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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 New Hampshire this week, Granite Grok writes that Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, currently in a midterm race against Republican challenger Scott Brown is an ‘extremist’ after she voted for an amendment to the Constitution which would control political speech, because she believes that ‘money is not speech’. They say even though she has this belief, she is unlikely to give back the millions she has received from interest groups.

Late paying your taxes in Vermont? The state’s government may be about to shame you. VTDigger reports on Monday on a plan from the Green Mountain State’s Department of Taxes to publically name the top 100 individuals and 100 businesses have tax bills more than 90 days overdue. They say that other states have made similar moves with success.

Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo Credit: Diana Robinson (Flickr, CC-BY-2.0)

Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo Credit: Diana Robinson (Flickr, CC-BY-2.0)

This week New York State held its Democratic Gubernatorial primary, with the incumbent, Andrew Cuomo beating challenger Zephyr Teachout by 30 points. On Thursday, Wonkblog writes that despite losing by that margin, Teachout can still claim victory as she brought her ‘old fashioned populist’ platform to the attention of the media and voters, for a fraction of the cost of Cuomo’s campaign. Daily Kos writes that the primary also marks the end of Andrew Cuomo’s presidential ambitions. They say that Cuomo’s underperformance in the primary (he spent $61 for each vote to Teachout’s $1.60) undermines his strategy of getting big wins in the primary and general election. During the primary, Cuomo was criticized by some for avoiding debating with Zephyr Teachout. State of Politics writes that Cuomo expects to debate his Republican opponent Rob Astorino, though this may be complicated by the potential desire from other candidates to be included as well.

Heading to New Jersey, Save Jersey looks at Republican Governor Chris Christie’s trip to Mexico last week. They say it appears to have been a success in that Christie looked presidential by meeting with Mexico’s head of state, and because his big-business fundraisers like the trade agenda he was pushing. They say that, on the other hand, Christie’s perceived softness on illegal immigration may mean that many conservatives do not trust him on the issue. Meanwhile, SaveJersey reports that Christie this week stated that despite the underfunding of the state’s pensions system by $40 billion, there is no ‘imminent danger’ that pension payments will not be made.


This week, The Daily Signal reports that in Virginia, 250,000 people are set to receive notices that they will lose their health insurance plans will be cancelled by the end of the year because they do not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They say that those who lose their plans can buy another that does comply with the ACA, but that these are likely to cost more.

Heading south to Georgia, Peach Pundit writes on Thursday that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has decided against putting any further money into the Senate campaign of David Purdue. They say that NRSC has already invested more than $2 million in Georgia’s Senate race, and is now focusing on other races that it thinks are winnable between now and the midterm election in early November. Staying in the Peach State, Crooks & Liars writes on Friday that this week Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, has expressed concerns that Democrats are registering minorities in the state, and subpoenaed the record of a voter registration group in response. They say that this is part of Kemp’s plan to suppress the registration of minority voters – and not for the first time.

Former Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist Credit: Neon Tpmmy (Creative Commons BY SA)

Former Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist Credit: Neon Tommy (CC-BY- SA-2.0)

Continuing down to Florida, SaintPetersBlog looks at the Governor’s race between Democrat Charlie Crist and Republican Rick Scott. They say that according to the latest polls, Scott’s lead is only 0.6 percent – very close to what would require a recount if the polls were reflected in the election.

In the Magnolia State this week, Y’all Politics says that Chris McDaniel, currently challenging the June result of a GOP Senate primary that saw him lose to incumbent Senator Thad Cochran, needs to decide whether or not he will seek reelection to his Jones County State Senate seat. They say that McDaniel needs to decide how to stay relevant, and may feel that the State Senate seat is too small for him after his Senate bid. They advise him to seek reelection for the Georgia Senate, serve his constituents if reelected, and keep an eye on running for higher office in the ‘distant future’.

Something like the Truth writes this week on what they say is the ‘sad demise of the Louisiana Democratic Party’. They say that is disappointing to learn that the state’s Democratic Party had endorsed former Governor Edwin Edwards for Congress, given his sorry legacy of corruption that say him spend eight years in a federal prison.

