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Federal judge dismisses two class-action lawsuits seeking repayment of agency fees

On Nov. 27, Judge Renee Bumb, of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, dismissed two class-action lawsuits in which the plaintiffs sought repayment of agency fees paid to their unions before the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. In Janus, the high court held that unions cannot compel members or represented workers to pay union fees.

Who are the parties to the suit?

  • Smith v. New Jersey Education Association
    • Plaintiffs: Ann Smith, Leonardo Santiago, Michael C. Sandberg, Karl Hedenberg, Melissa H. Poulson, and Rachel Curcio, all current or former public school teachers in New Jersey.
    • Defendants: New Jersey Education Association, National Education Association, Clearview Education Association, Harrison Township Education Association, Clearview Regional High School District Board of Education, Gov. Phil Murphy (D), and the members of the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (Joel M. Weisblatt, Paul Boudreau, Paula B. Voos, John Bonanni, and David Jones).
  • Fischer v. Murphy
    • Plaintiffs: Susan Fischer and Jeanette Speck, both current or former public school teachers.
    • Defendants: Gov. Phill Murphy (D), New Jersey Education Association, and Township of Ocean Education Association.

What is at issue? Plaintiffs Smith and Hedenberg were compelled to pay union fees prior to Janus. They sought repayment of those fees, which they argued were collected unconstitutionally without their affirmative consent. The other plaintiffs contested a provision of the Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act, a New Jersey law enacted in 2018. The plaintiffs argued that the law unconstitutionally restricts the time and circumstances under which employees can withdraw from their unions and revoke their dues deduction authorizations.

How did the court rule? Because the two cases dealt with similar issues, Bumb issued a joint ruling covering both. Regarding the claim for refunds of previously paid union fees, Bumb wrote, “While Plaintiffs’ arguments are well-taken, this Court finds that the Union Defendants would prevail based upon their good-faith belief that these agency fee deductions, which were sanctioned by the Supreme Court in Abood, complied with statutory and constitutional law.”

Regarding plaintiffs’ arguments against the Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act, Bumb wrote, “If Plaintiffs demonstrated that State Defendant or the Union Defendants were using the WDEA’s revocation language to override and narrow contractually agreed upon resignation rights, such enforcement would certainly have established injury. However, no such circumstances existed in these matters.”

What are the reactions?

  • Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation, which represented the plaintiffs in Fischer v. Murphy, said his organization expected to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
  • As of Dec. 6, none of the defendants have made public statements about the ruling.

Case information: Bumb was appointed to the bench in 2006 by President George W. Bush. The case names and numbers are Smith v. New Jersey Education Association (18-10381) and Fischer v. Murphy (18-15628).

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 106 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 December 6, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart December 6, 2019.png

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

Union Station partisan chart December 6, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

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

  • Virginia HB67: This bill would limit an existing prohibition against government employee strikes to law-enforcement officers.
    • Introduced Dec. 5.


170 federal judicial confirmations during Trump administration

The U.S. Senate has confirmed six new nominees to U.S. District Court judgeships. Overall, the Senate has confirmed 170 of President Trump’s Article III judicial nominees—two Supreme Court justices, 48 appellate court judges, 118 district court judges, and two U.S. Court of International Trade judges—since January 2017. At the end of the 115th Congress in January 2019, the Senate had confirmed 85 of the president’s judicial nominees.
 
The confirmed nominees were:
 
  • Eric Komitee, confirmed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. After he receives his judicial commission and takes his oath, the court will have three vacancies, six Republican-appointed judges, and six Democrat-appointed judges.
  • Sarah Pitlyk, confirmed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. After she receives her judicial commission and takes her oath, the court will have no vacancies, four Republican-appointed judges, and five Democrat-appointed judges.
  • R. Austin Huffaker, Jr., confirmed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. After he receives his judicial commission and takes his oath, the court will have no vacancies, three Republican-appointed judges, and no Democrat-appointed judges.
  • David Barlow, confirmed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. After he receives his judicial commission and takes his oath, the court will have no vacancies, two Republican-appointed judges, and three Democrat-appointed judges.
  • John Sinatra, Jr., confirmed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. After he receives his judicial commission and takes his oath, the court will have no vacancies, one Republican-appointed judge, and three Democrat-appointed judges.
  • Douglas Cole, confirmed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. After he receives his judicial commission and takes his oath, the court will have two vacancies, three Republican-appointed judges, and three Democrat-appointed judges.
 
There are 94 U.S. District Courts. They are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system.
 


Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: November 30-December 6, 2019

 Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing

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

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

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Candidates by the Number

 

There are eight new candidates running since last week, including three Democrats and two Republicans. In total, 972 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“On Nov. 2, 2010, I won the first of three elections for governor in Wisconsin. That same day, someone registered the domain name RecallScottWalker.com. They were out to get me from day one. This is one of many striking similarities between the current impeachment process in Washington and the recall election in Wisconsin. … 

In the end, the protests and, ultimately, the recall energized our base. Surprisingly, it also turned off a majority of independent voters. They believed that the process was not fair. We won the recall election with more votes than in the original election.

I believe that the same thing can happen with Mr. Trump. Recent polls in Wisconsin and other battleground states suggest that Democrats have overplayed their hands. The public is growing increasingly frustrated with the ‘Do Nothing Democrats.’”

– Scott Walker, former governor of Wisconsin

“Allan Lichtman, a distinguished professor of history at American University, explained that even if the Senate doesn’t convict Trump, being impeached by the House will negatively impact his odds of getting reelected. Lichtman developed a political forecasting model that helped him successfully predict the outcomes of the last nine elections. The model is based on 13 ‘keys’ that determine whether or not an incumbent party will hold the White House.

‘Once Donald Trump becomes only the third American president to be charged with impeachment by a vote of the full House, that will turn the scandal key against him,’ Lichtman explained. That’s only one key. It could trigger others to turn against him, Lichtman continued. For example, it could prompt a serious Republican or third-party challenger, or it could possibly fuel the rise of an inspirational, charismatic candidate on the Democratic ticket.”

– Leandra Bernstein, Sinclair Broadcast Group

Week in Review

Harris, Bullock, Sestak end presidential campaigns

Kamala Harris ended her presidential campaign on Tuesday, saying she lacked the financial resources to continue.

“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete,” she said in a statement.

Harris was the third Democratic candidate to leave the presidential race this week. Joe Sestak and Steve Bullock withdrew on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

House will draft articles of impeachment against Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced on Thursday that the House of Representatives will draft articles of impeachment against Donald Trump.

Earlier in the week, the House Intelligence Committee adopted a committee report on Trump’s alleged misconduct and obstruction. Republicans also released a minority report on the hearings and evidence.

Georgia Republican primary ballot will only feature Trump

The Georgia Republican Party voted to include only Donald Trump on the Republican primary ballot. Four other candidates had submitted their names for consideration, including Roque De La FuenteJoe Walsh, and Bill Weld.

Steyer qualifies for Democratic debate, Gabbard and Yang on the bubble

Tom Steyer crossed the fundraising threshold and qualified for the sixth Democratic primary debate on Tuesday, making him the sixth candidate still in the race to qualify.

Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang are both on the bubble to qualify, needing one qualifying poll each.

Julián Castro crossed the fundraising threshold for the December debate, tweeting on Thursday that he received contributions from 200,000 donors. Both Castro and Cory Booker need four qualifying polls before Dec. 12 to make the debate stage.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Kevin Sheekey is a longtime Bloomberg staffer with experience in the public and private sectors. He has worked with Bloomberg since 1997. Sheekey graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in economics in 1988.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2005 Michael Bloomberg (R) New York mayoral campaign, campaign manager
  • 2001 Michael Bloomberg (R) New York mayoral campaign, campaign manager

Other experience:

  • 2010-2019: Bloomberg LP, Global head of communications, public policy, and marketing
  • 2006-2010: City of New York, Deputy Mayor for Government Relations
  • 2003-2004: New York City Republican National Convention Host Committee, president
  • 2002-2003: Office of the Mayor of New York City, special assistant
  • 1997-2001: Bloomberg LP, public affairs lead
  • 1992-1996: Office of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), chief of staff
  • 1988-1992: Office of Rep. James Sheuer (D-N.Y.), chief of staff

What he says about Bloomberg: “Mike is getting in this race because he thinks that Donald Trump is an existential crisis, and he thinks he’s on a path to victory…He’s getting in to alter that dynamic.”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: December 2-6, 2015

  • December 2, 2015: The Washington Post published a Republican Party memo on what the party should do if Donald Trump became the nominee.
  • December 3, 2015: Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Jim Gilmore, John Kasich, and Donald Trump spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s presidential forum.
  • December 4, 2015: Donald Trump spoke at a rally with 8,000 attendees in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • December 5, 2015: Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, and Rick Santorum spoke at the Iowa Rising Tide Summit hosted by FreedomWorks.
  • December 6, 2015: Bernie Sanders wrote an op-ed in The Des Moines Register calling on Congress to stop the merger between drug corporations Pfizer and Allergan. 

Trivia

How many candidates have filed with the FEC to run for president?



Supreme Court to hear oral argument in 24 cases over the next three months

 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Thursday, December 5, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Supreme Court to hear oral argument in 24 cases over the next three months
  2. Local Roundup
  3. Recall effort against state lawmaker rejected due to petition error

Supreme Court to hear oral argument in 24 cases over the next three months

The U.S. Supreme Court began its December sitting this week, hearing oral argument in six cases. The court will also hear arguments in six cases next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Five facts for December 5. 

  • The Supreme Court will hear eight cases over five days in January, starting on Jan. 13. It announced last week that it will hear nine cases in its February sitting, which runs from Feb. 24 to March 4.
  • The Supreme Court began hearing cases for the current term Oct. 7. The court’s annual term begins on the first Monday in October and lasts until the first Monday in October the following year. The court generally releases the majority of its decisions by mid-June.
  • Thus far, the court has heard 25 cases in this term.
  • The Supreme Court has already agreed to hear 57 cases during its 2019-2020 term. In the 2018-2019 term, SCOTUS considered 75 cases. It heard oral argument in 72 and decided three cases without argument. In the 2017-2018 term, SCOTUS agreed to hear 71 cases.
  • Of the 57 cases that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear, eight are on appeal from the Ninth Circuit and eight are from state and district courts. The Ninth Circuit hears appeals of cases from the following states-Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. It also has appellate jurisdiction over the district courts for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The Ninth Circuit is the largest appellate court, with 16 Democratic-appointed justices and 13 Republican-appointed justices.

Do you want to stay on top of all the happenings at the Supreme Court and the entire federal judiciary? We’ve got just the newsletter for you—Bold Justice—which covers Supreme Court cases, judicial confirmations and important rulings from other federal courts. I look forward to reading every issue. Subscribe today—it’s free—and you’ll receive the new edition in your email on Monday. 

Learn more

Local Roundup

Here’s our weekly roundup of local news:

Boise, Idaho

Lauren McLean defeated incumbent David Bieter in the runoff election for mayor of Boise on Tuesday—Dec. 3—receiving 65.5% of the vote. This was Boise’s first runoff election for mayor in over 50 years. McLean and Bieter were the top two finishers in the city’s general election Nov. 5, with McLean receiving 46% of the vote and Bieter 30% in a seven-candidate field.

Bieter was first elected mayor of Boise in 2003 and has served four terms. McLean has been a member of the Boise City Council since 2011 and is the first woman elected to be the city’s mayor. Although municipal elections in Boise are officially nonpartisan, McLean describes herself as a Democrat and Bieter is a former Democratic member of the Idaho House of Representatives.

Boise is the largest city in Idaho and the 97th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

Mayoral partisanship in the 100 largest cities

Thirty-one mayoral elections in the 100 largest cities were held in 2019, with one race—the Dec. 14 runoff for mayor of Houston—still to be decided. In 20 of those cities, the incumbent was Democratic at the start of 2019. Six incumbents were Republican, three were independent, one was unaffiliated, and the affiliation of one was unknown.

With the Houston race yet to be decided, the mayor’s partisan affiliation changed in four cities. Democrats have gained three mayorships, two from Republicans and one from an independent. Republicans won one seat held by an unaffiliated mayor.

  • Democrat Kate Gallego won a special runoff election in Phoenix on March 12. Thelda Williams (R) was the previous incumbent after former Mayor Greg Stanton (D) resigned to run for the U.S. House.
  • In Raleigh, North Carolina, Mary-Ann Baldwin (D) won the nonpartisan mayoral race. The pre-election incumbent was independent Nancy McFarlane, who did not seek re-election. 
  • Mike Coffman (R) won the Nov. 5 mayoral election in Aurora, Colorado. Incumbent Bob LeGare (unaffiliated) did not run in the 2019 election.
  • Democrat Brandon Whipple won Wichita, Kansas’ mayoral election on Nov. 5. He defeated Republican incumbent Jeff Longwell.

Scott LeMay (R) won the mayoral election in Garland, Texas, after running unopposed. He succeeded Lori Barnett Dodson, whose partisan affiliation was unknown.

The table below shows the partisan breakdown of mayors back to 2016. Democratic mayors oversaw 67 of the 100 largest cities at the beginning of 2016, 64 at the beginning of 2017, 63 at the start of 2018, and 61 at the start of 2019.

Mayoral partisanship

Recall effort against state lawmaker rejected due to petition error

Last month, we covered the story of a recall effort against Michigan State Rep. Larry Inman (R). Supporters of the recall submitted 13,991 signatures—1,790 more than what was required—on Nov. 22 in an effort to trigger a recall election. Here’s an update to that story.

The Michigan Bureau of Elections announced Nov. 29 that it rejected the recall effort due to a typo in the signature petitions. The original petition language—approved in July—described one of the charges against Inman’s as, “Attempted extortion under color of official right.” The signed petitions submitted last month omitted the word “right.” 

In a letter to recall organizers, Director of Elections Sally Williams wrote, “While the omission of one word may seem inconsequential and the rejection of a recall petition on such grounds as excessively technical and harsh, the recall statute does not authorize the bureau to excuse differences between the reasons for recall approved by the board and those printed on the recall petitions.” The image below from Williams’ letter shows both the original petition language and that which appeared on the signed petitions.

Petition error

Recall organizer Kaitlin Flynn told The Detroit News that supporters are “in shock and deeply disappointed” and that the recall group was evaluating all of its options. Flynn told UpNorthLive that the mistake was due to a printing error.

According to the petition language, supporters are trying to recall Inman due to his indictment on three felony counts and missing more than 80 votes during the 2019 legislative session. Federal prosecutors charged Inman in May 2019 with extortion, lying to the FBI, and lying to investigators about texts soliciting contributions. His trial on those charges began Tuesday—Dec. 3. On Aug. 29, the state House passed a resolution urging him to resign by a 98-8 vote. 

Ballotpedia has tracked 99 recall efforts of state legislators from 1913 to 2018, with 29 of those occurring in Michigan. Four such efforts made the ballot and three Michigan legislators were successfully recalled. The last Michigan legislator recalled was Rep. Paul Scott (R) in 2011.

Learn more→



30 congressional retirements so far this cycle

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Friday, December 6, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Two Representatives announce they aren’t running for re-election in 2020
  2. Supreme Court schedules oral argument in three cases related to the administrative state
  3. What’s the Tea (and cookies)?

Two congressmen announce they aren’t running for re-election in 2020

Two years ago, Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) announced during the week after Thanksgiving that they would not seek re-election in 2018. This week, two House members announced they would not run for re-election in 2020. 

Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) announced Wednesday—Dec. 4—that he would not seek a sixth term. Heck was first elected from the state’s 10th Congressional District in 2012.  He defeated Joseph Brumbles (R), 61.5% to 38.5%, in 2018. The 2018 Cook Partisan Voter Index for the district was D+5, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 5 percentage points more Democratic than the national average.

Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) announced on Dec. 5 he would not run for re-election next year. Graves was first elected to the House in 2010, winning a special election in Georgia’s 9th Congressional District. After redistricting, Graves was elected from the newly created 14th Congressional District in 2012. He defeated Steven Foster (D)—76.5% to 23.5%—to win re-election in 2018. The 2018 Cook Partisan Voter Index for the district was R+27, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 27 percentage points more Republican than the national average.

Thirty members of the U.S. House—nine Democrats and 21 Republicans—have announced they will not run for re-election in 2020. In the 2018 election cycle, 52 members of the U.S. House—18 Democrats and 34 Republicans—did not seek re-election.

The current partisan composition of the House is 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one independent, and four vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election next November.  

The chart below compares the number of Democrats and Republicans in Congress who did not seek re-election between 2012 and 2018.

Retirements


Supreme Court schedules oral argument in three cases related to the administrative state 

Thursday’s Brew updated readers on the Supreme Court’s 2019-20 term, highlighting cases scheduled for oral argument during December, January, and February. Three cases the court will hear in the first week of March are of particular interest to those who study the administrative state. 

I asked our team for a brief summary. After all, these are complicated court cases. You can see their reply below, with links for more details and background.

Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam

This case—scheduled for March 2—asks whether asylum seekers may challenge in court procedures immigration officials used to deny their asylum applications.  

Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

This case, along with Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission, is scheduled for oral argument March 3. It concerns whether Congress’ decision to give substantial executive authority to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—an agency led by a single, Senate-confirmed director the president may not remove at-will—violates separation of powers principles.  

Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission 

At issue in this case is whether the Supreme Court might limit how the Securities and Exchange Commission and other administrative agencies can penalize people who violate regulations.

Our monthly newsletter on the administrative state—The Checks and Balances Letter—covers cases like these, as well as laws and administrative decisions affecting regulatory activity at both the federal and state level. Click the link below to subscribe or explore past issues!

What's the tea

Tea and cookies, it’s a natural partnership. 

Especially around the holidays.

And whether it’s recollections of baking with a loved one, or just the sights and smells of fresh-baked items, many folks have wonderful memories of cookies this time of year. Making sure we have time to bake is one of the first things our family puts on the calendar when we plan our December every year.

Next week, we’re gearing up for a big holiday cookie event at Ballotpedia. I’m excited to tell you more about it on Monday. 

In the meantime, perhaps you can settle the debate we were having at Ballotpedia just yesterday. Peanut butter balls—also known as Buckeyes—have a peanut butter filling inside a chocolate coating.

Do you classify them as cookies?

Peanut butter balls




Biden issues $3.2 trillion tax plan

 

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

December 5, 2019: Joe Biden released a $3.2 trillion tax plan. Amy Klobuchar hired Norm Sterzenbach as her caucus adviser in Iowa.  blank    blankblank   


 Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (Emerson College • New Hampshire • Nov. 22-26, 2019)
Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (Victory Research • Illinois • Nov. 22-25, 2019)

Notable Quote of the Day

“To me, the more interesting part of the story is that Donald Trump has decided to embrace the advantages of incumbency in raising money. Democrats are so far reluctant to take any outside money, super PACs and beyond. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have set that standard. Whoever the Democratic nominee is, they’re going to have their hands tied behind their backs.”

– David Jones, James Madison University political science professor

Democrats

  • Julián CastroJohn DelaneyBernie Sanders, and Tom Steyer will speak at a presidential forum on agricultural issues hosted by the Iowa Farmers Union on Friday. 

  • Michael Bennet will campaign in New Hampshire on Friday, including participating in an event hosted by the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

  • Joe Biden released a $3.2 trillion tax plan that would raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent and the top income tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent.

  • Michael Bloomberg campaigned on Staten Island on Wednesday night. He is also launching a new ad focused on his career. It will air nationally in approximately 100 local markets.

  • Pete Buttigieg will campaign in New Hampshire on Thursday and Friday, holding town halls and participating in a candidate forum on New Hampshire Public Radio.

  • Tulsi Gabbard has rented a home in New Hampshire and will remain in the state to campaign during the holidays.

  • Amy Klobuchar hired Norm Sterzenbach as her caucus adviser in Iowa. Sterzenbach previously served as the executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party and Beto O’Rourke’s Iowa state director.

  • Steyer launched a new ad identifying climate change as his top priority. It will air in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina for two weeks.

  • Elizabeth Warren will campaign in New Hampshire on Friday with an appearance at New England College.

  • Marianne Williamson continues to campaign in New Hampshire with three events scheduled.

  • Rolling Stone interviewed Andrew Yang about impeachment, the media, and the economy as part of its Useful Idiots political feature.

Republicans

Flashback: December 5, 2015

Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, and Rick Santorum spoke at the Iowa Rising Tide Summit hosted by FreedomWorks.

blank

 



Pelosi announces House will draft articles of impeachment against Trump

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

December 6, 2019: Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives will draft articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. Former Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed Joe Biden.


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

Daily Presidential News Briefing - Staffer Spotlight - Kevin Sheekey

Kevin Sheekey is a longtime Bloomberg staffer with experience in the public and private sectors. He has worked with Bloomberg since 1997. Sheekey graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in economics in 1988.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2005 Michael Bloomberg (R) New York mayoral campaign, campaign manager
  • 2001 Michael Bloomberg (R) New York mayoral campaign, campaign manager

Other experience:

  • 2010-2019: Bloomberg LP, Global head of communications, public policy, and marketing
  • 2006-2010: City of New York, Deputy Mayor for Government Relations
  • 2003-2004: New York City Republican National Convention Host Committee, president
  • 2002-2003: Office of the Mayor of New York City, special assistant
  • 1997-2001: Bloomberg LP, public affairs lead
  • 1992-1996: Office of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), chief of staff
  • 1988-1992: Office of Rep. James Sheuer (D-N.Y.), chief of staff

What he says about Bloomberg:

“Mike is getting in this race because he thinks that Donald Trump is an existential crisis, and he thinks he’s on a path to victory…He’s getting in to alter that dynamic.”

Notable Quotes of the Day

“On Nov. 2, 2010, I won the first of three elections for governor in Wisconsin. That same day, someone registered the domain name RecallScottWalker.com. They were out to get me from day one. This is one of many striking similarities between the current impeachment process in Washington and the recall election in Wisconsin. … 

In the end, the protests and, ultimately, the recall energized our base. Surprisingly, it also turned off a majority of independent voters. They believed that the process was not fair. We won the recall election with more votes than in the original election.

I believe that the same thing can happen with Mr. Trump. Recent polls in Wisconsin and other battleground states suggest that Democrats have overplayed their hands. The public is growing increasingly frustrated with the ‘Do Nothing Democrats.’”

– Scott Walker, former governor of Wisconsin

“Allan Lichtman, a distinguished professor of history at American University, explained that even if the Senate doesn’t convict Trump, being impeached by the House will negatively impact his odds of getting reelected. Lichtman developed a political forecasting model that helped him successfully predict the outcomes of the last nine elections. The model is based on 13 ‘keys’ that determine whether or not an incumbent party will hold the White House.

‘Once Donald Trump becomes only the third American president to be charged with impeachment by a vote of the full House, that will turn the scandal key against him,’ Lichtman explained. That’s only one key. It could trigger others to turn against him, Lichtman continued. For example, it could prompt a serious Republican or third-party challenger, or it could possibly fuel the rise of an inspirational, charismatic candidate on the Democratic ticket.”

– Leandra Bernstein, Sinclair Broadcast Group

Democrats

Republicans

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that the House of Representatives will draft articles of impeachment against Donald Trump
  • Joe Walsh wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal about Republican state parties that canceled their primaries.
  • Newsweek interviewed Bill Weld about the Republican Party, executive power, and his campaign strategy.

Flashback: December 6, 2015

Bernie Sanders wrote an op-ed in The Des Moines Register calling on Congress to stop the merger between drug corporations Pfizer and Allergan. 



Mayor David Bieter loses re-election bid to Lauren McLean in Boise runoff

In Boise, Idaho, Mayor David Bieter ran unsuccessfully in Tuesday’s nonpartisan runoff election for a fifth term in office. Lauren McLean, who advanced out of the seven-candidate general election field alongside Bieter back in November, won the runoff and the mayor’s office with 65.5% of the unofficial election night vote.
 
McLean is the president of the Boise City Council; she was first elected to the council in 2011 and re-elected in 2015. Bieter was first elected mayor in 2003 and re-elected in 2007, 2011, and 2015. Prior to that office, he served as a Democratic member of the Idaho House of Representatives in District 19 from 1999 to 2003.
 
In the November general election, Boise also had three city council seats on the ballot: Seat 1 (McLean’s position), Seat 3, and Seat 5. These seats were won by Patrick Bageant, Jimmy Hallyburton, and incumbent Elaine Clegg, respectively. The Seat 3 incumbent, Scot Ludwig, did not file for re-election.
 
Boise is the largest city in Idaho and the 97th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 


What are the responsibilities of state lieutenant governors?

The office of lieutenant governor is an elected statewide executive office in 43 states. In two other states, Tennessee and West Virginia, the President of the State Senate serves as lieutenant governor. Maine, Arizona, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Oregon do not have lieutenant governors.
 
Lieutenant governors derive their responsibilities from several sources, including gubernatorial appointments, statutes, and state constitutions.
 
In most states with the position, the duties of the lieutenant governor are similar and involve acting as governor in the governor’s absence. Every lieutenant governor is the first official in the line of succession to the governor’s office.
 
Of America’s 45 lieutenant governors:
• 33 serve as acting governor when the governor is out of the state.
• 27 serve as President of the Senate, while 23 have the power to break roll-call ties.
• 25 can be assigned gubernatorial duties at the governor’s discretion.
• 23 serve as members of the governor’s cabinet or advisory body.
• 11 have the power to appoint legislative committees.
• Eight have the power to assign bills to committees.
 


Rep. Duncan Hunter pleads guilty to using campaign funds for personal expenses

File:Duncan D. Hunter, official photo portrait, 111th Congress.jpg
On Tuesday, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) pleaded guilty to using campaign funds for personal expenses, ending a three-year investigation into the congressman’s misuse of over $200,000.
 
Hunter’s wife pleaded guilty in June to knowingly and willingly using campaign funds with her husband for their family’s benefit, agreeing to testify against him. Weeks later, federal prosecutors accused Hunter of using campaign funds for extramarital affairs with five women, including an aide.
 
Hunter will serve jail-time for the violations and is scheduled for sentencing on March 17, 2020. He is also expected to resign his seat in California’s 50th Congressional District, stating, “It’s been a privilege to serve in Congress. I think we’ve done a lot of great things for the nation.”
 
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will have 14 days after Hunter’s resignation to call a special election for the seat.