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Gavin Newsom has chosen Laphonza Butler, the president of EMILY's List, to fill the seat of the late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the governor's office confirmed to NBC News. Feinstein, the longest-serving woman in the Senate, died Thursday at the age of 90. Newsom, a Democrat, had provided substantial clues in recent months about how he'd choose Feinstein's replacement, if her seat were to become vacant. He had previously said that he would appoint a Black woman if either of California's Senate seats opened up. Butler, however, will not have any constraints on her future plans and will be free to run for the seat if she chooses.
Persons: Gavin Newsom, Laphonza Butler, Democratic Sen, Dianne Feinstein, Feinstein, Butler, Kamala Harris, Newsom, NBC's, Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, Lee, Alex Padilla Organizations: Democratic, NBC News, SEIU, University of California, Regents, Airbnb, Democrat, Press, Congressional, Caucus Locations: California, North America
The new campaign by the group working to pass the August measure, called Protect Women Ohio, includes a $4.5 million expenditure on two new 30-second television ads, as well as $1 million on statewide radio and digital ads. The ads continue a strategy by the group to tie the Aug. 8 measure, as well as a November ballot measure that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, to parental rights restrictions. Protect Women Ohio’s ads and statements also argue that the presence of ACLU of Ohio in the pro-amendment coalition is evidence of a push beyond abortion rights. The group has also, so far, committed $25 million for ads to oppose the November ballot measure. If voters pass the threshold measure in August, then the proposed abortion rights amendment in November would need 60% support from voters to pass.
Persons: , Hunter, ” Hunter, Vivina Napier, you’ll, ” Napier Organizations: Protect, NBC News, Reproductive, Ohio Constitution Locations: Ohio, Women Ohio
President Biden is headed to Philadelphia Thursday to tout his “Bidenomics” agenda, hoping once again to make early headway with voters over economic issues. And for now, Biden has a chance to tout his economic agenda and successes while his potential Republican presidential challengers are bogged down, either in a battle for second place or by the potential of another looming indictment. Doug Burgum’s campaign announced Wednesday that he had received contributions from more than 40,000 individual donors, meeting one threshold to qualify for the first GOP presidential primary debate. That could be a blow to both Republicans as they take on (or consider running against) primary candidates who have support from GOP leaders. Raking it in: Nevada Republican Sam Brown raised $400,000 in the first week of his Senate campaign, Politico reports.
Persons: Biden, Roe, Wade, That’s, Jonathan Allen, Allan Smith, Mike Pence, Pence, Sarah Dean, Greene, Joe Biden’s, Marjorie Taylor Greene, , MAGA, Mike Memoli, Trump, E, Jean Carroll, Burgum, Doug Burgum’s, ’ Adam Edelman, Alex Mooney, Matt Rosendale, Nevada Republican Sam Brown Organizations: Republicans, NBC, Monmouth University, GOP, Georgia GOP, Republican Party, New, New York State, Dakota Gov, CNN, Nevada Republican, Politico Locations: Philadelphia, Columbus, Ind, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Montana, Nevada
Iowa Republicans pass a new 6-week abortion ban
  + stars: | 2023-07-12 | by ( Adam Edelman | )   time to read: +7 min
Reynolds, in a statement issued moments after the bill was passed, said she would sign the bill on Friday. As it currently stands, abortion remains legal in Iowa until the 20th week of pregnancy. The bill passed by Republicans, who control the Legislature, would ban abortions at the sixth week of pregnancy — or when, in some cases, a fetal pulse can first be heard via ultrasound. Republicans have often struggled to talk to voters about abortion rights in the year since the Supreme Court's Dobbs ruling overturned Roe v. Wade. The latest bill is nearly identical to a six-week ban that remains permanently blocked following an Iowa Supreme Court ruling last month.
