Difference between revisions of "The Ballotpedia News Update"

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=2009-2012 archives=
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* [[The Ballot Initiative Gazette, 2013 archive]]
 
* [[The Ballot Initiative Gazette, 2013 archive]]
 
* [[The Ballot Initiative Gazette, 2012 archive]]
 
* [[The Ballot Initiative Gazette, 2012 archive]]

Revision as of 09:57, 10 January 2014

Ballotpedia News



News headlines

News about: elections, politicians and candidates at all levels of government: elections, congress, state executive officials, state legislatures, recall elections, ballot measures and school boards. You can find a full list of projects here.

[edit]



Boehner suing Obama over employer mandate

By Phil Heidenreich

John Boehner

Washington, D.C.: "So sue me," Barack Obama proclaimed after learning of Speaker of the House John Boehner's (R-OH) threat of a lawsuit over the president's use of executive powers.[1] Boehner and other House republicans are doing just that, focusing on Obama's failure to enforce the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's employer mandate. House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) released a draft resolution July 10 that could be considered by the committee as early as next week and the House floor the following week. Boehner argued that Obama "changed the healthcare law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law by literally waiving the employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it."[2]

The law stated that businesses with over 50 employees needed to offer health benefits before the 2014 deadline or face a fine for not complying with the law. The administration delayed the deadline in July 2013 by one year and then again in February 2014 by another year, pushing the mandate deadline to 2016 for businesses with between 50 and 99 employees.[3][4] Obama was asked in 2013 about the legality of the delay, to which he responded, "If Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case. But there’s not an action that I take that you don't have some folks in Congress who say that I'm usurping my authority.[3] The administration has been calling the move a political stunt and a waste of time.[5]


Battleground Friday: New York's 23rd Congressional District


Legislative Lowdown: Identifying competitive Massachusetts elections in 2014

Seal of Massachusetts.png
2014 Massachusetts Legislative Lowdown

Table of Contents
Majority control
Margin of victory
Competitiveness

Other 2014 Election coverage
Ballot measuresState executive officialsSchool boards
State legislaturesU.S. HouseU.S. Senate
By Ballotpedia's State legislative team

Massachusetts Democrats hold one of eight supermajorities for their party nationwide, with Republicans only holding four seats in the Senate and 29 seats in the House. Democrats will have no general election opposition in 18 Senate districts (45.0%) and 85 House districts (53.1%), making a continued Democratic majority in at least the House a foregone conclusion. However, Democrats have vacated or will vacate 14 House seats, more than the three Republicans departing after this year.

The Democratic lead in the Senate is 32 seats (36-4). The Democratic lead in the House is 97 seats (126-29), with five previously Democratic seats remaining vacant through the election. Per Ballotpedia's analysis of margins of victory in the 2012 election, no Senate seats are competitive and only six House districts are considered at least mildly competitive. In all, 15 incumbents (7.5%) will face primary competition on September 9, 2014, and 39 percent of legislative races in Massachusetts will pair a Democrat and a Republican in the general election on November 4, 2014.

June 3 was the signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run for the Massachusetts State Senate and the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

See also: 2014's state legislative elections, Massachusetts State Senate elections and Massachusetts House of Representatives elections

Castro confirmed as HUD secretary

By Phil Heidenreich

Julian Castro

Washington, D.C.: President Barack Obama's cabinet is nearly finished re-shuffling following the resignations of Kathleen Sebelius and Eric Shinseki in April and May respectively, with the confirmation of Julian Castro to the post of U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Sylvia Mathews Burwell was confirmed to replace Sebelius in June, heading up the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan was nominated to replace Burwell as director of the Office of Management and Budget, leaving the door open for Castro to succeed him at HUD.[6]

Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, is Obama's second Latino cabinet member, along with Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and his name has been mentioned as a possible 2016 presidential candidate, after having given the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[6][7] He was confirmed by the United States Senate by a vote of 76-21, with the support of all voting Democrats and 18 Republicans.[8]

Julian Castro Confirmation vote, July 9, 2014
Party Votes for Approveda Votes against Defeatedd Total votes
Democratic Party Democrats 51 0 51
Republican Party Republicans 18 26 44
Independent Independents 2 0 2
Total Votes 71 26 97

Only two major nominees now await confirmation, as Donovan and Veterans Affairs secretary nominee Robert McDonald are expected to face confirmation votes in the coming weeks.[9][6]


The Tuesday Count: 2014 shaping up to be a remarkably light year for initiatives

Edited by Brittany Clingen

5 certifications
114 measures for 2014



Filing deadlines (News)
Birth control (Quick hits)
Wages (Spotlight)

2014 ballot measures
With the passage of each successive signature filing deadline, it is quickly becoming apparent that voters will have significantly fewer initiatives to vote on this year than in those past. The preceding week saw eight state filing deadlines come and go with few ballot measure campaigns submitting signatures for verification and even fewer achieving certification. Petition drive deadlines came and went in Massachusetts, Ohio, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Nebraska, Michigan and Arkansas. A total of 105 measures had the potential to appear on statewide ballots come November. However, of these measures, only 12 filed signatures by the prescribed deadlines, five of which have been certified.

Out of a total possible 26 measures, no signatures were filed at all in Ohio, Arizona and Michigan. In Oregon, only four out of 32 ballot measure campaigns submitted signatures by the July 3 deadline. Supporters of one such measure, the Equal Rights Amendment, submitted signatures early, and the measure was certified for the ballot prior to the deadline. Even if the remaining three make the ballot, 2014 will feature significantly fewer measures than the average 12 that have appeared on statewide ballots since 1996.

In Washington, a state well-known for active and contentious ballot measure campaigns, only one out of a potential 24 campaigns submitted signatures. Initiative 1351, which seeks to require fewer students per classroom in every grade, is the only Initiative to the People that will appear on the 2014 ballot, if the secretary of state confirms enough valid signatures were collected.

Massachusetts is the only state that has definitively certified signatures that were submitted by the state's deadline last week. Four initiated state statutes will appear on the ballot in November, allowing citizens to cast their votes on measures addressing taxes, environment, gambling and labor. The Bay State traditionally sees approximately four measures on the ballot annually, making this year an average one in terms of the number of measures.

Several petition filing deadlines have yet to pass, including those in Colorado, North Dakota and Oklahoma. However, based on the number of deadlines that have elapsed, 2014 ballots are still likely to be much lighter than in years past.

Tuesday Count-Checkmark.png

Donate.png
2014 Count
Number: 114 measures
States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming



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