- Charles and David Koch, “the billionaire brothers who are perhaps the best-known patrons of conservative Republican politics, are bespectacled and in their 70s. They look genial enough. But Democrats are embarking on a broad effort that aims to unmask the press-shy siblings and portray them, instead, as a pair of villains bent on wrecking progressive politics. On Thursday, the” DSCC “is starting a digital campaign that will use Internet ads and videos, as well as social media, to tie Republican Senate candidates to the policies and actions of the Koch brothers. Its slogan: ‘The G.O.P. is addicted to Koch.’” (New York Times)
By Adam Serwer
A revolt against President Barack Obama’s nominees to the federal bench in Georgia has spread from the civil rights icons who paved the way for Obama’s presidency to the abortion rights movement.
The abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America last week announced its opposition to nominee Michael Boggs, joining a coalition of Democratic members of Congress from Georgia and celebrated civil rights leaders like Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, C.T. Vivian and Joseph Lowery. The group had already been calling for the president to withdraw Boggs, a former Democratic Georgia state representative, and Mark Cohen, an attorney who defended the state’s voter ID law.
Both judges were approved as part of a package deal between the White House and Georgia’s two conservative Republican Senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. The deal was put together before Democrats abolished the filibuster for most nominations, but Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy maintains a Senate tradition, called the blue-slip process, which allows Republican senators to quietly block Obama’s judicial picks without drawing public attention.
By Zachary Roth
The fierce partisan battle over voting rights has both sides planning to pour massive amounts of money and resources into a handful of key 2014 campaigns for secretary of state.
The new-found attention for these once-obscure races is driven by an awareness on both sides that a state’s top election official can play a critical role in expanding or restricting the right to vote—meaning control of secretary of state offices in swing states could be crucial in the 2016 presidential contest.
On Thursday, a group of high-level Democratic strategists launched iVote, a political action committee that will back Democratic secretary of state candidates in four pivotal 2016 states: Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada. All four Democratic candidates are strong advocates of expanding access to the ballot, and all are likely to face Republicans who are looking to make it harder to vote. The initiative is part of a broader move by Democrats and voting-rights advocates to push back against the wave of restrictive voting laws advanced by Republicans in recent years.
Secretaries of state are charged with administering most aspects of their state’s elections, giving them responsibility for everything from maintaining voter rolls to sending out absentee ballots to counting votes.