DAGA Download – March 27
March 28, 2020
On The Trail
DEM AG CANDIDATES TAKING ACTION ON CORONAVIRUS
- Indiana: Indiana State Sen. Karen Tallian held a Facebook live highlighting the importance of the ACA in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel personally donated blood to help his local blood bank and encouraged others who are able to do the same.
- Missouri: Rich Finernan and Elad Gross both sent out emails this week to their supporters encouraging them to either donate to specific charities helping Americans through this global pandemic or announced they were making a donation themselves. Elad Gross also launched the #EladPod, an interactive podcast streamed on Facebook Live and wrote a blog post on how Missouri can safeguard voting during the coronavirus crisis.
- Montana: Both State Rep. Kim Dudik (here) and Raph Graybill (here) posted videos to their social media channels about what resources are available to the people of Montana and highlighted the importance access to health care and the ACA. Dudik also highlighted her past experience as a nurse.
- Utah: Greg Skordas, one of the Democrats running in Utah, joined a local radio show to talk about the upcoming AG race in Utah and the lack of leadership and corruption coming from current Republican AG Sean Reyes during this time of crisis.
- West Virginia: Delegate Isaac Sponaugle called on Governor Justice to call a special session of the legislature to respond to the global pandemic. Sam Petsonk spoke to a local news outlet about the kind of protections workers have if they are not feeling well and worried about contracting or spreading COVID-19.
TROUBLE IN WEST VIRGINIA
A recent Bloomberg Law article highlights potential problems brewing for Republican AG Patrick Morrisey as he seeks re-election this November. Morrisey, who is not a native of the state, previously worked as a lobbyist for pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. His actions and close ties to the opioid industry are now being scrutinized by voters as his debt-ridden campaign heads into re-election. Read DAGA’s note here and the full Bloomberg Law article here!
THE STREAK CONTINUES IN MT
For the third quarter in a row, the Democratic candidates running for Montana’s open Attorney General seat outraised the Republican candidates, reinforcing the Democratic momentum in this 2020 battleground state. According to Montana campaign finance reports, Raph Graybill, who currently serves as Governor Bullock’s Chief Legal Counsel, and Montana State Representative Kimberly Dudik both outraised the two Republican candidates for Attorney General in Q1 of 2020. Read the full note here!
PROTECTING REPRO RIGHTS
While states across the country work to minimize the spread of the coronavirus virus, the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) worked with New York AG Tish James to highlight the importance of access to reproductive health care and show support for women and families during this crisis. As anti-abortion activists attempt to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to restrict access to safe, legal abortion, DAGA released statements from DAGA Co-Chairs Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum and Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, New York AG Tish James, Democratic AGs from across the country, and DAGA Executive Director Sean Rankin, reinforcing their commitments to protecting reproductive rights. Read all of the statements here!
PROTECTING FRONT LINE WORKERS
Wisconsin AG Josh Kaul teamed up with a coalition of 16 Democratic AGs to send a letter to President Trump asking that he utilize his authority under the Defense Production Act to address the ongoing shortages of critical medical testing supplies and protective gear for health care workers at our nation’s hospitals. By invoking the DPA, states could see increases in supplies of personal protective equipment and testing capacity.
BONUS: California AG Xavier Becerra sent a separate letter to President Trump urging his administration invoke the Defense Production Act and use all available tools necessary to treat patients and fight the spread of COVID-19.
A bipartisan coalition of state AGs wrote to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calling on her to immediately implement emergency measures to protect federal student loan borrowers in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. State AGs continue to do as much as they can to protect the people in their state and that includes the millions of student loan borrowers. Read the full letter here!
FIGHTING FOR FAIR FUNDING
In an effort to secure equal treatment, District of Columbia AG Karl Racine coalesced a bipartisan group of 37 state AGs and the National Association of Attorneys General to send a letter to Congress requesting that the District of Columbia and its 700,000+ residents be treated as a state for purposes of receiving vital funding to handle the COVID-19 crisis. “Ten Republican attorneys general say D.C. should not be considered a territory but should be considered a state for economic relief,” AG Racine said.
For more on Democratic AG leadership confronting Covid-19, check out the DAGA Covid-Update #3 from this week here.
AG SPOTLIGHT: SOCIAL MEDIA EDITION
AG FAMILY CHALLENGE
Nevada AG Aaron Ford launched a light-hearted social media effort to stay busy at home during this crisis: the #AGFamilyChallenge. Each weekday, on AG Ford’s social media platforms, he will post a new way to learn and have fun at home. The first challenge, AG Ford showed everyone how to properly wash their hands … while singing “We Are Family.” Follow AG Ford’s twitter account here for a nice reprieve each day.
Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro launched #HereAreTheHelpers, a social media campaign to highlight the incredible and generous work of our neighbors, friends, businesses, and community leaders across Pennsylvania. In launching the campaign, AG Shapiro said, “As Mr. Rogers said, during a crisis ‘look for the helpers’– and that is exactly what we intend to do.” Follow AG Shapiro’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for the latest on the campaign.
CIVICS WITH STEIN
This week, North Carolina AG Josh Stein launched his “Civics with Stein” weekly video series. AG Stein tweeted, “I know parents across NC are struggling to get educational content to their kids, so I am here to help. I’ll be doing a short video like this once a week.” This week’s topic: federalism. If you have any ideas of what next week’s topic should be, AG Stein said to reach out here!
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Michigan AG Dana Nessel is working hard to protect the people of Michigan from scammers and price gougers that are taking advantage of consumers during this pandemic. But, after a long day’s work… she’s still got a bit of humor left for the rest of us.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Democratic AGs won a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration from kicking nearly 700,000 Americans off SNAP benefits. Check out this video DAGA put together to highlight this key victory.