CategoryNewsletters

Trump campaign attacks Biden’s alleged gaffes in new digital video

 

 

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 18, 2019: The Trump campaign posted a digital video critical of Joe Biden. Tom Steyer proposed spending $50 billion to increase public service programs to 1 million positions by 2025.

Presidential Facebook ads, 2019-2020 (September 9-15, 2019)

 

Notable Quote of the Day

“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

Democrats

  • The two ads Michael Bennet released Tuesday are part of a seven-figure media campaign in Iowa. The Des Moines Register reported that he planned to released more ads in New Hampshire. He said he would remain in the race through the New Hampshire primary.
  • Joe Biden will attend at least two fundraisers in Chicago on Thursday. The Associated Press reported on Biden’s Catholicism and position on abortion. 
  • In an interview on the RJ Politics podcast, Cory Booker discussed gun violence, affordable housing, and labor issues. He also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Tuesday night.
  • Pete Buttigieg campaigned in South Carolina Monday and Tuesday. More than 50 mayors signed an op-ed in USA Today endorsing Buttigieg.
  • Julián Castro discussed healthcare and activism in an interview with Ady Barkan on NowThisNews.
  • Tulsi Gabbard criticized the Trump administration’s response to attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil supply in an interview with The Hill.
  • Kamala Harris sent a letter to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee requesting they launch an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh or form a task force to do so.
  • Amy Klobuchar will campaign in Pittsburgh Wednesday with a focus on her economic agenda.
  • Beto O’Rourke will make his first campaign stop in Colorado Thursday, holding a town hall in Aurora on gun violence.
  • Tim Ryan visited with striking General Motors workers in northwest Ohio Tuesday.
  • Bernie Sanders launched a digital ad campaign targeting teachers focused on a 2018 walkout in West Virginia that led to salary increases.
  • Joe Sestak spoke with LGBTQ Nation about LGBT issues, racism, and religious freedom.
  • Tom Steyer proposed spending $50 billion to increase public service programs to 1 million positions by 2025.
  • Elizabeth Warren appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Tuesday night.
  • Marianne Williamson will speak about her proposal for a U.S. Department of Peace in New York.
  • Andrew Yang held a rally in Philadelphia Tuesday.

Republicans

  • Mark Sanford will campaign in New Hampshire Thursday through Saturday.
  • The Donald Trump campaign posted a digital video featuring Biden’s alleged gaffes and television commentary critical of his campaign and debate performances. The video ends with the statement, “You just wonder.”
  • Joe Walsh campaigned in Iowa Tuesday.
  • Bill Weld spoke about his upbringing and college years during WMUR’s “Candidate Café” series in New Hampshire.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: 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.

 



Pivot Counties play key role in NC-9 special election

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Wednesday, Sept. 18, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Pivot County vote margins were more Republican in 2019 NC-9 special election compared to 2018 general
  2. Cameron (R) outraising Stumbo (D) by more than 2 to 1 in Kentucky attorney general race 
  3. Quiz: Which president didn’t appoint any Supreme Court justices?

Pivot County vote margins were more Republican in 2019 NC-9 special election compared to 2018 general

As we covered in the Brew, state Sen. Dan Bishop (R) won the Sept. 10 special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, defeating Democratic nominee Dan McCready 50.7 to 48.7%. 

The 9th Congressional District overlaps three pivot counties—Bladen, Richmond, and Robeson counties. Pivot counties are those that Barack Obama (D) won in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections and Donald Trump (R) won in the 2016 presidential election. There are 206 Pivot counties in 34 states, including six in North Carolina. The 9th District includes all of Richmond and Robeson counties and part of Bladen County. 

Bishop won Bladen and Richmond counties, while McCready won Robeson County. In the 2018 general election, uncertified results showed McCready leading in Richmond and Robeson and Republican candidate Mark Harris leading in Bladen.

The table below shows the two major-party candidates’ percentages of the vote in 2018 and 2019 in the three pivot counties:

Percentage of votes

The margins in all three counties shifted from 2018 to 2019 in favor of the Republican candidate—Bishop—by between 2.5 and 13.9 percentage points. The pivot county vote margin shifted in Bishop’s favor by 4,775 votes between 2018 and 2019. Bishop won the special election by 3,938 votes, carrying the three pivot counties by 1,252 votes. In 2018, McCready won them by 3,523 votes. 

Turnout in the 2019 special election was lower than in the 2018 general election. In 2019, McCready’s vote total declined 11,064 from the 2018 election. Bishop’s vote total was 6,289 less than Harris received in 2018. 

The state board of elections did not certify the results of the 2018 general election. An investigation into allegations of absentee voter fraud prompted the board to call for an entirely new election. These allegations included events in both Bladen and Robeson counties.

There are 206 pivot counties nationwide. In the 2018 congressional elections, Democratic U.S. House candidates won 113 of these counties—55%—and Republican candidates won 93. In 184 pivot counties—89%—the Republican U.S. House candidate had either a smaller margin of victory than Trump did in 2016 or lost the county to the Democratic U.S. House candidate.

Learn more
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Cameron (R) outraising Stumbo (D) more than 2 to 1 in Kentucky attorney general race

The office of attorney general exists in all 50 states and is directly elected in 43 of them. There are 25 Democratic attorneys general and 24 Republican attorneys general. Hawaii’s attorney general—Clare E. Connors—is officially nonpartisan but was appointed by Democratic Gov. David Ige. 

Three states are holding elections for attorney general in 2019. In two of those states—Kentucky and Mississippi—the incumbent is a Democrat. The incumbent attorney general in Louisiana is Republican.

In the Kentucky attorney general’s race, Daniel Cameron (R) and former Attorney General Greg Stumbo (D) are running for this open seat. Incumbent Andy Beshear (D) did not run for re-election and is the Democratic gubernatorial nominee. Cameron defeated state Sen. Wil Schroder in the May 21 Republican primary. President Donald Trump endorsed Cameron on July 29. Stumbo was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. 

Campaign finance reports covering the period from July 20 through Sept. 6 show Cameron outraised Stumbo $569,197 to $227,915. The chart below shows each candidate’s receipts, disbursements, and cash on hand throughout the campaign:

Campaign finance

Kentucky’s  next campaign finance filing deadline is Oct. 13. These reports will cover receipts and expenditures through Oct. 6—30 days before the Nov. 5 general election. 

Democrats have held Kentucky’s attorney general office since 1952. In the 2015 attorney general election, Beshear defeated Whitney Westerfield (R) by fewer than 2,200 votes, 50.1% to 49.9%. Trump won Kentucky in the 2016 presidential election over Hillary Clinton, 62.5% to 32.7%. 

Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi also have gubernatorial elections this year, as well as contests for 33 other state executive offices. Of the 36 state executive positions up for election in 2019, Republicans hold 28 and Democrats hold eight.

Kentucky is also holding state executive elections for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, agriculture commissioner, auditor, and treasurer.

