State Legislative Tracker: California lawmakers face campaign finance probe

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November 11, 2013

Edited by Joel Williams
This week’s tracker includes a a look at campaign finance violations in California.

Weekly highlight

Last week, New Hampshire and Washington convened a special session. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

  • California: The Fair Political Practices Commission board next week will review two separate campaign law violation cases involving former State Senator Dean Florez (D) and second-term Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D). The two California politicians are facing stiff penalties under settlement agreements reached with the FPPC, according to information released by the agency on November 4. Florez, a former senate leader who termed out of office in 2010, has allegedly admitted to 12 counts of campaign rule violations. The 50 year-old has agreed to pay a $60,000 fine to the FPPC for using campaign funds on personal items — such as purchases at Ikea, concert tickets and vacations — and failing to refund $247,000 in donations raised during his bid for the 2010 lieutenant governor’s seat, which he abandoned before the primary election. The settlement represents the largest combined fine in the state’s history for such a violation, according to media reports. Alejo, re-elected to the California State Assembly in 2012, has agreed to repay just over $21,000 in excess campaign contributions as part of a separate FPPC probe. According to media reports, an independent committee called Voters for a New California spent nearly $29,000 on three mailings supporting Alejo in the June 2010 primary race. Investigators with the FPPC discovered that Alejo’s campaign manager also served as the chief officer of the committee. Under campaign law, the committee was not permitted to donate more than $3,900 to Alejo’s primary campaign unless it acted independently and did not coordinate with Alejo’s campaign. Alejo, who has not yet issued a statement on the settlement, has agreed to pay repay the amount in excess of $3,900. [1][2][3][4]
  • Illinois: Illinois is all but due to become the 15th state with legalized same-sex marriage. By a near party-line vote of 61-54 on Tuesday, a revised bill cleared the house, with the senate signing off on the changes contained within. Passing the bill was a lengthy process; as the 2013 legislative session came to a close, plans to put the bill up for a House vote were delayed, possibly over a lack of votes. Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who will sign the bill into law in a public ceremony on November 20, said the passage "put [the] state on the right side of history." President Barack Obama, an alumnus of the state senate, issued a statement congratulating same-sex couples in Illinois. Illinois had previously allowed civil unions, which supporters of the legislation said presented an inequity in federal benefits for same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act earlier this year. Opponents of the bill argued that a gay marriage law would impede on religious beliefs and open the door to other legislation they find immoral. When signed, the law will go into effect on June 1, 2014; the original bill would have allowed the issue of marriage licenses to same-sex couples 30 days after being signed into law. Under the bill, religious groups and personnel would not be required to perform or provide a venue for same-sex marriages, nor be liable for refusing to. Following the vote, one state lawmaker, Rep. Sam Yingling (D), took the opportunity to propose to his partner with Quinn present. In bordering Indiana, supporters of a constitutional ban on gay marriage that could appear on the 2014 ballot say that the Illinois law would have little bearing on their cause, while opponents argue that it bolsters theirs. The issue of voting for same-sex marriage may have consequences for Democrats running for re-election in the 2014 election, as some represent socially conservative districts.[5][6][7][8][9][10]
  • Missouri: State Rep. Steve Webb (D) has been charged with one felony and seven misdemeanors in relation to numerous campaign finance violations. The felony charge is for stealing and alleges that Webb collected a $3,000 donation that was supposed to be used for the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus but was instead put in Webb's personal bank account. The misdemeanor charges against Webb claim that he failed to disclose campaign contribution and expenditures totaling $107,000. Webb turned himself in to the St. Louis County Circuit Court and was later released on $10,000 bail. In a statement, House Minority Leader Jacob Hummel (D) said about the allegations about Webb that "Representative Webb explicitly gave me permission to share that information with the press and directed my staff to prepare his resignation letter." Webb later said in an email to a Post-Dispatch reporter that "there are no plans for me to resign.” St. Louis prosecutors must now bring Webb's felony charge before a grand jury to indict him.[11][12][13][14]
[edit]

Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of November 11, 2013
See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2013 session information.

Currently three out of 50 state legislatures are meeting in regular session. One state is meeting in special session.

