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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
August 30, 2020

For the GOP, Much More Than the White House and Senate Hangs in the Balance

On Monday afternoon, the highly regarded Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg released a live telephone (mostly cell) poll of registered voters conducted for Democracy Corps. It showed Biden’s lead at 10 points, 52 to 42 percent, in 16 key battleground states.

There is a good reason for Republicans to be concerned, but not just at the top of the ticket. With virtually all of the political air in the room consumed by the battle for the White House and control of the Senate, there isn’t much left for the 435 congressional, 11 gubernatorial, nine lieutenant-governor, 10 state-attorney-general, seven secretary-of-state, and 5,876 state legislative seats on the ballot this year. (Special elections boost the total even further.)

With both the redistricting process and many of the details of the once-arcane world of election administration becoming increasingly partisan, who is sitting in a governor, state-attorney-general, or secretary-of-state office can matter a lot, to say nothing of who controls the state legislative chambers.

Just as controlling the White House, U.S. House, and Senate is the trifecta for each party, the same goes on the state level. The incredibly talented folks at the indispensable Ballotpedia go in depth into which states have party trifectas and supermajority trifectas as well those with a triplex—when a party in a state holds the offices of governor, attorney general, and secretary of state.

Former Clinton White House political director Doug Sosnik is reminding clients that with roughly 80 percent of the country’s state legislative seats up this fall ahead of redistricting next year, this is a pivotal election. State-legislative-elections guru Tim Storey of the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures points out that the extent of presidential-election victories closely correlates with gains and losses on the state legislative level.


August 30, 2020

Landmark bill to protect poor communities from pollution just passed N.J. Legislature

New Jersey lawmakers have passed major new environmental protections for low-income communities.

On Thursday, both houses of the state Legislature passed a bill (S232/A2212) that seeks to promote environmental justice by ensuring that low-income communities of color are not burdened with unfair shares of pollution.

The measure requires the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to consider how projects seeking state permits for facilities such as power plants, incinerators and landfills would affect environmental and public health in already overburdened communities.

It requires the DEP to produce a list of “overburdened communities” in the state, which would be defined as census block groups in which at least 35% of the households qualify as low-income, at least 40% of residents identify as minority or as members of a State-recognized tribal community, or at least 40% of the households have limited English proficiency.

Gov. Phil Murphy previously said more than 300 of the state’s 565 municipalities have at least one community that qualifies.

State Sen. Troy Singleton, D-Burlington, said the bill was a critical and long-overdue measure for protecting the health of the Garden State’s marginalized communities.


August 30, 2020

FLIPPABLE: Aimy Steele for NC-HD82

Combining her passion for education and leadership, Aimy Steele most recently spent her days as an elementary school principal in Concord, North Carolina. She is passionate about public education and working with children.

Although a student from humble beginnings, Aimy benefited from incredible opportunities at an early age. She knows first hand how exposure to enriching educational experiences led to open doors that literally changed her life. Moving to Japan as a young child in a military family catapulted Aimy’s educational journey. Her new school offered her advanced classes and curriculum as well as teachers who were willing to challenge and tutor her.

Her experience in the day-to-day operations of public schools has allowed her to gain a hands-on understanding of the issues and challenges existing in the local school system. Aimy is an advocate for public education including free preschool for all children ages 3 to 4, and education that ensures opportunities for high-skill jobs in an increasingly competitive workforce.

Aimy is a mother of five and a wife to Michael Steele of 21 years and her family and faith are core values of her life. She and her family currently attend New Life Baptist Church in Concord, where her husband is a pastor.


August 30, 2020

Simon & Garfunkel-America

August 30, 2020

STAPLES Center to Serve as General Election Vote Center

The Los Angeles Lakers, STAPLES Center, AEG and the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk have announced that STAPLES Center will serve as a Vote Center in the upcoming Presidential General Election. Voters can cast their ballot at STAPLES Center beginning Friday, October 30 through Election Day, November 3. STAPLES Center will also act as a Vote by Mail Drop Box location for those who prefer to drop off their voted mail-in ballot in an official drop box provided by the L.A. County Registrar's office.

“The Lakers organization is extremely pleased to be able to partner with AEG and the County of Los Angeles to open up STAPLES Center to provide a safe and easily accessible location for people to vote,” said Jeanie Buss, Lakers Governor. “For our democracy to function, all citizens need to be able to vote in a secure and safe way – and we’re very happy to be able to play our part in ensuring that they can.”

“We are proud to partner with the Los Angeles Lakers, the State of California and the County of Los Angeles in support of all of our residents who are guaranteed a safe and secure location to exercise their right to vote and have a voice in our democracy,” said Dan Beckerman, President and CEO, AEG.

“For more than 20-years, STAPLES Center has been the heart and soul of Los Angeles and hosted some of the most iconic events our fans have attended, watched or participated in. It’s the right decision at this critical time for our Country that once again we provide a safe and convenient location for our fans to come together, this time to exercise their right to vote,” said Lee Zeidman, President STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater and L.A. LIVE.


August 30, 2020

Trump to travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday

CNN)President Donald Trump will travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and to survey some of the damage from the recent protests, the White House announced Saturday evening.

When asked if the President would meet with the family of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot by police, White House spokesman Judd Deere said that the schedule hasn't been fully ironed out yet.

Blake's family led a march of hundreds of people on Saturday in Kenosha, demanding an end to police violence and systemic racism. Blake, who was shot by a White police officer, has undergone multiple surgeries.

Unrest in Wisconsin following the police shooting of Blake in Kenosha has quickly turned into a political flashpoint in one of the nation's most important swing states.


August 30, 2020

KS-SEN: Bollier begins her tour in Hutchinson

Kansas Sen. Barbara Bollier, a Democrat, started her in-person campaign for the U.S. Senate in downtown Hutchinson on Friday. A crowd of approximately 50 supporters gathered on chairs and cheered Bollier as she spoke of COVID, Medicaid expansion and education.

“I am a very proud pragmatic Democrat,” Bollier said. “I am about fiscal responsibility. I follow data and common sense.”

Bollier said she purposely put both red and blue on her campaign materials, saying she wants to be able to walk across the aisle.

“We are red and blue because we can work together,” she said. “We are used to looking at the person, not just the party.”

Bollier, a physician, said her job is to listen to farmers, teachers and community leaders. As for schools, she wants to open them when they believe it is safe.

“It is so important for local areas to decide and know what’s best for the teachers and the staff and who lives at home,” she said. “We all know masks work.”

Although she grew up, went to school and practiced medicine in the greater Kansas City area, Bollier’s relatives come from rural Kansas.


August 30, 2020

NC-11: Madison Cawthorn, disavows QAnon but repeats debunked sex slave theory

The July 30 event, billed as a “political seminar,” was held at the border wall built by the crowdfunding campaign whose organizers, most notably former Trump-adviser Stephen Bannon, were charged last week with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors.

In a campaign video posted on Instagram, Cawthorn invoked an unsubstantiated claim popular among fringe conspiracy theorists.

“Sure, there are children being human-trafficked across our border north into our country for sex slavery and many things that are unspeakable and terrible to think of,” a somber Cawthorn said. “But what's really going on is we are having a large group of cartels coming into our country, kidnapping our American children and then taking them to sell them on a slave market, on the sex slave market.”

“Tens of thousands of our children are going missing every year,” he continued, “and it's because of cartels like MS-13 coming into our country and doing harm.”


August 30, 2020

After the convention, vulnerable GOP senators have little control over their fates

Conventions are advertisements for a party’s presidential nominee, but also for the party itself, to show the public what they believe and where they want to go. President Trump’s convention, on the other hand, was unusually focused on him. If you watched, you heard a lot about Trump — including speeches by seven different members of the Trump family — but much less about other Republicans.

And that includes a particularly important group of people: the Republicans whose fate will determine control of the Senate next year. With one exception — Sen. Joni Ernst, who made a brief recorded address mostly about the recent derecho in Iowa — none of the GOP senators locked in close races made an appearance.

Whether these senators stayed away because the coronavirus pandemic restricted scheduling and movement, or whether they wanted to distance themselves from the unpopular president, it doesn’t really matter. After that doozy of a convention, they’re struck with Trump whether they like it or not.

To be clear, the Trump effect might matter for some more than others. The Cook Political Report scores six races for seats held by incumbent Republicans as toss-ups. Four of them — Ernst, Steve Daines in Montana, Thom Tillis in North Carolina and David Perdue in Georgia — are in states Trump won four years ago, which makes them more comfortable with their inability to separate themselves from the president.

Tillis, in particular, is close enough to Trump that he may have exposed himself to covid-19 to demonstrate it; he attended Trump’s convention speech and, like almost everyone else in the closely packed audience, didn’t wear a mask. Tillis subsequently issued a sort-of apology for this, but it’s understandable why he did it: Had he masked up, Trump would have probably ridiculed him from the stage for being weak.


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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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