#BallotTrivia

Which president didn’t appoint any Supreme Court justices?

Yesterday’s Brew included a story about the number of judges President Trump has appointed compared with previous presidents. Trump has appointed the second-most federal judges by this point of his presidency going back to Theodore Roosevelt, who became president in 1901.

Among the 152 judges Trump has appointed are Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Since 1901, which president didn’t appoint any Supreme Court justices during his entire presidency?

Was it:


 



Biden, Sanders, and Warren will release health records before Iowa

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 16, 2019: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren have agreed to release their medical records before the Iowa caucuses. Donald Trump will hold a campaign rally Monday in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.


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 Quote of the Day

“In modern times, presidents have felt pressure to affect a populist informality, in step with the increasing looseness of public life in general. A half century ago, college students listening to a professor like me lecturing to them from a podium would have worn coats and ties; today they surf social media. The rest of public life, including the presidency, has undergone parallel transformations.”

– David Greenberg, The Atlantic

Democrats

  • The Atlantic profiled Michael Bennet‘s campaign in an article titled, “The Michael Bennet Problem.”
  • 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.
  • Biden spoke at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Alabama on the anniversary of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.
  • Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, who previously endorsed Julián Castro, switched his support to Biden.
  • In an interview on Recode DecodeBill de Blasio discussed antitrust investigations into Facebook and Google and his critique of universal basic income.
  • Cory Booker spoke about the state of the Democratic primary in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.
  • In an interview on Iowa PressSteve Bullock said the Democratic Party was becoming disconnected from voters in non-urban areas.
  • Pete Buttigieg is campaigning in South Carolina Monday and Tuesday.
  • John Delaney spoke about gun legislation and Democratic messaging around guns in an interview on CNN’s Smerconish.
  • Tulsi Gabbard is continuing to campaign in Iowa with town halls Monday and Tuesday.
  • Gabbard and Joe Sestak will speak at the Fallon Forum in Iowa Monday.
  • Kamala Harris attended a fundraiser in Connecticut Saturday.
  • Amy Klobuchar will launch a tour of former blue wall states Tuesday, with stops in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  • Wayne Messam attended the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual legislative conference.
  • Beto O’Rourke continued to advocate mandatory buybacks of certain weapons in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.
  • Tim Ryan spoke about his policy proposals and the Democratic primary debate in an interview on MSNBC’s Smerconish Saturday.
  • Sanders announced several changes to his New Hampshire state leadership team Sunday, including replacing former state director Joe Caiazzo with Shannon Jackson. Caiazzo will run Sanders’ campaign in Massachusetts. 
  • Tom Steyer spoke about his campaign, being a billionaire, and labor issues in an interview with Salon.
  • Warren issued her plan to fight corruption in politics Monday. It includes applying conflict of interest laws to the president and vice president, automatically disclosing the tax returns of federal candidates, requiring divestments from senior government officials, and banning government officials from trading individual stocks while in office.
  • In an interview on MSNBC, Marianne Williamson commented on the Democratic primary debate and the party’s ability to defeat Trump.
  • 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 on the debate stage.

Republicans

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 16, 2015

CNN hosted the second Republican primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.



Working Families endorses Warren over 2016 pick Sanders

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 17, 2019: The Working Families Party endorsed Elizabeth Warren Monday. Donald Trump is expected to raise more than $15 million for Trump Victory.


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

Notable Quote of the Day

“The scariest real-world scenario is that on the eve of the election, a candidate is portrayed saying or doing something very embarrassing or illegal — or what-have-you — and there’s no way to correct the record fast enough that voters would understand that this AI-driven false video is indeed not true.”

– Paul Barrett, deputy director of NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights

Democrats

Republicans

  • Mark Sanford spoke in front of the State House in South Carolina Monday with a cardboard cutout of Trump to call for a debate.
  • Donald Trump is expected to raise more than $15 million for the joint fundraising committee Trump Victory during a California fundraising trip on Tuesday and Wednesday. 
  • Joe Walsh said he would campaign in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina, where Republican primary events have been canceled, to encourage voters there to demand primaries be held.
  • Bill Weld spoke at the Boston Public Library Monday.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 17, 2015

CNN announced it had received its highest ratings ever from the previous night’s Republican primary debate, bringing in 22.9 million viewers.



Trump has appointed 25 percent of all federal appeals court judges

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Tuesday, September 17, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Trump has appointed 25 percent of all federal appeals court judges
  2. Federal Register exceeds 48,000 pages in 2019
  3. 41% of Ballotpedia survey respondents watched the most recent Democratic presidential debate

Trump has appointed 25 percent of all federal appeals court judges

The Senate confirmed six nominees to U.S. District Court judgeships last week, bringing the number of judges appointed by President Trump to 152. That includes two Supreme Court justices, 43 appellate court judges, 105 district court judges, and two U.S. Court of International Trade judges.

Trump’s appointment of 43 appeals court judges by September 1 of the third year of his presidency is the most of any president since 1901. The presidents with the next highest number of appointments at this point in the first term were Richard Nixon—30—and George W. Bush—27. These 43 appointments are equal to 25% of the 175 sitting appeals court judges in the country. 

The thirteen United States courts of appeals are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system. The eleven numbered circuits and the D.C. Circuit are defined by geography. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit hears appeals from specialized trial courts—such as the Court of International Trade and the Court of Federal Claims—and appeals relating to patent cases and other specialized matters.

There are currently four appellate court vacancies and Trump has nominated judges for all four. Two nominees are awaiting a full vote in the Senate and two are awaiting committee action.

Court of Appeals vacancies

According to a Ballotpedia analysis of federal court vacancies, this is the fewest number of vacant Courts of Appeal judgeships from April 2011 and August 2019. The highest number of vacancies—21—was in July, September, and October of 2017. 

Of the 175 appeals court judges currently serving, 94 were appointed by Republican presidents and 84 were appointed by Democratic ones. Seven appeals courts have a majority of Democratic-appointed judges, and five have a majority of Republican-appointed justices. One appeals court—the 11th Circuit—is split between Democratic- and Republican-appointed judges. It has two vacancies.

Current judges

Since 1901, Ronald Reagan appointed the most appeals court judges during his presidency—78.

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Federal Register exceeds 48,000 pages in 2019 

From time to time I like to feature our coverage of the Federal Register here in the Brew. We track this regularly at Ballotpedia, but I haven’t provided an update in a few months.

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity. We monitor page counts and other information about the Federal Register each week as part of our Administrative State Project. 

Last week, the number of pages in the Federal Register increased by 1,432 pages, bringing the year-to-date total to 48,546 pages. During the same week in 2018, the number of pages in the Federal Register increased by 1,305 pages for a year-to-date total of 46,848 pages. As of September 13, the 2019 total was more than the 2018 total by 1,698 pages.

