The Weekender (2/18/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Michigan: After Michigan GOP insiders held an emergency “intervention” call to try to salvage the party’s high staff turnover, low fundraising, and an overall sense of doom, new reporting from MIRS is exposing how the chaos and infighting in the Michigan GOP have gone from bad to worse. Party insiders have consistently tried to rig the nomination for their hand-picked candidate James Craig, but his campaign is floundering with abysmal fundraising numbers as he fails to discuss any important issues in Michigan. He’s also joined the rest of the field in taking up extreme positions on banning abortion and supporting an illegal blockade that hurt Michigan workers and businesses. This is leaving the primary wide open and Republicans panicked. As MIRS puts it, “the rest of the field doesn’t seem as if it’s going to get the job done,” and “there’s a fear personal issues will doom both Kevin Rinke and Perry Johnson.”
Pennsylvania: This week, the bipartisan congressional committee investigating the January 6th insurrection subpoenaed Doug Mastriano, who is leading a recent poll of the GOP primary, regarding his “efforts to send false slates of electors to Washington and change the outcome of the 2020 election.” Mastriano worked with Trump as he sought to reverse the election, used campaign funds to bus supporters to the Capitol, and was outside the Capitol himself during the deadly riots. At the same time, and in another sign the GOP primary is going to get even messier,  the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that “at least five staffers and advisors have left” the campaign of Jake Corman — who once reportedly bragged that he could clear the crowded field.

Ron DeSantis Backs Plan to Defund Schools
This week, Politico reported that Gov. Ron DeSantis supports a measure that would defund schools by prying $200 million in state funding from districts that took commonsense public safety measures to protect Florida children.​​DeSantis slammed the plan just days ago, saying it could hurt students and teachers. “Let’s not do that,” he said. But — always a political opportunist — DeSantis changed his tune and tweeted his support for the measure days later.The Superintendent of the School District of Palm Beach County called the plan “unfounded, unprecedented, and unjust,” adding that “any dollars lost to such a punitive proposal would negatively impact the ability of our schools to meet the needs of our students.” DeSantis’ focus on attacking local schools and counties has been condemned across party lines, with a Republican mayor previously calling him “a dictator” for forcing local counties and businesses to pay fines for having vaccine requirements.

New York Times: “How Kathy Hochul Went From Unexpected Governor to Clear Front-Runner
New reporting from the New York Times highlights Gov. Kathy Hochul’s “unquestioned front-runner” status and transformational leadership. She cruised to the state party’s endorsement last night.The New York Times notes how Gov. Hochul has “put a new face on a state government…” as governor. Since taking office, Gov. Hochul has proposed a record $216 billion state budget that would make huge investments in schools and provide tax breaks to homeowners. She’s also announced proposals to lower costs and reduce crime.Her strong leadership is reflected in her standing in the New York gubernatorial primary as a “campaign juggernaut that has amassed $21 million…more than any of her rivals combined.” Gov. Hochul’s decisive lead in the primary has also been cemented in race polling — all of which shows Gov. Hochul with a “commanding lead” over the rest of the field.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on CNN with Don Lemon talking about lifting the state’s mask mandate.Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer being praised on Bloomberg by Matthew Winkler for leading the greatest improvement in the economic health of any state since the start of the pandemic.

“These last three years have really taught me that leadership matters and judgment matters, and I’m very proud of the work we’ve done to save thousands of lives while keeping our schools and economy open.”

  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis talking about his record as he announces his run for reelection.

“Well, look at President Trump. If the next president can lose the right to be on Twitter, I mean, where are the rest of us? I mean, this is way out of bounds … we turn into a Germany in 1933.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!If you guessed Nevada Republican gubernatorial candidate Michelle Fiore last week, you guessed right! In a recent debate, Fiore tried to get Donald Trump’s attention by stating, “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. Make no mistake: There was voter fraud, and he won Nevada.”