Another big week of news, on every level of government. Trump tried to pull a Nixon and fire Special Counsel Bob Mueller, the man investigating whether Trump colluded with Russia during the campaign. Definitely something an innocent man would do, right?
More significantly for our purposes, there was huge movement in state voting rights. On the positive, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court ruled that the state’s congressional gerrymander was egregiously partisan. And even though Republicans are appealing to the national Supreme Court, because it was a decision based on the PA state constitution, their desperate plea is likely to be denied. With fair elections, Democrats could gain a handful of seats in Congress, while reinstituting a two-party system on the state level. This is incredible news, and shows what fighting for voting rights can achieve. Now, we just need to campaign hard to make sure we win those new seats!
Congressional Candidate: Andrew Janz for CA-22
It’s not surprising that Trump has proven to be a corrupt maniac in office — that’s been his thing for 40 years. But the GOP’s willingness to protect their corrupt maniac is a bit remarkable. No one has been more of a sycophant than Devin Nunes, the California congressman who has been kicking up dust and conspiracy theories for the last year.
As the House Intelligence Committee chair, he was forced to recuse himself from the Russia probe amidst allegations of ethics violations, but he keeps on meddling; he’s the one waving some misleading “memo,” which has become the GOP’s latest rallying cry. It’s a bunch of out-of-context misinformation based on top secret info, and its release would be a major ethics violation.
He coasted to re-election in 2016, but he is feeling the heat at home now. His hometown paper, The Sacramento Bee recently called him “Trump’s stooge” and said his behavior has been “nothing short of embarrassing.”
Luckily, there is a strong Democratic candidate who knows all about the right way to handle an investigation. Andrew Janz, a 33-year-old Fresno prosecutor, threw his hat in the ring last year, and he’s making major gains. A recent poll for his campaign showed him just five points behind Nunes, who has been in office for over 15 years.
Janz is the Deputy District Attorney and focuses on violent crimes, but is in favor of criminal justice reform, and stopping the rampage that ICE is carrying out on immigrant communities. He also has a solid sense of humor, as you can see from the billboard he took out last year depicting Trump and Nunes as toddlers being held on a leash by Vladimir Putin.
Local Candidate: Margaret Good for Florida House of Representatives
Nationally, Florida is the swingiest of swing states, but on the local level, it is as partisan as it gets. Republicans took control of the legislature in 2010 and immediately created a ridiculous gerrymander; while the Supreme Court struck that down, the legislature is controlled by the far-right and still making a stinkabout the reprimand.
Luckily, Democrats have quality candidates in the fight to take back control of the legislature. One of them is Margaret Good, who is running in a special election to represent Florida’s 72nd House district in a February 13th election. She’s already a local leader, as she sits on the board of directors for the Sarasota County Bar Association, and is involved with the Florida Bar Association. She’s particularly strong on the environment, a vital issue in Florida.
There was a bit of a snafu in the primary, when the Progressive Caucus rescinded its endorsement of Good because she wasn’t 100% firm on a $15 minimum wage. But she still soundly defeated a somewhat progressive opponent, so with a special election a few weeks away, we’re supporting her. She’s certainly a better choice than her opponent, James Buchanan, the son of Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan, one of the wealthiest members of a Congress filled with rich people.
Polls have them in a virtual tie, so anything you can do to help would be clutch.