The week’s Federal Register featured 544 documents, including 413 notices, eight presidential documents, 35 proposed rules, and 88 final rules. This is the second-highest weekly number of final rules so far in 2019. The median number of federal rules published each week in the Federal Register this year is 59. 

The Trump administration has added an average of 1,312 pages to the Federal Register each week in 2019 as of July 19. Over the course of 2018, the Trump administration added an average of 1,301 pages to the Federal Register each week. During the Obama administration, the Federal Register increased by an average of 1,658 pages per week.

Our Administrative State Project includes information about the administrative and regulatory activities of the United States government as well as concepts, laws, court cases, executive orders, scholarly work, and other material related to the administrative state.  

You can get an introduction to some of these principles by taking one of our Learning Journeys, which give you a series of daily emails with information, examples, and exercises to help you broaden your knowledge of a particular concept. We have ten Learning Journeys—covering topics such as Chevron deference, judicial review and the Congressional Review Act. Click here to get started on one today.

And to stay up to date on actions at both the federal and state level related to rulemaking, the separation of powers, and due process, subscribe to our monthly Checks and Balances newsletter.

41% of Ballotpedia survey respondents watched the most recent Democratic presidential debate

The Democratic National Committee held their third presidential debate this year last week in Texas. Our What’s the Tea? question on Friday asked whether you watched: 

Debate watching results

 

 



Four years ago, Republican presidential candidates hold second debate

 The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Monday, September 16, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Four years ago, Republican presidential candidates hold second debate
  2. California judge rules citizen-initiated local tax measures require two-thirds voter approval, state Supreme Court likely to decide issue
  3. Register for our September 30 Ballotpedia Insights session

Four years ago, Republican presidential candidates hold second debate

One thing I like to do is review our archive of news briefings from the last presidential election. Four years ago today—on September 16, 2015—Republicans held their second debate of the 2016 cycle. 

Fifteen candidates were invited to participate. The field was split into two segments with those candidates with the lowest polling averages debating in an early segment—often referred to in the media as an undercard—and those candidates with the highest polling averages participating in the debate that followed. The following 11 candidates—based on an average of all qualifying polls—participated in the second half of the event:

  • Jeb Bush
  • Ben Carson
  • Chris Christie
  • Ted Cruz
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Mike Huckabee
  • John Kasich
  • Rand Paul
  • Marco Rubio
  • Donald Trump
  • Scott Walker

The debate was held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, and sponsored by CNN, Salem Media Group and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Jake Tapper, Hugh Hewitt, and Dana Bash were the moderators.

CNN announced the rules for which candidates would participate in May 2015. Those criteria specified that qualifying candidates must have: 

  • visited at least two of the following states no later than August 26—Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina;
  • one or more paid campaign aides working in at least two of the four states listed above by August 26; and
  • attained an average of 1 percent or higher in three national polls released between July 16, 2015, and September 10, 2015, as recognized by CNN.

Four candidates—Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, and Rick Santorum—participated in the first half of the event from 6:20 to 7:50 p.m. Eastern Time. Each had achieved an average of at least one percent in three national polls but were outside the top 11 candidates. Rick Perry was also originally scheduled to participate but he suspended his campaign five days earlier—on September 11, 2015.

The rules for both halves of the debate were the same. Candidates were each allowed 30 seconds at the beginning of the debate to introduce themselves. They had one minute to respond to direct questions, and, if another candidate mentioned their name, they were given 30 seconds for a rebuttal. At the end of each debate, candidates offered one-minute responses to the question of how the world would look after they left office.

Both halves of the debate featured significant deviations from these rules. Candidates engaged in direct back-and-forth exchanges with one another multiple times. Questions came from the three moderators and social media users. Topics ranged from leadership styles, qualifications, and electability to immigration, social security, the tax code, climate change, and foreign policy. 

The second half of the debate touched on a range of political, domestic, foreign policy and national security issues. The graph below shows the distribution of speaking time by the candidates:

2016 Debate

Trump had the most speaking time with 19.5 minutes and Walker had the least at 8.0 minutes. Walker suspended his campaign the following week—on September 21, 2015. In last week’s third Democratic debate—held September 12—Joe Biden had the most speaking time at 17.4 minutes.

Learn more

California judge rules citizen-initiated local tax measures require two-thirds voter approval, state Supreme Court likely to decide issue

A California Superior Court judge ruled September 5 that a local tax measure in Fresno was properly considered defeated because it required a two-thirds vote for approval. Judge Kimberly Gaab’s decision regarding the two-thirds vote requirement for Fresno Measure P differs from a ruling by Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman in a different case that the state’s supermajority vote requirement for local special taxes applied to tax measures referred to the ballot by lawmakers, but not to citizen initiatives. Because of the disagreement in rulings from the two superior court judges, the California Supreme Court will likely be the final arbiter upon appeal.

Fresno Measure P was designed to enact a 0.375% sales tax for 30 years to fund city parks, recreation, streets, and arts. It was put on the ballot by a citizen initiative and received approval from 52% of voters in 2018. The city certified the measure as defeated. The group Fresno Building Healthy Communities filed a lawsuit on February 1, 2019, claiming that because Measure P was a citizen initiative, it did not need to meet the supermajority requirement.

In July, Judge Schulman ruled that two 2018 ballot measures in San Francisco that were supported by a majority—but less than two-thirds—of voters were properly certified as approved by city officials. Both initiatives authorized taxes on certain city businesses to fund specific purposes.

In 1996, California voters approved Proposition 218 which included the requirement that local governments may only enact, extend, or increase a special tax with a two-thirds supermajority vote of the electorate. Following its passage, the two-thirds supermajority vote requirement was applied to legislative referrals and citizen initiatives.

In August 2017, the California Supreme Court categorized taxes imposed by citizen initiatives as separate from taxes imposed by local governments in California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland. This ruling brought the supermajority vote requirement into question for special taxes proposed through citizen initiatives.

Judge Gaab said that the ruling in California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland upon which the plaintiffs’ arguments were based differentiated between the election date issue addressed directly by the supreme court and the supermajority requirement issue. Her ruling stated, “The two-thirds vote requirement is not placed on the ‘local government.’ Rather, proposed special taxes must be ‘submitted to the electorate,’ which must approve the proposals by a two-thirds vote.” 

Prior to hearing arguments in the case, Judge Gaab stated that the vote threshold for citizen initiative tax measures “is likely to be decided by the Supreme Court or Legislature.” 

In 2018, eight local citizen initiatives in California proposing special taxes were approved by more than a simple majority but less than a two-thirds supermajority vote. Local officials declared two of the measures to be defeated based on the two-thirds supermajority requirement. The other six measures were certified as approved. 

Learn more→

Register for our September 30 Ballotpedia Insights session

Our next Ballotpedia Insights session will discuss ways that cities should approach growth and development. Our Director of Outreach, Sarah Rosier, will interview Charles Marohn—an engineer and urban planner—about his upcoming book, Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity.