As of April 8, all states states have convened their 2013 legislative sessions.[19]

The following states have ended their regular session:[20]

Special sessions

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
Thursday, August 28, 2014
There are 7,387 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,443 (46.6%)
Total Republican state legislators 3,815 (51.6%)
There are 99 Total State Legislative Chambers
Total Democratic Party-controlled chambers 40
Total Republican Party-controlled chambers 57
Total tied or non-partisan chambers 2
2013 Session Information
Total Special Elections 70
Total Special Sessions 23
Hawaii

Hawaii's legislature is currently meeting in special session to discuss Senate Bill 1. SB1 would recognize same-sex marriages within the state and extend to same-sex couples the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities of marriage that opposite-sex couples receive. If it passes, the bill would be effective November 18, 2013.[21]

New Hampshire

New Hampshire's legislature convened a two-week special session on November 7. This session will be used to discuss the expansion of Medicaid across the state. The Republican-led senate and Democratic-led house each filed different expansion bills last week, and will be seeking to reach a compromise this week before the special session ends.[22]

Washington

Washington's legislature held a four-day special session from November 6 to November 11. While legislators were unable to agree on a $10 billion transportation plan, they approved an extension on an $8 billion tax incentive plan for Boeing through 2040 funding for aerospace training and environmental work. The transportation plan will be left for another special session expected to take place in late November.[23]

In recess

As of today, November 11, there are 2 state legislatures currently in recess:[24]

Redistricting Roundup.jpg

State news

Redistricting Facts
Maps submitted for vote: 140 out of 142 (98.6%)** No votes on initial maps in the following: MT (2)
States that have completed Congressional Maps 42/43 (Maps ordered redrawn: TX)
States that have completed State Legislative Maps 46/50 (Maps unfinished: ME, MT; Maps ordered redrawn: AK, TX)
**With 50 states, there are 142 possible maps. 50 State Senate, 49 State House (No House in Nebraska), and 43 Congressional (7 states have 1 seat)
See also: Status of redistricting maps after the 2010 census

While the great majority of states have completed their redistricting following the 2010 census, the issue still remains for a handful of states. Maine and Montana are not required to have their maps completed until 2014. Alaska and Texas, however, saw their maps rejected for legal reasons and will have to take up the drawing of maps once again.









See also: State legislative elections, 2013

A total of 3 of the 99 chambers will hold state legislative elections on November 5, 2013.

The 3 chambers with elections in 2013 are in 2 states. They are:

Louisiana and Mississippi also typically hold elections in odd years. However, legislators are elected to 4-year terms in those states and those will not be up for election again until 2015.

40 of the country's 1,972 state senate seats are up for re-election in November 2013, and 180 of the country's 5,411 state house seats are up for re-election. Altogether, 220 of the country's 7,383 state legislative seats are up for re-election on November 5, 2013.

Signature filing deadlines

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2013 state legislative elections

The state legislative filing deadlines were as follows:

  • New Jersey:
  • April 1, 2013 (Major party)
  • June 4, 2013 (Independent)

Nomination petitions must contain the signatures of at least 100 voters in the legislative district. Candidates are required to disclose any criminal convictions.[25]

  • Virginia:
  • March 28, 2013 (Major party)
  • June 11, 2013 (Independent)

Nomination petitions must contain the signatures of at least 125 qualified voters in the legislative district. Major party candidates are required to submit a primary filing fee equal to 2% of the annual salary for the office sought in effect in the year in which the candidate files. In 2013, the primary filing fee was $352.80.[26]

Primaries

The state primaries were as follows:

  • New Jersey:
  • June 4, 2013
  • Virginia:
  • June 11, 2013

Results

New Jersey had a quiet election, with all competing incumbents winning their primaries.

There were only three hotly contested races, all in the Senate, but none resulted in the ousting of an incumbent:[27]

Republican PartyDistrict 13: Incumbent Joe Kyrillos, Jr. defeated challenger Leigh-Ann Bellew.
Democratic PartyDistrict 20: Incumbent Raymond Lesniak defeated challenger Donna Obe.
Democratic PartyDistrict 34: Incumbent Nia H. Gill defeated challengers Mark C. Alexander and Vernon Pullins, Jr..

Virginia experienced two upsets in an otherwise quiet day of primaries for the House of Delegates. Voter turnout was expected to fall below 5 percent based on projections at polling locations.[28]

Virginia's legislative primaries yielded a pair of defeats for incumbent legislators. The defeated incumbents were supporters of a recently passed transportation bill that increases sales and gas taxes to improve roadways.[29][30] The successful challengers lodged primary challenges in part to protest the bill's passage, which they called the biggest tax increase in the state's history.[31]

Republican Party Mark J. Berg defeated Beverly Sherwood in District 29.
Republican Party Dave A. LaRock defeated Joe T. May in District 33.

Five incumbents were able to fend off primary challenges in the June 11 primaries:

Republican Party C. Todd Gilbert defeated Mark W. Prince in District 15.
Republican Party Bill Howell defeated Craig E. Ennis in District 28.
Republican Party Bobby Orrock defeated Dustin R. Curtis in District 54.
Democratic Party Roz Dance defeated Evandra D. Thompson in District 63.
Democratic Party Algie Howell defeated Richard James in District 90.

