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Alan Greenblatt  |  Senior Staff Writer

Email : agreenblatt@governing.com Twitter : @AlanGreenblatt

Alan Greenblatt -- Senior Staff Writer. Alan covers politics as well as policy issues for Governing. He is the coauthor of a standard textbook on state and local governments. He previously worked as a reporter for NPR and CQ and has written about politics and culture for many other outlets, print and online.

THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Across the Nation, Changing of the Guard at City Halls

New mayors will be elected this year in New York, Seattle, Boston and other cities. Given problems with budgets and crime, why would anyone want the job?

February 26, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Why Cities Have More People but Less Clout

Cities have always gotten less than their share from states. As they've become wealthier and more Democratic, they've come increasingly under attack.

February 19, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

States Pre-empt Cities Almost to the Point of Irrelevance

Over the past decade, states have preempted cities across a broad range of policy areas, including policing and health. If anything, the pandemic has only accelerated the trend.

February 8, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Fewer Police, No Parades: The Squeeze on Local Budgets

Cities and counties face budget shortfalls in the billions, leading to furloughs and hiring freezes. Absent federal aid, further cuts are certain.

February 3, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Beyond Impeachment: Election Recriminations Continue Among Legislators

Around the country, legislators who backed the attempt to overturn the presidential election are being stripped of powerful posts. Some are seeking to adopt the mantle of political martyrs.

January 28, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

A Generation of Legislative Leaders Passes from the Scene

Michael Madigan and Mike Miller are the most prominent among a host of legislators who held office for decades and have recently been ousted from leadership, retired or passed away.

January 25, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

The Supreme Court Decision That Saved States Billions

States and localities tried for years to figure out ways to tax online sales, without success. The Supreme Court gave them a green light in 2018, which has proven key to surviving the pandemic financially.

January 22, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Next

The Biggest Issues to Watch in 2021

State legislatures will have a lot on their plates. They’ll deal with issues in wildly differing ways. We set the context for the 2021 session with an overview of everything from abortion to redistricting.

January 19, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Trump's Second Impeachment and the Lessons of History

The attack on Congress has led to impeachment and increased security in Washington and state capitols. Governing spoke with historian Jonathan Earle about political violence in the nation's past.

January 14, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

Prospects Brighten for State and Local Aid from Washington

With Democrats in control of the Senate and the rest of Washington, further stimulus is a near-certainty. State and local aid, which has been held up by the GOP, will be part of the mix.

January 11, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Pro-Trump Rallies Shut Down State Capitols During D.C. Attack

For months, protesters have been targeting government buildings and even the homes of public officials, with some making death threats. Their actions reflect a growing acceptance for political violence.

January 7, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

State Legislatures Face a Session Like No Other

Around the country, legislative leaders are still scrambling to figure out the safest way to meet in person. At least a half-dozen legislators have died from COVID-19, with dozens more infected.

January 4, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

It Took Decades for America to Become This Divided

Political polarization has become so familiar and entrenched that we barely think how it came about. The backstory is more than a half-century long, involving race, media and a diverging economy.

January 5, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

Absent Federal Aid, How Bad Are State Budgets?

The new congressional stimulus package does not include direct aid for states and localities. Only a few states have seen revenues increase from last year, meaning cutbacks are coming due to COVID spending pressures.

December 22, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Threats Mount Against Public Officials: 'Not What I Signed Up For'

Officials at all levels of government are receiving increased threats. They're not getting as much support as they should from officials at the highest levels or, in some cases, from law enforcement.

December 17, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

How the Pandemic Broke the Trend Toward Federal Expansion

Nearly every great modern crisis has led to an expansion of federal power, but President Trump left the pandemic response largely to the states. This year, federalism was a boon both to health and election management.

December 9, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Political Hypocrisy Is Undermining Public Health

Politicians who have imposed some of the nation's toughest coronavirus restrictions have been caught violating them. Their lack of self-control makes safety messages less convincing to the public.

December 3, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Faulty Data Systems Are Still Hampering Pandemic Response

Coronavirus dashboards are built on a pyramid of faxes, spreadsheets and phone calls. Public health technology investments have lagged behind other data-driven systems, making real-time information impossible to come by.

December 1, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

As Pandemic Wears On, Legislators Challenge Governors’ Authority

State lawmakers are increasingly unhappy about being sidelined, while complaining that governors have trampled civil liberties or harmed the economy. But they haven't presented a workable alternative to executive action.

November 30, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

With Trump Defeated, Why Are Democrats So Downcast?

The Democratic Party just had its most fervent wish come true but has already started tearing itself apart. Seth Masket, author of “Learning from Loss,” explains why the party is unwilling to celebrate.

November 19, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Trump's Not the First Politician Who Refused to Concede

In recent years, multiple candidates for governor and other state offices have declined to admit defeat. This has served to erode public trust and lessened cooperation among elected officials.

November 13, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

States and Localities Shouldn't Count on More Federal Aid

Mitch McConnell and other Republicans are opposed to further aid for states and localities. It looks like the Senate will stay in GOP hands, so prospects for relief next year have dimmed.

November 9, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Legislative Turnover at Lowest Level Seen Since 1920s

Republicans continue their dominance at the state level, with Democrats failing to take chambers ahead of redistricting. Two chambers leaders were unseated, while several states saw demographic breakthroughs.

November 6, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Five Reasons Donald Trump Lost the Presidency

The coronavirus harmed Trump’s re-election chances, but he had political weaknesses that were apparent even during good times. He lacked the political instincts to overcome them.

November 9, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Republicans Hold Their Edge in State-Level Politics

Republicans scored a net gain of one governorship, adding to their lead. The GOP gave up little ground at the legislative level, with Democrats failing to flip nearly all their targeted chambers.

November 3, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Incumbent Governors Win Reelection Across the Country

Live election results for all the most important state and local races.

November 4, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Why Sizable Numbers of Hispanics Are Sticking With Trump

Trump has been hostile toward immigrants and sometimes made racist remarks. His support among Hispanics remains stable, however, thanks to his policies on abortion, public safety and foreign policy.

November 3, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Voting Itself Becomes Question for Ballot Measures

There are a number of voting measures on ballots this year, including ranked choice voting proposals in Alaska and Massachusetts. Missouri and Virginia voters will decide who's in control of redistricting.

November 2, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

How State and Local Officials Plan to Prevent Election Violence

The U.S. has a long history of political violence, which has mostly been avoided in the recent past. State and local officials worry this year is shaping up as an exception.

October 30, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Defund Your Local Sheriff? Police Reform on Ballots Nationwide

Numerous measures curbing police power or pursuing criminal justice reform ideas are on state and local ballots this year. They predate the George Floyd protests but reflect current concerns.

October 29, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

With COVID Cases Rising, What Policymakers Need to Know

Amesh Adalja, a senior health scholar at the Johns Hopkins University, talks about improving treatments, preventing infections and understanding science as coronavirus case numbers rise and winter approaches.

October 28, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Number of LGBTQ Candidates This Year Shatters Records

The number of gay and trans candidates has increased more than 40 percent from 2018. Legislative candidates among them include an unusual number of women.

October 27, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Parties Fight for Legislative Control Ahead of Redistricting

Democrats are playing offense, looking at recapturing chambers in states where Biden has a good chance of winning. There aren't enough opportunities, however, for them to erase the GOP's national advantage.

October 23, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Who Are the Nation’s Best Governors? Conservative Groups Weigh In

ALEC and a group of conservative economists rate the governors of Texas, Georgia and South Dakota best in the nation. Measured largely on spending and tax rates, Democrats fare poorly in their ranking.

October 20, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Another 'Year of the Woman,' Only This Time More Republican

Republican women fared poorly in 2018, but this year there's been an increase in the number running at both the congressional and state levels.

October 16, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

COVID-19 Gives Governors' Re-election Hopes a Boost

There are only 11 races for governor this year. The pandemic has increased the incumbency advantage, giving most governors a high-profile chance to display leadership in a crisis.

October 13, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

A Group of Retired Republican Governors Comes Out for Biden

Eight former GOP governors are supporting the Democrat for president. They may not change many minds but could provide cover to wavering Republican voters who don't want to re-elect Trump.

October 8, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Response to Trump’s Illness Reveals Ugly Truth About America

Trump's coronavirus diagnosis has triggered an outpouring of glee and animosity from many Democrats. Biden and other politicians have wished the president well, but social media shows no sympathy.

October 2, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

'Apocalyptic Bingo': A Governor Copes With the COVID Crisis

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert took office during the depths of the Great Recession and is leaving while a pandemic is raging. For all that, he remains optimistic about his growing state.

October 5, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

More Voters Are Independent, But Minor Parties Still Struggle

Lots of people no longer feel at home with either the Democratic or Republican parties. They usually hate one of the major parties too much, however, to chance their vote on a third party.

September 29, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

What Happens to Cities When the Arts Go Dark?

For decades, cities relied on performing arts groups to help drive revitalization. Now nearly every company in the country has been shuttered for months, acting as a drag on local business.

September 25, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Why So Many Attorneys General Are Getting Into Trouble

State attorneys general are facing issues ranging from racism and sexual harassment to a fatal accident. Their scandals differ, but they have some underlying political dynamics in common.

September 22, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Due to Pandemic, Dozens of Governors and Mayors Face Recall Efforts

Recalls against governors in states including Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin appear to be going nowhere. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, however, is turning to the state supreme court to block an attempt.

September 17, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Violence Will Likely Escalate Ahead of the Election

There have already been clashes, sometimes fatal, between protesters and self-styled militia. The public appears to be growing more tolerant of political violence, at least when perpetrated by partisans on their side.

September 10, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Homeless Have Voting Rights but Face Many Hurdles

The Trump administration's ban on evictions will prevent millions from losing their homes ahead of the election. Those who are already homeless, however, may find themselves disenfranchised.

September 3, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Law Preventing Congress from Sending States the Coronavirus Bill

Congress is blocked from passing bills that impose unfunded mandates. The 25-year-old restriction isn't perfect but has saved states, cities and counties billions of dollars.

August 27, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Bipartisanship Takes a Hit in This Year's Legislative Primaries

More than a dozen incumbent legislators may have lost seats in Tuesday's primaries, including a state Senate president. The results continued a trend of insufficiently ardent partisans being unseated in both parties.

August 20, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Three Small Cities That Are Thriving Despite the Pandemic

Growth remains a bigger worry than unemployment in at least a few cities. They're scattered around the country, but their economies have a few qualities in common that have made them pandemic-proof.

August 19, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Police Chiefs Most Open to Reform Are the Ones Leaving

The cities that have been the most aggressive about demanding reform and altering policing practices are making it difficult for chiefs to carry out the desired policy changes — or even stay on the job.

August 17, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

Why Federal Aid Remains a Tough Sell for States and Localities

President Trump remains opposed to a bailout for "poorly run states." The administration may end up agreeing to help, but warnings about dire spending cuts have not yet prompted action.

August 7, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

With Colleges Closed, College Towns Can't Pay Their Bills

When students went home in March, some college towns lost half their populations. Tax and utility revenues have dropped and those cities are still wondering what sort of economies they'll have in the fall.

July 27, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

America's Governments Are at War with Each Other

The pandemic has stressed the federalist system to the point of open conflict. The feds, states and localities are all at odds over responses to health, the economy and public safety.

July 24, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

All Politics Is National, Especially When All Campaigns Are Online

Politics is increasingly nationalized, with more people voting the same way up and down the ballot. With nearly all campaigning and fundraising now happening online, that trend is likely to accelerate.

July 21, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Are Police Protests Leading to an Increase in Crime?

Homicides are up in major cities. The combination of pandemic, recession and the two-way street of distrust between police and the communities they serve has created a "toxic mix of despair."

July 14, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Community Design

Chicago Unveils Plan for Its Post-Pandemic Recovery

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is looking past the immediate health and economic challenges to map out programs for the city's future. She has ambitious ideas about attracting wealth while also addressing racial inequities.

July 10, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

An Impossible Situation: Schools Will Reopen, but Can They Be Safe?

President Trump insists schools must reopen in the fall. It's a widely shared priority in terms of both childhood development and the economy, but there are serious challenges with the coronavirus still on the rise.

July 9, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

Here Comes the Hard Part: States, Cities Face Grim Budget Picture

The fiscal year begins in most states and cities on July 1. Without further federal aid, many will have to re-examine just-passed budgets for cuts down the road.

July 1, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Legislative Leaders Are Losing in This Year's Primaries

Chamber leaders and committee chairs are losing their seats. It's not easy to face voters during a combined health and economic crisis, but many primaries also represent ideological battles.

June 25, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Why Public Health Officials Are Quitting During a Pandemic

Around the country, more than two-dozen top public health officials have left their jobs in recent weeks. If combating coronavirus wasn't stressful enough, several have received death threats or seen protests outside their homes.

June 24, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

How Protests Spread to Small-Town America

There have been Black Lives Matter protests in more cities and towns than any set of demonstrations in U.S. history. Rather than traveling to the nearest big city, residents are determined to take a stand close to home.

June 16, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Contact Tracing Apps Aren't Going to Solve the Pandemic

Google and Apple paired up to produce software allowing health departments to create apps that trace how COVID-19 spreads. But most states aren't interested in the system and most Americans don't want tracing apps at all.

June 15, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

A Crisis Within a Crisis: How COVID Fueled the Protests

The pandemic has hit black people especially hard in terms of health and employment. Those conditions intensified long-simmering anger over police brutality and racism.

June 8, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Protests Drown Out Public Health’s COVID-19 Warnings

For weeks, public officials have warned against the dangers of mass gatherings. Now, some seem OK with protests. That's going to make it harder to convince people to avoid other activities.

June 5, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Multiple Events Creating 'The Perfect Path to Divisions in Our Society'

Protests and violence around the country were triggered by a police-involved killing in Minneapolis, but are taking place against a backdrop of pandemic and economic collapse.

June 1, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Why Trump Attacked the Internet's First Amendment

The president wants social media sites to be investigated for political bias. His new executive order is the strongest attack yet on a key free speech protection for online platforms, but it's not the only one.

May 29, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

Pandemic Will Mean a Worse Retirement for Millions of Workers

In a typical recession, not many older workers lose their jobs. That's not the case this time. They face not only unemployment but the prospect of poverty, with pressures on 401(k)s and other retirement accounts.

June 1, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

States and Cities Continue Plunge into Financial Black Hole

States face revenue shortfalls exceeding 20 percent. Cities and counties have furloughed hundreds of thousands of workers. Already, public employment has fallen more than during the Great Recession.

May 26, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Initially Lauded as Heroes, Governors Come Under Attack

It's not just angry protesters. Governors are finding their stay-at-home orders challenged in court and their authority increasingly under fire in legislatures and from local officials.

May 21, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Next

As Economy Reopens, a Push to Rethink Regulations

During the pandemic, most governors have signed executive orders waiving requirements regarding medical licensing and health facilities. Republicans want to shield businesses broadly from civil liability for the spread of COVID-19.

May 15, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Without Summer Jobs, Cities Seek Alternatives for Youth

Given the budget crunch, cities are cutting or canceling summer jobs programs. Some are trying to find ways of keeping kids engaged online.

May 5, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Economic Reality That’s Splitting the Country Apart

Growth is increasingly concentrated in a small number of cities. That creates problems within those metro areas and threatens to deprive most of the country of prosperity.

January 29, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

What Government Gets Wrong About Technology

For too long, tech has been someone else’s problem — something policymakers didn’t believe they needed to think about or even fully understand. It’s time to define what we want from a revolution that’s affecting everything.

January 22, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Medicaid IT: Finally Ready to Move Out of the Dark Ages

For more than a decade, the feds have been pushing states to modernize their Medicaid management information systems so they could report comparable data. The effort is starting to pay off.

January 21, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

GOP Dominance Likely to Continue at the State Level

Political attention this year will largely be focused on the presidential race, but at the start of a redistricting cycle both parties are pledging to spend record amounts on state elections.

January 17, 2020
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Archive

What Happens When Governors and Legislators Don't Get Along

Why are some lawmakers calling each other ‘bastards’ and ‘bat shit crazy’? Because governors in a dozen states now face legislatures controlled by the other party. While some can reach compromises, policy fights and angry words are common.

November 22, 2019
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Archive

Despite Concerns About Election Security, 'Vulnerabilities Abound'

Hacking isn't the only problem. Misinformation campaigns and the refusal of politicians to admit defeat all serve to undermine voter confidence. Now, states need to anticipate new threats.

November 15, 2019
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Archive

Suburban Vote This Year Flashes Warning Signs for GOP

Democrats scored gains in numerous once-Republican suburbs in state and local races Tuesday, most notably in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Republican strategists are nervous about that trend continuing into 2020.

November 7, 2019
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Latest News

Why Governors Are the Only Candidates Voters Will Break Party Ranks to Support

Unlike other federal and state offices, there’s still ‘wiggle room’ for ticket-splitting in contests for governor. Tuesday’s result in Kentucky means there will be a dozen governors whose party lost the last presidential election in their state.

November 6, 2019
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Archive

'The Ultimate Unforced Error': Texas House Speaker Caught in Political Scandal

Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen is caught in a scandal of his own making. He's not the only state legislative leader across the country facing political peril.

August 22, 2019
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Archive

Why the GOP Frontrunner Might Lose the Mississippi Governor's Race

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has been the frontrunner all year, but in Tuesday's primary, he fell just short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff.

August 5, 2019
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Archive

Without Help From Washington, Governors Chart Own Path on Infrastructure

A long-awaited transportation bill advanced in Congress this week. The National Governors Association isn't waiting on its passage to make road funding and safety its top priorities.

July 31, 2019
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Archive

America Has a Health-Care Crisis — in Prisons

Privatization and years of inadequate resources have left the incarcerated population with abysmal medical care.

August 12, 2019
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Archive

A License for a Lemonade Stand? States Rethink Business Licensing

The debate is playing out around the country but has been most controversial in Texas.

August 13, 2019
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Archive

More Than 700: Why So Many People Are Running for Office in Seattle This Year

A booming population and new campaign finance options have brought out a record number of candidates.

August 13, 2019
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Archive

The Long Road to Recovery After Years of Severe Budget Cuts

Eight years of state government atrophy may be coming to an end in Kansas. But it will take a long time, and quite a bit of pain.

August 2, 2019
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Politics & Elections

As Rural America Slips, Governors Look for Ways to Help

Rural America lags behind metro areas in terms of population growth, business creation and workforce participation.

July 29, 2019
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Archive

'A Pervasive Evil': Governors Raise Awareness About Trafficking

Most states have recently passed laws to combat trafficking. But they aren't always funded or enforced, and some activists say they could have the opposite intended effect.

July 25, 2019
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Archive

Socialism Goes Local: DSA Candidates Are Winning in Big Cities

Democratic socialist candidates have won seats this year in Chicago, Denver and Philadelphia. More are likely to join them.

July 24, 2019
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Archive

Supreme Court Punts Partisan Gerrymandering to States and Congress, But They May Not Act

The 5-4 ruling leaves no options for challenging maps perceived as unfairly partisan in federal court.

June 27, 2019
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Archive

GOP Holds Voter-Registration Advantage in Races for Governor and President

More people are registering as Republicans than Democrats in states with gubernatorial elections this year and in some 2020 battleground states.

June 26, 2019
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Archive

Probation and Parole Violations Are Filling Up Prisons and Costing States Billions

According to the most comprehensive report of its kind, states spend more than $9 billion a year incarcerating people who violate community supervision terms that even corrections officials admit are difficult to comply with.

June 18, 2019
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Archive

How Trump Became Counties' Best Friend and Biggest Ally

The administration is focusing on a level of government that past presidents have often neglected.

June 25, 2019
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Archive

Oops! Secretary of State's Clerical Error Sets Back Iowa Ballot Measures

Supporters of the initiatives will have to wait at least two years before they go before voters.

July 15, 2019
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Archive

Welfare's Once-Popular Cap on Kids Loses Favor in States

The policy was intended to discourage government dependence. It didn’t seem to work.

July 10, 2019
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Politics & Elections

From 42 Agencies to 15: How Arkansas Overhauled State Government Without Laying Anyone Off

Gov. Asa Hutchinson spearheaded the streamlining.

July 12, 2019
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Archive

The Parking Enforcement Method Ruled Unconstitutional

Cities are chucking the chalk.

July 26, 2019
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Archive

Supreme Court: Virginia House Lacks Authority to Defend Gerrymandering

The ruling, which united an unusual coalition of justices, could boost Democrats' chances in November.

June 17, 2019
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Archive

What the Governors Feuding With Their Own Parties Have in Common

The governors of Kentucky, New Jersey and West Virginia face different controversies, but they're all wealthy businessmen who had never before held elected office.

June 11, 2019
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Archive

Progressives Find Political Success, and Pushback, as Prosecutors

Queens, N.Y., will soon join the list of places electing district attorneys who reject the tough-on-crime policies of the past. But their approach isn't always well-received by governors.

May 30, 2019
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Archive

Nonprofits Don’t Have to Pay Taxes, But Boston Still Hopes They’ll Chip In

Half the city’s land mass is occupied by government entities and other tax-exempt institutions. Some city councilors say nonprofits are not paying their fair share.

June 14, 2019
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Archive

Is 311 Fair?

A new study examines whether cities respond to complaints as quickly in poor neighborhoods as they do in rich ones.

June 17, 2019
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Archive

Want to Slash Your State’s Budget? This Woman Can Help.

Donna Arduin has made a career out of consulting with governors on budget cuts.

June 25, 2019
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Archive

Where’s the Beef? States Ban Veggie Burgers From Being Labeled 'Meat'

Lawmakers say they want to clear up confusion over plant-based meat substitutes.

