The Weekender (2/11/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Colorado: After pledging to abide by a campaign spending cap, GOP candidate Heidi Ganahl asked for a take-backsies on her promise in an apparent attempt to inject life back into her dying campaign. Ganahl backed out of the pledge through a loophole that allows her to exit the agreement when another gubernatorial candidate joins the field. Ganahl had fewer grassroots donors than fellow far-right conspiracy theorist Danielle Neuschwanger, whose campaign is gaining traction while Ganahl sputters out. Instead, a whopping 41% of Ganahl’s total 2021 fundraising came from her own bank account. And at a forum this week, Neuschwanger said she wants Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold jailed. Noticeably absent from the forum was fellow Big Lie supporter Ganahl, who conveniently avoided saying whether she agrees. Will Ganahl double down on her own extreme views to try and win back the far-right?
Illinois: Richard Irvin continues to flop and dodge questions in interviews, prompting harsh criticism from Illinoisans, journalists, and his GOP opponents. “Irvin has a Trump problem,” reported Politico, noting that Irvin refused to say whether he supported Trump in interviews with WGN 9, ABC 7, and Crain’s. But Irvin will have to answer the Trump litmus test and other tough questions if he hopes to have a chance in the crowded, extremist GOP primary. He was slammed by opponent Darren Bailey and podcast hosts of the Chicago Way for abruptly ending an interview when asked if he’d allow abortion in the case of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life. And now he’s been caught trying to rewrite his record on COVID-19 and mandates, claiming he’s always stood against mandates despite calling Gov. JB Pritzker’s mitigation efforts “logical” and saying “I fully support his decision” just two years ago.

It’s RGA vs. Trump in “Scorched Earth” Georgia GOP Primary
In another sign of GOP division, the RGA has been forced to make a historic $500,000 TV ad buy to protect Gov. Brian Kemp in the Georgia GOP primary after Donald Trump endorsed challenger David Perdue and even appeared in a TV ad to criticize Kemp.The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that it’s the first time the RGA has ever had to spend money on ads to support an incumbent in a primary. “This unprecedented move sets up a proxy war between the RGA and former President Trump, who backs David Perdue in the GOP primary,” wrote AJC reporter Greg Bluestein.Previously, Kemp released a brutal TV ad to attack Perdue for his long record of shipping Georgia jobs overseas. The race has already been labeled a “scorched earth” primary and “the ugliest, nastiest race this state has ever seen,” and these new air wars are sure to escalate division within the party. Meanwhile, Vernon Jones has exited the race and endorsed Perdue, joining the growing force of Trump allies united against Kemp.

Gov. Tony Evers’ Surplus Plan Cuts Costs and Invests in Wisconsinites
Gov. Tony Evers is investing in families, businesses, and schools and putting money back in the pockets of Wisconsinites with his plan for the state’s record-breaking projected budget surplus. This comes after Wisconsin achieved its lowest unemployment rate in state history under Gov. Evers’ leadership.Read to see how Gov. Evers’ surplus plan will benefit Wisconsin families:

  • Gov. Evers’ plan will send a $150 tax rebate to every Wisconsin resident to combat rising costs. A family of four would receive $600 under the plan.
  • Gov. Evers’ plan also lifts the burden on parents, creating more affordable child care options by expanding the Child and Dependent Care Credit.
  • To help families and save the state money — Gov. Evers’ plan invests in caregivers with a new Caregiver Tax Credit.
  • Gov. Evers knows that what’s best for our kids is best for our state, and his surplus plan will help improve the quality of education for Wisconsin children.

Wisconsin Republicans, however, want to let the surplus sit in Madison until 2023, refusing to put money back in the hands of Wisconsin families when they need it most.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on CNN with John Berman and Brianna Keilar taking a stance against the bridge blockade hurting Michigan’s economy.Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on CNBC with Becky Quick and MSNBC with Mika Brzezinski explaining his decision to end the mask mandate in schools.Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee on CNN with Alisyn Camerota sharing how he plans to help Rhode Islanders as COVID-19 transmissions continue to go down.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNBC with Shepard Smith and MSNBC with Ayman Mohyeldin discussing lifting the state’s mask mandate.

“Three years ago, we were standing at the edge of a fiscal cliff, facing a $3.7 billion budget deficit, and today we are deciding what taxes to cut or school programs to grow, thanks to our third consecutive year of budget surpluses.”

  • Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, in his State of the State address, outlining his vision to keep the state’s economy growing and help the middle class by cutting taxes, lowering prescription drug costs, and boosting public safety.

“The person that I want to take most after as your next governor of this state is the rightful president of the United States, which is Donald J. Trump.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!If you guessed Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch last week, you guessed right! In a radio interview, Kleefisch said she wants to dissolve the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission so voters have “one throat to choke” if they think an election was rigged.