The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of the States

Republican New York State Senator Roy McDonald has beent target by socially conservative groups over his vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

It’s been a while, but I’m back at The Recovering Politician, this time to cover the goings-on (especially the hyper-partisan and dysfunctional goings-on) of state governments around this country. This is planned to be a weekly feature on Monday mornings. Here we go!

– Within weeks of his controversial vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in New York, State Senator Roy McDonald is already the target of attack ads in his suburban Albany district, including a rather unsubtle billboard paid for by the National Organization for Marriage implying that the Republican may face a stiff primary challenge, or at least pushback from socially conservative groups. [Albany Times Union]

– Mayors across Ohio are doing battle with newly-elected governor John Kasich over state funding for individual municipalities. The Republican’s budget for this year cuts state funding to local government by 34 percent, reduces their share of utility taxes by about half, and, in 2013, will eliminate an estate tax that channels 80% of its revenues to towns and cities. In the states industrial northeast corner, mayors from across party lines are calling the plan “a money grab” and accusing the governor and statehouse Republicans of trying to stem the flow of money into urban centers. [The Cleveland Plain-Dealer]

– A Tampa, Fla. based Tea Party organization, The Tampa 912 Project, will begin offering Saturday morning classes for children. The Liberty School, as it is called, seeks to instruct its students in the principles of freedom and liberty in the context of the American experience and this country’s founding, and is run by an offshoot of Glenn Beck’s 912 Project, one of the first Tea Party groups. [St. Petersburg Times]

– In Wisconsin, it appears that the state court system is just as out-of-control as its legislature, as detectives investigate a physical altercation between State Supreme Court Justices David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley. Prosser, who recently won a hotly-contested and widely-followed race for his seat on the bench, admitted to touching Bradley’s neck, while Bradley said she went “face to face to confront him,” but claimed not to have suffered any injury in the incident. According to court documents, a dispute occurred on June 13 that involved justices “shouting, slamming doors, being physically threatening and locking their doors at night because of safety concerns.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

– In a bizarre but definite softening of rhetoric, California Governor Jerry Brown compared Republican legislators’ aversion to tax hikes to a fear of sexually transmitted diseases, while working to dispel the notion that taxes should be treated as such. Previously, he had likend Republicans’ stance on tax hikes to the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion. [Sacramento Bee]

– Residents of Pinellas County, Florida, home to St. Petersburg, have become increasingly angry over redistricting in that state, taking to a recent hearing to protest the fact that state legislature has refused to show anything other than informal submissions at these meetings. Democrats are particularly incensed by this process, calling the meetings “useless” while representatives of left-wing groups have caused minor fracases by refusing to cut short their speaking time and yield the floor at such meetings. [St. Petersburg Times]


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