USAPP Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, looks at the week in US state blogging. Click here for our weekly roundup of national blogs.
On Wednesday, miscellany: blue looks over the previous week in New Hampshire politics, reporting that conservative activists are demanding that the GOP state chair, Jennifer Horn, resign after she publically criticized Donald Trump for running a what she referred to as a ‘shallow campaign’.
The big news out of New York this week was the conviction of former state Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver on corruption charges. Times Union reports that despite his conviction, Silver is still in line to receive an annual pension of around $90,000. They do note that US Attorney, Preet Bharara may well seek Silver’s pension as restitution payment. Staying in New York, State of Politics has the news that Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio recently met to mend the fences between the two men. They say that the meet signals a potential thaw in relations between the two Empire State politicians which went cold after de Blasio criticized Cuomo in July for siding with state Senate Republicans over the city’s agenda.
On Tuesday, Save Jersey comments that new data shows that at 22 percent, the recent election in the Garden State had the worst turnout in more than 90 years, something which they attribute to voters’ perceived lack of choice. Staying in New Jersey, PolitickerNJ has the news on Thursday that Assembly Democrats have failed in their bid to override Governor Chris Christie’s veto of a public safety gun bill.
Moving over to the Keystone State, Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf stated this week that if the State Senate votes to expel Attorney General, Kathleen Kane from office, he will do the same, writes PoliticsPA
On Monday this week, Delaware Liberal argues that the First State is also a police state, given the ability of its police to seize the property, money and valuables of those they believe are connected to drug-related crimes. They write that Delaware was the only state which refused to release how much money it seizes and how it is spent.
Seventh State takes a look at Marylanders’ views on immigrants using the results of a 2012 state referendum on whether or not voters wanted to keep the Maryland Dream Act in place. They say that those who voted no on the referendum question were much more likely to vote for the then GOP Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney and the now Governor Larry Hogan.
Moving south to North Carolina, Wataugawatch has the news that a state House Bill which meant that the state’s voters would only be able to choose to retain a current Supreme Court justice or not, rather than choosing a candidate, has been challenged in court as being an unconstitutional infringement of voters’ rights.
On Tuesday, Saint Peters blog says that a judge who is in charge of a case to redistrict the state’s Senate may ‘just pick one’ of the proposed new maps, as opposed to combining elements of different proposals.
According to Yellowhammer, taxpayers in Alabama must now pay an additional $51,000 to Planned Parenthood, following a court settlement where the organization sued the state for terminating its Medicaid contract. The court decision reinstates Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding and awards the group legal fees.
This week, Burnt Orange Report writes that hundreds of thousands of Texans have self-induced abortions, a statistic that reinforces the feeling that the political environment in the Lone Star State is moving back to one that existed prior to abortion’s legalization.
Eclecta blog writes Tuesday that Michigan state Senate Republicans’ attempt to cut the minimum wage for 18 and 19 year olds is still going strong – and still wrong. They say that the state already has a youth minimum wage for those under 18, and a further reduction for those who are older is unnecessary, especially given that some will have families to support. Staying in the Great Lakes State, RightMI argues against tax breaks for a new data center in the state, given that there are already at least 28 existing facilities in operation there – something that hardly makes it ‘an entirely new industry to Michigan’ as the company which wants to build the center has claimed.
Heading down to the Hoosier State, Indy Democrat blog calls for the state’s General Assembly to address the LGBT civil rights question in the state by adding “gender identity, sexual orientation” to the state’s anti-discrimination law.
On Wednesday, Progress Illinois says that Cook County Attorney Anita Alvarez has rejected calls for her to resign over her handling of the Laquan McDonald case. McDonald was shot in October 2015 by a Chicago police officer, with dashboard camera footage of the shooting only coming to light last month. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week fired Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy over the case.
Moving north to Wisconsin, The Political Environment says that the state’s Republican Party has called a bill which caused 15,000 people in the Badger State to lose food stamps a ‘win’.
Say Anything blog comments this week that North Dakota’s state Democrats have now descended into ‘self-parody’, in their criticism of the state’s US Senator, Heidi Heitkamp, when she is the only Democrat to have had a victory in a statewide ballot since 2008.
West and Pacific
The western US had the unfortunate distinction of being the site of two mass shootings over a period of one week – the first at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and the second on Wednesday in San Bernardino, California. On Monday, Colorado Peak Politics writes that the state’s Governor, John Hickenlooper, along with Planned Parenthood, wasted no time in politicizing the tragedy in Colorado Springs by trying to link pro-lifers to the shooting.
On Tuesday, Idaho’s Eye on Boise reports that Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn two recently passed state laws which ban women from receiving abortion inducing medication via telemedicine, arguing that it creates an undue burden on women seeking abortions.
Over in Washington State, Strange Bedfellows comments that this week’s reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank in Congress will be helpful for the state, which is where the Boeing aerospace corporation is based.
Heading south to California, Political Blotter has a roundup of state politicians’ reactions to the killings in San Bernardino, while Fox & Hounds wonders if Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom will be on the winning side of history by continuing to push for a ballot measure in 2016 which asks for expanded background checks for all firearms purchasers and tighter stolen gun disclosure regulations.
On Wednesday, Honolulu Civil Beat has the news that the US Supreme Court has blocked the counting of ballots in a Hawaii election to elect delegates to a Native Hawaiian convention on self-governance. They say that the block will remain in place until the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals makes a ruling on a challenge to the constitutionality of the election.
Featured image credit: Courtroom One Gavel (Joe Gratz)
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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