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California could vote on 2020 ballot initiative regarding consumer privacy

 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Tuesday, October 1, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. California could vote on 2020 ballot initiative regarding consumer privacy
  2. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts sworn in 14 years ago this week
  3. 56% of Brew readers have voted in a special election

California could vote on 2020 ballot initiative regarding consumer privacy 

California voters may decide a ballot measure regarding consumer privacy in 2020—two years after the state legislature passed legislation on the issue in 2018. A ballot initiative was filed September 25 to create a state agency to implement that law and expand its provisions. 

The proposed 2020 ballot initiative would create a state agency to oversee and enforce the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA). That law allows consumers to request that businesses not share, sell, or retain their personal information. The proposed initiative would add other provisions to the law, including requiring that businesses: 

  • provide consumers with the ability to opt out of having personal information used or disclosed for advertising or marketing; 
  • obtain permission before collecting data from consumers younger than 16 and from a parent or guardian for consumers younger than 13; 
  • disclose information regarding profiling algorithms used to determine a consumer’s eligibility for financial or lending services, housing, and insurance; and 
  • that collect personal information for political purposes disclose the candidates and committees for which the information was used.

Alastair Mactaggart—a San Francisco-based real estate developer—filed the ballot initiative. After the California Secretary of State writes the petition language, proponents will have 180 days to collect at least 623,212 valid signatures—5 percent of the votes cast in the 2018 gubernatorial election—for the measure to make the ballot. 

Mactaggart was also the proponent of a 2018 initiative on consumer privacy which was withdrawn after the state legislature passed the CCPA. He said he is supporting the new measure to prevent the state legislature from altering the 2018 law in the future. A ballot initiative couldn’t be amended without the approval of voters due to the state constitution’s limits on legislative alteration.

Opponents of Mactaggart’s previous initiative raised $2.15 million—including contributions from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Uber. Opponents stated it was “unworkable, requiring the internet and businesses in California to operate differently than the rest of the world — limiting our choices, hurting our businesses, and cutting our connection to the global economy.” 

California is one of two states—along with Arizona—that require voter approval for changes to or the repeal of citizen-initiated state statutes, thereby preventing legislative alteration of citizen initiatives. Eleven of the 21 states that feature the initiated state statute power have no restrictions on how soon or with what majority state legislators can repeal or amend initiated statutes. The other states restrict how soon the legislature can amend or repeal an initiative, require a supermajority vote of legislators, or a combination of the two.

Learn more

        

 

Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts sworn in 14 years ago this week 

Fourteen years ago this week, John Roberts was sworn in as the chief justice of the Supreme Court. He was initially nominated to the Court on July 19, 2005, by President George W. Bush (R), to fill the vacancy left by Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement. President Bush withdrew Roberts’ nomination to be an associate justice when Chief Justice William Rehnquist passed away and renominated him to be the 17th Chief Justice on September 6, 2005. 

Roberts was confirmed 23 days after his nomination. He was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 13-5, with Senators Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Joe Biden (D-Del.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) casting the dissenting votes. Durbin, Feinstein, and Schumer are still serving in the Senate. The full U.S. Senate confirmed Roberts on September 29, 2005, by a vote of 78-22.

Roberts attended Harvard for both his undergraduate and law degrees, receiving an undergraduate degree from Harvard College in 1976 after only three years. He clerked under Rehnquist after graduating from law school. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Roberts served on the D.C. Court of Appeals from 2003 to 2005. Before that, he worked as a lawyer in private practice and in the Department of Justice in the administrations of Republican Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. 

As I prepared for this Brew entry, I was reading over Roberts’ article on Ballotpedia. We’ve added new tables showing the number of opinions each justice has written per year, how often each justice has agreed with other justices in their opinions, and how often each judge has been in the majority dating back to 2011. For example, Chief Justice Roberts was in the majority in 85 percent of decisions last term—which was the second-most on the Court.

And of course, the 2019-20 Supreme Court term begins next week—on October 7. Our free newsletter, Bold Justice, covers all the news about the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary. Click here to subscribe and you’ll receive the next issue that comes out Monday.

Learn more→

56% of Brew readers have voted in a special election

Two state legislative special elections take place today—in Georgia and South Carolina—to fill vacancies due to legislators that died or resigned. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 state legislative special elections took place each year. 

At the federal level, three special elections for the U.S. House of Representatives have already occurred and one—in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District—has been scheduled for January 2020.

