International Elections: Poland steps back from the brink, but democracy’s future remains dim


The Daily Kos International Elections Digest is compiled by Stephen Wolf and David Beard, with additional contributions from James Lambert, Daniel Nichanian, Daniel Donner, and Julia van Hoogstraten, and is edited by David Nir.

Leading Off

● Poland

In 2015, Poland’s right-wing populist Law and Justice Party (abbreviated “PiS” in Polish) narrowly won an outright majority in parliament, which no party had ever managed since the collapse of communism in the early 1990s. Party chair Jarosław Kaczynski is neither prime minister nor president, but he controls PiS with an iron fist, making him Poland’s leader in all but name. Following the example of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s increasingly authoritarian government in nearby Hungary, Kaczynski and PiS swiftly set about eliminating the rule of law in order to end liberal democracy and entrench themselves in power.

This ongoing crisis boiled over in July when PiS tried to pass three major laws to neuter the independence of the judicial branch, which sparked widespread protests and condemnation from European Union officials—but so far little direct action by the E.U. itself. But in a surprising development, President Andrzej Duda vetoed two of these measures, while acceding to the third. While Duda is an independent, he was elected as a member of PiS two years ago and until now has generally toed the party line while in office.

The two vetoed measures would have allowed the country’s minister of justice to fire any Supreme Court judges. They would have also given the governing majority the ability to control nominations for all judges, which are currently chosen by an independent institution. Since the justice minister already functions as Poland’s chief prosecutor, these measures would have eviscerated any semblance of judicial independence in Poland.

However, these vetoes by no means represent any kind of crushing blow to PiS’s scheme to destroy Polish democracy. The third bill, which Duda did sign, gives PiS the power to control the composition of lower courts, which will in turn determine which cases become available for the Supreme Court judges to take up on appeal. Furthermore, Poland has a separate court, distinct from its Supreme Court, that adjudicates questions of constitutionality. PiS sabotaged that body long ago, stacking the Constitutional Tribunal with friendly partisans immediately after 2015’s elections while also curtailing the court’s powers.

Unlike Orban’s Fidesz party in Hungary, Kacynzski’s PiS not only lacks the two-thirds supermajority needed to amend the constitution, it’s also short of the three-fifths supermajority necessary for overriding presidential vetoes. However, it’s always possible that Duda might acquiesce to a more restrained power grab in the future, given his record. With its crackdown on independent media, potential ability to deprive opposition parties of public campaign funds, and continued support in the polls against a disorganized and fractured opposition, PiS remains a dire threat to democracy in Poland.

The next elections aren’t until 2019, but PiS’s efforts to capture state institutions that are responsible for validating election results should set off red alerts across the North Atlantic world. When Hungary’s Fidesz—like PiS, it was originally a mainstream conservative party—lurched to the authoritarian radical-right once it obtained complete power in 2010, the EU stood idly by. PiS has learned from the EU’s failure to safeguard democracy in Hungary by using Fidesz’s “success” as a roadmap to consolidating its own grip on power, and its plot to supplant liberal democracy with authoritarianism under Kaczynski shows no signs of abating.

Asia

● East Timor—parliament (July 22)

Last month’s parliamentary elections in the small Southeast Asian island nation East Timor saw all three existing major parties lose ground while new parties entered parliament for the first time. The center-left CNRT lost several seats and fell to second place with 22 of 65 seats, making the left-wing nationalist Fretilin party the largest bloc in parliament with 23 seats. Meanwhile, former President Taur Matan Ruak’s newly created People’s Liberation Party debuted with eight seats, while the opposition center-left Democratic Party slipped to seven and the nascent Khunto party grabbed five seats.

However, it’s unclear just how much will change as a result of these elections. CNRT and Fretilin have been the country’s two dominant rival parties for over a decade—a long time for a nation that only gained independence from Indonesia in 2002—but they formed a national unity government in recent years that looks likely to continue under Fretilin’s leadership. East Timor faces significant challenges with dwindling oil reserves, high unemployment, and pervasive corruption, but it’s an accomplishment that this year’s elections—the first since a United Nations peacekeeping mission left in 2012—proceeded without major flaws.

● Papua New Guinea—parliament (June 24 to July 8)

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill secured another term leading the governmentin Papua New Guinea, even as the results in a handful of seats are still being contested. This election was plagued by major irregularities that included some instances of violence, accusations of vote-buying, and reports that thousands of voters were improperly removed the rolls and unable to cast ballots. Although Papua New Guinea is generally regarded as a democracy, O’Neill’s coalition government has suffered allegations of rampant corruption, and it will now face an emboldened opposition after several anti-O’Neill parties gained seats.

Sub-Saharan Africa

● Kenya—president and legislature (Aug. 8)

Kenya’s upcoming general election will see voters elect a president, members of the country’s bicameral legislature, and local government officials. President Uhuru Kenyatta of the conservative Jubilee Party is seeking a second five-year term against the man he defeated 51-44 in 2013: former Prime Minister Raila Odinga of the center-left Orange Democratic Movement. Kenyatta’s party came about as a merger of various right-leaning factions, and it currently governs the legislature in coalition with the small centrist Amani coalition. Odinga’s party, meanwhile, aims to gain a governing majority within the broader National Super Alliance of opposition parties.

Following independence in the 1960s, Kenyatta’s father, Jomo Kenyatta, was Kenya’s first president and Odinga’s father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, was the nation’s first vice president, but their Kenya African National Union later turned the country into a single-party state under President Daniel arap Moi. Multi-party elections were only legalized again in the early 1990s, and Kenya has struggled with a fragile democracy ever since.

As such, election-related violence is sadly common, and disputes following Odinga’s narrow 2007 loss to then-President Mwai Kibaki sparked mass civil unrest that claimed roughly 1,200 lives and left over 600,000 people displaced from their homes. Even the relatively peaceful 2013 elections saw major problems with voting machine malfunctions. And just last month, the senior manager in information technology at the national election administration agency was found tortured and murdered, raising anxiety about the integrity of ballot-counting and the safety of voters in this month’s elections.

In a nation that is fragmented along ethnic and tribal lines, yet another disputed election could trigger yet another outbreak of violence. While polling in poorer countries like Kenya is often highly unreliable, recent surveys suggest another tight race. However, polls predicted something similar in 2013, and Odinga disputed his 7-point loss to no avail. With the opposition warning about potential fraud again, the electoral outcome and its aftermath remain in doubt.

● Senegal—parliament (July 30)

Unsurprisingly, President Macky Sall’s United in Hope coalition easily maintained its dominant majority in Senegal’s unicameral legislature following preliminary results. The West African nation’s highly majoritarian electoral system has made it very difficult for the divided opposition parties to mount an effective challenge to Sall’s alliance, even as 91-year-old former President Abdoulaye Wade, whom Sall ousted in the 2012 presidential race, returned from abroad to lead the opposition Democratic Party.

Unfortunately, even though Senegal has long stood out as one of the most stable democracies in a region plagued by political instability, some problems marred this election. A significant share of voters weren’t issued their biometric identity cards needed to vote in in time, while others reported they were missing from lists of registered voters. In addition, Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall (no relation to the president) leads the country’s capital city and another major opposition faction, but he had to contest the election while in jail on charges of embezzlement, which he contends are politically motivated.

North America

● Canada: Alberta—conservative unification (July 22)

Members of Alberta’s two right-of-center parties voted overwhelmingly to merge under one banner in separate votes on July 22. As a result, Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives, an old-line center-right party that ruled the province for over four decades, and the insurgent Wildrose Party, a more stridently conservative outfit that nearly won control of the province in 2012, have become the United Conservative Party.

The merger seriously imperils the re-election chances of Alberta’s center-left New Democratic Party, which successfully exploited vote-splitting between the two former right-wing rivals to capture its first-ever majority government in the province’s 2015 election. Indeed, a new poll shows the UCP enjoying a commanding 43-21 lead over the NDP, whose popularity has been battered by a prolonged recession in a province that is heavily dependent on oil revenues to balance its books.

However, the UCP has yet to hold a leadership vote, and both of its leading contenders, former federal Conservative MPs Brian Jean and Jason Kenney, may not necessarily appeal to centrist voters in the same broad way that many of the province’s Progressive Conservative premiers did. Alberta’s next election is expected in 2019.

