The Weekender (4/15/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Connecticut: Bob Stefanowski is staying silent as a far-right extremist pours millions in PAC money into hateful, divisive ads to support Stefanowski in the race for governor. The ads are funded by Sean Fieler, a Stefanowski donor and well-known anti-choice, anti-gay marriage, and Trump-supporting extremist. When specifically asked to comment, “Stefanowski could not be reached,” according to the CT Mirror. Fieler has been described as “the leading funder” of efforts trying to reverse marriage equality; his foundation has contributed millions to “anti-abortion and anti-birth control organizations;” and he has ties to the Family Research Council — a right-wing organization that was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Despite Fieler’s concerning right-wing history that’s blatantly out-of-touch with where Connecticut families stand, Stefanowski is accepting his support — proving that he’ll happily support anti-choice, anti-gay extremists in exchange for campaign favors.
Florida: This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a dangerous bill outlawing abortion after 15 weeks — and the law “does not allow for exemptions in cases where pregnancies were caused by rape, incest or human trafficking,” according to the Associated Press. DeSantis signed the bill against widespread pushback and despite several Florida lawmakers recalling their own abortions and experiences with sexual assault in tearful speeches. This is just the latest way that DeSantis has “wallowed in culture-warrior legislation while the state’s real crisis of affordable housing went unaddressed this legislative session,” as one  Palm Beach Post columnist put it. In fact, Florida’s housing crisis is spiraling out of control “with no end in sight,” but DeSantis signed zero pieces of legislation to give Floridians meaningful relief from rising rent this session.

Republican Ag Commissioner Slams Abbott’s “Catastrophic” Policy Which Forces Food to Rot At the Border As Texans Struggle to Afford Groceries
This week, Texas Republican Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller slammed Gov. Greg Abbott for his “catastrophic” and “misguided” policy of pulling over and inspecting commercial vehicles coming from Mexico. In a letter calling on Abbott to end the practice, Miller said the policy will force Texans to pay extremely high prices for groceries — if there’s food on the shelves at all.“This misguided policy will have little or no impact on the invasion on our southern border,” wrote Miller. “Instead, this policy will hurt Texas and American consumers by driving up already skyrocketing food prices, worsening ongoing supply chain disruptions, causing massive produce shortages, and saddling Texas and American companies with untold losses.”

There are currently reports of 20,000 commercial trucks backed up on the border. Many have been forced to wait hours to get past while carrying produce that will soon spoil. The policy is also hindering exports to Mexico, which is Texas’ biggest trade partner.

Abbott’s leadership has been such a failure he’s facing heat from his own party. Miller is a Republican backed by Donald Trump, whose fierce supporters once chanted “RINO,” “fire Abbott,” and “Abbott sucks” as Abbott took the stage at a Trump rally. “It is simply political theater,” said Miller. “The people of Texas deserve better!”

Driven by New Donors, DGA Announces Record-Breaking Fundraising in First Quarter of 2022
The DGA is shattering fundraising records heading into the 2022 midterms, reporting raising a massive $23.25 million in Q1 across all entities — the DGA’s largest first-quarter fundraising in history. After breaking fundraising records in 2021, these numbers solidify a trend of fundraising momentum for the DGA as Democratic donors become increasingly focused on the importance of governor’s races.The record-breaking surge in fundraising comprised largely of first-time donors comes as Democrats are taking notice of the critical role Democratic governors play in protecting voting rights, reproductive rights, and health care access. As the only organization solely dedicated to electing Democratic governors, the DGA has been the driving force behind the shift to prioritize governors’ races.

The Q1 fundraising total marks a 180% increase from first-quarter fundraising in 2018, 190% in 2014, and 290% in 2010. So far, the DGA has raised more money from grassroots and major donors in the 2021-2022 cycle than in the entire 2017-2018 cycle.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke on MSNBC with Lawrence O’Donnell slamming Gov. Greg Abbott for restricting abortion rights and for his “political stunt” of truck inspections at the border.

“I vetoed pay increases for lawmakers and statewide constitutional officers, including one for myself. We should instead be investing in K-12 education by funding universal pre-K and teacher pay raises. It’s simply the right thing to do.”

  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear vetoing a pay raise for himself and Kentucky legislators as part of his ongoing fight to increase pay for K-12 teachers and public school staff.

“I’m not somebody who has a deep knowledge of what is failing you.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem last week, you were right! In a speech at the Reagan Library, Gov. Noem slammed her own party, stating, “My advice to the Republican Party is to get over yourself.”