So I was curious about how many Brew readers had voted in a special election:

Learn more→

 



Early voting underway in Louisiana’s October 12 gubernatorial primary

The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Monday, September 30, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Early voting underway in Louisiana’s October 12 gubernatorial primary
  2. Join us for today’s Ballotpedia Insights session on urban planning
  3. Mississippi state Senate district will hold partial special election November 5

Early voting underway in Louisiana’s October 12 gubernatorial primary

Three states—Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi—are holding gubernatorial elections in 2019. Nominees were selected in partisan primaries in Kentucky in May and in Mississippi in August.

Louisiana uses what’s known as a blanket primary, where all candidates appear on the ballot—regardless of party. A candidate can win the election outright by receiving more than 50 percent of the vote in the October 12 primary. Otherwise, a general election for the top two finishers will be held November 16. Of the five gubernatorial elections between 1999 and 2015, three were won outright in the primary and two—in 2003 and 2015—were decided in the general election.

Media reports have identified incumbent John Bel Edwards (D), U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham (R), and businessman Eddie Rispone (R) as the leading candidates. Two polls from late September have shown Edwards with about 46% support and Abraham and Rispone tied for second place within the margin of error. 

Edwards says that Louisiana went from having a budget deficit to a budget surplus during his tenure and that he increased funding for education and expanded Medicaid in the state. Abraham and Rispone say that Louisiana’s economy ranks last in the nation. Both say they would increase jobs and lower taxes. Abraham has campaigned on his record in the U.S. House and Rispone has highlighted his background as a businessman. 

Political action committees affiliated with both the Democratic Governors Association and Republican Governors Association had each spent $2.2 million on the race as of September 2. The campaign finance figures for all three leading candidates through the date are shown below:

Early voting dataEdwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South and the only Democrat holding statewide office in Louisiana. Early voting began September 28 and ends October 5.

The gubernatorial election coincides with elections for the state Senate and state House, meaning that all three trifecta components will be on the ballot. Neither party will be able to form a trifecta without winning the gubernatorial election. The current makeup of the Louisiana state Senate is 25 Republicans and 14 Democrats, and in the state House is 60 Republicans, 39 Democrats, and 4 independents with one vacancy. Democrats would need to retain the gubernatorial seat and win majorities in both chambers of the state legislature while Republicans would need to maintain their legislative majorities and pick up the governor’s mansion.


Join us for today’s Ballotpedia Insights session on urban planning

I hope you’ll be able to join us for today’s Ballotpedia Insights session hosted by our Director of Outreach, Sarah Rosier at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. She’ll be talking to Charles Marohn—an engineer and urban planner—to discuss his ideas about how cities should approach growth and development.  

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

Sarah will be talking with Marohn the day before his new book, Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity, comes out on October 1. Among the topics they’ll discuss are the author’s opinions on the best way to strengthen local communities as well as the types of investments that can best generate wealth and improve the quality of life in towns and cities.

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

There’s still time to register and attend by clicking the link below. And if you can’t make it, don’t worry. We’ll post a recording of it and email it to you after its conclusion.

Mississippi State Senate district will hold partial special election November 5 

I told you earlier this month about a Mississippi State Senate primary on August 6 that was decided by a single vote. Here’s a recap of that election—and the latest update. 

  • Dixie Newman defeated Scott DeLano in the Republican primary for Senate District 50—3,184 votes to 3,183. 

  • DeLano challenged the certified results, claiming that some voters in five precincts were given the wrong ballot. 

  • A state circuit court judge vacated the certified results in those precincts September 17 and ordered a new election. 

  • Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) called the special election for November 5—the same date as statewide general elections for governor, other state executive offices, the state House of Representatives, and local officials.

Only voters in those five precincts—and not in the other 11 precincts in the district—will cast ballots in this race in November. The results from the November re-vote in those five precincts will be combined with results from the August 6 primary in the rest of the district. Since there is no Democratic nominee, the winner of this special election will become the district’s new state Senator.  

The results from the 11 precincts which will not re-vote have Newman leading DeLano—2,287 votes to 2,161. 

Heading into the 2019 general elections, the Mississippi State Senate has 18 Democrats, 31 Republicans, and three vacancies. All 52 seats are up for election this year. 

 



Sanders raises $25.3 million in Q3, outperforms Q2 numbers

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

October 1, 2019: Bernie Sanders raised $25.3 million in the third quarter of 2019. Pete Buttigieg raised $19.1 million over the same time period.


