By Geoffrey Montes on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 4:26pm
State Rep. Steve Moore (R-Macedonia) was sworn into the Georgia legislature just last week and already has proposed an alarming bill that puts residents in danger -- and according to him, there are more bills to come.
Barely a week into his tenure, Moore proposed HB 1033 in an attempt to undo the state's loitering laws, which help protect Georgia schools and day care centers from sex offenders. His bill would strip authority from police officers who believe a loiterer is posing a danger to children in a public setting. In defending the law, Moore claimed it should be school's responsibility to protect the children, not the legislature's. State Democrats were quick to condemn his proposal.
“This is what the Georgia Republican Party has come to,” said Democratic Chairman DuBose Porter. “And this is why they’re in trouble.”
One Democratic operative joked on Twitter that as of Friday, her party had garnered all of the attack footage it would need for all of the fall campaigns.
By Nathan Thomas on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 2:24pm
Candidate filing closed in Arkansas on Monday, and an early analysis by Talk Business' Michael Cook gives Democrats 50-50 odds of re-taking their state House majority this cycle:
After analyzing the House candidate filings, I believe that based on hard numbers, and a touch of opinion, which party controls the State House next year is basically a toss-up.
Based on past elections results, and who filed for office, I believe Republicans start off with 43 safe seats and Democrats start off with 42 safe seats. This means there are currently 15 seats that could be qualified as potential toss-ups.
By Geoffrey Montes on Friday, February 28, 2014 - 10:10am
Virginia state Senator Steve Martin (R-Chesterfield) posted an angry Facebook rant referring to pregnant women as a "child's host" after receiving a Valentine from a pro-choice group asking him to reconsider his position on issues relating to women's health. In the post, he attacked the group, saying their position was "nonsense" and he would "never" support them.
Formerly the chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee, Martin has a lengthy history of supporting efforts to restrict women's access to reproductive health care. He was a proponent of Virginia's mandatory ultrasound bill, and he also supports the fetal personhood bill that would make all abortions illegal and jeopardize many forms of contraception. Yet, thanks to the two special elections that put the chamber back in Democratic hands, Martin no longer chairs the Committee.
By Geoffrey Montes on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 5:00pm
-- Enhanced DLCC GVP Initiative Poised to Double 2012 Field Efforts, Broaden Opportunity for Democratic Success in 2014 Mid-Term Elections --
Following the electoral success it helped produce during the 2012 election season, the DLCC's Grassroots Victory Program (GVP) marks its entry into the 2014 mid-term election cycle with the launch of www.GrassRootsVictoryProgram.com. This organizer recruitment portal is among several enhancements designed to broaden the GVP’s ability to build and maintain state-of-the-art field programs for Democratic legislative candidates across the U.S.
“In 2012, the DLCC’s Grassroots Victory Program made the difference in key legislative races in Iowa, Nevada, Oregon, Arkansas, and elsewhere. The DLCC identified a need to provide battleground states with the field resources and infrastructure to win close campaigns on the margins, and the GVP was the centerpiece of our plan to fulfill that need,” says Iowa Senate Majority Leader Michael E. Gronstal, Chairman of the DLCC Board of Directors. “As we enter 2014, we will double the size and breadth of the GVP in order to secure even more Democratic victories in statehouses across the U.S.”
By Geoffrey Montes on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 12:05pm
State Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield (D-New Haven) scored a key endorsement from the New Haven Register this week in his special election bid for the state Senate seat in the 10th district.
New Haven and West Haven voters in the 10th state Senate district have an easy choice to make when they go to the polls Tuesday to elect a replacement for Toni Harp, who resigned in January to become mayor of New Haven.
State Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, a Democrat who briefly ran for mayor himself last year before dropping out of the race and endorsing Harp, deserves a promotion from the state’s lower house to its upper house.
Holder-Winfield is a smart, dedicated public servant who has served New Haven well in the House and was a viable candidate for mayor. He has approached issues from criminal justice to government transparency with great thought.
By Nathan Thomas on Friday, February 21, 2014 - 12:17pm
South Carolina Republicans have hit the trifecta: Cutting funding for education, reaffirming their anti-gay paranoia, AND appointing themselves Thought Police in their state's colleges and universities. As Andrew Shain at The State reports:
S.C. House budget writers voted Wednesday to take away nearly $70,000 from the College of Charleston and USC Upstate for having freshmen read books with gay themes.
And what specific "gay themes" have GOP legislators screaming about indoctrination? They include Fun Home, an award-winning 2006 autobiographical graphic novel about the author's upbringing in rural Pennsylvania.
By Geoffrey Montes on Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 10:01am
South Dakota Democrats seem well-positioned to defend their state Senate seats this November and potentially pick up another, thanks to two current House members who have filed early petitions to run. According to filing reports, Rep. Troy Heinert (D-Mission) is making a bid for the District 26 Senate seat. He would replace Sen. Larry Lucas (D-Mission) if elected.
In District 4, Rep. Jim Peterson (D-Revillo) is running to flip the seat now held by Sen. Tim Begalka (R-Clear Lake), who is retiring. Currently the Minority Whip, Peterson is a seasoned lawmaker with more than 12 years of experience. The final filing deadline for primary elections is March 25.
The November election will also give voters in the state the chance to raise the minimum wage, including an annual cost-of-living adjustment. The state Democratic Party spearheaded the ballot initiative so as to provide a fair and livable wage to South Dakota workers. GOP lawmakers have consistently failed to promote economic fairness, opposing efforts to put more money the pockets of hard working South Dakotans.
By Nathan Thomas on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 3:06pm
Utah Republican Rep. Jerry Anderson is a climate-denier, and he wants to world to know. In fact, Anderson is so anti-climate-science that he argues "we need more carbon dioxide, not less, in the atmosphere," and he recently sponsored legislation to make it easier to pump ozone-busting CO2 into the atmosphere. Along with a couple other things:
HB229 narrows the definition of the term "air contaminants," clarifying that "natural components of the atmosphere," including nitrogen, oxygen and other stable, or noble gases, are not pollution. Anderson’s bill would prevent the establishment of state standards for carbon dioxide below atmospheric concentrations of 500 parts per million.
Anderson was quoted as arguing that "[CO2] Concentrations reached 600 parts per million at the time of the dinosaurs and they did quite well." Anderson then predicted that under his bill, Utahns would do equally well in the long run. But that's not all.
By Geoffrey Montes on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 10:33am
Last year, North Carolina Republicans passed sweeping changes to the state's public education system, resulting in detrimental effects on teachers and students. The legislative package included ending teacher tenure, eliminating classroom size caps, and discontinuing salary bumps for those with master's degrees. Many teachers in the state have decried such changes, marching on the state Capitol and staging a walk-in prior to the school day. NPR recently discussed the damage this is doing to education in the Tar Heel State:
By Geoffrey Montes on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 4:00am
In 2013, Republicans in Arizona passed HB2305, a sweeping bill that severely restricted voting rights.
But wait a minute – they’ve changed their minds. Is it because a broad coalition of opposition groups secured enough signatures to put this law in front of voters?
Yes. But now the Arizona GOP isn’t happy.