Blog from May, 2017

May 28, 2017

Democrats in the states are leading the resistance. Fund the Resistance
Democratic Municipal Officials



Democratic Municipal Officials Digest
Week of 5/30/2017

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Ideas for Cities

Messaging -
 DNC on Trump's Cruel Budget

Topline: Budgets are about priorities, and Trump’s first full budget submission makes clear that he puts the interests of the wealthy like those in his cabinet over working families. Trump’s plan makes massive cuts to Medicaid, college loans, public schools, middle and working class tax credits and more to fund his massive tax giveaway to the wealthy.
  • Trump’s budget cuts hundreds of billions from Medicaid over the next 10 years.
  • In addition to its massive Medicaid cuts, Trump’s budget attacks programs that support working families -- especially children -- including SNAP food stamps, benefits for the disabled, children’s health insurance, and even the child tax credit and earned-income tax credit.
  • Trump’s budget guts programs that support the middle class and working families -- including millions of people who voted for him.
  • Trump’s budget betrays working families, students, and teachers by cutting billions from public school funding and student loan support.
  • Trump’s budget slashes critical funding for U.S. diplomacy and aid programs, reducing America’s ability to support peace abroad and in turn making us less safe at home.
  • Democrats, on the other hand, are fighting for middle-out economic policies. Good jobs that pay good wages, paid family leave, world-class public education, and economic opportunity for all.

News for Democrats
  • Resistance Summer - Connect your constituents to the DNC's summer of political engagement.

Pic of the Week

"Are you illegal?" A policeman's question to a Honduran who had just been run over by a car.

ASDC Clips 5/30/17
Association of State Democratic Chairs Clips

Association of State Democratic Chairs


Reynolds, Gregg introduce themselves to Iowa
Three days into her tenure as governor, Reynolds was on a fly-around introducing herself and Acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg to the state. “I’m excited about the opportunities,” Reynolds said with her trademark enthusiasm. “There’s so much more that we can do and I know that working together we are going to accomplish great things...I won’t stop until every Iowan has an opportunity to succeed,” she said.  That would be a change, according to Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Derek Eadon. “Reynolds has a clear history of prioritizing her own partisan agenda before the needs of working families in Iowa,” he said. “As she begins campaigning across the state with Acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, we hope she changes her priorities, because her record of supporting disastrous budgets has built a worse Iowa,”according to Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Derek Eadon.


Massachusetts Democrats gearing up for annual convention
Massachusetts Democrats are gearing up for their annual state convention.The top task on the agenda when the delegates, alternates and party officials meet on Saturday will be to adopt a new party platform.Talk will inevitably turn to the 2018 elections, when Democrats hope to reclaim the governor’s office. There are three announced Democratic candidates: Newton Mayor Setti Warren, environmental activist Robert Massie and Jay Gonzalez, a top state budget official under former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick.

New Jersey

11 Democrats, Republicans Compete To Succeed Christie In NJ
When New Jersey Democratic and Republican voters go to the polls in just over a week to pick their party’s standard-bearers in the November contest to succeed GOP Gov. Chris Christie, they’ll have nearly a dozen choices between them. On the Democratic side, the candidates agree on most policy issues: fully funding the pension, rejoining a greenhouse gas initiative and raising taxes on millionaires. A closer look at the candidates: Bill Brennan, 51, is a former Teaneck firefighter who also has a law degree. Jim Johnson, 56, is a former Treasury Department official in Bill Clinton’s administration, who later went on to work for the New York law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. Ray Lesniak, 71, is a long-time state senator from Elizabeth. He has a liberal record including backing gay marriage and environmental issues. Phil Murphy, 59, is a wealthy former ambassador to Germany under former President Barack Obama and one-time Goldman Sachs executive. He’s never held elected office but is leading in the polls and has spent about six times more in the race than his rivals. John Wisniewski, 54, is an Assembly member who assumed office in 1996. An attorney and former state party chairman, Wisniewski co-chaired the legislative committee that investigated the so-called Bridgegate scandal and was U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign chairman for New Jersey in 2016. Mark Zinna, 56, is a councilman from Tenafly and the owner of a data company in northern New Jersey.

New York

Democratic Committee’s annual banquet to feature Smikle Jr. as keynote speaker
National television and news commentator Basil Smikle Jr. will be keynoting the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee’s annual banquet to be held this year on Thursday, June 29 at the Gov. Reuben Fenton Historical Society in Jamestown. County Executive candidate Mike Ferguson of Fredonia will share the keynote duties. Smikle Jr. is the executive director of the New York State Democratic Committee and a Ph.D. candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University concentrating in Education and Politics. He holds appointments as an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the City University of New York’s Murphy Institute for Professional Studies.

North Carolina

At 80, Gov. Hunt still pitching for education, North Carolina
Now out of the job longer than the time he served as chief executive, four-term North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt sounds like he’s still living in the Executive Mansion when pitching his agenda for the state’s politicians. Rather than cut income taxes significantly again this year, Hunt said in an interview, the Republican-controlled Legislature should do “big things” with additional dollars the state is taking in. The Democrat pointed to education projects he championed like Smart Start and moving teacher salaries to the national average — a goal of his last gubernatorial term. “We’ve got the resources to do it,” Hunt told The Associated Press at his office inside the library named for him at N.C. State University. “This is an amazing time, the national economy’s come back and we’ve benefited from it ... but this can be a very special time if we grab it, if we take advantage of what’s out there for us.”


Local Democratic Reorganization Starts to Come Into Focus
Shelby County Democrats should have a framework for a reorganized local party soon. Discussions at town hall meetings around the county in the last month show it will probably be a party with a less complex structure and a more stable size from election to election. And a draft of the bylaws will probably include a larger policy council of sorts that meets on a quarterly basis to talk over larger issues than winning the next elections. The group appointed by state Democratic Party leaders to reform the local party intends to hold a countywide convention in June to elect a new executive committee and from there select a new county party chairman. “I hope the party is stronger and better than it has previously been,” Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner said. “I’m hopeful that the Democrats in Shelby County will want this party to be a good party, be a strong party.”


