USApp Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, looks at the week in U.S. state blogging. Click here for our weekly roundup of national blogs.
This week, National Journal wonders whether or not former Massachusetts Senator, Scott Brown, can win over the people of New Hampshire for that state’s Senate seat. They say that Brown has an authenticity problem – people see him as an opportunist carpetbagger who just wishes to return to the world of Washington DC.
On Tuesday, Hit & Run comments on a recent column in The New York times which stated that affordable housing New York City is ‘very costly’. They say that while some new developments are nearly 90 percent cheaper than private developments, these savings are largely subsidized by taxpayers who fund them via tax credits. Staying in New York, Capital and Main writes that the Mayor,Bill de Blasio has recently stated that Walmart Stores do not belong in the city – in sharp contrast to his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, who welcomed them.
Moving east to Massachusetts, Blue Mass Group writes on Tuesday that despite the problems with the state’s Obamacare exchange, the percentage of the state’s residents who do not have health insurance is now less than 1 percent.
The Old Dominion State’s budget troubles continued this week, with the resignation of Democratic State Senator Phillip Puckett, in order to move on to a deputy director’s job at the state tobacco commission, writes Outside the Beltway. State Democrats say that the GOP has resorted to other means to eliminate the Democrats’ one-seat advantage in the State Senate. Without this advantage, the Governor, Terry McAuliffe may no longer be able to expand Medicaid coverage in Virginia.
This week, Roll Call’s At the Races looks at the impact of Congressional inaction on passing the long-proposed extension of unemployment assistance. They say that North Carolina’s tossup Senate race between Democratic Senator Kay Hagan and GOP challenger, and State Speaker, Thom Tillis is a key test of the importance of the issue. Hagan has backed the extension, while Tillis has taken a lead role in slashing benefits in the state.
Moving south to the sunshine state, Outside the Beltway reports on Tuesday that the state’s gubernatorial race is now a dead heat, and that Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s lead over current Governor, Rick Scott has evaporated. They say that Scott’s recent campaign of negative ads against Crist seem to have worked.
Meanwhile, lefinalabama reports that the state’s police departments have received a free $400,000 piece of military surplus: a Caiman Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. They say that across the state, counties are receiving expensive military surplus as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have wound down. They say that this has raised concern from both the ACLU and the Cato Institute about the increasing militarization of the police.
Last week saw a razor thin Senate primary result in Mississippi between establishment Republican Thad Cochran and Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel. United Liberty says that the result may help Democrats think that they have an opportunity to compete in the state in the November midterm election. Their message is that they should not bother, given how polarized it is, and the lack of campaign contributions for the Democratic challenger, Travis Childers.
On Wednesday, FreakOutNation writes on the Oklahoma Tea Party candidate, Scott Esk, who recently announced on his Facebook page that he would be in favor of executing homosexuals by stoning.
Burnt Orange Report takes a look at the Texas GOP’s platform on Tuesday, and denounces it as being ‘anti-women’. They say that while it purports to be ‘pro-choice’, it is in favor of cutting off public funding for abortions and those organizations that support it, as well as limiting access to the morning after pull and is against sex education other than abstinence.
On Sunday, Crooks & Liars looks at a rather desperate attempt by Michigan’s Republican Party to demonstrate that they ‘understand women’: three GOP House Representatives were photographed holding fashion magazines. Staying in the Great Lake State, Perrspectives argues that as it currently faces allegations of bribery in foreign markets and tax dodging, it would be a very good to time for Walmart to perform a ‘public service on a grand scale’. They say that Walmart should help bail out the beleaguered and bankrupt city of Detroit with a $5 billion check.
Moving west to the Badger State of Wisconsin, Daily Kos reports that a federal judge has declined to stay a decision on Friday which overturns the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. They say that such marriages are continuing to occur, though the judge may grant a stay to the ruling in the coming months.
In Iowa this week, Bleeding Heartland ponders what has caused the recent massive fall in turnout in the state’s Republican primary elections. They say that fewer than 160,000 cast votes in the Senate and gubernatorial primaries, while the same primary in 2010 saw more than 227,000 turn out to vote. Remaining in the Hawkeye State, Blog for Alabama takes a look at Iowa’s fourth congressional district. They say that the power of the local Republican Party means that it is essentially a one party district and that the incumbent, Steve King will be very hard to beat this fall.
On Monday this week, SayAnythingblog examines North Dakota’s long history of regulating intimate personal behavior. They say that in 2004, the state constitution was amended to limit the definition of marriage to a man and a woman but that an end to this status quo appears imminent, writing that those that believe in limited government should believe that relationships should be defined by individuals, not the state.
West and Pacific
This week saw good and bad news for Colorado’s legalization of marijuana. Informed Comment writes on Sunday that despite predictions to the contrary, crime in Denver has fallen by ten percent since the drug was legalized. Meanwhile, Outside the Beltway wonders if legal pot will hurt Denver’s chances of hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention, as Republicans may have concerns over what it might mean for the party’s image. In non-marijuana related news in Colorado, Red State reports on Monday that Democrats in the Centennial State this week approved a $13 million hike in order to fund the state’s Obamacare exchange.
Moving westwards to Nevada, Outside the Beltway reports that voters in the state’s Democratic primary for Governor were so unimpressed by the candidates on offer, that “none of these candidates” won the ballot with 30 percent of the vote. They say that while Robert Goodman won the nomination with 25 percent of the vote, this does not bode well for his chances against incumbent Governor Brian Sandoval.
Blue Oregon takes the GOP’s candidate for the state’s Senate seat, Monica Wehby, to task this week for not voting in the majority of elections. They say that in Oregon, people have three weeks to vote, and that it is one of the easiest places in the world to cast a ballot – meaning that Wehby’s claim that she was too busy to vote does not cut it.
In Idaho this week, Eye on Boise reports that six years on from when the recession began, the state’s budget is still below its 2009 level – $23 million less in fact, or 0.8 percent.
Finally in the Golden State, Fox & Hounds writes that a new study shows that California is the number one state for employee lawsuits, and that employers have a 42 percent higher chance than the average of facing one. They say that California’s laws allow and encourage these kinds of lawsuits, and it is yet another embarrassing ranking for the state.
Featured image credit: Curtis Perry (Creative Commons BY NC SA)
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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