Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

State of the States (Week of September 15th, 2016)

State of the States (Week of September 15th, 2016)

For the Week of September 15th

TABLE OF CONTENTS

KEY QUOTES

“What is the average citizen going to think about the Stand your Ground law? I am in fear, so I am going to shoot someone.”

Missouri state Senator Jason Holsman (D) expressed his opposition to his Republican colleagues in the Missouri House forcing a veto override of a dangerous and controversial law to loosen the state’s gun restrictions. The measure eliminates firearm-training requirements and the need for gun owners to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The measure also establishes a version of the notorious "Stand Your Ground" law that allows houseguests -- like babysitters -- to use deadly force against intruders. Sen. Holsman continued to voice his concern by saying, “I don’t think it’s a burden to take an eight-hour course to understand the dos and the don’ts, the shoulds and the shouldn’ts, of carrying a loaded firearm,” as he flashed his own concealed carry permit while speaking on the Senate floor. Similar “shoot first” legislation infiltrated GOP-controlled statehouses across the United States with efforts from NRA lobbyists and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and is now law in a majority of states.

“This latest revelation exposes the way the Republican spin machine works — they were prepared to simply make things up."

Wisconsin Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D) commented on the release of email correspondence between Wisconsin Republican lawmakers and conservative lobbyists that shows collusion to foster public speculation around the 2011 election results by planting news stories insisting voter fraud was an issue. The aim of Republicans and their cohorts was to incite the need for a recount before any election results were tallied, just in case Democrats were to win. Steve Baas, a Republican lobbyist, emailed former GOP Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, saying, “Do we need to start messaging ‘widespread reports of election fraud’ so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number? I obviously think we should.” Jensen replied, “Yes. Anything fishy should be highlighted. Stories should be solicited by talk radio hosts.” In a second email, Jensen went on to note that GOP Justice David Prosser “needs to be on talk radio in the morning saying he is confident he won and talk radio needs to scream the Dems are trying to steal the race.”

STORIES OF THE WEEK

COMMITTEE SPOTLIGHT: Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

63 Magazine
September 9, 2016

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) takes organizing seriously; you can hear the passion and excitement DLCC executive director, Jessica Post, has for organizing in her voice. She’s determined to dispel the misconception that the DLCC doesn’t focus on organizing as much as other Democratic Committees. In fact, the opposite is true.

While the DLCC works to help Democrats win state legislative seats and chamber majorities across the country, they work closely in partnership with states to put a strong emphasis on field outreach and organizing. Many of these districts will be won or lost by very small margins—margins that can be drastically influenced by the power of centrally organized, volunteer based, and data-driven field strategies.

Having learned the power of field through a long career of organizing, Jessica came to the DLCC in 2010 with a mission to create a centralized state legislative caucus field program. A mere six years later, the DLCC field program is robust. Led by national field director Graham Wilson, Grassroots Victory Program director Josie Bradley, and deputy national field director Reggie McCoy, the DLCC field team works directly with state legislative caucus field directors to train and develop organizing staff, implement and improve state programs, and provide guidance and support.

[Read More]

Guardian exposes John Doe documents; Lead manufacturer donated $750,000, pushed law change

Jessie Opoien, (The Capital Times)
September 14, 2016

An in-depth investigative report from the Guardian U.S. sheds new light on the relationships between Gov. Scott Walker and donors to the Wisconsin Club for Growth during the governor's 2012 recall election, raising questions about influence over at least one legislative effort that would have benefited one significant donor. ...

The report raises questions about legislative efforts to shield lead paint manufacturers from lawsuits seeking compensation for lead poisoning. The leaked documents show $750,000 in donations to Wisconsin Club for Growth from Harold Simmons, the owner of one of the United States' leading producers of lead used in paint until it was banned.

"In the same time frame" the donations occurred. Walked signed into law changes passed by the Republican-led Legislature that would have made companies like NL Industries effectively immune from compensation claims for lead paint poisoning.

According to one document cited in the report, a lobbyist for NL Industries suggested to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, which language should be used to make the effective immunity retroactive. The phrase suggested by the lobbyist is the one that was added to an amendment, which was passed and signed into law but later blocked by a federal court. ...

"But the point remains: had the new provisions been allowed to stand, they had the potential to save the company and others like it millions of dollars in damages," the report reads. ...

Documents previously released from the Doe investigation showed that mining company Gogebic Taconite had donated $700,000 to Wisconsin Club for Growth before the Legislature passed a bill softening environmental regulations on iron mining throughout the state.

[Read More]

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Missouri Loosens Guns Laws

The Daily Show, (Comedy Central)
September 14, 2016

A bill in Missouri eliminates firearm-training requirements and the need for gun owners to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The measure also enacts provisions known as a "Stand Your Ground" law and allows houseguests, like babysitters, to use deadly force against intruders.

