CategoryNewsletters

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.


Ninth Circuit rules public-sector unions not liable for fees paid prior to Janus

On Dec. 26, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that public-sector unions cannot be required to refund fees paid prior to Janus v. AFSCME. In Janus, the U.S. Supreme Court held that compulsory collection of union fees violates workers’ free-speech and associational rights.

Who are the parties to the suit? The plaintiffs are Dale Danielson, Benjamin Rast, and Tamara Roberson, all Washington state employees. The defendants are Gov. Jay Inslee (D), David Schumacher, Director of Washington State Office of Financial Management, and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 28.

What is at issue? The plaintiffs first filed their class-action lawsuit on March 15, 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. In their original filing, the plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of compulsory fee collection and sought refunds of “all agency fees that were unlawfully collected from Plaintiffs and their fellow class members.” On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. In light of Janus, AFSCME Council 28 requested that the district court dismiss the suit as moot. The district court granted this request. The plaintiffs appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

How did the court rule? On Dec. 26, a three-judge panel of the appeals court unanimously affirmed the district court’s decision. Judge Jacqueline Nguyen wrote the court’s opinion, which was joined by Judges Ronald Gould and Gregory Presnell. Nguyen wrote, “Throughout the country, public sector employees brought claims for monetary relief against the unions pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Many unions asserted a good faith defense in response. Joining a growing consensus, the district court here ruled in favor of the union. We affirm and hold that private parties may invoke an affirmative defense of good faith to retrospective monetary liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, where they acted in direct reliance on then-binding Supreme Court precedent and presumptively-valid state law.”

Nguyen was appointed to the court by President Barack Obama (D). Gould and Presnell were appointed by President Bill Clinton (D).

Case information: The case name and number are Danielson v. Inslee (3:18-cv-05206- RJB).

What we’ve been reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 49 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 10, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart January 10, 2020.png

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

Union Station partisan chart January 10, 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.

  • Maine LD1960: This bill would make communications between municipal/state workers and their unions confidential in proceedings before the Maine Labor Relations Board.
    • Introduced and referred to Judiciary Committee Jan. 8.
  • Missouri HB1906: This bill would require public employees to provide annual written or electronic authorization for payroll deductions of union dues.
    • Introduced Jan. 8.
  • New Hampshire HB1290: This bill would require the state public employee labor relations board to permit employees to vote by mail in certification elections.
    • Introduced and referred to House Labor, Industrial, and Rehabilitative Services Committee Jan. 8.
  • New Hampshire HB1322: This bill would prohibit university system funds from being used to oppose the formation of unions.
    • Introduced and referred to House Labor, Industrial, and Rehabilitative Services Committee Jan. 8.
  • New Hampshire HB1399: This bill would allow a bargaining unit to request certification of its union/representative.
    • Introduced and referred to House Labor, Industrial, and Rehabilitative Services Committee Jan. 8.
  • New Hampshire HB1554: This bill would provide for changes to public employee voting in certification elections.
    • Introduced and referred to House Labor, Industrial, and Rehabilitative Services Committee Jan. 8.
  • New Hampshire SB448: This bill would require the state public employee labor relations board to certify a union as a bargaining unit’s exclusive representative if that union receives a “majority written authorization.”
    • Introduced and referred to Senate Commerce Committee Jan. 8.
  • Virginia HB327: This bill would allow state and local government employers to recognize any union as the bargaining agent of any public employees.
    • Introduced Jan. 1.
  • Virginia HB582: This bill would repeal the existing prohibition against collective bargaining by public employees.
    • Introduced Jan. 1


Bold Justice: Here’s to a new year—and new cases!

We #SCOTUS, so you don’t have to

Arguments

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in five 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 13

 

  • In Lucky Brand Dungarees v. Marcel Fashion Group, apparel companies Marcel Fashion Group, Inc. (“Marcel”) and Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc. (“Lucky Brand”) filed several lawsuits against each other for trademark infringement. In 2011, Marcel sued Lucky Brand a third time for trademark infringement. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled a previous lawsuit barred Marcel from suing Lucky Brand. On appeal, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision.

    On remand, Lucky Brand moved to dismiss the suit, arguing a previous legal settlement agreement barred Marcel from suing Lucky Brand. The district court agreed, dismissing the case. Marcel appealed to the 2nd Circuit, which vacated the Southern District of New York’s ruling and remanded the case a second time.

    Lucky Brand appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing the 2nd Circuit’s decision conflicted with decisions from other circuit courts on similar issues.

    The issue: Whether, when a plaintiff asserts new claims, federal preclusion principles—which are intended to prevent the same issue or claim from being relitigated between the same parties—can bar a defendant from raising defenses that were not actually litigated and resolved in any prior case between the parties.

  • In Thole v. U.S. Bank, James Thole and Sherry Smith sued U.S. Bank over its management of a defined benefit pension plan. Thole and Smith alleged the bank violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and engaged in prohibited transactions, causing the plan to become underfunded.

    U.S. Bank sought to dismiss the case, arguing the plaintiffs did not have the legal right to sue and the statute of limitations had run out on the ERISA claims. The district court dismissed in part and granted in part U.S. Bank’s motion.

    In 2014, the plan became overfunded. The district court dismissed the case as moot. Thole and Smith appealed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the district court’s ruling.

    The plaintiffs then petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, arguing the 8th Circuit’s ruling conflicted with other circuit court decisions.

    The issues:
    (1) May an ERISA plan participant or beneficiary seek injunctive relief against fiduciary misconduct under 29 U.S.C. 1132(a)(3) without demonstrating actual or imminent financial loss?

    (2) May an ERISA plan participant or beneficiary seek restoration of plan losses caused by fiduciary breach under 29 U.S.C. 1132(a)(2) demonstrating actual or imminent financial loss?

    (3) Whether petitioners have demonstrated Article III standing.

    29 U.S.C. 1132(a) deals with civil enforcement and says a participant or beneficiary can bring civil action to recover benefits, enforce or clarify rights, or ask for “appropriate relief.” 

 

January 14

  • In Kelly v. United States, William Baroni and Bridget Kelly were convicted of defrauding federally funded programs, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, and conspiracy against civil rights.

    Baroni and Kelly allegedly participated in a scheme to reduce local traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge, which spans Fort Lee, New Jersey, and New York City, to punish Fort Lee’s mayor for refusing to endorse Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) 2013 re-election bid. The alleged scheme became known as “Bridgegate.”

    Baroni and Kelly appealed their convictions to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. The 3rd Circuit affirmed the fraud convictions but reversed and vacated the civil rights convictions.

    Kelly appealed the 3rd Circuit’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing the 3rd Circuit decision conflicted with U.S. Supreme Court precedent and decisions from other circuit courts.

    The issue: Does a public official “defraud” the government of its property by advancing a “public policy reason” for an official decision that is not her subjective “real reason” for making the decision?

 

 

  • Romag Fasteners v. Fossil concerns federal trademark law. Romag Fasteners, Inc., sued Fossil for patent and trademark infringement in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. A jury found Fossil guilty of unintentional patent and trademark infringement. The jury decided Fossil should pay more than $6.8 million in profits to Romag.

    In a separate trial, the district court ruled Romag was not entitled to receive profits because Fossil’s infringement was unintentional.

    On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that the infringement was unintentional.

    Romag appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the court to clarify a circuit court split on requiring proof of willful infringement for rewarding profits.

    The issue: Whether, under section 35 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), willful infringement is a prerequisite for an award of an infringer’s profits for a violation of section 43(a), id. § 1125(a).

    The Lanham Act provides for a national system of trademark registration and trademark protection for federally registered marks.

 

January 15

  • In Babb v. Wilkie, Dr. Noris Babb, a pharmacist working at the VA Medical Center in Bay Pines, Florida, sued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) secretary, alleging age and gender discrimination and a hostile work environment. The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida rejected Babb’s claims, granting summary judgment to the VA secretary.

    On appeal, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s ruling on Babb’s gender discrimination claim and affirmed the district court’s ruling on Babb’s age discrimination and hostile work environment claims. The court remanded the case.

    Babb petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for review, arguing the 11th Circuit’s decision disadvantaged federal employees bringing discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967.

    The issue: Whether the federal-sector provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which provides that personnel actions affecting agency employees aged 40 years or older shall be made free from any “discrimination based on age,” 29 U.S.C. §633a(a), requires a plaintiff to prove that age was a but-for cause of the challenged personnel action.

    But-for causation indicates that but for an action, the result would not have happened.

 

 

Upcoming SCOTUS dates

Here are upcoming dates of interest in January:

  • January 13: 
    • SCOTUS will release orders.
    • SCOTUS will hear arguments in two cases.
  • January 14: SCOTUS will hear arguments in two cases.
  • January 15: SCOTUS will hear arguments in one case.
  • January 17: SCOTUS will conference. A conference is a private meeting of the justices.

SCOTUS trivia

The Supreme Court originally had only six justices. Your question for the week: Who was the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court?

  1. John Jay
  2. Alexander Hamilton
  3. Richard Henry Lee
  4. John Adams

Choose an answer to find out!

Federal court action

Confirmations

The Senate has confirmed 15 nominees since our December 9 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 has announced four new Article III nominees since our December 9 edition.

The president has announced 238 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.

Federal Judicial nominations by month

Vacancies

The federal judiciary currently has 81 vacancies. As of publication, there were 16 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 has not reported any new nominees out of committee since our December 9 edition.

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.

Court in the spotlight

In each issue of Bold Justice, we highlight a federal court you should know more about. Right now, we’re taking a closer look at the 94 U.S. District Courts. The district courts are the general trial courts of the U.S. federal court system.

There is at least one judicial district for each state, and one each for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.  

In this edition, we’re visiting the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. The District of New Jersey has original jurisdiction over cases filed in New Jersey. Decisions of the court may be appealed to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

The District of New Jersey has 17 authorized judgeships. There are currently six vacancies. The breakdown of current active judges by appointing president is:

  • George W. Bush (R): Four judges
  • Barack Obama (D): Seven judges


Williamson ends presidential campaign

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
January 13, 2020: Marianne Williamson ended her presidential campaign on Friday. Tom Steyer has the largest staff in South Carolina.

 

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

Notable Quotes of the Day

“It would surprise me if an underdog won. At this point, it would be near-impossible for someone to beat Biden, Warren, Buttigieg and Sanders, given their campaign and field operation. The other surprising thing could be the number of voters who are unaffiliated with a party who take Democratic ballots in the open primary. That will go up significantly, and if not, that would be very surprising.”

– Melanie Levesque, New Hampshire state senator

“At this point in 2016, Sanders was at 50 percent in the polls. He ended up winning with about 61 percent. Now he’s in the mid-20s. That’s a pretty significant loss of support, yet the media seems to think he is doing well. The media is also missing the potential that there may be no clear winner here. Any candidate who finishes with more than 15 percent of the vote picks up delegates under the party rules. Let’s say there are four people who win delegates, then we’re on to Nevada and South Carolina!”

– Kathy Sullivan, former New Hampshire Democratic Party chairwoman

Democrats

  • Michael Bennet campaigned in New Hampshire on Sunday with stops in Manchester and Bedford.

  • Rep. Colin Allred (Texas), who previously backed Julián Castro, endorsed Joe Biden on Monday.

  • Michael Bloomberg wrote an op-ed for CNN on the primary calendar, critiquing Iowa’s and New Hampshire’s status as the first states to vote.

  • Rep. Dave Loebsack (Iowa) endorsed Pete Buttigieg on Sunday.

  • John Delaney continues to campaign in Iowa with stops in Griswold and Cumberland on Monday.

  • Tulsi Gabbard will campaign in South Carolina on Monday with a stop in Lexington.

  • Amy Klobuchar launched a six-figure ad campaign in Iowa for three versions of a clip called “People.” Two ads feature state Sen. Liz Mathis and state Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines.

  • Deval Patrick raised $2.2 million in the last six weeks of the fourth quarter of 2019.

  • SEA/SEIU Local 1984 in New Hampshire endorsed Bernie Sanders, splitting from its national affiliate which has remained neutral in the primary.

  • With 82 paid staffers, Tom Steyer has the largest staff in South Carolina, according to a survey by The Post and CourierSanders and Buttigieg followed with 72 and 50 staffers, respectively.

  • Elizabeth Warren discussed defense spending and military issues in an interview with Task and Purpose.

  • Marianne Williamson ended her presidential campaign on Friday. “The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don’t want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them,” she said in a statement.

  • Andrew Yang is holding town halls in Iowa on Monday and Tuesday. Stops include Newton, Des Moines, and Ames.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump discussed the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and impeachment in an interview on Fox News on Friday. McClatchy DC profiled the Trump campaign’s microtargeting of undecided women voters.

  • Bill Weld will speak at an economic forum sponsored by the Community College System of New Hampshire on Tuesday.

Flashback: 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.blank

Click here to learn more.



Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: January 4-10, 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

“But past presidential cycles may well look more predictable in hindsight than they were in real time. …

For example, few look back on 2012 as a highly suspenseful cycle. But eight years ago, it was far from clear that Obama would win a second term. In mid-December 2011, his approval in the Gallup Poll was just 42%, 3 points lower than the latest Trump reading in the Gallup this month.

Back then, on the Republican side, half a dozen contenders topped the polls for at least a week or two late in 2011 and it took months to winnow the field. The nomination fell to Mitt Romney, who ran a creditable race and had a plausible scenario for winning through October. On election night, his staff was so confident that they did not even prepare a concession speech in case he lost.”

– Ron Elving, NPR News

“In the new year, with the caucuses rapidly approaching, no candidate (save for Delaney) is embarking on an Iowa-or-bust strategy. Back in 2008, between Dec. 1 and the caucuses on Jan. 3, the top candidates spent at least 23 of the campaign’s final 34 days in Iowa. But this month, Buttigieg isn’t scheduled to return until Jan. 12, and in the meantime has spent three days in the Super Tuesday state of Texas. After a couple of days in Iowa at the start of the year, Klobuchar went to Nevada and New Hampshire. Sanders left last Sunday and won’t be back until this Saturday. For the first half of the month, Warren is campaigning in the state only on the weekends, while last Tuesday she held a rally with Julián Castro in New York. Biden hasn’t been to Iowa since Sunday, relying for now on a bus tour of surrogates.”

– Bill ScherPolitico

Week in Review

Steyer sixth candidate to qualify for Jan. 14 debate

Six candidates have qualified for the Democratic presidential primary debate on Jan. 14: Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren.

Steyer qualified late Thursday after two Fox News polls in South Carolina and Nevada showed him at 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Wolf Blitzer, Abby Phillip, and Brianne Pfannenstiel will moderate the event at Drake University in Iowa. The deadline to qualify is Friday.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said that the debate would be rescheduled if it conflicted with the impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.

Trump, Sanders top Q4 fundraising

Year-end financial reports are due Jan. 31 to the Federal Election Commission. Several candidates have released their fourth-quarter numbers early:

Donald Trump topped all Democrats, bringing in $46 million in the fourth quarter. This total surpasses Barack Obama’s fourth-quarter haul in 2011 by $4 million.

Trump, Bloomberg spend $10M each on Superbowl ads

Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg are both spending $10 million each on 60 seconds of airtime during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.

The first voting contest of the year takes place the following day in Iowa on Feb. 3.

Bloomberg has also expanded his campaign staff to 800 employees, hiring 500 organizers and staff members in more than 30 states across the country. Another 300 staffers work at his national headquarters in New York City.

Congressional endorsements take center stage

Reps. Chrissy Houlahan and Conor Lamb—both from battleground districts in Pennsylvania—and Elaine Luria (Va.) endorsed Joe Biden on Sunday.

Rep. Anthony Brown (Md.) endorsed Pete Buttigieg on Thursday. Brown, the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus to back Buttigieg, will serve as his campaign’s first national co-chair.

Bernie Sanders is holding several campaign events in Iowa on Saturday and Sunday with Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ro Khanna.

Over the weekend, Elizabeth Warren is also holding campaign events in Iowa with former 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro and Rep. Katie Porter.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Gabrielle Farrell is a Democratic staffer with experience in political communication. She previously worked as press secretary on Warren’s 2018 U.S. Senate campaign. Farrell received a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College in 2012 and a master’s from Northeastern University in 2017.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2018 Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) U.S. Senate campaign, press secretary
  • 2017 Martin Walsh (Mass.) Boston mayoral campaign, press secretary

Other experience:

  • 2018: New Hampshire Democratic Party, director of communications
  • 2016-2017: Boston Public Schools, deputy chief of staff, communications
  • 2014-2016: Office of Mayor Martin J. Walsh
    • 2015-2016: Associate press secretary
    • 2014-2015: Press assistant
  • 2012-2014: Project Bread
    • 2013-2014: External affairs associate
    • 2012-2013: Communications associate

What We’re Reading

Flashback: January 6-10, 2016

  • January 6, 2016Gary Johnson, who previously served as the Republican governor of New Mexico, announced he was running for the Libertarian nomination for president.
  • January 7, 2016: Planned Parenthood endorsed Hillary Clinton, marking the first-ever presidential primary endorsement from the organization.
  • January 8, 2016Politico reported polling showed that Donald Trump’s based extended beyond “conservative, blue-collar men … to pro-choice Republicans, independents and even registered Democrats unnerved, primarily, by illegal immigration.”
  • January 9, 2016: Ed Brookover, a former national field director for the Republican National Committee, replaced Barry Bennett as Ben Carson’s campaign manager.
  • January 10, 2016: White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough said that President Barack Obama would wait until the general election to support a candidate. “We’ll do exactly what has been done in the past, which is when the nominee will be set, then the President will be out there,” McDonough said.

Trivia Corner

Four states are tied for the most Democratic wins in presidential elections since 1900. Which of the following is not one of them?

Click here to learn more.



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