The weather sucks and everything is terrible.
If it’s not a record-shattering hurricane, it’s raging wildfires or a swarm of earthquakes right on top of our continent’s very own supervolcano.
Who’ll Stop The Rain? Republican majorities in the Wisconsin legislature are truly desperate to woo a massive new Foxconn plant to the state.
- How desperate are they? Glad you asked! Not only are Republicans pushing a $3 billion incentive package to attract the Foxconn LCD screen plant, but they’re also waiving state environmental regulations and protections to speed the plant’s construction.
Oh, and they’re also changing the state’s legal system to accommodate the corporation. NBD!
- Under the incentive package that’s likely to be approved by the legislature later this month, any lawsuit involving Foxconn will skip the state appeals court and go directly to the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Fun fact! No other Wisconsin business is or has ever been granted this expedited (and unquestionably pro-corporate) process.
Rock You Like A Hurricane: Last week, the GOP-controlled North Carolina legislature approved some truly awful new state legislative maps to comply with a court order striking down the previous, illegally racially gerrymandered ones. (The new maps are extreme partisan gerrymanders, arguably creating just 15 competitive districts out of 170 total House and Senate seats in the state.) They convened a special session to do so, and when they adjourned, they plotted to return in October.
- In North Carolina, special sessions must be called for a specific purpose. Often the purpose is set forth in the adjournment resolution of the current session.
In the most recent adjournment resolution, North Carolina Republicans basically allowed themselves to consider any issue they dang well please. But some of the more interesting items on their October agenda include:
- Redrawing (read: gerrymandering) the state’s judicial districts, something Republicans first floated to understandable outrage last June. A gerrymandered judicial district map would effectively allow the legislature to stack the state’s court system with Republican judges.
- Impeachment proceedings. Back in June, a GOP lawmaker launched impeachment proceedings against Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marhsall, who, by the way, has done nothing wrong.
- Republican Rep. Chris Millis began laying the groundwork for impeachment charges back in February when he requested information on whether Marshall was illegally allowing non-citizens to become notaries public. (She wasn’t.) In March, Millis demanded that Marshall resign. (She didn’t.)
- Then, despite the fact than none of his inquiries or investigations turned up evidence that Marshall did anything improper or illegal, Millis pushed his GOP toward impeachment proceedings anyway.
Because Secretary of State Marshall is doing something wrong, at least in the eyes of the state GOP.
- She earned enough support from North Carolina voters statewide to get elected to office as a Democrat.
- And she didn’t just do it once. She’s done it six times.
- Marshall was first elected secretary of state in 1996, and she’s held the post ever since. Republicans just can’t seem to oust her at the ballot box, so they’re going after her with their
- racially gerrymandered,
- artificially inflated legislative majorities to remove her from office.
… but maybe Republicans won’t get around to impeaching Marshall after all, now that her most vocal opponent has quite abruptly announced his departure from the legislature.
- Just before the Labor Day holiday weekend, Millis quietly and unexpectedly announced via his website that he’s resigning from the legislature “to be with [his] family more often” and totally “has nothing to do with any other assumptions that individuals may want to manufacture.”
Stormy Weather: A new Democratic organization has popped up to lead a broad effort to get more Democrats get elected to state legislatures, which is great, but I wonder if they’re aware that there’s already an organization that does this.
Because reinventing the wheel is a great use of (already far too scarce) Democratic resources to rebuild in statehouses.
- Seriously, though, the only way Democrats stand a chance of making gains at the legislative level is if new organizations find ways to plug into and build on existing infrastructure.
- The world of state politics is complicated, unsexy, and messy, what with each state having its own vastly different election laws, finance regulations, filing deadlines, and political landscapes.
- The ability to engage in this work with a high level of expertise and understanding is crucial, and DLCC is already doing it (with quite a bit of success already this cycle).
This statehouse shindig could definitely use more revelers, but the last thing this effort needs is duplication of existing efforts—or worse.
Speaking of Democratic over-performance in down-ballot elections… If you’re looking for election data (like the kind that demonstrates the clear trend of Democratic electoral over-performance this cycle), breakdowns of presidential electoral performance by congressional and state legislative districts are pretty handy provisions to have in your survival kit.
Crunching this kind of data takes time, so while the data for every single congressional district is ready and waiting for your number-crunching needs, breaking down presidential results in over 7,000 state legislative districts takes a wee bit longer.
- But we’ve got 35 states ready and waiting, including hot little numbers like Virginia, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Texas, and North Carolina.
- Check back soon for final numbers in groovy places like Pennsylvania, Indiana, and the Dakotas!
Welp, I’m off to wring some final moments of joy from the End of Days (probably). Until next week (hopefully)!