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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. 


Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Vehicle on patrol in Afghanistan Credit: Devil Brigade (Creative Commons BY NC SA)

Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Vehicle on patrol in Afghanistan Credit: Devil Brigade (Creative Commons BY NC SA)

Hit & Run looks at the latest equipment to be acquired by police departments in New York State – $500,000 ‘Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected’ vehicles. However, these are surplus to Department of Defense requirements, and were given to them for free.

Outside the Beltway would like to introduce is to the most vulnerable governor in America, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania.  The Republican is apparently 12-20 percent behind his potential Democratic challengers in polling ahead of the 2014 gubernatorial race.

The Save Jersey blog covers a recent episode of The Simpsons which caricatured recently re-elected Governor, Chris Christie. They say that this shows that Christie is by no means going to get a ‘free pass’ by the media, should he decide to run for President in 2016.

Meanwhile, Delaware is risking holding faulty elections, according to Delaware Liberal, which says that the state’s voting system (based on antiquated voting machines) may be largely incapable of providing a recount, should one be needed.

Rhode Island Public Radio looks at recent comments by Providence Mayor (and Democratic gubernatorial candidate) Angel Taveras that he plans to institute pre-Kindergarten for all the state’s eligible children. He aims to pay for this via cutting $90 million worth of state overtime payments.


On Monday, Outside the Beltway reports that Mark Herring has finally been declared the winner in the Virginia attorney general’s race, by a mere 165 votes (out of 2 million cast). He says that despite his victory, his rival, Republican Mark Obenshain, may well request a recount or move to contest the results in the state’s General Assembly.

Meanwhile, Daily Kos has a fascinating in-depth look at what an independent state of Appalachia might look like demographically, and politically.

In Texas, Brain and Eggs looks at Texas Republican Congressman Steve Stockman’s ‘money problem’ – it seems that he has not reported all of his business affiliations in his financial disclosures for 2013.

Last week Florida Congressman Trey Radel was charged with cocaine possession. This week, StPetersblog says his timing to enter a rehab program couldn’t be better, as there are only eight more legislative days in 2013, and so his staff should be able to handle most of his routine Congressional duties.

Over in Georgia, Peach Pundit says that the state has added nearly 72,000 jobs since the beginning of the year, the eight highest in the country.

At the end of October, the 5th Circuit Court reversed the injunction on abortion restrictions, meaning that Texas clinics were forced to cancel appointments. Burnt Orange Report looks at two clinics in the state that have been able to restore services, with their practitioners receiving admitting privileges in local hospitals. 


Meanwhile, South Dakota War College looks at why no-one believes the states Democrats anymore; saying their recent claim that $550,000 was stolen from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development was inaccurate, as the funds had been only ‘misused’.

Credit: momentimedia (Creative Commons BY NC ND)

Credit: momentimedia (Creative Commons BY NC ND)

Hit & Run writes that may be one of the first cities to ban e-cigarettes, via a city council proposal, to be voted on in December, which will apply tobacco-like restrictions to them. They wonder if the city can hope to reduce people’s cigarette usage, whilst at the same time banning the alternatives.

Michigan’s eclectablog says that the state’s Republicans are about to let a controversial initiative go through which would require women to buy extra health insurance to cover abortions. They claim that this is more evidence of religious conservative’s ‘war on women’ in the state.

Uppity Wisconsin looks at the continuing clouds surrounding Governor Scott Walker, focusing on recent ‘John Doe’ leaks to Republican websites, and an inquiry into GOP campaign practices in the 2011/12 state recall elections. Still in Wisconsin, The Prairie Badger says that the current Democratic candidate for Governor, Mary Burke, is the ultimate ‘inside the beltline’ candidate – that is, she is guided by polls and money. 

West and Pacific 

Roll Call looks at Alaska’s two Dan Sullivans (both Republicans) – one is running for Senator, and the other, Lieutenant Governor. 

Hit & Run reports that the latest likely rule change on marijuana consumption in Denver which would eliminate the so-called ‘smell test’, meaning that people would have more freedom to smoke it. The previous rules meant that many were unable to, even on their own properties. Still in Colorado, Red State reports that state Senator Evie Hudak has resigned in the face of a recall election that, had she lost would flip the state’s senate into the GOP’s control. They say that this is evidence that gun-control activists cannot protect their own. ColoradoPols looks at new rules from Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, who has announced that the oil and gas industry will need to capture 95 percent of pollutants and methane. Not surprisingly, the state’s Oil, Gas, and Petroleum associations are unhappy about the new rules.

In Los Angeles, the Unified School District has hit upon a new tactic for classroom discipline – removing police citations for common misbehavior, according to Hit & Run. California’s Flash Report takes the recent announcement that the state’s government will be running a surplus in 2014 to task, arguing that not only are tax and growth projections too high, the state still has massive unemployment insurance fund and retiree health benefit debts. Still in California, Fox & Hounds says that a Sacramento court has ruled against the state government issuing nearly $9 billion worth of bonds to construct a high speed rail system.

Blog for Arizona takes a close look at the state’s ‘muddled’ border policy, writing that despite various initiatives for tighter security at the border, the economic factors pulling illegal immigrants towards the state – and the country – will not soon go away.

Hawaii’s Honolulu Civil Beat looks at a new project to build more wind turbines on Oahu’s North Shore.  The project, to add 15 more turbines (42 have been built already), has met with resistance from local residents.

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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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