Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Alabama GOP Senate candidates race to the right over guns, transgender athletics

Two candidates for the Alabama Republican Senate nomination are trying to out-do each other with early, far-right appeals over Second Amendment rights and criticism of transgender athletic participation.

Why it matters: Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) and former U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard were expected to tack toward the fringe in deep-red Alabama. They are, but they're also differing in one respect: who they're targeting with their ads.

  • Blanchard's paid posts on Facebook and Instagram have uniformly targeted users in Alabama, according to the sites' political ad disclosure database.
  • Brooks' advertising is broader; some focused on his home state but many of his ads on the platforms are running nationally.
  • The pattern suggests Brooks is looking to fundraise, while Blanchard, running against a Trump-backed candidate in a state that voted for him by a 25% margin, is focused on persuasion.

Between the lines: In one spot, Brooks invoked a 2017 shooting that nearly killed Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) to establish his Second Amendment bona fides.

  • "Mo Brooks stood up for the Second Amendment after being shot at during the congressional baseball game," declare a round of Facebook and Instagram ads from his campaign. "Will you stand up for Mo now? Chip in to support his campaign for U.S. Senate."
  • His campaign ads also include appeals to back "MAGA Mo," complaints about "wimpy Republicans," attacks on Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and claims that President Biden is "coming for our guns."
  • The ads also include routine invocations of Trump's early endorsement of Brooks. He's even incorporated "endorsed by Trump" into the campaign's logo.

The other side: Blanchard, the only other declared Republican candidate, is doing what she can to align with Trump despite his endorsement of Brooks.

  • Blanchard's campaign bills her as the "former Ambassador to Melania's home," and says she is "the only Trump Approved & Trump Appointed candidate who can advance the MAGA agenda."
  • Her ads on Facebook and Instagram include frequent appeals to hot-button culture war issues.
  • They criticize Major League Baseball for relocating the All-Star Game from Georgia over the state's newly imposed voting restrictions, and rail against trans athletes' participation in sports of their chosen gender.

4 ffp

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories