Sep 12, 2017

Dem super PAC expanding state legislature campaign to 12 states

President Barack Obama delivers remarks [about the way political maps are drawn] to the Illinois General Assembly at the Illinois Capitol. Photo: Jeff Roberson / AP

A super PAC to help Democrats regain some of the almost 1,000 state legislature seats they've lost to Republicans in the past decade is expanding its focus to 12 states and hoping to raise $100 million.

  • Forward Majority launched last week, and said it was going to target Virginia with a $1 million campaign focused on its 2017 House of Delegates race. It wants to help Democrats win state legislative seats in targeted states ahead of the 2021 congressional redistricting. The groups says Republican-drawn districts helped the GOP gain 18 seats in the U.S. House.
  • The states: Virginia, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
  • Why it matters: This type of money and sophisticated campaign strategy are seldom used in hyper local races like the ones targeted by Forward Majority.

"The amount that Democrats spent on Jon Ossoff's race could be spent in Pennsylvania to win back five congressional seats," Vicky Hausman, Forward Majority co-founder and chief operating officer, told Axios. Advisers to the group include Reps. Joe Kennedy III and Seth Moulton, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. The PAC is targeting 130 state House races and 60 state Senates races — Forward Majority hopes to flip 6 to 8 chambers in 2018, and 6 to 8 more in 2020, all using information based on their Virginia prototype. David Cohen, co-founder and executive director, who was also one of Obama's first hires in 2007, said states were selected based on how many congressional seats are available, how gerrymandered the states are in Republican's favor and how many seats Democrats would stand to gain if they ran redistricting — and tie that to the price tag of winning the chamber.

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Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Four police officers were struck by gunfire while standing near a line in St Louis on Monday after a peaceful demonstration, Police Chief John Hayden said early Tuesday. They were all taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He said a small group of people had thrown rocks and fireworks at police officers.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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St. John's clergy: Trump used church as prop, Bible as symbol of division

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Clergy of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church expressed furor and confusion over President Trump's visit on Monday, which he claimed was to honor the establishment after George Floyd protestors sparked a small fire on the property Sunday night.

The big picture: Park rangers and military police deployed tear gas and physical force to disperse peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park, which surrounds the White House, so Trump could walk to "pay respects" to the church — and a St. John's rector on the scene revealed in a Facebook post that she was left "coughing" from the tear gas.