COMING UP

November 8

Election Day - United States

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN

Abortion

OH: Ohio to fight ruling that state abortion regulation is unconstitutional - Cleveland.com
NY: Schneiderman: Supreme Court pre-empts New York law on abortion - Times Union
WI: Wisconsin Taxpayers Just Got Stuck Paying $1.6 Million for the State's Abortion Fight - Mother Jones
U.S.: Obama Moves To Protect Planned Parenthood Funding, Permanently - The Huffington Post

Guns

CA: Gun control initiative has strong support among California voters, poll finds - Los Angeles Times
FL: Guns rank high as election issue - Florida Sun-Sentinel
MO: Missouri Senate overrides bill allowing concealed carry without a permit - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
WA: Ferguson wants assault-weapon ban - Associated Press

Health Care

FL: Poll: 70% of Floridians support medical marijuana amendment - Florida Politics
GA: Phoebe Putney Health System backs ‘Georgia Way’ health care proposal - Albany Herald
MT: Proposal would help Montanans discern health care costs - Independent Record
SC: Clergy want ‘moral issues’ to be front and center ahead of election - The Post and Courier
TX: State, cities set to square off - Mineral Wells Index
U.S.: Public Option Health Care Is Slipping Through The Back Door - Newsweek

Labor

AZ: State Supreme Court upholds public employees’ pay for union work - Arizona Capitol Times
KY: Democrats rally around vulnerable House member - Associated Press
TX: Texas GOP lawmakers aiming to ban payroll deductions for union dues - Dallas News
VA: Bell amendment would codify 'right-to-work' status - Daily Press

LGBT

IN: Transgender man sues Mike Pence, other Indiana officials, for law barring non-citizens from changing their name - New York Daily News
NC: McCrory stirs a losing issue by focusing on HB2 - News & Observer
NC: N.C.A.A. Moves Championship Events From North Carolina, Citing Anti-Gay-Rights Law - The New York Times
NC: School leaders react to ACC’s decision to move events out of state - The Charlotte Observer
PA: LGBT protections evolve in Pennsylvania - Reading Eagle
WV: WV Senate candidates don’t want LGBT law like North Carolina’s - Charleston Gazette-Mail
U.S.: Legislation proposed to ban ‘gay,’ ‘trans’ panic defense - Washington Blade

Voting Rights

AL: Appeals court overrules federal election official on proof of citizenship for voting - POLITICO
GA: Appeals court overrules federal election official on proof of citizenship for voting - POLITICO
KS: Appeals court overrules federal election official on proof of citizenship for voting - POLITICO
MI: U.S. Supreme Court green lights straight-party voting in Michigan - Detroit Free Press
MO: Lawmakers override Nixon on gun, voter ID bills - Columbia Daily Tribune
NV: Nevada tribes: Unequal polling access violates voting rights - Associated Press
NC: NCGOP leader lobbied counties to offer just one early voting site in ‘confidential’ email - News & Observer
OH: U.S. appellate panel says some Ohio voting restrictions unfair, but restores others - Cleveland.com
OH: Supreme Court Leaves Ohio Voting Restrictions In Place - NPR
OR: Oregon 'motor voter' law powers 14% jump in voter registrations - The Oregonian
TX: Justice Department: New Texas Voter ID Rules Are Misleading To Voters - NPR
VA: Virginia governor defends latest felons' voting rights plan - Associated Press

CAMPAIGN UPDATES

CO: Sorority sister: State House candidate downplays her years on a controversial FratPAC - The Colorado Independent
CO: Campaign committees sitting on millions of dollars for state House and Senate races - The Colorado Independent
CO: Zenzinger v. Woods state Senate race heats up - The Colorado Independent
CO: Tom Sullivan Scaring The Hell Out of Senate Republicans - Colorado Pols
CT: Perpignan secures public financing for bid to unseat Perone - The Hour
DE: Schwartzkopf, incumbents cruise to primary wins - The News Journal
FL: Florida Conservation Voters endorses Bob Buesing in Senate District 18 race - Florida Politics
GA: Controversial presidential race overshadowing important LGBT Georgia races - Georgia Voice
IL: With backing of wealthy governor, Illinois GOP spending big - The State Journal-Register
KY: Democrats rally around vulnerable House member - Associated Press
ME: The ‘LePage effect’ looms in battle for State House - Portland Press Herald
MA: Majority Of Mass. Incumbents Win Primaries Unopposed, But Challengers Beat 2 Reps - State House News Service
MA: Democrat Denise Andrews drops out of race in 2nd Franklin House District - MassLive
MA: Conservative nonprofit won't send mailers this election cycle - Cape Cod Times
MI: The Uncampaign: Republican candidate in MI-52 just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks - Electablog
MI: House candidate Steve Marino retracts claims from secret recordings - Detroit Free Press
MN: MN Supreme Court: GOP House lawmaker disqualified from 4th-term bid - MPR News
MN: House candidate Nolan West deletes pro-Confederate, anti-Lincoln postings - Star Tribune
MO: Appeals court will not block Friday's do-over election for 78th District state rep race in St. Louis - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
MT: GOP chairman asks court to remove candidate from ballot - Associated Press
NV: Opponent questions brothel owner’s fitness for Assembly - Associated Press
NV: Legislator claims support for education package she opposed, touts phantom condemnation of Bundy - KTNV
NV: Sanders’ Our Revolution group endorses Owen Carver for Las Vegas Assembly seat - Las Vegas Review-Journal
NV: GOP challenger withdraws from east valley Assembly race - Las Vegas Review-Journal
NH: Full 2016 New Hampshire statewide primary election results - WMUR
NM: In the battle for the Legislature, lawmakers are important givers - New Mexico In Depth
NY: G.O.P. Voters Urged to Select Dead Assemblyman in New York Race - The New York Times
NY: New York State Legislative Primary Results - Gotham Gazette
NY: Niccoli, Small Endorsed By EMILY’s List - NY State of Politics
OR: Oregon House Democrats say Republican candidate lives outside district, is ineligible - The Oregonian
RI: Several recounts requested following Tuesday’s primary - WPRI
TN: Jeremy Durham expelled from Tennessee House in 70-2 vote - The Tennessean
UT: Senator Urquhart Resigns from the Utah Senate - Utah Policy

CONTACT

Carolyn Fiddler
National Communications Director
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee
fiddler@dlcc.org