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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 be watching. Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.

At Calitics, Brian Leubitz writes—Californians Want Action on Environment:

Calitics logo
In a PPIC poll just released this evening, Californians said that they want action on the environment. As you can see from the graph, Californians think the time to act is now.
About two-thirds of Californians (68%) support the state law, AB 32, which requires California to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Strong majorities have favored this law since the survey first asked about it in July 2006, but a partisan divide has emerged on the question. While most Democrats, Republicans, and independents favored the law in 2006, support since then has increased 14 points among Democrats (from 67% to 81% today) and dropped 26 points among Republicans (from 65% to 39% today). Support has dipped slightly among independents (from 68% to 62% today). A strong majority of Californians (65%) favor the state making its own policies to address global warming.
Why the big drop in Republican support? Ah, that would be the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger is gone. AB 32 was as much his doing as the sponsors of the bill, current Sen. Pavley or former Speaker Fabian Nunez or anybody else. Now that he's out of office, there just isn't that big name Republican support and so the cratering should be no surprise.
At Delaware Dem, El Somnambulo writes—Carney sides with pesticide polluters:
Delaware Liberal
To be fair, he hadn’t cast any real egregious votes for a few weeks now.

That has changed. [At-Large Democratic Rep. John] Carney sided with pesticide polluters who don’t even want to get a permit to spray in waterways. This despite the fact that there had not been a single complaint from a single state or provider urging a change in policy:

Fortunately for all of us, the vote required a super-majority and fell short of it. So Carney scored points with corporate polluters while not causing any damage. Yet.

Just one question. Why the bleep would he ever cast a vote like this? John? John?

Below the orange gerrymander are more excerpts from progressive state blogs.

At Nevada Progressive, atdnext writes—What Boobs:

But wait, there's more. Not wanting to be outdone by a bunch of ragtag Texas women daring to "bare it all", the NRA decided to go Godwin.

Oh, yes. That's right. An NRA lobbyist Brian Judy actually compared expansion of background checks to the genocidal tyranny of Nazi Germany. Wait, what?!

The NRA and its "TEA" powered allies in Washington State are furious over Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer supporting I-594. So not only did the NRA decide to engage in "Everyone gets a gun!" style socialism, but one of its Washington lobbyists actually attacked Hanauer, his Jewish heritage. And then, he claimed Hanauer is trying to disarm the proletariat, provoke Helter Skelter, and celebrate his family's escape from Nazi Germany by endorsing the alleged policies that would have exterminated them.

Wait, what?! We know the NRA is trying hard to "rebrand" itself as "the nation's oldest civil rights organization", but this is just beyond the pale. It was bad enough when the NRA celebrated George Zimmerman's ruthless slaughter of Trayvon Martin. It only worsened when the NRA then encouraged Cliven Bundy and his "Patriot Movement" comrades to start a "Range War" in Bunkerville. And it only became more tragically revolting when the NRA's favorite G-O-TEA politicians boasted about being "what stood in the way" of mere background checks legislation (like Washington's I-594) that could have prevented Jerad & Amanda Miller from obtaining the weapons they needed to slaughter two Las Vegas Metro police officers and one civilian in June.

At Raging Chicken Press of Pennsylvania, Sean Kitchen writes—#PAGov: Tom Corbett’s Media Strategist Defends Ernst’s Use of Nullification:
Raging Chicken Press
On Hardball earlier this evening, Chris Matthews covered Joni Ernst’s nullification video which was released by The Daily Beast.  In the video, the Iowa senatorial candidate said “as a U.S. senator, why should we be passing laws that the states are considering nullifying.” So Ernst is kinda for nullification and continued with “we are way overstepping bounds as federal legislators. “We should not be passing laws as federal legislators, senators, or congressman that the states would even consider nullifying.”  Or Ernst is using dog whistle politics to rouse the base.

On Hardball, Chris Matthews invited John Brabender, whose campaign experience includes Tom Corbett’s reelection run and Rick Santorum’s failed presidential run, and asked what Brabender thought about her position on nullification.  Brabender says.

I got to be honest. This whole question in a sense is the craziness of Washington. We’re going to have this conversation ‘what did [Ernst] mean of nullification.”
And was asked “what do you think she meant?”

Brabender continues:

“I don’t know.  Does it matter?  Looking at what she said.  The context of what she was saying in to people in Iowa was ‘lets just have common sense.’”
At R.I, Steve Ahlquist writes—The economics of refugee children:
If the most important thing in the world is the Economy and all else is secondary in consideration, then human life is only valuable in as much as it contributes to the efficient maintenance of the Economy. In such a world the makers of things and the investors of Capital are of primary importance, while the takers of things and those incapable of meaningful contribution are at best to be considered luxuries and at worst impediments to our great society.

It is easy to understand why Terry Gorman, founder of nativist hate group RIILE, motivated by racism and misanthropy, would be so outraged by the influx of refugee children that he would hold weekly rallies to announce his special kind of awfulness to the world, but it is harder to understand the rationale of those who maintain that they are not motivated by unreasoning hatred, but by simple considerations of market forces and uncontrollable economic reality.

Justin Katz, appearing on Channel 10’s Wingmen recently, maintained that, “illegal immigrants” will put a burden on schools and other social services, even though the group Katz fronts for, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, actively seeks to cut funds for schools and social services. In his defense, Katz is merely following his economic ideas to their inevitable conclusion: Since the kinds of  policies the Center advocates for have already made it more difficult to adequately care for at-risk children presently living in Rhode Island, how can our state possibly afford to care for even more at-risk children?

What any potential influx of refugee children will reveal about the Rhode Island economy is what economist Robert Reich calls a vicious circle, a complex working of policies that reinforces itself through a feedback loop with ever more negative economic consequences, at least for most of us. (A very few will attain unimaginable wealth.) The rules in Rhode Island have been constructed to deprive the necessities of life to those deemed incapable of meaningful contributions to the all-important Economy. The arrival of hungry children simply makes this fact gallingly apparent.

At ColoradoPols, Colorado Pols writes—Sorry Gun Nuts, Colorado Tourism Is Booming:
Colorado Pols state blog
After the passage of gun safety bills in the Colorado legislature last year, Republicans and their gun lobby allies predicted, we'd even go as far as say hoped for, a crippling boycott of the state's vital tourism industry. This prediction quickly proved unfounded, as the most likely indicator of a boycott by pro-gun tourists—a reduction in hunting licenses—didn't take place. In fact, Colorado issued some 18,000 more licenses in 2013 than in 2012.

And as the Denver Business Journal's Ed Sealover reports, 2013 overall was a banner year for tourism in Colorado:

Colorado welcomed a full-year record 64.6 million visitors in 2013, experiencing boosts even in segments of travelers—such as business travelers—for which many other markets saw declines last year.

The Colorado Tourism Office announced Tuesday that a trio of studies it conducted on visitation found also that those travelers spent a record $17.3 billion in the state…

[T]he state bucked trends by welcoming a 4 percent increase in business travelers as well, despite an 11 percent decline in business trips nationwide, according to a study by Longwoods International. Those business travelers spent a total of $1.4 billion in the state—a 21 percent bump above 2012 levels. [...]

We'll say it again and again: the dire predicted consequences of the gun safety bills passed in 2013 never materialized. The new laws did not "ban gun ownership" as Sen. Kent Lambert ludicrously claimed would happen. If anything, the impact of the new laws has been exaggerated by both sides: recent news reports indicate that the estimates of how many background checks on private sales would be performed were significantly overstated by nonpartisan legislative staffers. And despite Jon Caldara's ridiculous scare tactics, you can still buy compliant magazines in Colorado for virtually any weapon–including Caldara's precious Glock pistol, for which he said he would "never be able to get a magazine again" if these laws passed.
At My Left Nutmeg of Connecticut, abg22 writes—CT-GOP's Image Reboot Falls Apart As "Urban Affairs" Adviser is Thrown Under the Bus:
My Left Nutmeg
The Connecticut GOP's "urban outreach" program has been sent into a tailspin this week with the firing of Connecticut Black Republican and Conservatives (CTBRAC) Chairwoman Regina Roundtree from state representative Penny Bacchiocchi's campaign for lieutenant governor. Roundtree committed the unforgivable sin of talking about "white privilege" on her Facebook page, which evidently is not what the tea party voters in a GOP primary want to hear about. (Coincidentally New Britain's GOP Mayor Erin Stewart has also gotten into hot water recently with her Facebook postings -- what is it with the GOP and Facebook?) Almost immediately after Roundtree's comments were called "character assassination" by one of Bachiochi's opponents, Bacchiochi revved up the bus and gave Roundtree a shove. Bacchiochi, who has been embroiled in an ongoing controversy over her unfounded accusations that one of her opponents was engaging in a 'whispering campaign' about her inter-racial family, called Roundtree's comments "unacceptable" and dismissed her from the campaign. The knee-jerk move by the Bacchiochi campaign to throw Roundtree under the bus seems to reflect an anxiety that, despite winning official party endorsement at the GOP convention in May, Bacchiochi's campaign is floundering just as opponent David Walker seems to be gaining momentum, racking up endorsements from GOP heavy-hitters across the spectrum, and another opponent, Heather Bond Somers, is ramping up negative attacks on Bacchiochi.

As a woman married to a black man (not to mention a supporter of medical marijuana and drug reform), Bacchiochi had been seen as one of the candidates representing a new and more diverse face of the Republican Party, and this was supposed to be the year when the CT GOP got serious about reaching out to minority voters, who were largely responsible for the GOP losing every statewide race in 2010, and getting beaten by 10-1 margins in urban areas. Senate Minority Leader John McKinney and other party leaders attended the launch of CTBRAC earlier this year and Roundtree was made chair of the urban affairs coalition of the state GOP. Gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley has included an extensive "urban agenda" in his campaign platform, and paid Roundtree's consulting firm more than $7000 to set up meetings for him in the black community.

Was there ever any serious "vetting" of Roundtree to see if she is on board with the GOP's self-serving fantasy of a post-racial society? Of course not, because as it has now become clear the whole outreach strategy was merely cosmetic gimmickry from the start.

At NH Labor News, writes—Combat Veterans Are Furious Because Scott Brown Is Disingenuous About Afghanistan Service:
NH Labor News
As Scott Brown launches a “Veterans for Brown” group, Massachusetts veterans are reaching out to New Hampshire veterans to inform them that Brown continues to exaggerate and misrepresent his “service” in Afghanistan.  Since Brown declared that he “served in Afghanistan” while debating Elizabeth Warren in 2012, the truth has come out regarding Brown’s actual military record—that he never served in combat in Afghanistan, as his statement suggests.

“Scott Brown’s shameless self-promotion of his ‘service’ overseas is offensive to veterans everywhere. He alleges that he served in combat, but the truth is, he avoided it entirely,” said Bill Dooling. “Scott Brown only requested to perform his two week National Guard training in Afghanistan so he could use it to score political points to help his campaign. In reality, Brown’s trip to Afghanistan was nothing more than a publicity stunt – that’s why he leaked it to the press himself. It’s an insult to combat veterans that Brown keeps trying to paint himself with the same brush and uses his alleged ‘service’ in the way he has.”

“There is nothing that Scott Brown won’t do or say for Scott Brown—even if it means passing off his ‘service in Afghanistan’ as something that it most definitely was not,” said John Hurley. “Brown could not have been more ostentatious the way he turned a normal two-week training period into a complete media circus. He simply did not serve in combat, and the way he explains his service is meant to mislead voters and veterans. Even the Boston Globe editorialized against Brown, saying he was wrong to state that he ‘served in Afghanistan.’ It makes me sick.”

At Ohio Daily, Anastasia Pantsios writes—DeWine "Missteps":
Hilarious headline in Crain’s Cleveland business.

“Mike DeWine takes a rare political misstep.”


DeWine’s entire term has been a series of political missteps. He walks into his office each morning and steps in it.

Progress Ohio has been documenting his record of overt cronyism, which only seems to matter to Ohio media when Democrats do it.

But this latest scandal is the most egregious — certainly worse tenfold than anything Marc Dann did that got him run out of the AG office, with everyone in Ohio acting like he was the worst elected official in Ohio history.

In soliciting bids for a company to do collections, DeWine tapped a company, formed by one of his donor/cronies a mere two days before a request of proposals was put out, over experienced companies. This brand new company didn’t have licenses to operate outside Ohio and had to turn those cases back to the AG’s office. Now it appears that their score was “adjusted” to equal that of the more experienced firms.

And, as the Dayton Daily News has outlined, DeWine routinely met with debt collection attorneys, vendors and lobbyists who had tight political ties to DeWine — and made large contributions to him or people associated with him as the selection process was going on. The paper, one of the few left in Ohio that still does valuable investigative work, lays it all out.

At Juanita Jean's of Texas, Juanita Jean writes—Oh For Pete’s Sake:
state blogs,Juanita Jean's
Chicago is where the good guys with a gun quickly become the scary damn guy with a gun.

The bad guy with a gun goes in to rob the AT&T store. The good guy with a gun sees it and keeps other people from going into the store. Some customers flag down a police officer.

Well, the sight of a police officer makes the good guy with a gun get testosterone overload and he fires a shot at the bad guy, who is fleeing. The police officer, who did not know about the good guy with a gun, immediately takes cover not knowing who is shooting at what.

The good guy with a gun, who has instantly become a bad guy with a gun, trying to act like Wyatt Earp or John Wayne, says he saw the guy escape and knew there was a police officer involved somewhere and that he was trying to protect the police officer.  He’s just damn lucky the police officer did not return fire. [...]

Note to good guys with guns: You are not a cop. You are not trained to be a cop. Holster that sucker no mat[t]er how much you’re just craving to kill somebody.

At CenMar of Louisiana, Lamar White, Jr. writes—Is Big Oil Secretly Negotiating A Settlement To Pay For Coastal Damages?
On April 25th, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell was a guest on “The Jim Engster Show,” and General Caldwell spoke candidly about his recent dispute with State Senator Robert Adley (R- Big Oil) and the continuing controversy surrounding the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s (SLFPA-E) landmark lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies. [...]

A few weeks ago, I spoke with John Barry, a former member of the SLFPA-E who is widely considered one of the world’s preeminent experts in the history and the causes of coastal erosion. While on the SLFPA-E, Mr. Barry, the author of the critically acclaimed bestseller Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America, helped to spearhead the largest and most significant environmental lawsuit in Louisiana history, asking 97 different oil and gas companies to, in Mr. Barry’s words, “restore the part of the coast they damaged.” Make no mistake: No one can credibly deny that oil and gas companies are not, at least, partially responsible for the destruction and degradation of the Louisiana Gulf Coast, and no one, including Senator Robert Adley, can credibly assert that these companies were really “complying with the law.”

For decades, oil and gas companies have extracted trillions of dollars worth of natural resources from Louisiana’s coast, and Louisiana’s shared natural resources have helped a small handful of multinational corporations and out-of-state businessmen accumulate more wealth than anyone before in human history. It’s an astonishing arrangement: Foreign oil and gas companies have pillaged and polluted Louisiana’s coast; they’ve made the state’s already vulnerable ecosystem even more vulnerable by dredging canals wherever and whenever they see fit. The wealthiest industry in the world has convinced one of the poorest, sickest, and most uneducated states in America that they’re doing it a favor by extracting its natural resources, shipping off the profits, destroying its environment, buying off its state government, and hiring so-called academics to remind everyone how great the industry is for the state’s economy.

This, of course, is not to suggest, at all, that Louisiana’s oil and gas industry is inherently terrible; like most industries, it’s just inherently amoral.

At Dirigo Blue of Maine, Greg Weinand writes—Chutzpah:
Chutzpah. It’s a Yiddish word that means unbridled audacity.

It is really the only way to describe the latest action from Gov. Paul LePage, who issued a press release today regarding the end-of-year surplus that the State has. LePage wrote:

“My fiscal policy focuses on the next generation, not the next election. I campaigned on a pledge of fiscal responsibility, and my actions since day one have reflected a commitment to that pledge.”

The reality is a bit different, of course.

In June 2013, LePage vetoed the biennial budget. The Legislature overrode that veto that avoided a shutdown of the Maine government.

Apparently still smarting from that comeuppance, a petulant LePage refused to work with members of the Appropriations Committee on crafting a Supplemental Budget, to make adjustments to keep the State’s books balanced. When that measure reached his desk, he refused to sign it and let it become law without his signature.

And so it is remarkable that today LePage tries to take credit for a surplus in the State’s finances. Credit for work performed by others. Work that he chose not to help with.
Ever classy our governor.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks MB (12+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:17:13 AM PDT

  •  Good morning, Meteor Blades! (9+ / 0-)

    Had my pee wee BB granddaughter over last night. I love her so. But it made me also think of somebody else's pee wees.

    My diary from a few days ago update ya'll on the Texas Young Democrats' efforts to help the refugee children.

    Direct link to wish list.
    (Thank you, Meteor Blades)
  •  The MA legislature wound up this week (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for this session. Nothing earth-shattering. A summary of the last-minute stuff was here: Liquor license, opioid bills pass Mass. Legislature. Really glad to see the improved coverage for addiction issues though.

    But there was great news--the GMO labeling bill went the way of the dinosaur. It was great to have the newspaper editorial come out: GMO labeling bill lacks a scientific justification. But my impression is that it was already withering before that.

    What will happen the next time the mob comes?--Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by mem from somerville on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:23:39 AM PDT

  •  there for a second, (3+ / 0-)

    I was afraid Gov. Jerry Brown had done something to piss off veterans

    the other brown is quite forgettable for the most part

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:36:45 AM PDT

  •  You mean Frank Rose and all teh gun nuts wuz wong? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    basket, Eric Nelson
    We'll say it again and again: the dire predicted consequences of the gun safety bills passed in 2013 never materialized. The new laws did not "ban gun ownership" as Sen. Kent Lambert ludicrously claimed would happen.
    WE really need to stop listening to these lunatics and assholes.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:48:50 AM PDT

  •  capitalism (0+ / 0-)

    Capitalism does not respond to the "common good."  In schools, we were taught that such a thought is communism, and therefore, terrible.  Global warming--climate change--is ignored because fixing the problem is bad for business.  The argument is not really about politics, it's about economics.  Even the supporters of action rarely talk about replacement energy--just vaguely say solar power.  Unless we start using much less energy, we should force power plants to be much cleaner.  This worked for cars, after much debate by corps telling us it was impossible.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:53:41 AM PDT

  •  This reporting on the canals dredged up into.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    Louisiana by Lamar White Jr. @ CenLamar blog is really important:

    It’s an astonishing arrangement: Foreign oil and gas companies have pillaged and polluted Louisiana’s coast; they’ve made the state’s already vulnerable ecosystem even more vulnerable by dredging canals wherever and whenever they see fit.
    I was watching a program where a scientist explained how the damage from Hurricane Katrina was made all the more terrible because of the huge loss of the natural buffer that the Louisiana marshlands provide against storms.

    The canals cut inland disrupted the whole ecosystem by salt water poisoning  the delicate balance ocean and fresh water in the marshlands.
    The naturally marshland-filtered salt water kills the march causing it to recede more and more each year until there is no buffer. Then when a hurricane like Katrina hits it really hits hard.

    I hope with enough reporting like this, awareness with the people (and not just the fisherman/women whose businesses have suffered along with the pollution) can get to together and crack down on Big Oil and make them pay to clean up their mess.

    Because there will be more hurricanes like Katrina and the marchlands need to be restored
    The good news out of the bad; republicans seem to be are losing it.
    I don't know if it is the blindness that comes with hubris or living in an info-bubble, or both. So not only does Scott Brown seem to be  "swift-boating" himself, republican governors LePage (Maine) and that "just close your eyes" prober Pa. gov. Corbet with this latest John C Calhoun "nullification" meme (or whatever you'd call it) also seem to be just as delusional and headed for defeat because of it.
    Even the gun-nut lobby types are out of touch with what is happening.

    That’s when we wake up, and tell them we aren’t playing their game anymore.
    Yes that ugly racist feed back loop we're seeing today from the "conservative" party is just awful. The RWNJ's seem to be unraveling in the worst way as each of their F0x fevered narratives gets exposed and rejected.

    Unfortunately it is innocent refugees that can't fight back that republicans have decided will be one of the new focuses of attack. Immigration issues.

    I hope that Dems take this head-on and make this despicable attack by the right cost them dearly and painfully and not just at the polls. I hope this cruel assault by the GOP on the most vulnerable really guts their future in any elected position; top to bottom.  
    And the bogus outreach that Joy-Ann Reid talked about; the republican "image re-boot" exposed as the fake cover for the racist/white supremacy party they are - good

    Thx MB for this weeks round-up

  •  And more from Maine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    In attacking Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mike Michaud, a former Republican legislator shows she doesn’t know how Congress works:

    Despite civics classes in high school, many Americans have little understanding of how a bill works its way through Congress. This apparently includes former State Senator Debra Plowman (R), who in an attack on Rep. Mike Michaud in today’s Bangor Daily News writes:
    Throughout 12 years in Congress, Michaud has failed to get a single bill passed into law; in fact, he hasn’t even gotten one of his bills a vote in the Senate.
    Plowman spent more than ten years in the Maine Legislature, both as a Representative and Senator. Bills introduced here are stand alone, and must focus on just one subject of law.

    But in Congress, bills are often rolled into other, larger “omnibus” bills. It’s why many of these types of bills are divided into “Titles.”

    Take, for example, this:

    In July 2009, Rep. Mike Michaud authored H.R. 3155 – the Caregiver Assistance and Resource Enhancement Act. The CARE Act passed the House and was referred to the Senate, eventually becoming Title I of S. 1963 – the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act.

    In other words, Mrs. Plowman is wrong when she states that “Michaud has failed to get a single bill passed into law.”

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 10:41:58 AM PDT

  •  Thank MB (0+ / 0-)

    You are one busy man !

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