On Friday, The Arkansas Project argues that the executive sessions of the state’s government bodies need to be more accountable – they are currently exempt from scrutiny under the Freedom of Information Act. They say that this lack of accountability means that executive sessions are ripe for abuse by public officials.


This week in the Hoosier State, Masson’s Blog reports that Indiana’s Supreme Court has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a review of the 7th Circuit Court’s ‘blistering opinion’ that the state’s marriage protection law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

Moving north to Michigan, eclectablog writes on Tuesday that Representative Gary Peters of the state’s 14th Congressional District debated an empty chair after his GOP opponent, Terri Lynn Land declined to share the stage with him. They say that Peters leads Land in most polls, despite her massively outspending the Congressman.

In Wisconsin this week, The Prairie Badger wonders if Democrat Mary Burke, if elected as Governor this year will ‘drop the bomb’ on Wisconsinites, in the way that Scott Walker did in 2011. They refer to Walker’s busting of public sector labor unions that opposed him in the 2010 elections, and write that Burke could strip more public unions of collective bargaining rights as well as cutting funding for public education and social services. On Monday, Daily Kos writes that recent polls show that Governor Scott Walker is in trouble as the election approached. They write that Burke leads walker 48 to 44 percent, meaning that Walker is in the fight for his political life.

This week in the Hawkeye State, Bleeding Heartland gives three reasons as to why it’s too early for Iowa’s Democrats to start celebrating an early voting lead. They say that while there are some signs that the party has an advantage in the number of absentee ballots requested, the numbers so far requested are not large in absolute terms, the GOP has time to make up ground, and they don’t know how likely to vote the Democrats that have requested ballots are.

PoliticMO reports that the Missouri State Legislature voted this week to override Democratic Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that would increase the state’s 24 hour waiting period for abortions to 72 hours. They say that the measure will enact one of the toughest restrictions in the country, and does not include an exemption for victims of rape and incest.

Last week saw the Democratic Senatorial candidate for Kansas, Chad Taylor try to take his name off the ballot, opening up incumbent Republican Senator Pat Roberts to a challenge from the Independent, Greg Orban. Taylor’s attempts to withdraw from the race have been frustrated by the state’s Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, who has refused to remove it. Daily Kos writes that the Kansas Supreme, at the request of state Democrats, will now hear the case.

West and Pacific

This week, Wonkblog looks at new revenue figures for recreational marijuana sales in Colorado.They say that recreational sales have now surpassed sales of medical marijuana, and that total revenues from taxes, licenses and fees was over $7 million in June. Roll Call’s At the Races writes on Wednesday, marijuana is still ‘too hot to handle’ for politicians in Colorado, with neither side using it as a political weapon, despite its legalization still being in conflict with federal law.

Moving north to Montana, The Flint Report wonders why state Democrats have ‘muzzled’ their Senate candidate, Amanda Curtis, focusing on her ‘message discipline’ rather than running an ‘interesting campaign’.

On Sunday, Eye on Boise writes that Idaho’s invalidated ban on same sex marriage is heading to an appeals court, as the state pushes to overturn the U.S. District Court’s May decision that it violates the Constitution. They say that GOP Governor Butch Otter has stated that he is ‘firmly committed to upholding the will of the people and defending our constitution’, which includes the ban.

Blog for Arizona is highly critical of the state’s ‘unconstitutional experimentation’ with a two-tiered voting system. They say that the system lets people who do not provide voter identification only vote in federal races (and not statewide ones). They say that the system has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but has only been used by 21 voters statewide.

In the Golden State this week, Flashreport writes that during a recent debate between incumbent Democratic Governor Jerry Brown and challenger, Neel Kashkari, Brown attempted to smear Kashkari, a former banker as being beholden to his ‘friends on Wall Street’. They say in response that Brown is the king of taxpayer bailouts, as he has presided over ‘corrupt courts’ that have denied activists from their chance to get pension reforms onto the ballot, meaning taxpayers have to foot larger bills.

Featured image credit: Rich Renomeron 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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