June 11, 2019
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Archive

Why America's Least Popular Governor Will Likely Get Reelected

In Tuesday's GOP primary, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin won a bare majority of the vote.

May 20, 2019
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Archive

Recall Elections Are Becoming a More Common and Coordinated 'Partisan Power Play'

In Colorado, Republicans are trying to oust a dozen Democratic state legislators. It's the latest example of a political party using once-rare recalls as a way to gain control.

May 15, 2019
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Archive

State Legislatures' Group Gets First New Leader in 32 Years

Tim Storey, who will take over as NCSL's executive director, has pledged to maintain the organization's bipartisan approach.

May 13, 2019
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Archive

'Being Governor Ain't What It Used to Be': How Their Road to the White House Became an Uphill Climb

All but one of America's presidents between 1976 and 2004 were governors. Since then, state leaders have barely stood a chance at the Oval Office.

May 8, 2019
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Archive

The Governor, House and Most Senators in Kansas Want to Expand Medicaid. So Why Did It Just Fail?

The debate is likely dead until next year.

May 1, 2019
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Archive

What the Decline of Newspapers Means for Government

About one in five Americans now lack regular access to local media coverage. Studies show this is bad for politics, municipal debt -- and even the environment.

April 24, 2019
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Archive

Why the Death Penalty Has Lost Support From Both Parties

A generation ago, most Democrats and Republicans backed capital punishment. But in New Hampshire, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle just voted to abolish it, reflecting a nationwide trend.

April 16, 2019
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Archive

Eric Holcomb’s Winning Political Strategy: Play Nice

The Republican governor of Indiana has quietly become one of the most effective and popular state leaders in the country.

May 22, 2019
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Archive

St. Louis Scraps Potential City-County Merger

In the face of widespread opposition and the guilty plea of a top supporter, proponents of a single metro government have put their plans on hold.

May 7, 2019
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Archive

The Go-To Lawyer for Governors Facing Impeachment

Ross Garber is the man to call when state leaders are in political peril.

April 22, 2019
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Archive

In Wake of Scandals, 2 Major Cities May Curb Politicians' Power

Councilmembers in Chicago and Philadelphia, which give them unusual amounts of authority, are facing criminal charges.

May 10, 2019
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Archive

Should Cities Regulate How You Design Your Home?

One state tried to remove local governments' power to dictate things like paint colors.

May 20, 2019
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Archive

Chicago's Lori Lightfoot Among a Wave of Lesbian Mayors

From Kansas City, Mo., to Tampa, Fla., a record number of large cities could elect an openly gay woman as mayor this year.

April 9, 2019
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Archive

Lori Lightfoot, Chicago’s New Mayor, Promises Change, Confronts ‘Massive’ Challenges

No black woman or openly gay individual has led a city as large as Chicago. She will have to confront chronic budget shortfalls, population loss and a high murder rate.

April 2, 2019
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Moderates Are 'Politically Homeless.' Does Either Party Want Them?

With the 2020 elections in sight, both parties are appealing to their bases, leaving voters in the middle uncertain which way to turn.

March 27, 2019
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Texas Aims to Cut Taxes, This Time Without Cutting Education Funding

How will it achieve both goals when half of the property tax revenue goes to schools?

April 1, 2019
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Forget Congress: Many State Lawmakers Are Running for Mayor This Year

Why are they breaking norms and eyeing city hall instead of Capitol Hill?

April 12, 2019
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Why California Is Suing Its Own Cities

In one of his first moves as governor, Gavin Newsom is taking some cities to court for failing to address the affordable housing crisis.

March 19, 2019
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Can Detroit's Turnaround Go Beyond Downtown?

Mayor Mike Duggan has pledged to spend $130 million to help revive neglected neighborhoods in the city.

April 1, 2019
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As Hate Speech Pervades Politics, Many Politicians Escape Consequence

After making racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic comments, elected officials often stay in office, either by apologizing or attacking their opponents. But public servants may have a harder time keeping their jobs.

March 13, 2019
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Why a Judge Ruled That the Entire North Carolina Legislature Is Illegitimate

In a decision that stunned both parties, Judge G. Bryan Collins ruled last Friday that the state's lawmakers don't have the power to pass constitutional amendments. His reasoning traces back to racial gerrymandering.

February 27, 2019
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Wary of Trump's Approach, Governors Seek to Forge Own Trade Agreements

At the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington this weekend, many governors said the president's tariffs are hurting business in their states.

February 24, 2019
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Despite Economic Growth, Governors Worry About Skills Gap and Unemployment

At the winter meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington this weekend, the lack of proper workforce training was an overarching concern.

February 23, 2019
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Is Chicago Ready for a Third Mayor Daley?

Chicago will hold its first round of voting on Tuesday to pick Rahm Emanuel's replacement. Former Clinton administration official Bill Daley is among the frontrunners, but the huge field makes it uncertain who will proceed to the April runoff.

February 25, 2019
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After Years of New Voting Restrictions, Momentum Swings the Other Way

Some states are still purging voter rolls and requiring IDs. But most are now looking to expand access to the ballot box.

March 8, 2019
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The States Where the Minority Party Has Major Legislative Clout

Republicans hold a small fraction of seats in two Democratic states, but they enjoy outsized power.

March 27, 2019
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The Democrat Who Could Be Mississippi's Next Governor

Democrats rarely win elections in the South. If anyone can do it, it's Jim Hood.

March 5, 2019
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Legal in the State or Not, Some Cities Ban Marijuana

In New Jersey, dozens of localities have outlawed sales or possession of the drug even before the legislature legalizes it.

March 1, 2019
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The Growing Need for Opposition Research -- on Yourself -- in Today's Political World

After the blackface scandals involving Virginia politicians, expect more candidates to dig up dirt on themselves while keeping in mind the changing culture of America and the power of the internet.

February 15, 2018
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Despite Scandals, Virginia Politicians Refuse to Resign. Now What?

If history is any indication, the current controversies will likely change how Ralph Northam governs. He's already made racial reconciliation a new priority.

February 13, 2019
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Virginia Scandals Threaten Democrats' High Election Hopes

With control of the legislature on the line in November, the party could pay a price for the blackface revelations by Virginia's governor and attorney general, and the sexual assault allegations against the lieutenant governor.

February 6, 2019
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Is Northam Next? A Recent History of Governor Resignations

Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is refusing to leave office after the resurfacing of his yearbook page, which shows one person dressed in blackface and another as a Ku Klux Klan member.

February 3, 2019
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Some Suburban State Lawmakers Are Leaving the GOP

Since the midterm elections, Republican legislators in California, Kansas and New Jersey have switched to the Democratic party.

January 29, 2019
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LGBT State Workers Gain Rights in Red and Purple States

Several new governors have signed anti-discrimination executive orders. So did Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, but his had no mention of sexual orientation or gender identity.

January 24, 2019
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How Lawmakers Can Raise Their Own Pay in a Less Controversial Way

There are lessons to be learned from New York and Pennsylvania.

February 21, 2019
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With New Judges, Houston Could Flip the Script on Evictions

After Democrats swept judicial elections last year, Harris County is set to become much less landlord-friendly.

February 6, 2019
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Amazon's Curse of an Exploding Job Market

Voters aren’t satisfied with how Seattle is managing its growth, which has largely been driven by Amazon's presence.

February 11, 2019
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Hmong Americans Gain Political Representation

The number of Hmong legislators, who came from Southeast Asia as refugees, tripled in the Minnesota state House this year.

February 1, 2019
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Lawmakers Eye Changes to Ballot Measures -- Passed and Future

Legislators are seeking to roll back some of the high-profile ballot measures that voters approved in November. They also want to make it harder for initiatives to pass in the future.

January 16, 2019
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2018's Least Inspiring Moments in State and Local Politics: Insults, Threats and Bad Tweets

Most of them led to a resignation or election loss.

December 21, 2018
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Why Are Conservative Voters Supporting Liberal Ballot Measures?

Staunchly Republican rural counties voted for progressive policies at the ballot box this year, including minimum wage hikes and Medicaid expansion.

December 19, 2018
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Wisconsin's GOP Speaker on Power Grabs, Tony Evers and NCSL's Future

Republican Robin Vos, who engineered the lame-duck bills to strip power from the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general, maintains that the maneuver was a nonpartisan attempt to restore balance between the branches.

December 18, 2018
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Do School Vouchers Only Benefit the Wealthy?

Most of the students using Arizona’s vouchers are already in top-performing schools.

January 16, 2019
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Why Don't Alaska Governors Last Longer Than One Term?

Incoming Gov. Mike Dunleavy is the sixth person to win the office in as many elections. The constant turnover has made it difficult for the state to solve its biggest problems.

January 14, 2019
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In Seattle, Minimum Wage Hike Comes at a Cost to Some Workers

Advocates say higher incomes help low-wage employees, but one new report suggests the reality is more complicated.

January 23, 2019
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These Cops Wear Uniforms But Have No Training and Little Oversight

“Putting somebody out there on the street who has very little training is not fair to the community and it’s not fair to the officer, but it happens all the time.”

January 28, 2019
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All or Nothing: How State Politics Became a Winner-Take-All World

In practically every state, one party now holds all the legislative power. And once they get it, they’re keeping it.

January 7, 2019
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After Backlash From Own Party, New Jersey Democrats Drop Redistricting Plan

The state's Democrats sought to shift redistricting in their own favor, contradicting their national party's stance against gerrymandering.

December 17, 2018
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Not Just Power Grabs: Lame-Duck Lawmakers Are Rushing Many Controversial Bills

In the states holding post-election, pre-inauguration sessions this year, Republican legislators are passing sweeping bills on a wide range of issues -- some that weaken laws just approved by voters.

December 12, 2018
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'Nobody Ran on Stripping Power Away': Putting the Wisconsin Vote in Context

"You see how easy it is to have what amounts to minority rule, to defy norms and take power that really isn't yours to take," says an expert on the state's politics.

December 5, 2018
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Lame-Duck Power Grabs Aren't New, But Republicans in Wisconsin and Michigan Are ‘More Aggressive’

Legislatures in recent years have increased, and intensified, their attempts to assert authority over other branches of government.

December 5, 2018
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In 2 Remaining Secretary of State Races, Voting Rights Take Center Stage

Georgia and New Hampshire will elect secretaries of state next week, in a year that has been plagued with claims of voter suppression across the country.

November 28, 2018
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'Rainbow Wave' Hits Statehouses

Seven states had never elected an openly gay or transgender legislator before this year. Three of them just did in an election that substantially increased the number of LGBT lawmakers overall.

November 21, 2018
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Why More and More Cities Aren't Prioritizing Your Parking Troubles

Cities are eliminating requirements for new buildings to have parking.

December 10, 2018
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Sore Losers or Necessary Checks? Wisconsin GOP Seeks to Limit New Democratic Governor's Authority

It wouldn't be the first time lawmakers have attempted to strip a new governor of some power. But it is rare.

November 14, 2018
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This Small New England City Was on the Verge of Bankruptcy. Now It’s a Turnaround Success Story.

Springfield, Mass., is in the best shape it’s been in a generation.

December 3, 2018
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What J.B. Pritzker’s Election Means for Illinois

Of all the new governors, few will change the culture of their states as much as him.

November 14, 2018
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Under China's New Rules, U.S. Recycling Suffers

Some cities are closing recycling plants. Others are ending curbside pickup. For recycling to be sustainable, consumers must learn to sort their trash better.

December 4, 2018
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With a Divided Congress, States Will Likely Take Up the Slack

With Democrats taking over the U.S. House, Congress may grind to a halt. Red and blue states, meanwhile, will go their separate ways on abortion, taxes, education, health and voting rights.

November 7, 2018
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In 2018 State Races, Partisans Retreated to Their Corners

Most red states will stay red, and the blue states will remain the minority. But voters did reject several more ideological candidates in favor of politicians who presented themselves as more pragmatic.

November 7, 2018
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Power Protected: North Carolina Voters Reject Republicans' Effort to Weaken Governor's Authority

The state's GOP-controlled legislature hoped voters would approve measures to give them more say over judicial and ethics appointments, but both were defeated soundly.

November 6, 2018
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In Major Cities, Most Incumbent Mayors Glide to Reelection

But the races in Phoenix and Little Rock, Ark., are headed for runoffs.

November 7, 2018
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Early Voting Is Up, Significantly. What Does That Mean for Tuesday?

Turnout has already exceeded the 2014 numbers -- especially among some Democratic-leaning demographics. But there are reasons for Republican optimism, too.

November 2, 2018
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'Not Exactly a Blowout': Democrats Score Modest Gains in State Legislatures

Democrats flipped six chambers, but Republicans still control nearly twice as many.

November 7, 2018
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Most Ethics and Campaign Finance Measures Win Voters' Approval

All but one passed.

November 7, 2018
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Can Andrew Gillum Break Republicans' Winning Streak in Florida?

The state hasn't elected a Democratic governor since 1994, but the progressive nominee is consistently -- and narrowly -- ahead in the polls against Republican Ron DeSantis.

October 30, 2018
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'My Comrades Will Kill You': Pipe Bombs Sent in Year of Many Death Threats Against Politicians

The list of prominent national Democrats being sent packages containing bombs is growing. Threats of violence have also become more common against, and sometimes from, state and local candidates and public officials.

October 25, 2018
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Local Ballot Results: Teen Voting, Campaign Finance, Housing and More

A rundown of the most interesting and consequential local measures.

November 7, 2018
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All of the Above? The Ancient Voting Method One City Might Adopt

Advocates say "approval voting," which has never been used in electoral politics, offers voters more flexibility.

October 19, 2018
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Not Just Georgia's Brian Kemp: Other Secretaries of State Accused of Abusing Elections Power

Kemp faces allegations of using his position to suppress minority voters and gain unfair advantage in the governor's race, highlighting the office's increasing partisanship and potential for conflicts of interest.

October 17, 2018
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The Man of Tomorrow: As Jerry Brown Leaves Office, He's Still Focused on the Future

Unlike most politicians, California's outgoing governor has made planning ahead a staple of his leadership -- even if it means going against his own party.

November 12, 2018
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State Tax Breaks Are Hurting Chicago's Suburbs

While some homeowners are now paying nothing in property taxes, businesses and local governments are feeling the pinch.

October 31, 2018
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With 2020 Census Looming, Governments Face Many Unknowns

Uncertainties about resources, and a question about residents' citizenship status, are making localities more nervous than usual about not counting people.

November 5, 2018
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Where Voters Made It Easier, and Harder, to Vote in the Future

The night's biggest voting rights measure was in Florida, where more than 1 million felons had their right to vote restored.

November 7, 2018
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Amid Supreme Court Impeachments, West Virginia Voters Weaken Judges' Power

The state where lawmakers put every justice on trial this year is also the only state where the legislature has no control over the judicial budget. Voters changed that on Tuesday.

November 6, 2018
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Republicans Could Take Control of These 2 Coastal Blue States

An unpopular governor and a moderate candidate have given Republicans the chance for rare victories in Connecticut and Oregon.

October 3, 2018
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Shady Real Estate Deals Plunge Under New Regulations

Since the U.S. started making anonymous homebuyers reveal their true identities, luxury prices in hot markets have dropped.

October 1, 2018
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Underneath This 'Pop-Up Forest' Is an Abandoned Highway

Akron, Ohio, calls it the Innerbelt National Forest.

October 16, 2018
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Scott Walker: Born-Again Centrist?

Long considered a conservative hero, Wisconsin’s governor is sounding kinder and gentler as he seeks a third term.

September 28, 2018
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Politics & Elections

'The Midwest Is Swinging Again': Democrats' Best Chances to Flip Governor Seats

Only one Republican in the region looks like a certain winner. The rest are at some risk.

September 26, 2018
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Fed Up by Corruption, Arkansas Voters Could Revisit Term Limits

Four years ago, lawmakers snuck a term-limits extension onto the ballot. Now, thanks to recent statehouse scandals, voters may roll that back.

September 25, 2018
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Crime Victims' Rights Added to Several States' Constitutions

Supporters of so-called Marsy's Law hope eventually to amend the U.S. Constitution.

November 6, 2018
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Politics & Elections

Where's My Endorsement? Party Support Is Harder to Get This Year

In an unusual trend, prominent politicians, including three sitting Republican governors, are refusing to endorse their own party's picks for governor.

September 19, 2018
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Democratic Primary Turnout Is Up 64%. Will That Matter in November?

Republicans, by comparison, saw 22 percent more people vote this season than in the 2014 midterms.

September 19, 2018
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Why Has 2018 Been Such a Bad Election Year for Lieutenant Governors?

Almost all those running for promotion to governor lost their party's primaries.

September 12, 2018
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After More Than 30 Years, the Leader of State Legislatures to Step Down

Bill Pound, the executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures since 1987, helped preserve bipartisanship among lawmakers.

September 10, 2018
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Politics & Elections

Rahm Emanuel Will Leave Chicago With Crime Still High and Schools Still Struggling

Chicago's mayor shocked the city on Tuesday by announcing he will not seek a third term.

September 4, 2018
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State Supreme Courts Increasingly Face Partisan Impeachment Threats

The trial to impeach the entire West Virginia Supreme Court starts this week. It's just one example of a growing trend among unhappy lawmakers.

September 11, 2018
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Politics & Elections

Progressive Candidates for Governor Trail in the Money Race

While progressive candidates for Congress are being generously supported, gubernatorial hopefuls are being badly outraised by their GOP opponents.

September 6, 2018
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The Story Behind Andrew Gillum's Shocking Election Victory in Florida

The Tallahassee mayor's win in the Democratic primary for governor is one of the year's biggest upsets. Can a progressive beat a Trump-endorsed candidate in this red state?

August 29, 2018
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In Tight Race for Arizona Governor, Focus Is on Education Funding

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey faces a tough fight for reelection.

August 21, 2018
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How Centrist Is Colorado? Governor's Race Will Test That Reputation

Rather than going after voters in the middle, both the Democratic and Republican nominees are playing to their base.

September 18, 2018
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Sorry Politicians, You Can't Block Critics on Twitter

Courts have ruled that access to public figures on social media is a constitutional right.

September 12, 2018
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Too Soon for Louisiana to Celebrate Its Budget?

Louisiana has "stopped the bleeding," but political observers point out that the financially strained state still has several major spending problems.

September 4, 2018
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Suburbs See Apartment-Building Boom

Not everyone is happy about this trend.

September 11, 2018
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Mysterious Savings: Health Providers Question Iowa's Medicaid Claim

In the span of five months, the state says it tripled the amount it was saving by privatizing Medicaid.

September 10, 2018
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Why California Lawmakers, Begrudgingly, Banned Soda Taxes

The beverage industry used a tactic that could become more common with other interest groups.

August 30, 2018
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Politics & Elections

Transgender Candidate Makes History in a Year of 'Firsts' for Women

With a month of primaries left, the record for the number of female nominees for governor has already been broken. Some of them are also the first black, Latina and Native American women nominated by a major party.

August 15, 2018
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How One of the Most Vulnerable Governors Staged a Comeback

After the state sent out a false nuclear attack warning in January, Hawaii Gov. David Ige trailed in polls. Now he's favored to win reelection.

August 8, 2018
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Politics & Elections

Blue-State Seats Democrats Can't Win

Any blue wave would have to be pretty big to threaten these popular Republican incumbent governors.

August 8, 2018
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In Florida's GOP Primary for Governor, It’s Establishment vs. Trump

President Trump will stump for Ron DeSantis in the state on Tuesday. Regardless of who wins the primary, Democrats are hoping a blue wave will help them recapture the governor’s seat in November.

August 1, 2018
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Ferguson Prosecutor Faces First Political Test Since Michael Brown Shooting

Bob McCulloch, who refused to indict the police officer involved in the teenager's death, faces a serious challenge in the Aug. 7 primary. His opponent represents a rise in candidates dedicated to criminal justice reform.

July 30, 2018
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After Trump-Backed Candidate Wins Nomination, Georgia Governor's Race Becomes Historic 'Battle of the Bases'

Controversial candidate Brian Kemp won the GOP runoff on Tuesday. He will face progressive Democrat Stacey Abrams in November, who could be the nation's first black female governor.

July 25, 2018
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Facing One Troubling Russia Revelation After Another, Election Officials Work to Prevent a 'Digital Watergate'

States are stepping up their election security but face many challenges: a president still skeptical of Russian interference, a lack of money, and reliance on private vendors for voting equipment and software, to name a few.

July 18, 2018
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Voter Turnout Is Up, Especially Among Democrats. What Does That Mean for November?

More people are casting primary ballots than four years ago. But that year, turnout was the lowest since World War II.

July 11, 2018
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Progressives' Next Target: How Worried Should Andrew Cuomo Be?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's upset is a warning for more moderate incumbents like New York's governor, who can't feel safe while the Democratic Party is shifting to the left.

July 3, 2018
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Not Just Joe Crowley: Many State Lawmakers Lost Primaries This Week

New York's congressional race wasn't the only one with an upset on Tuesday. An anti-incumbent wave hit two states' legislative elections.

June 28, 2018
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Gerrymandering Critics Suffer Twin Blows at the Supreme Court

The Texas case involves racial gerrymandering, while the North Carolina case deals with partisan gerrymandering -- something the justices have hinted is unconstitutional but have yet to rule against.

June 25, 2018
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Voting Rights Debate Moves From Statehouses to Ballot Boxes

Voters will weigh in this fall on voter registration, campaign finance and redistricting.

July 10, 2018
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This City Removed 2 Confederate Statues. Then the State Retaliated.

Inside the $250,000 fight between Memphis and Tennessee.

July 2, 2018
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In Rural America, Violent Crime Reaches Highest Level in a Decade

The loss of jobs and the opioid epidemic are two of the biggest reasons.

