Welcome to the Democratic Governors Association’s Friday newsletter, the Weekender.
Let’s get started.
New reporting from Bloomberg exposes Illinois GOP candidate Richard Irvin for yet another pay-to-play scandal — and this time, Irvin’s biggest fan and megadonor Ken Griffin is at the center of the corruption. In a February interview, Griffin said Irvin “understands the joint prosperity that comes with a successful business community,” but new reporting shows that “joint prosperity” isn’t for all the people of Illinois — just Irvin and Griffin themselves.The city of Aurora is a key financial trading point, making Mayor Irvin a “gatekeeper for high-speed traders” like Griffin’s company Citadel. Irvin and Griffin both have close ties to one stakeholder company called Scientel Solutions, which donated over a hundred thousand dollars to Irvin’s campaign and committees connected to him and, in return, received millions in city contracts and permission to build a high frequency trading tower that officials warned would interfere with fair access.“From what I understood, [Irvin] and his team were reaching out directly to the aldermen to sway their opinion,” said one alderman. “I didn’t like anything about it.” After they won the vote, the CEO of Scientel sent out pictures celebrating with Irvin at a Mexican restaurant near City Hall. Scientel only connected their antenna to one firm inside the data center: Griffin’s.
A new article from the National Journal highlights how Democratic governors are standing in defense of the right to choose as Roe v. Wade is threatened like never before.With Democratic governors fighting to protect reproductive rights as the Supreme Court plans to rule on a direct challenge to Roe this summer, “abortion battles will inevitably move from the courtroom to the ballot box” in governors’ races in 2022. That means electing and reelecting Democratic governors could be the one thing determining whether or not an abortion is safe, legal, and accessible in some states.Already, Democratic governors in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada are the critical bulwarks standing up to extreme and dangerous attempts by Republican state legislatures to restrict abortion or effectively ban it outright. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently “filed a lawsuit asking the Michigan Supreme Court to recognize the right to an abortion under the state constitution and overturn a 176-year-old abortion ban that could be enforced if Roe is overturned.”