Persons: Kim Reynolds, Reynolds, , Holmes, Zach Boyden, Connie Ryan, Amy Bingaman, Bingaman, Iowans, Vicki Miller, Court's Dobbs, Roe, people's, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Sen, Tim Scott of, Vivek Ramaswamy, Ramaswamy, Ruth Richardson, Dana Oxley, Oxley Organizations: Capitol, U.S . Iowa Republicans, Republican Gov, Republicans, Protesters, Iowa, Iowa Interfaith Alliance, Democratic, Republican, Florida Gov, South Carolina Gov, Democrats, Central, Iowa Supreme Locations: Iowa, Des Moines , Iowa, U.S, Des Moines, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Central States
Biden highlighted his administration’s work to prevent gun violence in a weekend op-ed that called out Congress to do more on the issue. Plus, they want to invest early in Florida, hoping to prove the state isn’t truly off the map for Democrats. Thinking about it: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who has been weighing a run for president, told Politico he will decide before late June. Rick Perry didn’t rule out running for president again in an interview with CNN, and wouldn’t endorse Trump. Jim Justice’s office to obtain his official calendar, NBC News first reports.
U.S. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks at a press briefing at the White House on Dec. 12, 2022. President Joe Biden's top national security adviser said Sunday that the White House had not yet seen China provide Russia with lethal assistance in its war on Ukraine and warned Beijing that doing so would be against its interests. "We have not seen China yet provide military equipment to Russia for purposes of fighting in the war in Ukraine. We haven't seen it yet," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on NBC News' "Meet the Press." A Chinese fighter jet flew within 500 feet of a U.S. Navy plane over the South China Sea last week.
Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, on Sunday called for "extensive public hearings" if the U.S. intelligence community conclusively determines that Covid-19 leaked from a Chinese laboratory. The committee is "reviewing the classified information provided," the spokesperson said. "There is a variety of views in the intelligence community. Some elements of the intelligence community have reached conclusions on one side, some on the other. "But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question."
The new rules adopted by both GOP-led chambers effectively shield members and their staff from public records requests, making investigations into any potential wrongdoing far more difficult. The exemptions from public records laws and the ability to destroy emails after 90 days apply to both chambers. Because the chambers adopted the changes via rule changes, not legislation, Republicans were able to bypass the need for Democratic Gov. Legislatures having the ability to shield themselves from public records laws is not unheard of. Minnesota, Iowa, Oklahoma and Massachusetts also have laws in place effectively exempting state legislators from public records requests, according to record request nonprofit MuckRock, though it remains exceedingly common for lawmakers in states where such exemptions don't explicitly exist to avoid complying with public records laws.
Bills in some states propose ranked-choice voting only for local elections, while others offer a temporary pilot system that would test the use of ranked-choice voting for a fixed number of years. The state GOP used a ranked-choice voting system at its state convention in 2021 to select a gubernatorial nominee. Discussions are also underway among policymakers in Arizona, who are looking at ranked-choice voting as a possible way of curbing extremism. The latest raft of proposed legislation follows a year of notable and growing enthusiasm for ranked-choice voting. In 2022, lawmakers in 25 states introduced legislation advancing or expanding ranked-choice voting, with bills enacted in six states, according to FairVote.
Florida could soon become the 26th state to allow individuals to carry concealed loaded guns anywhere without permits — a growing trend that has alarmed gun safety groups. “Constitutional carry” and “permitless carry” laws eliminate the requirement. Permitless carry laws get rid of that requirement. “Permitless carry causes harm, and there is data to prove it,” said Shannon Watts, a board member at the gun violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety. She pointed to multiple studies showing that states that have implemented permitless carry have had upticks in both gun violence and police shootings.
A Virginia bill would deem a pregnant person's fetus a passenger in a car, thereby allowing the vehicle to use the car pool lane on highways. Under the bill, the certifications would then be "linked" to toll collection devices — typically E-Z Passes — in vehicles. High occupancy lanes require drivers to have at least one passenger in their vehicles when they use the lanes. And by considering a pregnant person as two people — in this case, allowing a pregnant person to use an HOV lane — you're ultimately making it harder to uphold abortion rights, because you have essentially imbued a fetus with personhood," Nash added. Doug Ducey, a Republican, that included a provision, carried over from a 2021 law, that reproductive rights advocates say granted personhood to fetuses.
