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Public-sector unions contributed nearly $160 million to political candidates in 2018

 
Welcome to the Friday, October 4, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Exploring campaign contributions from public-sector unions
  2. Houston school board to elect four members, faces possible replacement by state education commission
  3. What’s the Tea?

A deep dive into public-sector union spending in 2018

Public-sector unions contributed $159.8 million to candidates for federal, state, or local office in 2018, according to campaign finance reporting at both the federal and state levels.

The five states in which political candidates received the most contributions from public-sector unions were:

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

The total contributions from these five states totaled $119.0 million, or 74% of the nationwide total. Contributions from public-sector unions in the other 45 states represented 26%.

These figures are based on resources gathered by the National Institute on Money in Politics, and reflect contributions by public-sector unions to political candidates. They do not account for unions’ satellite spending, which is political spending associated with an election but not directly made to, or controlled by, a specific candidate.

Learn more

       

 

Houston school board to elect four members, faces possible replacement by state education commission

Our coverage of school board elections includes the 200 largest school districts by enrollment and all school districts that overlap with the 100 largest cities by population. One of this year’s notable school board races is in Houston—home of the nation’s seventh-largest school district.

Voters will decide four of the nine seats on the Houston Independent School District (HISD) board of education. Five candidates are running for each of the two open-seats and each of the two incumbents running for re-election faces a single challenger. If no candidate receives a majority of the Nov. 5 vote, a runoff election will be held between the top two finishers.

The HISD school board currently faces the possibility of being replaced by a state-appointed board of managers. Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath could decide to replace the board for either of two reasons: 1) either as a result of a Texas Education Agency (TEA) investigation into the board’s governance or 2) as a result of poor academic performance ratings at a high school in the district. Morath was appointed commissioner of education by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in January 2016.

A TEA investigation recommended in August 2019 that the state appoint a board of managers for HISD. It cited the elected board’s “inability to appropriately govern, inability to operate within the scope of their authority, circumventing the authority of the superintendent, and inability to ensure proper contract procurement laws are followed.” Lawyers for the district filed a lawsuit challenging that recommendation August 16.

State law requires that the commissioner of education either close a school that receives more than five consecutive failing grades or replace the district’s board of education. After preliminary ratings of the district’s schools were released, it was determined that one HISD high school received a failing grade for the seventh year in a row. The school board voted September 5 to appeal the preliminary rating. The HISD had received a waiver from state ratings for the prior year due to Hurricane Harvey.

If the state appoints a board of managers, elected school board members would not have any power until the elected board was reinstated, although they could participate as non-voting representatives. As of the 2018-2019 school year, HISD was the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest school district in the United States, serving 209,772 students in 280 schools with a budget of $2.04 billion.

HISD school board elections are officially nonpartisan. Heading into the 2019 election, all nine HISD trustees are Democrats, according to the Houston Chronicle. The last day to register to vote is October 7. Early voting will run October 21 through November 1.
 

Learn more→

What’s the Tea?

Last week’s What’s the Tea? question—Have you ever voted in a special election?—kicked off what will be a series of questions asking Brew readers whether they’ve ever participated or done certain things related to politics and policy, such as attending or speaking at governmental meetings or signing candidate or initiative petitions.

Like with all our What’s the Tea? questions, there’s no right or wrong answer, and your responses are completely confidential.

So, let’s start hyper-local. Have you ever attended a school board meeting?

  1. Yes
  2. No


Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: September 28-October 4, 2019

Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News BriefingEvery 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.

Candidates by the Number

Number of registered presidential candidates by party, 2019-2020 

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 Week

“By now, the New Hampshire primary is usually all but decided. But for the first time in recent memory, there’s no clear frontrunner among the top Democratic candidates as they enter the final stretch before February — intensifying the pressure they face to avoid a distant second or third-place finish that could sink their campaigns. It’s been years since New Hampshire had a Democratic primary this close, this late in the election cycle. At this point in the 2008 cycle, Hillary Clinton had a 20-point lead over Barack Obama. At this point in the 2016 race, Sen. Bernie Sanders had a double-digit lead over Clinton, and he went on to win the state by 22 points.”

– Daniel Bush, PBS NewsHour digital politics editor

“Why have four of the last five incumbent presidents won reelection? There are a lot of reasons, but a big one is that the structure of the primary calendar, the rules for campaign spending, and party unified behind the president give the party in power an enormous structural advantage. In 1996 and 2012, incumbent presidents had enormous resources to run ads in swing states defining the Republican nominee, when the GOP nominee had used all his money to win the primary and did not have any cash to return fire. The Clinton and Obama campaigns, along with help from their friends the media, defined the image of Bob Dole and Mitt Romney before the contest really started. In 2004, the Bush campaign ran similar advertising against John Kerry in swing states.”

– Jim GeraghtyNational Review

Week in Review

What we know so far about Q3 fundraising

Monday was the final day for fundraising in the third quarter, and financial reports are due to the Federal Election Commission by Oct. 15.

Several candidates have already self-reported their fundraising. Here’s how they stack up so far:

Steve Bullock has not yet announced his Q3 figure, but he is expected to be the first candidate to apply for public financing for his campaign.

Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee together raised $125 million in the third quarter of 2019. For comparison, Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee raised $70 million in the third quarter of 2011.

12 Democrats qualify for record-breaking October presidential debate

Twelve Democratic candidates qualified for the fourth Democratic primary debate on Oct. 15, 2019:

While the first two Democratic debates were held over two nights so that no more than 10 candidates were on stage at one time, the October debate will take place on one day. 

With 12 candidates participating, it will be the most candidates on stage in a single presidential primary debate. Republicans held the previous record with 11 candidates on stage during the September 2015 debate.

Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, will host the event. Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, and Marc Lacey are set to moderate.

Trump launches $8 million ad campaign on impeachment and Ukraine

The Donald Trump campaign announced an $8 million ad campaign focused on the impeachment inquiry. The ad buy includes $1 million spent on an ad targeting corruption allegations in Ukraine against Joe Biden.

CNN rejected two of three new ads submitted by the Trump campaign, citing fact issues and disparagement of CNN employees. The one ad it accepted, “Changing Things,” presents Trump’s policy on trade, immigration, and jobs.

“It is unusual but not unprecedented for television networks to reject a political advertisement from a presidential candidate. On the eve of last year’s midterm elections, major channels, including Fox News, removed a commercial from Mr. Trump’s political team that portrayed immigrants as a violent threat,” according to The New York Times.

Biden also launched a major ad campaign this week, spending $6 million on ads that will appear on YouTube, Hulu, and other streaming services, and broadcast television in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.

Sanders temporarily leaves the campaign trail following medical procedure

Bernie Sanders canceled campaign events this week and postponed his first television ad launch in Iowa after undergoing a heart procedure for a blocked artery Wednesday.

He will be discharged from the hospital before the end of the weekend, according to a statement from his wife, Jane Sanders. He is expected to participate in the October presidential debate.

2020 Dems assemble in California, South Carolina, and Nevada for events this week

Joe BidenCory BookerPete ButtigiegJulián CastroKamala HarrisAmy Klobuchar,  Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren will speak at the Unions for All Summit in Los Angeles Friday and Saturday.

Michael BennetSteve BullockJohn DelaneyTulsi GabbardHarrisTom Steyer, and Andrew Yang are confirmed to attend the Blue Jamboree in South Carolina Saturday.

Earlier this week, BidenBookerButtigiegCastroHarrisKlobucharO’RourkeWarren, and Yang participated in the 2020 Gun Safety Forum hosted by Giffords, March for Our Lives, and MSNBC in Nevada.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Resource Spotlight

The Archive of Political Emails was founded in July 2019 to compile political fundraising and advocacy emails sent by candidates, elected officials, PACs, nonprofits, NGOs, and other political actors.

Web developer Chris Herbert said in an interview with Ballotpedia that the project could fill a gap in the public record.

“The dream is for it to be something like the Wayback Machine for political emails,” Herbert said. “Ideally, it would be something that is around for years or decades so that people can look back and say, ‘This is someone’s first congressional campaign and now they’re running for president.’ It’s a glimpse into how they communicated long ago.”

Presidential email campaigns present a unique technical challenge to capture, however. 

Herbert explained, “These campaigns are very sophisticated and they are going to segment their list down to the point where someone in a different zip code is going to potentially get a different message than someone in another zip code, or someone who has donated vs. someone who hasn’t donated, or someone who is male vs. female. There are a lot of ways they are segmenting their lists, so this is a narrow window into what they are sending out.”

To learn more about the Archive and view screenshots and searchable text from emails sent by 2020 presidential candidates, click here.

Facebook SpendingDaily Presidential News Briefing - Facebook Spending (September 23-29, 2019)

Poll Spotlight

Daily Presidential News Briefing - Poll One (September 25-29, 2019)

Daily Presidential News Briefing - Poll Two (September 22-26, 2019)

Staff Spotlight

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

Daily Presidential News Briefing - Staffer Spotlight - Randy Jones

Randy Jones is a Democratic staffer with experience campaigning in West Virginia. Before joining the Yang campaign, Jones worked with the People’s House Project, which describes itself as “dedicated to recruiting and supporting working-class candidates who are at home in the places Progressives need to reclaim.” Jones graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in political science and government in 2015.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2018 Richard Ojeda (D-W.V.) U.S. House campaign, political director and campaign manager
  • 2010 Mike Oliverio (D-W.V.) U.S. House campaign, Eastern District assistant director

Other experience:

  • 2019: People’s House Project, political director
  • 2017: Virtual Global, Inc., strategic partnership manager
  • 2011-2016: Strategic Health Resources, LLC, senior government relations associate
  • 2015: AmeriCorps, West Virginia University Center for Service & Learning

What he says about Yang: “Clearly the candidate, the teams message and our strategy are working very well and we are proud of it.”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 30-October 4, 2015

  • 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.
     
  • October 1, 2015: Lawrence Lessig wrote an op-ed in Politico Magazine saying the Democratic Party was discouraging his campaign
     
  • October 2, 2015: Former President George W. Bush attended a fundraiser for his brother, Jeb Bush.
     
  • October 3, 2015: The National Education Association, which has 3 million members, endorsed Hillary Clinton.
     
  • October 4, 2015: Donald Trump discussed his tax proposal, gun regulation, and government cuts in an interview on ABC’s The Week.

Trivia

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

  1. Michigan→
  2. Wyoming→
  3. Massachusetts→
  4. Florida→


Biden raises more than $15M in Q3, down from $22M in Q2

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

October 4, 2019: Joe Biden raised $15.2 million in the third quarter of 2019. CNN will not air two ads submitted by the Donald Trump campaign.

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing - Staffer SpotlightBallotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing - Staffer Spotlight - Randy Jones

Randy Jones is a Democratic staffer with experience campaigning in West Virginia. Before joining the Yang campaign, Jones worked with the People’s House Project, which describes itself as “dedicated to recruiting and supporting working-class candidates who are at home in the places Progressives need to reclaim.” Jones graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in political science and government in 2015.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2018 Richard Ojeda (D-W.V.) U.S. House campaign, political director and campaign manager
  • 2010 Mike Oliverio (D-W.V.) U.S. House campaign, Eastern District assistant director

Other experience:

  • 2019: People’s House Project, political director
  • 2017: Virtual Global, Inc., strategic partnership manager
  • 2011-2016: Strategic Health Resources, LLC, senior government relations associate
  • 2015: AmeriCorps, West Virginia University Center for Service & Learning

What he says about Yang:
“Clearly the candidate, the teams message and our strategy are working very well and we are proud of it.”

