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Just as states with progressive lawmakers and activists have themselves initiated innovative programs over a wide range of issues, state-based progressive blogs have helped provide us with a point of view, inside information and often an edgy voice that we just don't get from the traditional media. This week in progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Let me know via comments or Kosmail if you have a favorite state- or city-based blog you think I should know about. Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.

At Nevada Progressive, atdnext writes—Clear & Present Danger:

Nevada Progressive
We could definitely see this coming. Ever since they caught wind of Cliven Bundy's attempt to subvert federal law at Gold Butte, G-O-TEA media personalities have been sharing their wet dreams of "Second Amendment Remedies". And a number of G-O-TEA politicians have gone out of their way to celebrate the extreme right "Patriot Movement" Militia's "victory" over the rule of law. [...]

Not only are Cliven Bundy and his "TEA" fueled allies completely wrong on the facts and wrong on the law, but they're also sending out a dangerously wrong message. That message is the same one we heard 19 years ago this week in Oklahoma City.

Before 9/11, this was the worst terrorist attack on US soil. And it was no hidden secret that Timothy McVeigh was motivated by the kind of extreme "Patriot" ideology that we've been catching glimpses of at #BundyRanch.

This is why we've been urging G-O-TEA politicians who have all too eagerly endorsed this lawless "uprising" to reconsider what they're advocating. Cresent Hardy & Michele Fiore may think it's cute to grandstand alongside the Bundy Gang and their new extreme right militia BFFs, but it's not. Rather, they're cozying up to what all the rest of us see as a clear & present danger.

At Intelligent Discontent of Montana, Don Pogreba writes—TEA Party Facts for Tax Day!:
Intelligent Discontent, state blogs
I didn’t understand last year when the Montana media decided totumbleweed-lebowski cover the dying TEA Party movement on tax day, and I don’t really understand why they chose to today, but there are some gems of facts from TEA Party “rallies” that perhaps make it worthwhile to read. Or at least enjoy. [...]

Then child-hating Tom Burnett, Republican candidate in House District 67, in his non-stop war against feeding poor children offered this statistic, only problematic in that it is complete nonsense:

He also took aim at reduced-cost school lunches, bringing black-and-white images of food left on cafeteria trays: "Kids on free and reduced school lunch waste 46 percent more than the average kid who pays their way."
Below the fold, you can read excerpts from more progressive state blogs.

At Blog for Arizona, AZBlueMeanie fumes—Neo-Confederate anti-government sedition in Arizona

The Arizona Republic finally got around to doing an investigative reporting piece on the sovereign citizen movement over the weekend, and it fell woefully short. This lengthy report failed to mention those who are members and sympathizers in Arizona, as has been reported here over the years. Sovereign citizens challenge authority of law:
The Republic contacted more than a dozen people who had identified themselves as sovereign in Phoenix and other cities across the state, including people who claimed affiliation with sovereign groups called the “Republic for the united States of America” and the “Republic for Arizona.” Some had served in the military. Others mentioned college degrees. [...]

Over the course of 2013, The Republic polled sheriff’s and recorder’s offices across Arizona about their interactions with sovereign citizens. The results showed a mixed picture of the belief’s prominence in the state.

Some law-enforcement officials said they had not seen much activity in several years, while others said sovereigns in their jurisdictions are well-known. Recorders in several counties rarely see a filing, while others report three to 10 a week, although some of those arrive from other states.

Seriously? Perhaps the problem is how this reporter defined “sovereign citizen,” disregarding the numerous far-right anti-government organizations to which these extremists belong. If The Republic polled sheriff’s offices, how is it possible that they missed these guys?
Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio is a favorite of far-right extremist groups like former Graham County Sheriff Richard Mack’s conspiratorial Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and the Oath Keepers, made up of former and current law enforcement officers and military personnel who believe it is their duty to defy what they deem to be unconstitutional orders. These anti-government extremists are a law unto themselves.
At Blue Jersey, Rosi Efthim writes—March NJ jobless numbers - NJ lagging behind:
You remember this guy, right? The headstrong governor here in the land of make-believe who propagandized the happy-talk of Jersey Comeback with banners, theme music and videos and jacked-up Republican campaign rallies passed off to the taxpayers public town halls in their best interest. How's that working for ya? Christie quietly retired the banners a couple years ago, and knew better than to utter that phrase in his Republican National Convention speech that same year. Christie's trying to make a case for himself as viable on the national scene beyond the RGA, tougher now because of the scandals. But we're still left with the impact of some piss-poor state economic decisions over recent years, many of them his.

Unemployment is up here, though the state is using terms like "flat" and "small dips" to describe it. New Jersey lost about 1,300 jobs in March, bringing NJ's unemployment to 7.2%. That's up from 7.1% this time last year, and lagging half a point behind the national rate of 6.7%.

At ProgressNow New Mexico, a staff blogger writes—Speaker Lujan’s Widow: Remarks left me sick & in tears; Cruel words attack all people of our state:
Progress Now New Mexico
Governor Martinez’s recorded candid remarks have made big news across the country today. The audio clips [...] capture Martinez candidly discussing her distaste for teachers, and belittling then-Speaker Ben Ray Lujan.

Speaker Lujan passed away in late 2012. [...] Ms. Carmen Lujan offered this statement today on word of Governor Martinez’s remarks against her late husband [...]

“When I read and heard the audio from Governor Martinez’s staff this morning it crushed my heart. I called my family in tears and felt sick to my stomach.

Why would someone be so cruel and disrespectful? Ben committed his life to helping people, even while fighting cancer – people always came first. He had an incredible mind and heart. This makes me so sad.

He was a life-long champion of working people, he used his voice and his words to make a difference.

At Hillbilly Report of Kentucky, Berry Craig writes—Grimes keeps swatting 'em into the cheap seats:
[Alison Lundergan] Grimes is 35 and in her first term as Kentucky secretary of state. The five-term McConnell, more than twice her age, probably figured she’d be an easy out.

He doubtless expected to fan her with the dreaded curve ball, “liberal.”

Grimes is a moderate by Bluegrass State standards. Measured against a national yardstick, she’s moderately conservative.

But compared to the GOP of McConnell, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and “Asparagus” Ghomert, Grimes is Che Guevara crooning The Internationale.

Anyway, the righty McConnell keeps serving up hanging sliders and she keeps knocking ‘em out of the park.

“If the doctors told Sen. McConnell he had a kidney stone, he would refuse to pass it,” was her first round-tripper.

At Indy Democrat Blog of Indiana, Jon E. Easter writes—2014 Primary Season Eerily Quiet:
Indy Democrat Blog
Indiana Rep. Bob Behning thinks that the teacher evaluation numbers were unrealistic.

State Board of Education Member Gordon Hendry believes that the teacher evaluation system failed.

A florist and a businessman walk into a bar…

That may be unfair, but I would ask the florist (Behning) and the businessman (Hendry) what percentage of teachers they believe should have failed their evaluation?

As it stands, just under three percent of Indiana teachers rates as “needs improvement” or “ineffective”. Eighty-seven percent of those teachers evaluated rated in the top two categories of the four category teacher evaluation system which looks an awful lot like model legislation pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC.

To me, that would be cause to celebrate. Instead, Behning wants to use the data to further push his reforms, and Hendry is talking failure.  Both seem to be pushing for drastic measures.

At The Daily Kingfish of Louisiana, Lamar Parmentel writes—Deadbeat Jindal Leaves Louisiana Taxpayers With $1 Billion Budget Hole:
Daily Kingfish, state blogs
Next year, as the magnolias come to bloom, Bobby Jindal will take his last lap of the Louisiana Legislature. Yes, the term-limited, part-time Governor will be busily boxing up the mansion in 2015. But while the luggage tags and boarding passes might be swept into the garbage can, the Governor’s budget mess will stick with taxpayers for years to come.

According to fiscal experts in the Legislative Fiscal Office, Jindal will leave Louisiana taxpayers with a massive $982.5 million budget chasm for the FY15-16 year (next year) [...]

Let’s ignore this ridiculous sham of Jindal claiming to be a fiscal conservative. Let’s be clear: you can not be a fiscal conservative if you cannot balance a budget on year-to-year funds. Stop-gap funding measures are the essence of irresponsibility. It’s paying the credit card with another credit card. Irresponsible.

But this is typical of Jindal’s callous disregard for Louisiana. He does not care about the state, at least when it comes to things that don’t advance his own career. He is ruthlessly disrespectful to the people of this state. And we’ll only know the full damage when he’s gone.

At Blue Mass Group of Massachusetts, djnap writes—Stand with Steve Grossman as he takes on the NRA:
Blue Mass Group
I’m writing to ask you to stand with [state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate] Steve [Grossman] this Thursday, April 17 at 1 p.m. in a press conference on the State House steps as he debates Jim Wallace, Executive Director of the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL)—the official Massachusetts state affiliate of the NRA.

Steve has proposed an aggressive plan to fight gun violence here in the Commonwealth. In a Blue Mass Group last week, Steve applauded Speaker DeLeo for taking the lead on gun control legislation soon to be proposed in the House. But he also urged lawmakers and the Attorney General to add three additional reforms: limit gun purchases to one a month, require gun manufacturers to use smart gun technology, and create an interstate regional task force to deal with the torrent of illegal guns crossing our borders.

At Michigan Liberal, Eric B. writes—DeVos outfit trying to stack convention delegate spots to give heave-ho to Goat Killer:
As we all know, the Michigan Republican Party is bound by their bylaws from pursuing the party's best interests and brooming Goat Killer from the office of national committee man. A normal organization whose leadership didn't want as its de facto public spokesman to be someone who regularly embarrasses it by slurring homosexuals and Muslims would find a way within their bylaws to jettison that person, but for some reason unprecedented in the history of organizations, the Michigan Republican Party's hands are tied on this. So, they have to resort to this.
The Michigan Freedom Fund, in a recruiting mailer sent out to potential delegates this week, targeted Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema and urged his critics to get involved in party politics.

"Does Dave Agema speak for you?" asked the mailer. "If not, join the majority of Republicans who believe freedom, character and virtue do not include hate. Stand up and be heard!"

The answer is that, yes, Dave Agema speaks for them. He did and does and will do. He got the Republican National Committee to unanimously adopt a policy plank endorsing marriage as between one man and one woman, and even if the people who've loudly and ass-coveringly demanded his resignation weren't forbidden by their bylaws from introducing a resolution under the section entitled Resolutions and Amendments to force him out of office, they probably couldn't get a majority of people on the state central committee from voting in favor of it. I mean, they've still got Doug Sedenquist as a member, and he stalked his ex-wife and held police at bay with a rifle while in Wisconsin, to which she fled after he beat up his daughters (allegedly), and later used a computer to try to extort her. I mean, what's a little homophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry next to that?
At ColoradoPols, Colorado Pols writes—It Would Be Difficult to be a Worse Politician than Doug Lamborn:
Colorado Pols state blog
Fundraising reports for the first quarter of 2014 became available this week, and Colorado's own Rep. Doug Lamborn has reached a new pinnacle of shittiness: No incumbent Member of Congress raised less money than Lamborn in the first three months of the year. Nobody. In the entire United States.

Lamborn raised a grand total of $38,253 in Q1, an amount so minuscule that the four-term Congressman had to loan his campaign $100,000. As Megan Schrader of the Colorado Springs Gazette reported on April 15:

Lamborn was forced into an unexpected primary last week when Republican challenger Bentley Rayburn won support from enough state delegates to get his name on the June 24 primary ballot. [...]
We've been wondering aloud if 2014 might be the year that Lamborn's overall ineptitude (both as a candidate and a Congressman) catches up to him. Lamborn has survived challenges from the right, left, and everywhere between since he was first elected in 2006, so perhaps it is hard for him to really gear up for election season. But there is no reason for Lamborn to be this bad at raising money—so bad that he has to guarantee a $100,000 loan to his own campaign.
At Better Georgia, Bryan Long writes—Why did Gov. Deal’s campaign hijack this press conference?:
Better Georgia, state blogs
Gov. Nathan Deal continues to hide behind his lawyers when it comes to any questions about his auto salvage business and the company—his $20,000 per month tenant -- that owes the state $74 million in back taxes.

In an event that is too strange for words, Gov. Deal sent his personal attorney and other campaign staffers to disrupt a press conference being held by one of two Republican primary challengers.

Even WSB-TV’s Justin Farmer and Lori Geary couldn’t hide their amusement over the truly “bizarre” Republican press conference yesterday. [...]

The reason for the distraction is simple: Gov. Deal wants to talk about anything other than how his taxpayer-funded staff worked on a personal business deal that made the governor rich.

"What the Watergate tapes were to Richard Nixon, I believe the Copart records are to Nathan Deal,” GOP gubernatorial candidate David Pennington told reporters yesterday, just moments before Deal attorney Randy Evans began to shout from behind the reporters' cameras.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great timing for "American Taliban" sequel Markos (7+ / 0-)

    Just sayin' ;}

    Imagine if any of these half-wit "sovereigns" who "bravely" came to Bundy's "defense" had been Muslim. Emergency congressional sessions (during Easter vacation), wall-to-wall, 24/7 media blitz for the next 3 months, 82nd airborne on full alert. But it's good-ole-boy, white, Christians so, meh, lone wolf, "confused" citizen, nothing to see here.

    21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

    by geez53 on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:32:16 AM PDT

    •  I heard yesterday that the local paper (7+ / 0-)

      has been covering this for decades, and Bundy is not well liked by his neighbors, who think he should pay up. It's the national media that is driving this story from the right.

      It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

      by Desert Rose on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:37:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sovereign Citizens (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I knew people like this growing up.  The police were only there to harrass them, and the schools did nothing but keep them compliant.  These people went out and worked in the underground economy.  They did not shoot people or cops for fun, and generally knew how to cooperate with cops if caught, work within the system, you know, yes sir, not sir. If there were guns involved, it was mostly business, like any business owner has the right to shoot someone who steals from them.

      Arizona has other sovereigns as well, those that believe the US federal government does not have the right to discriminate on who is allowed to work within it's boarders.  They believe that if one works that gives one the right to live in the US and use the resources. This is no different from Bundy who does not believe in the federal no trespassing law.  The difference is that when Bundy resists, he is not shot on the spot.  I understand that law enforcement has the right to use deadly force, I just don't understand why we shoot unarmed suspects, but allow known armed terrorists to live.

  •  Yay, Blog For Arizona. (10+ / 0-)

    It keeps us lefties sane.
    BTW Tom Horne, the AG, is having a fundraiser with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce of SB1070 fame, Kris Kobach, national nativist from Kansas, and Steven Segal, basic nobody. He's hoping that nativism will save his sorry ass in the primary.

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:32:34 AM PDT

  •  Thanks so much for your work, MB. (7+ / 0-)

    This round-up is heartening.

  •  Oklahoma City (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paragryne, MadGeorgiaDem, Puddytat

    "That message is the same one we heard 19 years ago this week in Oklahoma City."

    Actually, the murderer who was convicted and executed for this crime never did bother in last words or elsewhere to explain his (bizarre, undoubtedly) rationale, which was usually inferred to be related to the Waco Massacre, but might have been income tax day.

    Restore the Fourth! Save America!

    by phillies on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:38:51 AM PDT

  •  Great collection! Heck, we don't need sedition (5+ / 0-)

    groups in AZ; our own legislature is doing the job for us, going to Nevada to support Bundy and making a hero of the sorry-ass criminal at the Capitol.

    The Arizona Legislature faced something of a standoff this week, as one of our leaders waxed on and on and yes, on about his "life changing" experience standing with group that took up arms against the federal government last weekend.

    Yeah, you just knew that some of Arizona's leading lights would be among those flocking to Bundy Ranch in Nevada, where armed protesters and militia types decked out in camo faced off against federal law enforcement agents.

    "This event was not about a ranch," state Rep. David Livingston, R-Peoria, said on the House floor this week as legislators were trying to debate actual Arizona issues. "This event wasn't about cattle. It wasn't about the trail. It was all about power. It was all about showing who had the power."...

    Joining Livingston were Republican Reps. Kelly Townsend of Mesa and Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff and Sens. Kelli Ward of Lake Havasu City and Judy Burges of Sun City West. U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar was also there.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:55:50 AM PDT

  •  Can the seditionists be held accountable? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dagnome, Eric Nelson, Puddytat

    They have violated the oath and terms of their offices and denied legitimacy of our government.  In doing so they have forfeited 1st amendment protection to free speech.

    I really want these rats to experience the wrath of true Americans.  What can be done?  Voting them out isn't satisfying enough and can't be guaranteed.

    Thanks for all your hard work.

    Taking the road less traveled since 1967 .

    by Paragryne on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:58:23 AM PDT

    •  The problem is civil liberties (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Those of us who hate seditious talk also recall that the sedition laws have most often been used against left-wing dissidents. The ACLU came into being in part to fight against the 1917 anti-sedition push.

      (Full disclosure: My grandfather was a target of the 1920 Palmer Raids, and my father was blacklisted during the McCarthy era.)

      The line between protected (though thoroughly offensive) speech and active incitement to revolution is not easily drawn. And pressuring the courts to punish speech tends, over time, to backfire on our side, because we are more often the ones being targetted.

  •  Killing people (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, dagnome, Puddytat

    by denying them food and health care is the GOP platform.  It needs to be said, loudly and often.

  •  Michele Fiore resembles other Koch women (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AJayne, Eric Nelson, Puddytat

    pols, i.e. Kelley Ayotte, for example and Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Wondering if the Kochs are already in there backing her as spokesperson.

  •  School lunches (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Kyle Koehler, running for the Republican nomination for the 79th district in the Ohio statehouse has a novel way to cut spending - stop having cafeteria workers and just pack your lunch!

    While I am sure the "School Lunch Officials" are hard working state/school employees, it should bother people that we are spending money employing people to do the job that my mother and father took care of when I was in grade school. Mom packed my lunch. Dad made sure I ate it.
  •  Impossible reconciliation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How do these insane right-wingers reconcile their stand on law when it comes to immigration, but against law when it comes to the BLM?

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 04:50:51 PM PDT

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