DAGA Download – May 21
May 21, 2021
ON THE TRAIL
VA ENDORSEMENT CORNER
Virginia AG Mark Herring was endorsed by the Virginia chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Humane Society Legislative Fund. VA NOW PAC Coordinator Pat Reuss said, “Our support is based not only on his past record ensuring women’s access to reproductive health care and Constitutional equality, but also his promised agenda for the next four years that includes all hard-working families.” In their endorsement, President of the Human Society Legislative Fund Sara Amundson said, “Attorney General Herring’s Animal Law Unit is a model for other attorneys general around the nation to emulate.”
BONUS: AG Herring spoke with local reporter Kara Dixon as part of the “Candid with Kara” series about his vision of the Office of Attorney General’s role in helping people.
TURMOIL IN TEXAS
Indicted Texas AG Ken Paxton is coming under pressure from Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who is rumored to be preparing a primary challenge against the former RAGA Chair. U.S. Senator John Cornyn “declined to give Paxton a vote of confidence for reelection.” Read more about the turmoil in the GOP primary for Texas AG here.
NEW AD ON TV
- AG Herring’s campaign released a new ad highlighting who he is fighting for and why he is running for re-election.
PROTECTING THE PLANET
Under the Trump Administration, Democratic AGs took nearly 500 major actions to combat the climate crisis and protect the environment. Bloomberg Law took a look at the plans of Democratic AGs now that there is no longer an administration that is denying the reality of climate change. DAGA Co-Chair Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, California AG Rob Bonta, Connecticut AG William Tong, New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal, and New York AG Tish James talked to Bloomberg Law about their environmental justice plans under the Biden-Harris Administration. The work of Maryland AG Brian Frosh, Minnesota AG Keith Ellison and Washington AG Bob Ferguson is also mentioned. Read the Bloomberg Law article here.
BONUS: DAGA held a live-streamed, environmental justice conversation moderated by Center for American Progress Founder John Podesta that featured DAGA Co-Chair Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, Connecticut AG William Tong, New York AG Tish James, and North Carolina AG Josh Stein. Watch below:
TAKING ON GUN VIOLENCE
In a letter to U.S. Senate leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee leaders Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley, a coalition of Democratic AGs expressed their support for ATF Director nominee David Chipman. In the letter, the Democratic AGs write, “As the chief law and law enforcement officers in our respective states and territories, many of us regularly work with ATF to combat violent criminals and gun trafficking in our communities.” Read more here.
DEFENDING REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
The U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear an abortion case widely seen as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, centers around Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Democratic AGs quickly reassured their constituents that they will use every legal tool possible to protect people’s reproductive rights, including access to abortion. DAGA Co-Chairs Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and Nevada AG Aaron Ford issued a statement saying, “The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court should cause alarm. Reproductive rights, including access to abortion, should never be up for dispute.” Republican AG Lynn Fitch is playing a central role in this case, and Republican AGs around the country have thrown their support behind challenging abortion access as well. Read the full statement here.
REMINDER: DAGA announced in 2019 that it will only endorse AG candidates who publicly support reproductive rights, including access to abortion.
STOPPING AAPI HATE
District of Columbia AG Karl Racine and Connecticut AG William Tong both attended the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act signing ceremony at the White House. AG Racine, as the President of the National Association of Attorneys General, has made addressing the rise of hate crimes his presidential initiative. AG Tong, the first Chinese-American elected to the office of State Attorney General in U.S. history, has been outspoken about the rise in hate crimes during the COVID-19 crisis. DAGA Co-Chairs Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and Nevada AG Aaron Ford released a statement applauding the new law saying, “For too long, violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has been invisible. The COVID-19 crisis accelerated racial-targeting and violence towards the AAPI community, and we hope that the signing of the AAPI Hate Crime bill today will reverse the trend and help hold those propagating these attacks accountable.” Read the full statement here.
BONUS: Ahead of the bill signing, AG Tong spoke to NowThisNews about the history of hate crimes towards the AAPI community, the Vincent Chin case, and the importance of this new legislation. Watch below:
HOLDING TRUMP ORG ACCOUNTABLE
New York AG Tish James announced that her office’s investigation into the Trump organization is “no longer solely civil in nature.” Read more about her announcement in this CNN article that broke the news here.
Iowa AG Tom Miller spearheaded two pieces of legislation which were recently signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds. The first creates a sexual assault forensic examiner program. The second formally establishes a tracking system for sexual assault evidence kits. AG Miller said, “These laws provide critical services to survivors and increase accountability and transparency in the investigations of these crimes.”
DEFENDING DEMOCRACY (STILL)
Democratic AGs were instrumental in protecting the results of the 2020 election and defending our democratic institutions and democracy itself. In Michigan, litigation around the 2020 election finally came to a close this week and Michigan AG Dana Nessel marked the occasion by saying, “Today’s ruling in Antrim County should be the nail in the coffin for any remaining conspiracy theories surrounding the outcome of the Nov. 3 general election.” And Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro talked to MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace about holding lawyers who tried to overturn the election accountable saying, “There must be consequences for [Rudy Giuliani’s] behavior.”
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Maryland AG Brian Frosh thanked the Biden-Harris Administration for a new presidential memo that expands access to legal representation and the courts.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Former New Jersey Democratic AG Anne Milgram met with Senators ahead of her confirmation to serve as Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Once confirmed, Anne Milgram will be the fourth former Democratic AG currently serving in the Biden-Harris Administration.
VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
As we continue to celebrate and mark the AAPI Heritage month, DAGA released two videos highlighting AAPI Democratic AGs: Connecticut AG William Tong and New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal.