina as the contact number for more information. Officials there said they knew nothing about the video, though it had generated a number of calls.
National & International Politics
TUSCALOOSA NEWS: College students less excited about election
On Tuesday, about 20 members of the College Republicans packed a side room of Wilhagan’s in downtown Tuscaloosa to plan their contribution to the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan presidential ticket.
Like other activists in the state, the group has been working the phones to contact voters in swing states like Florida and Virginia.
“Last week, we had 30 people coming out willing to make phone calls,” said Regan Williams, a junior from Vestavia Hills and chairman of the UA College Republicans. “I feel like we could have gotten a lot more had we not had some technical difficulties.”
The group has about 150 active members, Williams said.
But while the enthusiasm was clear in this politically active pocket, other areas of campus have not seen the same fervor that engulfed colleges when Barack Obama faced off with John McCain in 2008.
Half as many 18- to 29-year-olds are following campaign news closely this year compared with 2008, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center. During the 2008 election, 72 percent of young voters said they definitely planned to vote, compared with 63 percent this year.
“There was a different dynamic in 2008 — the first African-American president, two polar opposite candidates,” said Whit Kelly, a second-year law student at the University of Alabama. Kelly was an undergraduate at the Capstone in 2008. “Four years ago, Obama was fresh. He was a new face to the political scene.”
Kelly, however, said he believes many in his generation expected big changes in Washington culture but did not see them.
New Tea Party Victory Fund ad features “Obama Phone” lady
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN on Monday she takes “full responsibility” for the security failures at the U.S. consulate in Libya where a terrorist attack by radical Islamists last month killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. However, she is blaming the inconsistent stories that came out of the Obama administration on the “fog of war,” Fox News reports.
Pushing back against Republican criticism of the Obama administration for its handling of the situation, Clinton said Monday in Lima, Peru, that security at all of America’s diplomatic missions abroad is her job, not that of the White House. The remarks seem to back up Vice President Joe Biden’s claims that he and President Obama didn’t know the Consulate requested additional security.
In television interviews, Clinton said she is responsible for State Department security and “for the more than 60,000 people around the world.” She told Fox News that “the decisions about security are made by security professionals.” She also made similar comments to CNN about taking responsibility.
“I can’t speak to who knew what…We knew there were security breaches and problems throughout Libya. That’s something that came about as the aftermath of the revolution to topple Qaddafi, with so many militias formed, so many weapons loose,” she told Fox News. “It was taken into account by security professionals as they made their assessments.”
Watch CNN’s report:
POLITICO: Romney Fundraising Plan Comes with Risks
Mitt Romney’s most potent fundraising committee is paying to outsource a big part of its final campaign push to an unusual coalition of party committees.
Romney Victory, the joint fundraising committee that has raised the lion’s share of the cash credited to Romney, revealed Monday evening that it had transferred $44 million to the GOP’s national congressional committees and the state parties in Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Vermont.
So, while the Romney campaign trumpets big fundraising numbers — committees supporting Romney raised a total of $170 million in September — not all of the cash is under the GOP nominee’s control, and that some of it could be used for Republican candidates or operations down-ticket.
The party committees – none of them in swing states – have wide latitude in how and where they choose to spend the Romney Victory cash. They are all controlled by Romney allies, and the funds will most likely be used for get-out-the-vote operations, but the recipient state party committees could technically spend it on TV ads or any other expense related to any federal election, and the congressional committees can’t directly coordinate their spending with Romney.
In all, Romney Victory raised $236 million between the beginning of July and the end of September, it told the Federal Election Commission on Monday. That means that, in that same span, the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee, which are components of the Victory Fund, raised only $148 million directly into their coffers, based on calculations using figures voluntarily provided by the campaign on Monday.
The Victory Fund’s ability to accept checks much larger than the $5,000 limit for the Romney campaign – Romney Victory has a $75,800 maximum – comes at the cost of a slight loss of control of the cash. The Victory Fund is required to transfer sums to other component committees based on a pre-determined formula: The first $5,000 goes to Romney’s presidential campaign committee, the next $30,800 goes to the Republican National Committee and the remaining amount is split evenly among the component state parties.
The resulting division in the third quarter went thusly:
Romney for President: $85 million.
Republican National Committee: $72 million.
Idaho Republican Party: $7.9 million.
Massachusetts Republican Party: $7.9 million.
Oklahoma Leadership Council: $7.9 million.
Vermont Republican Federal Elections Committee: $7.9 million.
National Republican Congressional Committee: $6 million.
National Republican Senatorial Committee: $6 million.