USApp Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, looks at the week in U.S. state blogging. Click here for our weekly roundup of national blogs.
In Maine this week, National Journal reports on the Democratic candidate Shenna Bellows challenging incumbent Republican Senator, Susan Collins. They say that Bellows has taken the unusual step of walking the 350 miles across the length of Maine as part of her Senate campaign. During her three and half week trek, she will be meeting and greeting potential voters across 63 communities.
Heading south to New Hampshire, Granite Grok writes on Wednesday that the state’s Democratic Governor, Maggie Hassan, is treating women like ‘stupid cows’, who cannot purchase their own birth control, after a Facebook post where she stated her disappointment after the Senate voted down a bill which would reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.
In New York State this week, Hit & Run writes that Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is being threatened by a primary challenger in the form of Zephyr Teachout, who has criticized Cuomo’s economic development policy as favors for businesses.
Moving on to the Garden State, PolitickerNJ writes on Wednesday that Atlantic City is once again betting that it can survive as New Jersey’s sole gambling mecca. They say that a new legislative package calls for a state-controlled gambling district in the city’s downtown, and overhauled casino regulation for the first time in decades. Meanwhile, Save Jersey writes that New Jersey Assembly Leader Jon Bramnick’s plans to introduce a constitutional amendment that would change the ways that the state redistricts every decade is the most worthwhile plan in the state’s history.
Moving west to Pennsylvania, PoliticsPA writes this week that Republican Governor Tom Corbett has both vetoed and signed the state’s budget for 2014-2015 by excluding $72 million in a line item veto that was intended to support the General Assembly.
On Monday, Washington’s City Paper reports that the D.C. council has voted to override outgoing Mayor Vince Gray’s budget, 12-1. They say that the budget dispute was over elements like cuts to streetcar funding, and restrictions on how future mayors could use the contingency cash reserve fund.
Heading south to North Carolina, Daily Haymaker writes that Renee Ellmers, one of the state’s Republican members of Congress is a ‘gift that keeps on giving’, after comments this week that male lawmakers need to bring issues ‘down to a woman’s level’. The sexist comments will no doubt help the campaign of Democratic rival, and American Idol contestant, Clay Aiken, who is running against her for the House seat in the fall midterm election.
National Journal looks at Tennessee and the Tea Party this week, writing that Joe Carr, the far-right faction’s favored Senate candidate in the state, is mostly going it alone because the focus is on Mississippi’s Senate race.
Last week a Florida Circuit Court Judge threw out the state’s congressional district map, which had been put together by the GOP controlled legislature. On Monday, SaintPetersblog writes that not much might change despite the ruling, as there is little time before the fall elections for anything to happen, and redrawn districts likely won’t help Democrats, as their voters tend to be concentrated in the state’s urban corridors.
In the Lone Star State this week, The Daily Signal writes that Texas Governor, Republican Rick Perry and Representative Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, have both strongly rejected President Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to respond to the border crisis. Perry has instead advocated that 1,000 National Guard troops be deployed along the border as a show of force. Redistricting was also in the news in Texas this week, as a panel of judges in San Antonio began a trial on claims that the districts passed by the Texas legislature in 2011 and 2013 violate federal law, writes the Brennan Centre for Justice. They say that the core argument for the plaintiffs is that the maps were discriminatory against African-American and Hispanic voters in violation of the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.
This week in Ohio, PoliticusUSA reports that incumbent Republican Governor John Kasich leads Democratic challenger Ed Fitzgerald by only 1 point, at 45 to 44 percent. They say that the state’s governor will be determined by who turns out to vote, and that if it looks more like the one that voted for President Obama twice, then Kasich will lose. Staying in the Buckeye State, Plunderbund writes on Thursday that Governor Kasich is being disingenuous when he quotes out of context from local business magazines that recent job announcement have been the largest in recent memory. They say that the job schemes in questions have not yet been implemented, and that the state is ranked 38th nationally in terms of job growth.
Heading west to the Badger State of Wisconsin, Caffeinated Politics wonders if the state could make legal history if the Supreme Court chooses to use a challenge to its ban on same-sex marriage to settle all other similar challenges across the U.S. Staying in Wisconsin, The Prairie Badger writes on Sunday that the state’s Democratic establishment is being hypocritical because it did not try to defeat two candidates who had criticized a former Democratic Governor and President Obama in previous years, but are now putting a ‘ton’ of energy into defeating Ernie Wittwer, who is running for the State Senate, after Wittwer criticized the ‘Chicago-style’ machine politics of some in the Democratic establishment.
In Iowa, Bleeding Heartland writes on Republican Governor Terry Branstad, who has made clear that he does not want any of the 50,000 undocumented immigrant children who are currently staying in crowded facilities next to the border. They say that it is depressing that the Governor has cited some charity work by his wife as an excuse not to do assist with the humanitarian crisis.
Crooks and Liars writes on Tuesday this week that the Democratic Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, this week vetoed a bill that would arm teachers, saying that putting more guns in schools might actually be bad for student safety. They say that the move will frustrate the state’s Republican legislature, who will be sure to override the veto once the state House and Senate reconvenes in September.
West and Pacific
On Tuesday this week, WyoFile makes a plea for the ending of the death penalty in Wyoming. They say that no one has been executed in the state since 1992, and that instead of being interested in finding alternative way to kill prisoners besides lethal injection (such as by firing squad), the state legislature should pass a measure to abolish the practice entirely.
Crooks and Liars reports this week that two Attorneys General in Utah have been accused of bribery and obstruction of justice charges, most of them felonies. They say that Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow served as the state’s top legal officials from 2001 to 2013.
In Arizona, Outside the Beltway writes on Wednesday that a GOP Congressional candidate, Adam Kwasman, has embarrassed himself this week by assuming that a bus was full of migrants from the Texas border, when it was actually full of children on an YMCA outing.
Much has been made of the plan put forward by multimillionaire venture capitalist, Tim Draper, to split the Golden State into six California’s. Fox & Hounds writes on Thursday that the plan would be a nightmare for the state, as the collective leverage that the public has over state-wide issues such as water, energy, and fiscal planning would be diluted. Staying in California, Outside the Beltway reports that on Wednesday a federal judge has ruled that the state’s death penalty is unconstitutional, because of the delay in carrying out the sentence – only 13 of the 900 sentenced to death in the state since 1978 have been executed.
Finally, in Hawaii this week, National Journal looks at the Aloha State’s Democratic Senate Primary, which turns on the ethnicity of the two candidates, Brian Schatz, who is white, and Representative Colleen Hanabusa, who represents the Japanese-American community. They say that dealing with ethnic groups in elections in Hawaii is complicated, as there is no monolithic ‘Asian-American’ vote, and that many, especially the young, now identify themselves as being mixed race.
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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