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State of the States: QAnon Believers Are Dangerously Close to Power in Legislatures

State of the States: QAnon Believers Are Dangerously Close to Power in Legislatures

There’s a lot going on, so every Wednesday, the DLCC is sending a roundup of the state legislative stories you might have missed. It's September 9th and here is the state of the states.

For questions and suggestions, e-mail us.

ICYMI

  • New reporting by the AP shows that the GQP fad has permeated state legislative GOP candidates — including some running in competitive races in Arizona and Minnesota. Critical reminder: state legislatures are responsible for most of the policy that impacts your life. If the idea of someone who follows a conspiracy theory group that was classified as a domestic terror threat making our laws makes you nervous — us too. And don’t hold your breath waiting for the GOP to condemn it — that’s their base.
  • Explosive new comments from Trump show that he knew how serious coronavirus was in February and sought to downplay itand GOP legislators followed his lead every step of the way. Because of their unwavering loyalty to Trump, they failed to keep their states safe and they will be held accountable for it at the polls.
  • New data from Daily Kos shows where state Democrats can win in Kansas where Democratic Governor Laura Kelly is stymied by the hostile Republican legislature. Democrats only need to flip one state House seat to break the GOP supermajority, which would give them a voice in redistricting in 2021 and prevent the GOP from overturning Governor Kelly’s vetoes of outrageous and dangerous legislation.
  • The DLCC highlighted seven veterans who are running for state legislatures to keep serving their country. Donald Trump’s derogatory comments about American heroes who gave their lives for this country is just the latest evidence that for the modern Republican Party, there is no bottom.
  • In the past week, the DLCC released another round of Texas Spotlight candidates and Pennsylvania Spotlight candidates. With voters soundly rejecting the extremism of Trump and his right-wing legislators in the states, Democrats in Texas and Pennsylvania are poised to make big gains in the legislature.
  • This is Democrats’ best chance in decades to take back power in the Arizona Capitol — ten races could decide which party is in the majority, and you can bet Democrats are going to fight to win against right-wing and QAnon candidates.

GOP Fail

  • A North Carolina columnist slammed GOP state Senator Bob Steinburg for being a “sycophant for Trump who’s focused on “braying the party line” and promoting Trump’s “foolish ideas” — no matter how dangerous.
  • A four-term GOP legislator in New Hampshire advocated for looting and burning homes of Black Lives Matter supporters. Representative James Spillane is now under investigation by the state’s department of justice. The GOP summer of crimes continues...
  • Finally, a Republican spoke out about Trump making derogatory comments about veterans — to defend him. Arizona Senate candidate Wendy Rogers is confident that  Trump is “100% pro-military” and “has done more for the military & vets than any president in recent history.” That’s the real fake news.
  • In Maine, the Republican assistant leader’s PAC was accused of violating campaign finance law. Maine House Assistant Minority Leader Trey Stewart allegedly used PAC money to reimburse himself for clothes and new tires. Again, the GOP summer of crime…

Demcoratic Leadership

  • Pennsylvania Representative Malcolm Kenyatta tore into GOP lawmakers for making it more difficult to vote in November, saying “This shouldn’t be a contentious issue.” We’re looking forward to making sure Representative Kenyatta is in the majority next year.
  • During their special session, Democrats in Virginia are working to pass almost a dozen police reform bills. These bills will make it easier to hold officers accountable and better protect Black and Brown lives by prohibiting chokeholds and no-knock warrants, requiring police officers to intervene if another cop is using excessive force, and making it easier to decertify officers for misconduct. 
  • Three years after Texas Republicans passed a stripped-down version of Democratic Representative Garnet Coleman’s police reform bill, he’s on a mission to revive the sweeping reforms alongside the Texas Legislative Black Caucus.

What's Next

  • The vote-by-mail debate is more important than ever. Election voting started last week, yet Republicans are still pushing back against expanding vote-by-mail and making it easier to cast a ballot. While voting rights shouldn’t be a partisan issue, the GOP knows it’s the only way they can win.

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