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Heart of the Primaries 2020, Republicans-Issue 22 (June 10, 2020)

This week: Trump endorses Bennett in NC-11 runoff, McCarthy endorses Mowers in NH-01, and Utah Attorney General candidates participate in debate

On the news

Where do Republican and conservative pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.

On qualified immunity 

“Cornell Law defines qualified immunity as ‘a type of legal immunity… [that] protects a government official from lawsuits alleging that the official violated a plaintiff’s rights, only allowing suits where officials violated a “clearly established” statutory or constitutional right.’ In practice, this requirement for exact prior cases makes it impossible in most cases to sue a government official who violates your rights in civil court. … 

“It has resulted in too many such horror stories and unjust anecdotes to count. …

“It’s, of course, true that no single reform can eliminate racism or repair the structural flaws in our justice system. But within the right-leaning criminal justice reform community, a consensus has formed that eliminating qualified immunity is a great place to start.”

Brad Polumbo, The Dispatch, June 8, 2020

“[What qualified immunity is] going to cause is a flight away from serving in police duty, and what that means ultimately is … if this passes the way she described it may you’re going to actually see increases in crime rates because police officers, nobody’s going to want to be a police officer because you’re going to have some immunity problems. Instead of the department taking the immunity, it will be the individual, and nobody is going to want to put their lives and their family in that kind of harm’s away. And so that’s going to be a real problem in the future. …

I’m not sure Congress is the best place to provide a unique situation with a one-size-fits-all solution.”

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), quoted by Breitbart, June 8, 2020

June 9 elections review

 

  • West Virginia gubernatorial: Gov. Jim Justice defeated former Secretary of Commerce Woody Thrasher, former state Del. Mike Folk, and four others to win the Republican nomination for governor in West Virginia. As of 9:30 a.m. on June 10, Justice had received 63.0% of the vote to 18.3% for H. Woody Thrasher and 12.3% for Michael Folk. No other candidate had received more than 10% of the vote. The race featured a high level of self-financing. According to campaign finance reports, Justice contributed $1.5 million to his own campaign. Thrasher and Folk contributed roughly $3.4 million and $261,000, respectively. Justice first won election to the governorship as a Democrat in 2016 with 49% of the vote to Republican Bill Cole’s 42%. He will face Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango (D) in the general election.
  • Georgia’s 7th Congressional District: Rich McCormick defeated six other candidates in the Republican primary for Georgia’s 7th Congressional District. With 97% of precincts reporting, McCormick had received 55.2% of the vote to Renee Unterman’s 17.4%. No other candidate received more than 10% of the vote. Incumbent Rob Woodall (R) did not seek re-election. McCormick, who was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Club for Growth PAC, focused on his experiences as a military pilot and an emergency medicine physician, while Unterman highlighted her record in the Georgia State Senate and was endorsed by former Gov. Nathan Deal (R), Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R), and the Susan B. Anthony List. Election forecasters rate the general election a toss-up.
  • Georgia’s 9th Congressional District: Matt Gurtler and Andrew Clyde were the top two finishers in the nine-candidate Republican primary for Georgia’s 9th Congressional District and will advance to an August 11 runoff. As of 9:30 a.m. on June 10, Gurtler had received 22.4% of the vote to Clyde’s 18.6% with 97% of precincts reporting. Three other candidates—Kevin Tanner, Paul Broun, and John Wilkinson—each received more than 10% of the vote. The seat had been left open following Rep. Doug Collins’ (R) announcement that he would run for U.S. Senate rather than seek re-election. Election forecasters rate the district as solidly Republican, meaning the winner of the runoff is likely to win the general election.
  • Georgia’s 14th Congressional District: Marjorie Taylor Greene and John Cowan were the top two finishers in the Republican primary for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District and will advance to a runoff on August 11. As of 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time on June 10, Greene had received 40.7% of the vote to Cowan’s 19.8%. None of the seven other candidates had received more than 10% of the vote. Incumbent Tom Graves (R) is not seeking re-election, leaving the seat open. Election forecasters rate the district as solidly Republican, meaning the winner of the runoff is likely to win the general election.
  • Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District: As of 6:45 a.m. Pacific Time on June 10, the Republican primary in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District remained too close to call. With 70% of precincts reporting, Dan Rodimer led with 43.5% of the vote followed by Dan Schwartz with 32.6% and Mindy Robinson with 13.4%. Rodimer, a former professional wrestler, had been endorsed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and the National Rifle Association. Schwartz, a former state treasurer, was endorsed by 2018 nominee Danny Tarkanian (R) and the Nevada Veterans Association. The winner will face incumbent Susie Lee (D). Two election forecasters rate the seat likely Democratic and a third says it leans towards Democrats.
  • South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District: State Rep. Nancy Mace defeated Kathy Landing, Chris Cox, and Brad Mole to win the Republican nomination in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. Mace received 57.5 percent of the vote, above the 50% required to win without a runoff. Landing took second place with 25.9%. Mace will face incumbent Rep. Joe Cunningham (D), who is running for re-election. The 1st District is one of 30 House Districts represented by a Democrat in 2020 that voted for Donald Trump (R) in 2016. Election forecasters rate the general election a toss-up.
  • West Virginia State Senate: Seven Republican members of the state Senate faced primary challengers. State Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R) and state Sen. Sue Cline (R) were defeated in their primaries. Carmichael received 34.9% of the vote to challenger Amy Nichole Grady’s 39.1%, while Cline received 40.0% to 60.0% for challenger David Stover. 

 

U.S. Congress

Trump endorses Bennett in NC-11 runoff 

President Donald Trump endorsed Lynda Bennett in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District primary runoff

Mark Meadows (R) represented the district before resigning to serve as White House chief of staff in March. He endorsed Bennett, as did the House Freedom Fund.

Bennett faces Madison Cawthorn in the June 23 runoff. 

Bennett has campaigned on her endorsements and experience. In a campaign ad, the narrator says, “Like President Trump, Lynda built a successful business, fought through tough economies, and won.” She owns a real estate company and served as vice chairwoman of the Haywood County Republican Party. Bennett received activism training from the Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups.

Cawthorn has said Bennett was picked by “Washington, D.C. insiders and political bosses” to represent the district. He argues that his youth is an asset, saying in a recent video, “We as Republicans have a generational time bomb going off inside our party. Millennials are not registering Republican. … We conservatives have a great message, but we don’t have enough messengers to reach my generation. As your congressman, I can do that.” 

Cawthorn turns 25 years old in August. He owns a real estate investment company and is a motivational speaker. He was paralyzed in a car accident at age 19.

Bennett received 23% of the primary vote to Cawthorn’s 20%. This is the first primary in the newly-drawn 11th district after North Carolina adopted a new Congressional district map in December 2019. The Mountaineer’s Kyle Perotti reported that “much of the territory Cawthorn claimed was only brought into the district after a three-judge panel approved the new Congressional district in December of last year.”

McCarthy endorses Mowers in NH-01

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) endorsed Matt Mowers in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District primary.

McCarthy said, “We need to win competitive districts like New Hampshire’s First Congressional District to win back the majority in November. That’s possible when we nominate strong grassroots campaigners like Matt Mowers who will fight tirelessly for the people of New Hampshire and join me in supporting President Trump’s agenda.”  

Mowers was a senior advisor in the State Department during the Trump administration and was executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party. Former Trump campaign senior advisor Corey Lewandowski also endorsed Mowers. 

Matt Mayberry is also running in the Sept. 8 primary. He served as vice chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party and as a city councilor and school board member in Dover. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) appointed Mayberry chairman of the New Hampshire Commission on Human Rights in 2018. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) endorsed Mayberry.

Both Mayberry and Mowers have endorsements from state legislators. 

The 30-year-old Mowers says he is running “to usher in a new generation of innovative conservative leadership.” 

Mayberry said of himself, “It’s kind of funny. … The guy who’s been involved in hundreds of New Hampshire campaigns is the outsider.” He said the 1st District general election would be the first major election featuring two openly gay candidates if he won the primary and that he would be the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress if he won in November.

Incumbent Rep. Chris Pappas (D) won in 2018 with 54% of the vote to Eddie Edwards’ (R) 45%. The 1st District changed party hands five times between 2006 and 2016, alternating between Democrat Carol Shea-Porter and Republican Frank Guinta.

Club for Growth spends $179,000 on pro-Jackson ad in TX-13

We recently reported that the Club for Growth endorsed Ronny Jackson in the primary runoff for Texas’ 13th Congressional District. The group has spent $179,000 on an ad supporting Jackson, highlighting Trump’s endorsement.

State executives

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and challenger David Leavitt debate in Salt Lake City

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Utah County Attorney David Leavitt met for a debate in Salt Lake City on June 2, where they discussed their priorities for the office, campaign finance practices, and their views on ongoing protests and demonstrations following the death of George Floyd.

Leavitt said he would wind down the use of plea bargains in favor of jury trials for criminal cases in line with his practice as Utah County Attorney. He said jury trials were better than plea bargains because they required prosecutors to prove their case and would reduce the state’s prison population. Reyes said there was not enough funding for the state to carry out a jury trial for each criminal case and that such a practice was not constitutionally required. 

Leavitt criticized Reyes for accepting campaign contributions from private businesses and the Republican Attorneys General Association, saying they threatened the integrity of the office. Reyes said his donors knew they would receive no special treatment and he had participated in a federal lawsuit against Google despite having received a contribution from the company.

