Each day, the DLCC’s experts comb through statehouse political news across the country to stay on top of the latest developments. Here are five stories that may have flown under your radar this week.
Top lawmaker credits Colorado AFP for GOP power in state Senate
In most states, political candidates thank the voters when they win. In Colorado, Republican legislators thank the Koch brothers. Or so they did this week, when Colorado Senate President Bill Cadman (R) spoke at a rally for the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, telling AFP that "I don’t think I would be the president of the Senate if it wasn’t for the efforts you and yours did over the previous elections." But if the Kochs are responsible for hiring Cadman and his caucus as the majority party in the state Senate, they may be in for a rude awakening when they learn that actual voters have the power to fire them this fall.
Scott Fitzgerald wants to bar county executives from Legislature
Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) is nervous about his party's hold on the chamber. And Democratic SD-18 challenger Mark Harris is giving Republicans particular heartburn, because Fitzgerald just introduced legislation "that would bar county executives from serving simultaneously in the Legislature." Harris, who serves as Winnebago County Executive, is currently the only such officeholder seeking a legislative seat, and Fitzgerald even admits that "Harris’ candidacy was the impetus for the bill." But the bill wouldn't impact current Republican legislators who hold other municipal offices, like Rep. Todd Novak (R), who simultaneously serves as his town's mayor. (For the record, Harris hasn't even decided whether to follow Novak's example.)
NH GOP Rep: Giving Public Assistance To Muslims Is 'Treason'!
If New Hampshire votes for Donald Trump in next week's GOP primary, it might be because the state's own GOP legislators have made The Donald's racist, bigoted statements on immigration policy seem moderate by comparison. Just this week, in testimony before a committee hearing, state Rep. Ken Weyler (R) declared that "giving public benefits to any person or family that practices Islam is aiding and abetting the enemy. That is treason," and that "all of the terrorist attacks of the last twenty years have been by Muslim fanatics" (which is obviously false). Video of the remarks and Democrats' blistering response are here.
Oregon's 'motor voter' law boosts voting rolls by 4,300
Officials in Oregon have announced tremendous early results from the first full month of the state's new "motor voter" law, which automatically registers or updates voters' registrations when they obtain or renew a driver's license or other ID card. Over 4,300 new voters were added to the rolls this way -- nearly double the usual monthly average -- and 17,000 more had their addresses updated through the new law, which is crucial data for the efficient management of Oregon's all-mail elections.
House takes first step toward district boundaries drawn entirely by Republicans
Arizona Republicans are at it again. The state Supreme Court has already smacked down their attempt to impeach the independent chair of the state's nonpartisan redistricting commission. The U.S. Supreme Court has similarly denied their request to abolish the commission altogether. But now GOP legislators are pushing a bill that would subject the five members of the commission to partisan elections -- effectively handing all redistricting authority to whichever party wins the majority in statewide elections. That's definitely NOT what voters intended when they took that authority away from partisan legislators in 2000, and as a result, Arizona has enjoyed a string of competitive congressional and legislative elections in recent years.