State House

Branstad Will Step Down as Iowa Governor

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) “will resign as Iowa and the nation’s longest-serving governor and Kim Reynolds will be sworn in as his successor in back-to-back morning ceremonies at the Iowa Capitol,” the Des Moines Register reports.

“The long-awaited gubernatorial transition occurs two days after Branstad’s confirmation as ambassador to China by the U.S. Senate. In addition to the transfer of gubernatorial power, Branstad will be officially sworn into his diplomatic post.”

Mississippi Lawmaker Calls for Lynching

Mississippi state Rep. Karl Oliver (R) said that Louisiana leaders should be lynched for removing Confederate monuments, the AP reports.

Said Oliver: “The destruction of these monuments, erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific. If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, ‘leadership’ of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED! Let it be known, I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening in our State.”

He later apologized: “I am very sorry. It is in no way, ever, an appropriate term.”

Pro-Rape Legislator Refuses to Resign

Boston Globe: “On Tuesday, New Hampshire state Rep. Robert Fisher (R) was unmasked as an architect of a men’s rights Web page where he is accused of strategizing about how to seduce women in an age of feminism and denounced claims of rape as false.”

“On Wednesday, he rejected calls to resign, blamed fake news, and held himself out as a symbol of the downtrodden man.”

Said Fisher: “Here’s my message to the public: I am not disappearing. I will continue to stand strong for men’s rights and the rights of all.”

Ex-Christie Aide Will Now Work for Cuomo

Maria Comella, a former top aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is crossing party lines to become New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) new chief of staff, CNN reports.

“Comella also has a long history of working on presidential campaigns, having joined George W. Bush, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Christie during their respective runs. That experience could benefit Cuomo if he decides to make a run of his own in 2020.”

Florida Lawmaker Quits Over Use of Racial Slurs

Florida state Sen. Frank Artiles (R), “who unleashed an expletive-laden rant over drinks with two other lawmakers this week, uttering a racial slur for black people and other vulgarities, resigned from his position on Friday,” the New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, the Miami Herald reports Artiles has come under scrutiny for listing a former Hooters “calendar girl” and a Playboy model as a “consultant” in his latest campaign finance filings.

Florida Lawmaker Refers to Colleagues as ‘Niggas’

Florida state Sen. Frank Artiles (R) dropped the n-word to a pair of African-American colleagues in private conversation Monday night — after calling one of them a “fucking asshole,” a “bitch” and a “girl,” the Miami Herald reports.

Artiles later apologized: “In an exchange with a colleague of mine in the Senate, I unfortunately let my temper get the best of me. There is no excuse for the exchange that occurred and I have apologized to my Senate colleagues and regret the incident profusely.”

Christie Angling for a Comeback

Politico: “The New Jersey governor remains one of the country’s most unpopular executives, after a dismal year in which two allies were sentenced to prison, the state’s credit rating continued to drop, and his White House dreams were conspicuously dashed by Donald Trump.”

“But Christie, entering into the last eight months in office, often seems happier and more focused than at any point since the Bridgegate scandal broke, several people close to him say. He is again taking on an ambitious agenda in New Jersey, trying to buttress and shape his once-enviable legacy.”

“And he is enjoying significant influence in Trump’s world, spearheading a new national anti-addiction effort, talking to the president several times per week, and recently spending much of two days in the Oval Office advising Trump.”

Video Causes GOP to Pull Support from Candidate

“The video clip is just 10 seconds long, but it was enough to cause Cape May County Republicans to pull support from the candidate they had endorsed for Assembly in what was supposed to be one of the most competitive districts in the state,” Politico reports.

Said Brian McDowell (R): “Let me tell you right now. You should fuck me. It would really be good. Listen, you never know.”

GOP Lawmaker Compares Lincoln to Hitler

North Carolina state Rep. Larry Pittman (R) said in a Facebook post that President Abraham Lincoln was a “tyrant” similar to Germany’s Adolf Hitler, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

A commenter reminded Pittman that the Supreme Court ruling settled the law on gay marriage and that the lawmaker should “get over it.”

Pittman’s response: “And if Hitler had won, should the world just get over it? Lincoln was the same sort of tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional.”

America’s Most and Least Popular

A new series of Morning Consult polls finds that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is America’s most popular senator, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) held his spot as the least popular.

Among governors, New Jersey’s Chris Christie (R) is the least popular, while Republicans in traditionally blue states — Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland — are the most popular.

Bentley Takes Plea Deal and Resigns

Embattled Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) “agreed to a deal that forced him to resign the office of governor, plead guilty to two misdemeanors and agree to never again to hold public office,” the Birmingham News reports.

“The extraordinary agreement, hammered out over the weekend and throughout the day… requires Bentley to repay the state for misused funds and perform community service. In response, the state attorney general’s office will not pursue other felonies against Bentley, including those referred for prosecution last week by the Alabama Ethics Commission.”

“Whether the governor faces jail time on the misdemeanors – which are technically punishable by as much as a year in prison – is left to the judge who will sentence him. It is unlikely he will serve time.”