Notable Quote of the Day

“This isn’t just about Biden’s age—it’s about ours, and the tension between a vast cohort of Baby Boomers who have trained themselves to believe they’re only as old as they feel and a couple of impatient generations lined up behind them, wondering when they’re going to get a chance to take over. And yet it’s about far more than simply a number next to a name. Our sense of who is old in this primary has become entwined with our appetite for bold and new ideas. All three of the top-polling Democrats, after all, are in their 70s, but it’s Biden, the centrist who advocates for a return to a pre-Trump time, who is getting dinged the most for his advanced age—not Elizabeth Warren, who wants ‘big, structural change’ and turned 70 in June. Up until this week when he had to have two heart stents implanted, neither was Bernie Sanders, who continues to call for his ‘revolution’ and is in fact the oldest of the lot.”

– Michael Kruse, Politico senior staff writer

Democrats

Republicans

  • In an interview on Foresight 2020Mark Sanford discussed his presidential campaign Thursday. 

  • CNN rejected two of three ads submitted by the Donald Trump campaign, citing fact issues and disparagement of CNN employees. The one ad it accepted, “Changing Things,” was released Thursday. 

  • Joe Walsh sent an open letter to U.S. House Republicans Thursday calling on them to support the impeachment inquiry.

Flashback: October 4, 2015

Donald Trump discussed his tax proposal, gun regulation, and government cuts in an interview on ABC’s The Week.



San Francisco vaping ordinance loses primary sponsor

 
Welcome to the Thursday, October 3, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Juul ends support for San Francisco measure authorizing sale of electronic cigarettes
  2. Local Roundup
  3. Quiz: What Supreme Court justice wrote the most opinions in the 2018-2019 term?

Juul ends support for San Francisco measure authorizing sale of electronic cigarettes

Regular Ballotpedia readers know that a successful campaign to qualify a ballot measure to appear before voters involves time, effort, and money. It’s uncommon for proponents of a measure that’s already on the ballot to end their support of such an effort just prior to an election. That’s what makes this story so interesting.

The newly appointed CEO of Juul Labs—K.C. Crosthwaite—announced September 30 that the company was pulling its financial backing of the campaign supporting San Francisco Proposition C. The measure would authorize and regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes and other nicotine vapor products in the city, including provisions regarding the advertisement of such products and the restrictions of sales to minors.

So far, Juul Labs has contributed $11.6 million in loans to the effort. Juul had been the only donor to the Yes on C campaign. Following Juul’s announcement, Yes on C announced it was suspending its campaign and released the following statement: “We understand JUUL’s leadership has decided to cease support for the campaign as part of a larger review of the company’s policies. Based on that news, we have made the decision not to continue on with the campaign. … We will be winding down all campaign activities over the course of this week.”

Proposition C was designed to overturn a 2019 ordinance that prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes in San Francisco that have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A related ordinance prohibits manufacturing, distributing, and selling e-cigarettes on city-owned property. To date, no vaping product has undergone a complete review by the FDA. Both ordinances will take effect in early 2020.

Proposition C was placed on the ballot after a successful initiative petition campaign that submitted 20,302 signatures in July. The measure will still appear on San Francisco’s November 5 ballot. Local citizen initiatives cannot be withdrawn later than 88 days prior to the election.

San Francisco voters will also decide five other ballot measures November 5, including:

  • a $600 million bond issue to fund affordable housing;
  • a charter amendment to change the city’s Aging and Adult Services commission;
  • a tax on ride-share companies designed to fund public transportation services and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure;
  • reductions to zoning and approval requirements for affordable housing and educator housing projects; and,
  • limits on campaign contributions and requirements for campaign advertisements for city elections.

Learn more

       

 

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!