South America

● Brazil—president and legislature (2018)

Brazil’s 2018 elections will follow years of turmoil, as the country just recently exited its longest recession since records began in 1901. In 2016, pro-business factions in Congress cited endemic corruption as a pretext for ousting embattled leftist President Dilma Rousseff, whom they impeached as part of a legislative coup to implement their preferred policies—despite the fact that many of the impeachment leaders themselves faced corruption charges while Rousseff did not.

New center-right President Michel Temer had already decided not to seek a full term after passing harsh fiscal austerity policies, but the publicly despised incumbent faced a vote in Congress about whether to try him over—of course—corruption charges. However, the lower house voted 263-227 not to initiate a trial against Temer, who had conveniently doled out pork-barrel spending to key congressional districts recently despite forcing budget austerity on the poor.

Looming large over next year’s presidential race is the likely comeback candidacy of former two-term leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (better known as just Lula), who was Rousseff’s mentor and faced term limits in 2010. Although his Workers’ Party presided over the very same systemic corruption that was used as the excuse for Rousseff’s removal, Lula’s social welfare policies also helped pull tens of millions out of poverty, and his residual popularity had helped to make him the frontrunner in many polls. However, Lula was convicted of (guess what?) corruption and money-laundering charges last month and now faces up to a decade in prison. If his conviction survives appeal, he’ll be barred from running again, throwing next year’s election wide open in a country with a deeply fragmented party system.

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trump’s 2 nominees to the NLRB earlier this week, ushering in a frightening new era of trump


CREDIT: AP Photo/Steve Helber

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) began the process of confirming the first of Trump’s two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board earlier this week, ushering in a frightening new era — one where workers’ rights, once protected and treated as sacred, are now in clear and imminent danger.

Stand up for the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act now! the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)


 

Millions of Americans struggle to pay rent every month.

I have traveled across Washington state listening to the stories of Americans who work hard day in and day out and yet still struggle to find an affordable home — or worse, face homelessness — due to skyrocketing housing costs.

From Seattle to Walla Walla, the housing crisis is real. All it takes is just one emergency or one illness for a family to lose their home completely.

Friends ~ that’s why I’m leading a bipartisan group of senators to expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). By strengthening and building upon this already successful program, we can provide 1.3 million affordable homes over a 10-year period to families throughout the country — that’s 400,000 more homes than currently possible.

Help me ensure that more families can find affordable housing by signing on as a “citizen co-sponsor” to the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act today.

There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a deep affordable housing crisis.

But Washington state families — and families throughout the country — deserve better. They deserve a safe and decent place to live and call home, at a price they can afford.

I’ve been a staunch supporter of affordable housing in the Senate, and I’ll keep fighting with everything I have. But it’s going to take all of us working together to end our nation’s housing crisis.

Join me, and stand up for the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act now!

Thank you,

Maria Cantwell
U.S. Senator

Mitch McConnell filed cloture on a drug corporation handout


Logo

We may have defeated Trumpcare, but that doesn’t mean Senate Republicans are done trying to exploit the American people. Sen. Mitch McConnell just filed cloture on the OPEN Act, which is an $11.6 billion handout to prescription drug corporations. We’re delivering your signatures to every Senate office this week–we need you behind us!

Stand with Social Security Works to oppose another billion dollar giveaway to drug corporations and say no to big pharma monopolies.

You can read more abut the OPEN Act in our original email below.

Thank you,

Alex Lawson
Social Security Works

********************************************************************

In 1983, Congress passed a law aimed at spurring innovation for drugs that treat rare diseases, offering tax credits and monopolies as incentives. But, as they so often do, pharmaceutical corporations immediately turned the law into yet another way to extract money from the people’s pockets.A year’s treatment can cost people with rare diseases more than a house.

Pharmaceutical corporations’ ravenous hunger for profits leads to Social Security benefits that are increasingly eroded by medical co-pays and out of pocket expenses. And Congress has a new handout on the way.

Stand with Social Security Works to oppose another billion dollar giveaway to drug corporations and say no to big pharma monopolies.

The greed of the drug companies is boundless. Now, their Washington lobbyists are pushing a new bill―the Orphan Product Extensions Now (OPEN) Act―which would grant drug manufacturers six additional months of exclusivity, the monopoly power that allows the companies to charge as much as they like.

