The Weekender (9/17/21)


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

Let’s get started.

Virginia: On Thursday, the Washington Post Editorial Board endorsed Terry McAuliffe for governor of Virginia, calling him a “legendary dealmaker … and a skilled and responsible steward of taxpayer funds and the state economy.” ​​The endorsement highlights McAuliffe’s record of economic success in creating jobs and bringing business to Virginia. It also applauds his “sweeping, detailed agenda” for governor, which centers on education and equity. On the other hand, Glenn Youngkin has “almost no policy proposals beyond a commission to tighten rules on nearly nonexistent election fraud.” ​​Calling him an “untested politician,” the Editorial Board slammed Youngkin for playing “footsie with the scurrilously anti-democratic ‘big lie.’”

New Jersey: Jack Ciattarelli had another bad week. Since headlining a Trump-supporting “Stop the Steal” rally with Confederate flags and white supremacists in November 2020, Ciattarelli has desperately tried to rewrite history. But Ciattarelli’s lies lose traction in the face of a newly-released video showing him speaking in front of a “Stop the Steal” sign and a promotional flyer for the rally that prominently featured him. Ciattarelli’s campaign continues to hide the truth, which comes as no surprise to those familiar with his pattern of deceit, including asking a crowd of far-right Republicans for some “wiggle room” to mislead voters about his extreme positions. When it comes to Ciattarelli’s far-right politics, New Jerseyans won’t forgive him for embracing extremism for his own political benefit.

“Debacle,” “Dumpster Fire,” and “Embarrassment” — James Craig’s Attempted Reboot This Week Was A Complete Disaster

This week, James Craig tried to reboot his campaign as he continues to dodge questions. “You’d think that with all the campaign launches James Craig has had, he could get one right,” said Michigan Advance’s Susan Demas. The launch was a complete disaster, including multiple locations, a missed event in Flint, refusing to answer questions, baselessly blaming the governor for his poor planning, and even admitting that improving infrastructure is not one of his priorities.Local media in Michigan had a lot to say about Craig’s terrible attempt at a reboot. The Detroit Metro Times reported, “James Craig’s ‘official’ campaign launch was a complete clusterf*ck … If this is any sort of indication as to how Craig’s 2022 campaign will go, buckle up, folks. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.” The Detroit Free Press’s Dave Boucher added, “Before now, I’d never heard a political candidate say, ‘I didn’t say that was one of my priorities’ when asked about ideas for improving infrastructure.”

Between his refusal to answer questions and months-long disastrous rollout, the Craig campaign continues to be such an unmitigated mess that he’s further opening the door to what promises to be a crowded, nasty, and divisive GOP primary, despite the best efforts of insiders to put their thumb on the scale for him.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Victory In the Republican Recall Election Reaffirms Broad Support for Strong Democratic Leadership
On Tuesday, California voters chose progress over a completely out-of-touch Republican agenda by rejecting the California GOP’s bogus recall effort. DGA Chair New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham released the following statement on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s victory:“Congratulations to Gov. Gavin Newsom on his victory in the Republican recall election. Gov. Newsom is a bold leader who has courageously navigated California through unprecedented crises while successfully fending off dangerous distractions by the far-right.

“Tonight, California voters chose progress over a completely out-of-touch Republican agenda. With his victory, Gov. Newsom will continue to lead based on science and facts while championing progressive policies like creating good-paying jobs, increasing access to affordable housing, funding public education, and taking action on climate change.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on MSNBC with Garrett Haake explaining the steps Kentucky is taking to curb the spread of COVID-19.New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNBC with Becky Quick discussing the state’s COVID response and economic recovery.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on MSNBC with Lawrence O’Donnell talking about the rejection of Trumpism in California, the fight against COVID, and the potential to transform state government in New York.

“‘No’ is not the only thing that was expressed tonight. I want to focus on what we said ‘yes’ to as a state. We said yes to science, we said yes to vaccines, we said yes to ending this pandemic.”

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom on his decisive victory in the Republican-led recall.

“You can’t tell me that Newsom won by a greater margin now than he did when he was first elected … I also want to see, if we find out there was fraud, that people are prosecuted. I want indictments and when I’m governor. We will prosecute anyone involved in fraud. No matter how low it goes, no matter how high it goes, and I’m talking if it goes all the way up to the Secretary of State.”
Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch last Friday, nice job! Kleefisch bragged about standing by former Gov. Scott Walker, who she teamed up with to gut funding for public education and negotiate a disastrous deal with a foreign company that cost taxpayers $4.5 billion.