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December 1st, 2017

State of the States for 1 December: Georgia’s voter silencing, the worst Republican governor in America and the California Supreme Court’s ‘preordained’ decision  


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

December 1st, 2017

State of the States for 1 December: Georgia’s voter silencing, the worst Republican governor in America and the California Supreme Court’s ‘preordained’ decision  


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

USAPP Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, looks at the week in US state blogging.  


On Tuesday in the Granite State NH Labor News reports that state Republicans want to change New Hampshire’s labor laws to reduce what they say are regulatory burdens, such as restrictions on when children can work, and requirements to display wage and discrimination laws.

Meanwhile in Vermont, VTDigger says that a US Appeals court has referred a death penalty case back to the state, seeking more information from a federal judge as the case awaits retrial.

Blue Mass Group this week talks on inequality following the successful reelection of Boston’s Mayor, Marty Walsh. They say that while data on inequality is daunting, it’s important to get the facts right in order for the collective response to them to be strengthened.

Moving on to New York, State of Politics has the news that state Democrats have taken a ‘pre-emptive shot’ at Republican Harry Wilson, after Conservative Party Chair, Mike Long referred to him as the “strongest candidate” to replace incumbent Democratic Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Speaking of Cuomo, Capitol Confidential comments that recent moves in the state Senate to unite the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference with state Democrats have helped to fuel speculation that the Governor may make a run for the White House in 2020, as it may help to reinforce Cuomo’s credibility as a Democratic leader.

Continuing on to the Garden State, Save Jersey writes that State Senator, Democrat Jeff Van Drew has announced that he will run next year to replace retiring US Congressman from the state’s 2nd Congressional District, Frank LoBiondo. They say that, for those paying attention, this is no surprise, given state Republicans apparent complete lack of a succession plan. Staying in New Jersey, Blue Jersey reports that the ‘lame ducks’ in the state legislature are ‘quacking’; attempting to pass legislation prior to the end of the session in early January.


On Tuesday, Delaware Liberal suggests that the state’s Republican Party intends to make the Department of Education’s transgendered student policy the centerpiece of next year’s elections. They comment that opposition the policy, which prevents discrimination in schools because of their gender identity choice, will simply galvanize progressives even more to support it.

Moving on to the Old Dominion State, Blue Virginia reviews outgoing Democratic Governor, Terry McAuliffe’s record on the environment, determining that despite his recent statements promoting clean energy and on tackling climate change, in general he has not been a ‘climate champion’.

South Carolina’s FITS News discusses what they call #ProbeGate – a wide-ranging criminal investigation into corruption in the state’s government. They say that the three-year investigation may finally result in at least one trial, and that two prominent state lawmakers have already resigned over allegations of corruption.

On Wednesday, Better Georgia has the news that state House Minority Leader, Bob Trammell is fighting a law which would strip voting rights from more than a million residents who had either not voted or updated their address in the past three years. Staying in the Peach State, Georgia Pol talks on the upcoming mayoral runoff election in Atlanta to replace the term-limited Democrat, Kasim Reed. The argue that Reed will lose the election for himself as his hand-picked candidate, Keisha Bottoms, looks like she may not win following  a slew of endorsements for her opponent, Mary Norwood.

Continuing on to Florida, Florida Politics reports that the city of Orlando is contemplating an immigrant ‘trust’ resolution which would see the city’s mayor and council declare formally their existing policy that city and other officials will not get involved in immigration matters.

In Alabama this week, Yellowhammer says that a retired Marine Corps colonel, Lee Busby, has launched a write-in candidacy against Roy Moore and Doug Jones in the state’s upcoming US Senate election. They say that Busby could be trouble for the Republican Moore, whose lead has narrowed to single digits in the wake of allegations of historic sexual misconduct. 


On Monday, Indy Democrat Blog writes on state Democrats’ newly elected House Minority Leader, Terry Goodin. They comment that Goodin is one of the most socially conservative Democrats in the Indiana General Assembly.

Continuing on to Illinois, Capitol Fax has the news that because of the state’s poor economic showing, the conservative National Review has named Governor Bruce Rauner as the ‘worst Republican governor in America’.

In Wisconsin, The Political Environment argues that Governor Scott Walker and the rest of the state’s GOP establishment have ‘defamed’ the state’s environmental and conservation legacies by selling off parts of the state’s public resources to corporate interests.

On Monday, Bold Nebraska reports that the TransCanada company has asked the state’s Public Service Commission to reconsider its recent ruling that rejected the company’s preferred route for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Heading north, Dakota Free Press looks at proposals to increase state legislators’ pay, including ones which are based on the state’s GDP performance. They aren’t so convinced, arguing that tying increases to GDP means that raises would outpace real median household income growth.

In North Dakota, The Prairie Blog writes that Governor Doug Burgum needs to take responsibility for his own actions, rather than placing blame on a commission, following controversy over the approval of industrial water policy for the Little Missouri Scenic River. Staying in the Peace Garden State, SayAnything blog says that a spokesman for a ballot measure which would not only legalize marijuana, but would also seal and expunge past marijuana conviction records from the court system, would not lead to the release of those currently in jail on drug charges.

West and Pacific 

Colorado Peak Politics takes the state’s US Senator, Michael Bennet, to task for hosting a Facebook ‘town hall’; they comment that it seems to be okay for Democrats to hold these sort of town halls, but not for Republicans to do so.

Heading over to Idaho, Eye on Boise reports that, as state lawmakers begin to scrutinize lobbying, the state has not altered its $10 fee for lobbyists to register since 1974.

The Montana Post writes this week that the state’s at-large member of the US House of Representatives, Greg Gianforte, has broken the law ‘once again’ after he made an apparently false claim to law enforcement after documents were releases showing that he misled officers following his assault on a reporter back in April.

On Wednesday, Oregon Catalyst calls for the resignation of state Senator, Jeff Kruse, after allegations that he has sexually harassed and assaulted as many as 15 women who work in the state’s legislature.

Moving down to California, Flashreport argues that that a recent state Supreme Court’s decision in favor of an agricultural union in a dispute with a large grower was ‘preordained’, by Governor Jerry Brown and the state legislature’s Democratic supermajority which hold the Court’s purse strings.

Honolulu’s Civil Beat writes Monday on how democracy can be improved in the Aloha State such as improving public dialogue with government officials.

  • Featured image credit: Phil Whitehouse (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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