The Weekender (9/10/21)


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

Let’s get started.

Virginia: As urgent nationwide calls grow to protect the right to choose following a near-total ban on abortion in Texas, the DGA launched a new video exposing Glenn Youngkin’s extreme position on outlawing abortion and restricting reproductive health care. Youngkin was caught on tape admitting to his closest supporters his secret plot to attack reproductive rights in Virginia once in office and confessing he’s been hiding his extreme views on abortion from voters to win votes. If elected governor, Youngkin has vowed to go “on offense,” banning abortion and defunding Planned Parenthood. Codifying Roe v. Wade into law has become a “huge motivator” in governor’s races, yet Youngkin continues to push a position that is extremely out of touch with Virginians. Watch the video here.

New Jersey: In a Star-Ledger opinion article published this week, editorial page editor Tom Moran highlighted how the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a Texas ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy will hurt Jack Ciattarelli in his gubernatorial bid. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, governors will play a crucial role in protecting the right to choose, which Moran says “raises the temperature on an issue where Ciattarelli has no natural allies in New Jersey.” Ciattarelli wants to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and called Trump’s conservative Supreme Court nominees his “greatest legacy.” Moran says Ciattarelli’s extremist anti-choice policies are “likely to grate on most New Jersey voters,” who support abortion rights in all or most cases by a margin of nearly 2-1. While Ciattarelli struggles, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy is fighting for New Jerseyans by pushing for passage of the Reproductive Freedom Act, which would expand access to abortion, prenatal care, and birth control. If Roe is overturned and federal protection for abortion rights disappears, each state will have to find its own way. “We need to, as soon as possible, put this protection into statute,” Murphy said.

Radical Rebecca Kleefisch Enters Wisconsin Governor’s Race and Faces Immediate Criticism for Past Failures

Yesterday, Rebecca Kleefisch officially announced she will run for governor in 2022. Kleefisch, Scott Walker’s former lieutenant governor, is already facing an onslaught of criticism from those who say she’s radically wrong for Wisconsin with an extreme and dangerous agenda.Kleefisch’s record includes creating an economy that left working families behind, spreading careless misinformation on COVID-19, and jeopardizing health care coverage for Wisconsinites. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has launched, along with a paid media campaign, so Wisconsinites can see for themselves how Kleefisch’s actions have already hurt Wisconsin and the radical agenda she would implement as governor.

USA Today Details How Democratic Governors Are Leading on Voting Rights
A USA Today article from Phillip M. Bailey highlights how Democratic governors are defending and expanding voting access as the fight to stop Republican assaults on voting rights has shifted to the states. In Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, Democratic governors have stressed that “their veto pens are the only line of defense to protect voters.” Govs. Evers and Wolf have already taken critical action blocking Republican-backed voter suppression bills.USA Today also noted that “Democrats leading states with divided government where Trump won have in some cases been able to do more than just play defense,” as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed a bipartisan bill restoring voting rights to individuals who are five years out of prison and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear worked across the aisle to expand early voting access. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has also repeatedly blocked laws aimed at disenfranchising voters.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown also highlighted the DGA’s “Every State, Every Vote” campaign, which drives public attention to what stricter election laws mean and the critical role Democratic governors play in combating those efforts. “Make no mistake about it, the election in 2022 is literally an existential fight for our democracy,” said Gov. Brown. “In the absence of congressional action, Democratic governors that have the ability to move forward are doing exactly that.”

And in two states with gubernatorial elections this year — Virginia and New Jersey — Democratic governors have received high marks for increasing access to the ballot box.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on CNN with Kate Bolduan discussing rising hospitalizations, mask mandates, and the role of the state legislature in defeating the Delta variant.New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNN with Jim Sciutto addressing the damage of Hurricane Ida and the tornadoes that swept southern New Jersey.

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on MSNBC with Geoff Bennett praising the removal of the nation’s largest Robert E. Lee statue.

“There’s no question sending a message from the federal side that indeed voting is the most important act you can do to make sure we have a strong democracy in our country is needed — absolutely. But I will tell you, in my position, I cannot wait for that to happen.”

  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on the importance of Democratic governors protecting and expanding voting rights.

“I stood with Scott Walker.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in last week’s Weekender, you were spot on! Gov. Kemp has refused to mandate common-sense public health measures as cases rise in the state and instead, his only strategy is “keeping his fingers crossed.”