State House

Alabama Bans Sheriffs from Pocketing Jail Food Money

“Alabama’s governor has cut off a gravy train for the state’s sheriffs: the unspent money for prisoners’ meals that the sheriffs have long been allowed to keep for themselves,” the New York Times reports.

“The practice, born of a bickered-over ambiguity in a state law, has let sheriffs pocket likely millions of tax dollars over decades. To end it, Gov. Kay Ivey ordered in a memorandum to the state comptroller that payments of funds related to jail food “no longer be made to the sheriffs personally.” Instead, the governor wrote, the money must be paid to county general funds or official accounts.”

Pruitt May Rise Again in Oklahoma

“Scott Pruitt’s brief, tumultuous tenure as the head of the EPA has left him disgraced in the eyes of many in Washington and across the country. But it may not have done him much harm in his home state,” the New York Times reports.

“Though a comeback for Mr. Pruitt is far from assured, some liberals and conservatives in Oklahoma agree he could engineer one in this oil- and gas-dependent state where he used to be attorney general. His hard-line anti-regulatory message remains popular here, and many of his supporters consider the spreading plume of scandal from his time at the E.P.A. the product of unfair liberal persecution.”

Indiana Governor Calls on AG to Resign

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) and the two GOP Statehouse leaders called for Attorney General Curtis Hill (R) to resign amid what they called credible claims that Hill drunkenly groped four women, including a lawmaker, at an Indianapolis bar, the AP reports.

Said Holcomb: “Four women had the courage to step forward to report sexual harassment by the Indiana attorney general. The findings of the recent legislative report are disturbing and, at a minimum, show a violation of the state’s zero tolerance sexual harassment policy.”

Rhode Island Democrats Take Back Two Endorsements

“Bowing to heavy pressure from progressives locally and nationally, the Rhode Island Democratic Party on Thursday rescinded its endorsement of two controversial General Assembly candidates,” WPRI reports.

“In a letter dated July 4, Democratic Party Chairman Joe McNamara withdrew his endorsement of Michael Earnheart, a pro-Trump challenger running in the primary against incumbent Rep. Moira Walsh, and Greg Acciardo, a former state senator with a criminal record who is running against a progressive newcomer, Bridget Valverde, in Senate District 35.”

Iowa Court Blocks Waiting Period for Abortion

“The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday blocked a law requiring a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion,” the AP reports.

“The court ruled that the law violates the Iowa Constitution, siding with a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood of Iowa and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa. The organizations sued the state over the law approved by lawmakers last year.”

Georgia Candidate Bought Condo From Lobbyist

“The leading Republican candidate in Georgia’s high-profile governor’s race, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R), bought a condominium in downtown Atlanta 10 years ago from a State Capitol lobbyist, seemingly at a discount,” a New York Times investigation has found.

“Real estate records show that Mr. Cagle, who faces a runoff for the Republican nomination on July 24, purchased the one-bedroom apartment at 24 percent less than its appraised value — below comparable sales prices — and sold it last year at a 29 percent profit. He was preparing for his first run for governor when, without an agent, he negotiated the deal with Terry Hobbs, a longtime lobbyist who represents the natural gas marketer Scana.”

New York Files Suit Against Trump

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed suit against President Trump and his three eldest children alleging “persistently illegal conduct” at the president’s personal charity, saying Trump “repeatedly misused the nonprofit — to pay off his businesses’ creditors, to decorate one of his golf clubs and to stage a multimillion dollar giveaway at his 2016 campaign events,” the Washington Post reports.

“She said a 20-month state investigation found that Trump had repeatedly violated laws that set the ground rules for tax-exempt foundations — most importantly, that their money is meant to serve the public good, and not to provide private benefits to their founders.”

New York Times: “The lawsuit, which seeks to dissolve the foundation and bar President Trump and three of his children from serving on the boards of nonprofits, was an extraordinary rebuke of a sitting president. The attorney general also sent referral letters to the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission for possible further action, adding to Mr. Trump’s extensive legal problems.”

Most Democrats Approve of Hogan In Maryland

A new Baltimore Sun poll in Maryland finds that 60% of Democrats who say they’re likely to vote in their party‘s primary this month approve of the job Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is doing.

Worse for Democrats, nearly a fourth of likely voters in the Democratic primary plan to vote for Hogan in the November general election.

“In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1 in voter registration — and where Republican President Trump is deeply unpopular — Hogan has managed to persuade many in the state’s majority to consider crossing party lines for him.”

Greitens Resigned In Secret Deal with Prosecutor

The agreement to dismiss a felony computer-tampering charge against former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) included a secret provision in which the outgoing governor admitted that prosecutors had enough evidence for the case to go to a jury, the Kansas City Star reports.

Greitens agreed to resign as part of an agreement negotiated late last month with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner.

Dental Activist Runs for Kansas Attorney General

“The sedate race for Kansas attorney general took a turn toward the bizarre Thursday with an announcement by political performance artist Vermin Supreme of plans to launch a campaign to become the state’s No. 1 prosecutor,” the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

“Supreme, who appears in public dressed as a twisted wizard, has campaigned in the past on a platform that included mandatory dental hygiene and government distribution of free ponies. On the stump, he has worn a boot as a hat and carried a large toothbrush.”

Greitens Announces His Resignation

Scandal-plagued Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) announced that he will resign from office after being subpoenaed to testify before an impeachment committee over allegations including sexual misconduct and misuse of charity donor lists for his political campaign.

His resignation will be effective on June 1 at 5 p.m.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Word of the announcement came after damaging testimony by a former campaign aide and a ruling by a judge forcing Greitens’ team to reveal fundraising information.”

Greitens Running Ads to Defend Himself

Embattled Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) “has purchased at least $185,000 in television ads — set to begin airing this week — in a year when he is not on the ballot,” the Kansas City Star reports.

“Greitens’ campaign purchased the television air time as Missouri lawmakers are holding a special session to weigh whether to impeach the Republican governor.”

“Greitens has been hounded since January by allegations that he photographed a woman while she was bound and partly nude to keep her from speaking about an extramarital affair in 2015.”

Meanwhile, Democrats are running their own ads linking Grietens with U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley (R).