Which state was the first to pass a law calling for presidential primaries?

Notable Quote of the Day

“It is a bit of a cop out to say we want all of the presidential filings. And while that’s true, let’s split the recommendations from our 2020 team into two different categories. In the first camp are those who have posted strong quarters in the past: Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Buttigieg was the fundraising leader in the second quarter — can he do it again? And as he’s started to invest in early states, what’s his burn rate? Meanwhile, Warren raked in huge amounts of money from small donors in the second quarter and has only climbed in the polls since. What will her small-dollar donor network produce this quarter, and how does it compare to Sanders and his million donors? And an honorable mention here to Biden, who will have his first full quarter in the race and will likely try to project strength.”

– Zach Montellaro, Politico

Democrats

  • Joe Biden will hold a community event Wednesday in Reno, Nevada.
  • Cory Booker said he will remain in the race after reaching his self-defined fundraising goal of $1.7 million in 10 days.
  • Steve Bullock campaign manager Jennifer Ridder released a memo Monday explaining Bullock’s decision to apply for public financing. With the FEC short one member to reach a quorum, any application Bullock submits will not yet be able to be processed.
  • Pete Buttigieg announced he had raised $19.1 million in the third quarter of 2019, down from $24.8 million in the second quarter.
  • Julián Castro discussed impeachment on Off Script: 2020 Candidate Conversations
  • John Delaney will speak at The Chicago Council about foreign policy Wednesday.
  • Tulsi Gabbard is hosting town halls throughout New Hampshire from Tuesday through Thursday.
  • Kamala Harris is restructuring her campaign, promoting her Senate Chief of Staff Rohini Kosoglu and senior adviser Laphonza Butler to senior management positions. She is also expanding her Iowa team from 65 to 120 staff members.
  • Amy Klobuchar campaigned and attended a private fundraiser in Seattle Monday.
  • Tim Ryan said he would remain in the race even though he will not make the debate stage in October. “I don’t think many people are happy with the front runners right now in the Democratic Party, and I want to be there to provide another option for them,” Ryan said.
  • Bernie Sanders announced he raised $25.3 million in the third quarter of 2019, topping his second-quarter take by more than $7 million.
  • Joe Sestak begins his month-long tour of New Hampshire Tuesday, with stops planned throughout the state every day between Oct. 1-24.
  • Tom Steyer will campaign in Iowa Tuesday and Wednesday, touring areas affected by flooding. He is also soliciting brief videos from Trump critics to be featured in a “Talk to Trump” ad campaign during Fox & Friends in the coming weeks.
  • CNN conducted the first joint interview with Elizabeth Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann.
  • Marianne Williamson continues to campaign in Iowa Tuesday with an event in Des Moines.

Republicans

  • Mark Sanford said Monday that the impeachment inquiry was justified but “it will bring tremendous discord within the political system that will then usurp the electoral process that’s now taking place on the Democratic side, and on the Republican side, what happens is that people circle the wagons.”
  • Donald Trump spent more than $1 million on anti-impeachment Facebook ads last week.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: October 1, 2015

Lawrence Lessig wrote an op-ed in Politico Magazine saying the Democratic Party was discouraging his campaign. 



Trump, RNC launch $10 million ad campaign

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 30, 2019: The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee together spent $10 million on an ad campaign. Steve Bullock is expected to be the first candidate to apply for public financing.

 There are four new candidates running since last week, including one Democrat. In total, 880 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Day

“You are spending at least a third to half your life on your mobile phone, and they’re deciding they don’t need to have a message for you there.”

– Zac Moffatt, Republican strategist on Biden’s online ad pullback

“From a brand perspective, [Biden] can’t be that incendiary and that’s what’s rewarded online.”

– Andrew Bleeker, Democratic digital strategist

Democrats

  • Joe Biden attended a fundraiser in Denver Saturday. Politico reported on the pro-Biden coalition in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
  • Cory Booker joined striking auto workers on the picket line in Maryland Saturday. Booker announced Sunday he had crossed the donor threshold for the November debate.
  • Steve Bullock will apply for tor public financing for his campaign after the end of the third quarter.
  • Pete Buttigieg campaigned in Nevada Saturday and Sacramento Sunday.
  • Julián Castro said he would not run for U.S. Senate in Texas if he were to leave the 2020 presidential race.
  • John Delaney’s Iowa state director departed his presidential campaign Friday. Brent Roske was named the new Iowa state director.
  • Tulsi Gabbard said Friday that she no longer opposed impeachment after reviewing the transcript summary of the call between Trump and the Ukranian president.
  • Kamala Harris opened a campaign office Sunday in her hometown of Oakland, California.
  • Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren spoke at a forum sponsored by the United Food and Commercial Workers in Michigan Sunday.
  • Bernie Sanders announced a plan Monday to increase the tax rate for corporations that make $100 million in annual revenue if their highest-paid employee earns more than 50 times the average worker.
  • Joe Sestak campaigned in Iowa Sunday, speaking at events for the Butler County Democrats and the Webster County Democrats.
  • Tom Steyer announced his “International Plan for Climate Justice,” which would spend $200 billion over 10 years to define and address environmental crimes against humanity.
  • Marianne Williamson is campaigning in Iowa Monday, including a stop at the Caucus for Kids and Drake University.
  • Andrew Yang is holding a campaign rally in Los Angeles Monday.

Republicans

  • The Donald Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee spent $10 million total on an ad campaign targeting Biden for alleged corruption in Ukraine and saying the Democrats want to steal the 2020 presidential election. 
  • Bill Weld will campaign in New Hampshire Monday, with stops at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and the Manchester Family Justice Center.

General Election Updates

  • Sept. 30 is the final day for fundraising in the third quarter. Financial reports are due to the Federal Election Commission by Oct. 15.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 30, 2015

CNBC announced its criteria for participation in the third Republican presidential primary debate: reach an average of 2.5 percent in national polls from a select group of organizations to make the main stage or reach 1 percent in any of those polls to make the undercard debate.



IRS proposes donor disclosure exemptions for select nonprofit groups

On September 10, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of the Treasury published a proposed regulation that would exempt some nonprofit groups from existing donor disclosure requirements. In July, a federal judge struck down a similar rule issued in 2018, finding that federal agencies had failed to follow proper procedures in enacting the rule change.

What would change under the proposed regulation?
Should the proposed regulation be enacted, existing donor disclosure requirements would apply only to groups organized under Sections 501(c)(3) and 527 of the Internal Revenue Code. Other 501(c) nonprofits, such as labor unions, trade associations, and social welfare groups, would not be required to disclose the names of their donors to the federal government. Under both existing regulations and the proposed rule change, donor names disclosed to federal agencies are not publicly released.

What brought us here?
On July 16, 2018, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2018-38, a rule change substantively similar to that issued earlier this month. On July 30, Judge Brian Morris, appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana by President Barack Obama (D), struck down the procedure, finding that the IRS had failed to comply with the public notice-and-comment process required under the Administrative Procedure Act. Morris did not comment on the merits of the rule change.

What are the reactions?

  • Ralph Graybill, chief legal counsel for the Montana governor’s office, which was a plaintiff in the original challenge to the 2018 rule, said, “The State of Montana looks forward to giving the IRS a better picture of the devastating impacts its rules could have on state tax agencies as well as efforts to prevent foreign influence in our elections. We appreciate that the agency reversed from its prior course that excluded public comment.”
  • In announcing the original rule change in 2018, Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, said, “Americans shouldn’t be required to send the IRS information that it doesn’t need to effectively enforce our tax laws, and the IRS simply does not need tax returns with donor names and addresses to do its job in this area.”

What comes next?
Written and electronic comments must be received by December 9. Any request for a public hearing must also be made by that time.

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state: We’re currently tracking 72 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 September 30, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Disclosure Digest status chart September 30, 2019.png

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

Disclosure Digest partisan chart September 30, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of legislative actions taken on relevant bills in the past week. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state then by bill number. Know of any legislation we’re missing? Please email us so we can include it on our tracking list.

  • California AB864: This bill would expand disclosure requirements for certain kinds of political advertisements made by independent expenditure groups and other entities.
    • Senate amended and approved September 11; Assembly approved September 12. Submitted to governor September 24.
  • New Hampshire SB156: This bill would require that political contributions made by limited liability companies be allocated to individual members in order to determine whether individuals have exceeded contribution limits.
    • Veto sustained September 19.


Ballotpedia releases research on public-sector union political spending

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

Methodology
Campaign finance reporting requirements at both the federal and state levels enable us to report comprehensively on political spending by public-sector unions. Using resources compiled by the National Institute on Money in Politics, we collected data on all contributions made by public-sector unions to political candidates in 2018.

Summary of findings
Public-sector unions contributed $159.8 million to candidates for federal, state, or local office in 2018. Note that this figure does not account for unions’ satellite spending activities. The five states in which political candidates received the most money in contributions from public-sector unions are:

  • California, where unions contributed $74.1 million, 46.4 percent of the nationwide total.
  • Illinois, where unions contributed $14.2 million, 8.9 percent of the nationwide total.
  • Oregon, where unions contributed $10.6 million, 6.6 percent of the nationwide total.
  • Minnesota, where unions contributed $10.4 million, 6.5 percent of the nationwide total.
  • New York, where unions contributed $9.8, 6.1 percent of the nationwide total.

Combined contributions in these five states totaled $119.0 million, about 75 percent of the nationwide total. Meanwhile, contributions in the remaining 45 states totaled $40.7 million—about 25 percent of the nationwide total.

For a complete breakdown of public-sector union political spending data, including links to state-specific data sets, see this article.

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

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

Union Station map September 27, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart September 27, 2019.png

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

Union Station partisan chart September 27, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

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

  • California AB314: This bill would require employers to grant employees paid time for certain union activities.
    • Presented to the governor Sept. 24.
  • New Hampshire HB363: This bill would establish the state legislature as a public employer under the state’s public-employer labor relations laws.
    • Legislative Administration Committee work session held Sept. 26.


Appeals court ruling paves way for civil service changes

 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Friday, September 27, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Appeals court ruling paves way for Trump Administration’s civil service changes to take effect
  2. Climate action plans at the city level
  3. What’s the Tea?

Appeals court ruling paves way for Trump Administration’s civil service changes to take effect

Government policy often goes through many steps before it takes effect. Here’s a timeline of an example at the federal level showing that: 

  • May 25, 2018: President Trump issued three executive orders—E.O. 13837, E.O. 13836, and E.O.13839—regarding the civil service. The orders include proposals aimed at facilitating the removal of poor-performing federal employees and streamlining collective bargaining procedures. 
  • May 30, 2018: A group of unions—including the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Treasury Employees Union, and 13 smaller unions—filed suit to prevent the orders from taking effect. The lawsuit claims that the executive orders conflict with certain collective bargaining provisions of the Civil Service Reform Act and prevent unions from performing their statutorily-required representational duties.
  • August 25, 2018: A federal district judge—Ketanji Brown Jackson—issued an injunction blocking Trump administration officials from implementing nine provisions of the executive orders that she claimed unlawfully restricted the use of union official time. Jackson was appointed to the court by then-President Barack Obama in 2013.
  • July 16, 2019: A three-judge D.C. Court of Appeals panel reversed Jackson’s ruling, holding that the lower court did not have jurisdiction and that the plaintiffs should have brought their case before the Federal Labor Relations Authority as required by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
  • August 30, 2019: The plaintiffs requested a rehearing en banc before the full D.C. Circuit.
  • September 25, 2019: The full D.C. Court of Appeals declined to hear the case without providing a rationale for its decision. 

The appeals court decision means that—unless the plaintiffs petition the Supreme Court to hear the case—Justice Jackson’s injunction blocking provisions of the executive orders from taking effect will be lifted by October 2. After the orders take effect, unions that wanted to challenge any provisions would have to do so before the Federal Labor Relations Authority—a federal agency that regulates and administers collective bargaining agreements between the federal government and some civilian employees.

Learn more about these executive orders

Climate action plans at the city level 

Half of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. by population have adopted local climate action plans. Such plans include goals like reducing greenhouse gas emissions from municipal operations and increasing renewable energy use.  

Supporters say they are important for addressing climate change and promoting public health. Opponents say that such plans increase living costs and cause economic harm. 

Twenty-three of these 25 cities with climate action plans currently have Democratic mayors, and two cities—Miami and San Diego—have Republican mayors.

Seven of the top 10 largest cities in the country have adopted climate action plans—New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, and San Jose, California. Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas are the largest cities without climate action plans, although all three have plans in progress.

Learn more→

What's the tea?

U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) resigned from Congress earlier this week—on September 23—citing a desire to take a break from public service to support his wife and family. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) scheduled the special election to fill that vacancy on January 27, 2020, with primaries to be held December 30, 2019.

Special elections to Congress occur when a legislator resigns or is removed from office. Depending on the specific state laws governing vacancies, a state can either hold an election within the same calendar year or wait until the next regularly scheduled election. Twenty-five states fill vacancies in the state legislature through special elections. 

Have you ever voted in a special election?



Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: September 21-27, 2019

 Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing

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

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

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Candidates by the Number

 

There are 12 new candidates running since last week, including two Democrats, two Republicans, and one Libertarian. In total, 876 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“It’s a national primary based on the worst foundation: Name identification and money. And we’re supposed to be the party of ideas.”

– Dave Nagle, former U.S. representative from Iowa

“When I hear the critique that our grassroots fundraising threshold catalyzed perverse behavior, with all due respect, we gave candidates unprecedented access to earned media, not just through the debates and the low threshold for getting on the debates, but we worked with CNN and MSNBC — don’t just do a town hall with the perceived front-runners, give everybody a shot.”

– Tom Perez, Democratic National Committee chairman

“For Democrats running for president, breaking through on healthcare or the economy just got a lot tougher. Impeachment will be the dominant topic for a long time.”

– Doug Heye, Republican strategist

Week in Review

2020 Dems shift on impeachment on same day as inquiry announcement

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump Tuesday, following allegations that Trump requested the Ukranian government investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in exchange for aid. Trump denied the allegations and called the inquiry “the worst witch hunt in political history.”

On the same day, Michael BennetJohn DelaneyMarianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang announced they supported starting impeachment proceedings. For a list of candidates who earlier expressed support for impeachment proceedings, click here.

Biden and Steve Bullock gave conditional support for impeachment proceedings if Trump did not comply with congressional requests for information.

Tulsi Gabbard continued to oppose impeachment. She said, “I believe that impeachment at this juncture would be terribly divisive for the country at a time when we are already extremely divided.”

Trump raised $13 million following the impeachment inquiry announcement through email campaigns and two fundraisers.

Debate criteria for November announced with new polling option

The Democratic National Committee released the criteria for the November presidential primary debate.

A candidate now has two ways to meet the polling threshold—by reaching 3 percent support in at least four early state or national polls or 5 percent support in two early state polls.

To qualify, a candidate must also receive contributions from 165,000 unique donors and 600 unique donors per state.

With the eligible polling period beginning Sept. 13, only five candidates have qualified so far: Joe BidenPete ButtigiegKamala HarrisBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

October debate will be held on one day, Gabbard qualifies for 12th spot on stage

The Democratic National Committee announced Friday that the October presidential primary debate will take place on one day, rather than over two days as expected. It will be held on October 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio.

Tulsi Gabbard reached 2 percent support in a New Hampshire poll released Tuesday, giving her the final poll necessary to qualify for the debate. That brings the total number of candidates qualified for October’s debate to 12.

Alaska GOP cancels PPP

The Alaska Republican Party canceled its presidential preference poll Saturday, saying in a statement that it “would serve no useful purpose when we have an incumbent Republican president, such as President Trump, running for the Republican nomination for President.”

Republican parties in ArizonaKansasNevada, and South Carolina previously voted to not hold caucuses or primaries.

Odds and ends on the campaign trail

  • Pete Buttigieg will expand his presence in Nevada with 10 open offices by mid-October, more than any other candidate. He also hired Travis Brock as the campaign’s national director for caucuses and Juan Carlos Perez as national Latino engagement director.
  • Bernie Sanders proposed a wealth tax Tuesday that would progressively tax households on any net worth over $32 million. Eight wealth tax brackets would exist, ranging from 1 percent to 8 percent.
  • Tom Steyer is airing a new ad calling for congressional term limits in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
  • The Elizabeth Warren campaign released a memo on its planned ad strategy, which calls for spending $10 million on television and digital ads in the fall. The targeted states include Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.
  • Great America PAC spent six figures on an ad calling for an investigation into Joe Biden’s role in the firing of a Ukranian prosecutor. It began airing Wednesday on Fox News and online.
  • Joe Walsh and Bill Weld debated Tuesday during an event hosted by Business Insider. The debate was not sanctioned by the Republican Party.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

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

Chuck Rocha is a campaign strategist with experience in union and advocacy group campaigning. Rocha founded Solidarity Strategies in 2010.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, advisor

Other experience:

  • 2010-Present: Solidarity Strategies, owner and president
  • 2012-2016: Center for National Policy, fellow
  • 2004-2011: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, executive board member
  • 2000-2011: Labor Council of Latin American Advancement, executive board member
  • 2009-2010: Blue-Green Alliance, political director
  • 1998-2009: United Steelworkers, political director

What he’s said about Sanders: “In the tumultuous times we live in, people are looking for a rock in a river. Bernie Sanders has been that stalwart rock.”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 23-27, 2015

  • September 23, 2015: The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the dates for the three general election presidential debates in 2016.
  • September 24, 2015: Donald Trump said in an interview that he did not believe in climate change and that regulations addressing climate change would “imperil the companies in our country.”
  • September 25, 2015: Draft Biden hired paid staff in 11 states holding primaries on Super Tuesday in preparation for a possible presidential run by Joe Biden.
  • September 26, 2015: Politico described Tim Scott as a potential kingmaker in South Carolina and interviewed him about the 2016 presidential field.
  • September 27, 2015: 60 Minutes aired an interview with Donald Trump where he discussed his tax proposal.

Trivia

What was the first presidential election held on the same day in every state?



Trump raises $13 million this week

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 27, 2019: Donald Trump raised $13 million this week through fundraising emails and two fundraisers. Pete Buttigieg will expand his presence in Nevada with 10 open offices by mid-October, more than any other candidate.

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

Daily Presidential News Briefing - Staffer Spotlight - Chuck Rocha

 

Chuck Rocha is a campaign strategist with experience in union and advocacy group campaigning. Rocha founded Solidarity Strategies in 2010.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, advisor

Other experience:

  • 2010-Present: Solidarity Strategies, owner and president
  • 2012-2016: Center for National Policy, fellow
  • 2004-2011: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, executive board member
  • 2000-2011: Labor Council of Latin American Advancement, executive board member
  • 2009-2010: Blue-Green Alliance, political director
  • 1998-2009: United Steelworkers, political director

What he’s said about Sanders:

“In the tumultuous times we live in, people are looking for a rock in a river. Bernie Sanders has been that stalwart rock.”

Notable Quote of the Day

“The likelihood that Trump submits himself to three-hour, televised sparring matches with the Democratic nominee, no matter who it is, is slim to none in my opinion.

Here’s why.

For one, he doesn’t have to. It’s not required of presidential candidates, though perhaps it should be.

Numerous candidates have skipped primary debates, and some have even passed in the general. Lyndon B. Johnson refused to debate Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Richard Nixon wouldn’t participate in 1968 or 1972 debates.”

– S.E. Cupp, CNN host and political commentator

Democrats

  • Michael BennetPete ButtigiegJulián CastroAmy Klobuchar, and Beto O’Rourke will each participate in an hour-long interview at the Texas Tribune Festival this weekend.
  • Castro and Klobuchar will also speak at the Voto Latino Power Summit in Austin Saturday.
  • In an interview with Politico Thursday, Bennet said presidents’ and vice presidents’ children should not have foreign business dealings or give corporate speeches.
  • Joe Biden will hold a community event in Las Vegas Friday.
  • Buttigieg will expand his presence in Nevada with 10 open offices by mid-October, more than any other candidate. He also hired Travis Brock as the campaign’s national director for caucuses and Juan Carlos Perez as national Latino engagement director.
  • Castro said Thursday he would end his campaign if he did not qualify for the November primary debate.
  • John Delaney will attend six events in Iowa Saturday and Sunday, including the Harry Hopkins Dinner in Sioux City. 
  • Tulsi Gabbard will host town halls throughout Iowa from Saturday through Monday.
  • Kamala Harris will campaign in Seattle Friday and San Francisco Saturday.
  • Radio Atlantic posted a podcast with Klobuchar on the impeachment inquiry, Brett Kavanaugh, and her presidential campaign.
  • Washington Examiner interviewed Tim Ryan about his presidential campaign and the commonalities he finds between the Rust Belt and urban areas.
  • Bernie Sanders will campaign in New Hampshire Sunday with stops at three colleges.
  • Joe Sestak will speak at the Latino Heritage Festival Soapbox Saturday in Iowa.
  • Tom Steyer is joining UAW members on the picket line in Reno Friday and attending two events in the city Saturday.
  • Elizabeth Warren will hold town halls in New Hampshire Friday and South Carolina Saturday.
  • Marianne Williamson continues her Nevada visit with a town hall in Las Vegas Friday.
  • In an interview on The View Thursday, Andrew Yang discussed his campaign and denied a claim that he fired a former employee because she was married.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump raised $13 million this week through fundraising emails following the impeachment inquiry announcement and two fundraisers on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • In an interview on Reason PodcastJoe Walsh discussed the Tea Party, libertarianism, and his prior support for Trump.
  • Bill Weld appeared at the Texas Tribune Festival Thursday.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 27, 2015

60 Minutes aired an interview with Donald Trump where he discussed his tax proposal.



Florida voters to decide 2020 ballot measure regarding voter citizenship

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Thursday, September 26, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Florida voters to decide 2020 ballot measure requiring voter citizenship
  2. Local Roundup
  3. Quiz: Which state has hosted the most presidential debates?

