Beto O’Rourke is second 2020 presidential candidate to complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Monday, October 21, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Beto O’Rourke is second 2020 presidential candidate to complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey
  2. Group files lawsuit to invalidate measure on November 5 ballots in Pennsylvania
  3. Quiz: Where will the next Democratic presidential debate be held?

Beto O’Rourke is second 2020 presidential candidate to complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is the second 2020 presidential candidate to complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, answering questions about his personal beliefs, professional background, and political priorities. On Friday, I shared Marianne Williamson’s survey replies. Today, let’s walk through some of O’Rourke’s answers. 

In his response, O’Rourke lists the first actions he would take in the Oval Office and explains his policy focus on strict gun regulations. He also describes why his family, the community of El Paso, and President Abraham Lincoln are his heroes.

Here are some of O’Rourke’s responses:

What should a 28th Amendment to the Constitution say?

“Beto believes that the 28th Amendment to the Constitution should be the Equal Rights Amendment. He believes the 29th Amendment should overturn Citizens’ United. The 30th Amendment should place term limits on Justices of the Supreme Court.”

What was your very first job? How long did you have it?

“Beto worked in his mother’s furniture store, a small business in El Paso. He would later work in the library during college and at a furniture moving business. Beto later started his own small technology business that brought high-skill, high-wage jobs to El Paso.”

What is the most important policy issue none of your competitors are talking about?

“The Democrat field all recognizes the urgency in enacting comprehensive gun control reform, and Beto appreciates the conversation that all of the candidates are having around this issue. But Beto has proposed going farther than any of the other candidates. Along with his plan to implement universal background checks, close every loophole, pass Extreme Risk Protection Orders, increase trauma support, and keep weapons of war off our streets by not only banning the sale of assault weapons but implementing a mandatory buyback of every single one of them, he has directly called on credit card companies to take steps to help prevent mass shootings. This includes calling on them to refuse to provide their services for the sale of assault weapons; refuse to provide their services for the sale of firearms online or at gun shows, where background checks are not required; and to stop doing business with gun or ammunition manufacturers who produce or sell assault weapons. He is the first, and so far the only candidate to directly call out credit card companies for their role in mass shootings and gun sales.” 

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We will continue to highlight noteworthy responses to the Candidate Connection survey in the Brew. In Friday’s Brew, Marianne Williamson discussed the issue she supports that the majority of her party opposes. Williamson and O’Rourke are the first two noteworthy presidential candidates to complete the Ballotpedia Candidate Survey this cycle.

Our survey looks to find out what motivates candidates on both a political and personal level. It allows a candidate to share more than just stances on issues. It’s designed to elicit responses from candidates on what they care about, what they stand for, and what they hope to achieve. With it, we aim to enlighten voters on the candidates’ political philosophy and provide candidates with the chance to show who they really are.

We’re looking forward to hearing from more 2020 presidential candidates. You can encourage them to participate! Send the candidate(s) you want to know more about a link to our Candidate Connection survey today.

Governors are the leaders of their state’s executive branch. Next year, 11 states are holding elections for governor.

Group files lawsuit to invalidate measure on November 5 ballots in Pennsylvania 

Election Day in all states holding statewide contests—except Louisiana—is about two weeks away—on November 5. Early voting began Friday in Washington and jurisdictions nationwide have printed ballots and are preparing to count votes. 

In Pennsylvania, voters will see one state constitutional amendment on their ballots—a set of constitutional protections for crime victims known as Marsy’s Law. Earlier this month—on October 10—a state group filed a lawsuit before the election seeking to invalidate the measure.

The lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania (LWV) and Lorraine Haw argues that the measure violates the separate-vote requirement for constitutional amendments. It argues that because the Pennsylvania Constitution states, “When two or more amendments shall be submitted they shall be voted upon separately,” voters “cannot vote for the parts of the amendment she agrees with without voting for other things she disagrees with.” 

Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D)—named as the defendant in the lawsuit—said in her response that, “The Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment pertains to a single subject matter — securing victims’ rights in the criminal case in which they suffered direct harm. Every single subpart of the amendment advances this one goal.” The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has scheduled a hearing on the lawsuit for October 23. 

The Pennsylvania State Legislature placed Marsy’s Law on the ballot after approving the proposal during two consecutive legislation sessions—in 2018 and 2019. The proposal received unanimous support in 2018. In 2019, the proposal received unanimous support in the state Senate, while seven Democrats and one Republican voted against the proposal in the 203-member state House. 

Henry Nicholas, whose sister Marsy was murdered in 1983, successfully advocated for the first Marsy’s Law initiative in California in 2008. These provisions have since been approved by voters in 11 other states, with six of those—Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, and Oklahoma—occurring in 2018. A Marsy’s Law initiative will be decided by Wisconsin voters in 2020.

Courts in two states—Kentucky and Montana—have struck down Marsy’s Law measures that were approved by voters. In Kentucky, the state Supreme Court ruled on June 12 that the ballot language did not provide enough information to communicate the amendment’s substance to voters. In Montana, where voters approved Marsy’s Law in 2016, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Marsy’s Law ballot measure violated the state’s separate-vote requirement.

Marsy's Law


Where will the next Democratic presidential debate be held?

The Democratic Party held its fourth presidential primary debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. ICYMI, here is a link to our coverage of the debate, featuring a link to the video, a link to the transcript, and highlights for each presidential candidate with a focus on policy. 

Also, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced week the schedule of next year’s presidential and vice presidential debates ahead of the general election. Three 2020 presidential debates have been scheduled from Sept. 29 to Oct. 22, and a vice presidential debate is scheduled for October 7, 2020. 

Before we get to the general election, there are still eight more scheduled Democratic Party primary debates. Last week the Democratic National Committee announced the location of the fifth presidential primary debate, to take place November 20. In which state will the next Democratic primary debate be held?:

A.  Florida 
B.  Georgia 
C.  Minnesota 
D.  Missouri