Memphis, Tennessee

Incumbent Jim Strickland, former Mayor Willie Herenton, County Commissioner Tamara Sawyer, and nine other candidates are running for mayor in a nonpartisan election held today—October 3. Strickland unseated incumbent A.C. Wharton in 2015. Herenton was elected as Memphis’ mayor in 1991 and served until resigning during his fifth term in 2009. Sawyer has served on the county commission since 2018.

Memphis mayoral elections do not allow for runoffs, meaning that whichever candidate receives the most votes will win outright. Although the election is officially nonpartisan, Herenton, Sawyer, and Strickland are all members of the Democratic Party. Memphis is also holding elections for the open-seat position of city clerk and all 13 seats on its city council. Nine council incumbents are running for re-election and none of them are unopposed.

Raleigh, North Carolina

The city of Raleigh is holding general elections for mayor and all seven seats on the city council on October 8. Six candidates are running to replace Nancy McFarlane—first elected in 2011—who announced in March that she would not seek re-election.

In the city council races, six of seven incumbents are running for re-election. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in any race, the second-place finisher can request a runoff, which would be held November 5. Raleigh’s mayor and city council members serve two-year terms.

Quiz: What Supreme Court justice wrote the most opinions in the 2018-2019 term?

As I’ve highlighted here in the Brew, the new Supreme Court term begins Monday—on October 7. As that date gets closer and closer, I’ve passed the time by reviewing facts from the last term.

After each case is decided, one judge from the majority writes the majority opinion and one from the minority authors the dissenting opinion. Any justices can also issue a concurring opinion on any case to further explain the reasoning behind their decision—whether he or she was in either the majority or minority.

Which Supreme Court justice authored the most opinions during the 2018-19 term?

A. Samuel Alito
B. Stephen Breyer
C. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
D. Clarence Thomas

 



Yang raises $10M in Q3, tripling Q2 total

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

October 3, 2019: Andrew Yang raised $10 million in the third quarter of 2019. Bernie Sanders canceled campaign events this week after undergoing a heart procedure for a blocked artery.

Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (September 25-29, 2019)
Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (September 22-26, 2019)        

Notable Quote of the Day

“Why have four of the last five incumbent presidents won reelection? There are a lot of reasons, but a big one is that the structure of the primary calendar, the rules for campaign spending, and party unified behind the president give the party in power an enormous structural advantage. In 1996 and 2012, incumbent presidents had enormous resources to run ads in swing states defining the Republican nominee, when the GOP nominee had used all his money to win the primary and did not have any cash to return fire. The Clinton and Obama campaigns, along with help from their friends the media, defined the image of Bob Dole and Mitt Romney before the contest really started. In 2004, the Bush campaign ran similar advertising against John Kerry in swing states.”

– Jim Geraghty, National Review

Democrats

  • Joe Biden issued his gun violence prevention plan Wednesday, calling for universal background checks, banning what he calls assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, repealing liability protections for gun manufacturers, and incentivizing the implementation of red flag flaws.
     
  • Cory Booker released a plan Thursday to reduce childhood poverty through a child tax credit that would provide $250 or $300—depending on the age of the children—to families. His plan would also increase the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit by 30 percent.
     
  • Steve Bullock delivered a presentation on opioid abuse reduction in Montana Wednesday.
     
  • Pete Buttigieg will be open a campaign office Thursday in South Bend, Indiana. 
     
  • In his labor policy plan released Wednesday, Julián Castro focused on promoting the right to organize and protecting domestic and farm workers.
     
  • Kamala Harris posted more than 420 Facebook ads on impeachment in the final week of September, representing roughly three-fourths of impeachment-related ads released by 2020 Democrats, according to a Reuters analysis.
     
  • Amy Klobuchar will campaign in Iowa Thursday and Friday, marking her 20th trip to the state.
     
  • Beto O’Rourke will hold a town hall in Los Angeles Saturday.
     
  • Tim Ryan visited with striking GM workers in Indiana and attended an education conference Wednesday.
     
  • Bernie Sanders canceled campaign events this week and suspended his first television ad launch in Iowa after undergoing a heart procedure for a blocked artery Wednesday. 
     