Party down: State, national progressives are getting involved in local school board elections
The Texas Democratic Party wants a larger pool of attractive, experienced candidates. “We need to be redeveloping our organization from the ground up,” said Manny Garcia, deputy executive director of the Texas Democrats. “When we’re looking to recruit in partisan races, we saw a real need to increase the number of folks that are on the bench. These are prime candidates to go for statehouse seats, and then congressional [seats].” Gilberto Hinojosa, the state party chair, sent an email to North Texas Democrats the day before the election, asking for support for eight local candidates — including three school board challengers. “It is very important that we unseat Trump Republicans and send more Democrats to local office,” Hinojosa’s email read.

West Virginia

Former Orrick CEO, Ralph Baxter, Considers Congressional Run
Former Orrick CEO Ralph Baxter brought a law firm’s global operations center to Wheeling, and now he is wondering whether his skills and knowledge might be of some help to the nation.  Baxter is pondering a run on the Democratic ticket for the 1st District U.S. House seat occupied by Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va. He said that decision hasn’t yet been made. “I’m hearing a lot of frustrations from people about the economy, and how broken Washington is,” he said. “I’m considering it.”  The businessman, attorney, educator, writer and speaker will be attending at least one political function in the coming weeks as the official filing season for the 2018 election looms more than six months away.  The Wetzel County Democratic Party has announced Baxter will be one of two guest speakers at its next executive committee meeting, set for 6 p.m. June 20at the Robert C. Byrd Center in Pine Grove. Also speaking will be West Virginia Democratic Party Chairwoman Belinda Biafore.


Wisconsin Democrats view Republican Gov. Walker as beatable
 "I think there's a ton of opportunity for Democrats," said Democratic state Rep. Chris Taylor. "What we need to do is have a bold, inspiring agenda."Wisconsin Democrats say they are increasingly optimistic about their chances of knocking off Republican Gov. Scott Walker next year, even though a top-tier candidate has yet to emerge and they're still recovering from a devastating 2016 election. Democrats gathering this weekend for their state convention say liberals are energized in opposition both to President Donald Trump and to Republicans like Walker closely tied to him. Walker's approval rating has been below 50 percent since early 2014.

Wed, May 24, 2017 at 6:16 PM EDT

Dear DNC Member,

Please see below a press release from House Democratic Leaders.
Jason Rae
Democratic National Committee

House Democratic Leaders Promote Democrats’ Resistance Summer Program

Today, House Democratic leaders praised the Democrats’ Resistance Summer program as an integral part of the Democrats’ push to hold Donald Trump & Paul Ryan accountable for their agenda and elect more Democrats to Congress. Resistance Summer is a nationwide organizing program spearheaded by the DNC that will help bolster state parties by investing in local organizing efforts to deliver future electoral successes up and down the ballot.
Tonight at 8:00PM ET, Representative John Lewis will join Representative Keith Ellison and Heather Booth for a special Democrats Live on Resistance Summer. House Democrats across the country will participate in Resistance Summer kickoff events on Saturday, June 3.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said: "Americans across the country are outraged – not only at Donald Trump’s scandal-ridden presidency, but at Republicans in Congress who voted to take health care away from 24 million Americans in order to finance another tax cut for millionaires and billionaires," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. "But if we want to hold the GOP accountable, we need to convert that energy into wins at the ballot box. The Resistance Summer project will add to the avalanche of grassroots activism we've seen in every corner of the country since the Women's March. It will boost the voices of so many Americans who are committed to resist the Trump-Ryan-McConnell agenda that threatens our democracy and the economic security of the American people."
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said: "Across the country, we are seeing Americans of all walks of life come together to resist the Trump agenda," said Whip Hoyer. "I'm pleased the DNC is launching Resistance Summer to capitalize on that energy and enthusiasm, partnering with state parties and allies and making meaningful investments in local organizing. Our Members are engaged and looking forward to working together with the DNC to make this program a success. I'm confident it will yield positive results for our party in the months and years ahead." 
Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn said: "We are in a fight for American values and it is a fight we must win. We resent Donald Trump's rhetoric and we must resist his policies. His just released budget is insulting to seniors, injurious to students, and offensive to middle income and upwardly mobile Americans. One would have to go back to the presidency of Herbert Hoover to find a budget as draconian."
House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley said: "The Resistance Summer project will ensure that the incredible grassroots energy we've seen in response to President Trump's dangerous agenda will continue in force. From voting to take away health care from millions of Americas to putting the interests of billionaires above working families, Donald Trump and the Republican Party have betrayed American families at every turn. I'm proud to work with the DNC to ensure that every voice is heard and that every American has the ability stand up and support our values." 
House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Linda Sánchez said: “Winning in 2018 begins with mobilizing our grassroots coalition this summer. I am pleased that Tom Perez and Keith Ellison are bringing the Democratic Party together to defeat the harmful Trump-Ryan-McConnell policies from the ground up. Everyone who is worried about the direction Donald Trump and the Republicans are taking our country should join Democrats in Resistance Summer. We need to knock on as many door doors, make as many calls, and register as many voters as we can to turn the resistance into a nationwide movement.”
DCCC Chair Ben Ray Luján said: "The organic strength of the marches, healthcare rallies, and protests across the country makes it clear that Democrats are on offense this cycle. In February, the DCCC launched a substantial early investment in state parties to hire full-time organizers in targeted swing districts and I’m excited that the DNC is organizing a nationwide Resistance Summer."
Background on Resistance Summer:
The Resistance Summer program is a nationwide Democratic Party initiative designed to bolster state parties by investing in local organizing projects over the summer. Since Donald Trump’s inauguration, there has been an explosion of grassroots activity opposing this administration’s abuse of power and the Trump-Ryan agenda, which prioritizes tax cuts for the rich over the needs of middle-class and working families.
The program is a competitive matching grant program, where the DNC will help fund the important work done by state parties to achieve their organizing goals. Recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective, each program will be unique to each state’s strategic priorities and organizational capacity.
Through Resistance Summer, the Democratic Party hopes to educate, organize, and mobilize grassroots energy from Democrats in all 57 states, territories and Democrats Abroad to help build our party’s base of political power, resist Trump’s attacks on hardworking families, and elect Democrats up-and-down the ticket.