The two differed in their views of the attorney general’s role in responding to the ongoing demonstrations following the death of George Floyd. Leavitt said prosecutors were too reluctant to act as a check on police and that Reyes had not done enough to oversee county prosecutors. Reyes said Leavitt’s criticism was uninformed and that he had filed multiple suits against law enforcement officers. He disagreed with Leavitt’s call for more oversight over county prosecutors and said he had received more complaints about Leavitt than any other public official.

The June 30 primary will be open to registered Republicans only.

Candidates begin airing ads, announce endorsements in Indiana Attorney General race

Ahead of the June 20 virtual GOP convention, two of the candidates running for the Republican nomination for Indiana Attorney General unveiled endorsements from local leaders, while a third released a trio of ads.

Incumbent Curtis Hill, who was first elected in 2016, unveiled an endorsement from Elkhart City Clerk Deborah Barrett on June 3 and an endorsement from Sullivan County GOP Chairman Bill Springer on June 8. State Rep. Steve Bartels, who represents a district on the Kentucky border, endorsed Decatur County Prosecutor Nate Harter June 5.

Attorney John Westercamp released a series of ads outlining his priorities if elected. In a pair of 30-second spots released June 2 and 3, Westercamp said he would limit the scope of government and expand restrictions on abortion. A one-minute ad Westercamp began airing June 9 said his entrance into the race demonstrated leadership.

Harter, Westercamp, and former Rep. Todd Rokita are Hill’s three challengers at this year’s convention. All three say they are challenging Hill because four women accused him of sexual misconduct at a party in March 2018. Major party candidates for Indiana Attorney General are nominated at a convention rather than in primaries.

Legislatures

State Senator and conservative PAC endorse competing candidates in Kentucky House District 39

On June 5, state Sen. Tom Buford (R-22) and the Freedom’s Heritage Forum issued competing endorsements in the Kentucky House District 39 primary. 

Railroad executive Jay Corman and Jessamine County GOP chairman Matt Locket are seeking the Republican nomination on June 23. The incumbent, Rep. Russ Meyer (D), is not seeking re-election, leaving the seat open.

Sen. Buford, whose Senate District 22 encompasses all of House District 39, endorsed Corman. Buford said, “Corman has contributed to the needs of Central Kentucky and employs over 1,600 individuals.” The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce also endorsed Corman.

The Freedom’s Heritage Forum endorsed Lockett. The group says it “strive[s] to promote liberty … while supporting life, the second amendment, and traditional marriage.” Kentucky Right to Life also endorsed Lockett.

Rep. Meyer ran unopposed in 2018 but defeated Republican challengers in 2016 and 2014 with roughly 56 percent of the vote in each election. The winner of the primary will likely face Carolyn Dupont (D), the only Democrat filed to run.

U.S. Term Limits group publishes ads supporting and opposing candidates in open Kentucky House race

On June 1, U.S. Term Limits (USTL) began airing ads supporting two candidates and opposing two others in the June 23 primary for Kentucky House District 22. USTL describes itself as “the voice of the American citizen… [that] advocates for term limits at all levels of government.” 

Four Republicans—Nathan Brace, Brian Gann, Shawn McPherson, and Tim Miller—are running in the primary. The incumbent Rep. Wilson Stone (D) is not seeking re-election. 

USTL contacts and encourages state legislative candidates to sign a pledge saying he or she “will cosponsor, vote for, and defend the resolution applying for an Article V convention for the sole purpose of enacting term limits on Congress.” The group says it will promote all pledge signers through press releases, emails to supporters, and social media.

USTL launched social media ad campaigns supporting Gann and Miller, both of whom signed the pledge. At the same time, the group released ads opposing the remaining candidates, Brace and McPherson, who did not sign the pledge. Three of the four candidates commented on the pledge:

  • Gann: “While I agree that experience matters, I do not agree with career politicians.”
  • McPherson: “If elected I will always take time to research the problem … I do not ever want to paint myself into a corner.”
  • Miller: “I say term limits is what we need to help our president drain the swamp.”

 

 

The winner of the June 23 primary will likely face David Young (D), the only Democrat filed to run. In 2018, Rep. Stone won re-election with 53 percent of the vote after running unopposed in 2014 and 2012.

Power players

“Over the last 30 years, GOA has built a nationwide network of attorneys to help fight court battles in almost every state in the nation to protect gun owner rights. GOA staff and attorneys have also worked with members of Congress, state legislators and local citizens to protect gun ranges and local gun clubs from closure by overzealous government anti-gun bureaucrats.” – Gun Owners of America website

Founded in 1976, Gun Owners of America describes its mission as follows: “To preserve, protect and defend the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, including promoting and developing a greater understanding and awareness regarding the importance and benefits of firearms ownership, and conducting education and policy related to such rights.” The organization has a political action committee called Gun Owners of America, Inc. Political Victory Fund.

Gun Owners of America also has an affiliated research arm called the Gun Owners Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that says it “exists in order to educate the public about the importance of the Second Amendment and to provide legal, expert and support assistance for law-abiding individuals involved in firearms-related cases.”

To view a report of what the organization considers its top 10 accomplishments in 2019, click here. To view the group’s congressional ratings, click here



Heart of the Primaries 2020, Democrats-Issue 22 (June 10, 2020)

This week: Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez endorse Bowman while Pelosi endorses Engel in NY-16, Hickenlooper and Romanoff release first TV ads in the Colorado Senate primary, and Indiana Attorney General candidates make final arguments ahead of convention

On the news

Where do Democratic and progressive pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.

On defunding the police

“Their argument, then, is not necessarily that we don’t need police officers. It’s, how we can best ensure that police officers are serving the communities they are tasked with policing?

“But that subtlety is lost in chants of ‘Defund the Police.’ And Trump, desperate for an issue to latch onto as he watches his poll numbers both nationally and in swing states tumble, will destroy any nuance in the conversation over police funding in order to paint Biden (and Democrats more broadly) as wanting to get rid of the police entirely. … 

“The political problem for Democrats is this: They are now being backed into a corner by activists who are demanding radical change. But it’s not at all clear that a majority of the country supports a policy that would defund the police. Democratic leaders need to change the conversation to be about reforming police departments and re-allocating some resources for more community building and less militarization.

“If they can’t, the call to ‘Defund the Police’ will continue to be music to Trump’s ears.”

Chris Cillizza, CNN, June 8, 2020

“The call to defund police is landing in a way it should have landed a long time ago. That’s really encouraging. … 

“What’s different now? From our point of view, for too many years, advocacy organizations were not run by people from the community. It allowed for people to make compromises in the halls of policy change that betrayed the most acute needs of the community in exchange for an expedited political victory that could then be fundraised off of. We cannot rely on Democratic Party consultants who are alienated from the community. Nothing we are demanding is impossible. We’re demanding things that are completely sensible, completely feasible, often more economically feasible. They’re just different from what some of these folks are used to.

“Too much is happening in plain sight now. It was really interesting in the last couple of days to watch mainstream news outlets covering the protests throughout the country. It seemed like they really wanted to provide a narrative that sided with the police. And the police made it impossible because over and over and over again, in city, after city, after city, the instigators and the aggressors were the police. That’s nothing new. But the surfacing of a dialog that acknowledges that is new. If you work really hard to crack open opportunities to tell the truth, it eventually works. I think we’re in a moment where that is starting to work.”

Lex Steppling, quoted by Mother Jones, June 5, 2020 

June 9 elections review

  • U.S. Senate, Georgia: As of 9:30 a.m. on June 10, this race was too close to call with 93% of precincts reporting. Jon Ossoff led the seven-candidate field with 48.6% of the vote, followed by Teresa Tomlinson with 14.8%, Sarah Riggs Amico with 13.2%, and Maya Smith with 10.3%. If Ossoff receives more than 50% of the vote, he will win the nomination outright. If not, he and the second-place finisher will advance to a runoff on August 11.

  • West Virginia gubernatorial: Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango defeated Douglas Hughes, Jody Murphy, Stephen Smith, and state Sen. Ron Stollings to win the Democratic nomination for governor of West Virginia. As of 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on June 10, Salango had received 39.0% of the vote followed by Smith and Stollings with 33.4% and 13.5%, respectively, with 98% of precincts reporting. No other candidate received more than 10% of the vote. Salango will face incumbent Gov. Jim Justice (R) in the general election. Justice was elected in 2016 as a Democrat before switching to the Republican Party in 2017. Democrats have won every gubernatorial election in West Virginia since 2000.

 

  • Georgia’s 7th Congressional District: Carolyn Bourdeaux and Brenda Lopez Romero advanced to an August 11 runoff election in the Democratic primary for Georgia’s 7th Congressional District. With 97% of precincts reporting, Bourdeaux had received 46.0% of the vote to Romero’s 14.5%. Incumbent Rob Woodall (R) did not seek re-election. In 2018, Woodall defeated Democratic nominee Bourdeaux by 433 votes — a margin of 0.15 percentage points — in the closest U.S. House race that year.

 

U.S. Congress

Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez endorse Bowman; Pelosi endorses Engel in NY-16

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) endorsed Jamaal Bowman in New York’s 16th Congressional District primary. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) said she supports incumbent Elliot Engel, who was first elected in 1988. 

Sanders endorsed Bowman and five other Congressional candidates in a Medium post.

Along with her endorsement, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “This moment requires renewed and revitalized leadership across the country AND at the ballot box.”

Engel said of Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement, “This is not a dictatorship. This is a democracy. We shouldn’t have one person, from high, even though she’s a colleague of mine, think that she can anoint whoever is elected to Congress.”

The 16th District shares a boundary with the 14th District, where Ocasio-Cortez defeated incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley in the 2018 Democratic primary. Crowley had been in office since 1999.

