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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. 

Northeast

In New Hampshire this week, Granite Grok writes that the Republican Senate candidate is now on the record as supporting out of state voters ‘stuffing’ local ballot boxes. This comes after Brown was quoted in an interview as saying that out of state voters should ‘come on over’, and cast ballots for him anyway. While his campaign has stated that he was joking, they say that he was not – given the likelihood that his staffers from outside the state will be voting him in November.

Press conference with Zephyr Teachout and Rob Astorino Credit: Michael Johnson (Flickr, CC-BY-2.0)

Press conference with Zephyr Teachout and Rob Astorino Credit: Michael Johnson (Flickr, CC-BY-2.0)

Heading west to the Empire State, Capitol Confidential reports on the debate this week between the GOP candidate for Governor, Rob Astorino, and Zephyr Teachout, who has yet to face the absent incumbent Democratic Governor, Andrew Cuomo, in a primary election. They say that both candidates spent less time debating one another, and more time criticizing Cuomo, especially over his involvement in the Moreland Commission scandal.

In New Jersey, Blue Jersey covers Governor Chris Christie’s visit to Mexico this week. They say that the trip will be a good one, if he increases trade between Mexico and New Jersey, and may shore up the Latin American vote for his potential 2016 presidential run.

Pennsylvania’s Republican Governor Tom Corbett is the most vulnerable Governor in this year’s election cycle, writes Crooks & Liars. They say that despite spending millions on advertising, he is still far behind his Democratic challenger, Tom Wolf, who holds a 25 percentage point lead, according to recent polling. Staying in the Keystone State, PoliticsPA writes that the Republican Governors Association this week donated $3.5 million to Corbett’s campaign, on top of the $1.8 million they previously sent his way. They write that while Corbett may be struggling, he has not been abandoned by his friends.

South

This week saw the conviction of former Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell on 11 charges of public corruption, tied to his and his wife’s relationship with a donor. On Friday, Blue Virginia looks at the winners and losers from McDonnell’s conviction. State Senator Chap Petersen tops the winners, who called for the McDonnell to ‘come clean’ as early as July 2013. State Senator (and Senate Leader) Dick Saslaw tops the losers, for his belief that Virginia does not need any ethics laws.

On Monday, SaintPetersBlog reports that GOP Governor Rick Scott is to ‘barnstorm’ Florida with his $1 billion tax cut proposal, in his first major salvo against his Democratic challenger (and former Governor), Charlie Crist. They say that his tour is also designed to remind people of Scott’s record of lowering spending and cutting taxes.

On Saturday, PoliticusUSA reports a significant blow to the reelection campaign of Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. They say that his campaign manager, Jesse Benton, has resigned amid allegations of his involvement in a bribery scandal, and that this creates the image of a sinking campaign for McConnell who is facing a strong challenge in the form of Alison Grimes.

The long running saga of Chris McDaniel’s challenge to the June 24th Republican Senate primary in Mississippi came to a seeming end this week, when a judge dismissed the lawsuit McDaniel filed in an effort to overturn the election result, reports Outside the Beltway. They say that the judge stated that McDaniel’s attorneys waited too long, 41 days, after the runoff to file the lawsuit, as the ‘law regime’ requires 20 days. They say that even if McDaniel’s lawsuit had continued, he was not going to win, as his assertion that primary voters must support in the general election whom they supported in the primary, is unenforceable.

In Louisiana this week, Daily Kos writes that a judge has ruled that marriage is for heterosexual parents only. They say that U.S. District Court judge, Martin Feldman, has accepted the anti-equality argument that has failed in many other states.

Credit: Eric Richardson (Creative Commons BY NC SA)

Credit: Eric Richardson (Flickr, CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0)

Daily Kos also covers the latest battle in a fight over Texas’ voter identification laws. They say that the Lone Star State’s stringent 2011 law which requires voters to present government issued photo identification is being challenged by the Department of Justice under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

Midwest

This week the Buckeye State, Daily Kos reports that a Federal District Judge has ruled that Ohio cannot end or restrict early voting in the three days before all future elections. They say that ruling is a setback for GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted, who has pursued an ongoing program of voter suppression since 2011.