Dear DNC Member,

As you know, this summer the DNC is partnering with state parties and progressive groups across the country to launch Resistance Summer, a 50-state program to put the focus of the Party back on organizing. Yesterday, we launched our kickoff video featuring many of our friends and allies. We’d love to have you share this video with your own networks, and we’re sending along some sample content that will help you do so. Please share or tweet this out at some point today – and we appreciate your support!
[SHARE] When we empower, organize, and mobilize grassroots energy across the nation, good things happen. Join the fight this Resistance Summer at
[TWEET] Democrats are investing in organizing in every community. We want you to be a part of the fight. #DemsRESIST
[TWEET] Let’s make this moment into a movement. All this local energy lays the foundation for our ground game. #DemsRESIST


Jason Rae
Democratic National Committee

ASDC Clips 5/26/17
Association of State Democratic Chairs Clips

Association of State Democratic Chairs


Personnel note: House Democrats staff-up for 2018 campaign cycle

Florida House Democrats are beefing up their campaign arm for next year’s elections, hiring a communications chief and operatives to begin work immediately. Kionne McGhee, scheduled to become House leader following the 2018 elections, said it is “imperative” that Democrats “take back power” in the House. “I’m pleased to welcome our new staff into the fray,” McGhee said in a written statement. “They represent part of our bold, aggressive effort towards the critical elections ahead of us. Together, we will hold House Republicans accountable for their extreme policies that have ignored the voters’ will, degraded our environment, put our public schools on the back-burner, and hurt working families across Florida,” McGhee said.


Democratic State Rep. Stacey Evans of Smyrna jumps into governor’s race

State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, has announced she will run for governor in 2018. Evans declared her candidacy early Thursday morning in a news release that put education and jobs at the center of her platform. “I am running not only to protect the HOPE scholarship, which was the only way I could have gone to college, but also to fight to bring hope to so many Georgians who are struggling to make ends meet,” Evans wrote. “I’m running to bring good jobs to Georgia and help our small businesses so that every Georgia family has the opportunity to make a better life for themselves.” Evans enters a field that so far includes Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and State Sen. Hunter Hill on the Republican side. Possible Democratic candidates to challenge Evans for the party’s nomination include state Rep. Stacey Abrams and former state Sen. Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, though neither have officially announced yet.


Hogan vetoes bill requiring employers to provide paid sick leave in Maryland

Maryland Democratic Party chair Kathleen Matthews said the bill had “brought all sides of the table together” to provide sick leave to more than 700,000 state residents. “Hard work should pay off, and working Marylanders shouldn’t have to decide between a paycheck and taking care of themselves and their families,” Ms. Matthews said Thursday in a statement.The bill made it through both chambers with veto-proof majorities, but the Senate margin was razor-thin. It passed in April with 29 votes, the minimum amount needed to override a veto. Ms. Matthews did not say whether Democrats plan to try to override the veto, but did offer a jab at Mr. Hogan’s re-election prospects. “Voters will remember in next year’s election that Governor Larry Hogan put his own agenda ahead over the health of working Marylanders and their families,” she said.


MS Republican Party Push For More Leaders

The Mississippi Republican Party is making a big push across the state to elect more republican candidates in the June 6 municipal elections.  MPB's Alexis Ware reports.  Mississippi Democratic Party chairman Bobby Moak says they are also working to maintain and increase Democratic elected positions at the  municipal level.  He says they're concerned more Republicans elected locally could lead to policies that will hurt cities and towns. "This program is not working that the republicans have been pushing, so as much as they would like to whistle past the graveyard on those issues, they simply cannot. With the state hundreds of millions of dollars in red ink and now they want to elect their Republican officials at the municipal level to bring that same policy to our cities. People are not wanting to do that at all." Mississippians will be voting for  mayors, councilman and alderman in the June 6th general election. According to the Secretary of State, voter turnout is typically low for municipal elections.


Donald Trump Is A Big Reason Why The GOP Kept The Montana House Seat

Montana, where the president remains broadly popular, was always a dubious place to harness the energy of the anti-Trump backlash. “The lesson here, and I think frankly even around the country, is that it’s too soon for there to be a backlash,” said Jacquie Helt, a vice chair of the Montana Democratic Party and the state director of the Service Employees International Union. “It takes a while. People want to dance with who brung them,” Helt added, referring to her fellow Montana voters. “They also, I think, are reluctant to admit that they made a mistake.” Jorge Quintana, a Montana Democratic National Committee member and veteran of Democratic politics in the state, credited Quist’s campaign for keeping the loss margin so close. “We’re only five months into his administration. Trump won the state by 20 points,” he said. “Tonight, Quist, a brand-new candidate who has no experience in this, came up seven points short.”

New Jersey

Former Vermont governor touts would-be New Jersey governor in Newark church
One prominent politician, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, came to church for Wednesday's service in his role as a surrogate supporter of Phil Murphy, the front-runner in the June 6 New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial primary. The Democratic candidates in the race are preaching that they are the true progressive, with left-of-center views that they hope will lead them to win in New Jersey and help shape the national Democratic Party's direction. The potential shift is even more crucial in the aftermath of the party's 2016 presidential campaign defeat. But first, Murphy must win the nomination and that means courting a critical community that has seen politicians come and go: African-Americans in Newark, the state's largest city and a treasure trove of Democratic primary voters.


After Trump win, surge of Democrats for Virginia House races
More Democrats than Virginia has seen in years are stepping up to run for the Republican-controlled House of Delegates, where every seat is up for grabs this fall. The surge in candidates is among the latest examples of activism sparked by President Donald Trump’s surprising November victory, party officials and candidates say. Democrats in Virginia — the only Southern state Hillary Clinton won — hope they can chip away at the solid GOP House majority in November, if not retake the chamber for the first time in nearly two decades. “It’s been raining candidates for us for about six months since Trump got elected,” Democratic House minority leader David Toscano said in a recent interview. They are contesting 54 of 66 GOP-held seats, she said. Compare that with 2015, when they fielded candidates in 56 districts and contested only 28 of 67 GOP-held seats, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan political tracker.