Pelosi said after Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement, “I firmly support Eliot Engel for Congress and I support Alexandria for Congress as well.” Pelosi said Engel has privilege as a longtime House member, “which is unique and it wouldn’t happen again. … [He is] not only the chairman of Foreign Affairs, he is a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.”

Pelosi said in September 2019 that she has a policy of endorsing Democratic incumbents.

Two other candidates are running in the primary. On June 1, Andom Ghebreghiorgis dropped out and endorsed Bowman.

Also last week, the Working Families Party and Justice Democrats announced they plan to spend $500,000 on ads and phone outreach supporting Bowman. As we reported earlier, the Working Families Party endorsed Engel in previous election cycles. 

On June 2, all 16th District primary candidates participated in an online debate. That day, a News 12 anchor tweeted a clip of Engel asking Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for speaking time at a press event about local vandalism. Engel said, “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”

Afterwards, Engel said, “In the context of running for reelection, I thought it was important for people to know where I stand, that’s why I asked to speak. … I would not have tried to impose on the Borough President if I didn’t think it was important.”

Bowman said, “To say if I didn’t have a primary I wouldn’t care, it captures everything not just wrong with him but the political system.”

The primary is June 23.

Hickenlooper, Romanoff release first TV ads in the Colorado Senate primary

John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff released their first TV ads in the June 30 Senate primary in Colorado. 

In his ad, Hickenlooper says:

When I was sworn in as governor, Colorado ranked 40th in the country in job creation. But together we built the number one economy in America. We did it the Colorado way, from the bottom up, and that’s what Washington needs now. Instead of handing out loans to big corporations, they should be helping small businesses stay in business.

In his ad, Romanoff says in his ad

It shouldn’t take a crisis to teach us our healthcare system is broken. If you have enough money, you can buy the best care in the world. If you’re an insurance company, you can even buy Congress. I’m Andrew Romanoff. I approve this message and I’m running for the Senate because when you’re fighting for your life, you shouldn’t have to worry about how to pay for it.

Hickenlooper was governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019. He also sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Romanoff was a state representative from 2001 to 2009. He served two terms as speaker of the state House.

Also last week, the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission ruled that Hickenlooper violated a state gift ban law when he flew on a donor’s jet and took a limousine ride at a conference. Former Republican state House Speaker Frank McNulty filed the complaint against Hickenlooper on behalf of his nonprofit, Public Trust Institute, in 2018.

Hickenlooper has said the complaint was politically motivated and denied that his travel arrangements violated state law. Hickenlooper sought to have the hearing postponed until August. The commission held him in contempt. It will reconvene on June 12 to determine whether Hickenlooper will be sanctioned for the violations and contempt finding.

Hickenlooper campaign representative Melissa Miller said, “We fully expect the special interests who’ve exploited this process to continue to mislead Coloradans with negative attacks because they know John Hickenlooper will be an independent voice in the U.S. Senate.”

Romanoff said, “The commission’s message is clear — and Coloradans agree: no one is above the law.”

Incumbent Cory Gardner (R) is seeking re-election. He was first elected in 2014 after defeating incumbent Mark Udall (D), 48% to 46%. Gardner is one of two incumbent Republican senators running for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton (D) won in the 2016 presidential election. 

State executives

Indiana Attorney General candidates make final arguments ahead of convention

Both of the Democrats seeking the nomination for Indiana Attorney General made their case for the nomination in a televised convention preview on June 4. Democratic delegates will select either state Sen. Karen Tallian or former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel as their nominee in a virtual convention Saturday, June 13.

Tallian has represented District 4 in northwestern Indiana in the state Senate since 2004. She said her political experience gives her a better chance than Weinzapfel of winning the general election. 

Weinzapfel was Evansville’s mayor from 2004 to 2011 and was a state legislator for four years. He said his mix of private and public sector experience gave him a different perspective from Tallian or any of the four candidates seeking the Republican nomination. 

Both Tallian and Weinzapfel have said their top priority would be ending Indiana’s participation in a multistate lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act. 

In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, Tallian said her other priorities would be emphasizing anti-fraud efforts, expanding legal protections for workers and employers, and reducing Indiana’s incarceration rate. 

Weinzapfel said he would focus on investigating charter schools’ finances, managing the money the state could potentially receive from a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, and investigating nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

Major party candidates for Indiana Attorney General are nominated at a convention rather than in primaries. The winner of the Democratic nomination will be announced June 18.

People for the American Way endorses David Zuckerman for governor of Vermont

People for the American Way endorsed Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman for governor of Vermont Friday. The group says it supports what it describes as equality and civil rights.

Earlier in the week, Zuckerman, former state Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe, and attorney Patrick Winburn attended a virtual town hall hosted by Sunrise Middlebury. The three discussed the tone of politics, responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and protests following the death of George Floyd. A fourth candidate, Ralph Corbo, did not attend the event.

The Aug. 11 primary will be open to all registered voters. On the Republican side, five candidates are running, including incumbent Phil Scott (R). 

Legislatures

Ocasio-Cortez endorses Brisport in Brooklyn-area Senate primary

On June 9, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) endorsed Jabari Brisport (D) in the New York Senate District 25 Democratic primary. Brisport faces Jason Salmon (D) and Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright (D-56) in the June 23 primary. 

Brisport and Salmon initially filed to run against incumbent Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D-25), who had served in the state Senate since 1985. In January, Montgomery announced she would not seek re-election and endorsed Assm. Wright, who then entered the race.

In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, Brisport, a public school teacher, has received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), state Sen. Julia Salazer (D-18), the Democratic Socialists of America NYC, and the New York Working Families Party.

Salmon, a former legislative staffer for Montgomery, received endorsements from the Public Employees Federation and United Autoworkers alongside Equality New York and the Stonewall Democrats of NYC.

Wright has received more endorsements from elected officials than her two competitors. According to her website, eight Senators and eight Assembly members have endorsed her campaign as well as U.S. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (D).

2018 gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon endorses in N.Y. Assembly District 125 race

Actress and 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon (D) endorsed Tompkins County legislator Anna Kelles (D) in the seven-way primary for Assembly District 125. 

Nixon said, “Anna Kelles has the courage and the experience to effect real change for the many, not just the few.”

Earlier this year, incumbent Rep. Barbara Lifton (D) announced she would not be seeking re-election, leaving the Assembly District 125 seat open for the first time since 2002. Assm. Lifton won re-election eight times. Her most recent contested general election was in 2016 when she defeated Herbert Masser, Jr. (R) 70-30%.

We previously reported on this primary on April 22 following the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 241 endorsement of Ithaca city alderman Seph Murtagh. In addition to Kelles and Murtagh, two other town and county officials are seeking the Democratic nomination: Cortland County legislator Beau Harbin and Dryden Town Supervisor Jason Leifer. Rep. Lifton’s legislative counsel, Jordan Lesser, is also seeking the nomination alongside community members Sujata Gibson and Lisa Hoeschele

There are no other candidates on the ballot, meaning the winner of the primary is likely to win the general election.

Power players

“The Progressive Promise is rooted in four core principles that embody national priorities and are consistent with the values, needs and aspirations of all the American people, not just the powerful and the privileged.  They reflect a fundamental belief in government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” – Congressional Progressive Caucus website

The Congressional Progressive Caucus was founded in 1991 by six members of the U.S. House. Its current membership includes Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and 97 members of the U.S. House. The caucus lists the following four principles of its agenda, which it calls “The Progressive Promise–Fairness for All”:

  1. Fighting for economic justice and security for all;
  2. Protecting and preserving our civil rights and civil liberties;
  3. Promoting global peace and security; and
  4. Advancing environmental protection and energy independence

The caucus’ affiliated political action committee, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC (CPC PAC), says it “has a mission of electing strong, progressive leaders to Congress who share the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC’s vision for America’s future.” To view candidates endorsed by the PAC, click here.

According to Politico, CPC PAC recently made its first independent expenditure, spending in support of Mondaire Jones in New York’s 17th Congressional District.



Biden and Trump win Georgia and West Virginia primaries

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
June 10, 2020: Biden and Trump won primaries in Georgia and West Virginia. A virtual fundraiser for Biden hosted with Kamala Harris raised $3.5 million.

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.        

Notable Quote of the Day

“… Biden has dramatically escalated his Facebook spending, purchasing close to $5 million in advertising on the platform in just a few days last week and beating Trump’s single-day record Thursday with a $1.6 million buy. His recent splurge, which matched what he’d spent in 10 months of campaigning, sought to tap into the energy of the protests against racism and police brutality, which have also focused on Trump. …

In his digital advertising, Team Biden’s recent focus has been on how Trump has fanned the ‘flames of white supremacy, hatred, and violence,’ and on promoting a petition condemning the president—which the campaign can use to connect with potential supporters. The ads have also focused more on the younger voters that Biden struggled to win over in the primary. …

The uprising over Floyd’s killing has become a flashpoint for the country, with less than two weeks of protests resulting in a number of concrete measures—charges against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis cop who killed Floyd, and the officers who stood by as he did it; that city’s leaders voting to disband the police department; and a groundswell against racism and inequality across several industries. The social unrest has also laid bare what would be at stake under another four years of Trump. Biden appears to be tapping into that energy, aligning himself with the demonstrators against a president whose administration stands in the way of the progress they demand.”

