August 10, 2018
August 29, 2018
Here is what happened this week for DAGA and our Democratic Attorneys General:
RED HOT RACES: This week, Salon’s Amanda Marcotte wrote a piece detailing how once obscure state AG races have now become increasingly critical in key battleground states. “Democratic AGs post a clear and immediate threat to the current rigged system.” DAGA Executive Director Sean Rankin was quoted in the piece as well and said that our AGs “are making headway when Congress can’t on progressive priorities.” Read the full article in Salon.
PROTECTING OUR KIDS: New Mexico AG Hector Balderas penned an op-ed in the Santa Fe New Mexican explaining how child abuse concerns all of us. He detailed the steps his office is taking to prosecute this heinous crime, achieve justice for survivors, and provide training to teachers so that they can better identify signs of abuse and trafficking. It’s on all of us to ensure that our kids are safe. Read AG Balderas’ full op-ed in the New Mexican here.
SAVE THE CENSUS: Massachusetts AG Maura Healey joined Democratic AGs in continued efforts to prevent a discriminatory citizenship question from appearing on the to the 2020 Census. In public comments submitted to the Census Bureau, AG Healey and other state officials said, “the move would harm all residents in states like Massachusetts, resulting in underrepresentation in Congress and decreased federal funding.” Read more coverage from the Boston Herald here.
BORDER WALL HEARING: This week, attorneys from the office of California AG Xavier Becerra argued before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court in California that the Department of Homeland security cannot waive environmental laws to expedite the construction of a border wall between Mexico and San Diego. The Court has not issued its ruling yet. Read more about the case from Courthouse News Service here.
ELECTION UPDATES: 87 days until the midterm election!
KEVIN BACON & KYRA SEDGWICK NEED OUR HELP: Yesterday, DAGA and our The Last Weekend coalition partners released a new video featuring celebrities Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick urging all Democratic voters to volunteer before the midterm elections. Watch the video and learn more about TLW here!
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: This week, Majority 60 published profiles featuring two of our 1881 Initiative candidates.
- In Arizona, Majority 60 highlighted January Contreras, who told the blog that “I’ve been meeting Arizonans across Arizona for a year now. One thing they tell me over and over is that people are losing faith in government. People want integrity and accountability in government again.” Contreras discussed how she is running against incumbent AG Mark Brnovich in part because of his dark-money ties and his history working for private prison corporations. She reminds us that “We can, and we will, do better.” Read Majority 60’s profile on January Contreras here.
- In Michigan, Dana Nessel spoke on how she will return the office of the AG “to one that defends the people of Michigan, not corporate special interests or right-wing extremists.” Nessel explained her plans for criminal justice reform including increased diversion programs. Read Dana Nessel’s profile in Majority 60 here.
YEAR OF THE WOMAN (ESPECIALLY IN MICHIGAN): The future is female in Michigan! After the Democratic primary came to a close on Tuesday, the party will be featuring an all-female statewide ticket this November. On the ticket is Michigan AG candidate Dana Nessel.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM SPOTLIGHT: Illinois candidate Kwame Raoul published a Medium post this week arguing for the end of Illinois’ cash bail system. Raoul argued that “the wildly expensive mass-incarceration approach has neither made us safer, nor prepared inmates to reenter society.” Raoul said that cash-bail policies disproportionately harm minorities and low-income individuals awaiting trial, who are eligible for pretrial release but remain incarcerated because they are unable to afford bail. Read Raoul’s full post on Medium here.
- Florida candidate Sean Shaw is calling for a gun violence prevention working group starting with day one.
- Arizona’s January Contreras released her K-12 public education priorities this week.
- What is Arkansas AG Leslie Rutledge hiding? In 2007, Rutledge was given the label “Do not re-hire” by the Department of Human Services. Despite a Freedom of Information Act request for details on Rutledge’s records from her time as a staff attorney, nothing has been produced in the time allowed. The Democratic Party of Arkansas filed suit on Friday for these records.
- NOT THE ONION: This week, Texas AG Ken Paxton, who is indicted for securities fraud, joined President Trump for a forum on criminal justice reform. Democratic challenger Justin Nelson called this out saying, “It’s absurd that Donald Trump would take advice from Ken Paxton — who is staring down nearly a century in the Crow Bar Hotel — on criminal justice reform. What’s next? Tax preparation [advice] from Al Capone?”
- In New York, Letitia James was endorsed by 10 out of 11 members of New York City’s Congressional Delegation and EMILY’s list.
- Also, in New York, Zephyr Teachout secured the endorsement of gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon.
- In Minnesota, the Twin Cities Star Tribune endorsed Mike Rothman.
- Arizona’s January Contreras secured the endorsement of Teamsters Local 104.
- Florida’s Sean Shaw received the endorsement of the Tampa Bay Times.
UPCOMING DATES: Aug. 11: Hawaii primaries. — Aug. 14: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Vermont primaries.