Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

State of the States (Week of May 25th, 2016)

State of the States (Week of May 25th, 2016)

For the Week of May 25th

TABLE OF CONTENTS

KEY QUOTES
“if Burger King is struggling to sell hamburgers, the answer is not to close down McDonald's and Wendy's. But rather, Burger King needs to raise their game. They need to improve the quality of the product they're putting out there...”
 
-Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R) used this fast-food analogy to make his case against the Michigan state Senate's plan to rescue Detroit Public Schools. Cotter's aversion to the Senate plan stems from his support of charter schools, which he fears would lose funding (McDonald's and Wendy's) in order to lift the Detroit Public School system (Burger King) out of ruin. Business leaders, the Detroit Federation of teachers, and stakeholders support the plan, and Cotter's opposition to fixing Detroit's ailing public school system is clear.
“Hey buddy, get the heck out of the ladies room!”
 
-Florida state House candidate Dale Glading (R) used this discriminatory subject line targeting transgender women in an email sent to voters earlier this month. The Baptist minister will face three Republicans in a primary race for HD-54 and has previously advocated for banning abortions after 18 days.
STORIES OF THE WEEK
Wisconsin's state legislative districts are a big Republican gerrymander
Jonathan Krasno, Daniel Magleby, Michael D. McDonald, Shawn Donahue and Robin Best (The Washington Post)
May 24, 2016
“Today in Wisconsin, a federal judge begins hearing the most recent lawsuit challenging legislative districts drawn after the 2010 census. Suits elsewhere challenged maps because of the way they concentrated – or “packed” — minority voters into a few districts. In the Wisconsin trial, the plaintiffs claim that the state’s assembly map discriminates against Democratic voters by diluting the value of their votes – or to be simpler, that it’s partisan gerrymandering. …
“We examine the Wisconsin case closely in a recent paper, and conclude that the plaintiffs’ case is strong. The new districts do appear to discriminate against Democratic voters, exactly as the challengers argue. …
“What this means is that Democrats probably have to win about 55 to 56 percent of the statewide vote to win control of the state assembly. Or to put it differently, Republicans need only win 44 to 45 percent. ...
"What happens in the Wisconsin trial could tell us a lot about whether courts will step in to undo partisan gerrymandering. Many people, perhaps including many judges, would be reluctant to see courts wade this far into politics. But in Wisconsin, the equal protection guarantees in the Constitution may require judicial intervention.”
Getting a photo ID so you can vote is easy. Unless you're poor, black, Latino or elderly.
Sari Horwitz (The Washington Post)
May 23, 2016
“In November, 17 states will have voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election. Eleven of those states will require their residents to show a photo ID. They include swing states such as Wisconsin and states with large African American and Latino populations, such as North Carolina and Texas. On Tuesday, the entire 15-judge U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans is to begin hearing a case regarding the legality of the Texas law, considered to be the most stringent in the country.
“Supporters say that everyone should easily be able to get a photo ID and that the requirement is needed to combat voter fraud. But many election experts say that the process for obtaining a photo ID can be far more difficult than it looks for hundreds of thousands of people across the country who do not have the required photo identification cards. Those most likely to be affected are elderly citizens, African Americans, Hispanics and low-income residents." ...
“Last week, during the federal trial on Wisconsin’s voter-ID law, a former Republican staffer testified that GOP senators were “giddy” about the idea that the state’s 2011 voter-ID law might keep Democrats, particularly minorities in Milwaukee, from voting and help them win at the polls. “They were politically frothing at the mouth,” said the aide, Todd Allbaugh.”
COMING UP...
June 7
Special Election - Mississippi HD-29
Special Election - Ohio CD-08
Presidential Caucus - North Dakota (Democratic)
Presidential Primary - California
Presidential Primary - Montana
Presidential Primary - New Jersey
Presidential Primary - New Mexico
Presidential Primary - South Dakota
LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN
Abortion
LA: Senate passes bill to bar public funding to abortion providers - The Times-Picayune
OH: Judge temporarily blocks state from axing Planned Parenthood money - Cincinnati.com
 
Guns
CA: California Senate approves broad new gun restrictions - The Sacramento Bee
NJ: Christie vetoes N.J. domestic violence gun bill -- again - NJ.com
PA: Lawmaker: Pa. should get rid of instant background check system for firearms - TribLive
RI: Poll: Most in R.I. back gun controls for domestic violence convicts + video - Providence Journal
 
Labor
MI: Bankole: Speaker Cotter wrong on DPS - The Detroit News
 
LGBT
LA: Louisiana Senate kills bill to protect LGBT people from discrimination - The Times-Picayune
OK: Some in Oklahoma statehouse urge Obama impeachment over bathroom rule - Reuters
NC: NC House and Senate leaders want to combine HB2 lawsuits - The News & Observer
NC: HB2 still highly unpopular in North Carolina, where 56 percent of voters say it's hurting the state - Daily Kos
 
Voting Rights
IL: Illinois Automatic Voter Registration Advances to House - CBS St. Louis
MI: New straight-ticket voting law in Michigan prompts lawsuit - MLive
MO: Nixon sets voter ID question for November ballot - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
OH: Ohio's Limits on Early Voting Are Discriminatory, Judge Says - The New York Times
OH: House approves online voter registration bill after delaying start date - Cleveland.com
TX: Five Years Later, Voter ID Suit Still Moving Forward - The Texas Tribune
VA: U.S. judge upholds Virginia voter ID law - Richmond Times-Dispatch
WI: Wisconsin's state legislative districts are a big Republican gerrymander - The Washington Post
CAMPAIGN UPDATES
GA: Gwinnett poised to send first Latina to General Assembly - Atlanta Journal Constitution
NH: Cataldo becomes seventh state senator not to seek re-election - WMUR
NY: SD-46: Amedore Announces Re-Election Bid - NY State of Politics
TX: Two Texas House Committee Chairmen Fall in GOP Runoffs - The Texas Tribune
VT: Sen. McAllister, facing sex charges, seeks re-election - Burlington Free Press
WY: Zwonitzer seeks seventh House term - Casper Star Tribune
CONTACT
Carolyn Fiddler
National Communications Director
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

fiddler@dlcc.org