Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Accept No Substitutes edition

If you're waiting for a seasonal lull in statehouse action, you must be looking for some other blog. Because this is the real deal, and anyway, summer break is for kids. But even though lawmakers don't always act like grown-ups, they're keeping awfully busy.
  • In Mr. Jefferson's Capitol, this is a legit "Go F^@k Yourself"  For instance, in Virginia, where Medicaid expansion, possible political bribery, and budget drama have flooded Richmond, Republican House Speaker Bill Howell turned a simple paperwork delivery into a big middle finger aimed at Gov. McAuliffe. Speaker Howell had the House Clerk (his former Chief of Staff) and Capitol Police invade the Governor's locked offices -- after confirming no one would be there -- to deliver the state budget on Father's Day. Family values!
    • I hope you can see this, because I'm doing it as hard as I can: This F.U. from the Speaker seemed not only aimed at disrespecting McAuliffe's authority, but also designed to deprive the Governor of a weekend to review the state's two-year spending plan. I mean, it's just a $96 billion budget that House Republicans blocked until practically the very last minute. NBD. 
      • Oh, and the GOP has commenced with some super serious (and expensive! Did that $25,000 legal fee come out of taxpayer pockets?) legal posturing, even though there's literally nothing to sue over right now.
  • Not Monopoly moneyKentucky Republicans hope desperately to strip Democrats of majority control of the state House (54 D/46 R) this fall. And they're getting serious about their efforts. 
    • First, there was the announcement that incoming U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will raise money for state House Republicans in Bowling Green on July 17.
    • Then came the announcement that AmeriGOP, a Kentucky super PAC trying to help Republicans pick up the five seats necessary to take control of the state House, has hired Kathryn Breiwa, a "top aide to Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign," as the organization's executive director.
      • It was so gracious of AmeriGOP's chairman to describe Breiwa as "a strong young woman" in the super PAC's announcement. Because obviously we'd have otherwise thought she was weak and it's so tough for us ladies to do man stuff like run things. 
  • RINO-hunting season roots out fake GOPers: At least, that's how the gun nuts repping the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners framed the two Colorado state Senate primaries they won on Tuesday night. In taking out two fairly moderate Republicans in these Democratic-leaning districts (SDs 19 and 22, if you're curious), the RMGO is helping Democrats keep their tiny majority in closely-divided chamber (18 D/17 R) this fall. RMGOh no!
  • Real freedom for fake calls: A federal court in South Carolina has ruled the state's ban on political robo-calls unconstitutionalPush 1 if you think Candidate X should acknowledge his illegitimate half-bat baby.
  • Taxpayer dollars funding the Hydrox of women's health clinics: And by "Hydrox" I mean the "crisis pregnancy centers" that are terrible and not legit at all. The GOP-controlled Michigan legislature has approved a budget that directs $800,000 to a PA-based nonprofit that supports religion-infused pregnancy centers that discourage women from getting abortions and oppose use of contraception. That group helps such centers avoid church-state separation issues when receiving government funding. 
    • Fun fact! That $800,000 is roughly equal to the total funding lawmakers allocated for legit family planning and pregnancy prevention in that same budget.
      • Funner fact! That same nonprofit, "Real Alternatives," was allocated $700,000 in Michigan's last budget and apparently did jack squat with it.
  • Real tiger drama: The Tony the Truck Stop Tiger saga just won't end in Louisiana. Now that Gov. Jindal has signed the bill that lets Tony's owner keep him as a roadside attraction at the eponymous truck stop, the state is getting sued for violating its own constitution by creating an exemption for just that one guy who owns that one tiger.
  • So actually for really real, actually: Could Oklahoma become the first state to elect a transgender legislator? We'll know after Democrat Paula Sophia faces Jason Dunnington in an August 26 runoff, since there's no Republican in the race for HD88. Cue some conservative Oklahomaneurysms when she gets sworn in. 

For the Week of June 25, 2014 



The Democratic Governors Association will hold its Regional Policy Conference June 24-25 in Chicago, Illinois. 

Women in Government will hold its Midwestern Regional Conference June 26-28 in St. Louis, Missouri. 


The Senate Committee on Judiciary met June 24 to discuss A.B. 1442, which requires school districts and county offices of education considering a program to gather personal information obtained through social media on any student enrolled to notify the students and guardians and provide an opportunity for public comment. 

The Berkeley City Council is scheduled to hold a second reading of the Berkeley Minimum Wage Ordinance June 24.


Primary elections were held June 24 for the office of the Governor and state House and Senate seats.


The General Assembly convened a veto session June 23. 


The City Council Judiciary and Public Safety Committee met June 24 to discuss B20-757, which prohibits an employer from requiring that an employee refrain from inquiring about or discussing wages with fellow employees. 


Primary elections were held June 24 for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and state House and Senate seats. 


The Assembly Committee on Appropriations met June 23 to hear A.B. 1368, which requires a court to order convicted drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock device in motor vehicles owned, leased or principally operated by the offender. 


Primary elections were held June 24 for the office of the Governor, as well as state House and Senate seats. 


The General Assembly reconvened on June 23 to work on the state budget. 


A runoff election was held June 24 for the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor.


Primary elections were held June 24 for state House and Senate seats.


The General Assembly convened a special session June 23 to discuss Governor Terry McAuliffe's (D) line item budget vetoes.

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