Dear DNC Member,

 Tune in Wednesday night, May 24th at 8:00 p.m. EDT, when Deputy Chair Keith Ellison will host civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis and longtime activist, Heather Booth. The three will discuss their history of making change and talk about the Democratic Party’s newest grassroots initiative, Resistance Summer. To watch live, head to or to our Facebook page,
For social media purposes, we are asking that you use hashtag #DemocratsLive and advise your networks to use #DemocratsLive or tag @DNC to ask a question during the broadcast.
To help us promote on Twitter, please use the following tweets:

Join @KeithEllison at 8 PM ET Wednesday for #DemsLive with civil rights leader John Lewis & organizer Heather Booth:
Tune in at 8 PM ET on Wednesday to hear @repjohnlewis & Heather Booth talk about getting organized & fighting back:

Tune in Weds at 8 PM ET to hear civil rights leader John Lewis & Heather Booth talk about resistance then & now:
Jason Rae
Democratic National Committee

Participating in Democratic Party's Democrats Live event last night with Democrats Abroad was the perfect way to wrap up our global meeting and Capitol Hill door knock. Huge thanks to Deputy Chair Keith Ellison for moderating a discussion with our new International Chair, Julia Bryan and Vice Chair, Alex Montgomery and Carolyn Maloney, Rep NY. I get a shout out at time line 45:45. #DAinDC

Democrats Live!

May 10th at 8:00pm ET, DNC Chair Tom Perez will host Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to discuss gubernatorial races in 2017 and 2018, politics in the state of Colorado, and how governors are on the front lines of rebuilding our Party and resisting Trump agenda. To watch live, head to or to our Facebook page,



To watch live, head to or to our Facebook page,

For social media purposes, we are asking that you use hashtag #DemocratsLive and advise your networks to use #DemocratsLive or tag @DNC to ask a question during the broadcast.

To help us promote on twitter, please use the following tweets:

Have a question you'd like to see asked during #DemocratsLive with Governor Hickenlooper?  Tag @DNC with your question now.

Watch @TomPerez and @HickforCO, on #DemocratsLive tomorrow tonight at 8pm ET.

Join Governor Hickenlooper @HickforCO tomorrow tonight at 8pm ET for the next episode of @DemocratsLive.

We look forward to another successful Democrats Live and hope you're able to join us by logging on to!

Democratic Municipal Officials Digest - Week of 5/8/2017

Democratic Municipal Officials



Democratic Municipal Officials Digest
Week of 5/8/2017

Quick Links
  • Abbott Signs 'Sanctuary Cities' Bill Into Law - This bill imposes criminal punishment on local law enforcement for not spending their municipal budget to enforce federal detainer requests, and will remove local officials who support such departments.

Ideas for Cities

In Depth - The Deservingness Heuristic and the Politics of Health Care
  • Citizens’ social aid opinions are strongly influenced by a simple heuristic: Are the recipients of these benefits deserving or not?
  • People tend to tag the sick as deserving but the unemployed as not, because they see illness as a random event the individual has no control over, while out of work individuals can be blamed for their situation.
  • However, neither illness nor unemployment are randomly distributed across society. Both have a much greater tendency to impact low income populations.
  • This intrinsic bias that the sick deserve care negates the role political ideology usually plays in determining these opinions.
  • Specific illnesses which are seen as the individual's fault (complications from smoking) are viewed as less deserving of help under the same reasoning.
Two important takeaways from this research. 1. The public might become more supportive of aid for unemployment if Democrats message it as a randomly assigned condition rather than the fault of the individual. 2. Republicans can reduce support for health care bymessaging illness as the victim's fault, something they have already started doing around the ACHA.

News for Democrats

Pic of the Week

DMO President Joe Buscaino marching with his city on May Day.

ASDC Clips 5/5/17
Association of State Democratic Chairs Clips

Democrats Abroad

US expats in UAE rate 100 days of Trump presidency

The US expats in the #UAE are offering different interpretations of how the President Donald Trump has fared over the course of his first 100 days in Oval Office. On Monday night, four Americans - two Democrats and two Republicans - held a lively debate at the Capital Club in Dubai International Financial City (DIFC), organised by the GCC Business Council and moderated by a Khaleej Times journalist. In his opening remarks, Tony Graham, the media spokesman for #UAE chapter of Democrats Abroad, noted that he was concerned that Donald Trump was damaging America's standing in the world. "Foreign governments, companies, and individuals need to be able to view US government policy and statements from our leaders with credibility. They need to believe there is a consistency in policy, whether they agree with that policy direction or not," he said. "I think in the first 100 days, it has extension of the campaign in the sense that American credibility and consistency in our foreign policy has been under-whelming. That's a very sad thing."


Republicans, Democrats weigh in on community college

Bonneville County voters will decide in roughly two weeks if Eastern Idaho Technical College should be converted into a community college. While it’s clear there is a lot of interest in the May 16 election — Bonneville County officials say nearly 200 people have cast early votes since Thursday and a large number have requested absentee ballots — the outcome of the controversial measure is less certain. The issue has drawn both support and criticisms in recent months, and three groups that lately released their opinions have continued that trend. The Bonneville County Democrats also believe that a community college is a good idea. In their resolution passed April 18, they state a “well-educated populace is a positive way to invest in the Idaho economy and strengthen the skills of the Bonneville County workforce simultaneously.” Economists estimate that a community college could generate $66 million in economic activity, Democrats say, creating more opportunities for local employers and employees and strengthening the tax base. They also believe the institution would help fill the local need for a skilled workforce.


Democrats Blast Messer, Rokita And GOP For Health Care Vote

The Indiana Democratic Party says a Congressional vote to repeal and replace Obamacare takes health care away from millions just to fulfill a political promise. The Republican health care bill includes a trillion dollar tax cut – mostly for wealthier Americans – and cuts billions in government spending. And U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville), speaking on the House floor, says, most importantly, it repeals Obamacare. Indiana Democratic Party Chair John Zody says the bill is a result of Republicans’ misplaced priorities. “Since January, they’ve governed like their first priority has been tax cuts for the rich and trying to pay for it by taking health care away from working families. That’s not what anybody voted for in November,” Zody says. And Zody says the health care reform bill is no solution at all. “Their solution is getting worse. Their solution will throw 24, 26 million people off of health care in 10 years,” Zody says. “Their solution has not been scored by the nonpartisan office who looks at the fiscal impact of these things.” Zody adds that Messer and fellow Republican Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) – both potential U.S. Senate candidates – will pay for their votes in next year’s election.


Nevada healthcare advocates disappointed by Trumpcare vote

As Republicans in the House of Representatives were able to gat an approval vote to repeal Obamacare and pass their own version of a health care bill, it signaled the first big win for President Donald Trump. "What a great group of people," President Trump said. "And they're not even doing it for the party; they're doing it for the country because we suffered with Obamacare." Nevada Democrats say more than 150,000 residents of the state stand to lose healthcare under the American Healthcare Act. In fact, two Republicans on Capitol Hill have opposed the bill, but one of those Republicans flipped. Nevada Republican Mark Amodei, who was initially a firm 'no' vote on the American Health Care Act voted 'yes' Thursday. Nevada Democrats say the congressman gave into pressure from the white house. "He had concerns about the Medicaid provisions and the rollback of that funding, he had concerns about the rushed process, the lack of transparency, the lack of hearings; that hasn't changed," said Stewart Boss, spokesperson for the Nevada Democratic Party.

New Mexico

Pearce Puts Trump & Political Ideology Ahead of New Mexicans' Health

Congressman Steve Pearce just voted to take health care away from more than 250,000 New Mexicans including more than 60,000 of his own constituents. The bill, also known as Trumpcare, was passed by 217 Republican votes. “Congressman Pearce put his loyalty to Donald Trump and his political ideology before his constituents’ health care,” said Richard Ellenberg, Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “The bill Congressman Pearce voted for will take health care away from New Mexicans raise premiums on our seniors, and threaten coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.” Congressman Steve Pearce’s district had the largest drop in uninsured residents in the state since the Affordable Care Act was enacted.

North Carolina

GOP health care bill receives support from Rowan’s congressmen

Rowan County’s congressmen joined the majority on Thursday when the U.S. House passed a Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Reps. Richard Hudson, R-Concord, and Ted Budd, R-Advance, voted in favor of the American Health Care Act with 215 other Republicans. Hudson has supported the bill from its first introduction months ago. Budd had opposed it until recently. The N.C. Democratic Party noted the potential for people to lose insurance coverage when it called Thursday’s vote a shameful betrayal of working families. “While this legislation is appalling, it should surprise no one,” said party Chairman Wayne Goodwin in an emailed statement. “From his first day in office, President Trump has shown that he is squarely behind the congressional Republican agenda of more money for the rich at the expense of good health care, jobs and wages for the middle class.”


With Trump's encouragement, Barletta weighs U.S. Senate run against Casey

The latest Republican mulling a challenge next year to Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey? One of President Donald Trump's earliest congressional supporters. U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta said Wednesday he is considering a Senate run against Casey. Barletta talked with Trump this week about a possible bid, and the Hazleton legislator says he received an encouraging response. A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party responded to Barletta's consideration of a Senate bid by criticizing his support for a GOP plan to replace the Obamacare health care law. "This week congressman Barletta announced he was breaking his promise to protect Pennsylvanians with preexisting conditions and would support the new health care law that will take away insurance from millions of Americans," party spokesman Max Steele said. "Now he's asking for a promotion?"

State Sen. Scott Wagner confronts cameraman, tells crowd 'you're about to see your senator in action'

A Pennsylvania state senator confiscated a camera from a political tracker during a Tuesday luncheon speech at the Country Club of York. Republican Sen. Scott Wagner, who represents much of York County and is challenging Gov. Tom Wolf in the 2018 gubernatorial race, broke off his speech before the York County Estate Planning Council after noticing the cameraman in the back of the room, according to the York Daily Record. After asking if the cameraman was a member of the private club, Wagner told the man he was trespassing and said he was going to confiscate the camera. “OK,” Wagner told the group, “you're about to see your senator in action.” The crowd applauded as Wagner approached the cameraman. Beth Melena, communications director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, said Wagner “proved yesterday that he is unhinged and cannot handle the pressures of a gubernatorial campaign.”

Rhode Island

R.I. Democratic critics scorch GOP health bill

The four Democratic members of Congress from Rhode Island on Thursday issued statements slamming the passage in the Republican-led House of a bill that would dismantle former President Obama’s healthcare law. U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline said the legislation would hurt older Americans, children covered under Medicaid and working people to benefit the wealthy. “This is the cruelest and most immoral thing I’ve seen the Republican Party do to the American people,” Cicilline said. “They just passed a bill that they know will result in the deaths of thousands of working people each year. I don’t know how they sleep at night.” Governor Raimondo sounded a similar theme charging that “TrumpCare hurts low-income, working Rhode Islanders to give a tax cut to millionaires, and could cost more than 100,000 Rhode Islanders their health insurance. That is nothing short of immoral.”

South Dakota

SD legislators back Obamacare repeal

The path will be narrow, but U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds is looking ahead to a Senate vote to approve the American Health Care Act (AHCA). While speaking to press at the same moment the U.S. House of Representatives passed the proposed replacement to the Affordable Care Act, the South Dakota Republican senator hoped the GOP-led Senate could garner at least 50 votes to approve a health care bill. If the Senate gets 50 Republicans to agree on the plan, Rounds said the upper chamber will rely on a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. South Dakota’s lone U.S. Representative, Republican Kristi Noem, supported the plan in the 217-213 vote, much to the disappointment of the South Dakota Democratic Party. “With her vote for the latest healthcare plan, Kristi Noem voted for a disastrous and cruel healthcare plan that would have devastating impacts on tens of millions of Americans, including tens of thousands of South Dakotans,” the S.D. Democratic Party wrote in a statement released shortly after the House vote.


Rep. Will Hurd only Texas Republican to vote against the GOP Obamacare repeal bill

Rep. Will Hurd waited as long as he could to reveal how he would vote on the American Health Care Act. But moments before voting Thursday, as Republican leaders voiced certainty that they had secured enough support to pass the bill, the San Antonio Republican announced his opposition to the measure. After weeks of playing coy with constituents and reporters about how he would vote, Hurd was the only Texas Republican to reject House Speaker Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act. Democratic leaders in the state also offered Hurd no credit, arguing that he should not get a pass for refusing to take the lead on the issue. Manny Garcia, a spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party, suggested that Hurd was waiting for Republicans to cobble together enough votes to pass the bill so that he could get “permission to vote no” from Ryan. “What he could have done if he was so adamantly opposed to Trumpcare is he could have worked with Democrats and he could have worked to convince his fellow Texas Republicans, all of whom voted for this legislation,” Garcia said. “He could have stood up for his constituency, publicly opposed it and defeated this bill.”


People With Preexisting Conditions Fret Over Health Overhaul

Utah's all-Republican House delegation voted Thursday in favor of a health care overhaul that could impact people with pre-existing conditions, triggering serious worries from people who fit that category. Salt Lake City resident Emilee Sharp said she is considering rushing a major spinal surgery in case she loses her insurance even though her doctor warned it's risky. Sharp suffered spinal damage as a result of a fall down a cliff while ATVing in central Utah in 2010. Utah Democrats said Republicans supporting the measure "became a death squad for thousands of Utahns and millions of Americans" who will no longer be able to afford insurance or health care. "Today the Republican Party did exactly what they've accused Democrats of doing with Obamacare in 2010 - they rammed a flawed health care bill through without proper vetting, collaboration, or the support of the American People," Utah Democratic Party Chairman Peter Corroon said in a statement.

Note: Edited for sharing on our wiki.

Association of State Democratic Chairs

Friday, May 5, 2017

Dear Colleagues-

Yesterday, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, 217-213.  This vote stripped 24 million Americans of their coverage and dangerously altered our healthcare system.  The Republican bill will subject individuals with pre-existing conditions to faulty and expensive high-risk pools, eliminate lifetime caps on coverage - even on individuals with chronic illnesses, raise premiums on older Americans, and defund Planned Parenthood.  All but a few Republicans in Congress voted in favor of this bill and we will work tirelessly for the next 19 months to unseat them and take back the House. 

To help us in this effort, we welcome the new Chairs and Vice Chairs elected last weekend in New Mexico and South Carolina.  Congratulations to these new ASDC members!
New Mexico Chair Richard Ellenberg
New Mexico Vice Chair Neomi Martinez-Parra
South Carolina Chair Trav Robertson
South Carolina Vice Chair Lessie Price

This Wednesday, Deputy DNC Chair Rep. Keith Ellison previewed Resistance Summer on our ASDC General Membership call, an organizing program that will help states across the country renew their voter data before the 2018 Midterms.  More information will be available for state parties on Monday orTuesday of next week.  The ASDC and DNC are excited about the opportunity that is being created for partnership and collaboration between the DNC and state parties on this project. 

As always, thanks for all you do,

Ken Martin, State Chair*
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party

*President of the Association of State Democratic Chairs and Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee


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Trav Robertson, Chair of South Carolina Democratic Party
Trav Robertson is one of the most seasoned and consistently successful political operatives in the Southeast. Trav has run campaigns at every level of American politics; from the State Senate to the U.S. House of Representatives and the American Presidency.

The list of folks he’s helped put in office is long – and starts with SC State Treasurer Grady Patterson, who returned to office in 1997 with Trav’s help. Trav served with him as either his campaign director or Deputy State Treasurer until 2007. Trav also helped elect Congressman John Spratt in South Carolina’s Fifth District, directing the Congressman’s efforts in 2000 and 2004, before becoming Governor Bill Richardson’s Iowa Field Director during the Democratic Primary of 2008. Trav received national recognition for piloting Congressman Spratt to a 65% win in a state that had previously elected President Bush with 65% of the vote.

The Anderson native cemented his reputation as one of the region’s most sought after political consultants when he directed President Obama’s 2008 campaign in South Carolina and managed Vincent Sheheen’s gubernatorial campaign in 2010, falling just 58,000 votes short of sending Vincent to the Governor’s Mansion in Columbia.

When Oklahoma needed new leadership to bring modern campaign infrastructure and technology to an underperforming party structure, Trav was a natural choice and in just three years he delivered transformative results. He returned to South Carolina in 2015 and recently helped elect Mia McLeod to the State Senate, where she is just the third African-American woman to serve.



  1. Florida Democratic Party - 229,488
  2. Texas Democratic Party - 193,761
  3. Democrats Abroad - 86,536
  4. Connecticut Democratic Party - 86,229
  5. Michigan Democratic Party - 50,644

FACEBOOK Increased Likes:
  1. Texas Democratic Party- 889
  2. Connecticut Democratic Party- 844
  3. North Carolina Democratic Party- 502
  4. Oklahoma Democratic Party- 363
  5. Montana Democratic Party- 350

FACEBOOK Percent Increased Likes:
  1. Montana Democratic Party- 3.40%
  2. North Carolina Democratic Party- 1.68%
  3. Oklahoma Democratic Party- 1.58%
  4. Connecticut Democratic Party- 0.99%
  5. Alabama Democratic Party- 0.59%

TWITTER Followers:
  1. Florida Democratic Party- 52,627
  2. Texas Democratic Party- 37,995
  3. Connecticut Democratic Party- 37,027
  4. California Democratic Party- 22,211
  5. Ohio Democratic Party- 21,705

TWITTER Increased Followers:
  1. Florida Democratic Party- 256
  2. Texas Democratic Party- 222
  3. Pennsylvania Democratic Party- 154
  4. Washington State Democratic Party- 111
  5. Tennessee Democratic Party- 88

TWITTER Percent Increased Followers:
  1. South Carolina Democratic Party- 1.17%
  2. Washington State Democratic Party- 0.87%
  3. Montana Democratic Party- 0.86%
  4. Illinois Democratic Party- 0.85%
  5. Tennessee Democratic Party- 0.85%

Deputy Chair Keith Ellison hosted Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore and Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee and discussed the newest threats to the Affordable Care Act and dangers of the Financial CHOICE Act. As always, the show consisted of an in-depth conversation, followed by a Q&A based on questions from Democrats across the country.

To watch the replay, head to or to our Facebook page,


ASDC Clips 5/3/17
Association of State Democratic Chairs Clips

Association of State Democratic Chairs


Unions turn out for workers’ protest in Honolulu

Hundreds of protesters representing Hawaii unions and worker advocates marched from the state Capitol to the federal building in downtown Honolulu Monday afternoon in commemoration of International Workers’ Day. Organizations represented included the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the Hawaii Firefighters Association, the Democratic Party of Hawaii, the American Federation of Government Employees, Media Council Hawaii, and the Democratic Socialists of America, among others. “The biggest message is unity and power,” said Paola Rodelas, spokesperson for Local Five, the union that represents around 11,000 workers in the hospitality and foodservice industries. Tim Vandeveer, chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, spoke as protesters congregated near the Prince Kuhio Federal Building on the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Punchbowl Street. “Unions are under attack across this country, and the Democratic Party has not stood up for working people in this country. It’s time for that to change,” he said. Among the issues Vandeveer highlighted were better wages, equal pay, fair taxation, paid sick leave, and automatic payment of union dues.


Director of Kansas Democratic Party to step down

Kansas Democratic Party director Kerry Gooch will step down, the party confirmed Tuesday. Tom Witt, chairman of the party’s progressive caucus, said Gooch announced his intention to leave on a call Tuesday evening with a core group of party officials. Witt said Gooch would resign within the next 60 days or so. Party spokeswoman Heather Scanlon also said Gooch will step down. An official announcement will be made Wednesday. Gooch became director in 2015 at the age of 24. He joined the party as political director in 2013. “He helped us turn the party around and flip a number of seats,” Witt said. Gooch will be involved in the search for the next director, Witt said. He could not say what Gooch’s future plans are. “He has decided it is time to move on to new challenges,” Witt said.


Michigan Congressman Fred Upton a no on latest GOP Obamacare replacement plan

Michigan Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, said he won't support the latest version of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act Tuesday, on grounds the plan's current form doesn't adequately protect people with preexisting conditions. Upton, the former chair of the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee, told WHTC News in a Tuesday morning interview that he's not supporting the legislation as is, adding there are other Republicans who feel the same way. Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon said Upton's comments are "a testament to the power of public pressure." "It shows that the people of Michigan are making a difference, making their voices heard, and should continue fighting back against this disastrous Republican bill so that other members of Congress get the message," Dillon said.


Democratic state chair visits Elko

Nevada Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy II led a planning meeting with local party members Saturday at Duncan LittleCreek Gallery. McCurdy, who also serves as Assemblyman for District 6, discussed several topics of local and state significance, including Elkoans’ ease of attending state meetings, creating jobs through geothermal resources, and finding common ground with political opponents. “What defines you is how you respond to obstacles in your life,” McCurdy said, after describing dropping out of high school at 17 to raise a child, before finally graduating as Student Body President from the College of Southern Nevada at 24. Local members brought up the difficulties of attending state meetings, whether rural members drive to the city, or city members drive to rural centers like Elko. Even videoconferencing has inherent drawbacks, like the ability to ask questions, as well as traveling to a location with enough digital bandwidth for effective communication. “Everybody has a seat at this table, and we need to see that nobody feels left out,” McCurdy said. “This isn’t an urban versus rural situation.”

New Mexico

Haaland, former Dem Party state chairwoman, running for Congress

Debra Haaland, former chairwoman of the state Democratic Party and one-time candidate for lieutenant governor, filed Tuesday to run for metropolitan Albuquerque’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Success in next year’s elections would make the Laguna Pueblo member the first Native American woman elected to Congress. She joins an increasingly crowded field to replace Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is running for governor in 2018. “I’ve spent my life advocating for the underrepresented, advancing progressive values, and working tirelessly to help elect Democrats up and down the ballot,” Haaland said in a statement. “I want to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, and it would be an honor to be that voice for our communities, our families, and for all of us.”


Democratic Party sets sights on Oregon City School Board incumbents Troy Bolinger, Evon Tekorius

Democrats are targeting two members of the Oregon City School Board running for reelection, Troy Bolinger and Evon Tekorius. Volunteers for the Democratic Party knocked on doors of registered voters throughout Oregon City last weekend, just after ballots arrived on Friday. Tekorius earned the Republican nomination and last November ran unsuccessfully against Mark Meek for State House District 40. She is being challenged by registered Democrat Emily Farrer, director of cyber security and IT infrastructure program delivery at Kaiser Permanente. Bolinger's main opponent, Martha Spiers, said that she doesn't know what Bolinger believes. She wants to give voters a clear "progressive" choice in the May 16 election. (Of the two other candidates in the race for Bolinger's seat, one has endorsed Spiers and the other is campaigning for mandating that the Pledge of Allegiance comes back to every classroom.)

South Carolina

Archie Parnell Wins Democratic Primary In Race To Flip South Carolina District

Archie Parnell, a former tax attorney for Goldman Sachs, easily won the Democratic nomination for South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District on Tuesday after receiving the majority vote needed to avoid a runoff. Parnell, 66, defeated Alexis Frank, 26, an Army veteran and homemaker, as well as Les Murphy, a disabled Marine Corps veteran and nonprofit founder. Parnell had 72 percent of the vote late Tuesday to 21 percent for Frank and 7 percent for Murphy, with 84 percent of precincts reporting. Parnell now has a head start on his eventual Republican opponent in the June 20 general election. None of the Republican contenders in the district emerged with an outright majority Tuesday, leading to a runoff on May 16 between top vote-getters Tommy Pope, the state’s House speaker pro tem, and Ralph Norman, a former state legislator. To win the district, Parnell would need both higher-than-normal Democratic turnout and significant support from Republicans, many of whom are likely happy with Trump’s performance.


'Sanctuary cities' bill draws stinging criticism from House Democrats

Texas' so-called "sanctuary cities" bill has drawn stinging criticism from Democrats, who say they are prepared to challenge the legislation in court immediately, but it is expected to take quite a while to see if the battle will help them loosen Republicans' longtime grip on state politics. On a 94-53 vote, the House gave final approval last Thursday to Senate Bill 4, which grants sweeping new powers to officers by allowing them to question a person's immigration status if they have been stopped with reasonable suspicion. Party leaders went on the attack after the vote, with Democrats displaying moral outrage at the legislation they say will turn local police into deportation officials. "Texas' Latino and immigrant communities will never forget what the Republican Party has done this legislative session to their families," said Manny Garcia, the Texas Democratic Party's executive director.

ASDC Clips 5/2/17
Association of State Democratic Chairs Clips

Association of State Democratic Chairs


Democrats Like Their Chances in South Florida After Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Bows Out

With U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., bowing out of Congress, Democrats are hopeful about flipping her South Florida seat. Despite having easily kept her seat during more than a quarter of a century in Congress, Ros-Lehtinen was already drawing attacks from the Democrats who insist her seat is growing more competitive. The Florida Democratic Party also weighed in on Sunday.  “It’s not surprising that moderate Republicans are retiring as their party no longer represents American families, but a Trump-style political platform that is divisive and only benefits the politically connected or the very wealthy,” said Johanna Cervone, a spokeswoman for the Florida Democrats. Cervone also pointed to the special election for an open Florida Senate seat in Miami Dade as an opportunity for Democrats. “In the upcoming special elections and on into the 2018 general elections, Democrats are looking forward to a massive turnover in Congress.  We are putting forth candidates that will present a better way forward in which a prosperous America means prosperity and good jobs for all of us. Democrats will resist Trump’s Republican Party, their secret backroom deals and will stand against Republican plans to build an American economy that only benefits those at the very top.”

Joe Biden to headline Florida Dems Leadership Gala

The Florida Democratic Party has announced that former Vice President Joe Biden will be the Keynote Speaker at it’s Florida Blue Leadership Gala that will take place on June 17th in Hollywood, Florida. “We are thrilled to announce the former Vice President as our keynote speaker.” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Stephen Bittel “Joe Biden has spent his life in public service and has fought tirelessly for the Democratic belief that all Americans deserve an equal shot in our economy, not just those at the top. We are excited to welcome him back to Florida for our Leadership Blue Gala.” Biden will roll into the state this summer as Florida Democrats ramp up recruiting efforts for multiple state wide mid term races for the 2018 mid terms where Republicans have dominated so far this decade winning the Governor’s mansion and every cabinet position in both 2014 and 2010.

North Carolina

Democratic Women of North Carolina held their Region 9 meeting

On Saturday, April 29, the Democratic Women of North Carolina held their Region 9 meeting in Warsaw. Region 9 consists of Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, New Hanover, Pender, Robeson, and Sampson counties. Each county has a chapter of Democratic Women of N.C., and all nine chapters sent delegates to the regional meeting. The president of each county chapter was recognized, and the Pender County Chapter was recognized as the newest chapter in the state and was awarded the attendance banner for having the most members in attendance at the meeting. The special guest speaker was North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. Secretary Marshall’s speech was about the theme of the meeting- Democratic Women are the Life of the Party. She spoke about the vital role of women in the Democratic Party and urged all women to become involved in organizing for the party, to raise our voices for issues of importance to women and their families, and to work to elect candidates who share our democratic values.

Rhode Island

Young RI Dems Help Georgia Democratic Candidate Ahead Of June Runoff Election

Some local Democrats are throwing their support behind Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff. Ossoff, a political newcomer, faces what will likely be a tight runoff election for Georgia’s 6th District congressional seat. Members of the Young Democrats of Rhode Island and College Democrats of Rhode Island will gather to make calls in support of Ossoff this Monday. Spokeswoman for the State Democratic Party, Ann Gooding, said young people in Rhode Island are getting more involved in politics following the 2016 presidential election. “As with the population as a whole, there has been a tremendous resurgence of grassroots interest post- presidential election,” said Gooding.

South Carolina

Aiken's Lessie Price elected first vice chair of S.C. Democratic Party

Aiken's Lessie Price has been elected to serve as first vice chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party. Price, a longtime member of Aiken City Council, was elected to the position at the state party's convention over the weekend in Columbia. "I am honored to be entrusted with this responsibility," Price said. "We've got a lot of work to do in South Carolina to put Democrats in positions to win. As the first woman elected to a citywide council seat in Aiken, I know a few things about earning votes. I'm excited to put that experience to work for Democrats throughout South Carolina." Price has been a member of City Council for nearly three decades and has served as the Council's mayor pro tempore and as president of the Municipal Association of South Carolina, according to a statement issued by the Democratic Party.


Pasadena, a voting rights battleground, prepares for pivotal elections

When voters head to the polls here Saturday, their city council and mayoral picks could have repercussions well beyond this working-class Houston suburb. It will be the first election since a federal judge struck down the city's 2013 redistricting plan as discriminatory, paving the way for a new balance of power at City Hall. It comes as Texas Democrats redouble their efforts on the local level after a 2016 election that gave them ample reason to be optimistic about their future, especially in Harris County. And it could offer a gauge of just how far down the ballot President Donald Trump, unpopular in even a deep-red state like Texas, is energizing Democrats. The Texas Democratic Party has endorsed five city council candidates in Pasadena — more than it has endorsed in any other municipality for the May 6 elections. Other Democratic groups are on the ground in the city, including Battleground Texas, which has been working to make the state more competitive for Democrats since the 2014 election cycle.