General election

New Jersey

Democratic activists expressed concern that Governor Chris Christie's "coattails" would lead to a Republican state legislature and allow him to successfully promote a conservative agenda ahead of a presidential run in 2016. The Fund for Jobs, Growth and Security super PAC won a legal battle allowing it to spend unlimited amounts on state legislative campaigns in New Jersey. It was founded to prevent Christie's popularity from creating Republican majorities in New Jersey's 2013 elections. The super PAC's president is Susan McCue, who was dubbed by POLITICO as one of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) "closest confidantes," is the organization's president.[32]

New Jersey State Senate
Party As of November 4, 2013 After the 2013 Election
     Democratic Party 24 24
     Republican Party 16 16
Total 40 40
New Jersey General Assembly
Party As of November 4, 2013 After the 2013 Election
     Democratic Party 48 48
     Republican Party 32 32
Total 80 80

Democrats were able to stop any strong gains by Republican candidates in the 2013 election. There were no changes to the partisan balance of the State Senate. Republicans in General Assembly were able to pick up two seats from the Democratic majority. In the Senate, every incumbent who ran in 2013 won re-election. Two Democratic incumbents from the General Assembly were defeated on November 5, 2013.

The following are a few races that turned up extremely close under unofficial election results.

Senate District 14
Democratic Party June 4 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 4 Republican primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Linda R. Greenstein Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Peter A. Inverso
Libertarian Party Don Dezarn

Note: Unofficial results put Greenstein ahead of Inverso by a margin of 30,999 to 29,759 votes. Dezarn obtained 1,001 according to unofficial results.[33]

Senate District 38
Democratic Party June 4 Democratic primary:
  • Bob Gordon Approveda - Incumbent Gordon first assumed office in 2008.
Republican Party June 4 Republican primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Bob Gordon Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Fernando A. Alonso

Note: Unofficial results put Gordon ahead of Alonso by a margin of 26,168 to 24,579 votes.[33]

Assembly District 38
Democratic Party June 4 Democratic primary:

Note: Assemblywoman Connie Terranova Wagner (D) withdrew from election on June 11, citing family reasons.[34]

Republican Party June 4 Republican primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Timothy J. Eustace
Democratic Party Joseph Lagana Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Joan Fragala
Republican Party Joseph J. Scarpa Green check mark transparent.png

Note: Unofficial results put Scarpa ahead of Eustace by a margin of 24,716 to 24,545 votes. Lagana obtained 24,838 according to unofficial results.[33]

Virginia

In the 2013 elections for the Virginia House of Delegates, the Democrats were looking to make inroads into the Republican majorities built up during the 2009 and 2011 state legislative elections. Democratic candidates needed to win a net of 19 seats from Republican officeholders or the Republican candidates seeking to succeed them. In the 2013 elections for the Virginia House of Delegates, all 100 seats were up for election.


Virginia House of Delegates
Party As of November 4, 2013 After the 2013 Election
     Democratic Party 32 33
     Republican Party 65 67
     Independent 1 0
     Vacancy 2 0
Total 100 100


Republican majorities ultimately held strong, with Democrats gaining one seat and Republicans bolstering their majority by an additional two seats. Two seats were previously vacant and one seat, previously held by independent Lacey Putney, was won by a Republican candidate. The following are some interesting elections and races that turned up extremely close under unofficial election results.

District 2
Democratic Party June 11 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 11 GOP primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Michael Futrell Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Mark Dudenhefer

Note: Unofficial results put Futrell ahead of Dudenhefer by a margin of 8,183 to 7,960 votes.[35]

District 31
Democratic Party June 11 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 11 GOP primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Jeremy McPike
Republican Party Scott Lingamfelter Green check mark transparent.png

Note: Unofficial results put Lingamfelter ahead of McPike by a margin of 11,506 to 11,272 votes.[35]

District 86
Democratic Party June 11 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 11 GOP primary:
  • Tom Rust Approveda - Incumbent Rust first assumed office in 2002.

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Jennifer B. Boysko
Republican Party Tom Rust Green check mark transparent.png

Note: Unofficial results put Rust ahead of Boysko by a margin of 10,383 to 10,327 votes.[35]

District 93
Democratic Party June 11 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 11 GOP primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party T. Monty Mason Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Michael Watson

Note: Unofficial results put Mason ahead of Watson by a margin of 12,138 to 11,102 votes.[35]

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See also: State legislative special elections, 2013

There is one special election scheduled this week in Louisiana.