Florida voters to decide 2020 ballot measure requiring voter citizenship

I hope you were able to join us yesterday for our webinar about 2020 ballot measures. ICYMI, here’s a link to the recording. One of the topics we discussed was whether voters in multiple states would decide constitutional amendments making citizenship a requirement to vote.  

The Florida Division of Elections reported September 19 that the Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative—sponsored by Florida Citizen Voters—qualified for the 2020 ballot. This measure would amend the Florida Constitution to state that only citizens of the United States are qualified to vote.

The state constitution currently reads, “Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.” If approved, the ballot measure would change that section to state, “Only a citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”

Voters in North Dakota approved a similar measure in 2018. That measure amended the North Dakota Constitution to state that “only a citizen” rather than “every citizen” of the U.S. can vote in federal, state, and local elections. It was approved by a vote of 66% to 34%. A similar amendment is certified to appear on the ballot in Alabama in 2020. 

Voters in San Francisco approved a measure—Proposition N—in 2016 which allowed non-citizens to register to vote in school board elections. New York City allowed noncitizens to vote in local school board elections from 1968 to 2003 until the city abolished elected school boards. Members of the New York City Board of Education are now appointed by the mayor and five borough presidents. As of 2019, 11 cities in Maryland, including Hyattsville, Mount Rainier, and Takoma Park allowed non-citizens to vote. 

All state constitutions mention United States citizenship when discussing voting qualifications. Here are five additional facts about statewide constitutions.

  • Twenty-one states use the specific phrase “Every citizen of the United States…” when discussing who is a qualified elector. 

  • An additional 16 states use the word “every” but structure the sentence differently. 

  • Six states use the word “all” or “any” when discussing citizenship and suffrage. 

  • Six other states have some other way of phrasing the sentence. 

  • North Dakota is currently the only state to use the phrase “Only a citizen of the United States…” after having changed it from “every” via Measure 2 in 2018.

The map below shows the specific language used in state constitutions regarding citizenship and voter qualification: 

Language regarding citizenship

Map key:

  • Purple: “Only a citizen of the United States…”
  • Dark green: “Every citizen of the United States…”
  • Light green: Uses the term “every”
  • Dark blue: Uses the terms “any” or “all”
  • Grey: Unique language concerning citizenship and suffrage
Learn more blank    blankblank   


Local Roundup 

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

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

Boston

Boston held primary elections September 24 in four of nine city council districts and for the four at-large seats on its 13-member city council. The top two finishers in each district race—and the top 8 finishers in the at-large race—advanced to the November 5 general election. 

All five incumbents who competed in the primary—the four at-large council members and District 7 councilwoman Kim Janey—advanced to the general election. In total, 10 of 13 incumbents are running for re-election and four incumbents are unopposed. In 2017, 10 incumbents sought re-election and all 10 won another term. In 2015, all 13 city council incumbents ran for re-election and two were defeated in the general election. 

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham voters will elect three city council members and decide three ballot measures on October 8. The three council races are special elections for seats that were vacated and filled through appointments in 2018 and 2019. In all three districts, the appointed members are running for a full term on the council. Thirteen candidates in total are running.

The three ballot measures are property tax measures to raise revenue for operations and debt service of Birmingham City Schools. The taxes were first collected in 1951 and are set to expire in September 2021. Approval of the measures would authorize the taxes for an additional 25 years. Birmingham City Schools reported that the tax revenue associated with these items is approximately $32 million per year, which is about 14 percent of the district’s budget.


#BallotTrivia

Which state has hosted the most presidential debates?  

Yesterday’s Brew included a story about the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has sponsored and organized every presidential and vice presidential general election debate since 1988. Our page on the Commission lists the date, location, and participants of those previous debates.

I don’t know if you noticed, but some states have hosted more debates than others. Which state has hosted the most presidential and vice presidential general election debates since 1988?