With the Halloween season kicking off just over 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 7th; 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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- Three new insurrectionist bombshells enter the villa this week on MAGA Island… The DLCC updated its Threats to Democracy website again to include 31 new Republicans running for state legislature this fall, meaning over 700 MAGA candidates and election deniers will appear on November’s ballot. The DLCC is also adding three more Republican insurrectionists who were all in Washington D.C. on January 6th, bringing the total of insurrectionists running in the general election to 21. Eighteen of the new candidates are from Michigan — meaning nearly one-third of Michigan’s Republican candidates for state legislature pose an active threat to our democracy and future elections. And frankly, we know this is an undercount, so send along anyone we may have missed to [email protected].
- Republican Michigan House candidate Jason Woolford recently recalled accosting a Black family in a Cracker Barrel over their choice to wear masks in the restaurant. Woolford claims he approached the family, unprompted and uninvited, to relay the essential information that Democrats are not only forcing them to wear masks but are going “into your inner cities and slaughter[ing] the babies of Blacks and Hispanics.” Woolford’s frightening anti-abortion views and shocking willingness to harass everyday Michiganders trying to keep themselves safe from COVID stand in sharp contrast to his Democratic opponent and DLCC Spotlight candidate Jennifer Conlin who is working to protect reproductive rights and bring common decency to the state legislature.
- Welcome class to “Republican Math 101!” In today’s lesson, Arizona Republicans claim that their new tax cut will save the average family $350 a year, but what does that really mean? That’s right! By implementing a regressive flat tax, the GOP is once again giving the wealthiest a huge tax giveaway and leaving only crumbs for the working class. For example, under Arizona’s new tax system, a family making over half a million dollars a year will save over $15,000, while a working-class family making around $70,000 (higher than the median household income in Arizona) will save less than $100. Another math lesson: 60% means more than half, and that’s the number of Arizonans who support investing in education over a tax cut. Okay, class dismissed, but remember, when Republicans throw big numbers and phrases like “savings” around, make sure to check their work!
- Speaking of bad Republican legislation going into effect in Arizona, Arizona GOP’s teacher overreach bill went into effect last month. Republicans passed the law despite it being left extremely vague, opening the door for school districts to ban books, making it harder for teachers to do their jobs, and rendering classrooms unsafe for LGBTQ+ kids. Outside of the classroom, Arizona’s teens and young people are also being negatively affected by Republicans’ abortion ban, like a fourteen-year-old in Tucson who was denied lifesaving medication because of its use for some ectopic pregnancies (which, friendly reminder, if not treated kill the parent). The extreme MAGA Arizona GOP is fundamentally out of step with the majority of Arizonans and puts the lives and well-being of young people at risk.
- Here’s a quick roundup of MAGA election lies playing out on the state level: A Pennsylvania state court ruled this week that local counties are allowed to help mail-in voters fix minor issues with their ballots, delivering a blow to efforts by the RNC and state Republicans to continue making it harder to vote in the Keystone State. In Georgia, MAGA activists are challenging thousands of voters in the state’s most diverse county, emboldened by election lies, Georgia Republicans’ most recent anti-voter law, and frankly, a deep-seated desire to stop people of color from voting. In Michigan, a Kent County election worker was charged with tampering with election equipment just weeks after the state Attorney General appointed a special prosecutor to investigate nine other individuals for seizing and tampering with a voting machine — including Republican Representative Daire Rendon.
- This week, outgoing New Hampshire Republican Senator John Reagan penned a complimentary review of a candidate running to replace him — the catch? Reagan stated that the Democratic candidate, Christine Tappan, would serve their community well, raising some eyebrows among New Hampshire’s GOP. Although Reagan quickly claimed that his statement was not a formal endorsement, not a great look for New Hampshire Republicans when an outgoing lawmaker had only good things to say about their potential Democratic replacement and her character — something that is sorely lacking in the GOP.
- Maine Democrats are stepping up to provide relief for the most central parts of local communities: families and small businesses. As a part of Maine Democrats’ landmark Jobs & Recovery plan, Mainers will now have access to grants to make it easier to take care of family members living with a disability or severe illness and loans for small businesses that were adversely affected by the pandemic. Democrats are working to ensure everyday people and local communities are receiving the help they deserve while still maintaining a resilient economy for generations to come.
- Democrats from all across the country are also working to protect the most vulnerable while fighting to help constituents make ends meet in the face of rising costs. Rhode Island Democrats sent child-tax credit checks out this week. In Minnesota and Connecticut, Democrats are working to send front-line health workers relief for their sacrifice during the darkest moments of the pandemic, while in California, Democrats’ relief checks to individuals and families started going out this week.
- Many great political figures got their start in state legislatures, like former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, but state legislatures are so much more than a political stepping stone; they have the most direct impact on some of the important issues facing this country. Michigan Senator Mallory McMorrow summed it up perfectly in a recent profile looking at her now-viral fame: “One of the most flattering and disappointing reactions is people asking me when I’m running for higher office,” said McMorrow. “I have value because I am a state senator, not because I have the potential to be something else.” With voting rights, abortion access, and the fate of democracy itself under attack in state legislatures, we are so proud of Democratic lawmakers like McMorrow who use their incredible talents to fight for their communities — with or without the national spotlight.