It’s estimated that this new law would cost patients and taxpayers up to $11.6 billion over 10 years―padding the pockets of the greedy pharmaceutical industry and ensuring that we continue to pay the highest drug prices in the world!

Former Congressman Henry Waxman of California, the author of the 1982 Orphan Drug Act, had this to say about how drug companies are manipulating the system:

“We’re seeing the Orphan Drug Act used in ways that we never anticipated when the law was adopted. In the way people use the word ‘orphan status,’ it’s almost becoming a synonym for a monopoly price.”

Stand with Social Security Works to oppose the OPEN Act, yet another billion dollar giveaway to big pharma corporations.

If passed, the bill would allow drug companies to repurpose drugs that are already on the market, giving them “orphan” status. For patients this means competing drugs that might lower prices would be kept off the market, leading to budget busting drug prices for even longer for the people. 

Instead of padding the insurance company profits, Congress should be focusing on bills that rein in abuses by drug companies, and make sure people can afford the health care they need.

Together, we’re fighting the greedy pharmaceutical industry and their powerful Washington lobbyists.

Thank you,

Michael Phelan
Social Security Works


H Who We Are
Social Security Works leads the fight every day to expand and protect our Social Security system. Become a member today.
D Social Security Works: The Book
From co-founders Nancy Altman & Eric Kingson, this book makes the powerful case that Social Security isn’t going broke and how expanding it will help us all.

Contact info@socialsecurityworks.org

Fact: The switch that Gov. WV announced won’t rep any real change in WV politics! but he needs to go!


The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard.

LEADING OFF

• WV-Gov: At a rally with Donald Trump on Thursday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that he was switching parties and returning to the GOP after two years as a Democrat. Justice’s switch gives Republicans control of the governor’s office for the first time since Gov. Cecil Underwood lost in 2000, and it gives the GOP simultaneous control of the governor’s office and legislature for the first time since 1930. However, the state’s Republican-dominated legislature has always been able to override Justice’s veto with just a simple majority, so this switch won’t represent any sort of sea change in West Virginia politics.

In fact, the move will simply bring Justice into closer alignment with Trump, a man he’s always shared deep similarities with and praised just last week. Justice, a coal billionaire and the wealthiest man in West Virginia, had never run for office until last year, and in fact had been a registered Republican until shortly before launching his gubernatorial bid in 2015. Relying on his personal wealth and unusual appeal, Justice defeated Republican Bill Cole 49-42, even as Trump romped to a massive 68-26 victory on the very same day.

But even though Cole and his allies ran ads arguing both that a Cole victory would be a boon to Trump and that Justice was too close to unpopular national Democrats, it was actually Justice who had a decidedly Trump-like appeal. Both Trump and Justice built up cults of personality as outsider populist billionaires, which helped Justice reach out to Trump voters who were otherwise done voting for Democrats. Justice’s indelible association with the state’s totemic coal industry also made it tough for the GOP to caricature him as a typical Democrat.

However, Justice’s party switch still comes as a surprise. Not only did D.C. Republicans spend plenty of money last year trying to defeat him, a group backed by the Democratic Governors Association shelled out $1.3 million to aid Justice. Justice has also spent his first months in office continually feuding with Republican legislators, calling the Senate majority leader a “poodle” and even dropping an actual pile of bull manure on a copy of the GOP’s budget when he vetoed it—because Republicans refused to raise taxes!

We’ll see if Justice’s switch does anything to improve his relationship with the Republicans he’s been at war with all year. Given the bad blood, though, Justice, who’s up for re-election in 2020, could nevertheless find himself on the outs with his new party—a fate that’s befallen plenty of aisle-crossers before him.

Gubernatorial

• CO-Gov: Local political observers have expected state Treasurer Walker Stapleton to join the GOP primary for a long time, but he hasn’t made his move even as other candidates have jumped in. However, The Denver Post‘s Mark Matthews argues that it’s fundraising, rather than any actual indecision, that’s keeping Stapleton out of the race for now.

