The Weekender (6/5/20)


Welcome to the Democratic Governors Association’s Friday newsletter, The Weekender.
Let’s get started.

Montana: Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney won the Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday. One of Montana’s most trusted and effective leaders, Lt. Gov. Cooney has spent his career fighting for hard-working Montana families. Out-of-state millionaire Greg Gianforte won the Republican gubernatorial nomination after a tense primary fight, and his top challenger, Attorney General Tim Fox, has yet to offer an endorsement. Also, the Montana Democratic Party put out the first ad of the general election highlighting “No Show” Greg’s poor voting record in Congress.
Missouri: In response to a report showing black drivers are disproportionately pulled over by police in the state, Missouri civil rights advocates called on state elected officials to immediately address the disparities. GOP Gov. Mike Parson danced around the issue, saying, “it’s mostly up to local officials.” While Gov. Mike Parson passed the buck on racial disparity to local leaders, Democratic gubernatorial candidate State Auditor Nicole Galloway spoke out in strong support of Black Lives Matter protests.

West Virginia’s Billionaire Governor Doesn’t Pay His Bills
With less than a week to the West Virginia gubernatorial primary, incumbent Gov. Jim Justice is facing another in-depth exposé from ProPublica revealing a shocking pattern of corruption within his family businesses. The allegations include denying health insurance to hard-working coal miners and failing to pay mine safety penalties.
According to ProPublica, “Justice’s constellation of companies has been involved in more than 600 lawsuits spanning more than two dozen states.” Last month, a federal court found Justice personally liable for $6.9 million in unpaid fees to a coal shipping terminal.
Justice is already in hot water with his fellow Republicans – this article won’t cool things down. He faces a tough primary challenge from one of his own former cabinet members, Woody Thrasher. Thrasher, also a business owner, took shots at Justice earlier this year: “I know what it’s like to make payroll every week, without a string of lawsuits and unpaid bills.”
The walls are closing in, and Justice is getting desperate. In response to the ProPublica article, Justice sent out a fundraising email trashing ProPublica and its journalist.

Every State, Every Vote: California Gov. Gavin Newsom Continues to Ensure Access to Fair and Secure Elections
On Wednesday, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to ensure access to safe in-person voting options ahead of the upcoming November election. The measure instructs counties to extend early voting to three days before Election Day and make ballot drop-box locations available between October 6 and November 3.
Gov. Newsom’s order is the second measure taken to ensure the availability of safe voting options during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, Gov. Newsom issued an executive order to mail every registered voter a ballot ahead of the November election. 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on CNN with Anderson Cooper, explaining what governors and protestors really need from the president: “a genuine showing of concern about the underlying problem here.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on CNN with Erin Burnett, saying the Black Lives Matter protests are a “beautiful thing” and “no thank you” to military intervention.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, responding to the president’s comments that governors are ‘weak’ and vowing to take the president to court if he attempts to deploy the military on Illinois protestors.

“This is a moment that calls for empathy and humanity and unity. This is one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history but, as Americans, we have to remember that the enemy here is racial injustice, not each other.” 

  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in response to President Trump calling governors ‘weak’ in dealing with Black Lives Matter protests across the country.

“Don’t go out and vote.”
Who said it? Send your answer to and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!
If you guessed GOP North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest last week, you were right! Forest told a reporter from The Atlantic if his health advisers recommended a “shelter-in-place” order, he would instead “come forward with recommendations like ‘work from home if you can.’” According to recent research, “shelter-in-place” orders like the one announced in March by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper saved hundreds of thousands of lives.