A single party controls the legislature and the governor’s mansion in 37 states, many of which are so liberal or conservative that either Democrats or Republicans hold permanent majorities. And that pushes some parties and advocacy groups that have little to do with each other in Washington together at the state level.
— The results have shown in recent primaries. The League of Conservation Voters and its Idaho state league celebrated big victories in last month’s Republican primaries, funding independent campaigns to boost two state legislative candidates against a state rep. and state sen. who were among local enviros’ biggest opponents.
— LCV has only endorsed a few federal Republicans in the last six years — only Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) in 2012, plus defeated ex-Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) — but it’s still working with GOPers at a state and local level. In Alabama, the state teachers’ union helped push three Republicans through state House primaries — though it spent about $7 million to do it and got shut out in state Senate primaries.
— Typically Republican-aligned groups work the same angles in Democratic-dominated states. The California Chamber of Commerce, for example, picked sides (and won) in several 2012 state Assembly general elections pitting two Democrats against each other, but it had been involved boosting moderate Democrats in primaries long before the state’s top-two primary.
Political alliances between parties and some of the big advocacy groups may seem cut and dry in Washington, but there’s another level of complexity in the states — especially where one-party rule naturally limits who you can work with.
— Scott Bland
What We're Following See More »
The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."
"Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over making fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party." Among the possible changes: forbidding independent voters to cast ballots in Republican primaries, and "doubling the number of early states to eight."
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
"Speaker Paul Ryan is changing the rules of how the House will consider spending measures to try to prevent Democrats from offering surprise amendments that have recently put the GOP on defense. ... Ryan announced at a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning that members will now have to submit their amendments ahead of time so that they are pre-printed in the Congressional Record, according to leadership aides." The change will take effect after the Memorial Day recess.
Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.