Politics & leadership

One-Party Rule No Guaranty of Results | 11-17-2017

After hitting the political trifecta this month with the election of Democrat Phil Murphy to the governor’s office, the first order of legislative business for New Jersey Democrats next year will likely be raising taxes on high-earners, a proposal...

KS Ballot-Rejection Rate In 2016 Raises Concerns About Future National Election Policy | 09-01-2017

Kansas election officials threw out 13,717 ballots cast in the state in the 2016 presidential election. That total is at least triple the number of ballots rejected last year in any similarly sized state and is even higher than the 13,461 ballots disqualified...

New Front Opens In GOP Fight Against Unions | 08-18-2017

After Republicans won control of the Iowa Senate last year, giving them control of both the legislative and executive branches of that state’s government, they enacted a package of labor reforms curbing the collective bargaining rights of public...

Trump Voter Fraud Commission Sparks State Backlash | 07-07-2017

There were some early fireworks last month after the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity - assembled to investigate President Donald Trump’s claims that voter fraud is rampant in America and cost him the popular vote in last year’s...

Politics In Brief - May 22 2017 | 05-19-2017

CA, NY Leading Legal Effort To Protect ACA Funding CALIFORNIA Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) and NEW YORK Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) are leading a coalition of states, including CONNECTICUT , DELAWARE , HAWAII , ILLINOIS , IOWA , KENTUCKY...

Some KS Lawmakers Gearing Up For Override Fight | 05-04-2017

This year marked a rift between Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) and many of the state’s lawmakers, including some of his fellow Republicans, with both chambers of the GOP-led Legislature voting to roll back a major tax cut the governor championed...

GOP Holds Congressional Seat In KS | 04-14-2017

Kansas’ Republican Secretary of State Ron Estes defeated Democratic Wichita civil rights attorney James Thompson in a special election last Tuesday to fill the Fourth Congressional District seat vacated by Republican Mike Pompeo, who was appointed...

Politics in Brief - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

High Court Rejects VA Districts Over Race: On a 7-1 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a lower court to re-review 11 legislative districts drawn by VIRGINIA Republicans after the 2010 Census. The districts are among a dozen that Democrats argued...

Politics In Brief - January 23 2017 | 01-20-2017

Thousands of Ballots Tossed in KS Thousands of provisional ballots cast in KANSAS in November were thrown out by election officials because no registration could be found for the voters who cast them. But some local election officials are concerned...

Politics In Brief - December 19 2016 | 12-16-2016

Lobbyist Spending Down in MA Lobbyist spending last year in MISSOURI - which totaled about $690,000 - was down by more than $200,000 from any other year on record, and spending has continued to fall this year, according to analysis of Missouri Ethics...

Politics In Brief - November 14 2016 | 11-11-2016

HI Senate to be Controlled Exclusively by Dems HAWAII’s sole Senate Republican Sam Slom was defeated by Democrat Stanley Chang on Nov. 8. As a result, the state’s 25-member Senate will become the nation’s first single-party chamber...

Politics In Brief - October 10 2016 | 10-07-2016

Federal Appeals Court Blocks KS Voter Registration Requirement The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit has upheld an order blocking KANSAS Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) from requiring voters to show proof of citizenship when registering...

Court Blocks Voter Registration Requirement In Three States | 09-16-2016

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ordered Alabama, Georgia and Kansas to stop requiring residents to provide proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization papers, when they register...

Tough Day For GOP-Backed Voter Restrictions | 08-05-2016

Local and federal courts struck down Republican-backed voter restrictions in three states in a single day last month. A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a North Carolina law restricting the number of acceptable forms...

Politics In Brief - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

CO Voters to Consider Minimum Wage Increase A proposal to raise COLORADO’s minimum wage appears to be headed for the state’s November ballot, with backers saying this month that they expected to deliver 200,000 petition signatures to the...

KS Restricts Rights of 17,000 Voters | 07-15-2016

With little advance notice, a Kansas state board approved a temporary regulation last week that will block an estimated 17,000 Kansans from voting in state or local elections and only allow them to vote in federal ones. The action by the Kansas Rules...

Politics In Brief - June 20 2016 | 06-17-2016

KS GOP Urges Public to Lobby Supreme Court on School Funding The KANSAS House Republican Campaign Committee has taken out billboard-style ads urging citizens to call the state Supreme Court and urge it not to close the state’s schools. The court...

Politics In Brief - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

Judge Orders Acceptance of 18,000 Pending Voter Registrations A federal judge has ordered KANSAS officials to register thousands of prospective voters whose applications at the state’s motor vehicle offices have been derailed by the state’s...

Politics In Brief - May 2 2016 | 04-29-2016

ME Gov Vetoes Clean Election Fix MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed a bill approved by the Legislature last month that would have pumped $500,000 into the state’s Clean Election Fund, enough to support the clean election candidates already running...

Politics In Brief - March 14 2016 | 03-11-2016

AZ Restricts Collection of Early Ballots ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill (HB 2023) passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature that makes it a felony for anyone other than a family member, caregiver, roommate, election official...

KS Supreme Court Considers Own Authority | 12-18-2015

The Kansas Supreme Court heard oral arguments this month in a case concerning the authority of the high court itself. In 2014 the Kansas Legislature passed a bill taking the power to appoint chief district judges away from the state’s highest...

Politics In Brief - December 7 2015 | 12-04-2015

Lobbying disclosure limited in AZ Over 86 percent of the roughly $333,000 spent lobbying ARIZONA lawmakers in the first half of 2015 failed to identify who the money went to, continuing a trend dating back years. Loopholes in the state’s disclosure...

Separation of Powers Battle Reaches Crisis Point in KS | 10-02-2015

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced last month that he was recusing himself from a court case concerning the state’s judicial system, and he called on the state’s Supreme Court justices to do the same in another related case. ...

Politics In Brief - August 17 2015 | 08-14-2015

MN House Members Age Increase The median age of MINNESOTA House members has increased by seven years - from 47 to 55 - since 1995. For senators the increase is eight years, from 47 to 55 (TWIN CITIES PIONEER PRESS). KS Cracks Down on Voter Fraud...

Politics In Brief - July 13 2015 | 07-10-2015

States to Wrap Up Same Sex Marriage Cases The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered judges in LOUISIANA , MISSISSIPPI , and TEXAS to wrap up same-sex marriage cases in their states in line with last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The...

Politics In Brief - June 1 2015 | 05-29-2015

CO Signs HB 1057 COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) has signed a bill (HB 1057) requiring citizen petitions for constitutional amendments to include estimates of the proposals’ fiscal impact. Currently such estimates aren’t required until...

Politics In Brief - May 11 2015 | 05-08-2015

KS Approves SB 34 The KANSAS Senate has approved a bill (SB 34) that would grant the Secretary of State the authority to prosecute election fraud. LexisNexis State Net’s legislative prognosis tool places the bill’s chances of passage at...