Stapleton, who is ineligible to run for treasurer again, has been raising money for an independent expenditure committee known as Better Colorado Now. As long as Stapleton isn’t a candidate, he can attend events for BCN, a group whose stated mission is to “oppose Democrat candidates for governor.” And while gubernatorial candidates can’t take more than $1,150 from a donor, there are no contribution limits for BCN. At the end of June, BCN had raised only $123,000, though there is at least one major fundraiser coming up.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Jeb Bush—who just happens to be Stapleton’s second cousin—tried this in 2015. Bush spent the months where he was publicly undecided about running for president raising over a hundred million for his super PAC. Bush’s campaign of course went horribly, though it’s a stretch to argue that he would have done much better if he hadn’t gone this route.

• MD-Gov: John Grasso, the chair of the Anne Arundel County Council, announced this week that he would run for county executive rather than challenge Gov. Larry Hogan in the GOP primary. Grasso has long been angry with the governor over his decision to reappoint the head of the county liquor board, and he threatened to run against Hogan over it last week. Alas, it is not to be.

• NV-Gov: This week, Vince Juaristi, a consultant who served with the State Department in Iraq, wrote that “several powerful and wealthy Nevadans have reached out to persuade me to toss my hat” into the Democratic primary, and that he is considering. Juaristi, who says he’ll decide this month, also wrote that he’d likely self-fund a campaign.

Juaristi, who is a native of Elko in rural northern Nevada, currently runs a managing consulting company in Northern Virginia. He did serve as a policy advisor to Bob Miller, the state’s last Democratic governor, in the late 1990s, but it’s unclear if he has any other connections to Nevada Democratic politics. Juaristi has often returned to the Elko area to promote local Basque programs (he’s also written several books about Basque culture), but it sounds like he’s been away a long time. It doesn’t help that Juaristi isn’t from Clark County, which is home to most of the Democratic primary vote. If Juaristi actually has serious money behind him maybe he can make things interesting, but he looks very much like a longshot.

• OR-GovOn Thursday, state Rep. Knute Buehler announced that he would seek the GOP nod to challenge Democratic Gov. Kate Brown. Buehler has looked like a likely candidate for a while, especially after he raised $100,000 in a week back in February. This would be the second time Buehler and Brown have faced off. Back in 2012, when Brown was running for re-election as secretary of state, she beat him 51-43.

Buehler is the first notable Republican to enter the race, but he may not have the field to himself. The Bend Bulletin‘s Gary Warner recently wrote that state Rep. Bill Post “has hinted at his interest during his frequent Twitter broadsides against Democrats.” Buehler describes himself as “a pro-choice Republican” and he has criticized Trump, so he could have issues in a primary.

Brown, who became governor in early 2015 when incumbent John Kitzhaber resigned in the midst of an ethics scandal, doesn’t look incredibly vulnerable. Last year, Brown won the special election for the final two years of Kitzhaber’s term 51-43, a bit behind Clinton’s 50-39 victory in Oregon, but not exactly a nail-biter.

House

• IN-06: Even before GOP Rep. Luke Messer announced that he was giving up this safely red seat to run for the Senate, there were reports that businessman Greg Pence was being approached to run to succeed him. Pence, the older brother of Mike, currently chairs Messer’s fundraising committee, and he’s insisted that he’s too busy to think about a bid for this eastern Indiana seat. However, Pence told Howey Politics that he’ll take a look at the 6th District after Messer’s big Aug. 12 campaign kickoff.

If Pence runs, he’ll almost certainly have all the fundraising help he could possibly ask for, as well as a very well-known last name. Some Republicans aren’t waiting on Pence, however: Jonathan Lamb, who owns a company that provides battery-powered farm equipment, has joined state Sen. Mike Crider in the primary. State Sen. Jean Leising also told Howeythat she is considering. In addition to acknowledging that Pence would be very tough opponent, though, Leising also speculated that Messer would drop out of the Senate race and seek re-election!

Leising’s only argument is that Messer insisted that he was undecided just before he announced last week. Messer had been raising serious money for months before he jumped in, however, so his “indecision” was almost certainly just him waiting for an opportune time to announce. Leising ran for Congress twice in the 1990s, losing narrowly to Democratic incumbent Lee Hamilton in 1994 and by double digits in 1996. Howey also writes that Henry County Councilman Nate LaMar is considering, though LaMar hasn’t said anything yet.

