Democratic Governors and Statehouse Candidates to Adopt Obama’s Minimum-Wage Message

A memo shared with National Journal shows Democratic governors intend to make the wage hike a top priority this fall, betting they’ve found a GOP vulnerability.

Low wage workers wearing Santa hats join with supporters of an increase in the minimum wage during a protest outside the Air and Space Museum December 5, 2013 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Alex Seitz Wald
Add to Briefcase
Alex Seitz-Wald
Jan. 29, 2014, 4:45 a.m.

Demo­crat­ic gov­ernors and can­did­ates com­pet­ing in battle­ground states are plan­ning to make a min­im­um-wage in­crease a center­piece of this year’s cam­paigns, tak­ing the bat­on from Pres­id­ent Obama’s State of the Uni­on ad­dress Tues­day night, ac­cord­ing to a memo shared with Na­tion­al Journ­al.

Rais­ing the wage was a core part of Obama’s lar­ger theme of boost­ing “op­por­tun­ity” for all, and it’s a policy that Demo­crats run­ning for state­houses think will help them polit­ic­ally, ac­cord­ing to the memo from the Demo­crat­ic Gov­ernors As­so­ci­ation.

“No is­sue bet­ter crys­tal­izes the broad­er de­bate between 2014 Demo­crat­ic and Re­pub­lic­an gubernat­ori­al can­did­ates than that of a min­im­um wage hike,” DGA Com­mu­nic­a­tions Dir­ect­or Danny Kan­ner says in the memo.

This is a big year for the Demo­crat­ic Gov­ernors As­so­ci­ation, giv­en the num­ber of Re­pub­lic­an gov­ernors swept in dur­ing the 2010 wave who are now up for reelec­tion.

Re­pub­lic­an gov­ernors from Flor­ida to Wis­con­sin have con­sist­ently op­posed ef­forts to raise the min­im­um wage, and Dems think that choice will come back to bite the GOP. The DGA points to a re­cent Wall Street Journ­al poll show­ing 63 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans sup­port rais­ing the wage and a sep­ar­ate Quin­nipi­ac poll show­ing a plur­al­ity of Re­pub­lic­an voters agree.

While it’s not sur­pris­ing that Demo­crats would echo the pres­id­ent on a cent­ral policy goal, rais­ing the min­im­um wage has un­til re­cently been seen as the do­main of the party’s pro­gress­ive wing and an is­sue that can­did­ates in battle­ground states might shy away from.

But that doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to a hand­ful of gubernat­ori­al races, at least. In Maine, while Re­pub­lic­an Gov. Paul LePage has ve­toed le­gis­la­tion to raise the min­im­um wage, Rep. Mi­chael Michaud, the pre­sumed Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee, co­sponsored a bill in the House to raise the wage na­tion­wide.

Demo­crat Mark Schauer, who is hop­ing to oust Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, has pro­posed boost­ing the wage to $9.25 an hour and in­dex­ing it to in­fla­tion, and said he would make hik­ing it a top pri­or­ity if elec­ted.

In Iowa, Jack Hatch wants to go even fur­ther and raise the wage to $10.10, which would give the im­port­ant polit­ic­al state the highest min­im­um wage in the coun­try. Charlie Crist, the Re­pub­lic­an-turned-Demo­crat former gov­ernor, who is run­ning to re­claim his old seat in Flor­ida’s state­house, also sup­ports set­ting the wage at $10.10.

Mean­while in Illinois, where Demo­crats are hop­ing to de­fend Gov. Pat Quinn as he heads in­to a tough reelec­tion battle, all four Re­pub­lic­an chal­lengers op­pose Quinn’s pro­pos­al to boost the wage.

And Demo­crats think the mes­sage will res­on­ate as well in red­der states like Kan­sas, where they’re hop­ing to push aside Re­pub­lic­an Gov. Sam Brown­back.

Kan­ner says Demo­crats will use the min­im­um wage to present a lar­ger eco­nom­ic mes­sage.

“These are two starkly dif­fer­ent eco­nom­ic philo­sophies, and the min­im­um wage de­bate makes that clear. In this case, Demo­crats are stand­ing with the Amer­ic­an people while Re­pub­lic­ans, once again, thumb their nose at them,” he said.

What We're Following See More »
DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY U.S. INTEL
Putin-Linked Think Tank Developed Plan to Influence U.S. Election
3 days ago
THE LATEST

A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."

Source:
HELPED WIN FISA APPROVAL
FBI Relied on Dossier Allegations to Monitor Page
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."

Source:
AIR FORCE SCRAMBLES JETS IN RESPONSE
Russian Bombers Fly Near Alaska
5 days ago
WHY WE CARE
A MESSAGE TO RUSSIA?
Pentagon Deploying F-35s to Europe
1 weeks ago
THE LATEST

"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.

Source:
NOT ON SCHEDULE
Tillerson Meets Putin
1 weeks ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login