– Eric Lutz, Vanity Fair

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden and Donald Trump won their respective parties’ primaries in Georgia and West Virginia on June 9.
  • virtual fundraiser for Biden hosted with Kamala Harris raised $3.5 million from 1,400 donors.
  • Biden spoke via video at George Floyd’s funeral.
  • The Democratic PAC American Bridge announced it would spend $20 million on 10 weeks of TV and radio ads focused on seniors in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
  • CNN reported that Trump may announce the location of the nomination portion of the Republican National Convention tomorrow, June 11.
  • Trump tweeted, “NASDAQ HITS ALL-TIME HIGH. Tremendous progress being made, way ahead of schedule. USA!”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 10, 2016

Trump spoke at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington, D.C. He said, “Here is some of what we can accomplish together: appoint judges, so important, so important…who will uphold our laws, protect our Constitution and protect the rights of all Americans.”

Click here to learn more.



Trump campaign to resume holding rallies

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
June 9, 2020: Trump’s campaign plans to resume holding rallies in coming weeks. Biden said he does not support defunding the police.

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. blank    blankblank   


Daily Presidential News Briefing, Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (Fox News • Wisconsin • May 30-June 2, 2020)
Daily Presidential News Briefing, Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (EPIC-MRA • Michigan • May 30-June 3, 2020)

Notable Quote of the Day

“The purveyors of fake news at CNN are convinced, just as they were four years ago, that they have this presidential election in the bag. Donald Trump is done, and Joe Biden is headed for a landslide, just like Hillary Clinton was. …

People are simply not enthusiastic about Biden. Shoot, even Biden doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about Biden most of the time. They are, however, extremely enthusiastic about Trump — even in the supposedly “devastating” CNN poll, about 70% of those who say they will vote for Trump say they’re voting for him, not against Biden.

At the Trump campaign, we don’t need CNN to tell us about that enthusiasm, because we get to experience it every single day. Even amid the coronavirus pandemic that has blocked off most of the traditional fundraising methods and radically reshaped political campaigning, we are continually setting new records for fundraising. Meanwhile, the president continues to maintain equally historic and consistent support within the Republican Party, polling at 96% within the GOP. The enthusiasm is there. We can prove it, and the exact opposite is true for Sleepy Joe.”

– Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, Washington Examiner

Election Updates

  • In response to the movement to defund the police, Joe Biden said in an interview on CBS, “No, I don‘t support defunding the police. … I support conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness and, in fact, are able to demonstrate they can protect the community and everybody in the community.”

  • Biden’s campaign launched “Out for Biden,” a get-out-the-vote program aimed at LGBTQ voters. Biden tweeted, “We’ve made incredible progress on LGBTQ+ equality, but we still have further to go. We can’t rest until everyone is treated with dignity and respect under the law—regardless of who they are or whom they love.”

  • Biden met with George Floyd’s family in Houston, Texas.

  • Politico reported that Donald Trump’s campaign will resume holding rallies in coming weeks. Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said, “Americans are ready to get back to action and so is President Trump. The great American comeback is real and the rallies will be tremendous. … You’ll again see the kind of crowds and enthusiasm that sleepy Joe Biden can only dream of.”

  • Trump tweeted, “I have retained highly respected pollster, McLaughlin & Associates, to analyze todays CNN Poll (and others), which I felt were FAKE based on the incredible enthusiasm we are receiving. Read analysis for yourself. This is the same thing they and others did when we defeated. … Crooked Hillary Clinton in 2016. They are called SUPPRESSION POLLS, and are put out to dampen enthusiasm. Despite 3 ½ years of phony Witch Hunts, we are winning, and will close it out on November 3rd!”

  • Trump met with law enforcement representatives for a roundtable discussion at which he said, “There won’t be defunding, there won’t be dismantling of our police and there is not going to be any disbanding of our police. … There’s a reason for less crime, it’s because we have great law enforcement. I’m very proud of them.”

  • Trump’s campaign hired Jason Miller as a senior adviser. Miller was also an adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Flashback: June 9, 2016

President Barack Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton. After the endorsement, Trump tweeted, “Obama just endorsed Crooked Hillary. He wants four more years of Obama—but nobody else does!” Clinton replied in a retweet, “Delete your account.” Trump tweeted, “How long did it take your staff of 823 people to think that up–and where are your 33,000 emails that you deleted?”blank

Click here to learn more.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: June 8, 2020

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas.

Want to know what happened Friday? Click here.

The next two days

What is reopening in the next two days? Which stay-at-home orders will expire?

June 9

  • New York (Democratic trifecta): The Mid-Hudson region is on track to become the eighth of New York’s 10 regions to enter Phase II of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) reopening plan, “NY Forward,” on June 9. The Long Island region expected to move into that phase on July 10. Under Phase II, the following businesses and activities are permitted to resume:  offices (50% occupancy), real estate, in-store retail (50% occupancy), vehicle sales, leases and rentals, retail rental, repair and cleaning, commercial building management (50% occupancy), and salons and barbershops (50% occupancy).  On June 6, Cuomo announced that places of worship could open up to 25% occupancy in Phase II.  Cuomo also said that outdoor graduation ceremonies could be held beginning June 26.  New York City became the last of the state’s 10 regions to enter Phase I of reopening on June 8.  Under that phase, the following businesses and activities are permitted to resume: construction, manufacturing, and wholesale supply chains, agriculture, forestry, and fishing could resume, and retail may open for curbside pickup.

June 10

  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): On June 10, the following businesses and activities may resume: aquariums, art galleries, country clubs, ice skating rinks, indoor family entertainment centers, indoor sports facilities, laser tag facilities, indoor movie theaters, museums, playgrounds, public recreation centers, roller skating rinks, social clubs, trampoline parks and zoos.  Gov. Mike DeWine announced that casinos, amusement parks and water parks may reopen on June 19.
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): Private campgrounds and state park campgrounds, including cabins and lodges, can reopen to out-of-state visitors on June 10. Effective June 8, adult sports facilities, low-contact outdoor youth sports, little league practices, and various athletic and band summer training programs are permitted to reopen.

Since our last edition

Have any states opened? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • California (Democratic trifecta): On June 7, the state released guidance for Phase Three of its economic reopening, which would allow individual counties to begin reopening gyms, bars, schools, and professional sports as early as June 12.
  • Connecticut (Democratic trifecta): On June 7, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) released rules for businesses reopening under Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan. Phase Two of the reopening includes amusement parks, hotels, dine-in services at restaurants, museums, indoor recreation, libraries, outdoor events, personal services, and sports and fitness facilities.
  • Kentucky (divided government): Educational and cultural businesses and institutions like museums, aquariums, libraries, and distilleries are reopening on June 8. In-home childcare is also allowed.
  • Maryland (divided government): On June 8, the city of Baltimore entered a modified phase 1 reopening. However, the city will remain under more restrictions than the rest of the state.  Under this phase, churches may hold outdoor services for up to 50 people with social distancing measures.  Childcare centers and day camps may open for up to 10 people. Hair salons and barbershops can reopen by appointment only with no more than five people allowed for every 1,000 square feet of space.  Retail may also be open for curbside pick up only.  On June 8, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s offices reopened with restrictions such as requiring face masks for staff and the public and social distancing measures.
  • Massachusetts (divided government): On June 6, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that the state would enter Phase 2 of his reopening plan beginning June 8.  Phase 2 reopenings will happen in two parts.  The first part of Phase 2 includes: retail (40% of occupancy), outdoor dining at restaurants, childcare facilities and day camps, funeral homes, higher education, historical spaces, hotels and lodging (no events), outdoor recreations, personal services such as home cleaning, warehouses and distribution.  Professional sports may resume practice on June 8, but games are not allowed and practices are closed to the public.  Youth sports and adult amateur sports may resume as well.  The second part of Phase 2, which at this time has no firm date, will include indoor dining and personal services such as nail salons and tattoo parlors.
  • Michigan (divided government): Effective June 8, restaurants and outdoor public swimming pools are permitted to reopen at 50% capacity. Additionally, day camps, libraries, and museums can also reopen.
  • Mississippi (Republican trifecta): DMV’s in the state are reopening on June 8.
  • North Carolina (divided government): On June 5, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed House Bill 536, which would have allowed certain restaurants to offer outdoor dining and beverage service.  Cooper released the following statement about the veto, “State and local government leaders must be able to act quickly during the COVID-19 emergency to prevent a surge in cases that could overwhelm hospitals and harm the public. House Bill 536 would limit the ability of leaders to respond quickly to COVID-19 and hamper the health and safety of every North Carolinian.”  On June 8, the North Carolina State Senate is expected to vote on House Bill 594, which would allow gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers to reopen.  If passed, the bill would be sent to the state House. North Carolina is among seven states where a three-fifths vote of both chambers is required in order to override a gubernatorial veto. Republicans control 29 of the 30 seats required to override a veto in the state Senate and 65 of the 72 seats required in the state House.
  • North Dakota (Republican trifecta): Gov. Doug Burgum (R) signed an executive order on June 5 that modified restrictions on visitations to long-term care facilities, including nursing homes The order also allows visitations to resume in phases as outlined in the state’s Vulnerable Population Protection (VP3) Plan.  Effective June 5, the state strongly encourages outdoor visitation by appointment with social distancing and personal protective equipment, including masks.  Residents are urged to work with long-term care facility staff on appointments and details.
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced Deschutes, Jefferson, and Umatilla counties could enter the second phase of the state’s reopening plan starting June 6. Phase Two allows recreational sports and businesses like movie theaters, bowling alleys, and pools to begin reopening.
  • Tennessee (Republican trifecta): Gov. Bill Lee’s (R) Economic Recovery Group The Economic Recovery Group assembled by Gov. Bill Lee (R) released updated guidelines for close contact business, exercise facilities, non-contact recreation, and large venues and community events, including attractions. The new guidelines for close contact businesses, exercise facilities, and recreation emphasize social distancing rather than capacity limits. For attractions, large venues, and community events, including fairs, organizers should reduce occupancy to allow for social distancing and encourage face coverings.
  • Utah (Republican trifecta): On Friday, June 5, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) extended the current health risk guidelines for the state through June 12. Part of Utah’s reopening plan includes a four-phase, color-coded guidance system. All but three cities in the state have advanced to the yellow phase of reopening. Bluff, Mexican Hat, and Salt Lake City remain in the orange phase, under tighter restrictions, due to health risks related to COVID-19. Herbert said that parts of Utah could advance to the last stage of reopening, the green phase, by the end of the month.
  • Vermont (divided government): Effective June 8, restaurants are permitted to reopen to indoor dining at 25% capacity or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater. Travel restrictions for out-of-state visitors from some counties in New England and New York were also lifted. The Agency of Commerce and Community said it would release a map on June 8 at 5 p.m. identifying the counties the 14-day quarantine requirement no longer applies to.

Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of June 8, stay-at-home orders have ended in 36 states. Eighteen of those states have Republican governors and 18 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order).

Of the seven states with active stay-at-home orders, six have Democratic governors and one has a Republican governor. They are (with expiration date):

  • New Hampshire (June 15, Republican governor)
  • New York (June 27, Democratic governor)
  • New Mexico (June 30, Democratic governor)
  • California (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)
  • Kentucky (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)
  • New Jersey (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)
  • Oregon (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired.

Tracking industries: Gyms and fitness centers

All 50 states began to reopen in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: in which states are gyms permitted to reopen?

Gyms and fitness centers are allowed to reopen, at least regionally, in 36 states, while they remain closed in 14 states. In our May 21 review of this industry, gyms were allowed to open in 25 states and were closed in 25 other states. At the time, the partisan breakdown was as follows:

  • 6 states with Democratic governors were open
  • 19 states with Republican governors were open
  • 18 states with Democratic governors were closed
  • 7 states with Republican governors were closed

In the past few weeks, 11 more states have allowed gyms and fitness centers to open. The new partisan breakdown is:

This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click a state below to read a previous Featured Plan.

Previous featured plans

Alabama Delaware Maine Missouri New York Tennessee
Arizona Florida Maryland Montana Ohio Texas
Arkansas Georgia Massachusetts Nevada Oklahoma Virginia
California Illinois Michigan New Hampshire Pennsylvania Washington
Colorado Indiana Minnesota New Mexico South Carolina

On May 18, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” a three-stage approach to reopening. Throughout the first stage, businesses and activities deemed low-risk have been allowed to reopen with safety requirements. Stage 2 is set to begin June 15.

Murphy established the following criteria for determining when the state could move from one stage to the next:

  • Sustained improvements in public health indicators, including new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, individuals in intensive care, and ventilator use.
  • Substantial increase in testing and contact tracing capacity.
  • Sufficient resilience in New Jersey’s health care system to include adequate bed capacity, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and workforce.
  • Widespread safeguarding of workplaces.
  • Widespread safeguarding and capacity of child care, schools, and transit.
  • Continued public compliance.

On March 21, Murphy issued an executive order saying that local governments may not impose restrictions that conflict with the state stay-at-home order. Exceptions include online marketplaces offering lodging, municipal parks, and county parks. Municipalities may also impose additional density and social distancing requirements on restaurants opening for outdoor dining in Stage 2. Municipalities may not reopen businesses at a faster rate than the state allows.

Murphy formed the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission, whose members include public health, economic, finance, and business experts. He also created the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council, consisting of industry and community organization leaders, to advise state leaders on the economic effects of COVID-19.

Context

  • On March 21, Murphy issued a stay-at-home order requiring individuals to stay home except for limited activities, certain businesses to close, and telework where practicable. Gatherings were limited to 10 people or less. The order has no expiration date and remains in effect, though subsequent orders have allowed businesses and activities to resume and increased the outdoor gathering size limit to 25.
  • As of June 7, New Jersey had 164,164 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 12,176 deaths.  For every 100,000 residents, there were 1,848 cases and 137 deaths. New Jersey’s per capita case and death rate were the second-highest of any state, behind New York.
  • New Jersey is a Democratic trifecta, with a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Plan details

Stage 1

The following were allowed to reopen:

  • State and county parks (parking limited to 50% maximum capacity, no picnicking, additional requirements)—May 2
  • Golf courses (staggered tee times, frequent equipment sanitization, additional requirements)—May 2
  • Drive-in activities (with social distancing requirements)—May 12
  • Non-essential construction (with social distancing and hygiene requirements)—May 18
  • Curbside retail (transactions handled in advance, additional requirements)—May 18
  • Beaches (pavilions, picnic areas, water fountains, and more remain closed; social distancing measures; additional requirements)—May 22
  • Elective surgeries (healthcare staff screening, social distancing in work and common areas, masks where possible, additional requirements)—May 26

Outdoor gatherings of no more than 25 people were allowed, with social distancing and additional requirements, as of May 22. Indoor gatherings remain restricted to 10 people or less.

Stage 2

Dates and requirements for some Stage 2 business reopenings are forthcoming. Where dates and requirements were available as of June 8, information is included below.

  • Outdoor dining (limit of 8 people per table, tables at least 6 feet apart, additional requirements)—June 15
  • Limited in-person retail (limit to 50% capacity, require face masks for employees and customers, additional requirements)—June 15
  • Childcare centers (must submit attestation that they will follow requirements)—June 15
  • Hair salons and barber shops—June 22
  • Sports activities—(in outdoor settings, no person-to-person contact or sports routinely requiring players to be within 6 feet of one another, additional requirements)—June 22
  • Youth summer programs (no residential or overnight camps, must submit attestation that they will follow requirements)—July 6
  • In-person clinical research/labs
  • Limited fitness/gyms
  • Limited in-person government services
  • Museums/libraries

Stage 3

Stage 3 may include allowing the following to reopen:

  • Expanded dining
  • Critical in-office work
  • Limited entertainment
  • Expanded personal care
  • Bars with limited capacity

Precautions across all stages:

  • Work that can be done from home should continue to be done from home.
  • Clinically high-risk individuals who can stay at home should continue to do so.
  • All residents and businesses should follow state and federal safeguarding guidelines: wash hands; wear masks in public; respect social distancing; minimize gatherings; disinfect workplace and businesses; and no mass gatherings

Reactions

  • On May 18, Murphy said, “Through our combined efforts, we have flattened the curve of COVID-19 cases, and we are well-positioned to continue our restart and recovery process. … Our multi-stage approach uses science, data, and facts to determine which businesses and activities can reopen according to their risk level and challenges they face to safeguard public health. Additionally, we will be guided by our ability to protect against a new COVID-19 outbreak with expanded testing and contact tracing, and clear social distancing safeguards in place. We are currently in Stage 1, and we will aim to move through each stage quickly, but also judiciously, with the public health of our communities and all New Jerseyans in mind.”
  • On May 29, Politico reported that State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D) said, “The stay-at-home order has been critical in helping flatten the curve. The State is continuing to show positive signs that we are on the road to reopening our economy. That said, I support efforts to look to reopen parts of our economy more quickly, on a moving-forward basis.”
  • On May 27, the state Senate Republican Caucus sent Murphy a letter saying,

“We urge you to offer clarity about the milestones that must be reached for small shops you have deemed ‘nonessential’ to reopen their doors to customers, for restaurants to serve diners, and for congregations to meet again in houses of worship. Many of those places are ready today to operate safely through the same precautionary measures that we trust to protect us when we visit a supermarket or other ‘essential retail’ business.

“In the absence of specific benchmarks for reopening from your administration, we urge you to review the many thoughtful reopening plans that have been submitted to you by counties, trade groups, and chambers of commerce. If those plans meet CDC guidelines, you should authorize them to be enacted immediately.”

Find out more in today’s Number of the Day→

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed an executive order removing Louisiana from the list of states from which travelers coming to Florida must self-isolate for 14 days. The 14-day quarantine requirements remain for travelers from Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.
  • Sonoma County, California allowed in-store retail, indoor dining, and hair salons and barbershops, and in-person church services to reopen June 6, with precautions. The state granted the county’s request for variance May 22, allowing it to reopen those businesses. Sonoma County Health Officer Sundari Mase announced on May 26 the county would delay their reopening, noting the number of new cases and hospitalizations in the county at the time.
  • Two churches in Washington filed a lawsuit against Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on June 5 in Benton County Superior Court. The lawsuit alleges that churches are being treated unequally because the state reopening plan does not detail church attendance expansion in Phase 3 but says theaters can open to 50% capacity. In Phase 2, churches are allowed to reopen to 25% capacity or 50 or fewer people, whichever is less.
  • Oklahoma State University released a phased reopening plan for students and employees.  The plan requires staff and students to wear face masks, practice social distancing and implement sanitization measures.


Biden crosses delegate threshold for Democratic nomination

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

June 8, 2020: Biden crossed the delegate threshold necessary to win the Democratic presidential nomination. America First Action began an ad campaign criticizing Biden on economics.

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.


Notable Quote of the Day

“Joe Biden is suddenly a clear favorite in the general election battle against President Trump given rising poll numbers nationally and in key swing states, meaning he must now figure out how to run as a front-runner.

