This Week in Statehouse Action: Sedition edition

 This Week in Statehouse Action: Sedition edition

In fact, the number of state legislators so affected by Trump that they traveled to DC last week for the terrorist attack on the Capitol is actually much larger than it was when I wrote about it in this space last week.

Here’s a list of the people who make laws in states who participated in this domestic terrorism (13 strong to date):

  • Alaska Rep. David Eastman
  • Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem
  • Illinois Rep. Chris Miller
  • Maryland Del. Dan Cox
  • Michigan Rep. Matt Maddock
  • Missouri Rep. Justin Hill
  • Nevada Assemblywoman Annie Black
  • Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano
  • Rhode Island Rep. Justin Price
  • Tennessee Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver
  • Virginia Del. Dave LaRock
  • Virginia Sen. (and gubernatorial candidate) Amanda Chase
  • West Virginia Del. Derrick Evans*
  • West Virginia Sen. Mike Azinger

*Derrick Evans faces criminal charges and has since resigned from the West Virginia House.

… plus various former state legislators, which is bad, but at least they don’t make laws any more.

by the by armed insurrection by private citizens is also bad

So yeah, that’s Republicans from 12 states and counting that physically, actively participated in a violent, seditious attack on the very core of our government.

And if you think these lawmakers left those anti-democratic impulses in DC, I’ve got some bad news for you.

Loyalty to Trump and distrust of the 2020 presidential election results has become a mainstream position in many (GOP-governed) parts of the country.

Earlier this week, Wisconsin Senate Republicans shut down Democrats’ attempt to pass a resolution condemning the violence in the U.S. Capitol and acknowledging Joe Biden’s victory over Trump.

As a reminder, Wisconsin GOP lawmakers did more than their fair share to further Trump’s lies about about the election being “stolen” from him, including holding bogus hearings and filing bogus lawsuits.

Thankfully, some lawmakers who fomented Trump’s dangerous, anti-democratic lies about the fairness of the presidential election are actually facing consequences.

In Georgia, the Republican lieutenant governor stripped three GOP senators who backed Trump’s attempts to undermine the state’s election results of their committee chairmanships.

In Virginia, three Republican delegates (Ronnie Campbell, Mark Cole, Dave LaRock) signed a letter casting doubt on the validity of the election outcome and asking Vice President Mike Pence to effectively disenfranchise millions of Virginia voters.

Democratic House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn booted the three Republicans from one committee each, saying in a statement that they “showed exceedingly poor judgment and conducted themselves in a manner unbecoming of their office.”

In Oregon, where Republican Mike Nearman opened a locked door to admit protesters to the state capitol (closed to the public because of the pandemic) as lawmakers gathered inside for a special session in December, Democratic House Speaker Tina Kotek has removed Nearman from all committees and called on him to resign.

She also fined him $2,000 in damages the unruly protesters did to the building, several of whom were arrested after spraying responding officers with bear mace and attacking journalists.

And we’re not done: Early this week, the FBI issued a warning that armed far-right extremist groups are planning marches on state capitols across the country this weekend.

To return to another piece of business from last week’s edition, the GOP-controlled Pennsylvania state Senate finally swore in and seated Democratic Sen. Jim Brewster.

On Tuesday, a federal court tossed a last-ditch lawsuit brought by Republican Nicole Ziccarelli, and Senate Republicans decided to accept the Democrat’s 69-vote victory (nice).

Remember, this shitty move by the Pennsylvania GOP had nothing to do with their control over the chamber.

Even after seating Brewster, Senate Republicans have a 29-21 majority. (Technically one member is independent, but he caucuses with the GOP.)

And now, a rerun of a totally different sort.

In the eons-ago time of Before Trump, it was something of a fad among GOP-controlled legislatures to attempt to gerrymander the Electoral College.

That is, Republican lawmakers in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, who were still sore about Obama winning their historically blue states, wanted to figure out a way to give some of their electoral votes to the Republican presidential candidate for a change by allocating them by (conveniently GOP-gerrymandered) congressional districts.

Then 2016 happened and they weirdly forgot all about it.

(That is, Trump won all of those states but Virginia, which was about to go fully indigo at every level of government.)

But (via Dave Weigel, who writes another newsletter you should read and has been on this incredibly esoteric beat for as long as I have, somehow) Republicans in some states are suddenly reconsidering this scheme.

In Michigan and Wisconsin, specifically, proposals to effectively disenfranchise voters who live in densely populated areas are already being floated.

Michigan U.S. Rep. Mike Huizenga proposed such change in a Facebook post earlier this week.

It’s been tried twice before in the Wolverine State.

In Wisconsin, there’s actual legislation to allocate the state’s electoral votes by (gerrymandered) congressional district being considered.

Thankfully, both of these states have Democratic governors who aren’t shy about using their veto pens.

And on top of that, Michigan is about to get its first redistricting via an independent commission.

Still, as yet another anti-democratic proposal from the GOP, it should very much generate concern.

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