July 13, 2018
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Different Energy Boom, Same Mistakes?

Critics say West Virginia, which is enjoying an explosion of natural gas production and jobs, is repeating the missteps it made with the coal industry.

July 9, 2018
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A New Twist on an Old Health Care Idea

All-payer health care, the idea of paying hospitals a flat rate, is making a comeback.

July 19, 2018
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The Bipartisan Backlash That Spurred Trump's Reversal on Family Separations

His executive order, signed on Wednesday, comes after days of governors and mayors escalating their words of opposition into actions attempting to block the immigration policy announced in April.

June 20, 2018
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One Close Race for Governor. Two Flawed Front-Runners.

Both major parties in Minnesota are holding their endorsement conventions this weekend. Only one of the front-runners is seeking their party's approval.

May 30, 2018
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Can the California GOP Stop Its 'Death Spiral'?

Republicans are split over whether they should move to the middle or embrace their right-wing base.

May 31, 2018
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The Problem With School Takeovers

Studies show they're ineffective and may unequally impact black and Hispanic communities.

June 28, 2018
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The Architecture Critic Who Wants to Remake Los Angeles

The city's first chief design officer comes to the job from the Los Angeles Times.

June 15, 2018
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White Flight Returns, This Time From the Suburbs

White residents are either moving back downtown -- or to farther-out exurbs.

May 29, 2018
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How Old Is Old Enough to Get Married?

States are raising the age of consent to protect children from forced marriage. No state has gone as far as Delaware.

May 30, 2018
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The Importance (and Neglect) of America's 'Middle Neighborhoods'

When a neighborhood isn't rich -- and isn't poor -- government tends to forget about it.

June 8, 2018
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'Not Pure Enough': An Ultra-Conservative State Nominates a Pragmatist for Governor

Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little will now face state Rep. Paulette Jordan, who could be the first Native American elected governor of any state. He's the heavy favorite to win.

May 16, 2018
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Cooperating With Trump on Immigration Takes Political Toll on Sheriffs

There may be no politics more local than a campaign for sheriff, but the charged national issue of immigration has become suddenly salient. The defeat of two prominent sheriffs in North Carolina may set a template for progressive challenges nationwide.

May 9, 2018
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What Eric Schneiderman Means for New York State's Culture of Corruption

Domestic abuse is a different problem from financial corruption, but New York's political system seems to promote scandals of all kinds.

May 8, 2018
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Goodbye, Greitens: Meet Mike Parson, Missouri's New Governor

Five months after a sex and blackmail scandal broke, Gov. Eric Greitens will resign facing potential criminal charges. His replacement, a conservative with good lawmaker relations, is likely to achieve what Greitens could not.

May 29, 2018
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Eric Garcetti on Presidential Bid: America 'Needs' a Mayor

Garcetti, who won reelection as mayor of Los Angeles last year, has made no secret of his presidential ambitions. In an interview, he suggested a mayor would be more pragmatic and "decent" than President Trump.

May 3, 2018
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Politics & Elections

As Primary Season Heats Up, the Left Battles the Left

In races for governor around the country, the Democrats' preferred candidates are having to fend off attacks from progressive insurgents.

May 3, 2018
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Politics & Elections

Talking Trash: Why Politics Has Gotten Nastier

Negative partisanship has reached new depths, with candidates increasingly willing to insult one another directly.

May 1, 2018
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Voting Rights for Felons Becoming a Key Issue for Democrats

Florida has emerged as a battleground in the fight over the 6 million people, in and out of jail, who can't vote because they were convicted of a felony.

April 25, 2018
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How Higher Ed Became a Partisan Wedge Issue

As states debate the purpose of public universities, some say politics is playing an outsized role.

May 24, 2018
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State Lawmakers Face Most Challengers in Decades

Recent election cycles have seen more than 40 percent of state legislative seats left uncontested. Not this year.

May 16, 2018
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When Blue-Collar Jobs Disappear, White-Collar Workers Leave

Some places are losing more lawyers and accountants than factory workers.

May 4, 2018
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Want to Work in a Morgue? You Might Already Qualify.

In some states, the minimal requirements are leading to inaccurate reports of homicides and suicides.

May 1, 2018
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One State’s Opioid Success Story

In just one year, Rhode Island reduced the overdose death rate among former prisoners by 61 percent.

May 3, 2018
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Is Selling Tax-Free Liquor Tax Evasion?

As out-of-staters flock to New Hampshire to stock up on alcohol, its neighboring states think so.

May 7, 2018
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Archive

How 4/20 Actually Helps Police

Law enforcement departments across the country use the marijuana holiday as a way to build their followers and soften their image on social media.

April 19, 2018
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Politics & Elections

The Litmus Test for (Most) Republicans Running for Governor

The president remains popular among Republican voters, leading most GOP candidates to pledge their allegiance to him. But they may shift that strategy after the primaries.

April 12, 2018
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Don't Get Mad, Get Elected: The Rise of the Revenge Candidate

Political novices are running for office at all levels of government -- many driven by anger over their current representatives' policies and behavior.

April 19, 2018
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The New Fight Over 'Dark Money' Campaign Donations

Some cities want to make campaign donors identify themselves. But lawmakers and lawsuits are getting in their way.

April 5, 2018
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On Redistricting, Supreme Court Not Quite Ready to Change the Rules

The justices heard arguments on Wednesday in a Maryland case that could, for the first time, limit partisan gerrymandering. They didn't appear to have a consensus on how to address the problem.

March 28, 2018
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Politics & Elections

Why It’s So Hard for Lawmakers to Win Governor’s Races

"I can count on one hand the number of top [legislative] leaders who have successfully run for major statewide office."

April 18, 2018
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When Lieutenant Governors Leave, Some States Struggle to Fill the Position

It’s the second highest-ranking job in state government, and yet, no one seems to want it.

April 5, 2018
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Secretive Kansas Starts to Open Up

After the Kansas City Star revealed a deep culture of secrecy in the state’s government, politicians have started to address the lack of transparency.

April 6, 2018
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After Wildfires, Housing Crisis Complicates California’s Rebuild

In a region that values open space, the idea of expanding the housing supply is a tough sell -- even after the disaster destroyed 5,000 homes.

April 1, 2018
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A Whopper of a Court Case: Can Citizens Sue States?

In a handful of states, they can't. A lawsuit involving Burger King was supposed to settle the debate in Arkansas.

April 23, 2018
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Why There Are So Many Bad Sheriffs

In a job with tons of power and practically no oversight from voters, law enforcement or politicians, corruption can be easy to get away with.

April 2, 2018
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Politics & Elections

Teachers Aren't Just Striking, They're Running for Office

Motivated by education cuts and a nationwide spirit of activism, dozens of teachers are running for legislative seats across the country.

March 15, 2018
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Primaries Turn Texas a Deeper Shade of Red

In the GOP civil war between populists and centrists, populists gained ground in Tuesday's elections that kicked off the year's primary season.

March 7, 2018
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With Guns in the Spotlight, Candidates for Governor Recalibrate Their Positions

Guns have suddenly emerged as a central issue in this year's races. Navigating the issue will be difficult for both parties.

March 1, 2018
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Politics & Elections

Will 2018 Be the Year of Independents?

Several experienced or well-funded independent candidates are running for governor. In some cases, leaving the Democratic or Republican party to do it.

March 1, 2018
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‘Stories Are Going to Be Lost’: Mourning the Decline of Alt-Weeklies

More than a dozen alternative weeklies have shut down in the past 20 years, increasing the likelihood that local scandals will go unnoticed.

March 13, 2018
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Why Rents Are Actually Lowering in Some Big Cities

But renters may not want to celebrate just yet.

March 16, 2018
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What Counts as a Felony? For Stealing, States Are Raising the Bar.

Some are increasing the amount of stolen goods that make theft a felony. But it can be a hard sell politically.

March 27, 2018
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As Prop. 13 Turns 40, Californians Rethink Its Future

Four decades after the law spurred an anti-tax movement across the country, rival efforts to weaken or strengthen it have emerged.

March 5, 2018
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'The Oakland I'm From'

Like a lot of other places, the California city is struggling to grow without leaving longtime residents behind.

March 2, 2018
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Missouri Governor's Indictment Prompts House Investigation and More Resignation Pressure

Eric Greitens, who already faced calls from both parties to resign, was charged on Thursday with a felony in connection with an extramarital affair and an alleged blackmail scheme.

February 22, 2018
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Public Corruption Cases Are Harder to Prove Than Ever

Since the Supreme Court raised prosecutors' burden of proof, several politicians have had their convictions thrown out. There are new questions about what exactly counts as corruption.

February 22, 2018
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Ill-Prepared and Underfunded, Election Officials Brace for More Cyberattacks

Federal intelligence officials warned Congress on Tuesday that Russia will again attempt to influence the elections through cyber-warfare. New reports shed light on the inadequacy of state and local security systems.

February 14, 2018
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Citing Costs, Some GOP Governors Refuse to Hold Special Elections

Florida's Rick Scott and Wisconsin's Scott Walker say it's about the money. Democrats -- emboldened after a series of wins, including on Tuesday -- say the Republicans are trying to avoid losing more legislative seats.

February 14, 2018
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After GOP Loss in Missouri, Some Blame Scandal-Plagued Governor

Democrats flipped a state House seat on Tuesday. Some say Eric Greitens, whose extramarital affair has prompted a criminal investigation, is the reason. But he shows no signs of quitting.

February 7, 2018
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How Sexual Harassment Scandals Are Shaking Up Special Elections

Ten states have special legislative elections this month -- several because politicians facing allegations have either left office or committed suicide.

February 1, 2018
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Trump's State of the Union Takes Hard Line on Government Workers

At one point in his address, the president seemed to call for abolishing civil service protections for federal employees.

January 31, 2018
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After Reforming Criminal Justice, Alaska Has Second Thoughts

The state rolled back criminal justice reforms it had adopted only a year earlier. Other parts of the country are also reconsidering similar changes.

February 20, 2018
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Dismissed for Competence?

Hannes Zacharias helped his Kansas county win national recognition for a variety of programs. The county commissioners had nothing but praise for him. Then they fired him.

February 13, 2018
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The Tragedy and Politics of the Legionnaires’ Outbreak in Illinois

The disease has claimed 13 veterans’ lives since 2015 and may effect the governor’s reelection chances this year.

January 25, 2018
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Do Charter Schools Worsen Segregation?

They largely serve minority students, but supporters say that’s not a problem -- it’s actually the point.

February 14, 2018
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Outrage in Wisconsin as Republicans Fire State's Top Ethics and Election Officials

The firings follow a long and ongoing saga between independent agencies and the GOP-controlled legislature.

January 24, 2018
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Fearing Trump's Trade Policies, U.S. States and Foreign Countries Grow Closer

The president's "America First" message and his new trade barriers have caused anxiety in states where the economy depends on investment from abroad. It's pushing governors to hone their diplomatic skills.

January 26, 2018
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Politics & Elections

Why 'Replacement' Governors Often Get Replaced Themselves

At least three governors will be running this year after filling in for predecessors who resigned. None of them is getting a free ride.

January 18, 2018
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Trump's Voter Fraud Commission May Be Dead, But His Quest Continues

The president has shifted the commission's voter fraud investigation to the Department of Homeland Security. Some see that as a boon to the cause, while others say it could be problematic, especially for immigrants.

January 10, 2018
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'That's Me. Trump's Banning Me.': What Motivates Refugees to Run for Office in America

Some want to take on the president's politics. Others simply hope to give back to the communities that have become home.

December 27, 2017
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Transgender Issues Energize Typically Sleepy School Board Elections

The debate over who should use which bathrooms led to record turnout in at least two elections last year. Transgender advocates expect more competition this year.

January 29, 2018
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The Scambuster Going to War for Military Members

Service members are often targeted for financial scams and have a harder time defending themselves. Deanna Nelson is doing it for them.

January 17, 2018
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How Many Lawmakers Does a Legislature Need?

California has the most people of any state, and yet it doesn't have the country's largest legislature. A ballot measure proposes to change that -- but it's complicated.

January 16, 2018
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Are Progressives Giving Bill de Blasio His Due?

In a new book, one of his supporters compares the New York City mayor with other liberal mayors, and says no.

January 4, 2018
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South Carolina Spent $9 Billion on Nuclear Reactors That Will Never Run. Now What?

The legislature must decide whether residents will keep being charged, possibly for decades, for the failed project.

January 18, 2018
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Politics & Elections

How Much Can Democrats Really Win in 2018?

Election results from November suggest they will have a big year. But with near record low representation in the states, Democrats need more than that to shift the balance of power.

January 2, 2018
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Politics & Elections

For or Against Trump? The Question Candidates for Governor Can't Escape

The president has emerged as a central issue in races all over the country, underscoring a shift toward partisanship that has intensified since his election.

December 13, 2017
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Where Have All the Black Mayors Gone?

Depending on the outcome of a potential recount, Atlanta's election on Tuesday could either counter or worsen the nationwide decline in the number of big-city black mayors.

December 5, 2017
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Improper Influence? Who, Us?

Wisconsin's Supreme Court justices refused to tighten the rules about when they should recuse themselves from cases. It has sparked a battle between old judges and new ones.

December 7, 2017
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Research Says Juveniles Need Their Own Miranda Rights

Studies suggest they're "too complex" for kids to understand, spurring some police departments to simplify the words they use when arresting them.

December 18, 2017
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In This Georgia Suburb, Old Rivalries Rule Today's Politics

"People are probably tired of their city being in the headlines," says former Snellville Mayor Kelly Kautz.

December 11, 2017
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The Only Oil-and-Gas State Not Taxing Drilling

Strapped for cash, Pennsylvania may finally grant the governor a victory and enact a severance tax. But it's an uphill battle.

December 20, 2017
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The Quiet Revolution Happening in the Suburbs

Suburbs first gained popularity for being everything a big city wasn't. Now they want to be just like downtown.

December 21, 2017
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State AGs Used to Play Nice in Elections. Not Anymore.

2018 will be the first big election year when attorneys general target their peers in other states. Will it hinder the history of bipartisanship among them?

November 15, 2017
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Not Just Virginia: Democrats Recover Some Ground in Several State Legislatures

Democrats gained seats in several states on Tuesday -- more in the Virginia House than they have in any single cycle since the 19th century.

November 8, 2017
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Voters Approve Big Spending Packages at the Local Level

Tax increases passed in most places they were on the ballot.

November 8, 2017
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Mayoral Elections Prove Successful for Incumbents and Democrats

Voters largely opted to re-elect their mayors on Tuesday -- even those under ethical clouds. In several midsized cities, though, Republican incumbents lost to Democrats.

November 8, 2017
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Democrats Win Both Races for Governor

The party unexpectedly won Virginia with a comfortable margin and flipped the seat now held by Republican Chris Christie in New Jersey. But the question remains: What does that mean for 2018?

November 7, 2017
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This Could Be the Most Expensive State Legislative Race in History. Here’s Why It’s a Waste of Money.

The teachers union in New Jersey is spending big to unseat the state Senate president.

November 6, 2017
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The Big Cities That Could Elect a New Mayor in November

Incumbent mayors are at risk of losing in several big cities. Meanwhile, some voters might elect their first woman or black woman to lead city hall.

November 1, 2017
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Why Attempts to Recall State Lawmakers Are Rare

Republicans are trying to get Democrats in California and Nevada thrown out of office. Most recall elections, though, are only successful at the local level.

November 7, 2017
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The Arcane Question That Will Decide the Fate of Florida's Supreme Court

Three of them must retire on the same day Gov. Rick Scott’s term ends. But no one knows who’s replacing them yet -- Scott or his successor?

November 15, 2017
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Denver Turns to P3s to Manage a Major Function

Some local leaders are nervous about public-private partnerships.

November 9, 2017
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In a Sea of Blue, California GOP Wants Leaders Who Stay True to Their Colors

The state’s Republican party recently ousted its leader for working with Democrats. Is that hardline strategy effective?

November 3, 2017
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One State’s Crusade to Limit Campaign Contributions Could Have Nationwide Repercussions

Should Montana have to prove corruption to limit campaign contributions?

November 1, 2017
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The Local Ballot Measures Worth Watching in November

Voters will weigh in on marijuana, pre-K and taxes next month.

October 26, 2017
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The City Preparing for Climate Change Without Ever Saying the Words

Tulsa, Okla., a conservative oil town, serves as an example of how places can overcome politics to prevent damage and save lives.

November 1, 2017
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Democrats Have Reasons to Worry About the November Elections

The party will likely gain power in New Jersey next month, but holding onto the governor's office in Virginia is proving more challenging.

October 11, 2017
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Why Can’t Seattle Find a Mayor It Likes?

Ed Murray’s resignation represents a trend: Unlike most big cities, mayors there tend to last one term -- or less.

October 2, 2017
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Consolidation Makes Sense, Yet Few Cities Have the Urge to Merge

It's an issue that's playing out right now in St. Louis County.

October 16, 2017
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Indictment? What Indictment? Criminal Case Has Little Impact on Texas AG

Ken Paxton is the state’s latest official to seemingly survive a political scandal.

October 6, 2017
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Barbershop Fiasco Inspires Call for Cutting ‘Silly’ Regulations

Most states have outdated laws. In New Hampshire, a rule about which businesses can use red, white and blue paint has spurred a backlash against such red tape.

October 4, 2017
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The Man Behind Texans’ Unique Defense Plan Against Tax Increases

Art Martinez de Vara created the first "defensive city." Today, there are a string of them.

October 3, 2017
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The Paradox of Progress Underscores Atlanta Mayor’s Race

Things are looking up right now in the city. Well, at least part of it. That inequality will impact the city’s upcoming election and be the biggest issue facing its next leader.

October 1, 2017
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As Protests Escalate Under Trump, States Seek New Ways to Deter Them

Stricter rules and penalties for protesting are being considered in nearly half the states.

September 20, 2017
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Will the U.S. Supreme Court Take a Stand Against Partisan Gerrymandering?

Past rulings have "made politicians think there are no boundaries around what they can do." A Wisconsin case may lead to some limits.

September 13, 2017
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A Third Party Pops Up in a One-Party State

The 2016 election may have opened the door for third parties. This is most apparent in Utah.

September 8, 2017
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Some States Are Treating Others Like Foreign Countries

Several ban their employees from traveling to other states for work because of policies they deem discriminatory.

September 6, 2017
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To Wipe Out Corruption, Look to Philadelphia

The city went almost a decade without a single corruption scandal. What's its secret?

September 19, 2017
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What’s ‘Proportional Voting,’ and Why Is It Making a Comeback?

Most U.S. cities abandoned it in the mid-20th century.

September 15, 2017
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Divided Yet Productive: How Colorado Had a Gridlock-Free Year

The state’s split legislature passed more than 400 bills, some of which address longstanding issues.

September 5, 2017
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How Did America's Richest State Become Such a Fiscal Mess?

Connecticut is home to many wealthy residents. Its state government, on the other hand, is feeling the consequences of what some call "two decades of bad decisions."

September 5, 2017
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The New Strategy for Limiting Money's Role in Elections

The dream of eliminating the influence of large, private donors from the election equation is pretty much dead. Now campaign finance reformers are shifting their focus.

August 31, 2017
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Term Limits Could Hurt Republicans in 2018

Twice as many Republicans can't run again for state legislative office. That could help Democrats, but how much?

August 16, 2017
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In Minneapolis, Liberal Isn’t Good Enough for the Left

“The Trump dystopia is clearly motivating people to do something, and at the local level that means running for office, even against your own party.”

August 4, 2017
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What Happens When the Attorney General Refuses to Defend a Law?

In lawsuits involving high-profile partisan issues, some state AGs choose to sit out.

August 11, 2017
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Are ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Laws Just Symbolic?

Critics say laws that treat attacks against police officers as a hate crime are unnecessary and hard to enforce.

August 3, 2017
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Work for Us – Or Else: The Rise of Noncompete Contracts

It's now common, even for lower-paying jobs, to make employees pledge their loyalty to companies. Some states are stepping in to stop the corporate abuse.

August 17, 2017
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In State Budget Talks, Governors Play Hardball

Some negotiations have become so heated that legislatures have taken their fight to the courts.

August 1, 2017
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Don Willett’s Lone Star Legal Show

The Texas Supreme Court justice is witty and approachable, and he's huge on Twitter. He's also one of the most influential conservative jurists in the country right now.

August 22, 2017
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State Election Officials Fear Feds Are Making Security Worse

Secretaries of state are concerned about not just the federal government's request for voter information but also the information they're not getting about election security breaches.

July 12, 2017
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Why’s Pennsylvania's Lt. Governor Behaving So Badly?

Mike Stack is under investigation by the state’s inspector general. The results could impact the 2018 election.

July 5, 2017
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Jailhouses Experiment With Ways to Lock Less People Up

Among the places testing new ways to keep low-risk offenders out of jail, Charleston, S.C., stands out.

July 25, 2017
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In Chicago, There's Pork on the Infrastructure Menu

Aldermen choose how to use infrastructure dollars from a preapproved list of projects. The result: A big spending gap between neighborhoods.

July 10, 2017
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California’s Tax Board of Confusion

The state has more tax agencies than most -- and one in particular is badly mismanaged.

July 14, 2017
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Andrew Cuomo Is One of the Most Progressive Governors. (So Why Don't Liberals Like Him?)

From education to gay rights, New York's governor has racked up a long list of liberal accomplishments.

July 1, 2017
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How a Community Copes at the Center of a Media Storm

When a gunman allegedly shot five people at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., his actions also impacted his hometown in Illinois.

June 15, 2017
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Congressional Shooting Highlights Rise of Violence in Politics

Wednesday's shooting during a congressional baseball practice is the latest example of the increased violence -- both threatened and real -- that is seeping into America's political process.

June 14, 2017
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How a Far Left Candidate Won in a Deep Red State

The new mayor of Jackson, Miss., may offer striking evidence of a nationwide trend.

June 7, 2017
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The Next Cities That Might Remove Confederate Monuments

St. Louis and Baltimore have joined the ranks of cities thinking about taking them down. Meanwhile, a countermovement is growing in state legislatures.

June 1, 2017
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How Hard Is It to Clean a Greenhouse?

Apparently very. Missouri’s Botanical Gardens just got its first power-washing since it was built in 1988.

June 1, 2017
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With Governors Races Now Set, Virginia and New Jersey Shift Focus to November

Republicans currently enjoy a 2-to-1 lead among governors, but Democrats hope to start chipping away at that advantage this fall.

June 14, 2017
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This Is What Happens When a Nuclear Plant Shuts Down

Plans to close an infamous plant were just announced. Such closures can be devastating for local economies -- even more so than when mining and manufacturing ceases to exist in a town.

May 30, 2017
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School Choice Debate Pits DeVos vs. Denver

The education secretary's complaints about the city's schools highlight one of her biggest priorities -- and one of her biggest battles.

June 1, 2017
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Missouri's Eric Greitens Is Governing in the Dark

Between gag orders and secret funds, the governor isn't living up to his campaign promise of transparency.

June 15, 2017
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Firefighters' Clout Can Make Them Politically Untouchable

Their heroic image is a political asset -- one that makes changes to the profession difficult.

June 8, 2017
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Democratic Norms Are Under Attack, and Not Just by Trump

Like the president, state politicians are playing by new rules and openly trying to undermine critics who threaten their power -- whether they're lawmakers, reporters or voters.

May 18, 2017
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As Democrats Seek to Rebuild, Progressives Push to the Left

Parties learn from losing, not winning. The lesson many progressives have drawn from Democratic defeats in 2016 is that the party needs to more fully embrace liberal policies and candidates.

May 10, 2017
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No Politics Is Local: How America's Culture War Consumed Omaha's Race for Mayor

In what's expected to be a close election on Tuesday, major national figures have joined the campaign trail, sometimes bringing controversy over social issues with them.

May 5, 2017
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Let Me Take a Selfie: The Art of Balancing Politicians' Time With Never-Ending Photo Requests

All those snaps can take a lot of time out of an elected official's busy schedule.

April 26, 2017
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U.S. Universities Fear Losing International Students

Students from abroad have become a rich revenue source for many state colleges and their towns. What happens if the Trump administration's anti-immigration sentiment and policies drive them away?

May 5, 2017
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A New Way to Spot Partisan Gerrymandering

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on racial gerrymandering Monday, but judges still can't agree on what partisan gerrymandering looks like. Social scientists may be able to help.

May 23, 2017
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In Indiana, Governors Push for More Control Over Education

Mike Pence tried first. Now Gov. Eric Holcomb is attempting to make the superintendent a gubernatorial appointment, leaving voters with little say over schools.

May 1, 2017
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No Help From Noah: The County That Banked on a Religious Theme Park to Solve Its Money Problems

Facing bankruptcy, Grant County, Ky., invested in the park hoping for a new revenue source. But cash has yet to start flooding in.

May 8, 2017
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Is Jail a Fair Punishment for Skipping Bus Fare?

In Portland, Ore., people were being locked up for the offense often -- African-Americans disproportionately so.

May 30, 2017
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How the Rapper Pitbull Has Divided Florida's Top Politicians

The recent feud between the governor and the state's House speaker began over a tourism ad. But it goes much deeper than that.

May 4, 2017
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Scott Walker Is a Top Target for Democrats. So Why Can't They Find Someone to Run Against Him?

A lack of serious gubernatorial candidates could be a problem for Democrats not just in Wisconsin but other states where the party is hoping to make gains next year.

April 12, 2017
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Why It Took Alabama's Governor So Long to Resign

The news of Robert Bentley's affair with one of his aides broke more than a year ago. But both the governor and his party had reasons for him to stay in office.

April 10, 2017
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Law and the New Order: A Fresh Wave of District Attorneys Is Redefining Justice

Cities and counties across the country recently elected reform-minded DAs who are taking a more strategic approach to prosecutors' typical tough-on-crime policies.

April 4, 2017
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Can Democrats Channel Anti-Trump Anger Into Votes at the State Level?

The party is hoping to regain seats it lost during the Obama years. Democrats say there are already signs of change, but Republicans argue there's no proof of that yet.

March 15, 2017
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Unlikely Political Allies: Urban Democrats and GOP Governors

When it comes to certain issues, they put pragmatism before politics.

April 24, 2017
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Deficit in Dallas: How One of the Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Ended Up With Billions in Debt

The city has created a huge problem for itself -- one so big that bankruptcy isn’t off the table.

April 11, 2017
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Welfare Reform Offers a Window Into Block-Granting Medicaid

Republicans want to do with health care what they already did with cash assistance for the poor. There are lessons to be learned.

April 1, 2017
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The Golden Infrastructure Opportunity That Government Missed

States had a cheaper option for investing in infrastructure, but they didn't take it. Now, they must pay the price.

April 7, 2017
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What's the Best Way to Elect a City Council?

Every system has its own set of drawbacks.

April 25, 2017
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Trump's Speech Short on Domestic Policy Specifics

In his first joint address to Congress, the president talked a lot about improving infrastructure and health care but offered virtually no new details about how.

February 28, 2017
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Is the GOP's Tea Party Over?

Arizona was the poster child for Tea Party politics. Now the state's Republican leaders are focusing instead on core establishment issues. The shift there could signal what's to come across the country.

February 23, 2017
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Senate Control Up for Grabs in 3 States' Special Elections

As voters head to the polls in Connecticut, Delaware and Washington, Democrats are hoping to ride some voters' discontent with President Trump to victory.

February 15, 2017
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Despite Union Resistance, Right-to-Work Momentum Is Growing

Several states have already passed right-to-work laws this year -- and their reach may finally expand into the Northeast.

February 13, 2017
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Why Cooperation May Be to Blame for America's Polarized Politics

It’s time for a history lesson.

March 2, 2017
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Are South Carolina Voters Too Tolerant of Corruption?

The state’s lawmakers have a history of ethics and legal problems -- yet their constituents don’t seem to care.

March 7, 2017
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Different Party, Same People: The Virtue of Political Holdovers

Two new governors have surprised their states by keeping many of the previous administrations' cabinet members.

March 1, 2017
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Should Lawyers Police Themselves? In Most States, They Do.

But the days of having lawyers regulate their own conduct are numbered in California. The question now is whether that will prompt others to end the controversial practice.

March 31, 2017
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The Story Behind George Lucas' Museum Wars With Cities

After fighting his own battle over where to house his Star Wars stuff, he let the cities duke it out.

March 17, 2017
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Don't Like the Ballot Measure Voters Approved? Just Ignore It, Some Lawmakers Say.

In state capitals around the country, lawmakers are trying to block voter-approved policies. Critics say it's "lawlessness" that represents the new political climate.

January 31, 2017
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'Sanctuary Cities' Just the Start of Mayors' Opposition to Trump

The president's war on progressive policies presents a dilemma for almost every big-city mayor in America. But attacking urban areas also carries big risks for the president.

January 27, 2017
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Low Pay and Time Away Drive Some Lawmakers to Call It Quits

Several state legislators recently resigned, saying they want to spend more time with their families -- and they seem to mean it.

February 9, 2017
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Fracking Presents Big Problems That Towns Have Little Authority to Fix

Almost every time localities attempt to regulate the oil industry, courts or legislatures stop them.

February 3, 2017
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Will Trump Inspire More Celebrities to Seek Office?

Republicans in one state are already gearing up for an NFL star to run for governor.

February 3, 2017
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Will Trump Kill Criminal Justice Reform’s Momentum?

It’s become a rare, bipartisan issue. But if the president's campaign rhetoric is any indication, the window of opportunity for change may have closed.

January 23, 2017
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To Battle Trump, State Democrats Will Use GOP’s Own Tactics

Democrats are preparing to fight the new administration's policies like Trump's pick to lead the EPA fought Obama's: with lawsuit after lawsuit. But can Democratic AGs make a difference with their diminished numbers?

January 18, 2017
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Thanks to Trump, 2 States Are Getting New Governors

As Gov. Nikki Haley heads off to work in the Trump administration, South Carolina could see some real political change.

January 19, 2017
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In Legal Fight Against U.S. Towns, Muslims May Lose Major Ally

The Justice Department has sued several municipalities for blocking mosques and Islamic schools from being built. But the future of those lawsuits under a Trump administration is unclear.

January 13, 2017
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In Trump’s America, GOP States Proceed Cautiously Optimistic

With the most power over U.S. government that any party has had in decades, Republicans have hit the jackpot. The new administration will embolden states’ rights, but it could also create problems for them.

January 3, 2017
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The Democrats’ Geography Problem

An overwhelming share of their voters live in metropolitan areas. Will their appeal ever expand beyond?

January 12, 2017
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New York Voters Reject Chance to Rewrite State Constitution

Once every 20 years, the state’s citizens get the opportunity to overhaul government. Voters rejected the idea again on Tuesday.

November 7, 2017
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Bad Budget News? Some States Just Bury It.

Observers say Kansas is trying to “end bad economic news by not reporting it.” It’s not the only state being accused of hindering transparency.

January 6, 2017
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America’s One and Only City Council Run by Libertarians

In a Minnesota suburb, libertarians are making a lot of changes people might expect. But not everyone is happy.

January 1, 2017
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Is a New Battle Brewing Over Soda Taxes?

As more cities start taxing sugary beverages, the industry may turn to new allies to block them.

January 6, 2017
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In Life After Coal, Appalachia Attempts to Reinvent Itself

The decline of the mining industry started long before the Obama administration and will likely continue even with Trump in the White House. That's why local leaders are starting to diversify their economies and prepare their people for an uncertain future.

December 1, 2016
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Why Being a University President Isn’t a Stable Job Anymore

Their resignations, once rare, have seemingly become a frequent occurrence.

December 16, 2016
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Will Florida Ever Strike a Deal on Workers’ Comp?

With the state's law in limbo and so many players at the table -- employers, unions, insurers, attorneys and lawmakers -- it will be hard to reach an agreement.

December 12, 2016
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With Little Warning, Maine Governor Overhauls Public Health

Paul LePage’s abrupt decision left lawmakers and public health workers with unanswered questions as they struggle to battle a drug epidemic.

December 9, 2016
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Gov. John Bel Edwards Wants Payback, Louisiana-Style

In the latest chapter of his feud with the state’s attorney general, Edwards is taking on the oil and gas industry -- but with some controversial allies.

December 14, 2016
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Tragedy Reshapes Mayor’s Race in Baton Rouge

Whoever wins this month faces the tough job of uniting and rebuilding a community that’s still hurting from deadly police shootings and floods.

December 7, 2016
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Political Segregation Is Growing and 'We're Living With the Consequences'

Author Bill Bishop, who has spent years studying America's urban-rural divide, discusses what it means for politics and progress.

November 18, 2016
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With Control of More States, Conservatives Plan Their Course

Republicans in many states are now free to pursue their agendas on taxes, labor and social policies without Democrats standing in the way.

November 11, 2016
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Republicans Add to Their Dominance of State Legislatures

The GOP successfully defended its majorities in most chambers and also picked up chambers in Kentucky and Iowa, giving the party full control of those states.

November 9, 2016
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Liberals Win a Few Victories at the Local Level

Despite the Trump tide, voters at the local level approved new taxes on soda and bond measures for housing and transportation. They also ousted several tough-on-crime prosecutors, as well as Trump ally Joe Arpaio.

November 9, 2016
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With Independents on the Rise, Colorado Changes Its Election Rules

Voters in the state approved ballot measures that would, among other things, let unaffiliated voters participate in primaries.

November 9, 2016
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Legislative Races Offer Democrats Opportunities to Grow

Democrats have lost control of 20 legislative chambers since Barack Obama took office. But with the president's help, they should gain some back on Tuesday.

November 7, 2016
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In New England, 2 Blue States May Go Red for Governor

New Hampshire and Vermont, one of Hillary Clinton's strongest states, are the GOP's best chances to increase their gubernatorial numbers this year.

November 4, 2016
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Election Brings Change to How Minnesota Lawmakers Are Paid

Like most state legislators in America, Minnesota's were in charge of their own pay -- and yet, they haven't had a raise in 20 years.

November 9, 2016
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In Red-State Races for Governor, Democrats Could Score Wins

Democrats have a chance at winning in five states that voted against Barack Obama in 2012.

October 28, 2016
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Automatic Voter Registration Is Spreading. How Will That Impact Turnout in Future Elections?

Alaska is the latest state to adopt a system in which residents will be automatically registered to vote.

November 9, 2016
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Voters in 4 States Limit Money's Role in U.S. Politics

They took steps to repeal the Citizens United ruling, limit campaign contribution limits and create publicly financed elections.

November 9, 2016
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Voters Make Missouri a Voter ID State

GOP lawmakers in the state have been trying to pass a voter ID law for a decade. They finally got their way.

November 9, 2016
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How Many Republicans Will Trump Take Down With Him?

Donald Trump has divided the GOP. Democrats are hoping to use that as an opportunity to rebuild their ranks in state legislatures.

October 14, 2016
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Why Politicians Shouldn’t Sweat the Primaries 

It’s nearly impossible for incumbents to lose a primary. So when they do get the boot, what happened?

November 3, 2016
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A Symbol of Government Failure Gets a Second Chance

The site of a long-gone but still-criticized public housing complex in St. Louis is being redeveloped. Will history repeat itself?

November 15, 2016
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Who Should Judge the Judges?

That age-old debate got a fresh hearing in Georgia.

November 1, 2016
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This Nonprofit Is Funding Good Ideas From People, Not Big Organizations

It’s part of a new philanthropic approach to improving neighborhoods.

November 18, 2016
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The End of Private Prisons in America? Not So Fast.

The federal government is closing them, but that doesn’t mean states will.

November 1, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Tracing a Prosecutor's Downfall, Corruption in the East and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

September 30, 2016
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From Hundreds to Thousands of Inspections: How Pittsburgh Is Winning the Permit Game

It was once practically impossible to get a building inspected in the city. Now it’s easier than ever.

October 7, 2016
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Phoenix’s Ambitious Plan to Beat the Desert Heat

In just over a decade, officials want to cover a quarter of the city in shade.

October 18, 2016
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How Old Is Too Old to Be a Judge? Voters in 4 States Got to Decide.

Voters generally agreed to raise the age limits -- but not do away with them altogether.

November 9, 2016
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The Political Blood Feud in the Bluegrass

Rarely do politicians quarrel as openly as Kentucky’s governor and attorney general. Family ties may have something to do with it.

October 5, 2016
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How Unregulated Dark Money Is Reshaping State Politics

Several governors are using nonprofits to get themselves elected and promote their agendas once in office -- without ever having to disclose where the money came from.

September 29, 2016
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Amid Governor's Scandal, Alabamians Clarify Impeachment Rules

A constitutional tweak became embroiled in talk of impeachment, misuse of funds and an alleged affair by Gov. Robert Bentley.

November 9, 2016
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Will the Least Popular Governors Hurt Their Parties in November?

Many lawmakers up for re-election are distancing themselves from their unpopular executive leader. But that may not be enough to win.

September 23, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Highlights From the Last 4 State Primaries of 2016

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

September 16, 2016
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Overworked and Underfunded, Public Defenders See Some Light

Poor criminal defendants rarely get an attorney who has time to adequately defend them. Some states, spurred by lawsuits, are starting to address the issue.

September 20, 2016
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Maine Becomes First State to Adopt a Whole New Way of Voting

Unhappy with the results of their past elections, Mainers have opted for ranked-choice voting. It could lead to more civilized politics but lower voter turnout.

November 9, 2016
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The Week in Politics: New Hampshire's Unpredictable Governor's Race, a Mayor in Trouble and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

September 9, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Cranky Governors' Voicemails and Surprisingly Close Primary Races

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

September 2, 2016
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New Minimum-Wage Laws Apply to More Industries

Exempting certain types of workers from raises is becoming a thing of the past.

September 1, 2016
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D.C. Inches Closer to Becoming the 51st State

The plan to achieve statehood easily won voters' support on Tuesday. But will it win the support of Congress?

November 9, 2016
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Texas Governor Leads Push to Rewrite the U.S. Constitution

Even if Greg Abbott spurs a national constitutional convention, there are many unanswered questions surrounding such an event.

September 30, 2016
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State AGs Are Increasingly Powerful -- and Partisan

The controversy surrounding Trump University showcases some of the sticky political situations that many attorneys general have been getting themselves in.

September 7, 2016
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Governors Refuse to Stay on Sidelines for Legislative Races

Several Republican governors have actively campaigned against lawmakers in their own party this year -- in most cases, only to see their efforts backfire.

September 21, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Indiana's Tight Governor's Race, Election Law Rulings and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

August 26, 2016
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The Week in Politics: The Upside of Low Voter Turnout, Incumbent Lawmaker Losses and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

August 19, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Longtime Legislators Lose, Politicians Run Into Legal Problems and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

August 12, 2016
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Can Democrats Be Too Liberal, Even for Vermont?

In one of the country's bluest states, a Republican may be the next governor.

August 8, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Missouri's Record-Breaking Primary, Democrats Lose a Long-Held Office in Washington and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

August 5, 2016
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Why Voter ID Laws Are Losing Judges' Support

In one week, federal courts struck down such laws in four states, marking a significant shift in the legal battle over voting rules.

August 3, 2016
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Can Counties Fix Rural America's Endless Recession?

The inability of most rural places to recover from the economic downturn is fueling political and social problems around the nation.

August 2, 2016
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The GOP’s Hispanic Problem

Republicans have been losing the key demographics’ support since 2000. Democrats hope Donald Trump will keep that trend going.

August 1, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Governors' Campaign Finance Problems, Oldest Legislator Ousted and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

July 29, 2016
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Even the Giants Are Complaining About San Francisco Real Estate

The Major League Baseball team wants a big break on property taxes. Will they win?

August 12, 2016
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1 Day, 2 Firings, No Explanations

The Atlanta mayor’s recent and abrupt termination of two agency leaders left many shocked.

August 24, 2016
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Civil Forfeiture Laws Pit Police Versus Everybody Else

Conservatives and liberals are teaming up to restrict or ban the laws that let officers seize billions of dollars a year from people who haven’t been convicted or, sometimes, even charged with a crime.

August 4, 2016
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State Budgets’ Forecast: Cloudy With a Chance of Transparency

In an era of tight budgets and slow revenue growth, there’s pressure on legislators to be open and honest about what states can and can’t afford.

August 1, 2016
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Do Governors Make Better Vice Presidents?

Governors are rarely VP picks, yet Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both selected one for the increasingly powerful office.

July 25, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Picking Pence's Successor and a Blow to Voting Restrictions

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

July 22, 2016
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What a Pence-Trump Ticket Means

There are implications not only for the presidential race but the Indiana governor's election as well.

July 14, 2016
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The Week in Politics: What a Pence-Trump Ticket Would Mean and a Rare Example of Moderates

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

July 8, 2016
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What Trump Means for State and Local Races

Donald Trump and this year’s bizarre presidential race will affect elections all over the country. What’s not clear is how.

July 5, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Utah Governor's Big Win, Teachers' Legislative Takeover Attempt and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

July 1, 2016
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Why Rural America Is Increasingly Red

In recent years, more rural voters have flocked to the GOP -- a trend that will likely impact this year's governors races.

July 21, 2016
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The City Where Mayors Still Run the Show

Of all American towns, Baltimore gives its mayors some of the most control. Some hate that, yet attempts to change it have failed.

July 1, 2016
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Politicians Focus Business Incentives on Catching the Big Fish

Most states are low on cash, but they’re still willing to spend to attract top-shelf companies like Tesla.

July 29, 2016
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Abolishing Civil Service: Reform or Cronyism?

Whether Wisconsin's approach makes hiring for government jobs more efficient -- or simply politicizes it -- will influence if and how other states revisit their civil service systems.

July 19, 2016
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In Wake of McDonnell Ruling, What Counts as Corruption?

Politicians can do a lot of favors for people, so long as they don't cross over the legal line. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision means that line has to be drawn quite clearly.

June 29, 2016
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Bob McDonnell and the Illusion of Ethics Reform

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned former Gov. Bob McDonnell's corruption conviction on Monday. Before that, the case led Virginia lawmakers to set stricter ethics rules -- or so it seemed.

June 27, 2016
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The Week in Politics: GOP Governors Lose Allies, Novice Pulls Off Stunning Upset and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

June 17, 2016
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A Midwest Test of Voters' Tolerance for the Establishment

In the GOP primary on Tuesday, a Donald Trump-supporting businessman has a chance of beating a career politician in the North Dakota governor's race.

June 13, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Where Conservatives Lost (and Gained) Ground and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

June 10, 2016
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Why a Well-Liked Governor Faces a Tough Election

Even with high approval ratings and a strong state economy, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has to fight hard to keep his job this year.

June 6, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Dems' Fightin' Words, Plus How Term Limits May Actually Help Incumbents

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

June 3, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Dems' Voting Guy Gets Busy, Mayors Ousted and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

May 27, 2016
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Uncontested Legislative Races Are Becoming More Common

Some say political parties are missing opportunities to boost their numbers. But others argue quality is more important than quantity.

June 16, 2016
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The Death Penalty’s New Skeptics

In states across the country, conservatives are starting to question the cost and legality of capital punishment.

