DAGA Download – March 26
March 26, 2021
ON THE TRAIL
Michigan AG Dana Nessel was endorsed by LPAC, an organization committed to raising the voices of LGBTQ women. “We are proud to endorse Dana Nessel for Attorney General in Michigan! Her outstanding record of fighting for the LGBTQ+ community and commitment to the values of equity and progress have made her an inspiring leader in Michigan and a necessary voice in America today.”
Connecticut AG William Tong led a coalition of 12 Democratic AGs in calling on Facebook and Twitter to take action to stop the spread of COVID-19 anti-vaxxer disinformation on their platforms. In the letter to CEOs Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, Democratic AGs urged both CEOs to fully enforce company guidelines against vaccine misinformation. In response to the rise of misinformation on Twitter and Facebook, AG Tong said, “These posts are in flagrant violation of Facebook and Twitter policies. Facebook and Twitter must fully and immediately enforce their own policies, or risk prolonging this pandemic.” Democratic AGs have already been taken steps to combat disinformation. Just last week, Illinois AG Kwame Raoul and New York AG Tish James shared pictures of themselves getting vaccinated to demonstrate their trust in vaccines and encourage others to get vaccinated. Read more about this effort here.
ADDRESSING GUN VIOLENCE
Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro led a coalition of 18 Democratic AGs calling on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to close the loophole in the ATF’s interpretation of the federal Gun Control Act that allows prohibited purchases of firearms to evade common-sense gun laws and purchase 80 percent receivers which can then be easily assembled into unserialized and untraceable “ghost guns.” AG Shapiro said, “Ghost guns are quickly becoming the weapon of choice for criminals and fueling the gun violence epidemic.” Democratic AGs have historically supported stronger gun control measures, and this letter demonstrates their continued support and action to combat gun violence. Read more about the letter here and Democratic AGs’ previous efforts here.
STOPPING DOMESTIC TERRORISM
DAGA Co-Chair Nevada AG Aaron Ford and Michigan AG Dana Nessel appeared on “Capitol Hill” this week for a hearing by the House Committee on Homeland Security. The committee hearing focused on the rise of domestic terrorism and the best ways to combat that rise. AG Ford said, “With the rise of domestic violent extremism there is no question that something needs to change so that we can ensure public safety.” AG Nessel said, “Domestic terrorists seek to intimidate and coerce the conduct of all government.” Learn more about AG Ford’s testimony here and AG Nessel’s testimony here.
KEEPING COMMUNITIES HEALTHY
New York AG Tish James is leading a coalition of 15 Democratic AGs in suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over it’s risk evaluation of the prevalent drinking water contaminant 1,4-dioxane. The Dem AG coalition seeks to support the Biden Administration’s anticipated efforts to correct the many deficiencies in the 1,4-dioxane risk evaluation after the Trump administration failed to take action to protect communities. AG James said, “1,4-dioxane is both poisonous and pervasive — all too often contaminating the water we drink, the places we work, and products we use, and Long Islanders are particularly vulnerable in the state of New York.” Read more about the Democratic AGs’ efforts here.
ALERT: NEW CALIFORNIA AG
California Assemblymember Rob Bonta was appointed by Governor Newsom to serve as the next California Attorney General. Bonta will make history as the first Filipino-American to hold the office. DAGA Co-Chairs Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and Nevada AG Aaron Ford released a statement congratulating Bonta, “We know Bonta has the experience, knowledge, and drive to tackle the multiple crises Californians – and people across the country – are facing during these trying times. There is no doubt Bonta will continue the legacy of being a true people’s lawyer for all Californians – just like his predecessors HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and Vice President Kamala Harris.” DAGA Executive Director Sean Rankin said, “At a time when hate crimes towards the API community are increasingly visible, we commend Governor Newsom for elevating a leading API voice to this nationally recognized office. Bonta is a lifelong public servant and has the experience to lead this new era at California DOJ.” Read the full statement here and learn more about soon-to-be Attorney General Rob Bonta here.
THE PEOPLE’S LAWYER
Colorado AG Phil Weiser has made antitrust enforcement of big tech one of his main priorities. Recently, AG Weiser testified before the Antitrust Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. In his testimony, he highlighted previous antitrust cases that his office and other states have filed previously against Google and Facebook. Additionally, he pointed to possible solutions to strengthen antitrust enforcement and competition policy. Prior to his testimony, AG Weiser said, “Consumers want choice in the marketplace. They don’t want a single firm having a chokehold in the market.” Not only has AG Weiser been taking on big tech, but he has also made opioids, the environment, and police reform crucial parts of his agenda. Read more about AG Weiser’s agenda here.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
DAGA Co-Chair Nevada AG Aaron Ford was recognized by the National Bar Association, the oldest and largest national organization for African American lawyers and judges, for “the highest degree of excellence in the legal field, a character beyond reproach, and an outstanding commitment to the community of African American attorneys…”
BONUS: AG Ford was also named one of 18 commissioners for the Aspen Institute Commission on Information Disorder, hosted by Aspen Digital. He joins Co-Chairs Katie Couric, Rashad Robinson, and Chris Krebs alongside another notable name, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Learn more about the commission here.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Happy 11th Birthday to the Affordable Care Act from the Democratic Attorneys General Association! To this day, Democratic AGs are fighting back against Republican AGs to protect the ACA.
VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
After the deadly mass shooting in Colorado, Colorado AG Phil Weiser spoke to Poppy Harlow at CNN about the importance of universal background checks saying, “We need a federal law.” Watch the full video here:
Connecticut AG William Tong and Democratic AGs continue to speak out about hate and racism towards the API community. At a community event with the Mayor of New Haven, Justin Elicker, and Ketkeo Rajachack, owner of Pho Ketkeo, AG Tong called for individuals and community members to “stand with each other other as family.” Watch the full video here: