ON THE TRAIL
VA ENDORSEMENT CORNER
Virginia AG Mark Herring has received another round of endorsements in his campaign for re-election. Three Arlington County Board members, a School Board member, and a Constitutional officer announced their support for AG Herring’s re-election. Paul Ferguson, clerk of the Circuit Court for Arlington and Falls Church, said AG Herring “is known nationally as an attorney general that supports progressive policies – he has shown courage and skill supporting civil rights and environmental issues.” Read more here.
DEM AGs FOR THE PEOPLE
21 Democratic AGs sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging support for H.R. 1, the “For the People Act of 2021.” The Act is an omnibus package of democracy reforms that would expand access to the ballot, protect elections from foreign interference, force disclosure of dark money in federal elections, and raise ethical standards for federal bills. This bill comes at a critical time – notably, a Brennan Center report revealed that at least 165 bills in 33 states have been introduced to restrict voting access this year.
BONUS: Democratic AGs’ efforts to protect the ballot box for millions of Americans are continuing without pause. Democratic AG coalitions took legal action in multiple states leading up to the 2020 Election and are still defending our democracy. DAGA Co-Chair Massachusetts AG Maura Healey said, “As attorneys general, we have fiercely defended the right to vote and upheld the will of the people. While we work to strengthen trust in our electoral process, this bill provides important reforms to protect access to the ballot box, remove the influence of dark money, and take steps to ensure accountability and racial justice. We urge Congress to act quickly to pass this legislation.” Read more about Dem AG actions to protect democracy here.
ACCESSIBILITY FOR ALL STUDENTS
24 Democratic AGs joined a bipartisan coalition of Attorneys General in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fund internet connectivity and internet-enabled devices to K-12 students whose schools continue to remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. North Carolina AG Josh Stein referenced the “longstanding digital divide” and said, “Kids are trying to learn from their homes with spotty internet or even from their parents’ cars parked in public library parking lots. We have to make sure they have reliable access to broadband, and I urge the FCC to take steps to make it easier for our students to learn remotely.” Read the full letter here.
JUSTICE FOR IMMIGRANTS
Virginia AG Mark Herring, New York AG Tish James, and DAGA Co-Chair Massachusetts AG Maura Healey filed a lawsuit this week against the immigrant bail bond company, Libre by Nexus, for marketing its immigration bond “securitization” services to vulnerable communities while misrepresenting the true costs of its services. AG Herring said, “Libre by Nexus has made a business out of preying on the vulnerabilities of terrified immigrants who pose no threat and only want to see their families again, and fear deportation if they were to stay in federal custody.” This is one of many actions taken by Democratic AGs recently as they continue to fight and protect immigrant communities.
PROTECTING INTERNET ACCESS
In the midst of a confirmation hearing, California AG Xavier Becerra secured a critical net neutrality win for 40 million Californians. In response to his victory AG Becerra said, “We applaud the Court for affirming that California has the power to protect access to the internet, and that net neutrality is vital for healthcare, education, public safety and economic growth. This is an important victory for all Californians and for our democracy.”
BONUS: AG Becerra appears to be on a “smooth path” to Senate confirmation according to POLITICO. Throughout the week, Democratic AGs have shared their support for AG Becerra’s confirmation as Secretary of Health and Human Services and highlighted his long list of accomplishments, including protecting affordable health care for millions.
PROTECTING CIVIL RIGHTS
Virginia AG Mark Herring’s bill to cement the Office of Civil Rights is on its way to Virginia Governor’s Northam’s desk to be signed into law. AG Herring said, “Every single person who calls Virginia home has the right to live here free from the fear of being discriminated against or denied an opportunity because of who they are, what they look like, whom they love, or how they worship.” AG Herring continues to make civil rights a core pillar of his legacy as Virginia’s Attorney General.
Connecticut AG William Tong spoke with Cheddar about the rise in hate crimes towards the Asian-American community across the country, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. AG Tong tweeted, “Hate, violence and extremism are the biggest threat to our society today. The hate against Asian Americans that we’ve seen rear its ugly head in Connecticut and across the nation must be stopped.” Watch the full conversation, including the discussion about his personal encounters with racism and hate.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
DAGA Co-Chair Nevada AG Aaron Ford was honored by Las Vegas Black Image Magazine for representing Las Vegas, Nevada on a local, national, and international platform with honor and advocacy for Nevada’s voting procedures during the 2020 elections.