Ballotpedia Insights is a Q&A series with political and legal scholars, researchers, reporters, and subject matter experts. Each installment, we host a new speaker and ask them tailored questions designed to gain in-depth insight into their work. They’re a great opportunity to learn from some leading professionals involved in politics. They’re free to register and attend.

Among the topics to be discussed are the author’s opinions on the following questions:

  • Does growth and development work to resolve urban financial struggles?
  • Does new development generate wealth?
  • What is the best way to strengthen local communities?

Marohn is the Founder and President of Strong Towns. He is a professional engineer in Minnesota and a land-use planner with two decades of experience. He was also featured in the documentary film Owned: A Tale of Two Americans and he was named one of the 10 Most Influential Urbanists of all time by Planetizen, a website about urban planning. 

The webinar will take place at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Register today→

 



Ballotpedia completes research into public-sector union membership

Our research project analyzing public-sector union membership, finances, and political spending is now complete. We will be sharing our key findings with you in upcoming editions of Union Station. This week, let’s turn our attention to membership totals.

Methodology

Because it is all but impossible to collect comprehensive data on public-sector union membership, we took a narrowly-tailored approach: identifying the most prominent public-sector unions in each state and tallying their memberships. 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 (e.g., identifying unions by amount of political spending). Aggregate membership in these 228 unions is 5,654,109.

  • California ranked first, with 811,483 members belonging to six large unions. This accounts for approximately 14 percent of the nationwide total.
  • The following states rounded out our top five:
    • New York: 808,669 members belonging to five unions — 14 percent of the nationwide total.
    • Illinois: 342,518 members belonging to five unions — six percent of the nationwide total.
    • New Jersey: 324,750 members belonging to four unions — six percent of the nationwide total.
    • Pennsylvania: 324,411 members belonging to five unions — six percent of the nationwide total.
  • Public-sector union membership in these five states is 2,611,831, accounting for about 46 percent of the nationwide total.
  • Meanwhile, membership in the 25 states rounding out the bottom of our list is 664,180, representing about 12 percent of the nationwide total.

For a complete breakdown of our membership data, including links to state-specific data sets, see this article. Next week, we’ll feature an overview of these unions’ finances.

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 13, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart September 13, 2019.png

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

Union Station partisan chart September 13, 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.

  • California AB314: This bill would require employers to grant employees paid time for certain union activities.
    • Senate adopted amended version Sept. 11 and sent back to Assembly.


Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: September 7-13, 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 Numbers

 

There are 10 new candidates running since last week, including five Republicans. In total, 850 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“Put another way, if you’re wondering why candidates such as Castro and Booker aren’t gaining more traction despite seemingly having run competent campaigns, the answer may have less to do with them and more to do with the fact that the field has a lot of heavyweights. Biden is a former two-term vice president; Sanders was the runner-up last time and basically built an entire political movement, and Warren and Harris have been regarded as potential frontrunners since virtually the moment that Donald Trump won the White House. The years that produce volatile, topsy-turvy nomination races, such as the 1992 Democratic primary, tend to be those where a lot of top candidates sit out, perhaps because they’re fearful of running against an incumbent with high approval ratings.”

– Nate SilverFiveThirtyEight

“A 10-person debate is difficult to pull off, and ABC deserves credit for producing an event that liberated the participants from the tyranny of overly strict timing. The less frantic pace of the discussion meant the candidates did not feel the need to interrupt the moderators and each other, which made this a more watchable debate than some. Does it change anything? Doubtful. Was it a decent debate? Yes.”

– Alan Schroeder, professor at Northeastern University

“This was not a debate that will live in history. One reason is the awful format. Sit the candidates around a table, four or five at a time, with a trained facilitator, and have conversations about subjects that matter—such as the climate crisis that ABC apparently felt wasn’t critical enough to discuss except in passing.”

– Larry Sabato, Center for Politics founder

Week in Review

2020 Dems debate healthcare, immigration, and criminal justice in Houston

Ten Democratic presidential candidates debated Thursday night in Houston, Texas. ABC News and Univision broadcast the debate, and Linsey Davis, David Muir, Jorge Ramos, and George Stephanopoulos moderated.

The candidates discussed Medicare for All, criminal justice, international trade agreements, gun violence, military strategy in Afghanistan, education, and climate change. Joe Biden had the most speaking time at 17.4 minutes. Andrew Yang spoke the least at 7.9 minutes. Here are the highlights:

  • Joe Biden emphasized the cost of other candidates’ healthcare plans and questioned how Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would pay for their proposals. He said his healthcare proposal would allow people to keep private insurance, with out-of-pocket expenses capped at $1,000. Biden said that criminal justice needed to focus on rehabilitation and that non-violent offenders should not be in jail. He said he was the only candidate to beat the NRA nationally and that buyback programs should be used on assault-style weapons. Biden defended the Obama administration’s immigration policies, saying children were not locked up and families were not separated. He said he would increase asylum processing. On trade, Biden said the issue with China was not the trade deficit but intellectual property theft and World Trade Organization violations. He said Afghanistan is comprised of three separate regions and cannot be put together as one country. On education, Biden said funding for poor schools should be tripled from $15 billion to $45 billion and that home conditions and learning should be improved. When asked about resilience, Biden discussed losing his wife and daughter when he was first elected to the U.S. Senate. 
  • Cory Booker said the party needed to unite to defeat Donald Trump. He said that while he supported Medicare for All, progress on healthcare should not be sacrificed on the altar of purity. He said there is systemic racism and environmental injustice and called for the creation of a White House Office on Hate Crimes. Booker said clemency should be given to 17,000 people who are serving time for non-violent drug-related offenses and that prison sentences are too long. He advocated a gun licensing program and said there needs to be more courageous empathy to effect change. Booker said the United States needed to strengthen its relationship with allies like Canada, Germany, and France. On climate change, Booker said he opposed corporate consolidation in factory farming. He also said discussions of the military should include improving conditions for veterans. Booker said education needed a holistic solution that includes raising teachers’ salaries and combating poverty. When asked about resilience, Booker pointed to his experience working with tenant leaders in Newark in 2002.
  • Pete Buttigieg said his healthcare proposal, Medicare for All Who Want It, would give people the opportunity to see that the public alternative was better than private insurance. He criticized the tone of the debate when Joe Biden and Julián Castro argued over healthcare. To address systemic racism, Buttigieg proposed investing in black entrepreneurs and historically black colleges and universities. He said individuals who supported Donald Trump’s immigration policies were supporting racism. Buttigieg called for community renewal visas and city-issued municipal IDs. On trade, Buttigieg said Trump’s policies were making American leadership absent on the world stage. He said that under his administration, authorizations for the use of military force would have a built-in three-year sunset. On education, Buttigieg said teachers needed to be respected and paid more. When asked about resilience, Buttigieg pointed to his experience serving in the military as a gay soldier under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and acknowledging his sexuality when running for re-election as mayor of South Bend, Indiana. 
  • Julián Castro said the Democratic Party needed to build a young and diverse coalition to win. He said Joe Biden’s healthcare plan would leave 10 million people uninsured and that Biden forgot what he said earlier in the debate about whether individuals would be automatically enrolled in Biden’s plan. Castro said his plan would automatically enroll individuals into the system and allow them to hold onto private health insurance if they chose to. He said he was the first candidate to put forward a police reform plan. On immigration, Castro said Biden wanted to take credit for Barack Obama’s successes but didn’t want to be accountable for the critiques of the administration. Castro said he would not give up on DACA and that he would push for immigration legislation in his first 100 days in office. He said the United States should use leverage in trade negotiations to improve human rights in other countries and called for a Marshall Plan for Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. On education, he said schools were segregated because neighborhoods were segregated and that there needed to be more transparency and accountability from charter schools. When asked about resilience, Castro pointed to his resignation from a law firm to cast a city council vote against a former client’s development plan that he did not believe provided sufficient environmental protections.
  • Kamala Harris directed her opening statement at Donald Trump, saying he would have been indicted but for the Department of Justice policy against charging sitting presidents with crimes. She said her Medicare for All proposal gave people a choice between a private and public plan and that Trump needed to be defeated because his administration was trying to get rid of protections for individuals with preexisting conditions. Harris discussed her record as a prosecutor and said she would shut down for-profit prisons on her first day in office. She also said she would take executive action to ban the import of AR-15 weapons. On trade, Harris said she was not a protectionist Democrat. She said China needed to be held accountable for intellectual property theft and substandard products. She also said the United States needed to work with China on the issue of North Korea. She said as attorney general of California, she took on fossil fuel companies. On education, Harris said she would invest in historically black colleges and universities to produce more black teachers. When asked about resilience, Harris pointed to her experience running for district attorney and attorney general as a black woman. 
  • Amy Klobuchar emphasized her Midwestern roots and said she wanted to be a president for all of America rather than half of the country. She said she supported creating a public option but opposed Bernie Sanders’ healthcare bill because it would eliminate private insurance. She also said she worked with Sanders on a legislative amendment to allow less expensive drugs to come into the United States from places like Canada. Klobuchar said that when she served as county attorney, she fought for justice for murdered black children, increased prosecution of white-collar crimes, and diversified the office. She said she would move forward on the Second Step Act, which would reduce sentences for non-violent offenders in local and state jails. Klobuchar said she supported what she called an “assault weapons” ban, magazine limitations, universal background checks, and closing certain gun-related loopholes. Klobuchar criticized the Trump administration’s tariff policy, saying it was harming farmers and could bankrupt the country. On climate change, Klobuchar said she would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, bring back the Clean Power rules, and reestablish gas mileage standards. When asked about resilience, Klobuchar discussed her fight for extended hospital stays for new mothers before she entered public office.
  • Beto O’Rourke said in his opening statement that the El Paso shooter was inspired to kill by Donald Trump and that the current state of politics incentivized fighting and making differences without distinctions. While discussing the racial wealth gap, O’Rourke said he would sign a reparations bill to address systemic racism. He said he supported a mandatory buyback of AR-15 and AK-47 rifles. On immigration, O’Rourke said American policy should be written in the image of diverse cities like Houston. He said that no child should be caged, there needed to be accountability for the deaths of seven individuals in immigration custody, and Dreamers should immediately be made U.S. citizens. O’Rourke called for zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, pre-disaster mitigation grants to vulnerable communities, renewable wind and solar energy technology, and regenerative agriculture. When asked about resilience, O’Rourke pointed to the survivors of the El Paso shooting.
  • Bernie Sanders said the country was moving toward an oligarchic society and that he would challenge those in power. He defended the $30 trillion cost of his Medicare for All proposal, saying that the status quo would cost $50 trillion. He said his system would prevent people from going bankrupt because of a cancer diagnosis. Sanders said he opposed ending the filibuster and would instead use a budget reconciliation law to pass legislation on guns, Medicare, and climate change. He criticized NAFTA and said that wage stagnation was partly due to bad trade policies. Sanders said a difference between him and Joe Biden was Sanders’ vote against the use of military force in Iraq. He called Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro a tyrant and said his definition of democratic socialism was reflected in Scandinavia and not Venezuela. On education, Sanders said every teacher should make at least $60,000 each year. When asked about resilience, Sanders pointed to his earlier unsuccessful runs for U.S. Senate and governor in Vermont. Sanders was the fourth-most active participant, speaking for 13.7 minutes.
  • Elizabeth Warren said she would partly pay for her Medicare for All proposal through a wealth tax on the richest individuals and corporations. She said families needed to consider the total cost of healthcare rather than their tax bill. She said her plan would prevent individuals from having to argue with insurance companies and having coverage denied. Warren said gun legislation cannot be passed until systemic issues of corruption are addressed. On immigration, Warren said she wanted to expand legal immigration and create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and their families. She also said there was a border crisis because Central America needed more assistance. On trade, Warren said human rights activists should be at the negotiating table for trade deals. Warren said troops in Afghanistan need to return home and that some problems abroad should be solved through diplomatic and economic solutions. She also endorsed Jay Inslee’s climate change plan. On education, she said there should be universal childcare and universal pre-K for children under five. When asked about resilience, Warren pointed to her journey to law school after being dismissed from her teaching job because she was pregnant. 
  • Andrew Yang announced he would give $1,000 per month to 10 families who visited his campaign website as a demonstration of his Freedom Dividend proposal. He said health needed to be incentivized over revenue in the American healthcare system and pointed to the Cleveland Clinic as an example. Yang said he would return the level of immigration to what it was under the Obama administration. On trade, Yang said he would not immediately repeal tariffs against China. He also said he signed a pledge to end forever wars and that he did not believe the United States was good at rebuilding other countries. On education, Yang said student outcomes that are determined outside of the school, including student stress levels and income, could be better addressed by giving money directly to families and neighborhoods. When asked about resilience, Yang pointed to his experiences as an entrepreneur.  

Prior to the debate, Donald Trump launched a media campaign in Texas that included two full-page newspaper ads targeting BidenCastro, and Warren, and a flyover ad criticizing socialism.

The next Democratic debate will be held on October 15-16, 2019. In addition to the 10 candidates already discussed, Tom Steyer qualified for the debate this week with the release of a Nevada poll from CBS News/YouGov.

Republican primary field grows to four candidates

Mark Sanford, a former governor and U.S. representative from South Carolina, announced Sunday that he was running for president. “I think we have to have a conversation about what it means to be a Republican,” he said, referencing the federal deficit and government spending.

Joe Walsh and Bill Weld will attend an unsanctioned Republican debate on Sept. 24, 2019. A spokesperson said Sanford would attend if a scheduling conflict was resolved. Trump was invited but did not respond. Business Insider will stream the event live.