Louisiana House of Representatives District 87

Rep. Girod Jackson, III (D) resigned on August 22, 2013, after being charged with tax fraud and failing to file taxes. A special election has been called for November 16, with a runoff on December 14 if necessary. Candidates had from October 2 to October 4 to file certified nomination papers.[36][37]

November 16 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Ebony Woodruff

Recent election results

November 5, 2013

RunoffArrow.jpgGeorgia State Senate District 14
Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R) resigned in order to focus on his Congressional campaign. A special election was called for November 5 elections, with a runoff if necessary on December 3. No party primaries were held for this election. Candidates had from September 16 to September 18 to file certified nomination papers.[38][39][40]

November 5 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Christopher G. Nesmith
Republican Party Nicole Ebbeskotte
Republican Party Matt Laughridge Approveda
Republican Party Dwight Pullen
Republican Party Dean Sheridan
Republican Party Bruce Thompson Approveda
December 3 Runoff election candidates:
Republican Party Matt Laughridge
Republican Party Bruce Thompson

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgGeorgia House of Representatives District 100
Rep. Brian Thomas (D) resigned to accept a position with Natural Resources Group in Lamoine, Maine. A special election was called for November 5 elections. No party primaries were held for this election. Candidates had from September 16 to September 18 to file certified nomination papers.[41][42][43][44]

November 5 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Dewey McClain Green check mark transparent.png

RunoffArrow.jpgGeorgia House of Representatives District 104
Rep. Donna Sheldon (R) resigned in order to focus on her Congressional campaign. A special election was called for November 5 elections, with a runoff if necessary on December 3. No party primaries were held for this election. Candidates had from September 16 to September 18 to file certified nomination papers.[45][46][47]

November 5 Special election candidates:
Republican Party Teresa Cantrell Approveda
Republican Party Chuck Efstration Approveda
Republican Party Tim Puckett
Republican Party Todd Tyson
December 3 Runoff election candidates:
Republican Party Teresa Cantrell
Republican Party Chuck Efstration

RunoffArrow.jpgGeorgia House of Representatives District 127
Rep. Quincy Murphy (D) passed away on August 2 after a battle with lung cancer. A special election was called for November 5 elections, with a runoff if necessary on December 3. No party primaries were held for this election. Candidates had from September 16 to September 18 to file certified nomination papers.[48][49][50]

November 5 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Diane B. Evans Approveda
Democratic Party Dianne Murphy
Democratic Party Brian Prince Approveda
December 3 Runoff election candidates:
Democratic Party Diane B. Evans
Democratic Party Brian Prince

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgMassachusetts State Senate 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District
Sen. Michael Knapik (R) resigned to become the executive director of advancement at Westfield State University. A special election was called concurrent with the regularly-scheduled November 5 elections, with a primary on October 8. Candidates had until September 5 to file certified nomination papers.[51][52][53][54][55]

November 5 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party David K. Bartley
Republican Party Donald F. Humason, Jr. Green check mark transparent.png

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgMichigan House of Representatives District 49
Rep. Jim Ananich (D) was elected to the Michigan State Senate on May 7, 2013. A special election has been called concurrent with the regularly-scheduled November 5 elections, with a primary on August 6. Candidates had until June 4 to file certified nomination papers.[56][57][58][59][60][61]

November 5 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Phil Phelps Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Don Pfeiffer
Libertarian Party Pat Clawson

RunoffArrow.jpgMississippi House of Representatives District 5
Rep. Kelvin Buck (D) was elected Mayor of Holly Springs, MS. A special election has been called for November 5, with a runoff if necessary on November 26. Candidates had until October 7 to file certified nomination papers. Special elections in Mississippi are non-partisan.[62][63][64]

November 5 Special election candidates:
Independent Daylon Cannon
Independent Andre R. DeBerry Approveda
Independent Arthur "Clyde" Ellzey
Independent John Gary Faulkner Approveda
Independent Lee Edward Gill
Independent Jacqueline Simon
Independent Robert Earl Young
November 26 Runoff candidates:
Independent Andre R. DeBerry
Independent John Gary Faulkner

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgMississippi House of Representatives District 55
Rep. George Flaggs, Jr. (D) was elected Mayor of Vicksburg, MS. A special election has been called for November 5, with a runoff if necessary on November 26. Candidates had until October 7 to file certified nomination papers. Special elections in Mississippi are non-partisan.[65][66][67]

November 5 Special election candidates:
Independent Oscar Denton Green check mark transparent.png
Independent Chris Green
Independent Andrew W. Harrell
Independent Marie Thompson
Independent Joseph E. Williams, Jr.

