State House

GOP Lawmaker Charged with Extorting Page for Sex

A grand jury indictment unsealed Monday accuses Rhode Island state Sen. Nicholas Kettle (R) of extorting sex from a page in the Senate’s page program, the AP reports.

Providence Journal: “The alleged victim was a legislative page in 2011 and 2012, when he was 16 or 17 years old. Legislative pages range in age from 15 to college-age, and run errands for the lawmakers in the State House, including shuttling paperwork and bringing water.”

Virginia Democrats See Their Bills Blocked Despite Wave

“Though the House’s new Democratic lawmakers have made their presence felt in other ways both big and small, just 27 of the 202 bills they filed are still alive after the House finished work on its own legislation at the crossover deadline, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch analysis of bills with freshmen listed as the chief patron. The analysis did not include resolutions, which convey the will of the body but do not carry the force of law.”

“Democrats flipped 15 GOP-held House seats last year and swept all three statewide races, a result widely interpreted as a repudiation of President Donald Trump.”

“A random tiebreaker secured a 51-49 GOP majority, setting up a session in which ascendant Democrats have the energy, but Republicans still have the numbers.”

Everyone Elected In This House District Has Pleaded Guilty

Since Florida’s 114th state House district was formed in 2012, every candidate voters have sent to the Florida Capitol on their behalf has pleaded guilty to criminal charges, the Miami Herald reports.

“On Tuesday, some of the 34,000 Republican voters in the district, which includes Flagami, Coral Gables, West Miami and parts of Pinecrest and Cutler Bay, will head to the polls to begin the process of voting for the first time — hopefully — to elect someone who won’t disgrace them.”

Wyoming Secretary of State Quits

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray (R) “announced his resignation late Friday afternoon, effective immediately,” the Casper Tribune reports.

Murray said he has been “devastated” by two recent accusations of sexual misconduct and that he is now “unable to focus entirely on serving the good people of Wyoming.”

Late last year, a woman accused Murray of “wrestling her to the office floor and ejaculating on her stomach” when she was an intern in his office.

Assemblywoman Accused of Sexual Misconduct

California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D),” chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus who has been at the forefront of the movement against sexual harassment in the state Capitol, has herself become the subject of allegations of sexual misconduct,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

Politico reported Thursday that two men said Garcia made improper advances toward them. One, a former legislative staffer, said Garcia groped his back and buttocks and attempted to grab his crotch during a legislative softball game in 2014.”

Democratic AGs Take on Trump

“One year into the Trump presidency, the nation’s 22 Democratic state attorneys general — including ambitious up-and-comers like New York’s Eric Schneiderman, California’s Xavier Becerra and Massachusetts’ Maura Healey — have emerged as the shock troops of the Democratic resistance,” Politico reports.

“Democratic state attorneys general are bringing a growing string of lawsuits, complaints and other actions against the Trump administration on immigration, education policy, net neutrality, marijuana enforcement, offshore oil and gas drilling and more – and there’s no end in sight.”

“It’s a new look for Democratic state prosecutors, but it’s hardly a novel idea: The Democrats’ strategy is borne in part of a calculated decision to coordinate closely and emulate the way their Republican counterparts relentlessly battled the Obama administration over climate regulations, Obamacare and more.”

Grand Jury Investigating Missouri Governor’s Affair

“The man whose then-wife had an affair with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) has been subpoenaed to testify before a St. Louis grand jury,” the AP reports.

“Greitens, a Republican, admitted on Jan. 10 to a monthslong affair with his St. Louis hairdresser in 2015, before he was governor. The woman’s ex-husband secretly recorded a conversation with her in which she claimed that Greitens took a compromising photo as potential blackmail if she spoke about the relationship. Greitens has repeatedly denied threatening to blackmail the woman. He has not answered directly when asked if he took a photo.”

Republicans Brace for Blowouts In State Legislatures

New York Times: “As national Republicans dig in to defend their majorities in Congress in the midterm elections, party leaders across the country have grown anxious about losses on a different front: state legislatures. Over the last decade, Republicans have dominated most state capitals, enacting deep tax cuts, imposing new regulations on labor unions and abortion providers, and drawing favorable congressional maps to reinforce their power in Washington.”

“Yet that dominance appears to be fraying, strained by the same forces taxing Republicans in Congress. National strategists in both parties see the landscape of legislative races expanding, especially in areas around major cities where President Trump has stirred an insurrection among liberals, and college-educated voters and white women have recoiled from Republicans.”