Trump held a rally Monday at the Crown Expo Center in North Carolina, where two congressional special elections took place Tuesday. Both Republican candidates won.

Four states cancel their primaries and caucuses

Republican state parties in Arizona,  KansasNevada, and South Carolina canceled their respective primaries and caucuses.

Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward said in a statement, “By opting out of the presidential preference election, our united Republican Party of Arizona will save taxpayers millions as we look ahead to the general election on Nov. 3.”

Michael McDonald said, “As the chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, my job is to ensure not only President Trump’s victory in Nevada, but also to elect more Republicans down the ballot. It would be malpractice on my part to waste money on a caucus to come to the inevitable conclusion that President Trump will be getting all our delegates in Charlotte.”

Walsh called the move disenfranchisement, while Weld questioned what Trump was afraid of.

Odds and ends on the campaign trail

  • Eight candidates participated in a political ad on gun violence produced by an advocacy organization founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords, Giffords’ Courage to Fight Gun Violence. The ad, which is part of a six-figure digital ad buy, features Joe BidenCory BookerPete ButtigiegKamala HarrisAmy KlobucharBeto O’RourkeBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.
  • Biden hired Maju Varghese, an Obama White House adviser, as his chief operating officer.
  • Tim Ryan released a policy album on music streaming service Spotify that includes 10 tracks with his positions on gun violence, immigration, and other issues.
  • Tom Steyer is airing two new ads in Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina as part of a $1 million campaign. One ad is focused on Trump’s inherited wealth and the other on climate change.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Michael Glassner is a Republican strategist and longtime Bob Dole aide with extensive experience in management. Glassner graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in political science in 1985.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign, deputy campaign manager
  • 2008 John McCain presidential campaign, director of vice presidential operations
  • 2000 George Bush presidential campaign, Iowa advisor
  • 1996 Bob Dole presidential campaign, senior political advisor
  • 1992 Bob Dole U.S. Senate campaign, campaign manager
  • 1988 Bob Dole presidential campaign, executive assistant to the candidate

Other experience:

  • 2008 – present: C&M Transcontinental, president
  • 2014-2015: American Israel Public Affairs Committee, regional political director for the southwest
  • 2001-2008: IDT Corporation, senior vice president for external affairs
  • 1998-2001: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, chief of staff to the chairman
  • 1998-2001: The International Commission on Missing Persons, senior advisor to the chairman
  • 1986-2001: Staff of U.S. Senator Bob Dole

What he says about Trump: “Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump had absolutely no interest in the conventional approach followed by all establishment politicians, as this president has always been his own best strategist…President Trump took a calculated gamble with his unorthodox reelection strategy, and the bet is paying off — huge!”

Flashback: September 9-13, 2015

  • September 9, 2015: Antivirus software creator John McAfee launched an independent presidential campaign.
  • September 10, 2015: Bobby Jindal spoke at the National Press Club about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
  • September 11, 2015: Rick Perry became the first noteworthy Republican candidate to suspend his presidential campaign.
  • September 12, 2015: Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker campaigned at the Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Iowa State Cyclones football game.
  • September 13, 2015: Hillary Clinton spoke about her family at the Foundry United Methodist Church’s bicentennial celebration.

Trivia

How many sitting presidents have lost their bids for renomination?

  1. Five→
  2. Two→
  3. Zero→
  4. Seven→

 



Energy Department withdraws rules expanding energy-efficient lightbulb requirements

 

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Friday, September 13, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Department of Energy withdraws rules that would have expanded energy-efficient lightbulb requirements
  2. California judge rules citizen-initiated local tax measures require two-thirds voter approval, state Supreme Court likely to decide issue
  3. What’s the Tea?

Ten Democratic presidential candidates debated last night in Houston. Didn’t get a chance to watch? Or, can’t get enough? Click here to signup to receive the same summary the subscribers to Ballotpedia’s Daily Presidential News Briefing will receive via email this morning.


Department of Energy withdraws rules that would have expanded energy-efficient lightbulb requirements

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a final rule on September 5 that withdraws rules made during the Obama administration that apply higher energy-efficiency requirements to some specialty lightbulbs. The department also published a separate proposed rule saying that current energy-efficiency standards do not need to change.

This means that certain types of lightbulbs—rough service lamps, vibration service lamps, 3-way incandescent lamps, high lumen lamps, and shatter-resistant lamps—will no longer be required to meet higher energy-efficiency requirements. Those bulbs—which are often used in chandeliers, bathroom fixtures, and commercial applications—would have fallen under those requirements starting in January 2020. Had the prior rule gone into effect, consumers would have seen different light bulbs for sale in stores starting in 2020. The DOE’s new rules will maintain the existing definition of general service lamps.

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) gave the DOE the responsibility to manage an energy conservation program for consumer products, including lightbulbs. Under the program, consumers are not allowed to purchase lightbulbs that fall within the definition of general service lamps (GSLs) that don’t meet energy-efficiency standards.

The law defined GSLs to include general service incandescent lamps (GSILs), compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), general service light-emitting diode (LED) lamps, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lamps, and other lamps that the Secretary of Energy determines are used similarly to traditional incandescent light bulbs.

Following amendments made to the EPCA in 2007, the DOE has been deciding whether to change the energy conservation standards for GSLs and whether to add particular kinds of lightbulbs to the definition of GSLs. The new DOE rules maintain the energy conservation standards for GSLs as well as the types of lightbulbs to which it applies.

During the Obama administration, the DOE issued two rules that expanded the definition of GSLs to lightbulbs that had been exempt from some energy-efficiency rules. Those rules were published in the Federal Register but had not gone into effect. In issuing its rule, the DOE said the revised definitions of general service lamps “included certain GSILs as GSLs in a manner that is not consistent with the best reading of the statute.” The DOE scheduled the withdrawal of the previous rules effective October 7.

 

Cooper defeats incumbent Briley in Nashville mayoral runoff

At-Large Metro Councilmember John Cooper defeated incumbent Mayor David Briley in the runoff election for Nashville mayor Thursday. Briley conceded the race after the results of early voting showed that, of around 49,000 votes, Cooper received 70 percent to Briley’s 30 percent.

Briley was the first mayor of Nashville’s Metro government (formed in 1963) to lose a re-election bid. He previously assumed the office upon the resignation of Mayor Megan Barry in March 2018 and won a special election in May 2018 to complete Barry’s term.

During the campaign, Cooper emphasized shifting focus to neighborhoods and away from economic incentives for downtown projects in his campaign. He criticized Briley’s plan to fund affordable housing through municipal bond-borrowing. Cooper said the city needs to use its surpluses more efficiently as opposed to raising property taxes. Briley campaigned on his record since becoming mayor, saying his accomplishments included not raising property taxes, establishing a college scholarship program for public school graduates, and a $500 million public investment in affordable housing over a decade.

