SPOTLIGHT

State Politics’ Strange Bedfellows

California's state Capitol
National Journal
Scott Bland
See more stories about...
Scott Bland
June 5, 2014, 7:45 a.m.

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 »
11 HOUSE MEMBERS NOW BEHIND HIM
Two Committee Chairs Endorse Trump
11 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Two powerful House members—Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Jeff Miller (R-FL)—are throwing their support behind Donald Trump.

Source:
BUT WOULD HE THROW THE CHAIR?
Bobby Knight: Trump Would Drop the Bomb Just Like Truman
11 hours ago
THE LATEST
LAST PLACE
Trump Still Struggling for Endorsements
14 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
MORE INDEPENDENTS, FEWER SUPERDELEGATES
Sanders Could Force Changes to Nominating Process
16 hours ago
THE LATEST

There are not "ongoing, direct conversations between" the Bernie Sanders camp and the Hillary Clinton camp regarding "the platform or rules changes," but Sanders "is already making his opening arguments" about those issues on the stump. Sanders is putting "complaints about closed primaries" atop his stump speeches lately, and figures to start a "conversation about the role of superdelegates in the nominating process." He said, “Our goal, whether we win or we do not win, is to transform the Democratic Party."

Source:
‘LUCIFER IN THE FLESH’
Boehner Says He Wouldn’t Vote for Cruz
18 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Well, this is unsubtle. Former Speaker John Boehner called Ted Cruz "lucifer in the flesh," adding that he "never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life." Boehner has endorsed John Kasich, but he said he'd vote for Donald Trump over Cruz. He also praised Bernie Sanders, calling him the most honest politician in the race, and predicted that Joe Biden may yet have a role to play in the Democratic contest, especially if Hillary Clinton runs into legal trouble over her emails.

Source:
×