It’s The State Legislatures, Stupid

I don’t understand how or why, but Democrats have lost so much ground in state legislatures around the country it has become a genuine crisis, whether its voting rights, gerrymandering or whatever. This needs to be fixed, and soon. Recruiting Democrats to win state legislative seats is just about the most critical mission the party faces.

My hunch is there has been a national Democratic Party bias toward statewide and federal races that is crippling our agenda in the face of Republican gains locally. That needs to change.


Author: craigcrawford

Trail Mix Host

32 thoughts on “It’s The State Legislatures, Stupid”

  1. It’s going to take a lot of voter education to get out the vote and to vote all the way down the ballot.

    We might also need some type of training to intervene if others in line to vote are harassed because they aren’t white men.

    When Racism Strikes, Here’s How to Record It

    Yesterday, I heard on NPR that Republicans knocking on doors during a pandemic, while Democrats did not want to expose their campaign staff, was a big reason for losses in Texas.

  2. a sliver – but only a sliver- of good news from courier journal

    More days and ways to vote: How Kentucky is breaking with red states on voting access

    Kentucky’s passage of landmark legislation to increase voting access bucks a trend of GOP-led legislatures pursuing controversial voting restrictions in the wake of President Joe Biden’s victory.
    “I will tell you, I’m more proud of this than I’ve ever been of anything,” said Secretary of State Michael Adams, a Republican who heavily advocated for the proposal. “This is the biggest election reform since 1891 (in Kentucky).”
    Ultra-partisan battles over voting rights have taken center-stage in Congress and in statehouses across the nation.
    Georgia’s Republican-run legislature overhauled their election rules and added major restrictions last week in a move many blasted as “Jim Crow 2.0.”
    In the Bluegrass State, however, lawmakers of both parties united to give House Bill 574 — which will make widespread, no-excuse early voting a regular part of the commonwealth’s elections — final passage Monday night with almost unanimous support. 
    “They stand out as a positive outlier,” Sarah Walker — executive director of the nonpartisan nonprofit Secure Democracy, which supports HB 574 and recently did lobbying and polling work in the commonwealth — said of the election changes the General Assembly approved. “… In this moment, it’s still pretty exceptional, given that Kentucky is a deep-red state.”
    As long as Gov. Andy Beshear doesn’t veto it, HB 574 will make significant changes to state law, including: 

  3. more about above from same link:

    Election law expert and University of Kentucky professor Josh Douglas said HB 574 is a “great start” that includes a mild expansion of voting access and “common-sense” security practices, such as letting state officials quickly remove someone from the voter rolls if they’re notified that person moved to and registered to vote in another state.
    “It’s not everything I would want, but I think we’re showing the nation how voter access and election integrity don’t have to be mutually exclusive. That you can find ways to compromise,” Douglas said. “This is how election policy should be done.”
    Adams likewise said election access and security aren’t contradictory and even can be complimentary.
    “Republicans tend to be myopically focused on security, and sometimes they’ve got a blind spot when it comes to access, and the Democrats are the opposite,” he said. “The nice thing about this bill is it handles both.”
    Adams emphasized the value of reaching bipartisan agreements on election reforms. 
    “I think the only way to have an election system that everyone thinks is legit is for both sides to come together and work it out,” he said.
    It’s important to note Kentucky’s election rules, under current state law, rank among the most restrictive in the nation. Some other Republican-led legislatures that are looking to make their election laws stricter already offer more voting access than the commonwealth does.
    For example, most states offer widespread early voting, but Kentucky doesn’t. 
    The addition of three days of early voting under HB 574 is a major shift for Kentucky, which got its first taste of no-excuse early voting last year under a bipartisan election plan Adams and Beshear put together because of the pandemic.

  4. Poor, white voters need to see that POC are not the enemy, and, that they are being used to keep Republicans (who do not care about them) in power.   Yes, there are a lot of rich racists, too, but there are far more who are economically marginalized.   
    Republicans rely on scarcity scare-tactics to divide folks. If everyone would open their eyes and realize how much wealth a very few have made (even during a pandemic), they would realize there is no scarcity, there is only greed.

    Now, what about that insider trading by Loeffler and others?

  5. craig,  you may want to amend your thread title to read

    “it’s the stupid state legislatures”

    however, some are known to be enlightened, sane and aware of their duty/responsibility for the public good.  rare beasts nowadays and on the endangered list like the sometimes functioning congress.


    FYI from wiki:

    Gideon John Tucker (February 10, 1826 – July 1899) was an American lawyer, newspaper editor and politician. In 1866, as Surrogate of New York County, he wrote in a decision of a will case: “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.”[

  7. WV is predictably trending more Republican at the state level, but it’s not a result of fear of POC. While WV certainly has its racism, and in great numbers I’d add, there are few POCs in WV political races and I just don’t hear issues related to race discussed in political races. East Bumfuck’s county continues to stay primarily Democratic, but we’re one of the few exceptions in the state. Instead I hear the old “librul“ saw pulled out in each election, wrongly understood and applied, but hey, it’s WV. What else would you expect?  

  8. patD – I agree.  The Texas State Legislature is stupid.  Well, the legislators.

    pogo – “Librul” can also be code for anyone who isn’t a white Christian.

  9. The take over of State legislators has been an almost 40 year project of the GOP.  Democrats need to realize that every office is important from School Board on up.  It is only by grooming and promoting up the ladder that eventually pays off in real power.


  10. jamie’s right.  they’ve been at it for years and they have been very well-coordinated with their ALEC scheme.

    here’s what salon had to say a year ago about

    ALEC: How Republicans use it to gain power—and keep it. (

    If you’re wondering what the electoral path forward is in 2020, just look at what the Republicans are doing. Over the past decade, the GOP has moved in lockstep to take over state legislatures and other local offices, pressing its agenda at every level. The party has had the backing of well-financed groups that in turn expect their limited-government, free market legislation to be prioritized. It’s not a popular mandate, but Republicans keep getting reelected anyway, thanks to their outside support and organization. And heading into this pivotal election, Democrats don’t seem to have the same kind of unity and electoral infrastructure.


  11. hooo raaay!

    Court voids Trump campaign’s non-disclosure agreement – POLITICO

    A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a broad non-disclosure agreement that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign required employees to sign is unenforceable.
    U.S. District Court Judge Paul Gardephe’s ruling generally steered clear of the constitutional issues presented by such agreements in the context of political campaigns. Instead, the judge — an appointee of President George W. Bush — said the sweeping, boilerplate language the campaign compelled employees to sign was so vague that the agreement was invalid under New York contract law.
    Gardephe’s 36-page decision said a non-disparagement clause in the agreement was similarly flawed.

  12. more from above link:

    Gardephe issued the ruling in a case brought by Jessica Denson, a Hispanic outreach director for Trump in 2016 who accused the campaign of sex discrimination in separate litigation.
    At one point, the campaign persuaded an arbitrator to issue a $50,000 award against Denson for violating the agreement, but that award was later overturned.
    Denson celebrated the latest ruling, saying it dealt a death blow to a tactic Trump has long wielded to control his image.
    “I’m overjoyed,” Denson told POLITICO. “This president … former president spent all four years aspiring to autocracy while claiming that he was champion of freedom and free speech. … There’s many people out there who have seen cases like mine and were terrified to speak out.”

  13. more good news

    Capitol Police officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby sue Trump over Jan. 6 riots – The Washington Post

    Two Capitol Police officers who battled the mob of Donald Trump supporters that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 are suing the former president for the physical and emotional injuries they say they suffered in the attacks.
    In a federal suit filed Tuesday in D.C., Officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby allege that for months, Trump rallied the insurrectionists with baseless election fraud claims that eventually culminated in the breach of the Capitol that left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer. About 140 police officers were injured, according to the police union, and two officers who had been on duty at the Capitol that day later died by suicide.
    The officers are each seeking compensatory damages of at least $75,000 and an undisclosed amount in punitive damages from Trump.

  14. BiD – in WV librul means – in general and not specific terms – (a) not a RW nut, (b) a poor person on more than 2 state or federal forms of relief (c) a hippy or (d) drives a German car.

  15.  Biden easily won NH ….  Jeanne Shaheen  handily won re-election.  Our 2 Democratic congress critters won re-election.  Yet our state legislature turned back to republican in Nov.  I don’t get it.  They know they have a 2 yr window and are trying to do as much damage as they can.
    I guess the national Democratic Party needs to spend more money on local races.

  16. Poobah, I can personally endorse the Pfizer vaccine. Drive carefully – That’s your biggest threat from getting the vaccine. 
    BiD, WV is 93%+ white and 76% Christian. Not a lot of nonwhites to be targeted as libruls here. 

  17. A thought about the filabuster rule.  How about get rid of it right now, then reinstate it just before the election.  If the Dems hold the Senate then get rid of it again.

  18. Craig…  good on you!
    Rick and I got our second Pfizer shot this past Saturday.  I was very nervous about side affects as so many are having a harder time with the second shot.  It was a breeze for both of us.  Just a bit of tenderness at the injection site.
    We will celebrate soon by going to breakfast at our cherished diner.

  19. i support this thread.
    The only side-effect i had from Pfizer was a hang-over from celebrating about getting it

  20. I had no side effects from either the first or second dose of Pfizer, but Mrs. P had tiredness (she was zonked), chills and fever and general achiness for the night and day following dose 2. She was fine when she woke up the second day after the shot. 

  21. Hahaha…….remember John Jenrette   Matt Gaetz?

    And no side defects from los shottos inoculottos

    lol, i guess that op is blown, now

  23. Poobah, Along those lines, Bun in the oven if you’re hungry.
    Teaser:  Cooke and Delta try a bit of damage control.

  24. Cy Vance is dialing up the pressure  – on Allen Weisselberg, that is.  NYT

    State prosecutors in Manhattan investigating former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization have subpoenaed the personal bank records of the company’s chief financial officer and are questioning gifts he and his family received from Mr. Trump, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

    In recent weeks, the prosecutors have trained their focus on the executive, Allen H. Weisselberg, in what appears to be a determined effort to gain his cooperation. Mr. Weisselberg, who has not been accused of wrongdoing, has overseen the Trump Organization’s finances for decades and may hold the key to any possible criminal case in New York against the former president and his family business.

    I wonder if Dumbass has been stupid enough to call, text, email, etc. Allen.  I hope so.

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