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State of the States: Republicans Are Actively Courting the QAnon Vote

State of the States: Republicans Are Actively Courting the QAnon Vote

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 April 14th, and here is the state of the states.

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  • Emerging American Majorities, a nonprofit affiliated with the DLCC, launched a six-figure digital campaign in Arizona, Nevada, and Virginia about how progressives at all levels of the ballot are delivering results for Americans — starting with the American Rescue Plan.


  • The American Rescue Plan offered states billions of dollars as an incentive to expand Medicaid, but Republicans — who control the legislatures in the 12 states that haven’t expanded the program — are still resisting. At this point, it’s clear that they are actively opposed to giving millions of their constituents access to affordable health care. 


  • Between QAnon and outlandish misinformation about the pandemic, Republicans are increasingly becoming the party of conspiracy theorists. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently asked all 139 GOP members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly if they believed in QAnon or that the coronavirus was a hoax, and not one of them was willing to go on the record to reject these dangerous lies. But this is hardly the first time they’ve shown how out of touch with reality they are.


  • The Arizona Senate GOP’s ridiculous election “audit” has barely begun, but it’s already apparent that it is a deeply compromised political stunt and a complete waste of time and money. The Republican caucus hired a firm owned by a noted “Stop the Steal” supporter to conduct the audit, and new reporting by the Arizona Mirror details further links to election fraud conspiracy theories. Auditor Doug Logan wrote an “election fraud facts” report for U.S. senators who tried to overturn the election, and a host on One America News is even raising money to fund the audit. 


  • Instead of legislating on important issues like navigating COVID recovery or giving people access to health care, Republican lawmakers are focused on waging a ridiculous “culture war” against LGTBQ+ equality, transgender rights (which will severely harm transgender kids’ mental health), reproductive freedom, and gun control. Can they not see the bigger picture?


GOP Fail

  • Some of Michigan’s biggest employers came out strongly against GOP-led bills that would restrict voting rights. Michigan Republicans are on notice: if they pursue this voter suppression legislation, they could cost their constituents their jobs.


  • The GOP’s heartless crusade against trans youth just cost their states the NCAA’s business. The organization announced it won’t host any events in states targeting transgender athletes — and there are a lot of red states trying to pass those cruel bills.


  • When talking about his opposition to automatic voter registration, Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson said he didn’t want “woke” college students to vote. Take a wild guess on what party he belongs to. (Answer: the GOP).


  • A Republican lawmaker compared his anti-abortion crusade to the fight to end slavery. When his comments rightfully fueled outrage, he stood by them, adding “I never spoke positively of slavery.”


  • Republican lawmakers in Idaho are taking the time to hear from a group called Move Oregon’s Border For a Greater Idaho, which is proposing that conservative Idaho absorb three-quarters of Oregon.


Democratic Leadership

  • Maryland Democrats overrode the Republican governor’s veto to enact sweeping police reform. They became the very first state to repeal the so-called “police bill of rights” — and also set higher standards for using force, restricted no-knock warrants, mandated body cameras, and increased transparency and accountability in law enforcement.


  • Virginia Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn has a record-breaking $1.75 million on hand after raising more than $580,000 in the first quarter of the year. Democrats are off to an excellent start in maintaining control of the Virginia House.


  • Washington Democrats passed legislation to extend the right to vote to people convicted of felonies who have served their time. At the same time, many other Democratic states are considering similar legislation in a clear juxtaposition of Republican voter suppression efforts.


  • In Vermont, the Senate took a huge step to protect abortion in a stark contrast to Republican-led legislatures’ attacks on reproductive rights across the country. 


  • Washington is likely going to be the first state in the nation to provide lawyers for low-income tenants facing eviction — marking a huge step in establishing rights for renters.


What’s Next

  • As legislative sessions wrap up, continue to look for Democrats passing legislation to expand voting rights, improve health care, and reform criminal justice — while Republicans are going to keep bullying trans youth, passing anti-abortion laws, and enacting massive voter suppression.