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March 5th, 2016

Christie in trouble in New Jersey after endorsing Trump, Michigan’s broken government, and Idaho Senate backs online voter registration: US state blog roundup for 27 February – 4 March

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

March 5th, 2016

Christie in trouble in New Jersey after endorsing Trump, Michigan’s broken government, and Idaho Senate backs online voter registration: US state blog roundup for 27 February – 4 March

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

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

Northeast

On Monday, miscellany: blue writes that New Hampshire state Representatives are echoing the rhetoric of Donald Trump, and have been promoting ‘bogus’ news stories and racist memes via social media. 

Heading south to Rhode Island, RIFuture says that the negative ripple effect caused by the 2011 Rhode Island Retirement Security Act, which halts Cost of Living Adjustments for public sector pensions, will be felt across the state for years to come. They say that repealing the law should be an election year issue, no matter people’s political affiliation.

In the Empire State this week, State of Politics writes that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing both an increase in the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and a 12-week family leave program. They say that a key state Senate lawmaker, John Bonacic has commented that Cuomo could get one of the programs through the Senate, but not both.

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 west to New Jersey, Save Jersey reports that following Governor Chris Christie’s endorsement of Donald Trump, his approval rating has fallen to 27 percent. Christie’s endorsement of Trump has been pretty disastrous for Christie – PolitickerNJ says that several state newspapers, including the Star-Ledger, have called for his resignation.

In the Keystone State, PoliticsPA says that the state’s Democrats are nervous, but confident in Katie McGinty, who will face incumbent US Senator Joe Sestak in a primary election in April. 

South

In North Carolina, The Progressive Pulse looks at the state’s continually high rate of suspensions for black students, something an advisor to the state’s Board of Education has referred to as an “elephant in the room”. In the 2014-15 academic year, black students were suspended at a rate of 3 per 10 students, while white students had a rate of 0.71 students per 10.   

Better Georgia writes on Monday that the state’s Republicans have a KKK problem, after a state Representative and then a Senator made remarks that could be construed as supporting or condoning the organization. They say that given Donald Trump’s similar problems lately, now would be the perfect time for Peach State Republicans to evolve on the issue, rather than embracing a revisionist narrative.

Over in Alabama, Yellowhammer has the interesting news that according to a new study, the state’s residents watch more television shows about zombies than those in any other state.

Heading over to the Lone Star State, Burnt Orange Report says that since the Roe v Wade decision in 1973, the Texas legislature has passed over 18 laws aimed at restricting abortion access in the state.

Arkansas Times comments on spending on the state’s Supreme Court races, writing that TV spending alone topped $1.6 million, according to new reports.

Midwest 

On Tuesday, Plunderbund writes that the Buckeye State’s Republican Party is split wide as it can get, with State Auditor Dave Yost and US Senator Rob Portman disagreeing completely on whether or not to support Donald Trump if he gains the party’s nomination for the presidency.

Heading up to Michigan, eclecta blog says that the state’s government has been broken for decades, Why? The introduction of term limits in 1992 have meant that the only people who are willing to run for office are those who are either at the beginning or the ends of their career – and are often independently wealthy.

Governor Mike Pence of Indiana Credit: Gage Skidmore (Flickr, CC-BY-SA-2.0)
Governor Mike Pence of Indiana Credit: Gage Skidmore (Flickr, CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Last year, Indiana Governor Mile Pence attempted to prevent Syrian refugees coming to the Hoosier State due to fears about terrorism. This week, Indy Democrat blog has the news that Pence’s refugee policy has been overturned by a judge, who ruled it discriminatory.

On Wednesday, MN Progressive Project writes on how to fix Minnesota’s presidential caucus, given that ‘they always run out of ballots’, and there is a limited amount of time in which votes may be cast. They suggest some alternatives, such as allowing preference ballots to be submitted online or mailed in, rather than only being handed in during precinct caucuses.

Dakota Free Press reports this week that the state’s legislative candidates have praised the legislature’s veto by Governor Dennis Daugaard of a bill which would have segregated school bathrooms and locker rooms so that transgender students would have been unable to use them.

Moving north, Say Anything looks at what they say is a ‘steady stream of bad news’ for North Dakota’s Democrats, as another state Democrats – Senator George Skinner – seems to have opted out of running for Governor. 

West and Pacific 

On Thursday, Colorado Peak Politics accuses the state’s Democrats of hypocrisy, writing that while they would normally protest any proposal which would see local government take control of public lands, it is fine for it to take control of national forests for development, when the proposal is a Democratic one.

Blog for Arizona this week writes that the state’s GOP have continued their war on the state’s minimum wage by trying to push through a bill which would punish cities for setting their own minimum wage ordinances by cutting off the state’s revenue sharing.

Heading up to Idaho, Eye on Boise has the news that the state’s Senate has unanimously backed online voter registration in the Gem State. The move is likely to save money – online registration costs the state about 3 cents per voter, compared with paper costs of 83 cents.

Heading west, BlueOregon reports that Portland Mayoral candidate, Ted Wheeler had plagiarized major parts of his affordable housing plan from one of his rivals, Jules Bailey.

In the Golden State, the California Democratic Party held its state convention over the weekend. Calbuzz says that the state’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris had a very good reception, compared to her rival for the state’s open Senate seat, US Representative, Loretta Lynch. Staying in California, Fox & Hounds argues that efforts to increase the minimum wage in the state are ill conceived and reckless, and will soon have negative consequences for many of California’s small businesses. 

Featured image credit: Mark Goebel (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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