DAGA Download – June 26

June 26, 2020

ON THE TRAIL

RIDIN’ WITH BIDEN
In a letter released this week, every elected Democratic Attorney General endorsed Vice President Joseph R. Biden for president of the United States, citing Biden’s commitment to aggressively defend meaningful access to quality affordable health care. New York AG Tish James, who spearheaded the letter said, “[w]e need a president with the commitment and compassion to unite, the character and dedication to lead, and the knowledge and experience to govern. We need a president who will work with the people, not against them. We need Joe Biden.” The endorsement came on the same day that Republican AGs and Trump’s Department of Justice filed their opening briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court in their ACA repeal case California v. Texas. Read quotes about the Biden endorsement from Dem AGs across the country here and read the NBC News exclusive here.

DEM AG CANDIDATE FORUM
Ahead of Republican AGs and Trump’s DOJ filing their briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court, Democratic AG candidates in key battleground states joined DAGA for a live stream panel on health care, 2020 AG races, and the Republican AGs attempts to sabotage health care. Indiana’s Democratic AG candidate Jonathan Weinzapfel, Montana’s Democratic AG candidate Raph Graybill and Utah’s Democratic AG candidate Greg Skordas talked about the harmful ACA repeal lawsuit and how they would protect health care for the residents of their states. The conversation can be watched on DAGA’s TwitterFacebook & YouTube. Read the candidates full statements as they commit to protecting access to affordable health care here. Stay tuned for more conversations as election day draws closer!

 

MULTISTATE MOMENTS

TRANSFORMING POLICING IN AMERICA
As the country continues to raise alarms about police brutality and the need for reform, DAGA hosted a live stream discussion on transforming policing in America. Moderated by New York AG Tish James, the conversation included Nevada AG Aaron Ford, Illinois AG Kwame RaoulNew Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal as well as the Dwayne Crawford, the Executive Director for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and Barry Friedman, Faculty Director of the Policing Project at NYU’s School of Law. The conversation can be viewed on DAGA’s TwitterFacebook and YouTubeDemocratic AGs continue to provide critical leadership and are taking proactive steps to address policing reform. See this note for more!

 

ISSUE SPOTLIGHT

TAKING ON THE CLIMATE CRISIS
This week, Democratic AGs took critical, historic action in the fight against climate change and saw positive steps forward in protecting our planet:

  • On Wednesday, Minnesota AG Keith Ellison announced a lawsuit against Exxon, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute for deceptive practices related to the sale and promotion of petroleum products known to cause climate change. AG Ellison said, “[t]hose companies … deliberately misrepresented and lied to the public about the dangers of burning fossil fuels. … So we’re holding them accountable for that.” Watch his interview on NBC’s Meet the Press here!

  • On Thursday, District of Columbia AG Karl Racine announced a lawsuit against Exxon, BP, Chevron, and Shell alleging the companies systemically and intentionally misled consumers in the District of Columbia about the role their products play in causing climate change. AG Racine said, “[d]rawing inspiration from Big Tobacco, the companies financed and employed industry associations and front groups to distort and conceal the dangers their fossil fuel products represented.” Read more about this effort here.

 

  • On Thursday, Michigan AG Dana Nessel scored a victory in her effort to shut down the dangerous Line 5 pipeline. The Circuit Judge has granted AG Nessel’s request to temporarily shut down the pipeline after Enbridge Energy last week reported “significant damage” to an anchor support on one of the pipeline’s two legs. “With the continued operation of this pipeline, the risk of severe and lasting environmental damage to Michigan’s most important natural resource continues to grow every day. However, this ruling, while significant, is only a short-term fix,” AG Nessel said in a statement. For more on the ruling, check out this story here.

 

  • On Thursday, Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro announced that Pennsylvania’s 43rd Statewide Investigating Grand Jury uncovered “systematic failure by government agencies in overseeing the fracking industry” in their investigation into the unconventional oil and gas industry. “It’s about the big fights we must take on to protect Pennsylvanians — to ensure that their voices are not drowned out by those with bigger wallets and better connections,” said AG Shapiro. “There remains a profound gap between our Constitutional mandate for clean air and pure water, and the realities facing Pennsylvanians who live in the shadow of fracking giants and their investors.” Read more about the report findings here.

 

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Michigan AG Dana Nessel was profiled this week for Hour Detroit which noted she is “the most politically powerful lesbian in America.” In 2018, AG Nessel made history as the first openly LGBTQIA+ person elected statewide in Michigan and the second openly LGBTQIA+ person elected to State Attorney General in US history. Read the profile here!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

This week, Republican AGs and the Trump administration filed their opening briefs making their argument for why the entire Affordable Care Act should be ruled unconstitutional – which would end health care for 20 million people and eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. North Carolina AG Josh Stein explained how harmful that ruling would be to North Carolinians and why he is fighting back.