CategoryNewsletters

Bennet, Klobuchar, Sanders, Warren in D.C. for impeachment trial

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
January 22, 2020: Michael Bennet, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren are in Washington, D.C., for the impeachment trial. Four more members of the Congressional Black Caucus endorsed Joe Biden.blank    blankblank   


Presidential Facebook ads, 2019-2020 (January 13-19, 2020)

Notable Quote of the Day

“The four senators running for the Democratic presidential nomination are leaning heavily on surrogates while they are stuck in Washington serving jury duty on President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

As the Senate trial gets under way in earnest this week, Elizabeth Warren is sending in Representative Ayanna Pressley, Bernie Sanders is putting forward Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Klobuchar is leaning on local officials and Michael Bennet has former Clinton adviser James Carville.

And everyone is sending their spouses.”

– Ryan Teague Beckwith, Bloomberg

Democrats

Republicans

Flashback: January 22, 2016

National Review released a special edition featuring essays from 22 conservatives opposing Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.blank

Click here to learn more.



Bold Justice: Trump’s 3-year anniversary

 

Ballotpedia's Bold Justice

Welcome to the January 20 edition of Bold Justice, Ballotpedia’s newsletter about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and other judicial happenings around the U.S. Today marks the three-year anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration. Keep up with his federal judicial nominations, confirmations, and more in each edition of this newsletter. Today starts Ballotpedia’s membership drive. You can support products like Bold Justice by joining The Ballotpedia Society. Click here to learn more.


Arguments

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in three cases this week. Click here to read more about SCOTUS’ current term.

In its October 2018 term, SCOTUS heard arguments in 69 cases. Click here to read more about SCOTUS’ previous term.

Click the links below to read more about the specific cases SCOTUS will hear this week:

  • January 21

    • In Shular v. United States, Eddie Shular pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of controlled substances. Shular was classified as an armed career criminal because of six previous drug convictions in Florida. He objected to the classification in court, arguing his previous convictions were not “serious drug offenses” under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA). The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida overruled the objection and sentenced Shular to concurrent terms of 15 years in prison on each count. On appeal, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s ruling.

      Shular appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing the 11th Circuit was wrong not to have used a categorical approach to interpret “serious drug offenses” under the ACCA and pointed to a circuit split regarding the determination of serious drug offenses under the ACCA.

      Taylor v. United States (1990) required courts to use a categorical approach when applying enhanced sentences by “looking only to the statutory definitions of the prior offenses, and not to the particular facts underlying those convictions.” Taylor says courts using a categorical approach must look at the modern generic definition of an offense and then decide if the conviction in question applies to the definition.

      The issue: Whether the determination of a “serious drug offense” under the ACCA requires the same categorical approach used in the determination of a “violent felony” under the Act?

    • In GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS v. Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC, Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC (“Outokumpu”) contracted with Fives St. Corp. (“Fives”) to provide equipment for its steel plant in Alabama. Fives subcontracted with GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS (“GE Energy”), a foreign corporation, to supply the equipment. The contracts between Outokumpu and Fives and between Fives and GE Energy contained arbitration clauses.

      The equipment was installed between 2011 and 2012 but failed by 2015. Outokumpu sued GE Energy in Alabama state court. The case was moved to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, which dismissed the case and compelled Outokumpu to undertake arbitration proceedings.

      On appeal, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s decision to compel arbitration. GE Energy appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for review, arguing the 11th Circuit’s decision underlined a 2-to-2 circuit court split. A circuit split is where circuit courts of appeal offer different rulings on the same legal issue.

    • The issue: Whether the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”) permits a non-signatory to an arbitration agreement to compel arbitration based on the doctrine of equitable estoppel.

      According to Investopedia, the doctrine of equitable estoppel “prevents someone from arguing something contrary to a claim made or act performed by that person previously.”

  • January 22

    • In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a 2015 law established a tax credit for taxpayers donating to scholarship organizations for private school students. The law made the Montana Department of Revenue responsible for administering the tax credit and ensuring the credit was constitutional. To ensure compliance, the Department established Rule 1, which excluded students attending religiously-affiliated private schools from receiving scholarship funds.

    • Kendra Espinoza, Jeri Anderson, and Jaime Schaefer, the plaintiffs, challenged Rule 1 in the Montana 11th Judicial District Court, arguing that it violated their First Amendment rights. The 11th Judicial District granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs.

      On appeal, the Montana Supreme Court reversed the 11th Judicial District’s ruling. The plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, writing that the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling “deepened the long-standing split on whether barring religious options from student-aid programs violates the federal Religion and Equal Protection Clauses.”

      The issue: Does it violate the Religion Clause or Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution to invalidate a generally available and religiously neutral student-aid program simply because the program gives students the choice to attend religious schools?


Opinions

SCOTUS has ruled on two cases since our January 13 issue. The court has issued rulings in four cases so far this term. Thirty-two cases are still under deliberation.

Click the links below to read more about the specific cases SCOTUS ruled on since January 13:

  • January 14, 2020

    • Ritzen Group Inc. v. Jackson Masonry was argued before the court on November 13, 2019.

      The case: Ritzen Group and Jackson Masonry both claimed the other breached contract after a sale of property fell through. A lawsuit Ritzen filed against Jackson in Tennessee state court was stayed after Jackson filed for bankruptcy. Ritzen filed a motion to lift the stay, which the bankruptcy court denied. Ritzen then filed a claim against Jackson in bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court found Ritzen, not Jackson, breached the contract. On appeal, the district court affirmed the bankruptcy court’s ruling. On appeal again, the 6th Circuit affirmed the judgments of the district court and bankruptcy court.

      The outcome: The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, ruling unanimously that a bankruptcy court’s order unreservedly denying relief from the automatic stay constitutes a final, immediately appealable order under §158(a).

      Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the court.

    • Retirement Plan Committee of IBM v. Jander was argued before the court on November 6, 2019.The case: Larry Jander invested in IBM’s retirement plan. After IBM sold its microelectronics business at a loss and shares fell, Jander alleged the IBM retirement plan committee violated their fiduciary duty of prudence to the pensioner under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed Jander’s claim. On appeal, the 2nd Circuit reversed and remanded the case. The retirement committee petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, arguing the 2nd Circuit “subverted [a] pleading standard” established in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer.

      The outcome: The U.S. Supreme Court vacated and remanded the case in a per curiam decision. A per curiam decision is issued collectively by the court. The authorship is not indicated. Click here for more information.

      Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg filed a joint concurring opinion. Justice Neil Gorsuch also filed a concurring opinion.


Upcoming SCOTUS dates

Here are the upcoming dates of interest in January and February:

  • January 21:

    • SCOTUS will release orders.

    • SCOTUS will hear arguments in two cases.

  • January 22: SCOTUS will hear arguments in one case.

  • January 24: SCOTUS will conference. A conference is a private meeting of the justices.

  • January 27: SCOTUS will release orders.

  • February 21: SCOTUS will conference.



The federal judiciary under President Trump

President Donald Trump (R) was inaugurated three years ago on January 20, 2017. At the time of his inauguration, there were 108 lifetime federal judicial vacancies requiring a presidential nomination. This was the largest number of federal judicial vacancies at the beginning of a presidency since there were 111 vacancies when Bill Clinton was inaugurated in 1992. Click here for more information on the federal judiciary during Trump’s first term.

Since taking office, the president has nominated 239 individuals to federal judgeships, 187 of whom have been confirmed. The average number of judicial confirmations for the first three years of a presidency through December 31 is 99. The Senate confirmed 197 of President Jimmy Carter‘s (D) judicial nominees, the most confirmations through three years. President Theodore Roosevelt (R) had the fewest confirmed nominees — 23 — at this stage of his first term.

The chart below shows the number of Article III judicial confirmations during each president’s first term at three specific dates: December 31 of the first year, December 31 of the second year, and December 31 of the third year. It includes presidents from Theodore Roosevelt through Trump.

The table below shows the number of Senate-confirmed Article III judges, by court type, for each of the last 20 presidents at the end of their third year in office.

The Senate has confirmed 50 of President Trump’s appellate court nominees, the most on our list. President Woodrow Wilson has the fewest number of appellate confirmations with 5. The median number of appellate court confirmations is 19.

The median number of U.S. District Court confirmations is 67. The Senate confirmed 151 of  President Bill Clinton’s district court nominees, leading the list. President Theodore Roosevelt had the fewest number of district judges confirmed, with 14.


Confirmations

The Senate confirmed no new nominees since our January 13 issue.

Overall, the Senate has confirmed 187 of President Trump’s judicial nominees—133 district court judges, 50 appeals court judges, two Court of International Trade judges, and two Supreme Court justices—since January 2017.

Nominations

President Trump announced one new Article III nominees since our January 13 edition.

The president has announced 239 Article III judicial nominations since taking office January 20, 2017. The president named 69 judicial nominees in 2017, 92 in 2018, and 77 in 2019. For more information on the president’s judicial nominees, click here.

Vacancies

The federal judiciary currently has 79 vacancies. As of publication, there were 19 pending nominations.

According to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, an additional 12 judges have announced their intention to leave active judicial status during Trump’s first term.

For more information on judicial vacancies during Trump’s first term, click here.

Committee action

The Senate Judiciary Committee reported five new nominees out of committee since our January 13 edition.

  • Andrew Brasher, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama

  • Stephen Vaden, nominee for the U.S. Court of International Trade

  • Matthew Schelp, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

  • Joshua Kindred, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska

  • Scott Rash, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona

Do you love judicial nomination, confirmation, and vacancy information? We figured you might. Our monthly Federal Vacancy Count, published at the start of each month, monitors all the faces and places moving in, moving out, and moving on in the federal judiciary. Click here for our most current count.

Need a daily fix of judicial nomination, confirmation, and vacancy information? Click here for continuing updates on the status of all federal judicial nominees.

Or, if you prefer, we also maintain a list of individuals President Trump has nominated.


Looking ahead

Bold Justice will be back February 10 with more information on the federal judiciary.

Click here to learn more.



A look at donor disclosure requirements for electioneering communications

As the year gets underway, and lawmakers nationwide take up bills on donor disclosure, let’s take a closer look at a particular policy area: donor disclosure requirements for groups that sponsor electioneering communications.

Broadly speaking, an electioneering communication is any broadcast, cable, or satellite transmission that refers to a clearly identified candidate within a specified time period preceding a primary or general election. Although electioneering communications refer to a specific candidate, they do not explicitly advocate for that candidate’s election or defeat. This makes an electioneering communication a form of issue advocacy.

Individuals, corporations, labor unions, and nonprofit groups can produce electioneering communications. Generally, the policies regulating the use of electioneering communications vary from state to state (although federal laws apply to electioneering communications used in federal elections).

The first map below indicates which states require entities making electioneering communications to disclose the names of their donors to the public. States shaded in dark green require general disclosure of all donors to a sponsor group. States shaded in light green require disclosure only of those donors whose contributions were earmarked for electioneering purposes. Twenty-two states require groups issuing electioneering communications to make some form of disclosure.

The second map below indicates which states exempt 501(c)(3) groups from these disclosure requirements. States shaded in dark green provide a 501(c)(3) exemption. States shaded in gray do not. Six states provide explicit disclosure exemptions for at least some types of 501(c)(3) groups.

Electioneering communications donor disclosure.png
501c3 exemptions.png

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state: We’re currently tracking 35 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 January 20, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Disclosure Digest status chart January 20, 2020.png

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

Disclosure Digest partisan chart January 20, 2020.png

Recent legislative actions

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

  • Iowa HF697: This bill would prohibit public agencies from requiring 501(c) entities to furnish them with personal information about donors.
    • Hearing scheduled for Jan. 22.
  • Oklahoma SB1491: This bill would prohibit public agencies from requiring 501(c) entities to furnish them with personal information about donors.
    • Pre-filed to be introduced Feb. 3.
  • Virginia HB849: This bill would subject political campaign communications made via online platforms to the same disclosure requirements currently applied to print media, television, and radio advertisements.
    • Hearing scheduled for Jan. 17.


Maine professor asks Supreme Court to strike down exclusive representation requirement

On Jan. 2, 2020, a professor at the University of Maine filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting that it overturn a Maine law compelling public-sector employees to accept a union’s representation regardless of their membership status with that union (i.e., exclusive representation).

Who are the parties to the suit? The plaintiff is Jonathan Reisman, an associate professor of economics and public policy at the University of Maine at Machias. He is being represented by attorneys from The Buckeye Institute, an Ohio-based think tank, and BakerHostetler, a Washington, D.C. law firm. The defendants include Reisman’s union, the Associated Faculties of the University of Maine, the University of Maine and its board of trustees, and the state of Maine. The Associated Faculties of the University of Maine, an affiliate of the National Education Association, represents about 1,000 faculty members.

What is at issue? Reisman argues that Maine’s exclusive representation law violates his First Amendment free-speech and associational rights. Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute and a lead attorney for Reisman, said, “If state law cannot compel public employees to financially support union advocacy — as the [Supreme Court] ruled in Janus v. AFSCME — how can states require these same public employees to accept representation from unions that many of them have chosen not to join?”

How have the lower courts ruled in this matter? On Dec. 3, 2018, Judge Jon Levy, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, dismissed the case. Levy said, “[By] authorizing the union, in its role as the agent for the bargaining unit, to negotiate with the board on matters related to the terms and conditions of employment, the act does not cloak the union with the authority to speak on issues of public concern on behalf of employees, such as Reisman, who do not belong to the union. Reisman remains free to speak out in opposition to the union and its positions as he sees fit. His constitutional challenge to the act thus rests on a fundamental misconception.”

Reisman appealed Levy’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. A three-judge panel, comprising Judges O. Rogeriee Thompson, Bruce Marshall Selya, and David Barron, heard the appeal. On Oct. 4, 2019, the panel voted unanimously to affirm Levy’s dismissal. Barron, writing for the court, said, “Considered in context … § 1025(2)(E) [the challenged law] is not properly read to designate AFUM as Reisman’s personal representative, as he contends. Rather, that provision merely makes clear that a union, once it becomes the exclusive bargaining agent for a bargaining unit, must represent the unit as an entity, and not only certain of the employees within it, and then solely for the purposes of collective bargaining.”

  • Levy, Thompson, and Barron were appointed to their positions by President Barack Obama (D). Selya was appointed by President Ronald Reagan (R)

What comes next? In a press release announcing the appeal, Andrew Grossman, counsel of record for Reisman, said, “Following the Court’s landmark Janus ruling, it is clear that these [exclusive representation] laws are unconstitutional, and we hope the Court will recognize them as such.” The formal appeal, known as a petition for writ of certiorari, can be read here. The opposing parties have 30 days to file a brief in response. On average, the court acts on an appeal within about six weeks of its filing.

What we’ve been reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 58 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 January 17, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart January 17, 2020.png

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

Union Station partisan chart January 17, 2020.png

Recent legislative actions

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

  • Kentucky HB231: This bill would allow public-sector employees to form, join, and assist labor unions.
    • Referred to House State Government Committee Jan. 13.
  • Kentucky HB251: This bill would eliminate existing state laws restricting the rights of public-sector employees to form, join, and participate in unions. This bill would allow public employers to make agreements with labor unions requiring union membership as a condition of employment.
    • Introduced Jan. 13; referred to House Economic Development and Workforce Investment Committee Jan. 15.
  • Maine LD900: This bill authorizes certain classes of public-sector employees to strike.
    • Hearing scheduled Jan. 15.
  • Pennsylvania HB785: This bill would require public employers to inform non-union employees and new employees that they do not have to join or pay fees to a union as a condition of employment
    • Removed from table Jan. 14.
  • Tennessee HJR0687: This bill proposes a constitutional amendment making it unlawful for the state and any of its subdivisions, as well as any person, corporation, or association, to make union participation a condition of employment.
    • Introduced and referred to House Consumer and Human Resources Committee Jan. 14.
  • Vermont H0700: This bill would require employers to provide unions with employee contact information. It would provide for automatic deduction of union dues from members’ paychecks. It would allow unions to meet with new employees to provide them with information about union membership. It would also prohibit recipients of state funds from interfering with union organizing efforts.
    • Introduced and referred to House General, House, and Military Affairs Committee Jan. 15; hearing scheduled Jan. 16.
  • Virginia SB939: This bill would permit local governments to recognize unions as bargaining agents for public-sector workers.
    • Introduced and referred to Senate Labor and Commerce Committee Jan. 13.
  • Washington HB1333: This bill would alter the definition of a public employee under the state’s public employee’s collective bargaining law.
    • Reintroduced and retained in present status Jan. 13.
  • Washington HB1452: This bill would extend collective bargaining rights to employees of the legislative branch of state government.
    • Reintroduced and retained in present status Jan. 13.
  • Washington HB1845: This bill would establish that payroll deduction authorizations must be made directly by employees to employers on at least a biannual basis.
    • Reintroduced and retained in present status Jan. 13.
  • Washington HB2017: This bill would establish collective bargaining rights for administrative law judges.
    • Reintroduced and retained in present status Jan. 13.
  • Washington SB5623: This bill would declare that public employers and public-sector unions are not liable for claims involving agency fees paid to unions prior to Janus.
    • Reintroduced and retained in present status Jan. 13.
  • Washington SB5691: This bill would extend collective bargaining rights to employees of the legislative branch of state government.
    • Reintroduced and retained in present status Jan. 13.
  • Washington SB6224: This bill would establish collective bargaining rights for administrative law judges.
    • Reintroduced and retained in present status Jan. 13.


House delivers articles of impeachment to Senate

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
January 16, 2020: The U.S. House delivered two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. The Iowa Democratic Party will release three sets of election results following the Feb. 3 caucuses. blank    blankblank   


State Spotlight - Nevada

Notable Quote of the Day

“To better understand which candidates did well or poorly Tuesday night, we plotted how favorably respondents rated the candidates before the debate vs. how debate-watchers rated candidates’ performances afterward — and Elizabeth Warren, in particular, seemed to have a breakout evening according to this metric. She not only received the highest marks for her debate performance, but her scores were high even relative to her pre-debate favorability rating.

That said, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden also received medium-to-high marks for their performances, but because of their relatively high pre-debate favorability ratings, we expected a lot of voters to already be predisposed to viewing their debate performances in a positive light. So while they still did pretty well on the debate stage, they didn’t exceed expectations the way Warren did. Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer, on the other hand, tied for the lowest overall debate grades, putting them only barely above where we’d expect them to be given their pre-debate favorability ratings.”

– Aaron Bycoffe, Sarah Frostenson, and Julia Wolfe, FiveThirtyEight

Democrats

Republicans

Flashback: January 16, 2016

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz spoke at the South Carolina Tea Party Conference.blank

Click here for more information.



Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: January 11-17, 2020

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.

State Spotlight

Notable Quotes of the Week

“To better understand which candidates did well or poorly Tuesday night, we plotted how favorably respondents rated the candidates before the debate vs. how debate-watchers rated candidates’ performances afterward — and Elizabeth Warren, in particular, seemed to have a breakout evening according to this metric. She not only received the highest marks for her debate performance, but her scores were high even relative to her pre-debate favorability rating.

That said, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden also received medium-to-high marks for their performances, but because of their relatively high pre-debate favorability ratings, we expected a lot of voters to already be predisposed to viewing their debate performances in a positive light. So while they still did pretty well on the debate stage, they didn’t exceed expectations the way Warren did. Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer, on the other hand, tied for the lowest overall debate grades, putting them only barely above where we’d expect them to be given their pre-debate favorability ratings.”

– Aaron Bycoffe, Sarah Frostenson, and Julia Wolfe, FiveThirtyEight

“Voters will head to the polls to cast the first in-person ballots in the Democratic presidential primary season on Friday — but not in Iowa’s famous first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Thanks to generous early-voting laws, Iowa’s neighbor to the north, Minnesota, has the distinction of offering the first chance for any voter to turn out and cast a ballot in the 2020 presidential campaign. …

Minnesota’s early voting is a reminder that even though most observers are counting down until Iowa, some votes will be cast before then, no matter what strategies or surprises the candidates and the political fates have in store during the next few weeks.”

– Alex Seitz-Wald, NBC News

Week in Review

Impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump began on Thursday after the impeachment managers from the U.S. House of Representatives presented two articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate.

Chief Justice John Roberts and 99 senators—including Michael BennetAmy KlobucharBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren— were sworn in.

Democrats debate childcare, healthcare in Iowa

Six Democratic presidential candidates debated Tuesday night in Iowa: Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren.

The candidates discussed foreign policy, trade, electability, healthcare, childcare, climate change, and impeachment. Warren had the most speaking time at 18.9 minutes. Steyer spoke the least at 12.4 minutes.

For highlights from the debate for each candidate, click here.

Booker ends presidential campaign

Cory Booker ended his presidential campaign on Monday. “Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win—money we don’t have, and money that is harder to raise because I won’t be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington,” he said in a statement.

Bloomberg meets with Democratic lawmakers, nets three congressional endorsements this week

Michael Bloomberg met with members of the Congressional Hispanic, Asian Pacific American, and Black caucuses on Thursday. He also spoke with representatives in the New Democrats and Blue Dog Coalition.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), the co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, and Rep. Harley Rouda (Calif.) endorsed Bloomberg on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

He received his first congressional endorsement from Rep. Max Rose (N.Y.) on Monday.

Three sets of Iowa results will be released

The Iowa Democratic Party will release three election results following the Feb. 3 caucuses: the number of delegates each candidate received, the first vote of caucusgoers, and the final vote that features only viable candidates who crossed the 15 percent threshold after caucusgoers realigned their votes in the caucus process.

In the past, only the delegate totals were made public.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Analilia Mejia is a government and political affairs strategist with experience in union and worker advocacy and organizing primarily in the New Jersey area. Mejia received her bachelor’s degree as well as two master’s degrees—public policy and labor relations—from Rutgers University.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2012: New Jersey Democratic State Committee, Latino vote director
  • 2009: New Jersey Democratic State Committee, deputy Latino vote director

Other experience:

  • 2014-2019: New Jersey Working Families Alliance, executive director
  • 2009-2014: Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
    • 2011-2014: Political director (New Jersey; multi-state northern region), SEIU Local 32BJ
    • 2009-2011: Assistant director of politics and policy, SEIU
  • 2007-2009: UNITE HERE, assistant political director (Chicago)
  • 2003-2007: New Jersey Immigration Policy Network, director of policy and government affairs

What she says about Sanders: “No other candidate has consistently fought for organized labor as a building block for the middle class like @BernieSanders Period. Full stop. #UnionStrong”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: January 13-17, 2016

  • January 13, 2016: As part of a $4.6 million ad buy, Jeb Bush released an ad focused on drug policy and his daughter’s experience with addiction.
  • January 14, 2016: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump participated in a Fox Business Network primary debate in South Carolina. Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum met in the undercard debate.
  • January 15, 2016: Lindsey Graham endorsed Jeb Bush.
  • January 16, 2016: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz spoke at the South Carolina Tea Party Conference.
  • January 17, 2016: Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, and Bernie Sanders participated in the fourth Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina.

Trivia Corner

What is the latest month in which a major party held a presidential nominating convention?



Bloomberg meets lawmakers on Capitol Hill, nets two more congressional endorsements

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
January 17, 2020: Michael Bloomberg met with members of several congressional caucuses on Thursday. Michael Bennet, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren were sworn in as jurors in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.        

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

Daily Presidential News Briefing, Staffer Spotlight - Analilia Mejia

Analilia Mejia is a government and political affairs strategist with experience in union and worker advocacy and organizing primarily in the New Jersey area. Mejia received her bachelor’s degree as well as two master’s degrees—public policy and labor relations—from Rutgers University.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2012: New Jersey Democratic State Committee, Latino vote director
  • 2009: New Jersey Democratic State Committee, deputy Latino vote director

Other experience:

  • 2014-2019: New Jersey Working Families Alliance, executive director
  • 2009-2014: Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
    • 2011-2014: Political director (New Jersey; multi-state northern region), SEIU Local 32BJ
    • 2009-2011: Assistant director of politics and policy, SEIU
  • 2007-2009: UNITE HERE, assistant political director (Chicago)
  • 2003-2007: New Jersey Immigration Policy Network, director of policy and government affairs

What she says about Sanders:

“No other candidate has consistently fought for organized labor as a building block for the middle class like @BernieSanders Period. Full stop. #UnionStrong”

Notable Quote of the Day

“Voters will head to the polls to cast the first in-person ballots in the Democratic presidential primary season on Friday — but not in Iowa’s famous first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Thanks to generous early-voting laws, Iowa’s neighbor to the north, Minnesota, has the distinction of offering the first chance for any voter to turn out and cast a ballot in the 2020 presidential campaign. …

Minnesota’s early voting is a reminder that even though most observers are counting down until Iowa, some votes will be cast before then, no matter what strategies or surprises the candidates and the political fates have in store during the next few weeks.”

– Alex Seitz-Wald, NBC News

Democrats

  • Michael BennetAmy KlobucharBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren were sworn in as jurors in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump on Thursday.
  • Rep. Terri Sewell (Ala.) endorsed Joe Biden on Friday, marking his eleventh endorsement from a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Biden is campaigning in Iowa on Friday and Saturday with stops in Sioux City, Council Bluffs, and Indianola.
  • Michael Bloomberg met with members of the Congressional Hispanic, Asian Pacific American, and Black caucuses on Thursday. He also spoke with representatives in the New Democrats and Blue Dog Coalition. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), the co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition, and Rep. Harley Rouda (Calif.) endorsed Bloomberg. On Saturday, Bloomberg will campaign in Salt Lake City.
  • The Pete Buttigieg campaign reached an agreement with field organizers and regional organizing directors represented by IBEW Local 2321. Buttigieg will campaign in Iowa on Saturday.
  • John Delaney continues to campaign in Iowa with stops in Tama on Saturday and Washington on Sunday.
  • Tulsi Gabbard will campaign in New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday with town halls in Merrimack and Milford.
  • Klobuchar is attending the Iowa State Educators Association forum in West Des Moines on Saturday. She will campaign in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines on Sunday.
  • Deval Patrick is opening his South Carolina campaign headquarters in Columbia on Saturday.
  • Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.), the chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, endorsed Sanders on Thursday. Sanders is holding a town hall and rally in New Hampshire on Saturday.
  • Tom Steyer is campaigning in South Carolina on Saturday with stops in Hartsville and Florence.
  • Andrew Yang will begin a bus tour of Iowa beginning with the Iowa City Women’s March on Saturday.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump’s impeachment trial began on Thursday as Chief Justice John Roberts and the U.S. senators were sworn in as the presiding officer and jurors, respectively. Mike Pence held a Latinos for Trump event in Kissimmee, Florida, on Thursday.
  • HuffPost interviewed Joe Walsh about his campaign on Thursday. He also discussed the impeachment trial on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper.
  • Bill Weld is campaigning in Concord, New Hampshire, on Friday and Saturday.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: January 17, 2016

Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, and Bernie Sanders participated in the fourth Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina.



Dems debate healthcare, electability in Iowa

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
January 15, 2020: Six Democratic presidential candidates debated Tuesday night in Iowa. Rep. Max Rose endorsed Michael Bloomberg. blank    blankblank   


Presidential Facebook ads, 2019-2020 (January 5-11, 2020)

Notable Quotes of the Day

“ To me — and definitely according to the FiveThirtyEight primary forecast and recent Iowa polls — Iowa is very much up for grabs, and I don’t think that tonight was anything like the game changer needed to fundamentally reshape the race. Basically, all the candidates seemed to have their moments, but if you are an Iowa caucusgoer waiting for something to break the logjam or convince you that someone is more or less competitive versus Trump, I don’t think you saw it.”

– Dan Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania political science professor

“One thing I was thinking about was that the ideological lanes are now clearer. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg are competing in Joe Biden’s moderate/establishment lane, although both are pretty far behind him (Klobuchar even further behind than Buttigieg). Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are still competing for the ‘left’ lane of the party. The other lanes I thought would emerge have mostly disappeared.

I’m not sure where this leaves Tom Steyer, but I’m not sure it matters.

I guess that’s not specifically about Iowa, per se, but one implication of what I’ve laid out is that those may be the stakes of the contest. Or there may be two winners — one in the moderate lane and one in the liberal one — in the sense that those lanes are still both up for grabs and vying for dominance.”

– Julia Azari, Marquette University political science professor

Debate Night

Six Democratic presidential candidates debated Tuesday night in Iowa: Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren.

The candidates discussed foreign policy, trade, electability, healthcare, childcare, climate change, and impeachment. Warren had the most speaking time at 18.9 minutes. Steyer spoke the least at 12.4 minutes. 

For highlights from the debate for each candidate, click here.

Democrats

  • Michael Bennet wrote an op-ed in The Des Moines Register about creating a broad coalition of support and appealing to Pivot County voters—individuals who backed Barack Obama twice before voting for Donald Trump.

  • Rep. Tom Malinowski (N.J.) endorsed Biden on Tuesday. The Unite the County super PAC launched a statewide ad in Iowa featuring Biden’s criticism of Trump’s handling of Iran. The $2 million ad buy is running through Feb. 3.

  • The progressive group Organize for Justice is spending more than $500,000 on digital ads against Biden and Buttigieg.

  • Michael Bloomberg received his first congressional endorsement from Rep. Max Rose (N.Y.).  In a new climate proposal, Bloomberg called for requiring all new buildings to have zero-carbon emissions by 2025.

  • John Delaney launched a new ad in Iowa during the Democratic primary debate on Tuesday highlighting his campaign travel in the state.

  • Tulsi Gabbard continues to campaign in New Hampshire with a stop in Derry on Wednesday.

  • The Clark County Education Association, the largest teachers union in Nevada, endorsed Sanders on Tuesday.

  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (Texas), the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, endorsed Warren on Tuesday.

  • Andrew Yang participated in ABC News’ “Around the Table” series with three undecided voters.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump flew an aerial banner and ran a newspaper ad in The Des Moines Register during the Democratic presidential primary debate. He discussed trade, impeachment, and the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani during his Milwaukee rally.

Flashback: January 15, 2016

Lindsey Graham endorsed Jeb Bush.

Click here to learn more.



Booker ends presidential campaign

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
January 14, 2020: Cory Booker ended his presidential campaign on Monday. Six Democrats are participating in the seventh presidential primary debate. Donald Trump rallies in Milwaukee.


Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (Fox News • South Carolina • January 5-8, 2020)
Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (Selzer & Co. • Iowa • January 2-8, 2020)

Notable Quotes of the Day

“The honest truth is, I think the candidates have been pretty gentle with each other.”

– Howard Dean, former Democratic National Committee chairman

“We’re in a stage where people are in a civilized world say that they’re highlighting contrast, which is a polite way of saying attacking the stuffing out of each other.”

–  Philippe Reines, Democratic consultant

Democrats

  • Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren are participating in the seventh Democratic presidential primary debate on Tuesday. The event is taking place at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, at 9 p.m. ET.

  • The Gazette profiled Michael Bennet’s presidential campaign and strategy on Monday.

  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.), who previously backed Beto O’Rourke, endorsed Biden on Monday. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller also endorsed Biden.

  • The Washington Post profiled the reach of Michael Bloomberg’s national campaign. Bloomberg began airing ads focused on healthcare on Monday.

  • Cory Booker ended his presidential campaign on Monday. “Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win—money we don’t have, and money that is harder to raise because I won’t be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington,” he said in a statement.

  • John Delaney is campaigning in Iowa with stops in Humeston and Osceola on Tuesday.

  • Tulsi Gabbard begins five days of town halls in New Hampshire on Tuesday, starting with a Concord event featuring Dennis Kucinich.

  • Deval Patrick will air a new ad in New Hampshire, “American Dream,” during the presidential debate on Tuesday night.

  • Sanders began airing a new ad in Iowa featuring a speech by President John F. Kennedy.

  • Andrew Yang spoke at Drake University on Monday about automation and climate change.

  • Priorities USA is launching a $150 million anti-Trump ad campaign that will begin airing in Wisconsin in February and Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan in March.

Republicans

Flashback: January 14, 2016

Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump participated in a Fox Business Network primary debate in South Carolina. Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum met in the undercard debate.blank

Click here to learn more.



Donor disclosure legislation in 2019: the year in review

This month, legislative sessions in 37 states either have convened or will convene. Another six will convene in February. But before we embark on our weekly journey through the 2020 legislative sessions, let’s take a look back on 2019.

Legislatures in 33 states considered 74 donor disclosure bills in 2019. New York led the way with 10 bills, 13.5 percent of the total. The following states each considered at least two donor disclosure bills in 2019:

  • Minnesota and Missouri: 5 each
  • Connecticut: 4
  • Montana, New Hampshire, Utah, and Washington: 3 each
  • Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia: 2 each.

Democrats sponsored 35 bills – 47.3 percent of the total. Republicans sponsored 22 bills, or 29.7 percent of the total. The remainder were sponsored either on a bipartisan basis or by committees.

These 16 bills, 21.6 percent of the total, were enacted:

  • Colorado SB068: Expands the definition of an electioneering communication for the purposes of campaign finance disclosure.
  • Georgia SB213: Adjusts contribution thresholds triggering disclosure requirements
  • Idaho S1113: Expands existing disclosure requirements to local elections and campaigns.
  • Mississippi HB1205: Prohibits public agencies from requiring or releasing certain personal information from entities organized under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • New Hampshire SB105: Establishes disclosure requirements for certain contributions made to inaugural committees.
  • New Jersey S1500: Requires disclosure of donors to 501(c)(4)s, super PACs, and other similar entities who contribute $10,000 or more.
  • New Mexico SB3: Expands disclosure requirements for groups making independent expenditures for political purposes.
  • North Dakota HB1037: Re-enacts previously rescinded disclosure requirements for contributions made to ballot measure campaigns.
  • South Dakota SB114: Requires that campaign contributions by minors be attributed to their parents for campaign finance disclosure and reporting purposes.
  • Utah HB0131: Requires political issues committees to disclose certain contributions within three days of receipt.
  • Utah HB0319: Establishes disclosure requirements for entities spending money on ballot proposition advertisements.
  • Virginia HB1719: Extends the provisions of the state’s Campaign Finance Disclosure Act to candidates for local office who accept contributions or make expenditures in excess of $25,000.
  • Washington HB1379: Amends a state law requiring that entities producing political advertisements publicly disclose their top five donors.
  • West Virginia SB622: Makes general revisions to the state’s campaign finance disclosure laws.
  • Wyoming SF0018: Makes general revisions to the state’s campaign finance and disclosure laws.

One bill was vetoed in 2019: New Hampshire SB156, which would have required that political contributions from limited liability companies be allocated to individual members in order to determine whether individuals have exceeded contribution limits. The remaining 57 bills (77.0 percent of the total) either died at the end of 2019 or were carried over to 2020 sessions.

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state: We’re currently tracking 34 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 January 13, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Disclosure Digest status chart January 13, 2020.png

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

Disclosure Digest partisan chart January 13, 2020.png

Recent legislative actions

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

  • Michigan SB0704: This bill would require that an independent or political committee making contributions to the campaign committee of a judge or supreme court justice disclose (a) whether that committee is primarily funded by a limited liability company and, (b), if so, the name and address of that company.
    • Introduced and referred to Senate Elections Committee Jan. 8.
  • New Hampshire HB1525: This bill would alter the definition of a political advocacy organization for the purposes of campaign finance reporting.
    • Introduced and referred to House Election Law Committee Jan. 8.
  • New York A01822: This bill would regulate disclosure requirements for contributions facilitated by intermediaries.
    • Referred to Assembly Election Law Committee Jan. 8.
  • New York A03450: This bill would establish disclosure regulations for campaign contributions made via text message.
    • Referred to Assembly Election Law Committee Jan. 8.
  • New York A03727: This bill would establish disclosure requirements for certain political contributions from elected statewide officials, state legislators, and New York City officials.
    • Referred to Assembly Governmental Operations Committee Jan. 8.
  • New York A05490: This bill would establish disclosure requirements for inaugural and transition committees.
    • Referred to Assembly Election Law Committee Jan. 8.
  • New York S00488: This bill would regulate disclosure requirements for contributions facilitated by intermediaries.
    • Referred to Senate Elections Committee Jan. 8.
  • New York S02334: This bill would regulate disclosure requirements for contributions facilitated by intermediaries.
    • Referred to Senate Elections Committee Jan. 8.
  • New York S02967: This bill would require district attorney candidates to disclose to the board of elections any contributions received from law firms or attorneys representing defendants in criminal proceedings in any court in the state.
    • Referred to Senate Elections Committee Jan. 8.
  • New York S03073: This bill would require campaign finance reports to include information on contributors’ occupations and, in select cases, contributors’ employers’ information.
    • Referred to Senate Elections Committee Jan. 8.
  • Virginia HB849: This bill would subject political campaign communications made via online platforms to the same disclosure requirements currently applied to print media, television, and radio advertisements.
    • Introduced and referred to House Committee on Privileges and Elections Jan. 8.
  • West Virginia HB4073: This bill would require any caucus committee to disclose the receipt of all contributions, including sources and amounts, within five days of receipt when the contribution occurs during any legislative session.
    • Introduced and referred to House Judiciary Committee Jan. 9.
  • West Virginia SB27: This bill would require that a political action committee disclose the names and addresses of its contributors to the secretary of state.
    • Introduced and referred to Senate Judiciary Committee Jan. 8.
  • West Virginia SB113: This bill expands disclosure requirements for covered transfers, which are defined as any transfers or payments of funds from one person to another for campaign-related disbursements (i.e., independent expenditures consisting of public or electioneering communications).
    • Introduced and referred to Senate Judiciary Committee Jan. 8.


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