  • Tom Steyer released a new campaign ad Wednesday on digital platforms about the impeachment inquiry. It will also air on cable television next week.
     
  • Elizabeth Warren is holding a town hall in San Diego Thursday.
     
  • Marianne Williamson is attending a fundraiser Thursday in Montclair, New Jersey.
     
  • Andrew Yang raised $10 million in the third quarter of 2019, more than tripling his fundraising total from the second quarter.

Republicans

  • As part of a previously announced $8 million ad buy, Donald Trump is airing a new ad that calls the impeachment inquiry a coup.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: October 3, 2015

The National Education Association, which has 3 million members, endorsed Hillary Clinton.



Janus comes to Alaska

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Wednesday, October 2, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Alaska issues administrative order requiring opt-in procedure for state employee unions
  2. 12 Democrats expected to qualify for October presidential primary debate
  3. 1,732 candidates have filed to run for Congress in for 2020

Alaska issues administrative order requiring opt-in procedure for state employee unions

I find it interesting when news events overlap across two or more of our coverage areas here at Ballotpedia. Alaska recently adopted a new procedure regarding membership in state employee unions via an administrative order that is significant both for public-sector union policy and regulatory procedures.

Alaska officials announced the enactment of an opt-in membership procedure for public-sector unions representing state employees. Previously, Alaska had set an annual 10-day period during which public-sector employees could opt out of union membership. Governor Mike Dunleavy (R), Attorney General Kevin Clarkson (R), and Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka announced the change via administrative order on September 26. 

Dunleavy was elected as governor of Alaska in 2018 by a 7-point margin. Prior to his election, the state had been governed by independent Bill Walker, who was elected in 2014. Following the 2018 elections, there were 23 Democratic and 27 Republican governors in the U.S. 

Here’s a brief summary of how this policy change affects both public-sector unions and regulatory policy: 

Public-sector union policy: Dunleavy said in a statement, “As Governor of Alaska, I am legally obligated and compelled to ensure state employees’ free speech rights are protected.” Dunleavy directly cited Janus v. AFSCME, a 2018 decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that public-sector unions and employers cannot compel employees to become members of or give any financial support to unions as a condition of employment. The Court held that such requirements infringe upon employees’ free-speech and associational rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. 

The administrative order establishing this policy change applies to the approximately 15,000 workers employed by the state government; it does not apply to municipal government workers. After the new system takes effect, employees will be able to opt in or out of union membership at any time. The opt-in system appears to be the first of its kind issued in the wake of Janus.   

Implementing policy through executive action: Dunleavy announced the policy change through an administrative order. This type of executive action is called an executive order at the federal level and in many other states. The Alaska Constitution grants the governor the authority to issue administrative orders as part of his exercise of executive power and his duty to supervise the departments and agencies of the executive branch. 

To continue to follow this story—and more like it—you’ll want to subscribe to Union Station, our newsletter about public-sector union policy, or Checks and Balances, our monthly newsletter about administrative and regulatory policy. Or you could do what I do and subscribe to both!

Learn more blank    blankblank   


12 Democrats expected to qualify for October presidential primary debate

Tuesday was the final day for candidates to qualify for the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate on Oct. 15. Candidates were required to reach both the polling threshold of 2% support or more in four national or early state polls and a fundraising threshold of 130,000 unique contributors.

Twelve Democratic candidates were expected to meet the requirements:

    •    Joe Biden
    •    Cory Booker
    •    Pete Buttigieg
    •    Julián Castro
    •    Tulsi Gabbard
    •    Kamala Harris
    •    Amy Klobuchar
    •    Beto O’Rourke
    •    Bernie Sanders
    •    Tom Steyer
    •    Elizabeth Warren
    •    Andrew Yang

The first two Democratic debates were held over two nights so that no more than 10 candidates were on stage at one time. The third Democratic debate—on September 12—featured only 10 participants on a single night; Gabbard and Steyer did not appear.

The Democratic National Committee announced September 27 that this fourth debate will take place on one day.  With 12 participants, it will be the most candidates on stage in a single presidential primary debate. Eleven Republican candidates debated on September 16, 2015.

This debate will be held at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. It will be broadcast on CNN and Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, and Marc Lacey are scheduled to moderate.

1,732 candidates have filed to run for Congress in 2020

The Democratic presidential race isn’t the only 2020 election starting to take shape. On Monday—September 30—Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) announced that he would not run for re-election in 2020. And yesterday—October 1—Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) resigned from the House.

Four Senators—three Republicans and one Democrat—and 22 Representatives—17 Republicans and five Democrats—have announced they are not running for re-election. Five Republican members of Congress—one senator and four representatives—have resigned or otherwise. In 2018, 55 members of Congress—18 Democrats and 37 Republicans—did not seek re-election.

As of September 30, 1,732 candidates have filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to run for Congress in 2020, broken down as follows:

  • 254 candidates filed with the FEC to run for the U.S. Senate. Of those, 226—121 Democrats and 105 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 527 candidates filed with the FEC to run for U.S. Senate, including 137 Democrats and 240 Republicans.

  • 1,478 candidates have filed with the FEC to run for the U.S. House in 2020. Of those, 1,385—717 Democrats and 668 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 3,244 candidates filed with the FEC, including 1,566 Democrats and 1,155 Republicans.

On November 3, 2020, 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for election. Of those Senate seats, 33 are regularly-scheduled elections, one is a special election in Arizona, and another is an expected special election in Georgia. Twelve are Democratic-held seats and 23 are Republican-held seats. In the House, where all the seats are up for election, there are currently 235 Democrats, 197 Republicans and one independent with two vacancies.



12 Dems qualify for October presidential primary debate

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

October 2, 2019: Twelve Democratic candidates qualified for the Oct. 15 presidential primary debate. Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee together raised $125 million in the third quarter of 2019.

Presidential Facebook ads, 2019-2020 (September 23-29, 2019)

Notable Quote of the Day

“By now, the New Hampshire primary is usually all but decided.

But for the first time in recent memory, there’s no clear frontrunner among the top Democratic candidates as they enter the final stretch before February — intensifying the pressure they face to avoid a distant second or third-place finish that could sink their campaigns.

It’s been years since New Hampshire had a Democratic primary this close, this late in the election cycle. At this point in the 2008 cycle, Hillary Clinton had a 20-point lead over Barack Obama. At this point in the 2016 race, Sen. Bernie Sanders had a double-digit lead over Clinton, and he went on to win the state by 22 points.”

– Daniel Bush, PBS NewsHour digital politics editor 

Democrats

Republicans

Resource Spotlight

The Archive of Political Emails was founded in July 2019 to compile political fundraising and advocacy emails sent by candidates, elected officials, PACs, nonprofits, NGOs, and other political actors.

Web developer Chris Herbert said in an interview with Ballotpedia that the project could fill a gap in the public record.

“The dream is for it to be something like the Wayback Machine for political emails,” Herbert said. “Ideally, it would be something that is around for years or decades so that people can look back and say, ‘This is someone’s first congressional campaign and now they’re running for president.’ It’s a glimpse into how they communicated long ago.”

Presidential email campaigns present a unique technical challenge to capture, however. 

Herbert explained, “These campaigns are very sophisticated and they are going to segment their list down to the point where someone in a different zip code is going to potentially get a different message than someone in another zip code, or someone who has donated vs. someone who hasn’t donated, or someone who is male vs. female. There are a lot of ways they are segmenting their lists, so this is a narrow window into what they are sending out.”

To learn more about the Archive and view screenshots and searchable text from emails sent by 2020 presidential candidates, click here.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: October 2, 2015

Former President George W. Bush attended a fundraiser for his brother, Jeb Bush.



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.

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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.

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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:

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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. 



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.