• NM-02: Another Republican has joined the primary for this open 50-40 Trump seat in southern New Mexico. The newest candidate is pharmacist Jack Volpato, who served as an Eddy County commissioner from 2006 to 2014 and is a former president of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.

• NV-03On Wednesday, ex-Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman announced that she was joining the GOP primary for this open suburban Las Vegas swing seat. Seaman won her only term in the legislature during the 2014 red wave after her Democratic foe was disqualified from the ballot over a residency issue. Seaman quickly established a reputation as an ardent conservative, and she blasted GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval’s successful tax hike as “one of the worst things that ever happened in Nevada history.”

Seaman soon announced that she would run for a swingy state Senate seat, even if she needed to unseat appointed incumbent Mark Lipparelli. After Lipparelli decided not to run, Sandoval and other GOP leaders rallied behind Assemblyman Erv Nelson. However, Seaman went after Nelson for backing the tax package, and she beat him 63-37 despite being outspent. In November, Seaman lost the general election 51-49 to Democrat Nicole Cannizzaro as Clinton was winning the seat 50-45; Seaman’s defeat gave Democrats the seat they needed to flip the Senate.

State Sen. Scott Hammond is already running in the GOP primary. Seaman is picking right up where she left off with Nelson and castigating Hammondfor supporting “the largest tax hike in Nevada history,” arguing that, “We don’t need another person in D.C. who’s going to go up and raise taxes.” Hammond’s team understands they can’t let this label stick, and they quickly said that Seaman was a “phony who’s voted repeatedly to raise taxes.” Should be a fun race. A few other Republicans are eyeing this seat, which backed Trump 48-47.

• NY-11: Mike Grimm was always a delusional nut, so this isn’t as shocking as it ought to be. Despite the fact that he had to resign from congress after pleading guilty to tax fraud three years ago, and despite the fact that he served seven months in prison as a result, and despite the fact that the House seat he left behind is now held by a fellow Republican, Dan Donovan, Grimm is reportedly planning to run for Congress again—and he’s not disputing the story.

Grimm, stoking the chip-on-the-shoulder attitude that his home borough of Staten Island is known for, always maintained that prosecutors were engaging in some sort of baseless political persecution—an outlandish claim that appealed to his constituents and allowed him to handily win re-election in 2014 while under indictment. In the end, though, reality reared its head, and what had been a long-running investigation into Grimm’s dodgy campaign finance practices resulted instead in the tax charges, which ended the congressman’s career just a couple of months after his final victory.

Donovan, who earned notoriety as the Staten Island district attorney who declined to bring charges in the Eric Garner police brutality case, was easily elected in Grimm’s place in a special election in mid-2015 and won a full term without trouble last fall. However, he’s never run in a single GOP primary in his entire political career, so perhaps the angry Grimm, with his penchant for violent rhetoric, could light a fire under agitated Trump voters that Donovan wouldn’t be able to douse. Hell, we’ve almost managed to convince ourselves that Grimm could pull this off, so maybe the joke’s gonna be on all of us.

• NY-19On Thursday, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein announced that he wouldn’t run against freshman GOP Rep. John Faso, seemingly depriving Democrats of a top recruit. Hein similarly debated then declined a bid last year when New York’s 19th District was open, however, so his reticence isn’t terribly surprising. And last cycle, Hein waited until late December to announce his plans, so at least he’s getting out of the way much earlier this time.

But more importantly, Democratic enthusiasm here is intense: Eight different Democrats have filed for this seat, and four have raised at least six figures. Beyond that, two Democrats, attorney Antonio Delgado and self-funding businessman Brian Flynn, both have more cash-on-hand than Faso. Of course, this points to an expensive and potentially bloody primary, but it also means that Democrats won’t lack for a credible candidate to rally around come the general election.

Grab Bag

• Statehouse Action: This Week in Statehouse Action: Lawmaker, Lawmaker, Make Me A Match edition features North Carolina Republicans creating their ideal districts and dragging their feet when courts order them to part ways, terrible GOP behavior in an Iowa special election, great Democratic performance in a Washington Senate primary, and more!

Don’t miss a minute of the statehouse action—sign up here to get This Week in Statehouse Action delivered with love to your inbox each Thursday!

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