Both Briley and Cooper identify as Democrats. Among the 100 largest cities by population in the U.S., 62 mayors are Democrats, 30 are Republicans, four are independents, and four are nonpartisan. Though most mayoral elections in the 100 largest cities are nonpartisan, most officeholders are affiliated with a political party. Nashville was the 25th-largest city in the U.S. as of 2013, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.

Of 31 mayoral elections taking place in the 100 largest cities in 2019, 16 have occurred. Briley was the second incumbent mayor among those cities to be defeated in 2019; Madison, Wisconsin, Mayor Paul Soglin lost an April 2 election. Between 2014 and 2018, 67.1 percent of incumbent mayors of the 100 largest cities sought re-election; of those, 16.7 percent were defeated in their bids for re-election. One incumbent mayor lost a re-election bid in 2018, and five lost re-election bids in 2017.
 

What’s the Tea?

Ten Democratic presidential candidates participated in their third debate last night in Texas. So today’s question simply asks: Did you watch Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate?


 



2020 Dems debate healthcare, immigration, and criminal justice in Houston

 

 

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 13, 2019: Ten 2020 Democratic candidates debated healthcare, immigration, criminal justice, and other issues in Houston. Tom Steyer released an impeachment ad against Donald Trump.


     Each Friday, we’ll highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.
Daily Presidential News Briefing - Staffer Spotlight - Michael Glassner

Michael Glassner is a Republican strategist and longtime Bob Dole aide with extensive experience in management. Glassner graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in political science in 1985.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign, deputy campaign manager
  • 2008 John McCain presidential campaign, director of vice presidential operations
  • 2000 George Bush presidential campaign, Iowa advisor
  • 1996 Bob Dole presidential campaign, senior political advisor
  • 1992 Bob Dole U.S. Senate campaign, campaign manager
  • 1988 Bob Dole presidential campaign, executive assistant to the candidate

Other experience:

  • 2008 – present: C&M Transcontinental, president
  • 2014-2015: American Israel Public Affairs Committee, regional political director for the southwest
  • 2001-2008: IDT Corporation, senior vice president for external affairs
  • 1998-2001: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, chief of staff to the chairman
  • 1998-2001: The International Commission on Missing Persons, senior advisor to the chairman
  • 1986-2001: Staff of U.S. Senator Bob Dole

What he says about Trump:

“Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump had absolutely no interest in the conventional approach followed by all establishment politicians, as this president has always been his own best strategist…President Trump took a calculated gamble with his unorthodox reelection strategy, and the bet is paying off — huge!”

Notable Quotes of the Day

“A 10-person debate is difficult to pull off, and ABC deserves credit for producing an event that liberated the participants from the tyranny of overly strict timing. The less frantic pace of the discussion meant the candidates did not feel the need to interrupt the moderators and each other, which made this a more watchable debate than some. Does it change anything? Doubtful. Was it a decent debate? Yes.”

– Alan Schroeder, professor at Northeastern University

“This was not a debate that will live in history. One reason is the awful format. Sit the candidates around a table, four or five at a time, with a trained facilitator, and have conversations about subjects that matter—such as the climate crisis that ABC apparently felt wasn’t critical enough to discuss except in passing.”

– Larry Sabato, Center for Politics founder

Debate Night

Ten Democratic presidential candidates debated Thursday night in Houston, Texas. The candidates discussed Medicare for All, criminal justice, international trade agreements, gun violence, military strategy in Afghanistan, education, and climate change. Joe Biden had the most speaking time at 17.4 minutes. Andrew Yang spoke the least at 7.9 minutes. Here are the highlights:

  • Joe Biden emphasized the cost of other candidates’ healthcare plans and questioned how Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would pay for their proposals. He said his healthcare proposal would allow people to keep private insurance, with out-of-pocket expenses capped at $1,000. Biden said that criminal justice needed to focus on rehabilitation and that non-violent offenders should not be in jail. He said he was the only candidate to beat the NRA nationally and that buyback programs should be used on assault-style weapons. Biden defended the Obama administration’s immigration policies, saying children were not locked up and families were not separated. He said he would increase asylum processing. On trade, Biden said the issue with China was not the trade deficit but intellectual property theft and World Trade Organization violations. He said Afghanistan is comprised of three separate regions and cannot be put together as one country. On education, Biden said funding for poor schools should be tripled from $15 billion to $45 billion and that home conditions and learning should be improved. When asked about resilience, Biden discussed losing his wife and daughter when he was first elected to the U.S. Senate. 
  • Cory Booker said the party needed to unite to defeat Donald Trump. He said that while he supported Medicare for All, progress on healthcare should not be sacrificed on the altar of purity. He said there is systemic racism and environmental injustice and called for the creation of a White House Office on Hate Crimes. Booker said clemency should be given to 17,000 people who are serving time for non-violent drug-related offenses and that prison sentences are too long. He advocated a gun licensing program and said there needs to be more courageous empathy to effect change. Booker said the United States needed to strengthen its relationship with allies like Canada, Germany, and France. On climate change, Booker said he opposed corporate consolidation in factory farming. He also said discussions of the military should include improving conditions for veterans. Booker said education needed a holistic solution that includes raising teachers’ salaries and combating poverty. When asked about resilience, Booker pointed to his experience working with tenant leaders in Newark in 2002.
  • Pete Buttigieg said his healthcare proposal, Medicare for All Who Want It, would give people the opportunity to see that the public alternative was better than private insurance. He criticized the tone of the debate when Joe Biden and Julián Castro argued over healthcare. To address systemic racism, Buttigieg proposed investing in black entrepreneurs and historically black colleges and universities. He said individuals who supported Donald Trump’s immigration policies were supporting racism. Buttigieg called for community renewal visas and city-issued municipal IDs. On trade, Buttigieg said Trump’s policies were making American leadership absent on the world stage. He said that under his administration, authorizations for the use of military force would have a built-in three-year sunset. On education, Buttigieg said teachers needed to be respected and paid more. When asked about resilience, Buttigieg pointed to his experience serving in the military as a gay soldier under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and acknowledging his sexuality when running for re-election as mayor of South Bend, Indiana. 
  • Julián Castro said the Democratic Party needed to build a young and diverse coalition to win. He said Joe Biden’s healthcare plan would leave 10 million people uninsured and said Biden forgot what he said earlier in the debate about whether individuals would be automatically enrolled in Biden’s plan. Castro said his plan would automatically enroll individuals into the system and allow them to hold onto private health insurance if they chose to. He said he was the first candidate to put forward a police reform plan. On immigration, Castro said Biden wanted to take credit for Barack Obama’s successes but didn’t want to be accountable for the critiques of the administration. Castro said he would not give up on DACA and that he would push for immigration legislation in his first 100 days in office. He said the United States should use leverage in trade negotiations to improve human rights in other countries and called for a Marshall Plan for Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. On education, he said schools were segregated because neighborhoods were segregated and that there needed to be more transparency and accountability from charter schools. When asked about resilience, Castro pointed to his resignation from a law firm to cast a city council vote against a former client’s development plan that he did not believe provided sufficient environmental protections.
  • Kamala Harris directed her opening statement at Donald Trump, saying he would have been indicted but for the Department of Justice policy against charging sitting presidents with crimes. She said her Medicare for All proposal gave people a choice between a private and public plan and that Trump needed to be defeated because his administration was trying to get rid of protections for individuals with preexisting conditions. Harris discussed her record as a prosecutor and said she would shut down for-profit prisons on her first day in office. She also said she would take executive action to ban the import of AR-15 weapons. On trade, Harris said she was not a protectionist Democrat. She said China needed to be held accountable for intellectual property theft and substandard products. She also said the United States needed to work with China on the issue of North Korea. She said as attorney general of California, she took on fossil fuel companies. On education, Harris said she would invest in historically black colleges and universities to produce more black teachers. When asked about resilience, Harris pointed to her experience running for district attorney and attorney general as a black woman. 
  • Amy Klobuchar emphasized her Midwestern roots and said she wanted to be a president for all of America rather than half of the country. She said she supported creating a public option but opposed Bernie Sanders’ healthcare bill because it would eliminate private insurance. She also said she worked with Sanders on a legislative amendment to allow less expensive drugs to come into the United States from places like Canada. Klobuchar said that when she served as county attorney, she fought for justice for murdered black children, increased prosecution of white-collar crimes, and diversified the office. She said she would move forward on the Second Step Act, which would reduce sentences for non-violent offenders in local and state jails. Klobuchar said she supported what she called an “assault weapons” ban, magazine limitations, universal background checks, and closing certain gun-related loopholes. Klobuchar criticized the Trump administration’s tariff policy, saying it was harming farmers and could bankrupt the country. On climate change, Klobuchar said she would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, bring back the Clean Power rules, and reestablish gas mileage standards. When asked about resilience, Klobuchar discussed her fight for extended hospital stays for new mothers before she entered public office.
  • Beto O’Rourke said in his opening statement that the El Paso shooter was inspired to kill by Donald Trump and that the current state of politics incentivized fighting and making differences without distinctions. While discussing the racial wealth gap, O’Rourke said he would sign a reparations bill to address systemic racism. He said he supported a mandatory buyback of AR-15 and AK-47 rifles. On immigration, O’Rourke said American policy should be written in the image of diverse cities like Houston. He said that no child should be caged, there needed to be accountability for the deaths of seven individuals in immigration custody, and Dreamers should immediately be made U.S. citizens. O’Rourke called for zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, pre-disaster mitigation grants to vulnerable communities, renewable wind and solar energy technology, and regenerative agriculture. When asked about resilience, O’Rourke pointed to the survivors of the El Paso shooting.
  • Bernie Sanders  said the country was moving toward an oligarchic society and that he would challenge those in power. He defended the $30 trillion cost of his Medicare for All proposal, saying that the status quo would cost $50 trillion. He said his system would prevent people from going bankrupt because of a cancer diagnosis. Sanders said he opposed ending the filibuster and would instead use a budget reconciliation law to pass legislation on guns, Medicare, and climate change. He criticized NAFTA and said that wage stagnation was partly due to bad trade policies. Sanders said a difference between him and Joe Biden was Sanders’ vote against the use of military force in Iraq. He called Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro a tyrant and said his definition of democratic socialism was reflected in Scandinavia and not Venezuela. On education, Sanders said every teacher should make at least $60,000 each year. When asked about resilience, Sanders pointed to his earlier unsuccessful runs for U.S. Senate and governor in Vermont. Sanders was the fourth-most active participant, speaking for 13.7 minutes.
  • Elizabeth Warren said she would partly pay for her Medicare for All proposal through a wealth tax on the richest individuals and corporations. She said families needed to consider the total cost of healthcare rather than their tax bill. She said her plan would prevent individuals from having to argue with insurance companies and having coverage denied. Warren said gun legislation cannot be passed until systemic issues of corruption are addressed. On immigration, Warren said she wanted to expand legal immigration and create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and their families. She also said there was a border crisis because Central America needed more assistance. On trade, Warren said human rights activists should be at the negotiating table for trade deals. Warren said troops in Afghanistan need to return home and that some problems abroad should be solved through diplomatic and economic solutions. She also endorsed Jay Inslee’s climate change plan. On education, she said there should be universal childcare and universal pre-K for children under five. When asked about resilience, Warren pointed to her journey to law school after being dismissed from her teaching job because she was pregnant. 
  • Andrew Yang announced he would give $1,000 per month to 10 families who visited his campaign website as a demonstration of his Freedom Dividend proposal. He said health needed to be incentivized over revenue in the American healthcare system and pointed to the Cleveland Clinic as an example. Yang said he would return the level of immigration to what it was under the Obama administration. On trade, Yang said he would not immediately repeal tariffs against China. He also said he signed a pledge to end forever wars and that he did not believe the United States was good at rebuilding other countries. On education, Yang said student outcomes that are determined outside of the school, including student stress levels and income, could be better addressed by giving money directly to families and neighborhoods. When asked about resilience, Yang pointed to his experiences as an entrepreneur.  

Democrats

  • Michael Bennet will campaign in Iowa Friday and Saturday, with stops in Keokuk and Grinnell.
  • Biden tweeted a video highlighting Barack Obama’s presidency and the Affordable Care Act.
  • Bill de Blasio will begin a three-day campaign visit to South Carolina Saturday.
  • Essence News featured Booker campaigning in South Carolina in its new series, 24 Hours With.
  • Steve Bullock will participate in the Caucus for Kids Facebook Live event in Iowa Friday.
  • Castro spoke about decriminalizing migration, creating a climate refugee class, homelessness, and animal protection in an interview on The Ezra Klein Show.
  • John Delaney spoke about his appeal to centrist voters on Cheddar.
  • Tulsi Gabbard is holding town halls across Iowa for three days beginning Friday.
  • Wayne Messam presided over a budget hearing in Miramar Thursday.
  • Tim Ryan began a three-day tour of New Hampshire Thursday, including stops in Concord and Manchester.
  • Joe Sestak finished up his six-day tour of New Hampshire Thursday.
  • Tom Steyer launched a six-figure ad campaign on Fox and Friends calling for Trump’s impeachment.
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey endorsed Warren Thursday.
  • Marianne Williamson will campaign in Los Angeles over the weekend, appearing at the Project Angel Food 30th Anniversary Gala Saturday and a private fundraiser Sunday.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump spoke at the House Republican Conference member retreat in Baltimore Thursday night.
  • In an interview on Cheddar NewsJoe Walsh said that if he loses the Republican nomination, he will not vote for Trump.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 13, 2015 

Hillary Clinton spoke about her family at the Foundry United Methodist Church’s bicentennial celebration.

 

 



Bitnami