They were victorious in all six states that featured ballot initiatives around abortion access this year. If approved, it would require a 60% threshold of support for future ballot measures to pass, as opposed to the current majority. Ballot initiative groups say that’s the point. Critics have alleged the measure amounts to a test run for a more comprehensive measure that would raise the threshold for all such constitutional ballot initiatives. “They’re trying to use ballot measures — to change ballot measures,” said Fields Figueredo of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center.
Three buses coming from Texas dropped off about 140 recent migrants — including babies and young children — near Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington, D.C. in historically frigid temperatures on Saturday evening. But immigration activists said Saturday’s incident was particularly cruel because of the freezing temperatures in Washington, D.C., and because of the fact that it occurred on Christmas Eve. Madhvi Bahl, an organizer with the Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network, confirmed the arrival of the migrants on Saturday to NBC News. The buses dropped the migrants near Harris’ residence at the Naval Observatory. There have been several instances of migrants being dropped off outside, or near, Harris’ residence.
Meanwhile, abortion-rights advocates and the ballot initiative groups they’re working with said preliminary efforts are also underway in Florida, Missouri and other states. Meanwhile, voters in two Democratic states, California and Vermont, chose to officially protect abortion rights in their constitutions. “Reproductive rights is a winning issue. The Dobbs decision had a huge impact,” said Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, the executive director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, which works with progressive organizations to help advance citizen-led ballot measures. “And what we know — that about a majority of Americans actually support reproductive rights and abortion access — means we have an incredible opportunity.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Wednesday called for the state Legislature to end general election runoff contests. “Georgia is one of the only states in the country with a General Election Runoff,” he said in a statement. It was the state's third Senate general election runoff in the past two election cycles. Under Georgia law, a runoff occurs if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote in an election. Georgia is one of only two states — the other is Louisiana — that continue to hold general election runoffs (though another nine use runoffs in primaries).
The proposals have alarmed voting rights activists and state Democrats, who tried and failed last year to block a GOP-backed overhaul of election laws — a priority of Gov. The 62 voting rights-related bills Texas lawmakers have already prefiled represent nearly all prefiled voting rights legislation across the country, according to a review of prefiled bills by Voting Rights Lab and NBC News. An election police forceRepublican-authored Texas bills, such as HB 549 and SB 220, propose creating a system of state “election marshals,” who would investigate allegations of violations of election and voting laws, and file criminal charges when warranted. Harsher penaltiesLegislation such as HB 39, HB 52, HB 222, HB 397 and SB 166 aims to raise the penalty for election and voting rights crimes to a felony from a misdemeanor. “All my bill does is restore the felony punishment for illegal voting,” Texas Rep. David Spiller, the author of HB 52, said in an interview.
WASHINGTON — If it’s Monday ... It’s the last day of campaigning before tomorrow’s Georgia Senate runoff. ... NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard covers the closing messages by Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker. And just looking at the campaigns, which get the biggest bang per advertising buck, it’s Warnock at $25.2 million, versus Walker at $10.1 million. But now it’s $11.8 million — behind Warnock’s $25 million and the $20.3 million from Georgia Honor, a Democratic Super PAC. Runoff watch: Walker accuser speaks to NBC NewsDays after she first revealed an allegation of domestic abuse against Georgia Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker, a former girlfriend of his sat down with NBC News to detail those allegations.
It’s a provision that voting rights experts say continues to confuse voters — especially college students or others who already face barriers — and results in many of them voting elsewhere or not at all. Nicks could have brought in another form of identification to vote; under Georgia law, her passport or her New York state identification card would have sufficed, for example. “Students in general often have a more difficult time accessing the ballot box because of all sorts of things. There are at least 10,000 students enrolled at private HBCUs in Georgia. Voting rights experts acknowledge that number of voters in Georgia affected by the provision ultimately represents a narrow slice of the state’s electorate.
Here are several of the ways the new law could affect voters in the runoff. Plus, due to an ongoing lawsuit against the state, it remains uncertain whether one Saturday early voting day, on Nov. 26, will be allowed. This year, that would mean there would be no early in-person voting on Nov. 26, the Saturday following Thanksgiving. But under Georgia law, runoff voting may not begin until after officials have certified the general election vote, which will be on Monday, Nov. 21, per the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. "But now because of SB 202, you can only do that during the hours of early voting, which can often be a regular 9-to-5."
Raffensperger, a Republican, had maintained that changes to Georgia voting laws meant that there could be no early voting on Nov. 26, the only Saturday when it would have been possible for Georgians to cast an early vote in the hotly contested race. Brian Kemp in March 2021, which stipulates early in-person voting must end the Friday before the runoff. The law also stipulates early in-person voting not be held on any Saturday that follows a “public or legal holiday” on the preceding Thursday or Friday. Raffensperger contended that meant there would be no early in-person voting on Nov. 26, the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Voting rights groups have pushed counties in Georgia to open up early in-person voting on Nov. 22, 23 and 27.
In the 13 races in six battleground states where an election denier was on the ballot for governor, secretary of state or attorney general, 12 lost, according to the latest NBC News projections. Arizona — along with Michigan and Alabama — was one of three states where election deniers advanced to be the GOP nominees for governor, secretary of state and attorney general. In Pennsylvania, meanwhile, Republican Doug Mastriano — who was one of the most high-profile election deniers — lost the race for governor to Democrat Josh Shapiro. “But voters sent a very clear message that Americans deeply care about democracy and don’t want extremists running our nation’s elections.”The defeats of election deniers spanned well beyond swing states. All 14 races where election deniers won were in states that voted to elect Trump in both 2016 and 2020.
Republican Joe Lombardo has won the race for governor in Nevada, NBC News projects, narrowly defeating Democratic incumbent Steve Sisolak. "Obviously that is not the outcome I want, but I believe in our election system, in democracy and honoring the will of Nevada voters. Steve Sisolak and his wife, Kathy Sisolak, arrive Tuesday at a polling center in Las Vegas. (Nevada state law allows mailed ballots to arrive days later, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day and arrive before Saturday evening). In the weeks leading up to the election, Nevada had emerged as a weak spot for Democratic incumbents, including Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, in part because economic issues have hit its residents particularly hard.
Democrat Tina Kotek has won the race for governor in Oregon, NBC News projects, narrowly defeating Republican Christine Drazan. With her victory Kotek will be one of the first out lesbian governors in the United States. She joins another out lesbian governor-elect, Democrat Maura Healey of Massachusetts, in making history in the 2022 midterms. Drazan came close, bombarding Kotek with relentless attacks over record-breaking crime and homelessness and tying her to term-limited Democratic Gov. Her victory suggests those messages may have broken through to Oregon voters.
The Alaska Senate race is headed to a ranked choice runoff, as no candidate on the ballot, including the top two vote-getters, GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski and GOP challenger Kelly Tshibaka, will reach 50%, according to NBC News. In ranked-choice elections, voters identify first choices on their ballots, then rank the other candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes on the first count, the election moves to an instant runoff. In 2020, Alaska voters approved a move to nonpartisan primaries that send the top four vote-getters to ranked choice general elections. ET): A previous version of this article misstated when Alaska voters approved a move to nonpartisan primaries and ranked choice general elections.
GOP Sen. Ron Johnson has won re-election to a third term in Wisconsin, NBC News projects, narrowly defeating Democrat Mandela Barnes. “The votes are in,” Johnson said in an email statement that was released before NBC News and other news outlets made the call. But a successful rebrand, as well as unrelenting attacks against Barnes on crime and criminal justice issues, appeared to help Johnson's standing among voters. His campaign focused heavily on promises to protect abortion rights and Social Security benefits. In the final weeks, Johnson focused on crime in particular, unleashing a barrage of negative ads that highlighted rising crime rates and singling out things Barnes had said about criminal justice reform.
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