June 1, 2016
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A School Construction Mess Proves Money Doesn’t Solve Everything

Despite $1 billion worth of investment, San Diego’s school buildings are still in disrepair.

June 30, 2016
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Why Mixing Business With Politics Is Becoming More Popular

Taking a stance can not only benefit a cause but also a company.

June 7, 2016
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Why States’ Tax-Cut Fever Has Subsided

After watching tax-slashing states struggle financially, some governors and legislators have stopped calling for cuts. But that doesn’t mean they won’t start again.

June 27, 2016
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LGBT Battle Underscores the Powerlessness of Being Governor in North Carolina

The real power lies with the state’s increasingly conservative legislature, which may be hurting Gov. Pat McCrory’s chances of re-election in November.

May 25, 2016
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Something Is Rotten in the State of Alabama

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard is going on trial this week for corruption charges. He's just one of the state's many top government officials facing legal or ethics scandals.

May 24, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Passing the Tab for Special Elections, Changing Campaign Finance Laws and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

May 20, 2016
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The Week in Politics: A $50 Million High School Stadium, an Assault Victim's Victory and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

May 13, 2016
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Does Size Matter? The Latest Battle Over State Supreme Courts

Over the past decade, legislators in several states have sought to expand or reduce the number of justices on their highest courts. In some cases, they admit their intent to tilt the ideological balance.

May 12, 2016
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The Week in Politics: GOP Governors' Best Chance to Grow, What Rematches Mean for Democrats and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

May 6, 2016
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Has School Choice Been All It Set Out to Be?

As the movement slows, policymakers have the opportunity to explore whether school choice has improved education overall.

May 5, 2016
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Losing Control in Legislatures, Democrats Shift Focus to Ballots

To further their causes, Democrats are bypassing lawmakers and turning to voters.

May 16, 2016
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Turning Black Lives Matter Protests Into Policy

A bipartisan group of public officials, called the 20/20 Club, is working to translate the energy of the movement into meaningful legislation on law enforcement and criminal justice.

May 6, 2016
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Why Is Public Corruption So Common in South Texas?

In Crystal City, nearly every public official is facing criminal charges. But it’s not the region’s only place plagued by corruption.

May 2, 2016
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Free Community College Gets Financial Aid From White House

Congress rejected the president's proposal for tuition-free community college, so his administration is instead helping regions launch the program themselves.

April 25, 2016
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The Week in Politics: New York Senate in Play, Baltimore Mayor's Race and Political Feuding in Kentucky

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

April 22, 2016
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The Week in Politics: The GOP Goes for More Legislative Seats, de Blasio's Bad Week and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

April 15, 2016
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Bathrooms and the Bible: The Latest Front in States' Culture Wars

Debates over LGBT rights have helped define differences between red and blue states.

April 13, 2016
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The Week in Politics: A Bipartisan Approach to Voter Registration and the Latest Election Results

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

April 8, 2016
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Traditional Redistricting Methods

The justices unanimously rejected a challenge to the way Texas -- and every other state -- draws its legislative lines. They did, however, leave one question unsettled.

April 4, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Legislatures Take On Minimum Wage, Legal Scandals in the South and More

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

April 1, 2016
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The Week in Politics: A Governor's Alleged Affair, Trump Troubles and the State of Redistricting

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

March 25, 2016
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Beyond North Carolina's LGBT Battle: States' War on Cities

North Carolina's fight over LGBT protections is part of a larger recent shift in political dynamics: States are thwarting local laws any chance they get -- while simultaneously complaining about federal intrusion on their own.

March 25, 2016
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Window for Criminal Justice Reform Closing in Congress

It’s one of the few issues with bipartisan support in Washington. But for several reasons, the chances for change this year are dwindling.

April 7, 2016
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What Well-Liked Governors Have in Common

Many of the governors with the highest approval ratings were elected on the other party’s turf.

April 4, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Democrats Preserve Remaining Power in South, While State Parties Keep Losing It

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

March 11, 2016
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Remembering Rubio's Record as Florida House Speaker

His tenure was marked with disappointment, embarrassment and little to brag about. But his anti-tax stance helped him politically.

March 9, 2016
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The Rise of the Rich Governor

More than half a dozen governors are worth more than $100 million, worrying many about the influence of money on state politics.

March 11, 2016
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'It Should Be on HBO Boxing': New York's Biggest Political Rivalry

New York governors and mayors have often squabbled, but no one can remember a time when relations were worse -- and costing New York City so much.

March 2, 2016
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Lieutenant Governors: On the Rise and Out the Door

With more qualified people in the position, the job is becoming more of a stepping stone to higher office.

March 16, 2016
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Stuck in a State of Disarray, Maine Politics Stand Still

Divided government is always challenging, but what's happening in Maine right now -- where Gov. Paul LePage and the legislature are barely on speaking terms -- is an exercise in extreme political hostility.

March 1, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Democrats Struggle in Coal Country, Christie Struggles at Home

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

February 19, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Top Officials at Risk and Unresolved 2016 Election Maps

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

February 12, 2016
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The Week in Politics: State Legislative Race Predictions, a New Voter Registration Rule and Campaign Problems

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

February 5, 2016
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What Would Happen If America Made Voting Mandatory?

Dozens of other countries force their citizens to participate in elections.

February 9, 2016
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Too Many Chiefs? Chief Bike Officer Is the Latest Addition

Despite their important-sounding titles, many of the growing number of “chiefs” in government don't have much actual authority.

February 26, 2016
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The Week in Politics: What to Watch in the Caucuses, Voter ID on Trial and Budget Blame

The most important election news and political dynamics at the state and local levels.

January 29, 2016
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The Week in Politics: Flint Fallout, Corruption in Court and One State's New Supermajority

The most important election news and political dynamics impacting states and localities.

January 22, 2016
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When Politicians Behaved Badly Around Kids This Year

From proposing Planned Parenthood mascots to silencing 10-year-old advocates, lawmakers weren't always on their best behavior around the children.

December 25, 2015
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Can New Mexico Break Its Cycle of Corruption?

The conviction and incarceration of former Secretary of State Dianna Duran is the latest in a long history of scandals. Lawmakers are pushing ethics reforms, but some doubt change will come.

December 21, 2015
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Iowa’s Perennial Power Player

Republicans have the governorship and the state House in Iowa, but Democrats have Mike Gronstal, who adheres to the old-fashioned sense that voters elect politicians to work on policy before retreating to their respective partisan corners.

January 6, 2016
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Breaking Down the 2016 Governors Races

Republicans could strengthen their power in many states this year, but Democrats only have realistic chances in two.

January 1, 2016
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Love Urban Planning and Board Games? This Is For You.

Called Cards Against Urbanity, the game is a twist on the popular and politically incorrect Cards Against Humanity.

January 22, 2016
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Terry Branstad Breaks Record for Longest-Serving U.S. Governor

The Iowa Republican, who's been in office through three economic downturns, surpasses the 18th-century governor who previously held the title.

December 14, 2015
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Campaign Spending’s Gray Areas Getting Politicians in Trouble

High-level officials around the country have recently been caught misusing their campaign funds.

December 16, 2015
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Is Bigger and Better Always the Best for Suburbia?

Old houses are being torn down and replaced in suburbs all over the country. But not everyone, especially the people being priced out of once-affordable neighborhoods, is happy seeing the past obliterated.

December 14, 2015
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Louisiana Governor's Race Tightens in Final Days

The election has been less about issues and more about personalities -- but not always the candidates'.

November 18, 2015
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The Waning Power of State Political Parties

They’re far from irrelevant, but campaign financing laws have hurt their influence.

December 15, 2015
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How People Voted on Local Ballot Measures Across the Country

Social conservatives hailed the rejection of a gay rights measure in Houston. But progressives were able to claim victory elsewhere.

November 4, 2015
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Democrats, Women and LGBT Win Big in Mayoral Races

Most incumbents won re-election, while several cities elected their first female or openly gay mayors.

November 4, 2015
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Democrats' Waning Power in the South Weakens More

The Republican businessman will succeed term-limited Democrat Steve Beshear, weakening the Democrats' power in one of the last Southern states where they still have some.

November 3, 2015
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States Are Putting the Brakes on Driver’s Ed

Over the last decade, many have stopped funding it. Are the roads more dangerous?

November 18, 2015
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The State Where Women Take the Lead

Oregon has long had more women in top political positions than practically any other state. There may be several reasons why.

November 5, 2015
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Welcome to Jobs Inc., Where States Have Little Say

Several states have decided the way to juice up economic development is to turn it over to a corporation outside the government bureaucracy. Is it working?

November 9, 2015
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How One City Is Increasing Diversity in Politics

Seattle is largely run by older white men, but changes in the city's election law will likely make its politicians more representative of the people.

November 3, 2015
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The Nation's Closest Race for Governor

In Kentucky, one of the few Southern states where Democrats still hold power, it's a tossup between a Republican businessman appealing to religious conservatives and a Democratic AG distancing himself from Obama.

October 19, 2015
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From Campaign Finance to Pot, Progressives Look to Local Voters

Giving up on the gridlock at the federal and state levels, progressives are turning their attention to local ballots to get their ideas passed. But policies that sell well in cities won't always work statewide.

October 2, 2015
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The Most Important Mayoral Races of 2015

Most incumbents are safe bets for re-election, but races remain unpredictable in several big cities.

October 1, 2015
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Why Candidates With No Experience Are Winning Over Voters

The truck driver who won the Democratic bid for Mississippi governor -- without spending a cent -- is the latest in a string of nominees for statewide office who lack any political experience.

September 25, 2015
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GOP Could Sweep 2015 Governors Races

If Republicans do win in every state this year, it could be a bad omen for Democrats in 2016.

September 24, 2015
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Nevada Shines Light Onto America's Future

Rocked by heavy immigration and demographic change, Nevada must retool its government to cope with the new reality. It’s a sign of things to come in the rest of the country.

October 5, 2015
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Climate Change Fight Gets Cash From the Right

One conservative billionaire wants to convince his fellow Republicans to believe in climate change. Can his money make a difference?

October 14, 2015
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Even in One-Party States, Republicans Battle Over Budgets

Some are taking longer than they have in decades to pass a budget. Why can't the GOP work together?

September 16, 2015
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In Thriving Nashville, a Very Negative Race for Mayor

Thursday's election will test the appeal of anti-government populism in a booming Democratic city.

September 9, 2015
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Why Women's Presence in Politics Has Stagnated

Women have held less than 25 percent of all state legislative seats for years. But both parties are trying to recruit more female candidates.

September 14, 2015
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In Politics, Chambers of Commerce Carve Their Niche

The business community has a reputation for being skeptical about public spending and regulations. But on some issues, they're actually government’s strongest ally.

September 23, 2015
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The Governor at War With Both Political Parties

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has become so unpopular with lawmakers that many Democrats and Republicans have united against him. What does that mean for the next three years?

September 15, 2015
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From Marijuana to Gas: Tax Issues on the Ballot in 2015

A rundown of the most important tax-related measures facing voters this November.

August 18, 2015
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The Elections No One Cares About

Turnout in local elections has gotten so low that some places might start practically paying people to vote. But there's a simpler, cheaper way to get more people to the polls.

August 11, 2015
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Jefferson Who? Democrats Are Disowning Their Founders

In several states, the Democratic party is dropping the name of slave-owning presidents from annual fundraising dinners.

July 31, 2015
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The 2015 Race That Could Turn the South a Deeper Red

Republicans want to make Kentucky the next Southern state with a GOP governor. It won't be easy.

August 6, 2015
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Will Raising the Minimum Wage Raise Rents Too?

In some of the country’s most expensive cities to live, economists worry increased incomes will put even more pressure on housing markets.

August 13, 2015
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When Governors Travel, Who Pays?

With so many governors running for president, new attention is being given to how out-of-state political trips are funded.

August 5, 2015
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If Congress Finally Overhauls Education, Are States Ready?

For the first time in more than a decade, the House and Senate have passed bills to rewrite the No Child Left Behind law and give states more freedom in education.

July 28, 2015
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How the Never-Ending Battle of Redistricting Will Impact 2016

Florida and Virginia (and possibly two other states) have to redraw their unconstitutional voting maps for the 2016 election. Similar legal challenges are only likely to increase in coming years.

July 22, 2015
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Missouri Stays Purple While Other States Turn Red

Republicans may have a supermajority in the legislature, but they can't seem to win statewide offices.

August 1, 2015
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Will New Housing Rules Really Reduce Racial Segregation?

After many places failed to enforce parts of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the feds are trying again. But this time, they're offering agencies more help.

July 16, 2015
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Why So Many Attorneys General Are in Legal Peril

A striking number of current and former state AGs are facing criminal charges or investigations.

July 10, 2015
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Hawaii Raises Smoking Age to 21

Hawaii recently became the first state to raise the legal age for buying cigarettes to 21.

July 3, 2015
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Slain Senator Remembered as 'Moral Conscience' of Legislature

Clementa Pinckney was killed in the Charleston church shooting, but his legislative legacies will live on.

June 26, 2015
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How Bobby Jindal, a Rising Star, Plummeted Back to Earth

As the Louisiana governor prepares to make his presidential run official on Wednesday, he's struggling to find support at home and nationally.

June 23, 2015
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The Republican Who Helped Elect Obama and Now Wants Montgomery, Alabama, to Elect Him

Former Democratic Congressman Artur Davis is hoping to beat the odds in his hometown.

July 1, 2015
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True Believer: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Walker has proved to be an effective leader in one of the most polarized states. But how will the conservative governor’s record in Wisconsin translate to a presidential bid?

July 1, 2015
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The Forgotten Governors Trailing the Presidential Pack

The increasingly large Republican field includes several governors (like Jim Gilmore) who are trying to make a comeback after being absent from politics for years.

June 19, 2015
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Why States' Campaign Donation Limits Could Be in Jeopardy

A federal appeals court decided this week that states can only limit campaign contributions if they can somehow prove that they lead to corruption.

May 29, 2015
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Divided Legislatures Produce Gridlock, Not Compromise

In most states where Democrats and Republicans split control of the legislative chambers, getting anything done has been a struggle this year. But there is at least one exception.

June 2, 2015
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Is Kasich Conservative Enough for 2016 Republican Voters?

While other GOP presidential contenders will be touting their conservative policies, Ohio Gov. John Kasich would have to defend his.

May 22, 2015
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The Tyrannosaurus Rex of State Politics

Billionaire Rex Sinquefield's crusade to control Missouri politics sheds light on the power and limits of money in contemporary American politics.

June 1, 2015
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The Story Behind the Prominent Rise of State AGs

The role of attorney general in states has evolved from policy enforcer to policy creator.

June 1, 2015
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A Win for Political Compromise

A primary challenge this week sent a message to politicians nationwide about how much freedom they have to step outside party lines.

June 1, 2015
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Arkansas Cities Defy State Law With LGBT Protections

Local governments are likely headed for legal trouble after taking a stand against the state's new law that blocks them from banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

May 11, 2015
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Mayor Martin O'Malley Versus Governor Martin O'Malley

Baltimore's unrest has cast a negative spotlight on the probable presidential candidate's tough-on-crime policies as mayor. But as governor, he left a liberal legacy on nearly every front.

May 7, 2015
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Archive

In Arkansas, Huckabee Was a Believer in Big Government

Mike Huckabee may be one of the more conservative presidential candidates, but as governor, he expanded government programs and increased taxes.

May 5, 2015
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Tracing Chris Christie's Fall From the Top

Once considered a "master of disaster" and frontrunner in the presidential race, the New Jersey governor is now neither.

May 1, 2015
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The Next Baltimore?

Freddie Gray's death sparked the riots in Baltimore, but they reveal deep systemic problems that plague many American cities.

April 29, 2015
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Lawmaking Behind Closed Doors Under Fire in States

As the saga of Hillary Clinton’s emails has shown the world yet again, looking like you might have something to hide immediately arouses suspicion.

May 1, 2015
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Archive

Lincoln Chafee's Not-So-Brag-Worthy Record as Governor

To the surprise of many, Lincoln Chafee, the Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat, joined the presidential race Wednesday.

April 23, 2015
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Archive

Government Accountability? GOP Says No Thanks, Wisconsin

Republicans are attacking the state’s ethics board for engaging in partisan witch-hunts, particularly for its investigation of Gov. Scott Walker.

May 1, 2015
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Archive

What Not to Do When Asking Voters to Increase Their Taxes

Voters in a wealthy suburb of St. Louis rejected tax increases to fund schools last week.

April 15, 2015
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Archive

Rick Perry Runs for Redemption

After stumbling off the stage during his last presidential run and being indicted on criminal charges, Texas’ longest-serving and possibly most influential governor wants to redeem his political career.

April 15, 2015
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Archive

Now Seen as Moderate, Jeb Bush Governed Florida Like a 'Conservative Hurricane'

The latest presidential candidate cut government's role and taxes every year he was governor.

April 7, 2015
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Do Protests Impact Whether and How People Vote?

History shows that large-scale protests are no guarantee for change.

April 2, 2015
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Archive

Foundation Funds Fresh Ideas for Urban Living

From "houselets" to "regional play days," the Knight Foundation is giving $5 million to people or organizations around the country with new ideas to improve cities.

March 31, 2015
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Archive

The Battle for Alamo City

The San Antonio mayoral race is crowded.

April 1, 2015
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Archive

Why Some Lawmakers Want to Abolish the 17th Amendment

Adopted in 1913, it took the job of electing U.S. senators away from state legislatures.

April 1, 2015
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Archive

Common Core Critics Are Loud But Losing

The nationwide pushback against the education standards hasn't been very successful.

April 1, 2015
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Archive

Patience and Pragmatism Dominate Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s First 100 Days

For the first time in more than a century, Arkansas is completely controlled by Republicans. But the new governor has slowly and deliberately built bipartisanship in the legislature.

April 1, 2015
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Archive

In Red States, Cities Can’t Win

The lack of urban legislators in Republican states means cities will have their concerns largely ignored or challenged.

March 1, 2015
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Archive

Q&A With States’ and Localities’ New Man in D.C.

The head of the White House Office of Governmental Affairs talks about his plans for the job and what to expect on the domestic front during Obama’s remaining time in office.

March 1, 2015
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Archive

Cities Confront Long-Neglected DNA Evidence in Rape Cases

With about 400,000 untested rape kits nationwide, officials at the federal, state and local levels are devoting new attention and money to reducing the backlog.

February 11, 2015
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Archive

U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on the Meaning of ‘Legislature’

How it’s defined could impact state election laws from campaign finance to voter ID.

February 1, 2015
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Archive

Do Cities Need Kids?

Seattle is one place that’s trying to figure that out.

February 1, 2015
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Archive

Democrats’ Future Looks Grim

Republicans not only swept the states in the fall, they’ve been building up a team of candidates to climb the political ranks.

January 1, 2015
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Archive

Financial Pressures May Table Republicans’ Bold Initiatives

Republicans haven’t had this much power at the state level in almost a century. But budget constraints may temper their appetite for extreme policies in 2015.

January 1, 2015
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Archive

Why Some Politicians Don’t Win Higher Office

Candidates like Texas Sen. Wendy Davis and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald are examples of the Peter Principle: They were both successful, but both lost their campaigns for higher office.

December 1, 2014
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Archive

Message to Lawmakers: Say What You Really Think

A new study shows that when legislators make their stance on even controversial issues public, they convince people to join their side.

December 1, 2014
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Archive

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Limits on Race in Gerrymandering

The ruling in two cases challenging Alabama's legislative maps could have an impact on congressional and legislative maps across the country.

November 12, 2014
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Politics & Elections

The Progress and Promise of Pittsburgh's Turnaround

After years of decline, the city is making gains, and Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration represents a new brand of politics that’s moving into big cities across America.

November 1, 2014
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Archive

City Hall Drama Takes Center Stage in New Play

An interactive show casts theatre-goers as participants in a city council meeting.

November 1, 2014
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Archive

The Least Predictable Governor's Race in the Country

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who carries clear liabilities on his record, has kept the contest a dead heat by attacking his opponent.

October 27, 2014
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Latest News

Sam Brownback Has Made Enemies, May Lose Election

The Kansas governor's policies are starting to look too conservative even for one of the reddest states, giving opponent Paul Davis a slight edge.

October 6, 2014
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Archive

With Millions to Give, Foundation Takes Urban-Improvement Ideas from Anyone

The Knight Foundation begins accepting applications for its new Cities Challenge program Wednesday. Unlike other competitive grant programs, anyone can apply.

September 29, 2014
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Archive

The Next State to Likely Turn Red

Arkansas' outgoing Democratic governor is one of the most popular governors in the country, but his successor may be a Republican he's already beat.

September 25, 2014
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Latest News

Rick Snyder Is in Trouble (but May Win Anyway)

The self-proclaimed nerdy governor of Michigan has made some mistakes in the past few months that have turned his re-election race into a dead heat.

September 23, 2014
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Archive

Kansas Democrats Seek to Oust Secretary of State Kris Kobach

The politician has long been a lightning rod for Democrats. This fall, they think they have a chance to beat him.

September 17, 2014
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Latest News

Andrew Cuomo Is Going to Win but Not with the Landslide He Wants

The New York governor is essentially guaranteed to win re-election but not by so much that he can secure his spot as a top contender for president.

September 5, 2014
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Archive

From Vacant to Vibrant: Cincinnati’s Urban Transformation

How a lot of money and a little luck brought one of the nation’s most dangerous neighborhoods back to life.

September 1, 2014
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Archive

Leadership Lessons from Ferguson

The chaos that erupted after a police officer shot an unarmed black teen showcases the need for strong leadership and how law enforcement can lead best in communities where life is already a daily struggle.