It’s no easy task, especially against an opponent in Trump who is comfortable running as an underdog and who has the presidential bully pulpit and a healthy campaign war chest to throw at his opponent. … 

The quandary for Biden and Democrats is how to win while ahead and retain the momentum Biden has won over the last few months — momentum that has come more from Trump’s own problems and news events than actions by Biden.”

— Amie Parnes, The Hill


Election Updates

  • The Associated Press reported on June 5 that Joe Biden had crossed the delegate threshold necessary to win the Democratic presidential nomination, with the tabulation of election results from the June 2 primaries putting him over 1,991 delegates. Biden wrote, “It was an honor to compete alongside one of the most talented groups of candidates the Democratic party has ever fielded — and I am proud to say that we are going into this general election a united party.”
  • Biden won Democratic caucuses in Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands on June 6.
  • Biden spoke at the Texas Democratic Party’s virtual convention on June 6. He said, “We have to keep the House of Representatives. We have to win over the United States Senate. We have to flip the Texas House. We have to lead and deliver meaningful change for people who are hurting all across this nation.”
  • Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served in George W. Bush’s administration, said he planned to vote for Biden.
  • Donald Trump responded to Powell, “Somebody please tell highly overrated Colin Powell that I will have gotten almost 300 Federal Judges approved (a record), Two Great Supreme Court Justices, rebuilt our once depleted Military, Choice for Vets, Biggest Ever Tax & Regulation Cuts, Saved Healthcare & 2A, & much more!”
  • Trump tweeted, “CNN Polls are as Fake as their Reporting. Same numbers, and worse, against Crooked Hillary. The Dems would destroy America!”
  • On June 5, America First Action began an ad campaign criticizing Biden on economics in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The super PAC is spending $7.5 million through July 4 on TV, digital, and mail ads in the three states.

What We’re Reading


Flashback: June 8, 2016

Following primaries in California and five other states the night before, the Associated Press reported, “Hillary Clinton has reached another delegate milestone: She’s now won a majority of delegates from primaries and caucuses. … Based on primaries to date, Clinton now has 2,203 delegates — or more than half of the 4,051 total pledged delegates — following Tuesday’s contests, in which she also won New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. Sanders has 1,828.”

Click here to learn more.



Treasury Department, IRS finalize modifications to nonprofit donor disclosure rules

On May 26, the United States Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued a final regulation exempting select nonprofits from disclosing donor information on annual returns they file with the IRS. Under the regulation, which takes effect retroactively to returns filed after Sept. 6, 2019, only 501(c)(3) and 527 groups are required to report the names and addresses of their donors. Donor information reported to the IRS is not released to the public.

501(c)(3) entities are charitable, religious, and educational organizations. 527 groups are nonprofits operating primarily for the purpose of influencing the election or selection of candidates for political office.

Other 501(c) groups that had been required to disclose donor information are now not required to do so. Now-exempted organizations include the following:

  • 501(c)(4) groups: social welfare organizations (e.g., American Civil Liberties Union, National Rifle Association)
  • 501(c)(5) groups groups (e.g., labor unions)
  • 501(c)(6) groups (e.g., business leagues)

Background

On July 16, 2018, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2018-38, which exempted 501(c) nonprofits from reporting the names and addresses of their donors to the agency. The rule change did not apply to 501(c)(3) organizations. On July 30, 2019, Judge Brian Morris, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, struck down the procedure, ruling that the federal government had failed to comply with the public notice-and-comment process required under the Administrative Procedure Act. Morris was appointed to the bench by Pres. Barack Obama (D).

On Sept. 10, 2019, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued its proposed regulation exempting some nonprofits from existing donor disclosure requirements. The public comment period closed on Dec. 9, 2019. The proposed regulation received 8,387 written and electronic comments. A public hearing was held on Feb. 7.

Reactions

  • Brent Gardner, from Americans for Prosperity, said, “All citizens should be able to join together to hold their government accountable. These reforms make it easier for Americans to support causes and join groups without being monitored and intimidated by those in power. When people are free to stand alongside others who share their deeply held beliefs, they’re able to amplify their individual voices—contributing to a diverse public square and continued social progress.”
  • Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center, said, “At a time when over $10 billion total is expected to be spent during this election season, the requirement that organizations (like the National Rifle Association) report their donors to the IRS was key to ensuring that the foreign-money ban on elections was enforced. Now the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are left without another tool to enforce the campaign finance laws under-girding our democracy. Voters expect and deserve more.”
  • In a 2018 speech, Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) said the following in support of Revenue Procedure 2018-38: “It’s bad enough to wield government power to chill political speech and invite harassment of citizens – based on what an angry mob might assume their opinions are, based on their private financial records. It’s even more egregious to pursue that nakedly political goal while calling it ‘good government.’ In this country, good government means protecting citizens’ First Amendment rights to participate in the competition of ideas – not trying to shut down that competition. We persuade; we don’t intimidate.”
  • Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden (D), ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, said, “The Trump administration has opened the floodgates to dark money pouring into our election system just months before Donald Trump is on the ballot. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis and the Trump administration is prioritizing boosting the president’s political prospects with shady cash. In finalizing this rule, the Treasury Department ignored the concerns of election security experts — anything to allow hostile foreign interests and groups like the NRA to further undermine our democracy.”

What we’ve been reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state: We’re currently tracking 47 pieces of legislation dealing with donor disclosure. 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.

Disclosure Digest map June 1, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Disclosure Digest status chart June 1, 2020.png

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

Disclosure Digest partisan chart June 1, 2020.png

Recent legislative actions

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

  • Tennessee HB2665: This bill would prohibit public agencies from requiring 501(c) entities to furnish them with personal information about donors.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for June 2.
  • Tennessee SB2886: This bill would prohibit public agencies from requiring 501(c) entities to furnish them with personal information about donors.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Senate State and Local Government Committee hearing scheduled for June 2.


Ohio asks public-sector labor unions to meet with state officials on reducing personnel costs

On June 2, Kimberly Murnieks, Director of Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management, announced that the state is asking unions representing state workers to meet with officials to discuss reducing personnel costs. The move comes as the state faces an estimated $2.5 billion decrease in anticipated revenues. Murnieks also announced that the state would be reducing the salaries of non-union workers.

Budget background and salary cuts for non-union state workers

On March 22, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) and Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued a stay-at-home order, which directed residents to remain at home and closed or otherwise restricted the operations of non-essential businesses. This reduced income and sales tax receipts, which make up the bulk of the state’s revenues. As a result, budget officials now expect that state revenues in the 2020-2021 fiscal year will come in at $2.5 billion less than originally forecasted. The stay-at-home order expired on May 19.

Murnieks announced that approximately 16,000 non-union state workers will see salary reductions averaging out to a 3.8 percent cut. Actual salary reduction amounts will vary between groups of employees (for example, state cabinet directors will see a 4 percent reduction in pay). Murnieks estimates that this will save the state approximately $138 million.

What are the reactions?

DeWine said, “We’re trying to be as transparent and open with our employees as we are with the people of Ohio. The amount of money, the chunk of money set aside for the employees looking at that [3 percent] raise, that money’s not going to be there. We can’t print money in Ohio. We have to balance the budget. We intend to do that. We also have other obligations.”

Chris Mabe, president of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA), said, “We have had numerous conversations with the state about cost savings during this crisis. We’ve talked to them about voluntary cost-savings days, reigning in expensive contractors, restructuring management teams and saving money through long-term telework. But in times of crisis, Ohioans need public services the most. Now is the time for the administration to use the Rainy Day Fund for what it was intended: emergencies such as this.”

What comes next?

The state has asked public-sector labor unions to submit their suggestions about cutting personnel costs by June 15. The 2020-2021 fiscal year begins July 1.

What we’ve been reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 96 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 June 5, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart June 5, 2020.png

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

Union Station partisan chart June 5, 2020.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of relevant legislative actions taken since our last issue.

  • California AB3096: Existing law prohibits public employers from deterring or discouraging public employees or applicants from becoming or remaining union members. This bill would extend that provision to the University of California.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Ordered to a third reading June 4.
  • California SB1173: Existing law requires public employers to provide unions with contact information for all employees within the bargaining unit. Existing law also requires that public employers provide unions with contact information for new employees within 30 days of hire. This bill would impose liability on employers who violate these provisions three or more times in a 12-month period.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Senate Appropriations Committee hearing scheduled for June 9.
  • Massachusetts H4744: This bill would make it unlawful to file a civil action against any union for advising its members of their right to refuse to work “because of an abnormally dangerous condition at the place of employment.”
    • Bipartisan sponsorship.
    • Joint Judiciary Committee hearing (written testimony only) June 5.
  • Massachusetts S2700: This bill would make it unlawful to file a civil action against any union for advising its members of their right to refuse to work “because of an abnormally dangerous condition at the place of employment.”
    • Bipartisan sponsorship.
    • Joint Judiciary Committee hearing (written testimony only) June 5.


Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: June 5, 2020

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas.

Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

The next three days

What is reopening in the next three days? Which stay-at-home orders will expire?

June 6

  • Massachusetts (divided government): Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is expected to make an announcement on June 6 about the start date for Phase 2 of Massachusetts’ reopening. On June 1, Baker outlined which businesses would be permitted to reopen in phases 2, 3, and 4 of the reopening plan. Although Baker did not fix a date for the start of Phase 2, he did authorize businesses to reopen so workers can prepare for Phase 2. The following businesses will be allowed to reopen in Phase 2: retail stores; restaurants; hotels, motels, and other lodging; amateur sports programs; professional sports practice and training programs; personal services; non-athletic instructional classes for youths; driving and flight schools; outdoor historical spaces; funeral homes; warehouses and distribution centers; golf facilities; outdoor recreation facilities; post-secondary schools; day camps; and public libraries.

