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Learn Which 30 State Attorneys General Are On the Ballot In 2018 — UPDATED June 9 So You Can Vote Out the Bums Trying to Hurt People Who Have Pre-Existing Conditions

Learn which 30 state attorneys general are on the ballot in 2018, so you can vote out the state AGs who are attacking the 130 million Americans who have pre-existing conditions, and so you can support the state AGs who are defending those vulnerable people. 

 

The attorney general (AG) is the state’s lead legal officer. State AGs have been crucial to curtailing and/or stopping the agenda of Trump and his cabinet. Several banded together to sue when Trump tried to implement his various Muslim travel bans, and they banded together to sue when Department of Education head Betsy DeVos tried to roll back protections for student borrowers who were cheated by for-profit schools.

 

The state AG is often, but not always, an elected position. In some states, the governor appoints the AG instead.

 

AGs can form part of a triplex–a situation in which the governor, the attorney general, and the secretary of state all belong to the same party. This is distinct from a trifecta, in which the governor and both chambers of the state legislature belong to the same party. In either case, when the three posts yield a triplex, it can be easier for party officials to impose their agenda. As of January 1, 2018, there are 23 Republican triplexes and 11 Democratic triplexes.

 

Below is a list of state AG posts that are open in 2018, with notes on whether the incumbents will run or not.

 

 

Update, June 9, 2018: By now you have heard about the insane response from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to a goofy lawsuit from several state attorneys general that would kill the ACA and end up removing protections that ensure that people with pre-existing conditions can get health insurance.

 

A total of 20 state AGs are suing to kill the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, and the vital protections it enshrines. As of now, 16 state AGs and the AG for the District of Columbia have countersued to defend the ACA.

 

We have updated our April 2018 post on which states are holding AG elections in 2018, and we are identifying whether the incumbents are defending the ACA or trying to destroy it. We’re also identifying states that have not entered either lawsuit, and naming Democratic incumbents and challengers who you can nudge to join the 17 who are fighting for the ACA.

 

There’s been a lot of attention to the 2018 Congressional races, and there should be. But please don’t neglect state-level races such as these. Attorneys general have been a valuable force for defending against the horrors of the Trump administration. Please reward and support those who are fighting back, and vote out those who are not.

 

As with the Congressional races, all of the state attorney general elections take place on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

 

 

Alabama: Republican incumbent Steve Marshall will run for his first full term. He was appointed in 2017 after Republican Luther Strange was appointed to fill the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. Alabama has a Republican triplex.

At least one Democrat, Chris Christie (yes, that’s his name, and yes, he’s a different guy than the outgoing New Jersey governor), will appear in the June 5 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Alabama is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA.

Democrat Joseph Siegelman defeated Chris Christie in the June 5 primary. Siegelman is the son of a former Alabama governor and AG who was charged and ultimately served time for corruption and obstruction of justice charges.

He has never run for public office before. He does not appear to have made a statement about the anti-ACA lawsuit, but he has spoken about fighting the opioid epidemic, and he has generally expressed a commitment to defending vulnerable people.

See Democrat Joseph Siegelman’s website and donate to his campaign: https://www.siegelman2018.com

Follow him on Twitter: @JoeSiegelman

 

 

 

Arizona: As of January 1, 2018, Republican incumbent Mark Brnovich had not decided if he would run for a second term. Arizona has a Republican triplex.

At least one Democrat, January Contreras, will run in the August 28 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Arizona is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA.

Brnovich appears to be running again. Contreras is his Democratic opponent. She does not appear to have made a statement about the anti-ACA lawsuit, but we can tell from her website that she’d be joining the 17 if she was in charge.

See Democrat January Contreras’s website and donate to her campaign: https://www.januaryforaz.com

Follow her on Twitter: @JanuaryAZ

 

 

 

Arkansas: Republican incumbent Leslie Rutledge will run for a second term. Arkansas has a Republican triplex.

As of January 1, 2018, no Democrats had signed up for the May 22 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Arkansas is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA.

Fortunately, since we wrote this post, a Democrat joined the race: Mike Lee. While he has not made a specific public comment about the anti-ACA suit joined by his opponent, it’s clear from his website that he’d oppose it.

 

See Democrat Mike Lee’s website and donate to his campaign: http://electmikelee.org

Follow him on Twitter: @ElectMikeLee

 

 

 

California: Democratic incumbent Xavier Becerra will run for his first full term. He was appointed in January 2017 after then-AG Kamala Harris won a California Senate seat in 2016. California has a Democratic triplex.

California uses a top-two primary system for its AG race, which sends the top two vote-getters in the June 5 primary to face each other in the general election. As of January 1, 2018, one other Democrat and two Republicans had committed to the primary.

 

Update, June 2018: California is one of the 17 states countersuing to defend the ACA. Becerra is leading the charge.

Becerra won his June 5 party primary and will face opposition in the fall.

See Xavier Becerra’s website:

https://xavierbecerra.com

Follow him on Twitter:

@XavierBecerra

 

 

 

Colorado: Republican incumbent Cynthia Coffman is leaving the AG post to run for governor.

At least five Democrats will run in the June 26 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Colorado has not joined either of the lawsuits. Ballotpedia shows that the Democratic AG primary field is down to two: Joseph Salazar and Phil Weiser.

Neither candidate appears to have made a public statement about joining the countersuit. Neither devotes an explicit heading to the ACA in the issues section of their campaign sites, but Weiser published a blog post in May 2018 about fighting for affordable, accessible health care.

See Phil Weiser’s website and donate to his campaign: https://www.philforcolorado.com

Follow Weiser on Twitter: @pweiser

See Joe Salazar’s website and donate to his campaign: https://salazarforcoag.com

 

 

 

Connecticut: Democratic incumbent George C. Jepsen has chosen not to run for a third term. Connecticut has a Democratic triplex.

At least one Democrat, former federal prosecutor Chris Mattei, has committed to run in the August 14 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Connecticut is one of the 17 states countersuing to defend the ACA. 

On June 8, Chris Mattei tweeted in favor of the countersuit:

The DOJ, which should be a refuge for the exploited & powerless, just argued in court that 52 million people w/ pre-existing conditions can be denied coverage contrary to the ACA. This is disgusting. This is not justice.

See Chris Mattei’s website and donate to his campaign: https://matteiforct.com

Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisMatteiCT

 

Mattei has since been joined in the August 14 Democratic primary by Paul R. Doyle and William Tong.

Weirdly, Doyle’s webpage isn’t loading at the moment; we’ll update this post accordingly when it is.

 

Tong has not given a statement about the countersuit but his campaign site is dead clear that he does not like what Trump is doing in general, and will resist his agenda.

See William Tong’s website and donate to his campaign: http://www.williamtong.com

Follow him on Twitter: @WilliamTongCT

 

 

 

Delaware: Democratic incumbent Matthew Denn has chosen not to run for a second term. Delaware has a Democratic triplex.

At least one Democrat, Tim Mullaney, will run in the September 11, 2018 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Delaware is one of the 17 states countersuing to defend the ACA. 

Mullaney has since been joined in the party primary by Kathy Jennings, Chris Johnson, and LaKresha Roberts.

Weirdly, Mullaney does not appear to have a campaign site right now, just a Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Mullaney-2018-1716354568406764/

If we find a website or Twitter handle for him, we’ll update accordingly.

 

Jennings has not made a statement in favor of the countersuit, but it’s reasonable to infer from her website and Twitter feed that she supports it.

See Kathy Jennings’s website and donate to her campaign: https://www.kathyfordelaware.com/priorities

Follow her on Twitter: @KathyForAG

 

Like Jennings, Johnson has not made a specific statement about the countersuit, but it’s reasonable to infer from his website and Twitter feed that he supports it.

See Chris Johnson’s website and donate to his campaign:

https://www.chrisjohnsonforag.com

Follow him on Twitter:

@ChrisJohnsonDE

 

Roberts is in the same boat as her Democratic rivals: Hasn’t made a statement about the countersuit, but would clearly support it.

See LaKresha Roberts’s website and donate to her campaign:

http://www.lakreshafordelaware.com

Follow her on Twitter: @lakreshaforDE

 

 

 

Florida: Republican incumbent Pam Bondi is term-limited out. Florida has a Republican triplex.

At least one Democrat, Ryan Torrens, will appear in the August 28 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Florida is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA.

Torrens has since been joined in the primary by Sean Shaw, and there’s still time for other Floridians to jump in to the state attorney general race; the filing deadline is June 22, 2018.

 

Torrens has not made a specific statement against the anti-ACA suit, but a look over his website leaves no doubt that he’s not in favor.

See Torres’s website and donate to his campaign: https://www.ryanforattorneygeneral.com

Follow him on Twitter: @RyanforFLAG

 

Ditto for Sean Shaw: No specific comment on the suit, but judging by his website and Twitter feed, we doubt he supports it.

See Shaw’s website and donate to his campaign: https://seanshaw.com

Follow him on Twitter: @SShawFL

 

 

 

Georgia: Republican incumbent Chris Carr will run for his first full term as AG. He was appointed in October 2016 after Republican Samuel S. Owens resigned to take the presidency of Kennesaw State University.

As of January 1, 2018, no Democrats had committed to the May 22 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Georgia is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA.

A Democrat has since stepped up to challenge Carr: Charlie Bailey.

Bailey hasn’t made a public comment about the lawsuit, but he’s endorsed by the Democratic Attorneys General Association, which is promising, seeing as it’s Democratic AGs who are pressing the countersuit.

See Charlie Bailey’s website and donate to his campaign: https://charlieforgeorgia.com/home/

Follow him on Twitter: @charlie4georgia

 

 

 

Idaho: Republican incumbent Lawrence Wasden will run for a fourth term as AG. Idaho has a Republican triplex.

As of January 1, 2018, no Democrats had committed to the May 15 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Idaho has not joined either of the lawsuits.

A Democrat, Bruce Bistline, has since joined the AG race, but the Idaho situation seems weird. We found a 2014 (repeat, this is NOT A CURRENT ARTICLE) story online that stated that Bistline would not campaign actively. He appears to be doing the same this time around, too, but he hasn’t said as much to the local press.

Ballotpedia definitely lists Bistline as the Democratic AG candidate for 2018, but we can’t find anything that looks like a campaign website for him. The National Association of Attorneys General confirms that as of May 25, 2018, Bistline did not have one.

The filing deadline to run was back in March, so it’s too late for the Dems to choose someone else.

We get that Idaho is a pretty damn red state. But c’mon, Idaho friends, could you at least pick a Democratic AG candidate who will actually, you know, show up and put up a fight? We at OTYCD think that y’all can do better than Bistline.

 

 

 

Illinois: Democratic incumbent Lisa Madigan decided not to run for a fifth term as AG.

At least eight Democrats will run in the March 20 primary, including Renato Mariotti.

 

Update, June 2018: Illinois is one of the 17 states countersuing to defend the ACA. 

