DAGA Download – January 10
January 10, 2020
Here is what happened this week for DAGA and our Democratic Attorneys General:
ON THE TRAIL
Three Republican AGs quietly filed a lawsuit attempting to block the addition of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution. Virginia is slated to become the 38th—and final state needed—to ratify this year. In response to the anti-woman and anti-equality lawsuit filed by the GOP, the DAGA Executive Committee condemned the lawsuit and urged their Republican colleagues to reconsider, “We stand with women and for equality. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same of these Republican Attorneys General.” The Democratic AGs also showed support for Virginia AG Mark Herring in his upcoming fight in the Commonwealth. Read more in HuffPost here & Bustle here. For state specific coverage, check out this Nevada Current article, this Michigan Advance article, this Pennsylvania Capital-Star article and this Salt Lake Tribune article showing the popularity of the ERA in Utah.
INDIANA UNDER INVESTIGATION
Indiana’s Republican AG Curtis Hill started the New Year and his re-election effort under investigation for sexual harassment and on the verge of losing his law license. AG Hill is under investigation for “touching four women, including a state lawmaker, during a party at a downtown bar.” After a hearing that included witness testimony, an officer for Indiana’s Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission recommended to the Indiana State Supreme Court that AG Hill’s law license be suspended for at least two years and without automatic renewal. As for his re-election efforts, AG Hill must survive a contested convention later this year and face voters in the fall. Learn more here.
BIG DOLLARS IN BIG SKY
For the second quarter in a row, Democratic candidates running for Montana’s open Attorney General seat collectively outraised the Republican candidates, signaling a Democratic flip opportunity in the state. According to campaign finance reports, Raph Graybill, who currently serves as Governor Bullock’s Chief Legal Counsel, and Montana State Representative Kimberly Dudik jointly raised over $40,000 more than Republican candidates across Q3 and Q4. These latest fundraising numbers show that Democrats are building momentum in the state. In October 2019, The Cook Political Report called the Montana open AG race one of “the most competitive contests” in 2020.
PUBLIC CHARGE VICTORY
Democratic AGs across the country scored a major victory for immigrants who call the U.S. home. This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit maintained a nationwide halt on the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule that links legal status and use of public benefits. New York AG Tish James tweeted “The Trump admin’s attempt to overturn the nationwide block on their Public Charge rule has been DENIED. The rule is dangerous, disruptive, and unlawful.” Read more about this victory in The Hill here!
DEFENDERS OF HEALTH CARE
A coalition of Democratic AGs from across the country filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the high court to review the Fifth Circuit’s ruling in Texas v. US. This lawsuit was brought by Republican AGs, and joined by the Trump administration, to dismantle health care for millions of Americans. The lawsuit, if successful, would eliminate the ACA entirely, putting millions of Americans at risk of losing coverage and throwing the nation’s healthcare system into chaos. California AG Xavier Becerra, who is leading the Democratic AG coalition, said, “We’re asking the Supreme Court to swiftly resolve this repeal lawsuit for the sake of saving lives and ending uncertainty in our healthcare system.” Following the Fifth Circuit decision in December, DAGA Co-Chairs Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum affirmed the Democratic AG coalitions commitment to protecting access to health care. Read more about what is next for health care in Politico here!
HISTORY IN IOWA
This Saturday, January 11, 2020, Iowa AG Tom Miller will become the longest serving state Attorney General in United States history. At 37 years and 6 days, he will pass the record previously held by former Michigan AG Frank Kelley. AG Miller told The Gazette, “I feel happy and proud that I will be the longest-serving attorney general in the history of the country. It’s a great job, using the law to serve the interests of ordinary Iowans. It’s been a great place to work in part because of the people that have been here,” continued AG Miller. Read more about his historic career protecting very day Iowans here!
DEM AGs GET IT DONE!
In 2018, DAGA helped elect a historic class of Democratic AGs who are keeping promises and fighting for the people every day.
- Michigan AG Dana Nessel, according to the Toledo Blade, was “the most successful of the state’s new ‘big three’” statewide government officials. “Since she took office, she has been a ball of energy and has won widespread respect,” added The Blade. Read more about AG Nessel’s success here!
- Nevada AG Aaron Ford was recognized for his dedication to combating the opioid crisis and restoring faith in state government. “I believe that the office of attorney general and the people who reside in this state deserve to have someone serving in it that wants to put Nevada families first,” AG Ford said. Read more about AG Ford’s accomplishments and plans for 2020 here!
- Wisconsin AG Josh Kaul scored major victories for the people of Wisconsin in his first year in office. From ending the sexual assault kit backlog to taking on the opioid crisis and polluters, AG Kaul has spent his first year getting right to work for the people of the Badger state. Learn more about AG Kaul’s success and what is on deck for 2020 here!
TWEET OF THE WEEK
As health care continues to be a top priority for voters throughout the country, the DNC recognized the great work Democratic AGs are doing to protect millions of Americans health care.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
As the 2020 elections heat up, North Carolina AG Josh Stein scored two key endorsements this week, his pups: Amos and Jenny!