The Weekender (10/14/22)

Weekender

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

Let’s get started.

Wisconsin: With less than a month until Election Day, Tim Michels refuses to answer how he would avoid a glaring conflict of interest if elected governor, considering he would be signing off on state road contracts that his company serves to benefit from. Michels Corporation has received more than $1 billion from state road contracts, which Michels has said he “certainly hope[s]” the company continues to bid for if he’s governor. Experts say divesting from the business “won’t be easy,” but Michels still hasn’t provided any details on how he’ll follow through on that commitment. “The campaign and company also would not answer questions about if Michels’ plan to divest includes selling shares of his business to his brothers or another family member. Or, if he’ll have a chance to buy back ownership of the company in the future,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board endorsed Gov. Tony Evers for reelection this week, citing how he’s been a check on GOP power and delivered for Wisconsinites. Gov. Evers and Michels will debate tonight at 7 pm CT.
Connecticut: A bombshell new report from Hearst CT confirms that Bob Stefanowski has a big secret: he’s been consulting in Saudi Arabia on a “highly scrutinized project” that is “funded by a regime whose human rights record has come under increasing criticism.” Stefanowski went above and beyond to keep this secret from Connecticut families, as he “asked close advisors to keep his Saudi Arabia ties secret out of apparent fear of political blowback.” While defending his work in Saudi Arabia, Stefanowski again “declined to share a list of the consulting clients that earned him tens of millions in income from 2019-21.” It’s not the first time he’s been linked to human rights violations: earlier this year, a watchdog group found Stefanowski’s managed assets were tied to human rights and environmental abuses.

Investigation Uncovers Gov. Kevin Stitt’s Secret Plans to Build “Lavish” Multi-Million-Dollar Governor’s Mansion
A shocking new investigation by Oklahoma’s News 4 has uncovered that Gov. Kevin Stitt has been lying about living in the historic governor’s mansion while secretly raising “un-trackable, private money solicited from wealthy individuals” to build a new, “lavish” $6.5 million mansion.In the meantime, Gov. Stitt has been living in an 8-acre, 2.7 million-dollar estate 20 miles away at Oak Tree Golf and Country Club. Last year, the state spent millions renovating the governor’s mansion — “2 million dollars in taxpayer money poured into a home where our governor does not live.” In fact, News 4 found evidence that Gov. Stitt planned to build the new mansion before he even moved into the old one and despite pushback from former first families.

“Who’s donating, and what are they getting kickbacks on?” said Republican State Rep. Logan Phillips. “This is self-enrichment and self-dealing, and it’s very worrying.”

A dozen Republican lawmakers ​​said they were unaware of the plans, and all but one refused to comment on the record, saying they fear retaliation from Gov. Stitt. Though Gov. Stitt’s team insists the plan wasn’t secret, his press secretary and the first lady’s chief of staff both claimed to be unaware of the plan, minutes from one meeting reminded board members to keep the project confidential, and the executive director asked board members to sign an NDA.

Meanwhile, for the first time in history, the five largest Native American tribes in Oklahoma united this week to endorse Gov. Stitt’s opponent, Democratic nominee Joy Hofmeister.

CNN Highlights Republicans Endorsing Democrats in Gov Races
This week, CNN’s Senior Political Analyst John Avlon highlighted the growing number of Republicans who have endorsed Democrats in key governor’s races like Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, among others.“One of the main themes of these cross-party endorsements is old-school center-right Republicans standing up to Trumpist election deniers who have taken over the base of their party,” Avlon reported.

CNN highlighted how over 100 Republicans have endorsed Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, including two former Republican governors and a former GOP senator. Additionally, both Josh Shapiro and Katie Hobbs have earned significant endorsements from in-state Republicans. Beyond the states highlighted by CNN, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is backed by a group of over 150 Michigan Republicans, including business leaders, former lawmakers, and staff of former Republican governors.

Watch the segment here.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Bloomberg News with Lisa Abramowicz discussing the steps he’s taken as governor to tackle inflation, taxes, and school funding.Arizona Democratic gubernatorial nominee Katie Hobbs on MSNBC with Lawrence O’Donnell discussing the dangers Kari Lake poses to fair elections and the democratic process.

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams on MSNBC with Joy Reid encouraging Georgians to vote early.


“Massachusetts needs a governor who will protect a woman’s freedom to make a decision for herself … I will. He won’t. It’s as simple as that.”

  • Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial nominee Maura Healey on Geoff Diehl’s anti-abortion stances during this week’s debate.

“It’s OK to question the results of the election.”Who said it? Send your answer to press@dga.net, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Minnesota GOP gubernatorial nominee Scott Jensen last week, you were right! Last week, Jensen peddled a debunked conspiracy theory that students were identifying as furries and allowed to use litter boxes inside schools.