Heading west to Indiana, Indy Democrat Blog looks at the twitter feed of the Mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard. They say that Ballard’s tweets covering job commitments in the city and record attendance levels at WNBA games belie the fact that the city is deep in the middle of a crime wave. They say that Ballard should be the city’s biggest cheerleader, and realist, and that he is missing a real opportunity to connect with local residents via social media about what’s really going on in the city.

In Illinois this week, Hit & Run writes that the Prairie state is racing against California for one of the country’s biggest pension disasters.  They say that the Illinois Teachers Retirement Service is facing a large funding gap, brought on by unions’ challenges to attempts to reform the pension system.

Uppity Wisconsin writes on Saturday on the ‘awful truth’ of Republican Governor, Scott Walker’s Wisconsin. They say that despite his slogan that the state is ‘open for business’, the state is facing huge deficits, lags in job creation, refused to expand Medicaid and teachers are quitting public schools because of Walker’s ‘union-busting law’. They say Wisconsin is actually going out of business.

Continuing west, Taking a Left Turn in South Dakota writes on Labor Day that The Mount Rushmore State has little respect for laborers. In November, voters will be consider a ballot initiative seeking to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 – something they say will benefit many in the state.

This week Kansas hit the national spotlight, with the surprise pulling out of the Democratic candidate for the Senate, Chad Taylor, threatening what might have otherwise been a relatively easy win for incumbent Republican Senator Pat Roberts. RedState reports that the Secretary of State, Kris Kobachhas said that Taylor must remain on the ballot, less than 24 hours after Taylor filed papers to withdraw. They say that with Taylor still on the ballot, the likelihood that Independent candidate, Greg Orman, will be able to beat Pat Roberts is significantly reduced, as many Democrats will still instinctively vote for Taylor.

West and Pacific

In the Centennial State this week, Colorado Peak Politics writes that incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall has been labelled ‘extreme’ by the bipartisan group, Crowdpac. They say that this may make things difficult for Udall, as his challenger, GOP Representative, Cory Gardner, has been shown to be less extreme, more bipartisan, and less likely to be ‘bought’ by outside donors.

Heading over to Idaho, Eye on Boise writes on Monday that the involvement of the Tea Party is liable to make Republican Governor, Butch Otter’s race harder. They say that Tea Party voters are threatening to not vote or vote for the Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff in protest for abandoning his previously stated principles.

In the Silver State this week, Nevada Progressive is gratified to hear the news that the Tesla car manufacturer has decided to spend $5 billion in Northern Nevada to build its massive new factory. They say that while the factory will provide more than 6,000 jobs, it will still cost the state $400 million in corporate welfare, which is not a sustainable business plan for the future.

On Tuesday, Fox & Hounds decries the proposed ban on plastic and paper bags in the Golden State. They say that the bill to ban the offending bags threatens the 160 manufacturers in California that employ 5,000 workers. They say that manufacturing in the state is already losing out to the rest of the country, which has accounted for only 1.1 percent of U.S. manufacturing job growth since 2010. This week also saw the first (and only) gubernatorial debate in California between incumbent Democrat, Jerry Brown, and his Republican challenger Neel Kashkari. Calitics writes on Thursday that the debate got ‘feisty’ as the two sparred over Brown’s record on schools and the state’s job market. Roll Call covers the Chamber of Commerce’s surprise endorsement this week of Freshman California Representative, Scott Peters. They say that Peters is the one of the few House Democrats to be supported by the conservative group, in what will be a very costly and competitive House race. The Chamber has stated that Peter’s re-election will “help produce sustained economic growth, help create jobs”.

Featured image credit: Stuart Seeger (Flickr, CC-BY-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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