DAGA Download – June 8
June 8, 2020
ON THE TRAIL
PRIMED IN PENNSYLVANIA
Democratic incumbent AG Josh Shapiro cruised to an early victory in Pennsylvania’s Primary as he ran unopposed for re-election. AG Shapiro addressed supporters tweeting, “I’ve always promised as the people’s AG to protect Pennsylvanians in every way I can, without fear or favor. And that’s how I’ll continue to serve in this role.” Read DAGA’s full statement here and for more on the PA AG race and other battleground contests, check out this memo.
MADE IN MONTANA
Following a competitive primary between two strong Democrats, Raph Graybill won the party’s nomination for Montana Attorney General. Graybill currently serves as Governor Bullock’s Chief Legal Counsel. DAGA Political Director Farah Melendez said, “As a fifth generation Montanan and current chief legal counsel to Governor Bullock, Raph knows the Attorney General must look out for Montanans and defend their freedoms. Montana is a major pickup opportunity for DAGA this cycle.” Read DAGA’s full statement here and for more on the MT AG race and other critical AG races, check out this memo.
UNANSWERED IN UTAH
On Tuesday, Utah held its one and only Republican Primary AG debate. After failing to receive enough support at the Republican convention last month, Republican incumbent AG Sean Reyes was forced into a competitive primary. The debate left numerous questions unanswered including why Reyes supports dismantling the Affordable Care Act and removing health care for millions. Check out DAGA’s memo demanding answers for Utah’s voters here!
A coalition of 18 Democratic AGs sent a letter urging Congress to grant them “explicit authority” to investigate police departments with a pattern of abuse. Illinois AG Kwame Raoul said, “We’re the legal protector of citizens unable to protect themselves. So, when the Department of Justice says — as it previously has — that it is not the federal government’s responsibility to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies, attorneys general have a duty to step in and hold our local law enforcement agencies accountable.” Read more about the effort to institute change in POLITICO here.
Bonus Content: California AG Xavier Becerra sent a letter — in support of a broader effort by state attorneys general noted above — urging Congress to expand the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 to give state attorneys general clear statutory authority under federal law to investigate and resolve patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing. California law already authorizes the CA Department of Justice to conduct pattern-or-practice investigations, nevertheless AG Becerra called on Congress to expand that authority to state AGs across the country. More on AG Becerra’s support here.
DEMANDING MORE FROM DEVOS ON TITLE IX
A coalition of 18 Democratic AGs led by California AG Xavier Becerra, New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal, and Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Education’s new rule that would weaken Title IX protections and change how institutions receiving federal funding respond to sexual assault and harassment on campuses. Michigan AG Dana Nessel said, “This is a blatant disregard for the pain and fear victims of sexual assault and harassment face, and discourages reporting of these offenses.” Read the complaint here and more about the latest effort to stop Trump’s harmful agenda in Education Week here.
Minnesota AG Keith Ellison, who is leading the investigation into the killing of George Floyd, announced that he was upgrading the charges brought against the initial officer arrested to second-degree murder and charging the three other officers at the scene with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. AG Ellison also addressed Trump’s rhetoric on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time saying, “The attitude where you want to dominate someone is exactly what I believe is at the heart of so much of the problems between police and community.” Watch AG Ellison’s interview here.
District of Columbia AG Karl Racine joined CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett to discuss the protests happening outside the White House and the President’s use of force against peaceful protesters. “The District of Columbia is looking very carefully at the federal government’s actions,” said AG Racine. “And we have grave concerns about the legality of it. We don’t appreciate being used as a stage for the President to act tough.” Watch AG Racine’s interview here.
New York AG Tish James addressed the violent rhetoric used by the President saying, “We do not need individuals, particularly coming from the White House, that will engage in race baiting and continue to divide us.” Additionally, AG James was tapped by Governor Andrew Cuomo to lead an extensive investigation into the NYPD after reports emerged that officers used violent tactics towards peaceful protesters.
Nevada AG Aaron Ford hosted a round table discussion with law enforcement and community leaders to share approaches and solutions to break the cycle of violence toward communities of color, particularly the Black community. AG Ford said, “It’s not fair that my sons who are healthy can’t jog without some retired rogue cop killing them. It’s unfair they can’t wear a hoodie without some vigilante taking their lives. It’s unfair that they can’t do certain things and interact with cops in a way that they know won’t result in possible death.” Read more here.
DAGA Co-Chairs Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum released a statement from DAGA regarding the killing of George Floyd, the protests, and the leadership of their colleague Minnesota AG Keith Ellison. Read the full statement here.
For more on Democratic AG actions in response to protests around the country, check out this note here.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Friday was National Gun Violence Awareness Day, marking the beginning of Wear Orange Weekend. Democratic AGs from across the country participated, showing their support of people who have lost loved ones to gun violence. Check out the different Dem AGs by clicking on the tweet below!
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Dem AGs across the country continue to join local protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd to stand in solidarity with their communities. Colorado AG Phil Weiser joined in a local protest, answering marchers’ questions along the way. Watch here!