Kwame Raoul emerged victorious from the Democratic primary. (Sorry, Renato. We still love you and we still want people to follow your Twitter feed.)

 

On June 9, Raoul tweeted in favor of the countersuit:

As the son of a community physician and a cancer survior myself, I believe everyone should have access to health care, regardless of income or pre-existing conditions. If Donald Trump won’t enforce the law and protect people, as attorney general, I will.

And he released the same statement as a press release:

https://kwameraoul.com/news/raoul-responds-to-trump-effort-to-gut-the-aca/

 

See Raoul’s website and donate to his campaign: https://kwameraoul.com

Follow him on Twitter: @KwameRaoul

 

 

 

Iowa: Democratic incumbent Tom Miller will run for his tenth term in office. He held the post from 1978 to 1990, when he stepped away to run for governor. He lost, ran for AG in 1994, and has successfully held the office ever since.

As of January 1, 2018, no Democrats had committed to the June 5 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Iowa has not joined either of the lawsuits.

The filing deadline passed without any Democratic challengers leaping in.

In the past few days, Miller has tweeted from his official AG account (@AGIowa) in favor of defending the integrity of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Mick Mulvaney is trying to gut. He’s also retweeted fellow state AGs talking about pushing back against nasty stuff that Betsy DeVos is trying to pull. But Miller hasn’t said anything related to the ACA or health care.

Democrats in Iowa, how about you call Miller’s office and ask him to join the 17 who are countersuing to save the ACA?

We can’t find a campaign website for Miller, but here’s a link to his page on VoteSmart, which has an email address for his campaign:

https://votesmart.org/candidate/biography/1768/tom-miller#.WxvtGC2ZOCc

 

 

 

Kansas: As of January 1, 2018, Republican incumbent Derek Schmidt had not decided whether he would run for a third term. Kansas has a Republican triplex.

As of January 1, 2018, no Democrats had committed to the August 7 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Kansas is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA.

Democrat Sarah Swain seems to have snuck in right at the June 1 filing deadline to run for state AG. Schmidt has since committed as well.

Swain’s candidacy is so new that she doesn’t appear to have a website or a social media presence yet. We will update this post accordingly once that changes.

Here’s a June 1, 2018 article on Swain’s entry into the race: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2018/jun/01/lawrence-attorney-sarah-swain-files-kansas-attorne/

 

 

 

Maryland: As of January 1, 2018, Democratic incumbent Brian Frosh had not decided whether he would run for a second term.

As of January 1, 2018, no other Democrats had committed to the June 26 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Maryland has not joined either of the lawsuits.

Frosh has made up his mind, though. He’s running again.

He does not appear to have made a comment on either of the suits on either his campaign site or his Facebook page.

Marylanders, how about you call Frosh’s office and ask him to join the 17?

Frosh’s campaign site is here: https://www.brianfrosh.com

 

 

Massachusetts: Democratic incumbent Maura Healey, who is awesome, will run for a second term.

As of January 1, 2018, no other Democrats had committed to the September 4 primary. But that’s OK, because Maura Healey is awesome.

 

Update, June 2018: Massachusetts is one of the 17 states countersuing to defend the ACA, because Maura Healey is awesome (did we mention that? Because she is, indeed, awesome.).

Healey will face no challengers in the September 4 primary.

See Healey’s website and donate to her campaign: http://www.maurahealey.com

Follow her on Twitter: @maura_healey

 

 

Michigan: Republican incumbent Bill Schuette is term-limited out. Michigan has a Republican triplex.

Update, June 2018: Michigan has not joined either of the lawsuits.

 

Since this post originally went up, the Michigan Democratic Party convened and chose Dana Nessel as their AG candidate.

You might remember Nessel. She did that amazing November 2017 campaign ad pushing back against sexual harassment.

She hasn’t yet said anything about either lawsuit but hey, Michiganders? We at OTYCD bet she’ll come out in favor of joining the 17 if you call and ask her to do so.

See her website and donate to her campaign: https://www.dana2018.com

Follow her on Twitter: @dananessel

 

 

 

Minnesota: As of January 1, 2018, Democratic incumbent Lori Swanson had not yet decided if she would run for a fourth term. Minnesota has a Democratic triplex.

At least four other Democrats have announced they will run in the August 14 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Minnesota is one of the 17 states countersuing to defend the ACA “by and through its Department of Commerce.” 

Swanson has since announced she will run for governor of Minnesota.

Five Democrats have filed for the August 14 primary, most notably Keith Ellison, who is giving up his House of Representatives seat in the 5th District to aim for the open Michigan state AG post.

On June 8, Ellison tweeted this message with a link to a Politico story:

Trump’s Justice Department is calling on the courts to throw out protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but CA AG Xavier Becera fights back.

See Ellison’s website and donate to his campaign: https://keithellison.org

We’ll add his AG-specific Twitter account once he creates one.

 

We at OTYCD are having trouble with Tom Foley at the moment. Ballotpedia redirects to the wrong Tom Foley (a Republican in another state), and Minnesota’s Tom Foley is far from the only Tom Foley in politics. We can’t seem to find a campaign site for him, either.

Consider this an invitation to Minnesota AG candidate Tom Foley’s folks to get in touch with us here (see the About & Subscribe page) so we can update this section accordingly.

 

Debra Hilstrom has not made a specific statement about the countersuit but we have no reason to believe she wouldn’t support it.

