April 9, 2021

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Latest News, Weekender

The Weekender (4/9/21)

Welcome to the Democratic Governors Association’s Friday newsletter, The Weekender.

Let’s get started.

Virginia: The Washington Post issued a scathing editorial on the Virginia GOP’s embrace of Trumpism. As the convention nears, Republican gubernatorial candidates are running on their loyalty to Trump and touting lies about the 2020 election. Frontrunner Amanda Chase has trumpeted the Big Lie and refers to the January 6th insurrectionists as “patriots”; Pete Snyder wants NFL-style scouting reports on local election officials; Glenn Youngkin is hoping to emulate Trump’s failed “election integrity task force” — the one that found no widespread fraud; and Kirk Cox suggested Virginia “go further” than Georgia on voting restrictions.

During the Trump administration, Virginia Republicans lost three Congressional seats and lost control of the state legislature – not to mention Trump lost to President Biden by ten points. It’s been over 10 years since the GOP has won a statewide race in Virginia. Still, the VA GOP candidates are hellbent on a race to the right – “that’s a losing game, but it’s the only game the GOP seems willing to play.”

New Jersey: Politico reported pro-Trump gubernatorial candidate Phil Rizzo has avoided paying property taxes on his million-dollar mansion for years. In 2017, Rizzo sold his extravagant house to his church for $1.65 million, and then continued to live there with his family, rent and tax free. Like any good Trump disciple, Rizzo is following the Trump playbook to a tee. Rizzo has questioned frontrunner Jack Ciattarelli’s commitment to the Trump agenda, even though Ciattarelli has signaled clearly that he stands with the disgraced former president. Just one day after Rizzo officially qualified for the primary, it’s becoming clear this will be a nasty fight between Rizzo and Ciattarelli to win over Trump’s base in New Jersey.

Charlie Baker Raised Anemic $25K in March As His Approvals Sink and Criticism of Botched Vaccine Rollout Continues

Under fire for a botched vaccine rollout and facing sinking approval ratings, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker posted pitiful fundraising numbers – especially for someone who’s been hinting at a run for a third term.

Baker only raised $25,457 in March 2021, and has been getting outraised by other Republicans, including his own lieutenant governor. Not a good sign considering Politico reported recently Baker’s “standing within his own party is so strained that” he might get a primary challenger backed by GOP leadership next year.

This is the latest in a string of bad news for Baker – with his plummeting popularity and weeks of failing to stand up a statewide vaccination program, Baker has dropped like a lead balloon and his chances of re-election are going down with him. His approval rating has dropped by 26 points, and members of his own party only gave him a 38% approval rating.

Baker’s sinking approvals could hurt his chances in upcoming elections, and could send other Massachusetts Republicans crashing down with him. Democratic candidates and potential Democratic candidates have been easily outraising Baker – indicating Massachusetts might be ready for a change.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak Launches Mobile Vaccination Units to Reach Rural and Tribal Areas

Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, alongside FEMA and local partners, launched two mobile vaccination units to support equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in rural and tribal areas with limited medical infrastructure.

Gov. Sisolak said, “It’s imperative that every eligible Nevadan has access to these life-saving vaccines.”

Like other Democratic governors, Gov. Sisolak has been prioritizing equity in Nevada’s vaccine distribution. Earlier this year, Gov. Sisolak launched the Equity and Fairness Initiative to work with local officials to alleviate challenges with vaccination efforts.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on CNBC with Contessa Brewer, discussing Nevada’s reopening, how his administration plans to help the state’s tourism industry bounce back from the pandemic, and his efforts to make vaccines available to everyone.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on MSNBC’s The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, responding to the MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game to Denver, and explaining why Republicans’ claims that Colorado has restrictive voting laws are absolutely false.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, talking about getting vaccinated alongside her daughter and why Americans shouldn’t let their guard down on the pandemic.

And a bonus radio clip: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh, getting the last laugh on his bracket picks.

“While some states have stepped in a different direction, I’m really proud of Kentucky. We created a model for the nation.”

“They can order Grubhub or UberEats.”

Who said it? Send your answer to press@dga.net and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Lil Nas X last week, you were right! South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Lil Nas X argued on Twitter last week about a pair of shoes, because apparently, Noem has nothing better to do (besides govern a state, deliver needed help to South Dakotans, finally institute that mask mandate, etc.). As Lil Nas X said, “do ur job!