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


In the Empire State this week, Capitol Confidential writes that GOP gubernatorial candidate, Rob Astorino has described Governor Andrew Cuomo’s meddlings into the workings of the Moreland Commission on corruption as akin to the ‘intimidation’ of a ‘mob boss’. Cuomo shut down the Commission earlier this year after it began to investigate his office, despite his previous assurances that its remit included the New York State executive. On Friday, National Review’s Campaign Spot suggests that Governor Cuomo is having a ‘very bad morning’. They say that the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara has threatened to investigate the Governor for possible obstruction of justice or witness tampering. In New York City this week, The Feed reports that Democratic Mayor, Bill de Blasio, has released details of previously promised major savings in healthcare costs. They say that his plans contain some good ideas, surprisingly, such as pushing municipal workers to use more walk-in clinics rather than emergency rooms and ordering generic drugs.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Credit; Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons BY SA)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Credit; Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons BY SA)

Heading south to New Jersey, Daily Kos writes that Republican Governor, Chris Christie is breaking his promise that the state would keep the pensions of its public workers funded. They say that Christie’s state budget is a mess, and with his eyes on the 2016 presidential race, Christie is targeting public workers in order to win conservative kudos.Staying in the Garden State, Blue Jersey pulls Governor Christie up on another unkempt promise – to lengthen the school day and year. They say that Christie’s $5 million proposal for an innovation fund to look into expanding school district learning times was an absurdly inadequate amount for it to have been a meaningful pilot program.

In Pennsylvania this week, PoliticsPA says that the Washington Post has named Governor Tom Corbett the most likely to lose his job come the midterm elections in November – for the thirteenth month in a row.


Hit & Run reports this week that a federal judge has ruled that Washington DC’s ban on carrying firearms outside the home is unconstitutional.

Heading south to Virginia, National Journal writes on Monday that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Virginia has struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage, ruling it to be unconstitutional. They say that the judgment upholds an earlier ruling that the ban violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

In the Peach State this week, the Monkey Cage says that while the nonwhite population in Georgia is growing, it is far too soon for the state to be ‘going purple’. They say that the demographic change that Georgia is experiencing has yet to have much, if any, effect on its status as a ‘red state’.

In Mississippi this week, Y’all Politics writes that the ‘McDaniel hostage crisis’ is into its 36th day. They refer to Tea Party Senate hopeful Chris McDaniel, who lost a primary election to incumbent Senator Thad Cochran in June, and looks set to challenge the result. They say that only McDaniel can end the ‘circus’. Staying in the Magnolia State, Daily Kos says that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that keeps the state’s one remaining abortion-providing clinic open, because closing the clinic would unconstitutionally transfer the state’s obligations to provide legal abortions to other states.

Moving down to the Lone Star State, Burnt Orange Report says that Texas has been ranked the 10th most expensive state for energy, and number one for greenhouse gas emissions. They say that both of these titles are down to a lack of investment in infrastructure to lower traffic congestion, which would lower pollution levels. They also say the fact that Texas’ state leaders actively deny climate change means they deny any attempt by the federal government to mitigate the problem.


On Thursday, Hit & Run writes that Detroit’s recent water crisis (where residents who have unpaid water bills are in danger of being cut off) has brought renewed attention to the city’s plight. They say that the city emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s, appointed by GOP Governor Rick Snyder, solutions of spending cuts and privatization has rankled some on the left who claim that an African-American city is being controlled by a Governor largely elected by white voters.

Heading west to Illinois, The Daily Signal writes that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has sought to quell controversy over the city’s re-light cameras. They say that the Mayor has announced that 9,000 drivers would be allowed to contest their red-light tickets after an investigation found that the city was purposefully manipulating the system to get more tickets in certain places and certain times. Staying in the Prairie State, National Review’s The Campaign Spot says that Governor Pat Quinn is facing an uphill battle to keep his job in the face of GOP candidate Bruce Rauner. They say that a Rauner win (who has a 14-point poll lead) could create coattails that might help the Republicans take the state house.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Credit: Gateway Technical College (Creative Commons BY NC ND)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Credit: Gateway Technical College (Creative Commons BY NC ND)

In Wisconsin this week, The Feed reports that the state Supreme Court has ruled in favor of GOP Governor Scott Walker’s landmark law which strictly limits collective bargaining rights for public sector unions. They say that while Walker’s re-election this fall is anything but certain, public sector unions in other parts of the country that are locked in similar disputes will be concerned at the ruling.

Smart Politics looks at the race for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. They say that this year the state’s GOP has the chance to flip the same seat in three consecutive election cycles, something that has not happened in the North Star State for 66 years.

PoliticusUSA writes on Monday that Republicans in Kansas are lying about the effectiveness of tax cuts. The GOP claim that Governor Sam Brownback’s tax cuts have created jobs, but they say that the claim is based on incorrect figures, and that the state is going bankrupt as a result of the cuts.

In North Dakota this week, The Political Carnival says that fracking in the state may very well be producing radioactive waste. They say that this is appalling, and is made worse by the fact that the state lacks an environmental protection agency.

West and Pacific

In the Centennial State this week, Preserve the Beartooth Front writes that the fact that a county judge in Boulder, Colorado struck down a ban on fracking may actually be good news because the approach is all-or-nothing. They say that the oil and gas industry would do much better if they compromise and agree to the regulation of their activities at local level. Staying in Colorado, ColoradoPols says that despite dire warnings from Republicans that gun safety bills passed by the state legislature last year would cause a crippling boycott of the state’s tourism industry, 2013 was a banner year for tourism in the state.

On Friday, Hit & Run looks at why Washington State’s Congressional delegation is in favor of the Import-Export bank. They say that one of the Bank’s biggest beneficiaries is the Boeing aircraft manufacturer, which is located in the state.

Heading south to the Golden State, Fox & Hounds wonders if anyone covers the news in California’s capital, Sacramento. They say that given that the California government is one of the largest outside of Washington DC, the number of reporters covering lawmakers and agencies in the capital is startlingly low. Someone who is being covered by the media is Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, who this week spent a week job-searching whilst homeless, writes Hit & Run. They say that while Kashkari did sleep on park benches, the fact that he had a camera crew in tow may have affected his job inquiries. He currently polls at around 33 percent compared to incumbent Governor Jerry Brown’s 55 percent.

In Hawaii this week, Roll Call’s At the Races says that Democratic Senator Brian Schatz is trying to distance himself Governor Neil Abercrombie ahead of the state’s Democratic primaries. They sat that Schatz may well win the nomination, while Abercrombie may lose his own.

Featured image of Neel Kashkari, credit: propublica (Flickr, CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

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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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