RunoffArrow.jpgMississippi House of Representatives District 110
Rep. Billy Broomfield (D) was elected Mayor of Moss Point, MS. A special election was called for November 5, with a runoff if necessary on November 26. Candidates had until October 7 to file certified nomination papers. Special elections in Mississippi are non-partisan.[68][69][70]

November 5 Special election candidates:
Independent Jeramey Anderson Approveda
Independent Tyres Autrey
Independent Mitch Ellerby
Independent Aneice R. Liddell Approveda
Independent Anne A. McMillion
November 26 Runoff candidates:
Independent Jeramey Anderson
Independent Aneice R. Liddell

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgNew Hampshire House of Representatives Hillsborough District 35
Rep. Roland LaPlante (D) resigned in February 2013 citing health concerns. A special election has been called concurrent with the November 5 municipal elections, with a primary on September 17. The filing period for candidates ran from July 29 to August 5.[71][72][73]

November 5 Special election:
Democratic Party Latha Mangipudi Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Peter Silva

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgNew York State Assembly District 2
Rep. Daniel Losquadro (R) resigned in March after being elected Superintendent of Highways in Brookhaven Town.[74]. A special election has been called for November 5.[75][76]

November 5 Special election:
Democratic Party John McManmon
Republican Party Anthony Palumbo Green check mark transparent.png

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgNew York State Assembly District 53
Rep. Vito Lopez (D) resigned on May 20 amidst a sex scandal. A special election was called for November 5. An open primary was held on September 10.[77][78][79]

November 5 Special election:
Democratic Party Maritza Davila Green check mark transparent.png
Working Families Party Jason Otano

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgNew York State Assembly District 86
Rep. Nelson Castro (D) resigned on April 8, 2013 following his role in the bribery scandal that saw fellow Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (D) charged. Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for an election concurrent with municipal elections on November 5. An open primary took place on September 10.[80][81][82]

November 5 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Victor Pichardo Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Rene Santos
Libertarian Party Jose Marte

RunoffArrow.jpgTexas House of Representatives District 50
Rep. Mark Strama (D) resigned to lead Google's fiber optics operation in Austin, Texas. A special election was called for November 5, with a runoff on December 10. Candidates had until September 4 to file certified nomination papers.[83][84][85]

November 5 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Celia Israel Approveda
Democratic Party Rico Reyes
Democratic Party Jade Chang Sheppard
Republican Party Mike VanDeWalle Approveda
December 10 Runoff candidates:
Democratic Party Celia Israel
Republican Party Mike VanDeWalle

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • November 19: California State Assembly District 45 (Runoff)
  • November 19: Iowa State Senate District 13
  • November 19: Wisconsin State Assembly District 21
  • November 19: Wisconsin State Assembly District 69
  • November 21: Tennessee House of Representatives District 91
  • November 26: Mississippi House of Representatives 5 (Runoff)
  • November 26: Mississippi House of Representatives 110 (Runoff)
  • December 3: Alabama House of Representatives District 74
  • December 3: California State Assembly District 54
  • December 3: Georgia State Senate District 14 (Runoff)
  • December 3: Georgia House of Representatives District 104 (Runoff)
  • December 3: Georgia House of Representatives District 127 (Runoff)
  • December 10: Kentucky State Senate District 13
  • December 10: Kentucky House of Representatives District 7
  • December 10: Texas House of Representatives District 50 (Runoff)

See also

References

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  2. “Sacramento Bee”, “Two California politicians reach settlements with FPPC over campaign funding”, Access Nov. 5, 2013
  3. “Sacramento Bee, Capitol Alert”, “Lusi Alejo settles with state over illegal campaign coordinating”, Accessed Nov. 5, 2013
  4. “Wesport News”, “Former senate leader faces fines for misusing funds”, Accessed November 7, 2013
  5. Chicago Tribune, "Quinn to sign gay marriage bill into law Nov. 20," November 8, 2013.
  6. Chicago Tribune, "Lawmakers approve gay marriage in Illinois," November 5, 2013.
  7. The New York Times, "Illinois Sends Bill Allowing Gay Marriage to Governor," November 5, 2013.
  8. The Huffington Post, "Illinois Rep. Sam Yingling Proposes To Lowell Jaffe," November 6, 2013.
  9. Chicago Tribune, "Illinois gay marriage bill being debated in Illinois House," November 5, 2013.
  10. Associated Press, "Ill. gay marriage OK could influence Ind. debate," November 7, 2013.
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  60. mlive.com, "Libertarian candidate Pat Clawson joins race for 49th District state House seat," August 7, 2013
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