Latest stories

De Blasio ends presidential campaign, 19 Democrats remain

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) ended his presidential campaign Friday morning. “I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election and it’s clearly not my time,” he said in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
 
De Blasio participated in the June and July debates but failed to qualify for the debate stage in September. He is the eighth notable Democrat to leave the race, following the most recent departures of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Seth Moulton.
 
Nineteen candidates are still running in the Democratic primary. The next debate will be held October 15-16, 2019.
 


Federal judge temporarily blocks enforcement of California law requiring presidential candidates to disclose tax returns

On September 19, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Morrison C. England, Jr., issued a temporary injunction barring enforcement of SB 27, a California law requiring presidential and gubernatorial candidates to disclose their last five federal income tax returns in order to qualify for placement on the primary ballot. England, appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush (R), announced that he would issue a final ruling on the matter by the end of September.
 
Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed SB 27 into law on July 30, 2019. In a statement, Newsom said, “The disclosure required by this bill will shed light on conflicts of interest, self-dealing, or influence from domestic and foreign business interest. The United States Constitution grants states the authority to determine how their electors are chosen, and California is well within its constitutional right to include this requirement.”
 
Several lawsuits were filed in response. On July 30, 2019, Republican presidential candidate Roque De La Fuente filed suit against Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) in federal district court, alleging that SB 27 violated Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 and the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. On August 1, 2019, Judicial Watch, on behalf of four California voters, filed a separate federal suit challenging the law. On August 6, 2019, President Donald Trump (R) and his campaign committee filed another separate suit challenging the law, as did the Republican National Committee and the California Republican Party.
 
Legal professionals differed in their initial assessment of the legality of SB 27. Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said, “This new law raises some very interesting and novel constitutional issues. Because it is novel, it is hard to know how the courts would go, but there is plenty of reason to think courts will be hostile to California’s requirements.” Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, said, “Although most cases dealing with ballot access have involved state and local elections, the constitutional principles are the same: State governments may set conditions for being listed on the ballot so long as they serve important interests and do not discriminate based on wealth or ideology.” Gene Schaerr, a constitutional lawyer who has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States, said, “I see it as a serious problem on both constitutional grounds and especially on policy. You can imagine a host of other disclosures that states might want to adopt. If California could do this, some people would undoubtedly want to know whether candidates have ever been treated for a mental illness or denied insurance.”


Ballotpedia’s research into public-sector union finances

Our research project analyzing public-sector union membership, finances, and political spending is now complete. In last week’s edition, we shared our key findings on membership figures. This week, let’s turn our attention to finances.

Methodology
Under federal law, unions representing public-sector employees exclusively are not required to file financial reports with the U.S. Department of Labor. Furthermore, unions’ organizational hierarchies make it exceedingly difficult to collect exhaustive data. Because these challenges make it all but impossible to collect comprehensive data on public-sector union finances, we took a more narrowly-tailored approach: identifying the most prominent public-sector unions in each state and compiling financial information disclosed via IRS filings.

For more complete information on our methodology, including a discussion of existing research and the various challenges involved in collecting data, please see this article.

Summary of findings
We collected data for 228 unions nationwide, averaging about five in each state. We identified these unions based on media reports, consultation with experts on the ground, and our own research efforts. Generally speaking, union revenues come largely from members’ dues. Unions might also generate revenues through investments, the sale of assets, or non-dues contributions. Aggregate revenues for these 228 unions during the most recent federal reporting periods totaled $2.1 billion. In terms, the top five revenues were as follows:

  • New York, where five unions brought in $459.6 million, approximately 22 percent of the nationwide total.
  • California, where six unions brought in $295.6 million, 14 percent of the nationwide total.
  • New Jersey, where four unions brought in $140.1 million, 7 percent of the nationwide total.
  • Illinois, where five unions brought in $111.3 million, 5 percent of the nationwide total.
  • Pennsylvania, where five unions brought $110.5 million, 5 percent of the nationwide total.

