Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

State of the States (Week of July 13th, 2016)

State of the States (Week of July 13th, 2016)

For the Week of July 13th



“The DLCC is committed to building Democratic legislative majorities across the country, and our investment in Georgia reflects the state’s competitiveness up and down the ballot this year… The DLCC is excited about Georgia’s potential.”

DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post reaffirmed the DLCC's investment in helping Democrats win Georgia legislative seats this fall. Georgia Democrats have raised more than $2 million for this campaign cycle, while the Georgia GOP remains "mired in debt and grappling with legal issues." House Minority Leader and DLCC Board member Stacey Abrams has been working to register voters and recruit and train Democratic candidates to join the state House ranks. With Republicans plagued by Donald Trump's down-ballot toxicity and a changing electorate disillusioned with the GOP, Democrats are ready to turn the capitol blue in 2016.

"Part of that decision [to pass the bill] is the fact that [Sen. President Andy Biggs, R] has very well trained us. He’s punitive in his nature, and if we didn’t follow along, we would suffer the consequences."

Arizona state Representative Kelly Townsend (R) expressed regret regarding the passage of a 2015 Arizona human services bill that strictly limited welfare aid to poor families with children. Earlier this month, Arizona became the first and only state to limit families who qualify for the Temporary Aid to Needy Families program to only one year of assistance. Townsend expressed her dissatisfaction with the bill in a recorded panel discussion and divulged how the bill came to pass. According to Townsend, the bill "belonged" to former Republican Senate President Andy Biggs, and he used punitive and heavy-handed measures to ensure Senate Republicans fell in line behind the controversial measure. Townsend stated the need to revisit and amend the legislation, saying it prevents program administrators from taking into account an individual's circumstances.


Georgia Democrats near cash parity with GOP, which struggles with debt

Greg Bluestein & Aaron Gould Sheinin, (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
July 12, 2016

Georgia Republicans may roll their eyes when their Democratic counterparts claim Georgia may turn blue this November. But there’s one big area where the two rival parties have reached parity: money.

Democrats have raised $2 million for this campaign cycle, a figure boosted by some big checks from out-of-state donors keen to fund the party’s grass-roots machinery. And the Georgia GOP, while maintaining a slight cash advantage thanks to an uptick in donations, is still mired in debt and grappling with legal issues. The party’s ledgers remain a fraction of what they were just a few election cycles ago.

For Democrats eager to prove Georgia could be competitive thanks to changing demographics and disillusionment over Donald Trump, fundraising reports filed earlier this month with the state ethics commission are another encouraging sign. They’ve trumpeted every political prognostication that shows Georgia in play — and every Trump misstep that could turn off moderate voters.

National organizations are noticing. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the party’s national arm devoted to winning state legislative races, has contributed to the political action committee of House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta. Abrams’ PAC, GeorgiaNext, is devoted to helping elect Democrats to the statehouse.

“The DLCC is committed to building Democratic legislative majorities across the country, and our investment in Georgia reflects the state’s competitiveness up and down the ballot this year,” DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post said. “The DLCC is excited about Georgia’s potential.”

Abrams’ pack has also received $100,000 from Democratic financier George Soros and an additional $75,000 from major labor unions. GeorgiaNext has funneled $82,000 back to the state party. The party reported having $212,000 in cash on hand as of June 30, the end of the second quarter. Abrams’ PAC, which raised nearly $650,000, reported having about $24,000 in cash on hand.

Organized labor, long a mainstay of the Democratic base, sees Abrams’ work to register voters and to recruit, train and support candidates as an important step toward making Georgia competitive again.

“The Democratic Party of Georgia and Stacey Abrams are laying a strong foundation for statewide victories this cycle,” said Lonnie Stephenson, the president of the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers.

[Read More]

Oregon expects to automatically register more than 200,000 new voters ahead of November election

Hillary Borrud, (The Oregonian)
July 1, 2016

Oregon is on track to sign up more than 200,000 new voters in the first seven months of the state's automatic voter registration system, the Secretary of State announced Friday.

Most of those voters — approximately 120,000 — will be registered through the second phase of the program, in which the Secretary of State's office identified eligible voters who visited the DMV in 2014 and 2015. County clerks are now registering those people to vote. Under the first phase of the law, the Secretary of State's office and county clerks were already registering people who visited the DMV this year on a rolling basis.

"It is clear that Oregon Motor Voter is changing the nature of voter registration in Oregon as we know it," Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins said in a statement Friday. "With completion of the second and final phase of implementation for the program, I'm looking forward to Oregon Motor Voter becoming the norm for Oregonians."

