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This Week in the States: April 12, 2019

This Week in the States

Three things to know this week that happened outside the Beltway:

  • The Trump administration is considering auctioning off Florida’s coastal waters for oil and gas drilling — and Republicans are warning it could cost the president dearly in Florida in the 2020 election. (link)
  • Con seems to be the operative part of Foxconn in Wisconsin. Democratic state Rep. Jonathan Brostoff says it is “100 percent a scam” and that it’s the midwest Fyre Festival, straight up.” (link)
  • Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville is joining the Republican race to win back the Alabama U.S. Senate seat from Democrat Doug Jones in 2020. (link)

Elsewhere in the states:

  • After years of internal controversy, AFSCME has taken over the Michigan State Employees Association, the state’s oldest state employee union. (link)
  • Maine Senator Susan Collins (R) has raised more than $1.1 million towards her 2020 re-election bid, but less than 1 percent of the donations have come from her home state. (link)
  • Michigan gets the second Democratic primary debate. Detroit will host the second televised debate among Democratic presidential candidates July 30 and 31. Candidates for each night will be randomly selected. (link)
  • Democratic members of the Michigan congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters and Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint Township are leading the charge to block Trump’s plans to eliminate $7,500 federal tax credits for electric cars. Joined by Republican Senators Lamar Alexander (TN) and Susan Collins (ME), they are proposing to expand the tax credits. (link)
  • A bill in the Texas legislature calls for the death penalty for women that get abortions. (link)
  • Rabbi Cheryl Klein and members of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh have a message for the Pennsylvania legislature: “We pray that we are not guilty of inaction. We pray that we are not guilty of complacency. We pray that we are not guilty of allowing ourselves to be paralyzed by politics.” The PA legislature has not taken any substantive action on gun violence measures supported by the congregation, survivors of the massacre or relatives of victims. (link)

2020 Presidential News & Travel

  • Bernie Sanders sets off on a weekend swing through the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. (link)
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a look at the importance of Northampton County and the Lehigh Valley to Trump’s path to re-election in 2020. The swing county was one of three in Pennsylvania that voted twice for Obama but swung to Trump in 2016. Since then, however, Democrats have made gains over Republicans in local 2017 elections, and both Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and Sen. Bob Casey (D) carried the county by double-digits in 2018. And Democrat Susan Wild picked up the open House seat in the region last year. (link)
  • Trump heads to Minnesota Monday, April 15 – Tax Day – for a rally focused on the GOP tax law. Trump lost the state by fewer than 50,000 votes in 2016 and thinks with more visits he can win there in 2020. (link)