DAGA Download – July 10
July 10, 2020
Fundraising numbers are rolling in for Q2 of 2020. Democratic AG incumbents and candidates are continuing to build momentum and raise money.
- INDIANA: Democratic AG nominee Jonathan Weinzapfel announced his campaign raised more than $170,000, bringing his total raised to just shy of $1 million.
- MONTANA: Democratic AG nominee Raph Graybill announced last month his campaign raised twice as much as his Republican opponent.
- NORTH CAROLINA: Democratic AG Josh Stein announced historic fundraising this week with $2.2 million raised in the first 6 months of 2020 and more than $5.75 million cash-on-hand.
Last weekend, incumbent Republican AG Sean Reyes narrowly won the GOP primary for AG. DAGA Political Director Farah Melendez, a native of Utah, said in a statement “Republicans nominated Sean Reyes, an anti-healthcare politician who is currently wasting taxpayer dollars on a lawsuit to eliminate coverage for more than 100,000 Utahns and end protections for 1.2 million Utahns with pre-existing conditions … Not even a global pandemic is stopping him from pursuing this health care sabotage meant solely to score political points with national Republicans.” Read the full statement that details Reyes’s struggles in the primary here.
BONUS: PANTS ON FIRE? RAGA and Sean Reyes’s campaign were already fact-checked by The Salt Lake Tribune regarding misleading information they are trying to spread about Democratic AG nominee Greg Skordas. Read more here.
RAGA HYPOCRISY EXPOSED
In a Salon article, RAGA’s latest tactics to pander to Trump and Trump’s race-baiting antics were exposed. The most recent desperate attempt occurred over the Fourth of July holiday weekend when they bought TV time to run an ad during Trump’s visit to South Dakota for his now infamous Mt. Rushmore speech. Salon called out their larger campaign, which falsely attacks Democrats as “lawless,” saying, “[i]ronically, Republican Attorneys General have recently themselves run afoul of law and order.” Read the full article here.
GONE MISSING: JIM O’NEILL
COVID-19 cases are on the rise in North Carolina and this week, the state reached nearly 80,000 total reported cases. As AG Stein continues to demonstrate proactive leadership, voters are left wondering: “Where’s Jim?” Republican candidate Jim O’Neill has been noticeably absent from the conversation on the importance of protecting access to health care and the importance of wearing masks. Read more here.
FORMER RAGA VICE CHAIR LOSES PRIMARY
Indiana’s GOP convention announced the results for who their Republican nominee will be for Attorney General. After a close race, requiring multiple rounds of ballots, Republican incumbent AG Curtis Hill lost to former Congressman Todd Rokita. DAGA Executive Director Sean Rankin said, “Todd Rokita is a self-serving politician who was rejected not only by Indiana voters, but also his own party in his last attempt at statewide office.” AG Hill recently had his law licenses suspended for multiple counts of sexual misconduct, but that didn’t stop the Republican Attorneys General Association from pouring tens of thousands of dollars into his failed re-election effort. Read DAGA’s full statement here, including information on the committee’s early investment in this toss up state.
PROTECTING PUBLIC SCHOOLS
California AG Xavier Becerra and Michigan AG Dana Nessel led a coalition of Democratic AGs in a lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over a policy that would divert critical CARES Act funding from public schools. Under the new Education Department’s rule, some public schools serving low-income students could end up receiving less money with funds shifted to their private school peers. “Unfortunately, this most recent action by Secretary DeVos is really just another example in a long history of an administration that uses any and every opportunity available to tip the scales in favor of private schools at the great expense of our public schools,” AG Nessel said. Of the CARES Act funding, AG Becerra said “[w]e’re going to court to make sure it ends up where it’s needed — the futures of our children are at stake.”
BONUS: Michigan AG Dana Nessel joined MSNBC’s Katy Tur to discuss her efforts further, calling Sec. DeVos a “reverse Robin Hood.” Watch AG Nessel’s appearance here.
FIGHTING TO KEEP COLLEGES & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS SAFE DURING COVID-19
California AG Xavier Becerra announced that his office will sue the Trump administration for jeopardizing the health of students in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) by forcing them to take in-person classes or leave the country. In this latest hostile move by the administration, ICE reversed course on Monday by rescinding a previous policy allowing SEVP students to attend virtual classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Shame on the Trump Administration for risking not only the education opportunities for students who earned the chance to go to college, but now their health and well-being as well,” said AG Becerra. “Today, President Trump appears set to do just that — amidst a global pandemic of historic proportions. Not on our watch.” Read more about the California lawsuit here.
BONUS: Massachusetts AG Maura Healey also announced on Twitter her intention to sue the Trump administration over the rule.
NEW YORK REPORT ON POLICING
After a 30-day investigation, New York AG Tish James released an initial report of her investigation into the NYPD’s conduct towards protests that occurred in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. “Progress cannot and should not wait. We must begin the hard role of re-evaluating the role of police in society,” said AG James. Read more about AG James’s recommendations, including creating an independent review board in The New York Times here.
BACKLOG BE GONE
Thanks to the dedication of Virginia AG Mark Herring and his team, there is no longer a sexual assault kit backlog in the Commonwealth of Virginia. AG Herring announced the incredible news at a press conference and promised “it is never coming back.” Read more about how AG Herring is fighting for justice for sexual assault survivors in this CNN piece here.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
DAGA Co-Chair Massachusetts AG Maura Healey talked to Cheddar this week about her efforts to protect international students from the Trump administration’s attacks on student visa holders. Roomrater, a twitter account that rates the background of people’s TV appearance, gave AG Healey a solid 9/10! Fun fact: AG Healey defeated Betsy DeVos in this arena, too.
VIDEOS OF THE WEEK