August 15, 2014
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Archive

How Millennials Can Make Their Mark on Unions

Younger workers can bring a new energy to organized labor. But if unions want to attract millennials, they’ll have to change some of their ways.

July 1, 2014
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Archive

A Conservative Group Goes Local

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is expanding its reach beyond the states to local governments.

June 1, 2014
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Archive

Rural Areas Lose People But Not Power

Rural lawmakers are dwindling in number as people continue to migrate to metropolitan areas. But the battle between urban and rural politics is as big as ever -- and those out in the country may be winning.

April 1, 2014
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Archive

Politicians’ “Peanut Butter Problem”

Government officials are intensely aware of the political need to spread out resources equally but doing so means there probably won’t be enough to make a major impact anywhere.

March 1, 2014
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Archive

Texas’ Next Governor? Meet Greg Abbott

The Attorney General is poised to beat Democrat Wendy Davis in the state's nationally watched and heated governor's race, but most Texans know very little about him.

February 1, 2014
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Archive

Corporate Entrepreneurs Are at the Heart of Downtown Revitalizations

Private-sector actors are reshaping the center of some cities in ways local governments no longer have the ability to do themselves.

January 1, 2014
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

What China's Unique Urbanization Can Teach America

Nineteen of the 20 fastest-growing cities in the world last year were in China. For more from Governing's first-ever International Issue, click here.

January 31, 2013
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Archive

Teachers Rack Up Wins Against Reform Efforts

Education reform ideas that have generally received widespread support are experiencing pushback in the states, including some surprising places.

December 28, 2012
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Archive

States Double Down on Incentives to Woo Companies

In the wake of the recession and the long, slow recovery from it, state and local governments have been even more eager to offer incentives to the few projects they have hopes of landing.

December 28, 2012
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Archive

The Era of Divided Government is Over

For the first time in a long time, one party holds both the legislature and governorship in 37 states.

December 28, 2012
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Archive

Newbies Infiltrate State Legislative Chambers

Thanks to term limits and anti-incumbent fervor, half the lawmakers across the country have less than two years’ experience.

December 28, 2012
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Archive

What Did the Stimulus Do for States?

Governing interviewed Time correspondent Michael Grunwald, who argues in his new book that the stimulus has had more influence on domestic policy than any other piece of legislation in decades.

November 30, 2012
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Archive

Rural Areas Lose More Legislative Representation

With fewer state lawmakers representing rural districts, issues important to rural areas may go unheard.

November 30, 2012
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Archive

In Vote-Counting, Human Errors Still Creep In

New York has been reluctant to embrace technology when it comes to counting votes. Could the state’s hesitation be the source for its recent election debacles? For full election coverage, go to Governing's Election Center.

October 31, 2012
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Archive

One of the Most Segregated U.S. Cities Opens the Race Conversation

Cleveland has started a yearlong series of forums on race relations to educate citizens and city leaders.

October 31, 2012
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Archive

When Governors Don’t Play Nice

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal doesn’t even bother working with the state Legislature. Does it matter?

October 31, 2012
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Archive

Can You Separate Federal Issues from State Elections?

Many state candidates are asked less about their stance on issues affecting the state and more about federal matters they can do little about.

September 28, 2012
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Archive

Did Wisconsin End the Recall Wave?

Recalls have been on the rise. But after Gov. Scott Walker survived his election, two other high-profile recall attempts failed in Michigan and California.

August 31, 2012
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Archive

Cloud Computing Taxes Up in the Air in States

A dozen states are debating whether they should and how they could tax cloud computing services.

August 31, 2012
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Archive

Transportation Plan? Atlanta Voters Say No Thanks

Voters in the Atlanta region rejected a ballot measure to raise sales taxes by a penny to fund some $6 billion in transportation projects.

August 31, 2012
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More Incumbents Losing Grasp on State Legislature Seats

Voters aren't waiting until November to express their anger. With 14 states still to hold their primary contests, already 135 incumbent state legislators have lost their seats.

August 10, 2012
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Pension Plan Changes Pose Challenges for Lawmakers

Lawmakers have become acutely familiar with the financial challenges caused by pension underfunding, and they're certainly aware of the political difficulties involved in trying to change pension formulas. But the legal hurdles involved in changing pension benefits can be formidable as well.

August 9, 2012
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Archive

Counties: An Outdated Concept or the Future?

Hit harder by the economic downturn than either cities or states, counties are feeling pressure from all sides, leading many to reexamine county functions altogether.

July 31, 2012
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Archive

Does Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Save Money?

Seven states have enacted drug testing for welfare applicants in an effort to cut costs and combat fraud -- but it’s not clear the move does either.

June 29, 2012
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Archive

Los Angeles Transit Needs Taxpayers' Money to Rebuild

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is asking voters to pay a half-cent sales tax longer so he can finish his plans to improve the highway and subway systems quicker.

June 29, 2012
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Archive

Social Issues Overshadow Tennessee Legislative Session

Tennessee made a bid (again) to become the nation’s most socially conservative state by voting on bills regarding school prayer, sex education, climate change and abortion.

June 29, 2012
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Archive

Citizens United’s Corporate Candidate

Now that private-sector groups are allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money in state elections, who’s really running for office?

April 30, 2012
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Archive

Caucus System Cracks Revealed During 2012 GOP Primary Season

Several states were embarrassed by faulty counts in their caucuses, which are run by political parties rather than by public officials.

April 30, 2012
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Archive

Stockton, California’s Bankruptcy Makes 'Normal' Cities Nervous

Unlike many high-profile bankruptcies, Stockton’s financial woes are the result of many different factors that are not unusual for many localities.

April 30, 2012
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Archive

Governors Have 'The Best Job in Politics'

In his new book, political scientist Alan Rosenthal professes that no one gets what they want more than governors. Find out why.

April 30, 2012
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Archive

Tuition? UC Riverside Students Say Bill Me Later

A student group called “Fix UC” suggests colleges take a share of each student’s salary for the first 20 years after they graduate.

March 30, 2012
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Archive

GIS Mapping Helps Frogtown, Minnesota Track Neighborhood Data

Residents use geographic info systems to learn more about where they live.

March 30, 2012
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Archive

Wisconsin Recall Elections Draw Lots of Attention -- and Cash

The recalls of Gov. Scott Walker, his lieutenant and four state senators could top $100 million, but that's just a prelude to the fall when the parties will fight for control of the state House.

March 30, 2012
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Archive

Kris Kobach Tackles Illegal Immigration

Kansas’ secretary of state is redefining immigration laws not only in his state, but in Arizona and elsewhere.

February 29, 2012
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Downtown Revitalization During a Recovery: Great Idea or Huge Mistake?

Only time will tell if Kansas City’s unusual and possibly risky move will pay off.

January 31, 2012
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Archive

Elected as a Democrat, Now Governing the City Like a Republican

Some liberal leaders are pursuing a conservative economic agenda.

January 31, 2012
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Archive

Conservatives Question the War on Drugs

Some surprising political figures like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have started questioning how effective U.S. drug policy is.

January 31, 2012
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Archive

States Legislate in Response to News Headlines

In the current 24/7 news cycle, scandals often lead to bills in several statehouses.

January 1, 2012
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Archive

In Kansas, It’s Conservative GOP vs. Moderate GOP

For years, there have been two kinds of Republicans in the Kansas statehouse: conservatives and moderates. This year, the conservatives want total control.

January 1, 2012
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Archive

More State Workers Face Personnel Cuts

With the ballooning cost of benefits, a poor job market and more lean-government advocates in power, states are cutting personnel more than they have in the past.

January 1, 2012
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Archive

Governments Abandon Fingerprinting for Food Stamps

Most states and cities stopped requiring that recipients be fingerprinted because it was costly and slowed the application process. New York City and Arizona are the last jurisdictions that still do it.

November 30, 2011
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Archive

California’s Money-Saving MVP

If finding ways to save money for a cash-starved state wasn’t enough, California’s Auditor Elaine Howle is adding the task of setting up a new redistricting commission to her to-do list.

November 30, 2011
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Archive

America’s Least Active City Sits Down to Celebrate

After Lexington, Ky., earned the award for least active city, residents and the mayor took to the streets to boast their win in a Sedentary Parade.

November 30, 2011
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Archive

St. Louis Wants to Control Its Own Police Force Again

In the nineteenth century, some states took control of local police forces. Today, St. Louis is the last big city whose force is still under state control.

November 30, 2011
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Archive

Taxing the Rich Isn’t Always a Moneymaker

Several states increased taxes on the wealthy in recent years. The move brought in extra revenue but didn’t solve all of states’ budget problems.

November 30, 2011
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Archive

ALEC Enjoys A New Wave of Influence and Criticism

The American Legislative Exchange Council’s conservative ideas are resonating in practically every area of state government. And its opponents aren’t happy about it.

November 30, 2011
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Archive

South Carolina Says It's a 'Great Day'

A new etiquette directive from Gov. Nikki Haley has state employees sounding more chipper.

October 31, 2011
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Archive

Can Redistricting Ever Be Fair?

Several states are setting up independent commissions in the hope of removing bias from the line-drawing process.

October 31, 2011
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Archive

States Cut Welfare Benefits -- Again

At a time when people need it the most, states are tightening work requirements, lowering payments and setting time limits for welfare recipients.

October 31, 2011
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Archive

What Can Cities Learn from Wasps?

An evolutionary biologist adapts his theories to help local officials plan parks and improve schools.

October 31, 2011
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Archive

New Headaches for ‘No Child Left Behind’

New NCLB waivers may impact the classroom more than the old law they’re trying to escape did.

October 31, 2011
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Archive

Should Governments Start Borrowing Again?

The word "borrow" may be taboo still, but one economist says states and localities should take advantage of historic low interest rates.

September 30, 2011
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Archive

South Carolina's Ethics Problem

Scandal and corruption have plagued Palmetto State politics for years. Some say it’s because it's virtually a one-party state.

September 30, 2011
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Archive

Your Day in Court? Get in Line.

As San Francisco County closes more than a third of its courts, local lawyers are trying to find ways to raise more revenue.

September 30, 2011
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Archive

Billionaires in the Classroom

Bill Gates and other philanthropists are reshaping public education policy with private cash. Can they succeed at making schools perform to their liking?

September 27, 2011
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Will Education Cuts Lead to More Lawsuits?

States that are cutting their K-12 budgets by billions of dollars can expect more lawsuits, but they may not have an immediate impact.

July 29, 2011
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Archive

Kansas City Businesses Want to End the ‘Economic Border War’

Businesses are tired of jumping across state lines for wasted tax incentives.

July 29, 2011
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Are the Unions Winning the Fight?

Governors and mayors say their workers are demanding unsustainable benefits. Union rebuttals are not turning the tide.

June 30, 2011
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Archive

Fixing Bridges ... Or Not

The lack of money for bridge repairs is symptomatic of a larger problem: Transportation projects in general are going to slip behind.

May 31, 2011
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Rahm Emanuel Takes on Chicago

Chicago's Richard M. Daley is a tough act to follow. But Rahm Emanuel is determined to make his own mark.

May 31, 2011
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Archive

Pink Slips Affect the Future of the Teaching Profession

Massive teacher layoffs have led to concerns that young people will shy away from entering the suddenly less-than-secure profession.

May 31, 2011
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Archive

States Roll Back Early Voting, Enforce Voter ID Laws

Democrats complain that GOP legislators are seeking to disenfranchise vulnerable groups of voters. Republicans say they're merely protecting the sanctity of the ballot.

May 31, 2011
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Archive

Does the Popular Vote Matter?

While some states offer extra protection for statutes enacted by popular vote, legislatures can still overturn ballot initiatives in most states.

April 29, 2011
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Detroit's Disappearing Population -- and Revenues

With the loss of 25 percent of its residents, Detroit could also lose its ability to levy higher income taxes.

April 29, 2011
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New Governors Time Their Battles

Unpopular governors have good chances of winning re-election -- as long as they push their most controversial policies early on.

April 29, 2011
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States Handing Off More Responsibilities to Cities

States are asking cities to take charge of more programs, but they may not provide enough support.

March 31, 2011
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Archive

School Vouchers Are In ... Again

Different circumstances and a favorable political climate make school vouchers more attractive than before.

February 28, 2011
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Archive

The Immigration Enforcement Divide

Legislators are trying to pass laws requiring immigration checks, but they're running into resistance from the people who would enforce them.

February 28, 2011
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The Troubled State of Mental Health Funding

States have cut mental health funding by more than $2 billion. Things may get worse this year.

February 28, 2011
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Back in the Black: Orange County May Pre-Pay Its Old Debt

Officials in Orange County, California, are hoping that they've finally found a cure for the decade-long hangover stemming from the county's 1994 bankruptcy.

October 1, 2004
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Archive

Turnover at the Top

While competition and turnover have just about disappeared at the state legislative level, they remain a fact of life for governors.

October 1, 2004
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Whatever Happened to Competitive Elections

Nearly 6,000 state legislators will be elected next month. Most of them face little or no opposition.

October 1, 2004
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Illinois' Dirty Little Secret

I wrote a lovely feature in this month's Governing about how states are struggling with pension and retiree health costs. One of the states I ...

April 14, 2006
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Annals of Wasting Time

So clogging is now the official dance of the state of Kentucky. Apparently it will be required of all visitors. Actually, I suppose official state ...

April 18, 2006
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Better Beggars

Turkey is not the richest country in Europe, as we hear repeatedly as part of the debate about whether it should be offered entry into ...

April 20, 2006
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Deer Me

A couple of years ago, Governing ran a story (4th item) about some wayward deer. One had crossed the Golden Gate Bridge (taking up a ...

April 20, 2006
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Archive

Fear of Good News

Are you afraid of catching the mumps? How about bird flu? If so, you're obviously not alone. But you might be cheered up by some ...

April 21, 2006
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Life After Political Death

I'm not a great reader of obituaries, but I happened to see that Joe Freitas, the former district attorney of San Francisco, died last Wednesday. ...

April 24, 2006
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With Enemies Like These

Back when Bill Clinton was president, one of the things that drove his opponents nuts and gave pleasure to his fans was the fact that ...

April 25, 2006
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Jane Jacobs, R.I.P.

We should note that Jane Jacobs, an important voice in urban planning and design, died on Tuesday, at age 89. Alan Ehrenhalt, Governing's executive editor, wrote ...

April 25, 2006
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Go Westly, Young Man

Something inevitable is happening in California -- Steve Westly has taken the lead in the Democratic primary to pick a candidate to square off against ...

April 26, 2006
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Archive

Picking Judges

Ernie Fletcher, the governor of Kentucky, has used his line-item veto authority to cancel $370 million worth of government projects. Naturally, this has caused consternation among ...

April 27, 2006
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Archive

It's Not Okay

This falls more under the pet peeve category than anything having to do with state or local government, but no doubt many of our readers ...

April 28, 2006
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A Healthy State

Amidst all the hoopla about the health insurance program just passed in Massachusetts , some people are recalling that policymakers in the state have gone down ...

May 2, 2006
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Seventh Street Parade

[Alan reflects on the recent changes to Washington, DC's Gallery Place/Chinatown neighborhood. --Ed.] The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which ...

May 2, 2006
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Dying Village

In contrast to all the hipster activity in downtown D.C., people who worry about areas where the population is aging and in decline will ...

May 2, 2006
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So Much for Reform

It's been a tough year for political reformers in Florida. First, an attempt to take redistricting out of the hands of legislators got knocked off ...

May 10, 2006
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Feet First

Here's a startling statistic, courtesy of Terry Madonna and Michael Young, of Franklin & Marshall College: "The number one reason leaders in the Pennsylvania ...

May 11, 2006
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Support Bush or Bust

Those who think government contracting can become too political -- and just ask John Rowland about that -- need to read this story in the ...

May 10, 2006
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Pull Down Thy Vanity

posted by Alan Greenblatt Back in his days as a stand-up comedian, Woody Allen had a routine about how he'd learned to type. He simply ...

May 24, 2006
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Too Much Money

I don't count myself among the pessimists who think that the U.S. economy will eventually falter to the point that we'll all be working ...

May 24, 2006
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UPDATE: New Take on Eminent Domain

Eminent domain has become a hot topic this year, with virtually every state considering legislation to curb the practice in the light of last year's ...

May 24, 2006
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Street Fightin' Man

As part of my rigorous prep work for writing a profile of Cory Booker, Newark's incoming mayor, I watched "Street Fight," a documentary ...

May 31, 2006
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Sad Yet Apt Commentary

From a washingtonpost.com chat: Is it true that the thousand monkeys randomly typing at a thousand typewriters have given up on the collected works ...

May 31, 2006
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NIMBY Radio

Here's a new one (as far as I know): The Los Angeles Economic County Economic Development Corporation is taking to the airwaves and the Web ...

June 1, 2006
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Give Me Regionalism, or Give Me Death

Dan Walters, the longtime Sacramento Bee columnist, opens a piece about sheriffs with a sentence that NACo's going to love: "A strong argument could ...

June 5, 2006
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Archive

Quitters Never Prosper

Now that former Massachusetts Governor William Weld has dropped out of the New York governor's race, it might be worth looking back at this Governing ...

June 6, 2006
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Maybe There's No Bumper for a Sticker...

We're certainly not endorsing anyone in the race for mayor of Washington, but we do hope that D.C. Council President Linda Cropp can afford ...

June 7, 2006
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Light Work If You Can Get It

It's a tired old cliche of American politics that the job of lieutenant governor is, for the most part, boring and thankless. Like many cliches, ...

June 7, 2006
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Suburban Blues

In Governing's May issue, I noted (4th item) that Democrats have been cleaning up in special legislative elections in recent months, taking lots of formerly ...

June 8, 2006
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Grandma Needs Some Help

As the year began, Kinky Friedman seemed to have sewn up the role of kooky independent candidate in the Texas governor's race. But state Comptroller ...

June 8, 2006
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Weekend Reading

One of the frequent arguments we hear at Governing is that public employee unions are running the asylum in too many places. The Washington Post ...

June 12, 2006
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Open Secrets

Fans of cheap irony will want to read this Sacramento Bee story about how the California Reclamation Board plans to meet in closed session to ...

June 13, 2006
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Urban Translator

It's clear that gang members and the justice system they sometimes encounter operate in different social spheres. You might even say that such (alleged) criminals ...

June 13, 2006
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Prognosticating the Primaries

My skills as a prognosticator are about as good as the average political reporter's -- not so hot. I'm living up to that track record ...

June 14, 2006
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Futility in Government Award

Bay Area biologist Terry Preston was concerned about creekside development in her area, so she hit the books to find relevant laws and zoning rules ...

June 15, 2006
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What Good Are Helmets?

Reading this story about how motorcycle deaths in Florida have shot up 67 percent since Governor Jeb Bush, in his wisdom, repealed the requirement that bikers ...

June 19, 2006
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Understatement of the Day

"Once a report is made public, the damage from any inappropriate contents cannot be undone." So says a motion filed by Kentucky Governor ...

June 20, 2006
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Now It's in Writing

Have you got clout at Chicago city hall? If so, you're on the list. As part of the ongoing trial of former patronage czar Robert ...

June 20, 2006
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Hail to What's His Name

There was no fanfare, no Supreme Court justices sitting on their hands, no heroic figures occupying a place of honor next to his wife. Nonetheless, ...

June 20, 2006
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No Free Ride

Two Bay Area transit authorities released their annual survey on traffic in the San Francisco area and, as the Chronicle reports, it's bad and getting ...

June 21, 2006
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Blocking Blogs

Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher has been having his problems. He just doesn't want people -- especially state employees -- to know about them. We noted ...

June 21, 2006
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A Bridge Too Far

My in-laws live in Greenville, South Carolina, where the downtown scene has grown much more robust over the five or six years they've lived there. ...

June 23, 2006
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A Civil Tongue

It's old news by now that Robert Smith was fired last week from his post on the board of Washington's Metro transit agency for referring ...

June 22, 2006
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Blogs Blocked for Everybody

We were pleased yesterday to jump on the liberal blog bandwagon regarding the story that Kentucky had blocked access to blogs from state computers. Now ...

June 22, 2006
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End of Career Politicians

Apparently dissatisfied with their lot, many state legislators seek higher office at the first plausible opportunity. Are the ones in your state doing well so ...

June 26, 2006
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Deliver Us From Web Sites

The latest news out of Kentucky's blog blocking scare is that the state has blocked access to a Bible study site, among other religious pages. ...

June 27, 2006
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Quote for the Day

"There's not an organization in the world that would turn over an enterprise with a $70 billion budget to someone with six years' experience, but ...

June 28, 2006
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Truth in Advertising

Yesterday I was handed a flier promoting the candidacy of Hans Riemer for the Montgomery County Council in suburban Maryland. Since I cover politics and ...

June 30, 2006
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Knowing When to Say When

In honor of Ron Gonzales, who refuses to step down as mayor of San Jose even though he's under indictment for corruption and the city ...

June 30, 2006
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More Bad News for Locals

City and county officials will want to take note of a small item (third story) buried on page 5 of today's Washington Post. Local officials have ...

June 30, 2006
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Money Chase

I wrote a short article (second item) for Governing in May about the huge increase in state and local lobbying of the federal government. The ...

July 6, 2006
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Smokers Still Hungry

If your city has debated a ban on smoking, you're no doubt familiar with the usual argument raised by the restaurant industry, that such a ...

July 5, 2006
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Why New Jersey's Broke (Part 1)

As of this hour, New Jersey has no budget and its government remains shut down. That may change very soon. But how did the state ...

July 6, 2006
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Why New Jersey's Broke (Part 2)

Usually when a state is on the brink of shutting down, the main players will emerge at the 11th hour from a smokeless room to ...

July 7, 2006
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City News from Frisco

How many times have you heard that artists, writers and other creative types have been priced out of major cities? Daniel Brook, a freelance writer, ...

July 17, 2006
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Food Deserts

We've all heard that residents of poor inner-city areas have lousy food choices, being badly served by grocery stores (although this may be changing) while ...

July 18, 2006
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Barbour of Civility

What is the main thing? According to Haley Barbour, governor of Mississippi, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.&...

July 20, 2006
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Yes, We Have No BANANA

These may not be new to anyone else, but I was amused the other day at a presentation given by Bill Brier of the Edison ...

July 24, 2006
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More Yickiness

Over on Governing's home page, Otis White writes about how San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders killed an idea to treat and re-treat wastewater so that ...

July 27, 2006
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Wishful Thinking

Otis White has an interesting take on a dispute between the Washington Nationals and D.C. The team wants a big parking lot built in ...

July 28, 2006
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Not All Glamour

I've often talked with members of Congress and other politicians about the silliness of their pathological fear of being voted out of office. When an ...

July 28, 2006
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No More Barbecue

Joel Garreau, who memorably encapsulated the life of the outer suburbs in the 1992 book Edge City: Life on the New Frontier, has found yet another ...

July 31, 2006
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An Unfortunate Acronym

Texas Governor Rick Perry continues to hold both polling and fundraising leads over his numerous and colorful opponents in his reelection bid this year. But ...

July 31, 2006
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The Liberian Dream

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Alderman Todd Stroger, the Democratic nominee to replace his father as Cook County Board president, has donated $8,000 to a Nation ...

August 1, 2006
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Public Sector Competence

I've been talking to people up in Massachusetts about why the Big Dig has turned into such a black eye, while another project with a ...

August 1, 2006
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An Unexpected Question

"Would you vote for a candidate who wrote a trashy, pornographic romance novel that glorifies premarital sex and seeks to arouse sexual interest as ...

August 2, 2006
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Federally-Mandated Pay Decrease

Minimum wage hikes remain a hot issue in states, but as you probably know, Congress looks likely to approve the first national increase in nine ...

August 2, 2006
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Reviving Dying Towns

In recent months, I've been talking with a few academic types about how some of the older industrial towns in the Northeast are starting to ...

August 2, 2006
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Cliché Watch

While reading The New York Times the other day, I was struck by the claim made in a piece on Guantanamo that, when it comes ...

August 4, 2006
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Not for New Hampshire

Since South Carolina will be the first southern state to hold a presidential primary in 2008, many of the governors who are gathered in Charleston for ...

August 7, 2006
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Medicaid Reform: Fuhgeddaboutit

Tommy Thompson, the former governor of Wisconsin and secretary of Health and Human Services during President Bush's first term, has been peddling lots of ideas ...

August 8, 2006
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Tarnished Halo

Joe Riley, the celebrated mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, announced on Friday that he will seek a ninth term next year. Riley has been in ...

August 8, 2006
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Blame the Media

The thing that political journalists care about the most is conflict -- two sides taking shots at each other over policy or partisanship or anything ...

August 10, 2006
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Council of Glass Houses

posted by Alan Greenblatt Only people in Iowa are following the CIETC scandal. For our purposes today, it's enough to know that Archie Brooks, a ...

August 10, 2006
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Get Out of Jail Free

A judge ruled Friday that Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher won't have to face charges stemming from a hiring scandal until he leaves office. If Fletcher ...

August 14, 2006
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Just for Show

What's the point of passing a law that won't be enforced? The Houston City Council seems particularly prone to cracking down on high-profile problems without ...

August 14, 2006
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The Worm Has Turned

Our friends at Stateline.org report that state revenues are as flush as they've been in decades, citing an NCSL survey. So, that's good news ...

August 15, 2006
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Takes One to Know One

You may be familiar with the ongoing investigation into hiring practices in Illinois. Members of the Blagojevich administration are accused of improperly letting political considerations ...

August 16, 2006
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You Say Macaca

I don't doubt that George Allen can be insulting and indeed was Monday to a volunteer with his opponent's campaign. But I do doubt that ...

August 16, 2006
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On Guard

The U.S. House has voted to allow the president to call up the National Guard in times of emergency without so much as a ...

August 17, 2006
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Fodder for Richard Florida

Up here on the 13th Floor, we talk a lot among ourselves about how the nation's best and brightest are now more likely to work ...

August 22, 2006
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Just Another Pol?

The Washington Post yesterday ran a long piece that pretty well sums up the state of play of John McCain's presidential aspirations, the ways in ...

August 28, 2006
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Annals of Silly Legislation

In the past, we've spilled some ink in praise of Keith Richman and Joe Canciamilla, two members of the California Assembly who have tried hard ...

August 28, 2006
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Why Not Give Iowa a Try?

Many pages in my notebook have been filled by officials telling me that tax increases will scare off businesses and are the last thing that ...

August 30, 2006
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Do Your Own Work

Here's a cute little story: Brandon Dickens tried to skip out on jury duty in Michigan, returning late after lunch. Judge David Reader got mad ...

September 5, 2006
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Evidence of Political Confusion

Bob Leeper, a Kentucky state senator, is running for reelection. Nothing remarkable about that, except that the former Democrat who turned Republican last time around ...

September 5, 2006
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Cropped Out

The winner of today's Democratic primary for mayor of Washington, D.C., is all but assured of taking over the job next year. Don't put ...

September 12, 2006
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Race Baiting

Is race the most important issue confronting the city of Chicago? Reading today's edition of the Sun-Times, you might think it is. Mayor Daley, armed ...

September 13, 2006
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A Progressive Star

If you follow California politics closely, you've probably heard the buzz that the reason the Democratic legislature has been willing to make so nice with ...

September 13, 2006
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So Long, Schaefer

Two days later, it's still a little surprising that William Donald Schaefer lost his job as Maryland comptroller. Not only did he lose (his first ...

September 14, 2006
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Famous Iowans

posted by Alan Greenblatt Iowa governors have been a homey bunch. Herschel Loveless (1957-1961) had been a railroad engineer and parking meter salesman -- as ...

September 18, 2006
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Why Reporters Love Regionalism

The Des Moines Register yesterday reprinted an article I wrote for Governing a few months ago about collaboration among local governments in Iowa. That's not ...

September 18, 2006
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Apostates Need Not Apply

The Bush administration sent "the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest" to govern Iraq in the early days ...

September 19, 2006
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I Say It's Spinach

posted by Alan Greenblatt I've been waiting for this. The Heartland Institute is the first, on my radar at any rate, to lay blame for ...

September 19, 2006
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Following Pinchback

Now that Deval Patrick has taken the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Massachusetts, there's a pretty good chance that the nation will have an African-American governor. (...

September 20, 2006
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Cliche Watch

Time magazine writers this week prove the importance of writing about what you know -- even if what you know is only a cliche. Reviewing ...

September 20, 2006
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Health Issues in Red America

South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds spent part of his day Tuesday urging hunters to get into better shape. Rounds said they would feel better tramping ...

September 21, 2006
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Innocent Until Proven Effective

You may recall that HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson gave a speech in April in which he boasted about denying a federal contract to someone who ...

September 25, 2006
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Interesting Spin

I had dinner the other night with a group that included a member of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's cabinet. We talked about how this governor ...

September 27, 2006
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Fun Contest

People who visit the 13th Floor probably have heard the term metropolitan "donuts" -- regions where the central city population is shrinking or ...

September 28, 2006
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Voting Early and Often

With Election Day not much more than a month away, we're already on the hunt for clues about what the mood of voters will really ...

September 28, 2006
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Free Riders

Commuters in Washington, as in many other big cities, are often handed free tabloid newspapers nowadays. For some reason, the freebies generate more litter than ...

October 2, 2006
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A Politics of Doubt

Twenty years ago in his novel Roger's Version, John Updike wrote, "The Devil is the absence of doubt." That's a sentiment that Andrew ...

October 4, 2006
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Living Out of Bounds

When I saw the headline of this story in the Des Moines Register, "Election watchdog calls residency law out of date," I have ...

October 5, 2006
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Making a Hash of Things

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short article about the mayoral race in Rabbit Hash, a small town along the Ohio River in ...

October 10, 2006
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Dogs Bite Men

Most reports and studies have no impact. But one released just this week has already resulted in a change in state policy. Human Rights Watch ...

October 13, 2006
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New York, Blue York

If there's any state where it's clear that Democrats will clean up next month, it's New York. Hillary Clinton will get a big win in ...

October 16, 2006
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Erasing the Opposition

Indiana Democrats have real hopes of taking back the state House next month. One GOP incumbent they won't beat, however, is Kathy Kreag Richardson. She's ...

October 18, 2006
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Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

Democrats, who currently hold 22 governorships, will have several more after the November elections. So says Mitt Romney, the governor of Massachusetts and head of the ...

October 19, 2006
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How Big a Tide?

posted by Alan Greenblatt As everyone knows, things are also looking grim for Republican control of the U.S. House. Even conservative commentators, such as ...

October 20, 2006
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Just Guns, No Butter

This story about Daley, Bloomberg and about 100 other mayors forming a coalition to protest the easy availability of "illegal guns" gives me an ...

October 27, 2006
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As Goes Idaho...

What's happening in Idaho? The Gem State is one of the most solidly Republican in the country. It's a sure entry in the "red&...

October 31, 2006
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Conflict Perverse

With Election Day just over a week away, naturally the closest races are getting the most attention. But does that mean that citizens are receiving ...

October 30, 2006
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Your Tax Dollars at Work

I don't collect stories about waste in the wide world of homeland security, but if you do, here's a good one. A high-tech $160,000 machine was ...

October 31, 2006
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Just South of Big Beaver

If I lived in suburban Detroit, I'd be tempted to accept the invitation I just got from a candidate there, if only because of the ...

November 2, 2006
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Giving Credit Where It's Due

If you arrived at this blog via Governing's home page, you'll note that Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi adorns our current cover, which celebrates our ...

November 2, 2006
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Good Government = Bad Politics?

All year, I've kept one eye on the Minnesota governor's race. Not because it's one of the closest in the country -- although there is ...

November 3, 2006
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Lateral Movement

Nearly seven years ago, Governing ran a cover story about Oakland, noting that the city was undergoing a unique experiment in shared power between the ...

November 3, 2006
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Defending Third Parties

We don't get a lot of comments, unfortunately, here on the 13th Floor. But I did get a couple in response to my post the ...

November 6, 2006
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Races to Watch

As Josh says, we'll be blogging and offering election coverage well into the night tomorrow. If you want to know whether Democrats are really going ...

November 6, 2006
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When a Stranger Calls

Talkingpointsmemo.com, a liberal-leaning blog, is chockablock with stories about robocalls sponsored by the National Republican Campaign Committee. People in some swing districts are being ...

November 6, 2006
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Promises Made

We've been talking a lot here on the 13th Floor about what we expect the new governors to do once they take office. There will ...

November 7, 2006
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A Democratic Senate?

I just saw some exit polls for U.S. Senate races. Many are close but if the numbers hold, Democrats would get the gain of ...

November 7, 2006
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Bad for Bush

posted by Alan Greenblatt Early exit polls (and we know how accurate those can be) show bad news for Bush. Nearly 6 in 10 disapprove of the ...

November 7, 2006
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Very Early Results

posted by Alan Greenblatt But who can wait any longer? With 37 percent of precincts reporting, Democrat John Yarmuth is leading in Kentucky's 3rd District in ...

November 7, 2006
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Corruption Is Tops

posted by Alan Greenblatt National Review blog has the Senate numbers also, along with issue questions. Corruption is top concern, followed by terror, economy, Iraq. ...

November 7, 2006
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Head Games

posted by Alan Greenblatt I'm still getting calls from Democratic friends saying they don't believe their party can actually pull off a win tonight. Meanwhile, ...

November 7, 2006
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Ohio River Results

posted by Alan Greenblatt Ellsworth still way up with 29 percent of vote in. Baron "The Baron" Hill barely ahead in other southern Indiana ...

November 7, 2006
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Crist Ahead Out of Gate

posted by Alan Greenblatt Crist is up 60-38 for Florida gov with 8 percent reporting So far that's a hold for Brother Bush.

November 7, 2006
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Class of 1994

CNN has called IN-08 for Ellsworth. John Hostettler was elected in 1994 and since has been a perennial target for Democrats. It took a Democratic year ...

November 7, 2006
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Enough for or of Allen?

MSNBC calls Ohio Senate seat for Democat Sherrod Brown. Dems getting the gimmes for Senate, but George Allen up 50-49 in Virginia with 55 percent reporting. ...

November 7, 2006
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All Three in Indiana?

Joe Donnelly is pulling away from Chris Chocola in the South Bend district but it's still early (32 percent). Baron "The Baron" Hill is ...

November 7, 2006
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Here Comes Spitzer

Polls about to close in several states. Some tossup House seats (North Carolina 11, even the Mark Foley seat) are nearly tied at the moment. Yarmuth ...

November 7, 2006
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Governors Winning Easily

MSNBC calling governor races -- Napolitano, Spitzer, Freudenthal, Heineman, Perdue, Richardson, Henry all win. Granholm wins Michigan, too. I was in Michigan a few weeks ...

November 7, 2006
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Top of the Hour

Wow. Amy Klobuchar and Debbie Stabenow are being projected winners in Minnesota and Michigan Senate races, right along Hillary and other never-in-doubt winners. Klobuchar has ...

November 7, 2006
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Joe-mentum

How can a political blog ignore the fact that networks are calling Connecticut for Lieberman?

November 7, 2006
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Maryland Governor

That was another Maryland race that Bob Ehrlich, the incumbent Republican governor, kept close. Ehrlich has always had an appealing persona and I'll disagree with ...

November 7, 2006
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Maryland Senate

Ben Cardin wins. That shouldn't have been a race. Maryland is a very blue state, but it stayed close until the end. Cardin has been ...

November 7, 2006
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Dewey Defeats Truman

Just kidding.

November 7, 2006
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Crist Pulling Away

State Attorney General Charlie Crist is up 54-44 percent in the FL governor's race with 58 percent of the vote in. There could be as many ...

November 7, 2006
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Meanwhile, in Congress...

Yarmuth wins in Louisville. That's a big win for Democrats in the House. They also have taken the Rhode Island Senate seat. That's three of ...

November 7, 2006
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It's Official in DC

Adrian Fenty, the new mayor of DC, is making his victory speech right now.

November 7, 2006
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Dem Sweep in Indiana

The networks finally recognizing that it's election night. ABC is calling all three contested Indiana House seats for the Democrats. Nancy Johnson, a 24-year Connecticut ...

November 7, 2006
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Turning Kansas Purplish?

Kansas really is fascinating. Sebelius won four years ago largely because the state GOP there is so fractured. She has been popular but has struggled ...

November 7, 2006
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No Habitat

Hodes beats Bass in New Hampshire. Bass was, along with defeated Republican Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chaffee and Connecticut's Nancy Johnson, a classic GOP moderate ...

November 7, 2006
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Gubernatorial State of Play

CNN calls Ed Rendell's reelection in Pennsylvania. Also, another term for Jim Doyle, the governor of Wisconsin. Democratic candidates holding big leads right now in ...

November 7, 2006
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Crist Wins

CNN calls Florida for Charlie Crist, the Republican state attorney general who will succeed Governor Jeb Bush. Exit polls showed 66 percent approval among voters for ...

November 7, 2006
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Scandal Seats

Mark Foley/Joe Negron still hanging tough in Florida, but Republicans have lost one of the other "scandal seats." The Ohio seat held ...

November 7, 2006
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Legislative Races

Legislative returns are slow in coming. Looks like Democrats have knocked off 8 GOP incumbents in the Vermont House, adding to their majority. Democratic candidate/former ...

November 7, 2006
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Dems Take Indiana House

Democrats are claiming victory in Indiana, where they appear to have erased the GOP's slender 52-48 lead. Here's the statement from the DLCC. Can't believe ...

November 7, 2006
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More Dem Legislative Gains

Dems have made three pickups in the Delaware House, according to NCSL. Check out the NCSL blog, where Bill Wyatt reports: "The Democratic pickups ...

November 7, 2006
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Democrats Win U.S. House

CNN says Dems have the net gain of 15 seats that they need to take the U.S. House. There are plenty of races yet to ...

November 7, 2006
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A Democratic House

Obviously, what a Dem House means right now is a rebuke to the Bush White House. The cable commentators have been talking about whether the ...

November 7, 2006
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Lingle: Four More Years

CNN says Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle has won four more years. Have to say, despite the call for O'Malley, Ehrlich's lead is holding steady with ...

November 7, 2006
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No on Abortion Ban

CNN projects that the South Dakota ban on abortion will go down to defeat. The legislature and governor had signed off on a ban without ...

November 7, 2006
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Maybe Beebe

Have we called Arkansas for Beebe yet? He'll be yet one more AG-turned-governor. Despite a successful 10-year run by outgoing Republican Mike Huckabee, Democrats have ...

November 7, 2006
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Four More Years of Arnold

AP calls California for incumbent Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. No surprise there, but still it's one of the amazing political comeback stories of the year.

November 7, 2006
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Maryland: The New Florida?

Note that the Washington Post has withdrawn its call for Ben Cardin in the Maryland Senate race. Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich still leads the governor's ...

November 7, 2006
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Webb Takes Lead in Virginia

Webb, who has been behind all night, has taken the lead over Allen as the last few percent of precincts are coming in. Apparently the ...

November 7, 2006
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Toting Up the Governors

Dem gains: New York (of course), Ohio, Colorado. Hatch is ahead in Minnesota, 47-45. AP has called Maine for incumbent John Baldacci, with an unimpressive 40 ...

November 7, 2006
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Protecting Property Rights

Eminent domain measures are passing all over the country. Our friends at NCSL say ballot measures have passed in six states, with Arizona looking good ...

November 7, 2006
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Chamber Gain for Dems

NCSL reports that Democrats will take the Michigan House. I was just trying to find numbers on the Michigan Senate, where Democrats have had hopes ...

November 7, 2006
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Jump Ball

There's been a tied chamber after every election going back to the 1980s. It looks like the Oklahoma Senate will have that distinction this time ...

November 7, 2006
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30 Dem Govs?

Note that the five states where Josh reports the governor's race is still in doubt -- MN, RI, NV, AK, ID -- are all held ...

November 7, 2006
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A Democratic Congress

Tester has been holding a big lead since polls closed in Montana. Webb is still up by 2,000 in Virginia. If those results hold, that means ...

November 7, 2006
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Minor Party Spoilers

We were having some dialogue on this page in recent days about the impact of third party candidates. Note that a Green Party candidate has ...

November 7, 2006
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Tennessee Senate

Bob Corker, the former mayor of Chattanooga, wins the Tennessee Senate seat, according to MSNBC. That gives Republicans 49 seats. George Allen is thanking God and ...

November 7, 2006
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Carcieri Reelected

Don Carcieri survives the Democratic storm in Rhode Island, winning another term 51-49. Note that AP still is not calling Maryland gov.

November 7, 2006
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Thoughts from Kansas

I asked Burdett Loomis, a political scientist at the University of Kansas, his thoughts on the results there. (Note that Loomis has worked for Governor ...

November 7, 2006
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Non-Arnold California Results

These are all early results, about 11 percent of precincts: Voters are overwhelmingly approving Proposition 83, one of the toughest versions of the tough-on-sex-offenders "Jessica's Law&...

November 7, 2006
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More California Results

California voters, having rejected every measure on the special election ballot last November, are feeling in a more positive frame of mind, it seems. As ...

November 7, 2006
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Dem Senate Hopes

Jim Webb is speaking now, sounding a lot more upbeat than George Allen did a while ago. That one will drag on for weeks, I'm ...

November 7, 2006
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Black in a Landslide

Jim Black, the scandal-prone speaker of the North Carolina House, will doubtless face a recount after winning reelection by -- get this -- 7 votes. That's ...

November 7, 2006
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Ballot Measures

Jennie Bowser of NCSL sums up the major measures here. I checked that site to see what else was happening on abortion, after we've noted ...

November 7, 2006
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Some More GOP House Losses

Still no Dem losses. As of now, Democrats are up 19 seats, with about three dozen yet to be called. Nick Lampson has just been declared ...

November 7, 2006
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More Chambers

No change in Tennessee Senate. Democrats pick up a minor party seat in the House. Democrats pick up 10 seats in the Vermont House, plus one ...

November 7, 2006
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They Can't Win Everywhere

There was a lot of 13th Floor chatter about whether big gubernatorial victories could help Democrats pick up legislative seats in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania ...

November 7, 2006
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Democrats Storm Iowa

In addition to their House seat gains and Chet Culver's election -- the first time Iowa has elected one Democrat to succeed another as governor ...

November 7, 2006
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Michigan

Michigan voters passed a ban on affirmative action. Remember that it was a University of Michigan case that led the Supreme Court to uphold the ...

November 7, 2006
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Oklahoma

Republicans picked up the two Senate seats they needed to force a tie. Democrats picked up one House seat, far from enough to end the ...

November 7, 2006
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Newest Arnold Pun

SF Chronicle site has headline, "He's The Two-Terminator."

November 7, 2006
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A Democratic Senate?

McCaskill wins Missouri. Tester is still ahead in Montana. That's a tied Senate, with VP Cheney breaking the tie. Webb has declared victory in Virginia. ...

November 7, 2006
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Dem Gains in Legislatures

Democrats are claiming control of a majority of chambers, including new majorities in the Indiana House, New Hampshire House and Senate, Iowa House and Senate, ...

