There’s a lot going on, so every Wednesday, the DLCC is sending a roundup of the state legislative stories you might have missed. It’s September 16th and here is the state of the states.
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- Six months ago, the coronavirus pandemic was declared a national emergency. Since then, GOP state legislators have done their best to exacerbate the crisis and focus on anything but the health and safety of Americans. The list is pretty atrocious (and long) if you feel like getting angry today.
- Texas Republicans are pretending they’re pro–education and pro–reproductivehealth even though the state’s GOP lawmakers had been completely hostile to supporting teachers and had a terrible record on health care — until their majority was endangered.
- The battle for the Minnesota Senate is heating up, and Democrats only need to flip two seats to create a Democratic trifecta in the state. Because of the GOP’s failed pandemic response, it’s never been more important to solidify blue leadership in Minnesota.
- The DLCC rolled out its slate of Florida Spotlight candidates yesterday. Democrats fielded more candidates than Republicans, an unmistakable sign of momentum, and are within striking distance of majorities in both chambers after flipping six seats since Trump’s election.
- A Trump-appointed judge ruled that the public health measures Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Tom Wolf instituted that kept businesses and gatherings safe (and saved lives) were unconstitutional — a lawsuit filed by three GOP state representatives, among others. Remind you of a similar case from Wisconsin?
- In Texas, GOP state Representative Gary Gates evicted over 100 low-income tenants during the coronavirus pandemic. You read that right — more than 100 people were kicked out of their homes in the middle of a public health crisis by a man whose job is to help others.
- Minnesota House Republican Assistant Minority Leader Jon Koznick sent a “friendly, reminder” email admitting that “COVID issues are not [the Republicans’] winning message.” Too bad he sent it to the DFL caucus instead of his own.
- Florida GOP Representatives Scott Plakon, David Smith, and Wyman Duggan were pictured not wearing masks with volunteers and when talking to voters…after their Republican colleague Chris Latvala fought for his life against COVID-19.
- Minnesota GOP Senator Roger Chamberlain attended a book clubpromoting the white supremacist and misogynistic book by “Bronze Age Pervert.” Peep the racist Pepe the Frog mask, too.
- Arizona GOP Senate candidate Wendy Rogers had another interesting (read: disturbing) week. Rogers said that she and Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse were both victims of the Left and that BLM protesters are “anti-American savages.” She also doubled-down on being an Oath Keeper, an anti-government extremist group — exactly the sort of person you want in your state legislature?
- GOP Representative Anthony Kern of Arizona blames the absence of God for mass shootings. Convenient that he doesn’t consider the lack of robust background checks and red flag laws a problem…but maybe he’ll pray on it.
- North Carolina Republican Senator Bob Steinburg clogged your timeline with more racist propaganda this week. He shared a post that claimed the lockdown and protests were about the 2020 elections and accused Democrats “and their lynchmob” of taking down half of America, calling it the “Gospel Truth.”
- Republican Wisconsin Assembly candidate David Armstrong posted a video of David Duke — a former KKK leader — making insulting and racist remarks about Black people after a shooting in 2015 that killed nine Black individuals. To no surprise, Armstrong also posted a number of tweets opposing the removal of Confederate flags.
- GOP Connecticut state lawmaker Eric Berthel has a QAnon car sticker. He claims to not believe in the QAnon conspiracy theories, but he supports “the values the movement has come to represent.” So Senator Berthel supports racism, sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and lies? We don’t see that as an improvement.
- North Carolina state Senator Joyce Krawiec wrote a longform questioning the validity of the separation of church and state. In it, she implied she disagreed with the recent Supreme Court ruling that banned workplace discrimination against the LGBTQ community — because it hampered people’s religious liberty.
- Montana GOP Representative Brad Tschida claimed that “the SARS CoV(2) issue ended in April and May and was not significantly more impactful than a typical flu season.” That is definitely not true, but okay Brad.
- Michigan State Representative Mari Manoogian flipped her district from red to blue in 2018, spoke at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and recently published a fiery op-ed arguing that state legislatures offer the Democrats their best “chance for policy wins in 2020.”
- In Delaware, Democrat Sarah McBride won her primary to represent a safe Democratic Senate seat — meaning she’ll be the first openly transgender person to serve in any state’s Senate and the nation’s highest-ranking transgender official.
- Democratic Georgia House Minority Leader Bob Trammell weighed in on the “unconscionable” reports of alleged forced hysterectomies in an ICE detention center in the state. He called for the providers’ licenses to be suspended and requested investigations into other ICE facilities.
- Yesterday was Delaware’s primary — the last primary of the 2020 election cycle. Now in the general election, the fate of state legislative majorities and redistricting control hangs in the balance. With less than 50 days until Election Day, keep a close watch on critical races in key battleground states.