The Weekender (4/22/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Michigan: A record number of candidates have officially filed petitions to appear on the Michigan GOP primary ballot, locking in a crowded and expensive race that will leave behind a divisive Republican nominee with a dangerous agenda for the general election. “It’s not good news for a Michigan Republican Party that had hoped to unite early around a single candidate,” the Detroit Free Press reported. “It’s a disaster,” said Mike Murray, a consultant for Republican and nonpartisan candidates. “The primary is going to be a meat grinder and whoever emerges as the nominee is going to be broke, bloodied, and disliked by 70%-plus of Republicans.” Insiders tried to handpick James Craig, but he’s run a flailing campaign, opening the door for self-funders Kevin Rinke and Perry Johnson, along with Garrett Soldano and Tudor Dixon.
Maryland: In a recent interview with WBAL-TV, Kelly Schulz offered more empty rhetoric about Maryland’s crumbling infrastructure but once again stayed completely silent on whether she supported the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Schulz has been predictably tight-lipped about the legislation providing an estimated $4 billion in funding to improve roads and bridges in Maryland, even though Schulz asked Biden to address infrastructure a month before the bill was signed. Asked about her plan to improve Maryland’s infrastructure, Schulz said infrastructure is “pivotal for our state’s economy and the health and happiness of our citizens” but failed to give many details on what she would do besides continuing on existing projects. Silent Schulz has dodged important questions for months in the hopes that she can skate by the far-right primary without revealing any positions on key issues at all. But one poll has shown Trump’s pick Dan Cox beating Schulz in a head-to-head, and 74% of Republican primary voters do not even have an opinion of her.

New Reporting Exposes Ken Griffin’s Involvement in Richard Irvin’s Pay-to-Play Politics
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.

National Journal: “Abortion Access Could Depend Entirely on Where a Woman Lives”
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.”

Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke on MSNBC with Lawrence O’Donnell slamming Gov. Greg Abbott for his truck inspections which raised grocery costs for hardworking Texans.

“Maine people are our greatest asset, and this strong, bipartisan, and fiscally-responsible budget delivers for them. This budget is a victory for Maine people, a victory for our economy, and a victory for our future.”

  • Maine Gov. Janet Mills on signing her supplemental budget proposal, which provides direct inflation relief checks to most Mainers, offers two years of free community college for graduates impacted by the pandemic, and increases wages for childcare workers.

“Please don’t frame this as the campaign is falling apart.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!If you guessed New Mexico GOP candidate Mark Ronchetti last week, you were right! At a GOP candidate forum, Ronchetti admitted he has no idea what New Mexicans care about, saying, “I’m not somebody who has a deep knowledge of what is failing you.”