The Weekender (8/14/20)


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

Let’s get started.

Vermont: Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman won the Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday. Zuckerman has spent his career fighting for equality, clean air and clean water, and an economy that works for all Vermonters. Vermont GOP Gov. Phil Scott won the Republican primary. Under Scott’s watch, multimillionaires have gotten richer, and working Vermonters have suffered. Recently, Scott caved to partisan pressure,  dragging his feet to purposely block vote-by-mail efforts critical to protecting our democracy in the time of a global pandemic.  

Montana: On Monday, Lt. Gov. and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mike Cooney launched “Montanans Against a Sales Tax,” a Constitutional Initiative to ban a statewide sales tax in Montana once and for all

 Montanans have twice voted in overwhelming numbers to reject a statewide sales tax and in 2016, it was a key issue that led to Greg Gianforte’s defeat against Gov. Steve Bullock. History looks to be repeating itself in Montana as Gianforte struggles to explain how to square his long support for the sales tax as an “ideal solution” with a Montana electorate hostile to the policy.

ICYMI: Chris Sununu Awards Millions in No-Bid, Government Contracts to Political Allies, Again Using Taxpayer Dollars For Political Kickbacks

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is at it again – using taxpayer dollars as his own personal slush fund. Sununu appears to be taking his cues from President Trump – who has awarded government contracts and allocated important resources to his own political allies again and again and again. Sununu is clearly proving he is a “Trump guy through and through.”

Last week, Sununu’s administration gave two no-bid contracts totaling millions of dollars to longtime GOP donor and former NH Republican Party Chairman Steve Duprey. Just a few weeks ago, Duprey hosted a high-dollar fundraiser for Sununu.

Sununu has come under fire before for using his office to grant contracts to Duprey’s businesses. Back in May, Sununu awarded Duprey’s hotel a $453,599 contract using COVID-19 relief funding, (the contract is now valued at over $1 million). An investigation by NHPR found that Sununu had “authorized several no-bid, retroactive deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to political benefactors, without the traditional outside approval.”

Even New Hampshire Republicans were skeptical of Sununu’s use of taxpayer funds. Republican Councilor Ted Gatsas expressed concern over Duprey’s contract.

Statement from DGA Chair Gov. Phil Murphy on the Trump Administration’s Failure to Provide Meaningful Relief to Americans

On Saturday, President Trump signed four executive orders falsely promising fiscal relief for the millions of struggling Americans who have been left in the lurch by Republicans’ dereliction of duty. 

The executive orders and memorandum put forward by the president equate to nothing but a false promise.

In a statement, DGA Chair New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called out the Trump administration for failing the American people saying, 

“Yet again, this administration and its Republican allies in Congress have failed the millions of Americans who are struggling to keep their heads above water. Instead of showing leadership and presenting meaningful solutions to support our hardworking friends and neighbors, President Trump has offered up a hollow political gesture.[…]For an economic wound that needs sutures, President Trump’s executive actions do not even justify being called a band-aid.

Americans are hurting and they need the federal government to lead as it is designed to do during a crisis. Republicans in Congress and President Trump must step up.”

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, discussing Joe Biden picking Kamala Harris to be his running mate ahead of the 2020 presidential election. 

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on The Weather Channel, explaining the state’s response to the more than 700,000 power outages caused by a tornado that touched down in the midst of Tropical Storm Isaias.

“This is absurd. Americans need real help — not false promises.”

“I think quite honestly this week went real well.”

Who said it? Send your answer to and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed current Lt. Gov. and GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest last week, you were right! After an ad released by Roy Cooper highlighting Forest’s total disregard for public safety measures while holding large in-person campaign events, Forest said that “we shake as many hands as we can” and that “it will be a lot more of this” indicating the superspreader event behind him.