Combined revenues from the unions in these five states totaled $1.1 billion, about 53 percent of the nationwide total. Meanwhile, revenues in the 25 states rounding out the bottom of our list totaled $183.6 million — about 9 percent of the nationwide total.

For a complete breakdown of our financial data, including links to state-specific data sets, see this article. Join us next week for a discussion of unions’ political spending.

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 102 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking.

Union Station map September 20, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart September 20, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s)

Union Station partisan chart September 20, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of legislative actions taken since our last issue. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state then by bill number.

  • Massachusetts H3854: This bill would authorize employers to disclose personal employee information to unions. It would also permit unions to require non-members to pay for the costs associated with grievance and arbitration proceedings. It would require employers to provide unions with access to employees, and it would allow for dues deduction authorizations to be irrevocable for a period of up to one year.
    • Senate overrode governor’s veto Sept.19.
  • New Hampshire HB363: This bill would establish the state legislature as a public employer under the state’s public-employer labor relations laws.
    • Legislative Administration Committee work session scheduled for Sept. 26.


De Blasio ends presidential campaign

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 20, 2019: Bill de Blasio announced he was ending his presidential campaign on Friday morning. The Bernie Sanders campaign announced it had received contributions from 1 million donors.

Each Friday, we’ll highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.

Daily Presidential News Briefing Staffer Spotlight - Richard McDaniel

Richard McDaniel is a Democratic staffer with experience campaigning in the southeast. McDaniel graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in sociology in 2007.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2017 Doug Jones U.S. Senate campaign, field director and political director
  • 2017 Randall Woodfin mayoral campaign (Birmingham, AL), senior advisor
  • 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, consultant, primary states director, and state director
  • 2014 Michelle Nunn U.S. Senate campaign, political director
  • 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign, state field director
  • 2006 Greg Hecht lieutenant gubernatorial campaign, field organizer

Other experience:

  • 2015: Democratic Party of Georgia, political director
  • 2013: Organizing for Action, state director
  • 2012: Democratic Party of Ohio, regional field director
  • 2010-2011: Service Employees International Union, organizer
  • 2007-2010: Levy Restaurants, suite captain
  • 2009-2010: Planned Parenthood Southeast
    • 2010: Legislative coordinator
    • 2009: Field director

Notable Quote of the Day

“It seems like [the debate criteria] is not criteria that is measuring the effectiveness of a future president. The DNC is usurping our roles … That’s been Iowa’s role in the past, and that’s been the beauty of the caucuses. Everyone is given a fair chance.”

 – Jan Bauer, DNC member from Iowa

Democrats

Republicans

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 20, 2015

Hillary Clinton discussed the Syrian refugee crisis and the 2012 Benghazi attack in an interview on Face the Nation.



Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: September 14-20, 2019

 Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing

Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the events that matter in the 2020 presidential election. 

Now, we’re bringing you the highlights from our daily briefings in a weekly format so you can stay up-to-date on the 2020 election with one weekly email.

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Candidates by the Number

 

There are 14 new candidates running since last week, including two Democrats, three Republicans, and two Libertarians. In total, 864 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“Everyone is obsessed with finding the most ‘electable’ candidate, but no one really knows what that means. For a lot of people, part of electability is seeing that a candidate can generate excitement and draw big crowds. Hillary Clinton didn’t really do that last time; Trump does in a way Republicans usually don’t. Taking back some of that populist momentum would be huge.”

– Zach Simonson, Wapello County Democrats chairman

“I have not had one conversation of even small concern over these three [Republican challengers]. Not even a hint and I’m talking about five to 20 text emails or phone conversations a day with the R.N.C. and the Trump campaign.”

– Jeff Kaufmann, Iowa Republican Party chairman

“They are talented and will weaken President Trump and I am hopeful there will be more that enter the race.”

