Highlights from the Week
1. Protests erupted across Iran after a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, died in the custody of the Iranian morality police after being arrested for incorrectly wearing her headscarf. On Thursday, September 22, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that they would be moving forward with more sanctions against the country of Iran, and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen was quoted calling Mahsa Amini a “courageous woman.” President Biden alluded to the situation in an address on Wednesday to the UN (see here), and several members of Congress have spoken out, including House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (see here) and House GOP Foreign Affairs Committee Co-Chair Representative Claudia Tenny (see here).
2. Virginia (Ginni) Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and major figure in conservative politics, agreed to testify for the January 6th committee panel about her alleged involvement in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. In April, Paul Gosar, a representative from Arizona, defended Ginni and Clarence Thomas after several other members of the House made statements that Judge Thomas should recuse himself from cases in which his wife was involved. Click here to see Paul Gosar’s statement, or click here to see Representative Don Payne Jr.’s floor speech in which he called for Justice Thomas’s recusal.
3. Last week, groups of newly arrived migrants (predominantly from Venezuela) in Texas and Florida were persuaded to board a plane with an unknown destination through the promise of a new home and jobs. Upon arrival, they realized that they had been sent to Martha’s Vineyard, a tiny Massachusetts town, and that local authorities had not been alerted beforehand. The goal of the political stunt appears to be an attempt by the GOP Governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott to accuse Democratic governors of harboring illegal immigrants in safe haven states while putting the crux of governmental responsibility on states close to the border. Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made comments earlier in the month regarding migrants that Governor Abbott had sent to Chicago (see here), and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin commented that if Governor Abbot truly wanted to help migrants he could have worked together nationwide rather than wanting to catch cities off guard (see here). Click here to see Republican Representative Steve Scalise’s response, or click here to read Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s response.
By the Elections Research team (Noah, Courtney, Seth, Nick, Caleb, & Anthony) and Elections Research Interns (Torin,Tayelon, Juvencio, Maggie, Francesca, and Joelle)
Want to learn more about the candidates who are running in New Hampshire’s general election? You can see the full list of candidates by office below:
Want to learn more about the candidates who are running in New York's general election? You can see the full list of candidates by office below:
Want to learn more about the candidates who are running in Wyoming’s general election? You can see the full list of candidates by office below:
This week was National Voter Registration Day; if you want to learn more about the regulations and deadline for your state, please click here and go to “select state” to learn more. Issue Positions/Political Courage Test:
Want to learn more about the candidates who are currently being tested and their responses to the Political Courage Test ahead of the general election? You can see the full list of candidates, their responses, and response rates running in various states by office below:
By the Officials Research team: Thomas, Bibi, Johanan, Neal, Jake, Craig, Israel, and Katie
Public Statements: 947 statements were added this week. See highlights from the week for notable statements.
States: 31 new votes were added.
New Mexico’s state Senate voted in favor of SB 43, a bill which would prohibit life in prison without the possibility of parole for children who commit crimes. Currently, the state of New Mexico does not have any children serving life without parole, but it is possible under the current laws.
The South Carolina state Senate passed S 614, establishing an “unorganized militia” for any individual over the age of 17. This militia will answer to the governor of South Carolina and explicitly is not subject to “any law or regulation, or to the jurisdiction of any person outside of South Carolina.”
Mississippi’s governor signed HB 1385 into law, which prohibits donations to state or local election officials from private sources from being used for voter registration, voter outreach, or voter education. These donations include money, grants, property, or personal services.
Federal Legislation: 4 new votes
Special Interest Groups:
There were 43 endorsements and 4 rating scorecards released to the live web this week, which can be viewed here (organized by group). This year to date, the SIGs team has rated 83,965 candidates and entered endorsements for 27,488 candidates.