June 8

  • Kentucky (divided government): Educational and cultural activities, horse shows, and in-home child-care programs will be allowed to resume on June 8. Educational and cultural activities include aquariums, distilleries, libraries, some outdoor attractions, and museums.
  • Michigan (divided government): The following businesses and activities will be allowed to reopen or resume on June 8: restaurants (50% capacity); outdoor public swimming pools (50% capacity); day camps; and libraries and museums.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): New York City will move into Phase 1 of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) reopening plan on June 8. New York City is the last of the state’s 10 regions to reopen. Under Phase 1, construction, manufacturing, wholesale supply chains, agriculture, forestry, and fishing can resume. Retailers can open for curbside pickup. The Mid-Hudson Valley region is expected to enter Phase 2 on June 9, and the Long Island region is on track to enter that phase on June 10. Under Phase 2, the following business and activities can resume: offices (50% occupancy), real estate, in-store retail (50% occupancy), vehicle sales, leases and rentals, retail rental, repair and cleaning, commercial building management (50% occupancy), and salons and barbershops (50% occupancy).
  • Vermont (divided government): Restaurants can reopen to indoor dining at 25% capacity or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater, on June 8. Also on June 8, Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced that quarantine requirements will be lifted for out-of-state travelers from counties across New England with similar COVID-19 caseloads to Vermont. The Agency of Commerce and Community said it would release a map on June 8 at 5 p.m. identifying quarantine and non-quarantine counties. Additionally, Vermont residents will be allowed to travel to the non-quarantine counties and return home without quarantining for 14 days.

Since our last edition

Have any states opened? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • Arkansas (Republican trifecta): Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) announced the state would be split into five regions for Phase Two of reopening. Hutchinson said a region will have to show no evidence of an increase in coronavirus cases to proceed to phase two.
  • Connecticut (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Ned Lamont (D) announced that Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan would begin on June 17, three days ahead of schedule. Phase Two will include indoor dining at restaurants and the reopening of gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys, museums, pools, and amusement parks.
  • Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): Gov. David Ige (D) announced Honolulu County will be able to start reopening businesses like bars, bowling alleys, and movie theaters starting on June 19.
  • Illinois (Democratic trifecta): Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced public and private summer school programs could begin reopening on June 4. State officials also said community-based coronavirus testing sites would begin opening to everyone, regardless of symptoms.
  • Louisiana (divided government): Louisiana moves into Phase 2 of its reopening plan on June 5. In Phase 2, the following businesses are allowed to reopen at 50% capacity: restaurants and coffee shops; shopping malls; gyms and fitness centers; barbershops and nail salons; movie theaters; racetracks (without spectators); museums, zoos, and aquariums; bars and breweries with food permits; massage services; spas; tattoo parlors; esthetician services; pool halls, bowling alleys, and skating rinks; event centers and wedding venues; and outdoor playgrounds and play centers. Phase 2 will last at least 21 days.
  • Maine (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Janet Mills (D) announced on June 4 that the following businesses in 13 rural counties would be allowed to reopen on June 12: tasting rooms and bars (outside service); gyms and fitness centers; nail salons; and tattoo and piercing parlors. York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties were exempted.
  • Maryland (divided government): Maryland moves into Stage 2 of its reopening at 5 p.m. on June 5. Most businesses that were not reopened under Stage 1 are allowed to resume operations. Personal service businesses, including nail salons, massage parlors, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors, are allowed to resume operations at 50% capacity, by appointment only. State government offices are also resuming operations. The following businesses remain closed: indoor entertainment facilities (e.g., bingo halls, bowling alleys); theaters; malls; fitness centers; and senior citizen activities.
  • New Hampshire (divided government): Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced on June 5 that outdoor attractions, including batting cages and ropes courses, could reopen immediately with capacity limits. Sununu also announced that indoor dining could resume in all counties on June 15. Six counties—Belknap, Coos, Carrol, Cheshire, Grafton, and Sullivan—can reopen restaurants at 100% capacity with tables spaced six feet apart. All other counties may open at 50% capacity. Day camps may resume on June 22, and overnight camps may resume on June 28. Sununu also released guidance for weddings, which include social distancing measures and allowing indoor venues to operate at 50% capacity. Lodging in the state was allowed to resume on June 5. Sunbathing and traditional beach activities can resume on June 5. Beaches were allowed to reopen on June 1 for transient activities, like walking, running, and swimming.
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced on June 4 that entertainment venues, including movie theaters, museums, and zoos, will be allowed to reopen on June 10. Entertainment venues will be required to follow state guidelines, including social distancing measures, personal protective equipment for staff, and establishing a maximum capacity.
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown announced 26 counties that have been approved to enter the second phase of the state’s reopening plan. Twenty-five of the counties are reopening on June 5 or 6, while Tillamook County will open on June 8. Phase Two allows recreational sports and businesses like movie theaters, bowling alleys, and pools to begin reopening.
  • Pennsylvania (divided government): The state’s stay-at-home order expired on June 4 at 11:59 p.m., making Pennsylvania the 36th state to lift a stay-at-home order. The 10 remaining red-phase counties entered the yellow phase and 16 yellow-phase counties moved into the green phase. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced 12 more counties will enter the green phase of reopening on June 12.
  • Virginia (Democratic trifecta): Effective June 5, much of the state entered Phase 2 of the reopening plan. Restaurants and breweries are permitted to offer indoor seating at 50% capacity to parties of up to 50 people. All retail businesses are permitted to reopen at 50% capacity. Gyms can reopen at 30% capacity. Richmond and Northern Virginia will remain in Phase 1.
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): Effective June 5, movie theaters and casinos can reopen at 50% capacity. The limit on gatherings also increased from 25 to 100 people.
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): Five counties were approved to move into the second phase of the state’s four-phase reopening plan, bringing the total in Phase 2 to 26. In Phase 2, up to five people can gather outside of the house and restaurants and taverns can allow indoor seating at 50% capacity. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced a modified plan that allows counties in Phase 1 to adopt some of the looser restrictions in Phase 2. King County, the state’s most populous, applied for and was allowed to move into the modified Phase 1 plan on June 5. Three counties have moved into Phase 3.

Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of June 5, stay-at-home orders have ended in 36 states. Eighteen of those states have Republican governors and 18 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order).

Of the seven states with active stay-at-home orders, six have Democratic governors and one has a Republican governor. They are (with expiration date):

  • New Hampshire (June 15, Republican governor)
  • New York (June 27, Democratic governor)
  • New Mexico (June 30, Democratic governor)
  • California (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)
  • Kentucky (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)
  • New Jersey (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)
  • Oregon (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired, and when the rest are scheduled to expire.

Tracking industries: Funeral attendance

All 50 states began to reopen in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: which states have limits on funeral attendance? Click here for our tracking spreadsheet on industries and activities in the states.

In 28 states, there is no specified limit on attendance at funeral services. In the other 22 states, there are limits on who or how many individuals may attend a funeral service. While most states default to their indoor gathering size limit, some states have unique limits, including:

  • Kentucky – Funeral homes may operate at 33% capacity, although the state’s limit on indoor gatherings is 10 individuals.
  • Nebraska – In certain regions, funeral homes may operate at 50% capacity, although the state’s limit on indoor gatherings is 25 individuals.
  • North Dakota – Funeral homes may operate at 50% capacity, up to the state’s limit on indoor gatherings of 500 individuals.
  • Virginia – In certain regions, up to 50 individuals may attend a funeral service, although the state’s limit on indoor gatherings is 10 individuals.

This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click a state below to read a previous Featured Plan.

Previous featured plans

Alabama Florida Maryland Montana Ohio Texas
Arizona Georgia Massachusetts Nevada Oklahoma Virginia
California Illinois Michigan New Hampshire Pennsylvania Washington
Colorado Indiana Minnesota New Mexico South Carolina
Delaware Maine Missouri New York Tennessee

On April 17, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) announced a May 4 target date for beginning Phase 1 of a three-phase reopening plan. Gyms and fitness centers were allowed to open May 4.

Hutchinson ordered certain businesses to close, including bars, gyms, indoor amusement centers, barbershops, and casinos, on April 4. Dine-in services at restaurants were also prohibited, as were gatherings of more than 10 people in any confined indoor or outdoor space. Arkansas was one of seven states that did not issue a stay-at-home order for individuals.

On April 27, Hutchinson said the state would follow White House gating criteria for beginning Phase 1, including:

  • a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses and COVID-like cases within 14 days
  • a downward trajectory of documented cases or of positive test results as a percent of total tests within 14 days
  • the ability to treat patients without crisis care
  • a testing program in place for healthcare workers

Throughout Phase 1, businesses that Hutchinson ordered closed have been allowed to reopen under certain requirements from the Arkansas Department of Health.

On June 2, Hutchinson said the state was not ready to move into Phase 2 based on health data. On June 4, Hutchinson said that regions of the state might be allowed to progress to Phase 2 at different times. Phase 2 reopening details were not available as of June 5.

On April 18, Hutchinson announced he created the Economic Recovery Task Force, consisting of 27 leaders from public agencies and the private sector, to “recommend a strategy to the Governor for our economy to shift out of low gear consistent with public-health guidance.”

Arkansas was one of seven states (along with Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming) that did not issue a stay-at-home order. On April 7, Hutchinson said he opposed allowing cities to issue their own orders.

