August 24, 2018
August 29, 2018
Here is what happened this week for DAGA and our Democratic Attorneys General:
BUFFERING: This week, 22 Democratic AGs led by New York AG Barbara Underwood filed a new brief asking a U.S. appeals court to reinstate the Obama administration’s 2015 landmark net neutrality rules and reject the Trump administration’s efforts to preempt states from imposing their own rules guaranteeing an open internet. The brief argues the FCC reversal on Net Neutrality will harm consumers and suggests the FCC failed to identify any “valid authority” for preempting state and local laws that would protect net neutrality. Read more about the latest developments from Reuters’ David Shepardson here.
DIRTY POWER PLAN: This week, the Trump administration unveiled a proposal that would empower states to establish emission standards for coal-fired power plants rather than speeding their retirement — a major overhaul of the Obama’s Clean Power Plan. By the EPA’s own analysis, this new rule could lead to an additional 1,400 premature deaths annually by 2030. Massachusetts AG Maura Healey said that “The fingerprints of the coal industry are all over this plan…The entire proposal deserves to be tossed in a recycling bin, but knowing the EPA’s current leadership, I’m sure they don’t have one.” Read more on Trump proposal from Rachel Becker in The Verge here.
ON THE RADIOWAVES: DAGA Co-chair and District of Columbia AG Karl Racine joined WAMU’s Kojo Namdi Politics Hour to talk housing, consumer protection, and the Emoluments Clause! Catch the full interview here.
SAVE THE CENSUS UPDATE: A federal judge in Maryland on Wednesday allowed a lawsuit filed by residents of both Maryland and Arizona over the 2020 Census citizenship question to proceed. This is another step forward in the fight to keep the discriminatory citizenship question off the census. Note: 19 Democratic AGs have also filed a lawsuit earlier this year to stop the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Read more from NPR here.
ELECTIONS UPDATE: 72 Days Until the Election!
POETIC JUSTICE: Signature LGBTQ publication The Advocate featured a profile on Michigan candidate Dana Nessel this week, highlighting her decades-long work in advocating for equality for LGBTQ individuals in Michigan. When Dana Nessel is elected attorney general, not only will she be the first out statewide elected official in Michigan, she’ll take the place of the man who opposed her efforts for marriage equality. Read the full profile from Trudy Ring in The Advocate here.
BRING ON MORE BIDEN: Last week, Vice President Joe Biden rolled out his initial Attorney General endorsements for Aaron Ford in Nevada, Steve Dettelbach in Ohio, and Josh Kaul in Wisconsin this week—and this week, he added January Contreras in Arizona and Dana Nessel in Michigan!
DOG WHISTLE: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) launched a new racially-charged digital effort against Nevada candidate Aaron Ford based on reports that he was arrested during his time as a college student in Texas. As noted in the Nevada Current, there is a long history of using coded language to appeal to a target audience — known as dog-whistle politics. People of color running for office have often been subjected to this tactic when attack ads use terms that paint them as violent, lazy or having “run-ins with the law.” Read more about these distraction tactics in The Nevada Current here.
FLAG: DO NOT REHIRE: RAGA chair and Arkansas AG Leslie Rutledge continues to struggle to defend why she was fired for “gross misconduct” and given the flag “do not re-hire” from the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Following a lawsuit filed by a taxpayer, Reed Brewer, to release the personnel file of Rutledge including her termination files, AG Rutledge attempted to release missing records on her own. Unsurprisingly, these records do not match what was released by court order from the Department of Human Services. Arkansas candidate Mike Lee commented on the information discovered in the released files, “She failed repeatedly to be a good attorney when representing the welfare of foster children. This is not about politics, this is about the well-being of children that she had promised to represent.” View full press conference from Mike Lee here.
MICHIGAN POLLING UPDATE: Ahead of the party conventions, DAGA released a recent tracking poll of Michigan voters, which shows first-time candidate Dana Nessel showing a consistent lead over likely-Republican Attorney General candidate and state representative Tom Leonard. The results prove that Michigan voters are more than primed to swing the Michigan Attorney General seat back into the Democratic fold and that the nationwide “blue wave” is real.
- In Florida, Sean Shaw was endorsed by Former U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy.
- In Illinois, Kwame Raoul secured the endorsements of Senator Dick Durbin and The Sierra Club
- Minnesota’s Keith Ellison was endorsed by MN AFL-CIO, AFSCME Council 5, and the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
- Michigan’s Dana Nessel won the endorsement of the United Automobile Workers.
- In New York, Zephyr Teachout was endorsed by the NY Times Editorial Board.
- Also in New York, Tish James was endorsed by the NYC Asian-American Democratic Club
UPCOMING DATES: Aug. 28: Arizona, Florida primaries and Oklahoma primary runoffs. — Sept. 4: Massachusetts primaries. — Sept. 6: Delaware primaries. — Sept. 11: New Hampshire primaries. — Sept. 12: Rhode Island primaries. — Sept. 13: New York (state-level) primaries