November 7, 2006
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Wrapping Up Governor's Races

Otter wins Idaho. O'Malley is solid in Maryland. AP isn't calling, but looks like Pawlenty wins another term. He'll have to deal with a Democratic ...

November 7, 2006
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Stem Cells

posted by Alan Greenblatt At nearly 3 am, still not seeing any definitive call on the stem cell vote in Missouri, but the pro side is ...

November 7, 2006
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Do You Know the Way?

Most Bay Area incumbents are winning easily, but scandals are having an effect there as elsewhere. It looks like Chuck Reed will be the new ...

November 7, 2006
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Govs: Who's In, Who's Out

Here's a cheat sheet on the overall scoreboard in races for governor: THE GOVERNORS Next Year Republicans     22 Democrats       28 ...

November 8, 2006
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Ridiculous Spin Dept.

Al From, the head of the Democratic Leadership Council, has released a statement celebrating "a broad and deep Democratic win." Fair enough. But ...

November 8, 2006
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Sore Winners

What does it mean to claim victory before others declare you the winner? I think it's another symptom of our bruising, in-your-face political culture. The ...

November 8, 2006
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Unto the Sons

Here's a fun bit of trivia out of this year's elections. Four of the new state attorneys general are the sons of former governors. Andrew ...

November 9, 2006
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Too Bushed to Bash Both

I'm not a great believer in the idea that foul language should necessarily be more prevalent on a blog than in a print publication. But ...

November 9, 2006
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New Majorities

It makes sense that Republicans were able to make gains this year in Oklahoma and Montana. Oklahoma is a conservative state and the Montana legislature ...

November 10, 2006
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Friends in High Places

posted Alan Greenblatt States should start getting along better with Congress. Issues that congressional Democrats are touting, such as stem cell research and a minimum ...

November 10, 2006
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You Could Look It Up

The Oakland Public Library is making available online historic images from its collection -- 200 to start. Most are of local buildings and bridges as they ...

November 30, 2006
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Way Too Many

Should California increase its number of state legislators? Steve Wiegand, of the Sacramento Bee, has an amusing column about this idea. Because of California's population, ...

December 1, 2006
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Annals of Medical Privacy

You might recall that the attorneys general of Kansas and Indiana received national attention for their efforts to examine medical records from abortion clinics. They ...

December 1, 2006
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Best Practices?

Can a city be led based on the best ideas of mayors in other cities? Adrian Fenty, the incoming mayor of Washington, seems intent on ...

December 4, 2006
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Maybe They'll Cut Their Conference Fees

I'm not in the habit of posting press releases, but thought this was interesting news for this audience: Philadelphia, PA, December 5, 2006: The Alliance for Regional ...

December 6, 2006
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Worth Emphasizing

Otis White, over on our "Urban Notebook" page, makes a point about units of local government in St. Louis that is worth highlighting: &...

December 7, 2006
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Michael Guido

Michael Guido, the mayor of Dearborn, Michigan, died Tuesday after battling cancer for months. Although just 52, he had served for 21 years as the city's mayor. ...

December 6, 2006
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Abortions Decline in S. Dakota

Everyone knows that South Dakota voters overturned a ban on abortion approved by lawmakers earlier this year. That doesn't make the procedure popular in the ...

December 7, 2006
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Megaphone in Washington

When I was calling people after the elections last month, trying to figure out what they meant for states, the point that was generally made ...

December 7, 2006
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Some Bright Spots in New Orleans

There's been nothing but bad news about New Orleans in recent days. Louisiana's largest commercial property insurer has announced that it's pulling out of the ...

December 8, 2006
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Hooray for Chains

The contrarian essay is a staple of magazine journalism. There's one such essay in the December Atlantic that's of interest to this readership. Virginia Postrel ...

December 12, 2006
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Blue Suburbia

Following an election, it's always good to check in with Rhodes Cook, my old coworker at CQ and author of an important political newsletter. We ...

December 12, 2006
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The French Will Never Change

This is outside our normal scope, but fans of French-style protectionism will enjoy this passage from 1491 , Charles Mann's fascinating and unusually well-written book about North ...

December 12, 2006
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Latino or Hispanic?

There's often newsroom debate about how to refer to members of various subgroups of Americans. Some editors think that "Native Americans" is still ...

December 12, 2006
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Love Your Enemies

We've written a lot about Arnold Schwarzenegger's tendency to veer in policy approach -- conciliatory in even-numbered years, confrontational in the odd ones. Now that's ...

December 14, 2006
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Is Obama For Real?

The last thing I want to get involved in is speculation about the next presidential election, but I think some of the initial reaction to ...

December 14, 2006
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"A Love Card"

The Washington Post ran a soft as mush profile of incoming D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty in one of its Sunday lifestyle sections. It does ...

December 18, 2006
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Okay, We'll Bite

We've gotten emails from the office of Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, encouraging us to give more coverage to the city-county police merger set to happen ...

December 20, 2006
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New Day for Daley

It's looking increasingly likely that Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is set to win a sixth term this year. The Chicago Sun-Times has this story ...

January 5, 2007
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Koppel Adds to Overcrowding

Overcrowding in California's prisons has become a huge issue -- so much so that Ted Koppel is apparently planning to produce a TV documentary about ...

January 8, 2007
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Where the Poor Are

Our friends at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program have put out a study looking at where poor people live. It looks at growth in poverty ...

January 10, 2007
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Nest Feathering

Here's a plea to all government officials: Come up with a better reason to justify high public-sector salaries and benefits. The Sacramento Bee today reports ...

January 9, 2007
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So Much for Savings

Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson has put forward a crime-fighting plan that he says will cost an additional $85 million per year. Putting aside the merits of ...

January 10, 2007
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STOP It Already

I read outgoing Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's book about weight loss when I was writing a story for Congressional Quarterly about his having shed 110 pounds. ...

January 11, 2007
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Downtown MBAs

Many cities are trying to attract college campuses -- or at least parts of them -- to their downtowns. I've written in Governing about how ...

January 16, 2007
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Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby

There are musical groups that seem to have been around forever -- the Platters, the Orioles, the Drifters. One reason for their longevity, which we've ...

January 18, 2007
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Think Globally, Act Locally

The city clerk of Evansville, Indiana, is urging residents to send in money for a worthy cause: shipping golf balls to soldiers in Iraq. Apparently, ...

January 22, 2007
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Out of Fashion

One of the states where the legislature has spent recent years arguing about social issues, arguably to the detriment of other policies such as budgeting ...

January 22, 2007
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Victory for the Louse Lobby

The public schools in Oakland, California, have decided to drop their zero-tolerance policy against lice. Kids with itchy nits will be welcome to stay in ...

January 25, 2007
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A Metric Problem

posted by Alan Greenblatt San Francisco is an expensive city to park in. Even if you can find a space on the street with a ...

January 29, 2007
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Earth Out of Balance

My son is too young as yet for school, but I already have the sense that kids are pretty heavily propagandized when it comes to ...

January 30, 2007
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Strange Bedfellows

In the new issue of Governing, I write (6th item) about the potential opposition to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. I resisted the urge to ...

February 1, 2007
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Good News Is No News

Have you heard? Meth use is down. Both in terms of overal use and the number of new users. So says a National Survey on ...

February 6, 2007
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Council Should "Think Twice"

Here's a classic example of reactive law-making. The Chicago City Council's transportation committee has approved an ordinance that would significantly increase fines for motorists who ...

February 6, 2007
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New Hope for Cities?

John Cochran, at our sister publication CQ Weekly, has written an article suggesting that cities have reasons to believe that they will get more help ...

February 7, 2007
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Never Had a Chance

Leo McCarthy, a former lieutentant governor of California and speaker of the state Assembly, died on Monday. If you read the obituaries (Chronicle; Bee; LA ...

February 6, 2007
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Good Idea, Bad Legislation

Here's what may be the ultimate "nanny state" legislative proposal. A New York State senator wants to impose $100 fines on anyone who crosses ...

February 7, 2007
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Corruption in PA

We've been thinking a lot about the Pennsylvania legislature, wondering whether ethics reform will remain a priority. As you may know, legislators gave themselves a ...

February 7, 2007
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Tin Cup Dept.

The Des Moines school district is thinking about setting up a foundation that would be a vehicle for raising money for classroom projects and programs. ...

February 8, 2007
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Is Spitzer Doomed?

A few months ago, when it was already clear that New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer would be elected governor, I wrote an article ...

February 9, 2007
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Is This Really Necessary?

Al Franken, the semi-famed comedian and radio talk show host, is set to announce on Wednesday whether he'll run for the U.S. Senate next ...

February 12, 2007
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iPodGoverning.com

Lately I've been acting the part of the cranky libertarian, writing pieces about government overreach. So allow me to complain about an example of corporate ...

February 13, 2007
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Pension Envy

For Governing's upcoming March issue, I wrote a little piece about how there could be some grumbling about the generosity of government employee pensions and ...

February 21, 2007
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Merck's Miracle Cure

If you've followed the march of states lining up to require middle school girls to receive vaccinations for HPV, a sexually-transmitted disease that often leads ...

February 21, 2007
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The New Permanent Record

Henry Jenkins, who runs MIT's comparative media studies program, says that the Internet is "the new permanent record." Any jackass behavior you allow ...

February 21, 2007
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Daisy, and More

Have you forgotten what Michael Dukakis looked like in a tank? Do you have a hankering to hear Richard Nixon talk about busing? Then look ...

February 23, 2007
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A Dissatisfied Customer

I had a lengthy phone conversation the other day with a legislator full of complaints about press coverage of a bill he had sponsored. What ...

February 23, 2007
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So Long, Vilsack

For a while, it looked like Tom Vilsack was going to be the only governor or ex-governor in the Democratic presidential sweepstakes, so those of ...

February 23, 2007
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Stick a Fork Time?

If you're following gubernatorial politics at all this year, you know that Ernie Fletcher is in trouble. We'll have an item about this in the ...

February 27, 2007
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Annals of Bigotry

A columnist with AsianWeek in San Francisco was fired after publishing a column entitled "Why I Hate Blacks." Naturally, the paper has taken ...

March 1, 2007
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Pre-Cambrian Legislator

Fred Risser, president of the Wisconsin Senate, has served for 50 years -- longer than any other state legislator in the country. You can learn about ...

March 1, 2007
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Revolving Door

There's no end to revolving door stories. This Houston Chronicle piece offers a good look at how prevalent the practice has become in Texas -- 70 ...

March 5, 2007
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TMI or Not Enough?

Our parent company, the St. Petersburg Times, commissioned a survey of residents in Largo, Florida, and the surrounding county to find out what people thought ...

March 6, 2007
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Massachusetts Mill Cities

Remember the "Massachusetts miracle"? The state continues to be a New Economy winner -- or rather, the Greater Boston area does. Much of ...

March 6, 2007
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Dumpster on Wheels

Gavin Newsom has finally found a place to put the homeless. The San Francisco mayor wants his local bus system to offer free rides to ...

March 7, 2007
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A Compelling Subject

Jerry Seinfeld got some laughs at the Oscars a couple weeks ago in giving out "best documentary" and announcing "the five extremely ...

March 7, 2007
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Dirty Word?

Three female students at a Westchester County, New York, high school have been suspended. Their offense? They said the word "vagina" at a ...

March 8, 2007
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Government Keeping Us Safe

Lately, I've been thinking about "nanny state" issues. Sometimes governments require citizens to do common-sense things, but at what point do such laws ...

March 8, 2007
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Strong County Leader?

We've seen the trend toward strong mayoral control in many large cities in recent years, with Richmond, San Diego, Oakland and many others taking big ...

March 12, 2007
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The Demand-Side Management Version of a Rock Star

Obama is one, of course. So is Clinton -- actually, both Bill and Hillary are. Even Junichiro Koizumi is one. I refer, of course, to ...

March 13, 2007
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Park in the Dark

I was hunting around for examples of dumb laws -- never mind why -- and found one that was just repealed. For decades, Pekin, Illinois, ...

March 14, 2007
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Federalism For and Against

The Bay Area is a rich source of stories today concerning federalism. First, there is what appears to be the final chapter in the federal ...

March 15, 2007
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Chichester's Retirement

John Chichester, a 29-year veteran of the Virginia Senate and a 2004 Governing "Public Official of the Year," has announced his retirement. He gets ...

March 19, 2007
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Wild Crime Spree

Rich Smith, a British journalism student, spent one Christmas day playing board games. He came across reference to an obscure law in Florida that made ...

March 19, 2007
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Information Devolution

By now it's become a tired cliche that independent voices, granted new power and tools by technology, have up-ended traditional public discourse, challenging both media ...

March 21, 2007
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Extreme Propaganda

Here's a legislative example of the phenomenon I described the other day with the anti-Hillary YouTube video. Two videos have been posted on YouTube deriding ...

March 22, 2007
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Crime or Punishers?

There have been a lot of prominent public officials prosecuted in recent years. Here on the 13th Floor, we often have internal debates about whether ...

March 29, 2007
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Decongestion Pricing

Sorry to be a homer, but I have to point out this welcome news for Washingtonians. The head of Metro, our transit system, has announced ...

March 30, 2007
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Think It's a Big Deal, Fran?

"This victory was a great victory for those of us who care about the biggest environmental and economic issue of the 21st century." ...

April 6, 2007
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Going Native

I've been working on a profile of Rick Jore, who chairs the Montana House's education committee despite being the only representative in the state from ...

April 9, 2007
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Nice Guys Finish First?

In response to my post about Montana House Education Chairman Rick Jore, Kurtis writes in to comment that Jore has won praise for being upfront, ...

April 10, 2007
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Another Bad Idea

I have an iPod. I use it every day. It offers me a much greater choice of music and downloaded radio shows (aka podcasts) to ...

April 11, 2007
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Clear Path to Corruption

Last fall, I appeared at a conference hosted by the American Enterprise Institute about financing higher education. I spoke about campus financial aid offices and ...

April 11, 2007
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So Much for That Boomlet

Fred Thompson, the actor and former U.S. senator, has announced he has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Although his prognosis is good -- he says the cancer ...

April 11, 2007
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Everything's Up to Date in Omaha

About a year ago, I was working on a short feature about how cities are trying to promote their local scenes. Fritz Junker, the head ...

April 16, 2007
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Corzine and the Budget

After days of stories detailing New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's recovery from a severe car accident, The New York Times weighed in Sunday with the ...

April 17, 2007
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Guns and Dorms

Stateline.org reports that the Virginia Tech shootings have already inspired legislation, with a Louisiana state representative dropping a bill that would make it clear ...

April 19, 2007
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Frayed Nerves

A student was waving a gun late Monday night outside the University of Virginia's engineering building. It turned out that his reasons were entirely innocent ...

April 24, 2007
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Dry Cleaning Disputes

Early in my career at Governing, I wrote this feature about methods that courts were using in order to speed along their dockets. The lead, ...

April 26, 2007
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Good Night, Tommy

Tommy Thompson was one of the great governors of recent years and no doubt possessed the ability to have done great things as a Cabinet ...

May 14, 2007
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Will Mike Run?

Chris Cillizza, the political columnist for Washingtonpost.com, presents a good overview of the potential upsides of a presidential run by New York Mayor Michael ...

May 23, 2007
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Portentous Idol?

Am I the only one who thinks Jordin Sparks' victory on "American Idol" is a good omen for Barack Obama, based on their ...

May 24, 2007
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The Return of Romneycare

It's good to see Mitt Romney finally taking some credit for the health insurance mandate bill he signed into law last year as governor of ...

May 31, 2007
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You Know What

Normally I don't publish off the record remarks, but this one is so charming and innocuous -- and I'll keep the person in question anonymous ...

May 31, 2007
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The New Yorker's View of Los Angeles

My copy of the May 21 New Yorker got delivered to a neighbor's house, so I've only just gotten around to reading Connie Bruck's profile of ...

June 6, 2007
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What Florida Could Learn

Starting tomorrow, Florida lawmakers will take a swing in special session at revising the state's dozen-year-old cap on property taxes, which has led to gross ...

June 11, 2007
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Suburban Supervisor

Don't know whether you've been following the saga of Ed Jew, a San Francisco supervisor accused of having shaken down constituent business owners for $40,000 to ...

June 20, 2007
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Newsom's Problems

When I wrote a piece (5th item) about San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's potential electoral problems, I erred on the side of good taste and ...

June 22, 2007
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Mr. Olympia

View former Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger on the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine.

June 22, 2007
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Forget Public Financing

Events of the past week have not been cheery for fans of campaign finance laws.

July 2, 2007
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Pet Peeve Department

Every once in a while, a word or phrase or rhetorical trope will spread throughout the writing world like kudzu. A few years ago, there ...

July 5, 2007
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Freedom to Photograph

I happen to live in Silver Spring, a Maryland suburb of Washington that has staged a successful revitalization of its downtown. Silver Spring landed the ...

July 5, 2007
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What's in a Name

My colleague Chris Swope is an unabashed fan of naming rights -- letting corporations slap their names and sometimes logos on everything from stadiums to ...

July 20, 2007
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Stand for Something

I just got off the phone with Jay Pfeiffer, the deputy commissioner of education in Florida. He mentioned a counseling program in the state called ...

July 20, 2007
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Memorial Upkeep

The Sacramento Bee has a story about the capital city's statue commemorating and honoring Mexican American soldiers. It's not in terrible shape but it could ...

July 23, 2007
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Taking on Task Forces

NCSL's annual meeting this week in Boston is dominated, as you would expect, by sessions covering issues such as taxes, health care costs and homeland security.

August 8, 2007
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Don't Fight City Hall

The death march continues through the 200-plus policy sessions here at NCSL's annual meeting in Boston. Some of them are lively, though, including one on he question of whether school boards should give way to mayoral control.

August 9, 2007
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Praying for Disaster

Here's my nominee for worst column of the year.

August 14, 2007
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Wrong About Everything

We sometimes entertain foreign guests on the 13th Floor, local officials from other countries who are touring our country courtesy of the State Department. Yesterday, ...

August 15, 2007
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Party vs. Principle

In Gabriel Garcia Marquez's celebrated novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, Colonel Aureliano Buendia leads the Liberal revolutionary forces, without success, through nearly 20 years of ...

September 10, 2007
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A Pointless Exercise?

Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee has a characteristically smart column today about the end of California's legislative session, which looks like the usual mad ...

September 11, 2007
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Releasing Sex Offenders

If you've been following the flurry of state legislation in recent years to punish sex offenders and prevent their future crimes, you'll want to know ...

September 13, 2007
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Annals of Academic Freedom

In Governing's September issue, I wrote about how the University of California is establishing a law school at its Irvine campus, over the objections of of some state policy makers. So far, the institution is off to a rough start.

September 19, 2007
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Other People's Money

Our readership, which is largely made up of public officials, might like to read this exchange from one of The Washington Post's regular political online ...

October 1, 2007
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You Can't Recall Me, I Quit

Every once in a while, a city elects an underaged mayor. In the case of Hurley, South Dakota, this idea didn't work out too well. ...

October 11, 2007
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Lethal Injunction

There's a lot of speculation right now about whether the Supreme Court will rule that lethal injections -- by far the most common method of ...

October 18, 2007
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A Huckabee Surge?

Here on the 13th Floor, we have, unsurprisingly, paid more attention to the state and local officials running for president than the Washington types. In ...

October 18, 2007
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Voting Overseas

I just had lunch with two secretaries of state, Jennifer Brunner of Ohio and Beth Chapman of Alabama. For both, their jobs have been made complicated by the fact that their predecessors were so controversial.

October 26, 2007
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Gambling Against Gambling

I have a short piece in Governing's November issue about how the Kansas legislature this year passed a bill that will make theirs the first state to own its own casinos. Since then, I've noticed gambling is a topic of debate in a number of states. Which makes me wonder -- why?

October 29, 2007
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Support the Troops? -- Not If You Tax Health Clubs

Over in Annapolis, Maryland lawmakers are meeting in special session to debate a bunch of possible tax code changes to fill a $1.5 or $1.7 billion budget ...

November 2, 2007
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Easy Street

Philadelphia Mayor John Street's Christmas present to himself is going to leave a bad taste in the mouths of his constituents. He has decided to ...

December 27, 2007
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Thoughts on Iowa: Dems

Obama looks like a winner. His big Iowa victory will remove lingering doubts from many minds about whether he is for real, whether people will ...

January 4, 2008
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Thoughts on Iowa: GOP

There hasn't been a Republican primary season like this in my memory. Even when Republicans haven't started with a clear frontrunner, as in 2000, they quickly ...

January 4, 2008
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What Obama Says About Race

Assuming Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination -- not such a risky bet at this point -- we will have at least nine months of conversation and coverage about what his candidacy means.

January 8, 2008
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All Hail Partisanship

"The punditocracy has been humbled once again. (But it won't work--you won't see much humility from them, now or ever!)" -- Bob Kaiser, ...

January 9, 2008
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The Inside Game

Here's a story you've read somewhere before. John Leopold, county executive in Anne Arundel County, Maryland (that's Annapolis for you auschlanders), raised $504,325 in campaign funds ...

January 18, 2008
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Cassandra Moments

In this year's presidential contest, we are once again seeing candidates punished for daring to tell the truth. The conventional wisdom holds that McCain lost ...

January 19, 2008
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Wrath of Aguirre

Michael Aguirre, the city attorney in San Diego, has earned both praise and enmity for his frequent criticism of other city officials. He was early ...

January 22, 2008
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What the GOP Wants

We're now mostly through the quadrennial discussion of why Iowa, New Hampshire and the other early voting states are not representative of the nation as ...

January 22, 2008
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Cold Brother

With the U.S. Conference of Mayors in town, we were just treated to an interesting visit from Melvin "Kip" Holden, the mayor-president ...

January 23, 2008
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