Under 100 Days: Republican AGs Pandering to Trump Puts Public Safety at Risk

July 29, 2020

New Video Highlights Republican AGs Reckless and Potentially Disastrous Actions During COVID Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C.— With just under 100 days until Election Day, the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) released “Emergency,” a new video highlighting Republican AGs deliberate and willful misuse of their vested authority in an effort to mislead citizens about the growing COVID-19 crisis for political gain. The video highlights Republican AGs falling in line with the Trump Administration’s ridiculous and dangerous response to the pandemic including contradicting public health experts on Trump’s own team on the importance of mask wearing, abandoning the concerns of teachers and students regarding school openings, and continuing to attack access to affordable health care when people need it most. Current and former Republican Attorney General Association (RAGA) chairs such as Louisiana AG Jeff Landry and Texas AG Ken Paxton are featured in the digital piece in addition to all 18 Republican AGs who are calling for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act even as it provides a lifeline to millions during the pandemic.

“Over 150,000 people have died and the Republican AGs are bullying local leaders in their states who are trying to save lives by following the best medical and scientific guidance,” said Sean Rankin, DAGA Executive Director. “Instead of answering to a higher calling to protect those people they are pledged to serve, Republican AGs and RAGA are spending their time and money intentionally spreading dissension.”

“This isn’t surprising considering these are the same Republican AGs that are trying to steal people’s health care away in the middle of a pandemic,” added Rankin. “It’s frankly abhorrent. The American people who have a Republican AG in their state deserve better. Thankfully, it is in their power to stand up, make their voice heard, and elect someone who will put them first. Elections matter.”

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to spike in communities across the country, health care remains a top voting issue in key battleground states heading into November. Voters trust Democrats over Republicans on the issue and voters overwhelmingly disapprove of the Republican AG-led ACA repeal effort now at the Supreme Court that threatens to destroy health care for more than 20 million Americans and puts the care for more than 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions at risk.

“There is no doubt that health care is the number one issue on the ballot this November,” said Farah Melendez, DAGA Political Director. “And there is no clearer distinction for voters than Republican AGs at the U.S. Supreme Court trying to take affordable health care away from millions and end protections for people with pre-existing conditions and Democratic AGs who are standing together to stop this health care sabotage. This is what is at stake this November.”

“RAGA and its leadership are putting people’s lives at risk,” added Melendez. “Voters need to know if AG candidates stand with them and for health care or if they are standing in lockstep with Trump as he plunges us all deeper into a health care and economic crisis. It’s that simple.”

In November, there are 10 state AG races where voters will go to the polls to vote for state AG. Democrats continue to build momentum in the battleground states with key flip opportunities on the map and weak Republican incumbents and candidates. Democratic AG incumbents and candidates in Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Utah continue to outraise their Republican opponents. Last month, Cook Political Report moved Indiana’s AG race to a “toss up.” Additionally, DAGA outraised its Republican counterpart (RAGA) through the first half of 2020, leading to increased voter engagement early in the cycle in key states.

For more on the role health care will play in state AG races, see this memo.