State Politics Cheat Sheet - 8/5/11

It may be August recess, but politics never rest! Here's what's happening in Progressive Majority's 9 target states this week:

- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is determined to have her state’s presidential primary in January, way before the usual early voting states, but GOP party leaders don’t want to disrupt the system.

- The Colorado “Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights” limits local municipalities' abilities to raise revenue, pits social programs against each other, and as a result Colorado schools are seriously under-funded. Don’t taxpayers already have a bill of rights? I believe it’s found at the end of the Constitution and it’s called, simply, “The Bill of Rights”.

- Although the question won’t be on the ballot this November, the efforts to recall Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder press on, with help from Daily Kos and the Michigan Education Association.

- In Minnesota, the Wabasha County Board of Commissioners has successfully put a moratorium on fracking in their area to “avoid potential damage to the county”. Way to go! Hopefully other counties in Minnesota where fracking is being considered will be moved to do the same.

- Like we’ve seen in other states recently, Ohio has launched a new website (www.ReshapeOhio.org) where residents can learn about the redistricting process and even try their hand at drawing district boundaries themselves. The things we can do with modern technology!

- Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett is on a privatization kick. First the state liquor store system, next the state parks? Is the ultimate goal privatization to the point of anarchy?

- The Sierra Club, Virginia National Organization for Women, SEIU, and Virginia Education Association have banded together to fight Virginia’s “cuts only” policy when it comes to balancing the budget, advocating for raising tax revenue instead. Virginia faces up to $800 million in cuts in the next two years.

- The police department and the city government of Renton, Washington want to arrest the creator of satirical videos about the police department that have recently appeared on YouTube. As you can imagine, the ACLU is ready to pounce.(check out one of the videos here)

- Today is the first day of the tea party’s tour of Wisconsin before the next round of recall elections on Tuesday. Four different tea party groups joined together for this campaign, which they’re calling “Restoring Common Sense.” Hah!