USApp Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, looks at the week in U.S. state blogging. Click here for our weekly roundup of national blogs.
The Lonely Conservative warns that gun confiscations are now underway in New York City, with owners of shotgun and rifles capable of holding more than five rounds having to surrender, alter them, or take them out of the city. Meanwhile, New York State of Politics covers an interview with State Assemblyman, Richard Gottfried, who is pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana.
In the neighboring state of New Jersey, a majority think that recently re-elected State Governor, Chris Christie is likely to run for President on the Republican ticket in 2016, according to PolitickerNJ. Most say that they wouldn’t mind if he had to spend time outside of the state whilst campaigning.
Maine’s Capitol Ticker reports on early polling for the state’s 2014 gubernatorial race, writing that the poll has unwittingly predicted that there will be – more polls.
On Tuesday, Democratic Massachusetts State Senator Katherine Clark defeated Republican Frank Addivinola in an election for the state’s 5th Congressional District. Smart Politics says that this is the 92nd consecutive loss in a House race for Republicans in Massachusetts – apparently Democrats have won 99.3 percent of all House contests since 1944.
PoliticusUSA covers comments from Virginia’s state Republican party chairman ‘predicting’ President Obama’s imminent death by assassination. They say that it is telling that no Virginia Republicans have condemned the comments, and that these sorts of statements must be investigated with extreme prejudice. Still in Virginia, Bearing Drift covers another case of inappropriate commentary, this time Republican state Senate candidate Wayne Coleman, who is reported to have said that ‘busing’ children for the purposes of desegregation, was the beginning of decline in some school districts. Meanwhile in the wake of the very close election race for Virginia Attorney General (and a potential legal challenge from losing Republican candidate Mark Obenshain), Blue Virginia says that the partisan state General Assembly should be the last place to determine the outcome of a contested election.
Over in North Carolina, Progressive Pulse says that the state ranks 45th in the U.S. in its funding programs to prevent children from smoking, and helping smokers to quit. Apparently the state’s tobacco prevention programs are funded at 1.1 percent of the level recommended by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Florida’s Shark Tank looks ahead to former Governor Charlie Crist’s bid to regain the Governorship of the state in 2014, saying that given his previous spending record he is running his campaign on a ‘mountain of lies and failures’, and that he is likely to raise taxes if elected.
Burnt Orange Report says that in Texas, a school has banned Hispanic students (which are more than 50 percent of the student body) from speaking Spanish. Meanwhile, Crooks & Liars says that there has been a 47 percent increase in the state’s child poverty rate between 2000 and 2011. On Monday, Caffeinated Politics previews a major primary Senate challenge by Republican Representative Steve Stockman against sitting Senator John Cornyn. They say that it will be an explosive battle, given that Stockman is a Tea Party candidate, while Cornyn represents the GOP establishment.
Left in Alabama covers the state government’s offer of a subsidy to the Boeing corporation via tax breaks and infrastructure investment for them to locate a new plant in the state. They say that this sort of corporate welfare shows the state’s priorities given that it rejected $2.1 billion in federal money to set up a state health insurance exchange that would have provided 30,000 new jobs.
Last week a judge ruled that the long-suffering city of Detroit was able to declare itself bankrupt. One possible funding source would be the controversial sale of the city’s art collection. Hit & Run says that the city should sell its collection (valued at nearly $900 million), to make a dent in its debt.
Progress Illinois reports that this week education activists in Chicago delivered lumps of coal and candy canes (in the Christmas spirit) to elected officials depending on their voting record on public education.
The Iowa Republican looks at alleged voter fraud in one of the state’s counties. They say that if Democrats were to give access to a voting eligibility database, then cases of voter fraud would be easier to identify.
Like Alabama to the south, Missouri is also keen on enticing Boeing to build a new assembly plant in the state. PoliticMO reports that state legislators have approved $1.7billion in incentives for the company, which already employs 15,000 people in the state producing military aircraft.
According Uppity Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker has compared his ban on public workers from bargaining collectively to President Lincoln’s ending of slavery.
Finally, Plunderbund reports on Ohio State Representative, Republican John Becker’s call for support for his bill that would prevent the state’s same-sex couples from filing individual tax returns.
West and Pacific
Looking at California, PoliticusUSA says that Governor Jerry Brown’s approval rating has soared to 58 percent, and that he also has a commanding lead over any potential Republican challenger for the governorship in 2014 – Brown is polling at 52 percent, the leading Republican, at 11 percent.
Daily Kos reports that the campaign for same-sex marriage in Oregon now has enough signatures to qualify to be on the November 2014 ballot, saying that it has a chance to make history as the first state to overturn a ban on same-sex marriage.
Over in Colorado, Red State reports that the state’s Obamacare health insurance exchange is a disaster, given that only 15,000 enrollments have occurred, when the original worst-case scenario was for just over 22,000 enrollments. Also in Colorado, Colorado Peak Politics argues that former Democratic Senator Angela Giron has only herself to blame (for not listening to her constituents) for a recent defeat in a recall election.
In Hawaii, Honolulu Civil Beat looks at the future of self-determination for the state’s indigenous peoples, arguing that more work needs to be done towards the goal of restoring the independence of the Nation of Hawai‘i.
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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