Source: Ari Berman, Mother Jones, July/August 2019
While Democrats are fixated on 2020, Holder is fighting for fairer maps in 2021 and beyond. ….
….So Holder is pursuing a new strategy, trying to elect down-ballot candidates who can deliver fairer maps and voting laws. The NDRC invested $350,000 in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, hoping that a liberal majority on the seven-member court might strike down any egregious gerrymanders in the next round of redistricting in 2021. “I don’t think that 10 years or so ago, you would have a former attorney general campaigning for a state Supreme Court justice,” Holder told me. “This is a recognition on the part of the Democratic Party, on the part of progressives, that we need to focus on state and local elections to a much greater degree than we have in the past.”
But if Democrats are belatedly recognizing this need, few besides Holder are acting on it. He is playing a long game in a party driven by instant gratification and consumed by the mess in the White House. While the party’s presidential contenders are attracting big crowds, donors, and volunteers determined to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020, Holder is focused on 2021…..
Source: Christopher Warshaw, Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 22, 2019
From the abstract:
In recent years, there has been a surge in the study of representation and elections in local politics. Scholars have made progress on many of the empirical barriers that stymied earlier researchers. As a result, the study of representation and elections in local politics has moved squarely into the center of American politics. The findings of recent research show that local politics in the modern, polarized era is much more similar to other areas of American politics than previously believed. Scholars have shown that partisanship and ideology play important roles in local politics. Due to the growing ideological divergence between Democrats and Republicans, Democratic elected officials increasingly take more liberal positions, and enact more liberal policies, than Republican ones. As a result, despite the multitude of constraints on local governments, local policies in the modern era tend to largely reflect the partisan and ideological composition of their electorates.
Source: R. Eric Petersen, Raymond T. Williams, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, R44324, June 11, 2019
Levels of pay for congressional staff are a source of recurring questions among Members of Congress, congressional staff, and the public. There may be interest in congressional pay data from multiple perspectives, including assessment of the costs of congressional operations, guidance in setting pay levels for staff in Member offices, or comparison of congressional staff pay levels with those of other federal government pay systems.
This report provides pay data for 16 staff position titles that are typically found in Senators’ offices. The positions include the following: Administrative Director, Casework Supervisor, Caseworker, Chief of Staff, Communications Director, Constituent Services Representative, Counsel, Executive Assistant, Field Representative, Legislative Assistant, Legislative Correspondent, Legislative Director, Press Secretary, Scheduler, Staff Assistant, and State Director.The following table provides the change in median pay levels for these positions, in constant 2019 dollars between FY2017 and FY2018
Source: R. Eric Petersen, Raymond T. Williams, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, R44323, June 11, 2019
Levels of pay for congressional staff are a source of recurring questions among Members of Congress, congressional staff, and the public.There may be interest in congressional pay data from multiple perspectives, including assessment of the costs of congressional operations, guidance in setting pay levels for staff in Member offices, or comparison of congressional staff pay levels with those of other federal government pay systems.
This report provides pay data for 15 staff position titles that are typically used in House Members’ offices. The positions include the following: Caseworker, Chief of Staff, Communications Director, Constituent Services Representative, Counsel, District Director, Executive Assistant, Field Representative, Legislative Assistant, Legislative Correspondent, Legislative Director, Office Manager, Press Secretary, Scheduler, and Staff Assistant. The following table provides the change in median pay levels for these positions in constant 2019 dollars,between 2017 and 2018…..
Source: Liberty Vittert, Brendan Lind, The Conversation, June 10, 2019
…According to FiveThirtyEight, the day Trump stepped into the White House, he had only a 45.5% approval rating. This stands in stark contrast to Barack Obama, for example, who took office with a 68% approval rating.
Moreover, Trump has the lowest approval average in history, at only 40%. The next lowest is Harry Truman at 45.4%.
These data clearly show that Trump is the least-liked president in American history. With such unpopularity, how could he possibly win again?…
Source: https://theconversation.com/profiles/dudley-poston-703355“>Dudley Poston, The Conversation, June 6, 2019
…. Statehood for the district has been opposed by Republicans in the past, mainly because the district is heavily Democratic.
About 76% of the registered voters in the district are Democrats, while just 6% are Republicans. Most of the others have no party affiliation, though a few are Libertarians or Green Party members.
This occurs even though, with over 700,000 residents, the district is larger in population than two states: Vermont and Wyoming. Two other states have just a few more residents than the district, Alaska with 737,000 people and North Dakota with 760,000.
But those four states each have one representative in the U.S. House and two senators. Washington, D.C. has neither a representative nor any senators. ….
…. What will happen politically if the district becomes the 51st state? How will the distribution of representatives and senators among the states change? The answers show why Republicans consistently vote against statehood for the district. ….
Source: Kelly-Leigh Cooper, BBC, June 3, 2019
One hundred years ago – on 4 June 1919 – Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the US constitution guaranteeing the right of American women to vote.
The amendment was the product of decades of campaigning and slow progress since the first convention for women’s rights was held in Seneca Falls in 1848.
In the years since, women had been thrown in jail for voting illegally, organised pickets across the country and chained themselves to the White House demanding representation.
Rights were granted in a handful of, mostly western, states over the years but resistance remained. This amendment, officially ratified in 1920, prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex on a national level.
In 2019 the US has more women in national politics than ever before, but still falls well short of equality. These are the pioneers who have made history in the century since…..
Source: Melanie Wasserman, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) – Anderson School of Management, November 2018, Posted: May 9, 2019
From the abstract:
Why are women underrepresented in politics? This paper documents gender differences in the career paths of novice politicians by studying the persistence of candidates after they win or lose elections. I track the political trajectories of over 11,000 candidates in local California elections and use a regression discontinuity approach. Losing an election causes 50 percent more attrition among female than male candidates: an electoral loss causes men to be 16 percentage points less likely to run again within the next four years, whereas the drop for women is 25 percentage points. Yet the gender gap in persistence depends on the setting: I find no evidence of a gap among candidates for high female representation offices or among more experienced candidates. These results are inconsistent with behavioral explanations of women’s differential attrition. Instead, the results suggest that in low information environments, voters may penalize novice female politicians, which deters women from running again. I discuss the implications of the results for the gender gap in officeholding.
Source: Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, American Prospect, Spring 2019
Last year’s strikes and direct action by workers, especially red-state public school teachers, have rightly been celebrated for injecting new energy into the American labor movement. Yet these mobilizations should not distract progressives from the magnitude of the challenges facing unions and their supporters in the Democratic Party. The next time Democrats regain control of Congress and the White House, they will need to put major reforms of federal labor law front and center. In the meantime, they ought to learn from conservative anti-union efforts about pursuing change through the states and developing a politically minded strategy for labor reform.
In particular, Democrats need to think about labor law reform not just as yet another area of public policy, but rather as conservatives do: as a set of reforms that can build durable political power that enables further policy wins on other issues. Before spelling out the specific lessons that the left can take from the right’s victories, it is helpful to step back to see just how differently Democrats and Republicans think about unions.
All-Out Republican Opposition versus Democratic Ambivalence
Over the past four decades, conservative political activists and donors, often bolstered by private-sector businesses, have fruitfully used public policy as a political weapon to weaken unions, especially public-sector unions. Crucially, these cross-state conservative coalitions, above all the conservative “troika” of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the State Policy Network, and Americans for Prosperity, have never seen their anti-labor efforts as simply an end in themselves. Instead, right-wing advocacy against unions recognizes the inherently political role that the labor movement plays—and thus that efforts to weaken unions will eventually redound to conservatives’ long-term political victories. …..
Source: Ian Millhiser, American Prospect, February 13, 2019
Congress actually has a lot of mostly unused power to rein in the Roberts Court by clarifying the intent of the law.