– Anthony Scaramucci, former Trump White House communications director

Week in Review

De Blasio ends presidential campaign, 19 Democrats remain

Bill de Blasio ended his presidential campaign on Friday morning. “I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election and it’s clearly not my time,” he said in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

De Blasio had qualified to participate in the June and July debates but failed to make the stage in September. He is the eighth notable Democrat to leave the race, following the most recent departures of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Seth Moulton.

Nineteen candidates are still running in the Democratic primary. The next debate will be held on October 15-16, 2019.

Trump hits the campaign trail in New Mexico and California, releases digital video attacking Biden

Donald Trump held a campaign rally Monday in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, making an appeal to Latino voters and discussing the Second Amendment, sanctuary jurisdictions, and the Democratic presidential candidates.

He also raised $15 million for the joint fundraising committee Trump Victory during a California fundraising trip on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Trump campaign posted a digital video featuring Joe Biden’s alleged gaffes and television commentary critical of his campaign and debate performances. The video ended with the statement, “You just wonder.”

Warren and Sanders mark grassroots support

The Working Families Party endorsed Elizabeth Warren Monday. The group had previously endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary.

The Sanders campaign announced Thursday that it had received contributions from 1 million donors, the fastest of any candidate in presidential election history.

Climate change and LGBT issues bring 2020 Democrats together

Michael BennetCory BookerSteve BullockPete ButtigiegJulián CastroJohn DelaneyTim RyanBernie SandersTom SteyerMarianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang spoke at Georgetown University’s presidential candidate forum on climate change Thursday and Friday. The event was streamed live on NBC News Now and Telemundo.

Joe BidenCory BookerPete ButtigiegJulián CastroTulsi GabbardAmy KlobucharJoe SestakElizabeth Warren, and Marianne Williamson are also participating Friday in an LGBTQ presidential forum cosponsored by The Gazette, One Iowa, GLAAD, and The Advocate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Advocate said it was the first 2020 election event to focus exclusively on LGBTQ issues.

Odds and ends on the campaign trail

  • Joe BidenBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren have agreed to release their medical records before the Iowa caucuses. The three candidates are 70 years old or older.
  • Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, who previously endorsed Julián Castro, switched his support to Joe Biden.
  • Pete Buttigieg wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post presenting his proposal for “Medicare for All Who Want It.”
  • Kamala Harris is planning to increase her presence in Iowa, according to a Politico report. The effort will include weekly visits to the state and doubling her ground operation, which currently has 65 staff members.
  • Amy Klobuchar launched a tour of former blue wall states Tuesday, with stops in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  • The Andrew Yang campaign said it collected 450,000 email addresses, 90 percent of which were new, in the 72 hours following Yang’s universal basic income proposal during the September debate.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Richard McDaniel is a Democratic staffer with experience campaigning in the southeast. McDaniel graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in sociology in 2007.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2017 Doug Jones U.S. Senate campaign, field director and political director
  • 2017 Randall Woodfin mayoral campaign (Birmingham, AL), senior advisor
  • 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, consultant, primary states director, and state director
  • 2014 Michelle Nunn U.S. Senate campaign, political director
  • 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign, state field director
  • 2006 Greg Hecht lieutenant gubernatorial campaign, field organizer

Other experience:

  • 2015: Democratic Party of Georgia, political director
  • 2013: Organizing for Action, state director
  • 2012: Democratic Party of Ohio, regional field director
  • 2010-2011: Service Employees International Union, organizer
  • 2007-2010: Levy Restaurants, suite captain
  • 2009-2010: Planned Parenthood Southeast
    • 2010: Legislative coordinator
    • 2009: Field director

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 16-20, 2015

  • September 16, 2015: CNN hosted the second Republican primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
  • September 17, 2015: CNN announced it had received its highest ratings ever from the previous night’s Republican primary debate, earning 22.9 million viewers.
  • September 18, 2015: Donald Trump released his gun policy proposal, calling for national concealed carry permits, an end to gun and magazine bans, and stricter sentencing for felonies involving firearms.
  • September 19, 2015: Black Lives Matter announced that it would not endorse any candidate in the 2016 presidential election.
  • September 20, 2015: Hillary Clinton discussed the Syrian refugee crisis and the 2012 Benghazi attack in an interview on Face the Nation.

