The Weekender (10/9/20)


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

Let’s get started.

Montana: Mike-mentum is real, folks! In Montana’s first gubernatorial debate, Mike Cooney demolished Greg Gianforte’s record on public lands, highlighted his devastating record on restricting access to health care, and pushed the Republican to apologize to Montanans for lying to law enforcement following his infamous 2017 assault. Cooney came back to finish the job in the second televised debate, calling out Gianforte for his repeated lies to the people of Montana and making a decisive case for his candidacy. Cooney finished off the week with an endorsement from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle editorial board, which said Cooney is “well positioned to continue the sound policies that have benefitted Montana during the pandemic.”

West Virginia: Democratic candidate Ben Salango launched a campaign ad highlighting how unlike billionaire Gov. Jim Justice, Salango’s not afraid to get his hands dirty to help West Virginians. As Kanawha County Commissioner, Salango grew the economy, helped small businesses, and developed new industries. Meanwhile, Gov. Jim Justice made billions for himself off the backs of hard working coal miners, and then fought to avoid paying them what they deserve. Salango will “be a full-time governor, putting in the work day in and out to help improve quality of life in the state.” Salango also picked up two editorial board endorsements over Gov. Jim Justice from the Herald-Dispatch and Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Sunshine Request Reveals Missouri Gov. Mike Parson Used Taxpayer-Funded Airplane For Personal and Campaign Trips

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson claims the state can’t afford accessible, affordable health care and teacher pay raises, and yet, he has no problem spending hundreds of thousands of dollars jetting around the country on the state’s airplane.

A Sunshine Request from St. Joseph’s News-Press Now revealed Parson spent over a quarter of a million dollars using the state’s plane, sometimes for personal or campaign trips. Most notably, Parson spent $2,610 flying from Jefferson City to his private home in Bolivar and back to Jefferson City twice in one day – St. Joseph News-Press Now found the round trip would have cost just $20.36 by car.

This news is just the latest development in a string of allegations of corruption and unethical practices against Parson and his Jefferson City insider-allies. The governor has a shady history of opting “for secrecy where transparency is required.”

While Parson’s PAC, Uniting Missouri, has continuously lied about his opponent in campaign ads, it’s Parson’s own administration that is the subject of investigations and complaints. Some examples – led by members of his own party, an investigation into Parson’s rollout of the state’s medical marijuana program; Parson’s campaign was hit with campaign finance violations the night before the primary; and, just for fun, former Gov. Eric Greitens released a documentary film implying Mike Parson coordinated a coup d’état to force Greitens out of office.

Charlotte Observer, News & Observer, & Durham Herald-Sun Endorse Gov. Roy Cooper

Citing his leadership during the pandemic as well as his commitment to “Medicaid expansion and meaningful pay raises for teachers,” The Charlotte Observer, The News & Observer, and the Durham Herald-Sun strongly endorsed Gov. Roy Cooper’s re-election campaign. The Editorial Board praises Gov. Cooper’s common-sense pandemic-related executive orders noting that his “approach has prevented the infection spikes that have occurred elsewhere.”

For the governor’s challenger, the Editorial Board did not mince words. Forest, who refused an interview, has “extreme positions [that] reflect the reckless, polarizing and uncaring spirit that has characterized much of the legislative agenda since 2011.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi, discussing a joint statement he issued along with 11 other Democratic governors vowing to count every ballot and calling for Trump to leave office if he loses the upcoming election.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, slamming the Trump campaign for holding a “reckless” fundraiser in Bedminster that likely led to further COVID-19 spread and announcing the state Attorney General will be looking into violations of state orders at the event.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, hitting back against Republicans’ efforts to undermine masking and contact tracing in this country.

“Hate groups heard the President’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry. As a call to action. When our leaders speak, their words matter.”

“Washington continues to drop the ball, unwilling to work together to fulfill the promises they made to the states.”

Who said it? Send your answer to and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Missouri Gov. Mike Parson last week, you were right! Parson announced, just days into his positive coronavirus test, that he had recovered and “life goes on.” For the more than 2,000 Missourians who lost their lives to this virus, and their families, life does not simply “go on.”