Context

  • On April 4, Hutchinson issued an executive order closing certain businesses in the state. The order did not require manufacturing, construction, or places of worship to close but detailed social distancing protocols these sites needed to follow in order to remain open. On May 5, Hutchinson issued an order allowing some closed businesses to reopen on specified dates with requirements the state Department of Health issued.
  • As of June 5, Arkansas had 8,425 COVID-19 cases and 151 deaths. Arkansas’ estimated population as of July 2019 was 3 million. For every 100,000 residents, the state had 279.2 cases and 5.0 deaths.
  • Arkansas is a Republican trifecta, with a Republican governor and Republican majorities in the state legislature.

Phase 1 details

April 27

  • Some nonessential outpatient procedures could resume (requirements)

May 1

  • Campgrounds open for Arkansas residents with self-contained RVs (bath houses remain closed, automated check-in/check-out)

May 4

  • Gyms and fitness centers (screening of staff and customers, maintaining/facilitating 12 feet of social distance, additional requirements here)
  • The Department of Health released requirements for places of worship, which were already allowed to remain open under certain conditions (congregants must wear masks with certain exceptions, signage must be posted at entrances, additional requirements here)

May 6

  • Hairstylists, barbershops, body artists, medical spas, massage therapy, cosmetology (by appointment only, with screening of customers and employees, additional requirements here)

May 11

  • Restaurants for dine-in services (limited to 33% capacity, tables at least 10 feet apart, employees who interact with customers must wear face masks, additional requirements here)

May 15

  • State parks opened visitor information centers, museums and exhibits, gift shops, golf pro shops, and marinas. Equipment rentals resumed. (“Staff will limit the number of visitors allowed into the visitor centers and shops, and will enforce social distancing.”)

May 18

  • Large outdoor venues, such as theatres, arenas, sports venues, and race tracks (50 people or fewer in attendance, or up to 33% capacity if plan is approved by the state secretary of health, additional requirements here)
  • Large indoor venues, such as theaters, arenas, stadiums, and auction houses (50 people or fewer in attendance, or up to 33% capacity if plan is approved by the state secretary of health, additional requirements here)

May 26

  • Bars and clubs (limited to 33% seating capacity, tables spaced 10 feet apart, additional requirements here)

June 1

  • Community and school-sponsored team sports (At least 6 feet of distance between participants except when actively playing a sport, screening of athletes/coaches/staff, additional requirements here)

Guidance for individuals

The Arkansas Department of Health recommends the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Practice physical distancing. Avoid close contact with others, especially those who are sick, by keeping at least 6 feet between you and others.
  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, seek testing. Testing is available in many locations, including ADH Local Health Units.
  • Wear a cloth mask when in public and unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from others. Click here to read the CDC’s recommendations. The ADH offers this do-it-yourself cloth mask design.

The department also released guidance for high-risk individuals, available here.

Arkansas Department of Health directives and guidance

For a complete list of directives and guidance the state Department of Health has issued, click here.

Find out more in today’s Number of the Day→

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic. 

  • Several casinos in the Las Vegas area opened on June 4. Casinos are subject to capacity limits and other guidelines.
  • Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez released amended orders allowing some businesses to reopen on June 8 under certain guidelines. Gyms may reopen with capacity limits and other restrictions. Casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys, and large gathering areas may reopen once the county approves site-specific operations plans.
  • Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed a bill allowing voters to cite the coronavirus as a reason to vote absentee. Voters considered at-risk for infection under the new law will not need their ballots notarized. All other voters will need to submit a notarized statement along with their ballots for verification purposes.
  • Montana’s Glacier National Park will begin reopening on June 8.


Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: June 1-5, 2020

Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing
Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the news, events, and results of the 2020 presidential election.     

Notable Quotes of the Week

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

– Statement by James Mattis, former U.S. secretary of defense

“Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted two words that succinctly describe the winning coalition that will assure his November reelection: ‘SILENT MAJORITY.’ This prompted a considerable amount of fustian mirth from the Twitter mob, a number of ostensibly serious opinion pieces in the corporate media, and contemptuous dismissal by the Democrats. The consensus was that Trump was indulging a Nixonian fantasy whereby white suburbanites frightened by an increasingly diverse electorate would save his presidency. This interpretation betrays profound ignorance about the term ‘silent majority,’ which never had any racial connotation, and disregards what suburban voters really fear — Democratic incompetence in a time of economic uncertainty and social unrest. …

So, what about that silent majority? The Morning Consult poll noted above makes it clear that they want order restored. This, along with a fast economic recovery, is precisely what the president has pledged. Meanwhile, Trump’s likely general election opponent maunders about systemic racism while struggling to keep his figures straight concerning how many lives and jobs have been lost to the pandemic. As former Clinton pollster Doug Schoen writes, ‘The political risk to Democrats is becoming associated with the riots … which would result in the party losing the White House and risking their House majority.’ The Democrats already own the riots, and the silent majority is quietly counting the days to November 3.”

– David CatronThe American Spectator

Week in Review

Trump, RNC say Republican nomination will not be held in North Carolina

Trump tweeted on June 2, “Had long planned to have the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, a place I love. Now, @NC_Governor Roy Cooper and his representatives refuse to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena – Spend millions of dollars, have everybody arrive, and … then tell them they will not be able to gain entry. Governor Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the World, and brought in hundreds of … millions of dollars, and jobs, for the State. Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.”

A statement from the Republican National Committee said, “Due to the directive from the governor that our convention cannot go on as planned as required by our rules, the celebration of the president’s acceptance of the Republican nomination will be held in another city. … Should the governor allow more than 10 people in a room, we still hope to conduct the official business of the convention in Charlotte.”

According to Axios, “The Republican National Committee is planning site visits over the next 10 days to more than a half-dozen cities — across the South and into Texas and Arizona — as it scrambles for a new convention host.”

Biden, Trump win Tuesday primaries

Joe Biden and Donald Trump won primaries in Indiana, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C., on June 2. Biden won an estimated 406 pledged delegates in those races and Bernie Sanders won 44, with delegates in some states yet to be assigned. This brings Biden to 1,972 out of the 1,991 delegates needed to secure the nomination, according to the Associated Press.

Trump speaks about protests, walks to St. John’s Episcopal Church

On June 1, Trump spoke about protests following the death of George Floyd before law enforcement cleared an area outside the White House and Trump walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church. Trump said, “… we cannot allow the righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob.  The biggest victims of the rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as their President, I will fight to keep them safe.  I will fight to protect you.  I am your President of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”

Biden speaks in Philadelphia about George Floyd death, protests 

Biden gave a speech in Philadelphia on June 2. He said, “I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate. I’ll seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued our country, not use them for political gain. I’ll do my job and I’ll take responsibility — I won’t blame others.” Biden’s campaign used clips from the speech in a new ad running on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

More caucuses this weekend

Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands will hold Democratic caucuses on June 6.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Karine Jean-Pierre is a Democratic staffer with experience in campaign management and political strategy. She graduated from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs with a master’s degree in public administration.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Martin O’Malley presidential campaign, deputy campaign manager
  • 2013 Letitia James New York City public advocate campaign, campaign manager
  • 2013 Bill Thompson New York City mayoral campaign, senior advisor
  • 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign, deputy battleground states director
  • 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign, southeast regional political director
  • 2008 John Edwards presidential campaign, southeast regional political director

Other experience:

  • 2019-2020: NBC and MSNBC, political analyst
  • 2016-2020: MoveOn.org, chief public affairs officer
  • 2014-present: Columbia University, faculty
  • 2014-2015: ACLU Reproductive Freedom Initiative, campaign manager
  • 2009-2011: White House Office of Political Affairs, regional political director
  • 2009: U.S. Department of Labor, White House liaison
  • 2009 Presidential Inauguration Committee, political department
  • 2006-2007: Wal-Mart Watch, state and local outreach coordinator
  • 2004-2006: New York City Council, deputy chief of staff

What she says about Biden: “This really is the most important general election in generations. … I’ve known Joe Biden for 10 years now. I believe he’s a man of integrity, he’s a man who knows how to lead, he’s a man who knows how to use the levers of government to help people and he’s the man who could beat Donald Trump in November. For me, as a black woman, I just could not sit this out.”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 1-5, 2016

  • June 5, 2016: Hillary Clinton said during a rally in Sacramento, California, “We’re going to have a very contentious campaign because I am going to point out at every single moment that I can why the Republican nominee should never get near the White House.” She stated, “I believe that Donald Trump is not qualified or temperamentally fit to be president.”
  • June 4, 2016: Ahead of the final primaries of the 2016 election, Bernie Sanders said, “The media is in error when they lump superdelegates with pledged delegates. … Hillary Clinton will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to win the Democratic nomination at the end of the nominating process on June 14. Won’t happen. She will be dependent on superdelegates. … The Democratic National Convention will be a contested convention.” He said, “And what I hope that the delegates going to the Democratic National Convention understand is that in virtually every state poll we do much better against Trump than does Secretary Clinton.”
  • June 3, 2016: Trump criticized Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally in San Jose, California. He said, “Anything Obama wants, she’s going forward with. … Because you know why? She doesn’t want to go to jail. That’s why.”
  • June 2, 2016: Hillary Clinton spoke about national security at an event in San Diego, California. She said of Trump, “He is not just unprepared – he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.”
  • June 1, 2016: The Field Poll put Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders within the poll’s margin of error in the upcoming California Democratic primary, with Clinton leading by two percentage points. Sanders said the same day, “On Tuesday, we are going to win the primary. … And we have the establishment very nervous. That’s a good thing.”

Click here to learn more.