Trivia

What is the earliest month in which a major party held a political convention?

 



Ballotpedia releases research on public-sector union membership

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Thursday, September 19, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Ballotpedia releases research on public-sector union membership
  2. Local Roundup
  3. Register for our September 25 briefing on 2020 ballot measures

Ballotpedia releases research on public-sector union membership

Nearly 50% of the country’s public-sector union employees are located in five states, according to a new Ballotpedia study released this week. This finding is based on data for 228 of the most prominent public-sector labor unions nationwide as selected based on media reports, consultation with local and state experts, and our own research efforts. In total, we counted 5,654,109 members in those 228 public-sector unions.

Throughout 2019, Ballotpedia researched and analyzed the membership, finances, and political spending of public-sector unions. We’ll be sharing these findings in the weeks ahead in Union Station—our newsletter covering the latest developments in public-sector union policy. 

Since it is nearly impossible to collect comprehensive data on membership of every public-sector union, we identified the most prominent public-sector unions in each state and determined their membership. This included state-level affiliates of national unions, such as the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, and the Fraternal Order of Police.

The Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME in June 2018 that public-sector unions cannot require non-member employees to pay agency fees covering the costs of non-political union activities. This decision overturned precedent established by the Court in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education in 1977. That ruling held that non-union public employees could be required to pay labor union fees as long as they weren’t used for ideological or political purposes. 

Among the 228 unions, these five states had the highest number of public-sector union members: 

  • California: 811,483 members belonging to six large unions—approximately 14% of the nationwide total.

  • New York: 808,669 members belonging to five unions—14% of the nationwide total.

  • Illinois: 342,518 members belonging to five unions—6% of the nationwide total.

  • New Jersey: 324,750 members belonging to four unions—6% of the nationwide total.

  • Pennsylvania: 324,411 members belonging to five unions—6% of the nationwide total.

There are 2,611,831 public-sector union members in those five states which accounts for 46% of the nationwide total. There are 664,180 public-sector union members in the 25 states with the fewest members, about 12% of the nationwide total.  

To learn more about our methodology, including a discussion of existing research and various challenges involved in collecting data, please review this article. For a complete breakdown of our membership data, including links to state-specific data sets, click the link below.

Learn more

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Local Roundup

At Ballotpedia, we provide election coverage of all officeholders in the nation’s 100 largest cities—including mayors, city council members, and other municipal officers. We also cover every election on the ballot in these cities, such as county officials and local ballot measures.

Here’s our weekly summary of the local news we’re covering. Email me to suggest some interesting local election coverage in your area—I’d love to hear about it!

Atlanta

Aretta Baldon and Davida Huntley advanced from a nine-candidate field September 17 in a special election for a seat on the Atlanta Public Schools school board. Baldon finished first with 31% of the vote and Huntley was second with 25%. The two will meet in a runoff election on October 15. 

The seat became vacant after Byron Amos—who had served on the board since 2011—resigned in January 2019 to run for a seat on the Atlanta City Council. The winner of the special election will fill Amos’ unexpired term, which ends in 2021. With only eight current board members, the school board has had at least one vote—a plan to rate district schools—end up in a 4-4 tie. 

Boston

Boston is holding primary elections September 24 in four of nine city council districts and for the four at-large seats on its 13-member city council. The top two finishers in each district race—and the top 8 finishers in the at-large race—will advance to the November 5 general election. Fifteen candidates—including the four incumbents—are running for the at-large seats. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median population of the nine Boston City Council districts was 71,554, based on 2013 estimates. 

