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November 23rd, 2013

California walks the line on fracking, Cheney vs Cheney, and socialist wins in Seattle – US state blog round up for 16 – 22 November


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

November 23rd, 2013

California walks the line on fracking, Cheney vs Cheney, and socialist wins in Seattle – US state blog round up for 16 – 22 November


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

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USApp Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, looks at the week in U.S. state blogging. Click here for our weekly round up of national blogs.


PolitickerNJ reports on a strange alliance in New Jersey, where Democratic Councilman Jorge Batista, having been knocked out of the mayoral election in a runoff now supports an independent candidate, who is also supported by the Republican Governor, Chris Christie.

On Thursday, New Hampshire’s state legislature was to vote on the expansion of Obamacare into the state. Granite Grok strongly opposes the measure, saying that it will lead to a new state tax, and increase the state’s reliance on the federal government.

In New York, the State of Politics blog looks at the higher tax agenda of the recently elected Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio. They say that de Blasio may find support from a Democratic faction in the State Senate, which he will need if he is to get the go ahead from Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is more likely to favour tax cuts than rises. 


This week saw a special election in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District, and a surprise win for Republican candidate, Vance McAllister. Roll Call says that his win is a surprise given that fellow Republican, and State Senator, Neil Riser, had been considered a near definite winner in the District, and had raised and spent more than McAllister.

Liz Cheney By Milonica  [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Liz Cheney By Milonica [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
In North Carolina, Hit & Run bemoans the banality of red tape in the state, saying that the state’s hospitals have been barred from buying potentially life-saving PET scanners because they have been refused permission by state bureaucrats. On similar lines, Civitas Review looks at the rise of ‘overcriminalization’ in state law, arguing that if no one person knows all the state’s laws, then state law may be too extensive.

With the Supreme Court’s blocking this week of new abortion restrictions in Texas, American Thinker wonders if the recently announced candidate for the state’s governor, Wendy Davis, will now talk about other issues. Meanwhile, The American Prospect, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision, says that things aren’t looking good for reproductive rights in the state.

In Florida this week, Republican Representative, Tret Radel, was charged with possession of cocaine, something that Roll Call says may put him in ‘Primary Peril’, given that the seat is safe for the GOP. Meanwhile, Hit & Run wonders why Radel’s casual drug use has raised so many eyebrows. Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist Better has had a far better week than Radel, with SaintPetersblog reporting that he has been able to fundraise $872,000 in just 13 days, ahead of his run for the governorship in 2014.

Virginia’s BearingDrift reports that a group of Virginia Republicans (who are frustrated at losing the governorship race earlier this month), are about to pick a fight with the state’s Tea Party, and will try to move to nominate ‘Republicans who can win’ in elections. Even though elections in Virginia were on November 5th, this week still saw the race for the Attorney General undecided, with only 164 votes separating the candidates. Blue Virginia says that even if Democrat Mark Herring (who leads by votes), is declared the winner, his rival, Mark Obenshain, could contest the result in the Republican dominated legislature, which could mean that ‘all hell would break loose’. 


Caffeinated Politics expresses frustration that the GOP-dominated Wisconsin State Assembly has decided not to vote on a resolution honoring the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting last year. 

In Illinois, Progress Illinois reports that supporters of limiting legislative terms in the state to eight years are halfway to getting their initiative on the ballot, by collecting 150,000 of the 300,000 signatures needed.

South Dakota War College looks ahead to the 2014 gubernatorial election, and wonders if Democrats are planning to challenge Republican Governor, Dennis Daugaard this time, since four years ago at this point; the previous challenger had already been in the race for four months.

In Missouri, PoliticMO says that the state is likely to execute its first inmate since 2011, now that the Governor, Jay Nixon, has denied clemency. Pentobarbital is set to be used in place of the normal three drug cocktail.

Indiana’s IndyPolitics reports that the leaders of the State Senate and House have stated that a proposed amendment to Indiana’s constitution, which would ban same-sex marriage, will be treated the same as any other piece of legislation. 

West and Pacific 

In Wyoming, Roll Call reports on the feud between Liz and Mary Cheney (both daughters of former Vice-President, Dick Cheney). Liz Cheney is running for the Senate in the state next year, and has been criticized heavily by her sister, for her opposition to gay marriage. They say that the despite adds another distraction to an already uphill primary challenge for Liz Cheney.

Credit: ltmayers Creative Commons: BY NC
Credit: ltmayers Creative Commons: BY NC

Via Meadia reports on new draft regulations on fracking in California. He says they look to be a ‘major boon’ for the industry, and give some balance to the concerns of environmentalists without ‘gutting’ the industry’. Still in California, Fox & Hounds looks at whether or not L.A. should be the state capital, given new research that finds that more isolated capital cities (such as Sacramento) can lead to greater levels of corruption. Meanwhile The Sacramento Bee says that while California is recovering from recession, it still has the second highest job distress rate in the country, a measure which includes the unemployed, and marginally attached workers.

Crooks & Liars covers the upset win of a socialist for a seat on Seattle’s City Council this week, writing that Kshama Sawant was able to defeat a 16-year incumbent by running on a platform of a $15 minimum wage, campaign finance reform, and a critique of inequality.

Blog for Arizona looks at an interesting map from the state’s Department of Education which allows people to see every school in an area, and its grade. They say that the map correlates very well with neighborhood income and other socioeconomic indicators. Still on education, but now in Hawaii, Honolulu Civil Beat looks at the success of a ‘failing’ school that teaches 2,400 students Hawaiian.

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Note:  This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of USApp– American Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics.

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