See Hilstrom’s website and donate to her campaign:  https://debrahilstrommn.com

Follow her on Twitter: @debrahilstrom

 

Matt Pelikan has not made a specific statement about the countersuit, but the header of his Twitter page is him standing with Senator Elizabeth Warren, so, no worries there, we think.

See Pelikan’s website and donate to his campaign: http://mattpelikan.com

Follow him on Twitter: @mattpelikan

 

Mike Rothman also has not made a specific statement in favor of the countersuit, but judging by his website, he’s probably in favor.

See Rothman’s website and donate to his campaign:

http://mikerothmanformn.com

Follow him on Twitter (warning–he doesn’t tweet much):

@MikeRothman4MN

 

 

 

Nebraska: Republican incumbent Doug Petersen will run for a second term. Nebraska has a Republican triplex.

At least one Democrat, Evangelos Argyrakis, will run in the May 15 primary.

Update, June 2018: Nebraska is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA.

Unfortunately Democrats might be up the creek in this race. Argyrakis is the only Democratic candidate, but local papers reported in April that he assaulted his 82-year-old father after accusing him of taking money from his mother. So, erm, awkward.

We at OTYCD can’t seem to find a campaign website for him either, which is probably for the best. If we learn about whether a write-in campaign is allowed, we will update accordingly.

 

 

 

Nevada: Republican incumbent Adam Laxalt is running for Nevada governor instead of a second term as AG. Nevada has a Republican triplex.

At least one Democrat, state Senator Aaron Ford, will appear in the June 12 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Nevada has not joined either of the lawsuits.

Since this post came out, Stuart MacKie entered the Democratic primary.

 

On June 9, Aaron Ford tweeted:

Nevadans with preexisting conditions like asthma or diabetes deserve health care. As I will stand up for the thousands of Nevadans who could lose health care access because of this dangerous lawsuit.

See Ford’s website and donate to his campaign:

https://www.fordfornevada.com

Follow him on Twitter: @AaronDFordNV

 

Stuart MacKie has proven more elusive. We will add his campaign website and Twitter account if and when we locate them.

 

 

 

New Mexico: Democratic incumbent Hector Balderas will run for a second term.

No other Democrats have announced they will run in the June 5 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: New Mexico has not joined either of the lawsuits.

Hey, New Mexicans, how about you call or email Balderas and ask him to join the 17?

See his website and donate to his campaign: http://www.hectorbalderas.com

 

 

 

New York: Democratic incumbent Eric Schneiderman will run for a third term. New York has a Democratic triplex.

No other Democrats have announced they will run in the September 11 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: New York is one of the 17 states countersuing to defend the ACA. 

Ahem. Since we wrote this, Eric Scheiderman was outed as a horrific abuser. He resigned within hours of the news breaking. New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood is filling in, but is not running for the AG post.

Four Democrats have entered the September 13 primary: Zephyr Teachout, Sean Patrick Maloney, Leecia Eve, and Letitia James. As of June, all are actively gathering signatures so they can appear on the ballot.

 

Zephyr Teachout does not appear to have said anything about the countersuit but we doubt she’d be against it.

See her website and donate to her campaign: https://zephyrforny.com

Follow her on Twitter: @ZephyrTeachout

 

Sean Patrick Maloney announced on June 6, 2018 that he’d run for AG, but he might not abandon his re-election campaign for his House of Representatives seat in New York’s 18th Congressional District while he does it (FWIW, we at OTYCD think this behavior is hinky. Take the risk, dammit).

He hasn’t made a specific statement about the countersuit but it’s clear he’s for it.

The only campaign site Maloney has up right now is his CONGRESSIONAL site: https://maloneyfornewyork.com

Follow him on Twitter: @MaloneyforNY

 

 

Leecia Eve has not made a public statement but we see no reason to believe she doesn’t back the countersuit.

See her website and donate to her campaign: https://leeciaeve.com

 

 

Letitia James has not made a specific public statement and doesn’t yet have a campaign site that’s specific to the AG race, but from what we’ve seen, we believe she’d support the countersuit.

She’s talking about her AG candidacy on her personal Twitter: @TishJames

 

 

 

North Dakota: As of January 1, 2018, Republican incumbent Wayne Stenehjem had not decided if he would run for a sixth term. He is the longest-serving AG in the state’s history. North Dakota has a Republican triplex.

No Democrats have announced they will run in the June 12 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: North Dakota is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA.

David Clark Thompson has since become the only Democrat in the state AG race. He needs to step up his Twitter game (two tweets, both in May, that’s all), and he doesn’t appear to have said anything about the anti-ACA suit, but we don’t see anything on his site that contradicts the notion that he’d oppose the suit.

See his website and donate to his campaign: http://www.davidthompsonforndag.com

Follow his Twitter feed: @thompsonndag

 

 

 

Ohio: Republican incumbent Mike DeWine will run for governor instead of a third term as AG. Ohio has a Republican triplex.

At least one Democrat, Steven Dettelbach, will run in the May 8 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Ohio has not joined either of the lawsuits.

Dettelbach has not said anything about either lawsuit. Ohio Democrats should ask him to support the 17.

See Dettelbach’s site and donate to his campaign: https://steveforohio.com

Follow his Twitter feed: @SteveDettelbach

 

 

 

Oklahoma: Republican incumbent Mike Hunter will run for his first full term after being appointed in 2017 to take the place of Scott Pruitt, who now heads the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Oklahoma has a Republican triplex.

No Democrats have announced they will run in the June 26 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Oklahoma has not joined either of the lawsuits, which is kind of surprising when you think about it.

Since writing the original post, Democrat Mark Myles has entered the race.

He must have joined pretty recently because his campaign website is a placeholder. See it here: https://www.electmarkmyles.com

 

 

Rhode Island: Democratic incumbent Peter Kilmartin is term-limited out. Rhode Island has a Democratic triplex.

At least one Democrat, Peter Neronha, will run in the September 12 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Rhode Island is one of the 17 states countersuing to defend the ACA. 

Nehrona has not said anything specific about the countersuit but we have no reason to believe he doesn’t support it.

See his website and donate to his campaign: https://peterneronha.com

Follow him on Twitter: @PeterNehrona

 

 

 

South Carolina: Republican incumbent Alan Wilson will run for a third term. South Carolina has a Republican triplex.

No Democrats have announced they will run in the June 12 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: South Carolina is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA.

Since writing the original post, Democrat Constance Anastopoulo entered the race. She will run unopposed in the primary.

As with many Democratic AG candidates, Anastopoulo has not said anything specific about her state joining the anti-ACA suit, but nothing on her campaign site indicates she’d support it.

See her site and donate to her campaign: https://www.anastopouloforag.com

 

 

South Dakota: Republican incumbent Marty J. Jackley will run for governor instead of a third term as AG. South Dakota has a Republican triplex.

No Democrats have announced they will run in the June 5 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: South Dakota is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA.

South Dakota Democrats will choose between two AG candidates at their June 15-16 convention: Tatewin Means and Randy Seiler.

Right now, both are using Facebook instead of splashing out on campaign sites. Neither has directly addressed the lawsuit, but Seiler did write a health care-themed post of note on June 8:

SD recently expanded coverage of substance abuse to people who qualify for Medicaid. Falls short though in expanding eligibility that could target services to get people the help they need – with the Federal government paying 90% of cost. Note that Republican AG candidate Russell voted no on the expanded coverage for treatment.

See Seiler’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/randyseilerforattorneygeneral

See Means’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MeansforAG/

 

 

Texas: Republican incumbent Ken Paxton will run for a second term. Texas has a Republican triplex.

At least one Democrat, Justin Nelson, will run in the March 6 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Texas is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA, and is co-leading the effort with Wisconsin’s AG.

Nelson ran alone in the primary.

On June 9, he tweeted:

Here’s the pattern now: Ken Paxton files a lawsuit to make a partisan point and to distract from his own indictment. Trump then uses Paxton’s suit as an excuse. Lather, rinse, repeat. That’s wrong. I believe it’s Texas first, not Tea Party first.

See Nelson’s site and donate to his campaign: https://www.nelsonfortexas.com

Follow him on Twitter: @NelsonforTexas

 

 

 

Vermont: As of January 1, 2018, Democratic incumbent T.J. Donovan has not decided if he’ll run for a second term.

No Democrats have announced they will run in the August 14 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Vermont is one of the 17 states countersuing to defend the ACA. 

Donovan did commit and defeated a Democratic primary challenger to run again.

See his site here and donate to his campaign: http://donovanforvermont.com

Follow him on Twitter: @TJforVermont

 

 

 

Wisconsin: Republican incumbent Brad Schimel will run for a second term.

At least one Democrat, Josh Kaul, will run in the August 14 primary.

 

Update, June 2018: Wisconsin is one of the 20 states suing to destroy the ACA, and is co-leading the effort with Texas’s AG.

The filing deadline passed on June 1, meaning Kaul will run unopposed in the primary. He’s the son of a former AG, Peg Lautenschlager.

On June 8, Kaul tweeted:

‘s effort to allow health-insurance companies to deny coverage to Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions is wrong. We should be working to expand access to affordable care.

See Kaul’s website and donate to his campaign: https://www.joshkaul.org

Follow him on Twitter: @JoshKaulWI

 

 

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See the document that lists the 20 states that are suing to kill the ACA:

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/Texas_Wisconsin_et_al_v._U.S._et_al_-_ACA_Complaint_(02-26-18).pdf?cachebuster:23

 

 

Xavier Becerra put out a press release on June 7 that lists all 17 states and entities that are countersuing to defend the ACA:

https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/texas-v-hhs-attorney-general-becerra-leads-coalition-16-attorneys-general

 

 

We at OTYCD relied on raw info from Ballotpedia to assemble this post. See the Ballotpedia home page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

 

Donate to Ballotpedia ($18 corresponds to the cost of a single article):

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Donate

 

 

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Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Ethics · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Tell Your Senators To Slow, and Ideally, Stop Trump’s Lousy and Unqualified Judicial Appointments

Call your senators and tell them to slow and ideally stop the parade of Trump’s lousy and unqualified judicial appointees.

 

When he was minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell did everything he could to slow-walk, stymie, and outright stop the Obama administration’s choices to fill federal judgeships.

 

Now that Trump is in office and McConnell is leading the Senate, he is trying to cram through as many right-wing judicial candidates as possible before November 2018. Unfortunately that means he’s also trying to cram through a great deal of lousy and unqualified judicial candidates. If he succeeds, he will warp the courts for decades to come and undermine their fundamental credibility as a means for delivering justice.

 

McConnell is deliberately choosing people who are on the young side and who would not be put forward even under a more standard Republican administration.

 

Some of the nominees are straight-up unqualified–either getting ‘unqualified’ ratings from the American Bar Association (ABA) or being pushed through before the ABA can finish an assessment and assign a rating.

 

At least a few of these nominees have struggled with basic questions such as, ‘Do you believe Brown vs Board of Education [the SCOTUS ruling that outlawed segregation in public schools] was correctly decided, yes or no?’ It’s hard to underestimate the damage that McConnell’s quest could do.

 

The only defense that Democrats have against this onslaught is to slow-walk or block the worst of the judicial nominations. They have been doing this and have had some success.

 

But! McConnell is feeling the pressure to shove through as many judges as he can. He has bitterly criticized his Democratic colleagues for making sure that he’s reaping what he sowed under the Obama administration, and he has begun violating Senate norms in an effort to warp the courts.

 

One of those norms is the blue slip. A senator from the home state of a judicial nominee can withhold a blue slip, indicating a lack of support for that person. Historically, it is unusual for a nominee who lacks one or both blue slips to gain confirmation.

 

Back in October 2017, McConnell indicated that he would not honor the blue slip tradition. He quickly revoked the statement, but Senator Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and actually acts on blue slips, said in November 2017 that he would override it due to what he regarded as Democratic abuses of the practice. (Never mind how Republicans abused the blue-slip system under Obama. Ahem.)

 

In addition, GOP activists are worried that their window for borking the judiciary is closing. CNN has been airing ads from a group called Judicial Crisis Watch, urging folks to call their senators, complain about the Democrats’ tactics, and continue to shove through Trumpian picks.

 

Anyway, here’s what you can do.

 

Call your members of Congress and say you support the Democrats’ checking of Trump’s judicial nominees, and you want it to continue.

 

If your senators are Republican, urge them to urge the Trump administration to choose better-qualified, less ideological nominees, to stop advancing candidates who have bad ABA ratings, and to stop flouting Senate traditions and norms.

 

If your senators are on the judiciary committee, it is extra-important that you call. Check the link below to see if either of your senators are members:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members

 

Note also that during the week of May 28, 2018, Senators are in their home districts, not Washington, D.C.

 

Sample script for Democratic Senators: “Dear Senator (Lastname), I am (Firstname Last name from town, zip code). I am calling to express support for Democratic efforts to slow down and block the appointment of federal judges who are unqualified or who would never be considered in a more moderate political climate. Trump and Mitch McConnell are deliberately attempting to warp the court, and by extension, justice itself, for decades to come. I am glad to see that Democratic senators are pushing back, and I want them to continue to do so. Their opponents call it game-playing; I call it defending the court system from judges who are unjust. Please carry on slow-walking and stopping bad judicial candidates from being placed on the federal bench. You are doing what I want you to do, and I will remember your efforts when it comes time to vote. Thank you for hearing me out.”

 

Sample script for Republican Senators: “Dear Senator (Lastname), I am (Firstname Last name from town, zip code). I am calling to express anger over the desperate Republican push to confirm as many unqualified and unsuitable judicial appointees as they can before November comes. When he was in the minority, Senator Mitch McConnell did everything he could to slow-walk and stop nominees put forward under the Obama administration. Now, McConnell is just reaping what he sowed. He and Senator Chuck Grassley should not be allowed to flout Senate norms to avoid the fate that they chose for themselves when they used Senate norms and traditions to push back against Obama-era nominees. Know that I am watching what is happening, and your actions on this matter will influence how I vote, both for you, and your colleagues, and for Republicans in general. I want a functional judiciary, not one that is riddled with judges who make decisions that undermine justice itself. Thank you for listening to me.”

 

 

Read about the advertising campaign urging people to call their Senators to oppose the Democrats’ efforts to limit damage to the courts:

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/386128-conservative-group-targets-democrats-for-blocking-judicial-nominees-in

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/03/trump-judicial-nomination-ad-push-566675

 

 

Read about how the Trump administration is redoubling its efforts to cram through lousy and unqualified judicial candidates in hopes of warping the court system:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-nominees/trump-push-for-conservative-judges-intensifies-to-democrats-dismay-idUSKBN1I80WL

 

 

Read a Politico piece that details how Senator McConnell is bound and determined to shove through as many lousy and unqualified judges as he can before this Congressional session ends:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/20/mcconnell-courts-judges-confirmation-senate-537366

 

 

Read a November 2017 Vox piece on how the Republicans are trying to defeat and destroy the tools available to the minority party for pushing back against bad judicial nominees:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/13/16462128/blue-slips-senate-republican-judge-nomination-appointment

 

 

Read a November 2017 U.S. News & World Report story on how Senator Chuck Grassley stands ready to ignore the blue slip tradition in the interest of advancing Trump’s judicial picks:

https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-11-16/sen-grassley-opts-to-ignore-blue-slips-against-trump-judicial-nominees

 

 

Read about two judicial candidates that the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance them even though both hold “not qualified” ratings from the American Bar Association (note that Brett Talley has since withdrawn his nomination). The article also mentions that the ABA says the Trump administration is nominating candidates faster than it can vet them:

https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-11-09/senate-recommends-for-lifetime-judgeships-two-lawyers-the-aba-deems-not-qualified

 

 

Read a December 2017 Washington Post piece on Trump nominees with ABA “unqualified” ratings, and how the “unqualified” numbers stack up to past presidencies:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/11/10/how-unusual-are-trumps-not-qualified-judicial-nominations/?utm_term=.f1d18e044a85

 

 

Read a December 2017 Politico piece on how, when faced with ABA “unqualified” ratings, the GOP is attacking… the ABA:

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/10/trump-judicial-nominees-republicans-287911

 

 

Read a bit of good news from December 2017 about how Republican Senator John Kennedy did his job and through straightforward, deft questioning, revealed just how unprepared judicial nominee Matthew Petersen was. Petersen’s embarrassing performance forced him to withdraw:

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Rebuke Trump and Help the FBI By Donating to Its Charities

Rebuke Trump and show support for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) by donating to charities that help FBI families.

 

If you believe Donald Trump’s tweets, the FBI is a hotbed of radical liberalism, bent on taking down his administration. We should’t have to tell you not to believe Trump’s tweets–they’re absurd. The FBI is many things, but a bastion of leftist free-thinking it is not.

 

Many, many people have decried Trump’s attacks on the FBI. Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) of Lawfareblog seems to be the first to fight back by supporting FBI-related charities. On December 23, he tweeted:

The President is impugning the integrity of the FBI by attacking two honorable public servants: Jim Baker and Andy McCabe. I just donated $1,000 to the in their names. I urge others to give as well and tweet that you did so to .

 

He then retweeted several others who mentioned their donations in honor of Baker and McCabe on social media.

 

Later that day, the FBI Agents Association (@FBIAgentsAssoc) tweeted:

Thank you to everyone who has generously contributed to our charitable funds. Your money will directly benefit FBI families in need.

 

On December 24, former CIA director John Brennan (@JohnBrennan) pointedly joined the cause, tweeting:

Andy McCabe & Jim Baker epitomize integrity, competence, and respect for rule of law. Not surprised fears them, along with the rest of FBI. I just donated to as a small way of saying . Here’s how you can too:

 

The FBI Agents Association administers two charities.

 

The Membership Assistance Fund helps FBI families who suffer a sudden, unforeseen tragedy, such as a cancer diagnosis or an accident.

 

The Memorial College Fund provides scholarships to the children and spouses of FBI personnel who died on the job or within a year of leaving the agency.

 

Both are 501(c) (3) charities. Note: If you are uncomfortable with guns, you might want to focus on the Membership Assistance Fund alone. The Memorial College Fund has raised money through the sale of commemorative firearms.

 

We at OTYCD recognize that the FBI is not a perfect organization, and its history includes some pretty terrible acts. That said, it most emphatically does not deserve the abuse that Trump is raining on it, and we should do what we can to defend the FBI in the context of defending the infrastructure of democracy from the corrosive effects of Trump’s authoritarian whims. Donating to these two FBI charities are a way to stand up for the agency and its people, who have been unfairly maligned.

 

 

See the main donation page for the FBI Agents Association:

https://fbiaa.org/ways-to-donate

 

 

See its page for the Membership Assistance Fund:

https://fbiaa.org/membership-assistance-fund

 

 

See its page for the Memorial College Fund:

https://fbiaa.org/memorial-college-fund

 

 

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Ask Your State Legislators to Pass a Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates to Release Their Tax Returns Or Else

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

Have a look at this bill that Massachusetts State Senator Michael Barrett proposed that would require all presidential and vice presidential candidates to release five years’ worth of tax returns, and ask your own state legislators to pass a similar bill. 

When the feds are asleep at the wheel, we citizens have to turn to state and local government to step in and steer as best they can. Trump promised to release his tax returns when he was a presidential candidate, but has consistently refused to honor his pledge. Enter Massachusetts state senator Mike Barrett, who’s doing his best to make sure no one else can pull the same move without consequences.

In January he proposed Bill S.365, titled An Act Restoring Financial Transparency in Presidential Elections. If passed, it would require all presidential and vice presidential candidates to release five years’ worth of tax returns if they want to appear on the state’s ballot. Candidates who fail to comply lose the right to appear on the ballot; they could only compete as a write-in.

Brendan Berger, who handles communications for Barrett, says the state senator consulted constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe, on the bill, and reports that Tribe believes it will pass muster.

Could your state pass something similar?

First, check and make sure your state legislators aren’t already on the case. A handful of states, all heavily Democratic, are pursuing similar measures.

If your state legislators aren’t mulling a bill like this one yet, call or email them and ask them to consider it.

To find your state legislators, plug your address and zip code into this web site:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

Once you have the two names you need, go to the web site for your state legislature and find the contact information for your state senator and state house rep.

Contacting your state house rep and state senator is different from contacting your federal-level reps. Calls and emails are equally effective, and you’re far more likely to get through to the actual elected official. It might be best to start with your state senator, seeing as Barrett is a state senator.

Sample email: Dear State Senator (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname), and I live in (town, zip code). I am emailing to ask if you would consider introducing a bill that would require all presidential and vice presidential candidates to release five years’ worth of tax returns in order to appear on our state’s ballot. Having a law like this in place would prevent future candidates from refusing to release their returns, as Trump has. I have (attached/included a link) to a Massachusetts bill now under consideration that is designed to address this issue. Thanks for considering my request. Sincerely, (Firstname Lastname).

 

Read the text of Massachusetts State Senator Mike Barrett’s bill:

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S365/Senate/Bill/Text

 

Read Barrett’s statement about his bill, S.365, which explains it in plainer language:

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Mass–law-can-compel-presidential-candidates-to-release-their-tax-returns—So-let-s-do-it—The-Barrett-Report–December–2016-.html?soid=1110058483636&aid=dXsAzV6_NRA

 

Read stories from Massachusetts newspapers on Barrett’s bill:

https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2016/12/15/this-massachusetts-bill-could-block-donald-trump-from-the-ballot-in-2020

http://lexington.wickedlocal.com/news/20161214/senator-mike-barret-d-lexington-wants-presidential-candidates-tax-returns-to-run-for-office-in-massachusetts

 

This Politico article contains references to efforts in Illinois and New Mexico to pass state bills that are similar to that of Barrett’s (scroll down a good bit):

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/state-legislators-trump-trolling-234919

 

Special thanks to Brendan Berger for answering OTYCD‘s questions about Mike Barrett’s bill via DM on Twitter. Please follow him: @brendanberger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Save This Tool: whatdoidoabouttrump.com

This OTYCD entry originally posted in May 2017.

 

Bookmark What Do I Do About Trump, a clearing house of resistance resources.

 

Many anti-Trump lists, sites, services, and social media accounts have sprung up since the election. Most are good, but some are better.

 

What Do I Do About Trump, an all-volunteer effort, stands out for its depth and breadth. It’s the digital equivalent of a Trump resistance supermarket, except it’s a supermarket where half the aisles are full of cool stuff you heard of once and forgot about, or had no idea existed.

 

The site also stands apart from its competitors for offering two dedicated sections of note:

 

Inspiring Friends, which explicitly recognizes the value of recruiting your friends to join you in your activism

 

Protect Yourself, which gives you resources on how to protect yourself “if some of Trump’s campaign promises become reality”.

 

Fair warning: Set aside an afternoon and get your bookmarking finger ready. You’ll be disappearing down the rabbit hole, in a good way.

 

 

Visit the whatdoidoabouttrump site:

http://whatdoidoabouttrump.com

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Like whatdoidoabouttrump on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/WhatDoIDoAboutTrump

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@WDIDAboutTrump

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Support the MAR-A-LAGO Act, Which Would Require Trump to Disclose the Visitor Logs of the White House and Mar-A-Lago

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

Call your members of Congress to express support for the Make Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act, aka the MAR-A-LAGO Act, which would require Trump to release the names in the visitor logs of the White House and Mar-a-Lago after 90 to 120 days.

It is making its way through both sides of Congress now, as H.R. 1711 in the House of Representatives and as S. 721 in the Senate.

President Obama adopted a policy of releasing the names of most of the people who visited the White House within 90 to 120 days. The only exceptions Obama made were for people deemed “politically sensitive.” This was not a formal rule from Congress; Obama’s administration came up with it and chose to abide by it.

The Trump administration has yet to pass the 90-day mark as we draft this blog post. But he and his minions have shown a proclivity for secrecy and concealment. Trump has also done a fair amount of presidential work at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he charges new members $200,000 to join–a price that doubled since he took office.

The MAR-A-LAGO Act would promote transparency by requiring Trump to release visitor logs for the White House, Mar-a-Lago, and any other place where he might conduct presidential business, such as Trump Tower and his network of hotels and golf courses.

Sample script: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am calling to ask House Rep/Senator (Lastname) to support H.R. 1711/ S. 721, the MAR-A-LAGO act. The MAR-A-LAGO act would promote transparency by requiring Trump to routinely release visitor logs for the White House, Mar-a-Lago, and other venues where he conducts presidential business. Given the Trump administration’s penchant for secrecy, a law like this one would be a good idea. Thank you.”

 

Read a GovTrack Insider article about the MAR-A-LAGO Act:

https://govtrackinsider.com/mar-a-lago-act-would-mandate-trump-release-visitor-logs-from-his-white-house-and-florida-club-3731b9a00966

 

See GovTrack’s page on the senate version of the bill, S. 721:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s721

 

See GovTrack’s page on the house version of the bill, H.R. 1711:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1711/details

 

 

 

 

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Never Stop Demanding That Congress Investigate Trump’s Ties to Russia and His Violations of the Constitution

This OTYCD entry originally posted in March 2017.

Trump and his minions have done, or tried to do, any number of horrible things. Most of them demanded an immediate answer. Others demanded ongoing attention.

 

Several people are speaking up to say the daily shenanigans are distracting us from focusing on the two issues that have the power to force Trump from office: His financial conflicts of interest, and the Russian hacking scandal, which should shed light on Trump’s curious connections to Putin.

 

To be fair, these issues have not been forgotten, just overshadowed. A team of lawyers from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is suing Trump over his violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments clause. Jerry Nadler, a house rep from New York who sits on the house judiciary committee, recently filed a resolution of inquiry into Trump, an early step on the road to impeachment. Members of Congress are pursuing bipartisan investigations into the Russian hacking scandal, despite Republican attempts to keep such queries under its party’s control (which would let them soft-pedal the findings).

 

But the blogger behind The Liberal Yell rightly points out that it’s on us, the citizens, to keep pressing Congress to stay on the two issues that could end Trump’s presidency, and we should support their efforts to do so.

 

See the blog below.

 

http://theliberalyell.com/focus-people-there-are-only-two-things-to-demand-of-congress-in-regards-to-trump/

 

To summarize: TLY asks us to stay firmly on these two issues, regardless of what other evils Trump looses. No matter what happens, do not lose sight of the need to look into Trump’s Emoluments clause violations and the importance of getting to the bottom of the Russian hacking.

 

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for a great tool–a custom postcard demanding investigations into both issues, which you can download and print and mail and hand out to others.

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Read about bipartisan efforts to investigate the Russian hacking scandal, and Republican resistance to it:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/02/02/senate-panel-investigate-russian-election-interference/97411482/

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/10/14220484/house-dems-bipartisan-probe-russian-hacking

http://www.snopes.com/mitch-mcconnell-blocked-investigating-russian-hacks/

 

 

Learn about New York House Representative Jerry Nadler’s filing of a resolution of inquiry into Trump, and its implications:

https://www.countable.us/articles/237-preliminary-impeachment-inquiry-filed-president-trump