Three of the four district races holding primaries are open-seat races; Ten incumbents are running for re-election and four of them are unopposed. Boston’s mayor—Marty Walsh—was last elected in 2017 and is not up for election until 2021. Members of Boston’s City Council serve two-year terms.

Memphis, Tennessee

Early voting began September 13 in the city’s October 3 municipal elections. Incumbent Jim Strickland, former Mayor Willie Herenton, County Commissioner Tamara Sawyer, and nine other candidates are running for mayor. Strickland defeated then-incumbent A.C. Wharton to win his first term in 2015.

Memphis voters will also elect all 13 members of the city council, the city court clerk, three municipal court judges, and decide one local ballot measure. Nine incumbent city council members and all three municipal court judges are running for re-election. The Memphis city charter does not provide for runoffs so whichever candidate receives the most votes in any race will win outright. Early voting continues through September 28. 


Register for our September 25 briefing on 2020 ballot measures

It may feel a bit early, but the process of certifying ballot measures which will go before voters next year is well underway. Thirty-nine statewide ballot measures have already been certified for the 2020 ballot in 18 states. In the five even-numbered years from 2010 to 2018, an average of 172 statewide measures were decided by voters.

Join me and Ballot Measures Project Director Josh Altic for a free briefing on this topic at 11 a.m. Central Time September 25. We’ll discuss the ballot measures already certified for 2020 ballots, the most notable measures likely to be certified next, and the most interesting trends and topics Ballotpedia experts are expecting. 

Some of the issues we’ll cover are the veto referendum deciding whether Colorado will join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which states may see ballot initiatives on redistricting, and how the increase in voter turnout in the 2018 general elections may affect the number of initiatives that reach the ballot in California.

It’s never too early to think about this important component of the 2020 elections so I hope you can join us. 

 



Utah legislature modifies medical marijuana law

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Friday, September 20, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Utah legislature modifies medical marijuana initiative
  2. Appeals court rules federal housing board structure violates separation of powers
  3. What’s the Tea?

Utah legislature modifies medical marijuana law

Sometimes voters approve an initiated state statute that is then changed by legislators in a process known as legislative alteration. An example of such changes happened this week to Utah’s medical marijuana measure. An initiated state statute is a law that a state adopts via the ballot initiative process. Twenty-one states have a process by which changes to state law can be put before voters through an initiated state statute signature petition process. 

Voters approved Utah Proposition 2, which legalized the medical use of marijuana for individuals with qualifying medical illnesses, in November 2018. It passed 53% to 47%.  

The state legislature convened a special session this week to, among other things, alter the state’s medical marijuana law, first passed by voters as Proposition 2 and later altered and superseded by House Bill 3001 in December 2018. Among other modifications, HB 3001 provided for a state-run medical marijuana dispensary, removed Proposition 2’s provision allowing patients to grow their own marijuana and made changes to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana treatment.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) said, “My administration is dedicated to ensuring that quality, medical-grade cannabis products are accessible to patients by March of 2020. Removing the requirement for a state central fill pharmacy will provide efficient and timely distribution of this substance for those who need it.”  

The removal of the provisions for the state-run medical marijuana dispensary comes after Davis County and Salt Lake County attorneys in July advised their health departments against dispensing medical marijuana, stating that county health department workers could be prosecuted for marijuana distribution. Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said,  “the federal Controlled Substances Act is directly in conflict with what the state statute [under HB 3001] requires health departments to do. There is no exemption in federal law for being basically a marijuana distributor — a dealer — for a county. There is no exception.”

During the session, the legislature unanimously passed Senate Bill 1002 (SB 1002) which repealed provisions providing for a state-run medical marijuana dispensary. 

The bill also made the following modifications:

  • Provided for awarding licenses to operate 14 private dispensaries, and allowed the state Department of Health to issue additional licenses “based on market necessity”;

  • Authorizes the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to license research universities to research medical marijuana;

  • Provided for electronic medical marijuana cards;

  • Provided that a court could not consider the use of medical marijuana differently than the legal use of any prescribed medication that is a controlled substance.  

Utah is one of 11 states that have no restrictions on legislative alterations, which means the legislature can amend or repeal initiated state statutes with a simple majority vote at any time.

Voters approved 97 initiated state statutes and two initiated ordinances in D.C. from 2010 to 2018. Of these 99 initiatives from 2010 through 2018, 28 were repealed or amended as of April 2019. The states with the most cases of legislative alteration since 2010 were Maine—with four initiatives altered out of eight approved—and Colorado and Oregon—each with three initiatives altered out of five approved. 

Among initiatives approved from 2010 through 2018, marijuana was the topic that featured the most legislative alterations, as eight initiatives were changed. 


Appeals court rules federal housing board structure violates separation of powers 

The composition of a regulatory agency formed after the 2008 recession to oversee the nation’s housing market has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. That decision remanded the case back to a federal district court to resolve other questions about policy decisions made by the agency. 

Congress formed the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008. The FHFA is an independent government agency that regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored entities that deal in mortgages, and the Federal Home Loan Bank System. According to its website, approximately 80 percent of United States housing lenders rely on the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

The FHFA has a single director, who is appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. In July 2018, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that structure unconstitutional because it is led by a single director who is only removable by the president for cause. The panel held that this violated the separation of powers and its opinion stated that “Congress insulated the FHFA to the point where the Executive Branch cannot control the FHFA or hold it accountable.” The panel consisted of Chief Judge Carl Stewart and Judges Catharina Haynes and Don Willett, who were appointed by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump, respectively.

The full Fifth Circuit ruled 9-7 on September 6 to affirm the panel’s conclusion that the structure of the FHFA was unconstitutional. It held that the FHFA for-cause removal structure “limits the President’s removal power and does not fit within the recognized exception for independent agencies.” The U.S. Supreme Court established an exception for agencies led by multi-member boards in the 1935 case Humphrey’s Executor v. United States. The Fifth Circuit held that precedent does not support removal protections for agencies led by single directors like the FHFA. The nine-judge majority consisted of Judge Willett joined by Reagan appointees Edith Jones and Jerry Smith; George W. Bush appointees Priscilla Owen and Jennifer Elrod; and Trump appointees James C. Ho, Kyle Duncan, Kurt Engelhardt, and Andrew Oldham. The seven dissenting judges were Chief Judge Stewart; Clinton appointee James Dennis; George W. Bush appointees Leslie Southwick and Catharina Haynes; and Obama appointees James Graves, Stephen Higginson, and Gregg Costa.

What's the tea?

Like many people, I sometimes lose track of what month we’re in as I’m rushing around doing day-to-day stuff. It’s been pretty warm here in the northeast the past few weeks, so it’s been easy to forget that it’s September. 

Because I’m so interested in politics, I do know notice it’s getting close to November when I see signs that Election Day is right around the corner. It’s about 45 days away, so we’re not too far away. 

How about you? Have you noticed active campaigning (billboards, yard signs, radio or television advertisements) about the 2019 (or 2020!) elections in your area?


 

 



Seven Dems discuss climate change during first day of Georgetown forum

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 19, 2019: Seven Democratic presidential candidates will speak at the first day of Georgetown’s presidential candidate forum on climate change. Cory Booker issued his labor policy plan.

Share the latest from the campaign trail. blank    blankblank   


 Daily Presidential News Briefing - Emerson Polling (September 13-16, 2019)
Daily Presidential News Briefing - NBC News/Wall Street Journal (September 13-16, 2019)

Notable Quotes of the Day

“I have not had one conversation of even small concern over these three [Republican challengers]. Not even a hint and I’m talking about five to 20 text emails or phone conversations a day with the R.N.C. and the Trump campaign.”

– Jeff Kaufmann, Iowa Republican Party chairman

“They are talented and will weaken President Trump and I am hopeful there will be more that enter the race.”

– Anthony Scaramucci, former Trump White House communications director

Democrats

  • Michael BennetJulián CastroJohn DelaneyTim RyanBernie SandersMarianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang will speak at the first day of Georgetown’s presidential candidate forum on climate change Thursday. The event will be streamed live on NBC News Nows and Telemundo.

  • Joe Biden will campaign in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Friday.

  • Cory Booker issued his labor policy plan on Wednesday. It calls for strengthening collective bargaining, addressing worker misclassification issues, and using new models for organizing like sectoral bargaining. 

  • Steve Bullock will begin a three-day tour of Iowa Friday.

  • Pete Buttigieg wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post presenting his proposal for “Medicare for All Who Want It.”

  • Castro issued his housing plan on Wednesday with a focus on addressing rental affordability, aligning housing policy with climate policy, and increasing homeownership.

  • In an interview on Fox News’ Your WorldTulsi Gabbard continued to criticize the Trump administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia Wednesday.

  • Kamala Harris is planning to increase her presence in Iowa, according to a Politico report. The effort will include weekly visits to the state and doubling her ground operation, which currently has 65 staff members.

  • Amy Klobuchar will campaign in Detroit and Milwaukee Thursday.

  • In his marijuana legalization plan released Thursday, Beto O’Rourke proposed using clemency power to release people incarcerated for marijuana possession and funding “Drug War Justice Grants” through a tax on the marijuana industry.

  • The Sanders campaign confirmed Wednesday that Iowa political director Jess Mazour had departed the campaign.

  • Joe Sestak discussed Afghanistan and negotiations with the Taliban while campaigning in Iowa Wednesday.

  • Tom Steyer released a new ad in Iowa that criticizes the Trump administration’s ethanol policy.

  • Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald endorsed Elizabeth Warren Wednesday.

Republicans

Flashback: September 19, 2015

Black Lives Matter announced that it would not endorse any candidate in the 2016 presidential election.

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Parties announce nominees in Kentucky special election

A special election to fill the vacant District 18 seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives is scheduled for November 5. Political party county executive committees had until September 17 to select their nominees, and they chose Becky Miller (D) and Samara Heavrin (R) to run in the general election.
 
The seat became vacant after Tim Moore (R) resigned on September 10, 2019, citing his belief in term limits and plan to transition into a Christian ministry role.
 
As of September, 76 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 
Entering the special election, the Kentucky House of Representatives has 39 Democrats, 59 Republicans, and two vacancies. A majority in the chamber requires 51 seats. Kentucky has a Republican trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
 


There are 224 state-level, ballot-qualified political parties in the U.S. How does that compare with prior years?

Although there are dozens of political parties in the United States, only certain parties qualify to have the names of their candidates for office printed on ballots. In fact, in 2019, there are 224 ballot-qualified, state-level political parties in the 50 states and Washington D.C..
 
Of these, 51 are Democratic Party affiliates and 52 are Republican Party affiliates. Three minor parties are recognized in more than 10 states: the Libertarian Party (37 states), the Green Party (26 states), and the Constitution Party (14 states).
 
The number of ballot-qualified, state-level political parties in 2019 is the second-highest since 2013, when we first began tracking this information. The 2018 total—229 parties—ranks first. Here are the number of relevant political parties each year since 2013:
• 2013: 198
• 2014: 220
• 2015: 221
• 2016: 214
• 2017: 215
• 2018: 229
 
In order to qualify for ballot placement, a party must meet certain requirements that vary from state to state. For example, in some states, a party may have to file a petition. In other states, a party must organize around a candidate for a specific office; that candidate must, in turn, win a percentage of the vote in order for the party to be granted ballot status. In other states, an aspiring political party must register a certain number of voters.
 
For more information, including a complete state-by-state breakdown of ballot-qualified parties, see this article.


Bitnami