Lawmakers passed the automatic voter registration law in 2015, and it took effect in January. The law, which is the first of its kind in the nation, was a top priority for Gov. Kate Brown going back to when she was secretary of state. Under the law, the state registers people who are eligible vote after they obtain or renew their driver's licenses, permits or identification cards at the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division. California, West Virginia and Vermont have since passed automatic voter registration laws, and lawmakers in Illinois sent a bill to their governor in mid-June.

Molly Woon, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State's office, said the November general election will be a key test of turnout among automatically registered voters because the election will be open to unaffiliated voters and therefore more of "a level playing field." Closed Democratic and Republican primaries in May meant the majority of automatically registered voters, who did not select parties and were signed up as unaffiliated, could not vote in presidential and other partisan races.

"There's certainly a lot of interest in Oregon and across the country about that turnout in November," Woon said.

[Read More]


August 2

Primary Election - Kansas
Primary Election - Mississippi
Primary Election - Missouri
Primary Election - Washington
Special Election - Texas HD-120

August 4

Primary Election - Tennessee

August 9

Primary Election - Connecticut
Primary Election - Minnesota
Primary Election - Vermont
Primary Election - Wisconsin



IL: ‘Unprecedented’ law blocked, Planned Parenthood takes aim again - The Indiana Lawyer
PA: Pennsylvania Senate nears vote on new abortion restrictions - Associated Press
WI: Planned Parenthood calls for Wisconsin abortion law’s repeal - Associated Press


MN: Minnesota political leaders react to Castile shooting - Minnesota Public Radio
TX: Texas Open-Carry Laws Blurred Lines Between Suspects and Marchers - The New York Times
WA: New gun restriction could be headed for Washington ballot - The Seattle Times

Health Care

UT: Court order requires Utah to continue funding Planned Parenthood - The Washington Post


GA: ‘Keep Georgia Schools Local’ coalition takes aim at Nathan Deal’s school takeover bid - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
GA: Unions rejoice after federal judge strikes down Georgia labor law - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
WA: Initiatives on minimum wage, gun control, bathrooms could all be on Washington ballot - The Spokesman-Review


AR: Legislative Panel Approves Religious Opt-Out For Arkansas Counselors - UALR Public Radio
FL: David Richardson: An open reply letter to John Stemberger - Florida Politics
MI: Michigan attorney general aims to block federal transgender guidelines - Detroit Free Press
MS: Hood Won't Appeal HB 1523 Ruling - WCBI
WA: Initiatives on minimum wage, gun control, bathrooms could all be on Washington ballot - The Spokesman-Review
U.S.: With Hail of Lawsuits Pending, Americans Divided on Bathroom Bill [Charts] - Business 2 Community

Voting Rights

IA: Branstad: Voting is a privilege, not a right - The Des Moines Register
KS: State board limits votes of 17,000 Kansans missing citizenship proof; Kobach-initiated process called ‘appalling’ - Lawrence Journal-World
MD: Md. congressional districts violate First Amendment, lawsuit says - The Washington Post
MO: Nixon vetoes voter ID bill, Republicans vow to override - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
NC: NC voter ID case will go to trial in state court this fall - The News & Observer
OR: Oregon expects to automatically register more than 200,000 new voters ahead of November election - The Oregonian


CA: It will be Democrat against Democrat in Assembly race - Marin Independent Journal
FL: Ana Rivas Logan drops out of state Senate race - Miami Herald
GA: Shifting of campaign funds by 4 Georgia congressmen raises questions - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
IL: *New House GOP TV attack ad - Chicago Tribune
KS: A look at the races that could change the balance of power at the Statehouse - Lawrence Journal-World
KY: Legislative caucuses spend heavily in special elections, defense of incumbents - CN2
ME: Top legislators’ PACs reap thousands from key donors - Portland Press Herald
ME: Portland Republicans to hold caucus to select Senate District 27 nominee - Portland Press Herald
MA: 4 statewide questions make 2016 Massachusetts ballot - Mass Live
MI: Inkster councilman chosen to succeed late lawmaker - Detroit Free Press
MO: Top Senate Democrat resigns to fill vacant administrative law judge post - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
NE: GOP’s Paolino now in run for open Senate Dist. 17 - The Valley Breeze
NE: Two will challenge Archambault for District 22 seat - The Valley Breeze
NY: Corwin won’t seek re-election to Assembly seat - Buffalo News
NY: SD-6: Hannon Foe Knocks Double Dipping - State of Politics
NV: Judge dismisses GOP Assembly hopeful's election challenge - The State
NV: Democrats continue to extend registration lead across the board - Ralston Reports
OH: Ohioans won't see Libertarians listed on their fall ballots - The Herald-Dispatch
PA: Republican Chris Quinn wins special election for 168th House District - The Inquirer



Carolyn Fiddler
National Communications Director
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee