SPOTLIGHT

State Politics’ Strange Bedfellows

California's state Capitol
National Journal
Scott Bland
Add to Briefcase
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 »
WITH LIVE BLOGGING
Trump Deposition Video Is Online
2 hours ago
STAFF PICKS

The video of Donald Trump's deposition in his case against restaurateur Jeffrey Zakarian is now live. Slate's Jim Newell and Josh Voorhees are live-blogging it while they watch.

Source:
SOUND LEVEL AFFECTED
Debate Commission Admits Issues with Trump’s Mic
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.

Source:
TRUMP VS. CHEFS
Trump Deposition Video to Be Released
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."

Source:
A CANDIDATE TO BE ‘PROUD’ OF
Chicago Tribune Endorses Gary Johnson
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."

FUNERAL FOR ISRAELI LEADER
Obama Compares Peres to ‘Giants of the 20th Century’
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Speaking at the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, President Obama "compared Peres to 'other giants of the 20th century' such as Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth who 'find no need to posture or traffic in what's popular in the moment.'" Among the 6,000 mourners at the service was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama called Abbas's presence a sign of the "unfinished business of peace" in the region.

Source:
×