WASHINGTON – Today, The New York Times reported on the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee’s newest plans to weaken GOP supermajorities and protect Democrat governors’ veto power in states with split partisan control. In Kansas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, gerrymandered districts have kept Republican legislators locked in power while governor races have put Democrats in office. When a state legislature has a supermajority in both chambers, they can override a Governor’s veto and bypass the executive branch of government entirely when formulating legislation. This significantly weakens the Governor’s ability to provide a check on the legislature, and, in some cases, allows the state legislatures to govern to their extremes.
The New York Times outlined our strategy to build Democratic infrastructure in these states and combat extremism in these Republican-majority state legislatures with Democratic governors.
From The New York Times:
- “Democrats are planning to spend millions of dollars next year on just a few state legislative elections in Kansas, North Carolina, Kentucky and Wisconsin — states where they have little to no chance of winning control of a chamber. Yet what might appear to be an aimless move is decidedly strategic: Democrats are pushing to break up Republican supermajorities in states with Democratic governors, effectively battling to win back the veto pen district by district.”
- “The extraordinary political dissonance of having a governor of one party and a supermajority of an opposing party in the legislature is one of the starkest effects of gerrymandering, revealing how parties cling to evaporating power.”
- “The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has committed ‘more than seven figures’ of its initial $60 million budget for 2024 to breaking up these four supermajorities, with the caveat that redistricting efforts in North Carolina and Wisconsin could shift resources.”
- “‘Republicans in these legislatures are not moderate,’ [DLCC interim President Heather] Williams said. ‘They are governing very extremely, and we need a stopgap, and it is critical that governors have veto power where their legislature and their legislative maps are so gerrymandered.’”
The work to break supermajorities in these states is part of the DLCC’s larger “Path to the Majority” program – aiming to build state infrastructure across the country and put Democrats in control of a majority of legislative chambers by 2030.
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee interim President Heather Williams issued the following statement:
“Building power in states with Republican supermajorities begins with early investments in state infrastructure and making progress one district at a time. The work we do in Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Kansas this year will be critical to ensuring that fundamental freedoms, like access to an abortion and voting rights, are protected and puts us on the path to undoing some of the country’s worst gerrymanders. As we enter the new year, the DLCC has a robust plan to win power in the states. 2024 is the year of the states and the DLCC is leading the charge to build Democratic state infrastructure across the country.”