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

Governor Andrew Cuomo is once again coming to blows with New York’s union leaders over proposed education reforms.

With a teacher evaluation plan, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo finds himself once again at odds with some of the same unions that helped get him elected two years ago. The governor is facing off with Democrats in the state legislature over a provision that would allow parents to see their children’s teachers’ evaluations, including the teacher’s name. Names, however, would be withheld on the publicly available evaluation database. If the governor and legislature don’t come to an agreement by the time an evaluation system is agreed upon (which may not be any day soon), then all information will be visible in the state databases. The only person pushing for that setup? Mayor Michael Bloomberg. [NY Daily News]

Here is some interesting insight into the state of Florida’s Republican Party. The subject of the piece is former Pinellas County Sheriff Everett Rice, who is running for his old job in the large, politically moderate, suburban Tampa county. Rather than running on his record, Rice has embraced some of the furthest right of the far right wing, questioning President Obama’s citizenship, declaring ObamaCare a socialist plot, and entertaining the notion of Agenda 21 as a move toward World Government. All this for a sheriff’s seat. [Tampa Bay Times]

The Virginia GOP finds itself in an interesting position, as evidenced by its underwhelming convention in Richmond last week. To be sure, it got the business of the convention done, but without any of the usual pageantry such events normally entail – none of the state’s highest-profile Republicans, including Governor Bob McDonnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, was in attendance. One interesting piece of news came out of the meeting: Next year’s gubernatorial nominee will be selected at convention, a maneuver that places firebrand Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli at an advantage over Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. [Washington Times]

A California Assemblyman has found a novel way of fundraising in an era of austerity – for the low price of $1,000, he will shine your shoes. Das Williams, a Santa Barbara Democrat in his first term, is hosting a 38th birthday fundraiser at Russo’s Shoe Repair, across the street from the California State Capitol. Tickets start at $1,000 and go for as much as $3,900, the state limit for a general election campaign, but Williams has said he will let invitees attend for less. [Sacramento Bee]


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