With the Halloween season in full swing just under a month until Election Day, things are getting SPOOKY. Ghouls, goblins, GOP lawmakers — there’s a lot of scary stuff in the states, so the DLCC is helping you catch up on all of the state legislative stories that have been haunting us this week. It’s October 14th; scream into the void of the weekend with a frightful roundup of state stories from across the country… if you dare!
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- With Election Day rapidly approaching, here is some record-breaking news from the DLCC: the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and its affiliated organizations raised nearly $9.9 million in the third quarter of the year, reaching a cycle total of $45 million at its fastest pace ever. The DLCC had its best online fundraising day of the cycle in Q3 on September 30th, demonstrating growing momentum for state legislatures. These numbers show strong support for state Democrats, but the DLCC still faces an uphill battle against rampant Republican spending.
- America’s most-watched reality show, MAGA Island, returns this week. Which Republican threat to democracy will couple up with former President Trump and his MAGA cronies? Will it be Iowa Senator Chris Cournoyer, who refused to disavow baseless claims about the 2020 elections and attacked the question as being “from the Democratic party’s [sic] playbook”? Or could it be Republican Arizona House candidate Christian Lamar who told the Arizona Republic this week that his top priority is to “ban Dominion machines, ban duplicate ballots, [and] decertify/nullify Biden’s 2020 AZ electors?” Or will it be surprise newcomer Vermont House candidate Joe Gervais, who revealed during a debate he traveled to DC on January 6th to “pray” and continues to insist the election was “not free and fair?” Tune in to dlcc.org/threats next week for his debut —- and the other MAGA contestants joining him in the Threats to Democracy villa.
- Here is a quick roundup of how Republicans’ cruel abortion bans are playing out across the country. A reminder: the GOP’s cruel bans not only threaten lives and livelihoods — they are preventing some cancer patients from receiving life-saving care. Late last week, judges halted Republican abortion bans in Arizona and Ohio. In Arizona, where abortion is shaping up to be a huge factor in the midterms, its Civil War-era law that would almost completely ban abortion was blocked, and Ohio’s heartless six-week abortion ban was paused — which is good news for the majority of Ohioans who support a state constitutional right to abortion. In other news, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered the state to stop enforcing the state GOP’s abortion ban, and GOP U.S. Senate nominee Don Bolduc said that abortion decisions “belong” to the “gentlemen” in New Hampshire’s GOP legislature. Frankly, yuck.
- Remember when Colorado Senator Kevin Priola ditched the Republican Party because of their rampant extremism and climate change complicity? Well, since then, Republicans have responded with absolutely no soul-searching about why Priola left their party and have instead decided to mount a shamefully disingenuous recall effort against him before November’s election. This week, a Denver District Court paused the GOP’s politically-motivated recall, putting a wrench in Colorado Republicans’ desperate attempt to tip the scales and take the Senate. Colorado Democrats will not let Republicans’ dirty tricks distract voters from the MAGA GOP’s dangerous agenda that threatens the economic and reproductive freedom of millions.
- With less than a month until Election Day, the hyper-conservative Supreme Court sided with the RNC and Pennsylvania Republicans in their attempt to block counties from helping Pennsylvanians correct minor errors with their mail-in ballots. Last week, a lower appeals court had thrown the attempt out, rightly pointing out that the minor discrepancies that Republicans were pouncing on were “immaterial.” Quick reminder that Republican state lawmakers ushered in mail-in voting in 2019, but ever since MAGA lies have taken hold of the GOP, those same lawmakers are now hell-bent on making it harder for Pennsylvania’s voices to be heard and for their ballots to be cast.
- The MAGA Republican radicalism was on full display this past weekend as the twice-impeached former president held rallies in Nevada in Arizona. In Nevada, where Trump’s election lies and extremist rhetoric have inspired costly and potentially inaccurate hand counts of ballots, and election-denying Republicans are running for state legislature, Trump spread even more election conspiracies during his rally and even bragged about the size of the violent insurrection on January 6th. In Arizona, it was more of the same — Trump continued spewing anti-democratic rhetoric for Arizona Republicans, where the DLCC has identified over half of the GOP candidates running for state legislature state as threats to democracy.
- While Pennsylvania Republicans continue to attack popular reproductive rights, Pennsylvania Democrats are stepping up to ensure that those who provide crucial reproductive services are protected. Democratic lawmakers plan to file a series of bills that aim to protect nurses and medical providers who provide a wide spectrum of reproductive care for out-of-state patients from losing their licenses or being criminally charged under restrictive GOP laws in other states.
- Come on, Vogue! Lorena Austin, the Democratic nominee for Arizona LD-9 (House) was highlighted as one of Vogue’s five key races to watch heading into the midterms. Lorena is one of the DLCC’s incredible Spotlight candidates in Arizona and is fighting for commonsense gun safety reform and reproductive rights while running against a MAGA Republican who got pulled from the 2020 RNC for posting anti-Semitic content online…back when Republicans were a little bit more willing to call out violent and hateful rhetoric!
- Connecticut Democrats continue to champion working individuals and their families. This week, Connecticut Democrats deployed $11 million towards their Rent Bank, an account Dems set up to help renters meet rising costs and stay ahead of payments. While Republicans rant and rave about rising costs and housing, Democrats are actually providing real solutions to help people thrive and ensure that the clock doesn’t run out on much-needed relief.
- Democratic progress in action! Last year, New Mexico Democrats passed a crucial salary raise for public school teachers. Now, teacher vacancies are dropping toward pre-pandemic levels. Democrats know that when teachers are treated with respect, trusted, and paid a fair wage, public education improves, and the whole community benefits.