DAGA Download – October 9
October 9, 2020
ON THE TRAIL
NC LAW ENFORCEMENT LINES UP FOR STEIN
North Carolina AG Josh Stein received the support of 40 top law enforcement officials in the state, including sheriffs and district attorneys. AG Stein said, “These men and women go to work every day to make our communities safer. As Attorney General, I will continue to work closely with them to protect the people of North Carolina.” AG Stein also released a new ad which featured a few of these law enforcement officers. Watch the ad here. Learn more about AG Stein’s record of keeping North Carolinian families safe here.
BIG THINGS HAPPENING IN BIG SKY
NEW PLAN: Democratic AG nominee Raph Graybill released a new plan to protect Montanans mental health, tackle substance abuse and reduce crime. Graybill said, “when it gets to become a criminal justice issue, we as a community have failed to address it on the front end.” Read more here & read the plan here.
WINNING IN COURT: Graybill, who currently serves as Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Bullock, successfully defended Montana’s mail-in-voting process from the Trump campaign. And this week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the GOP effort to block mail-in-voting in Montana. Read more here.
ENDORSEMENT: The Bozeman Daily Chronicle endorsed Raph Graybill for Montana Attorney General. In their endorsement they wrote, he “has pledged to protect the health coverage … and will go to bat to protect public access to these lands.” Read the full endorsement here.
ATTACK ON PUBLIC LANDS: In a recent article, Montana’s Republican Attorney General nominee Austin Knudsen likened the American Legion Park dedicated to World War II veterans to his own personal “backyard.” Knudsen is currently being sued by Montana veterans for blocking access to the only road to the American Legion Park in Culbertson – near his family ranch. Austin Knudsen’s dangerous anti-public lands record is well-documented and forecasts the kind of policies he would support as Attorney General. Read more about Austin Knudsen’s continued attacks on Montana’s public lands here.
WEST VIRGINIA HEATS UP
West Virginia’s Democratic AG nominee Sam Petsonk earned the endorsement of two of the state’s largest newspapers: the Charleston Gazette-Mail and the Herald-Dispatch. “Petsonk realizes the office of attorney general is there to serve the people of West Virginia” the Gazette-Mail wrote. Petsonk “has worked on matters of importance to working-class West Virginians,” wrote the Herald-Dispatch. Read the full endorsements from the Gazette-Mail here and the Herald-Dispatch here.
BONUS: Q3 reports were filed this week, highlighting a stark contrast between the candidates’ support. Petsonk has received more than 60% support from West Virginians while “Pain Pill” Pat Morrisey is living up to his name as he continues to accept money from drug company lobbyists. Read more here.
REYES ON THE ROCKS
In a striking development that once again underscores poor judgment by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, his newly appointed Solicitor General Melissa Holyoak, agreed to pay a $3,750 fine after being castigated by a federal magistrate judge in Florida for false statements in a case involving road safety. “Utahns deserve an AG with good judgment who we can trust to appoint honest, principled people. That leader is Greg Skordas,” said native Utahn and DAGA Political Director Farah Melendez. Read more about AG Reyes’ continued poor judgment here.
AN EARLY LOOK AT 2022
Seven senior officials within the Texas Office of Attorney General sent a letter asking federal law enforcement to investigate Texas AG Ken Paxton for “improper influence, abuse of office, bribery, and other potential crimes.” Currently, AG Paxton is awaiting trial for an indictment on securities fraud. Republicans in Texas have called on AG Paxton to resign and DAGA Co-Chairs have also made it clear there is no room for illegal behavior while in office. Read more here.
INDIANA: Democratic AG nominee Jonathan Weinzapfel was endorsed by the International Association of Firefighters Local 1262, Anderson Indiana
MONTANA: Democratic AG nominee Raph Graybill was endorsed by the Editorial Board of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle
NORTH CAROLINA: AG Stein was endorsed by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund & 40 Sheriffs and District Attorneys
PENNSYLVANIA: AG Shapiro was endorsed by PennEnvironment & the Human Rights Campaign
WEST VIRGINIA: Democratic AG nominee Sam Petsonk was endorsed by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin & the Editorial Boards of the Gazette Mail & Herald Dispatch
PROTECTING VOTING RIGHTS
A coalition of Democratic AGs, led by District of Columbia AG Karl Racine, filed an amicus brief in support of a challenge to Mississippi’s “restrictive vote-by-mail” requirements. “States have a responsibility to ensure voting is safe and easy for their residents, and especially during this pandemic, they must protect voters’ health and encourage participation in the November election,” AG Racine said. Read more about the effort to protect access to the ballot box here.
VOTER INTIMIDATION ON NOTICE
Democratic AGs held a press call this week to share how they are preparing to protect polling locations from voter intimidation – even as President Trump encourages his supporters to do so. Nevada AG Aaron Ford, Michigan AG Dana Nessel and Wisconsin AG Josh Kaul joined Let America Vote President Tiffany Muller and Brady Campaign’s Kris Brown. “To the extent you violate the law relative to using your firearm to intimidate or unduly influence someone, that’s going to be considered voter intimidation,” AG Ford said. Read more here.
New York AG Tish James is called the “last line” of defense against the Trump administration in a new profile in Gotham Magazine. The profile also highlights the teamwork of Dem AGs saying, “Democratic state attorneys general dedicated to preserving this nation’s bedrock principles have built coalitions and banded together to challenge the administration’s efforts to erode the rule of law.” Read more in Gotham Magazine here.
Michigan AG Dana Nessel announced her office, in coordination with local and federal law enforcement thwarted a plot by domestic terrorist groups in Michigan to kidnap and kill Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. This came as President Trump once again failed to denounce White Supremacist groups. “We can no longer afford in this nation to have our elected leaders like the President…sending not just winks and nods,” said AG Nessel “[i]t’s not a dog whistle… it’s literally a command to action for domestic terrorists.”
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
Ahead of the Vice-Presidential debate, Democratic AGs from across the country wished their former colleague (and former California Attorney General) Senator Kamala Harris well.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK