They did the mash, they did the GOP monster mash. An election lie rehash! A subpoena-dodging dash! Abortion ban trash! With the Halloween season in full swing and nearly three weeks until Election Day, things are getting SPOOKY, 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 21st; 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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- Do you know what C-SPAN stands for? Cool Strategist Post Articulates News, of course! Jokes aside, DLCC President Jessica Post appeared this week on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal to discuss the DLCC’s efforts to elect Democrats to statehouses across the country, the historic headwinds candidates are up against, and a lack of funding at the state legislative level. Post also took questions from the live national audience, speaking directly to Americans across the political spectrum about the issues that matter most to them and how Democrats are addressing rising costs and protecting reproductive rights.
- A little peek behind the scenes of the DLCC’s smash hit, MAGA Island. Over the last few weeks, we have been highlighting the most sinister, anti-democratic GOP lawmakers who are running for state legislature this year, but MAGA Island household names like Arizona Senator Wendy Rogers and Alaska Representative David Eastman barely scratch the surface of the hundreds of MAGA GOP candidates clamoring to make the cut. This week, for example, the DLCC updated its Threats to Democracy website to reflect the more than 750 confirmed MAGA GOP threats running for state legislature this November. Twenty-five of these right-wing extremists were in Washington D.C. on January 6th, and there are over 1,140 GOP candidates and legislators who have fueled the MAGA movement to undermine our democracy since the 2020 election.
- This week, seven New Hampshire House Republicans — including some running in truly competitive seats — voted in favor of moving a bill that would allow men to block abortions through court injunctions. Earlier this year, Republicans in the New Hampshire House voted to continue debating a six-week abortion ban in the Granite State, and Senate Republicans blocked a bill to codify abortion rights. Last week, Rep. Allison Nutting-Wong bravely pushed back against the extreme GOP stance taken by her opponent and shared her own abortion experience. Nutting-Wong expertly articulated the real cost of letting abortion access be decided by (in Republican U.S. Senate nominee Don Bolduc’s words) the “gentlemen” in New Hampshire’s legislature.
- Robert Beadles, an influential figure in the QAnon, ultra-far-right MAGA community, is funneling money into electing Republicans to Nevada’s legislature this year. Beadles does not shy away from spouting anti-government extremism, Christian nationalism, and anti-Semitic rhetoric (just like Ohio GOP Senate candidate Michelle Reynolds who was revealed this week as having used anti-Semitic tropes in a self-published book). The Republican Party, from the former president down to the state legislative level, is increasingly comfortable spouting off dangerous anti-Semitic rhetoric and taking money from anti-Semites. Nevada Republicans benefiting from Beadles’ spending should denounce him, apologize to the Jewish community and donate the money to charity — but we aren’t holding our breath that members of the party who traded in the dog whistle for a bullhorn will do the right thing.
- Michigan Republicans introduced a bill last week that would throw parents in jail for life for offering gender-affirming care to their kids. This latest Republican attack on LGBTQ+ youth would mean harsher punishment for supporting trans kids than driving drunk with a child in the car. This heinous bill comes as taxpayers foot the bill for legal fees connected to former House Speaker Lee Chatfield’s investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a minor and what is being described as a larger “criminal enterprise” that Chatfield may have been involved in while serving as the most powerful Republican in the Michigan legislature.
- Michigan Republicans’ discriminatory measure is just one of the slew of anti-LGBTQ+ bills GOP lawmakers are pushing across the map, like in New Hampshire, where Republicans could make classrooms unsafe for LGBTQ+ kids. Luckily in Arkansas, the first lawsuit challenging a Republican anti-trans bill is underway, hoping to prove that these kinds of measures are not only discriminatory but unconstitutional. Republicans are also spreading the truly bizarre conspiracy that schools have cat litter for students who identify as furries. We are begging Republicans to re-engage with reality and try to solve real problems facing children, like gun violence, under-funded schools, and mental health crises.
- It was recently revealed that Republican Arizona Senator Nancy Barto accepted campaign contributions from two of Trump’s “alternate electors” who tried to falsely claim victory for former President Trump in 2020. Barto, who is running against the incredible DLCC Spotlight candidate Senator Christine Marsh, was one of the Republican lawmakers who welcomed the two conservative activists behind the “2,000 Mules” propaganda film in the Arizona legislature earlier this year, which has since been discredited by law enforcement. GOP Representative Quang Nguyen, another one of the lawmakers who hosted those activists in the legislature, is an Oath Keeper, a violent extremist group with close ties to the January 6th insurrection. Former representative-turned-insurrectionist Anthony Kern was also slated to be a fake elector, and he is trying to win back a seat in the Arizona legislature.
- Republicans all across the country are banning books and making it harder for teachers to do their jobs and for kids to be themselves in the classroom. In response, state Democrats all across the country are standing with teachers, parents, and students, working to keep MAGA extremists out of the classroom. In Pennsylvania, state Democrats plan to introduce legislation to help curb the rise in book banning and LGBTQ+ discrimination in school districts — another reason why Democrats are the true party of public education.
- New Jersey Democrats are on track to pass one of the nation’s strongest gun laws. Democrats’ bill would enact a series of common-sense regulations like mandating gun safety training for owners, banning guns from a number of public places, and requiring first-of-its-kind liability insurance. New Jersey is just the latest Democratic state to prioritize protecting American lives against gun violence.
- Republicans have no answers for how to lower costs and get small businesses the support they need. Meanwhile, Democrats are stepping up to build a strong, durable economy that allows small businesses and their workers to thrive. Look no further than Maine, where Democrats this week celebrated a program that will send $2,000 relief checks to small businesses and nonprofits thanks to a landmark bill sponsored by Senate president and DLCC Spotlight candidate Troy Jackson. Democrats also set aside over $5 million to aid small businesses and start-ups around the state.