The Weekender (4/8/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Pennsylvania:As the primary grows closer and the GOP  field remains crowded and chaotic, the candidates’ attacks on each other are getting nastier. In a new negative TV ad from Bill McSwain, McSwain throws the kitchen sink at his fellow primary candidates Dave White, Doug Mastriano, and Lou Barletta. White’s campaign snapped back at McSwain for the ad in a total meltdown statement, calling his candidacy an “embarrassment” despite “spending nearly $6 million of his billionaire sugar daddy’s money.” White also called McSwain “a handpicked puppet of Trump impeacher Pat Toomey.” McSwain has also been called “property of Pat Toomey” by a group backing Lou Barletta. GOP candidate Melissa Hart also went after McSwain for his “law and order charade,” saying McSwain “isn’t the ‘law and order’ candidate, he just plays one in his commercials.”
Massachusetts: This week, POLITICO Massachusetts put the influence of Geoff Diehl’s far-right candidacy on full display as the once “self-described moderate” Chris Doughty one week later now wants to identify as “a strong conservative Republican.” In a race where Diehl has emerged as the frontrunner after earning Trump’s endorsement and forcing Charlie Baker out of the race, the only other Republican running is embracing more extreme and out-of-touch policies to have a chance in the primary. “He left the door open to voting for Trump for president again,” POLITICO reported. “And Doughty stopped short of rejecting both conversion therapy and Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law in his WCVB interview.” And in another sign of just how far to the right the primary is going, Doughty last month announced a running mate with a record of supporting conversion therapy, pushing harmful bans on abortion, opposing protections for workers against wage theft, and voting against paid sick leave.

Paul LePage Proves He Hasn’t Changed
Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage has been desperate to convince the press and the public that he’s a changed man since his catastrophic former governorship, but in reality, he’s still pushing the same baseless lies. A new report from the Bangor Daily News exposes LePage for reviving his unsubstantiated election conspiracy theories in a new push for voter ID laws.At an event last week, LePage said voters were bused in from Massachusetts to vote on Maine’s same-sex marriage referendum more than a decade ago, an allegation the Secretary of State at the time called a “blatant lie.”Despite trying to distance himself from his past failed leadership decisions, LePage’s false claims about voting are nothing new. While governor, LePage sent a press release before the 2016 election threatening to investigate college students for voting. More recently, LePage said 20 percent of 2020 voters lacked valid identification, though Maine does not require photo identification to vote. The current Secretary of State slammed LePage’s claim as “malinformation.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Discusses Major Lawsuit to Protect Reproductive Rights in Michigan
This week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took unprecedented action to defend reproductive rights, filing a lawsuit to challenge Michigan’s extreme 1931 abortion ban — which has no exceptions for rape or incest.“The assault on women’s privacy rights and bodily autonomy … is a very clear and present danger,” said Gov. Whitmer on MSNBC. “We do not have time to waste or risk.” Watch more on MSNBC here.As the Supreme Court weighs overturning Roe v. Wade, Democratic governors have been the last line of defense for abortion rights — and Gov. Whitmer isn’t the only one taking action. Among other examples, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she wants to create a “safe harbor” for abortion rights in New York, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation making access to abortion a “fundamental right” no matter what the Supreme Court rules, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill to overturn a dormant 1969 ban on most abortion procedures.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on MSNBC with José Díaz-Balart talking about her unprecedented lawsuit to protect reproductive rights.

“Colorado is leading the way to protect reproductive health. Intimate personal decisions are made strictly between an individual, their doctor, and their faith. Big government should not be invited to make personal health decisions for anyone.”

  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on signing the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), preserving Coloradans’ right to access abortions as the Supreme Court considers a challenge to Roe v. Wade.

“My advice to the Republican Party is to get over yourself.”Which Republican governor said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!If you guessed Donald Trump last week, you were right! At a Georgia GOP rally, Trump continued to slam Gov. Brian Kemp, stating, “If Brian Kemp is renominated, he will go down in flames at the ballot box.”