The Weekender (5/29/20)
Welcome to the Democratic Governors Association’s Friday newsletter, The Weekender.
Let’s get started.
Montana: The Montana primary is less than a week away – and the GOP candidates aren’t holding back. State Sen. Al Olszewski and Attorney General Tim Fox have consistently warned Montanans of the danger of Greg Gianforte’s candidacy, whose unpopularity is tearing the party apart. Republicans who view Gianforte as a uniquely dangerous figure are openly criticizing his dirty campaign tactics like using Fox’s cancer diagnosis and recovery as a reason to vote against him. This infighting will leave the Montana GOP deeply divided heading into the general election.
Vermont: GOP Gov. Phil Scott officially filed for re-election amidst his ongoing battle against vote-from-home measures. Scott is blocking Secretary of State Jim Condos from sending mail-in ballots to all registered voters, threatening public health and Vermonters’ constitutional right to vote in a free and fair election. On Tuesday, the Vermont Senate decided they’d had enough of Scott’s foot-dragging – and advanced a bill to hand the power on vote-by-mail entirely to Condos.
Every State, Every Vote: Federal Court Strikes Down Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Pay-To-Vote Law
On Sunday, a federal judge struck down GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ voting restrictions which required felons to repay all outstanding court costs before they could register to vote. In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle called the pay-to-vote law “unconstitutional” and said it served no purpose “other than perhaps to discourage felons from registering.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson Uses Political Maneuver To Stymie Medicaid Expansion
GOP Missouri Gov. Mike Parson moved the date of a Medicaid expansion ballot question to the state’s lower-turnout August primary with the hope that the initiative will fail. In the midst of a global pandemic, Parson is yet again showing his complete disregard for the health of Missourians.
Parson’s previous refusals to expand Medicaid left rural Missourians vulnerable and billions in federal aid on the table. Since 2010, Missouri has seen seven rural hospitals close putting Missouri in the top five states for hospital closures. And right now, 44 of Missouri’s 114 counties are without a hospital and more than half the state’s counties have no ICU beds. In a recent report from the Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri rural hospital leaders indicated their support for Medicaid expansion.
Parson’s main argument against Medicaid expansion is that it would add to the state’s looming budget crisis. But an estimate prepared by Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway finds that Medicaid expansion could save the state up to $1 billion annually by 2026. Thirty-six governors have approved Medicaid expansion in their states, including Mike Pence as governor of Indiana. Galloway, who is the likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee, strongly supports Medicaid expansion.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNN’s State of the Union, thanking his constituents for their “extraordinary” cooperation with coronavirus restrictions and discussing the important role childcare plays in reopening the economy.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, explaining how masks are a “passport to freedom” and a key part of safely reopening the economy.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on HBO’s Axios, asking the president to drop his antagonistic position towards Michigan. She reminds him: “You’re the president for all Americans.”
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, discussing his state’s cautious reopening plan to get people back to work safely.
“You cannot fan the flames and condemn the fire.”
- Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear calling out Republican legislators for creating an atmosphere that led protesters to hang an effigy of him outside the governor’s mansion.
“That’s like having a crystal ball. I would say right now, all things considered and all things held equal and maintained going forward, with another round, I would say you’d come forward with recommendations like ‘Work from home if you can.’”
Who said it? Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!
If you guessed GOP Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves last week, you were right! Reeves was tricked into congratulating “Harry Azcrac”, a prank name, during a Facebook livestream honoring 2020 graduates.