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Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer

Email : mailbox@governing.com

Josh Goodman is a former staff writer at GOVERNING. From 2005 to 2010, he covered a variety of topics including transportation, education, politics and health care. 

Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Philadelphia's Mixed Feelings on Legalized Gambling

In Philadelphia, the SugarHouse Casino’s story reflects the mixed emotions about legalized gambling.

November 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

The Future of Redistricting and Rural America

Redistricting is not likely to be kind to the political clout of rural areas.

November 1, 2010
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Public Safety & Justice

Reforming Sex Offender Laws

California's Chelsea's Law rethinks the way the state manages sex offenders who will return to society.

November 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Cuyahoga County's Road to Recovery From Corruption

A lot has changed, and is still changing, in Cuyahoga County since the county was slammed with corruption charges.

November 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Getting Teens to Register and Vote

A new effort is under way to encourage young adults to start voting and keep voting.

November 1, 2010
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Oregon’s Pension Puzzle

Oregon's public pension performance in the past decade has been stellar, but can they maintain it in years to come?

October 1, 2010
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

State Legislatures Tackle Concussions in School Athletics

Growing concerns about the risks associated with serious head injuries are catching the attention of state legislatures.

October 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Goodbye Moderate Governors, Hello Partisans

From Vermont to Hawaii, moderate governors are leaving office after the fall elections. Will partisan purists soon be running state government?

October 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Florida's Amendment 4 Puts Land-Use Issues on the Ballot

Is this the perfect year for Florida voters to constrain development?

October 1, 2010
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Infrastructure & Environment

Smarter Parking in San Francisco

San Francisco's two-year pilot project will adjust parking prices based on time and location.

October 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

In Alaska, Proof that Ballot Measures Can Drive Turnout

People have debated for years whether controversial ballot measures can affect who shows up to vote. In Alaska yesterday, a measure did just that -- and may have ended the career of a U.S. senator.

August 25, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Arizona AG: An Inconclusive Verdict on Andrew Thomas

The Republican primary for governor in Arizona was, in part, a referendum on whether voters approve of former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas' aggressive prosecutions of other Maricopa County officials. We now have a verdict: maybe.

August 26, 2010
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Politics & Elections

CO-Governor: In Search of Conservative Unity, ASAP

If there were one conservative candidate in the Colorado governor's race instead of two, he'd have a chance to win. But, if Don Maes and Tom Tancredo are going to join forces in Colorado, they'd be best off doing it this week.

August 31, 2010
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Politics & Elections

In Florida, the Perfect Time for a Populist Uprising on Development?

A ballot measure in Florida would create new obstacles to development. It's opposed by many business groups, unions, developers, planners, local governments and newspaper editorial boards. But, with the esteem of many of those groups at an all-time low, could it pass anyway?

September 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Random Thoughts on the 2010 Elections

Here are some notions that have been percolating in my brain as I think about the upcoming elections.

September 3, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Massachusetts Sales Tax: Do the Candidates' Views Matter?

Every candidate for governor in Massachusetts opposes a ballot measure that would cut the sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 3 percent. But, voters might approve it anyway.

September 7, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Ohio Legislature: The Power of Redistricting

A single fact illustrates the significance of the once-a-decade redrawing of political lines.

September 8, 2010
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Politics & Elections

NM-Governor: Susana Martinez Campaigns Against "Richardson Denish"

Democratic candidates for governor are struggling in states with unpopular outgoing Democratic governors. A new ad from New Mexico Republican Susana Martinez is an illustration of how G.O.P. candidates are taking advantage.

September 8, 2010
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Politics & Elections

AK-Senate: For Lisa Murkowski, No Stickers

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's potential write-in campaign in Alaska highlights states' diverse rules for counting write-in votes. Some states even let write-in candidates distribute stickers with their names for voters to use on the ballot.

September 9, 2010
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Politics & Elections

CA-Governor: Will Clinton Respond to Whitman's Ad?

Republican Meg Whitman's new ad in the California governor's race uses Bill Clinton's words against fellow Democrat Jerry Brown. Will Clinton come to the defense of his old rival?

September 9, 2010
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Politics & Elections

GA-Governor: "Too Corrupt Even for Congress"

Democrat Roy Barnes probably can't win the Georgia governor's race on his own merits in the current political climate. But, Nathan Deal's ethical problems and the taint of Deal's tenure in Congress may be enough to win it for Barnes.

September 10, 2010
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Politics & Elections

New York Senate: Seven Toss-Ups

One of the best political reporters in New York predicts which races will determine control of the New York Senate.

September 13, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Colorado Collects Popular Votes by Mail

Once open to choices, Colorado appears headed toward all-mail balloting.

September 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Governor Mark Parkinson Pins Successes on Lame Duck Status

Kansas' governor has taken the politics out of lawmaking -- and has had great success so far.

September 1, 2010
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Infrastructure & Environment

Building Demolition a Turning Point in Hartford

One of the first orders of business for the new Mayor Pedro Segarra: getting rid of the 'Butt Ugly' building.

September 1, 2010
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When a Governor Won't Talk

Staff Writer Josh Goodman wrote a profile of Chris Christie for the August issue. But, Christie wouldn't talk to him for the story. Here's how Josh handled it.

August 18, 2010
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Politics & Elections

The 'Chris Christie' Way

New Jersey's new governor has a take-no-prisoners style, but there are signs he is learning the art of the deal.

July 30, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Running in the Shadow of Spitzer, Cuomo

Will New York's next attorney general embrace his predecessors or blaze her own path?

July 30, 2010
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Infrastructure & Environment

NYC Experiments with Bus Rapid Transit

The Big Apple needs some serious help to make city buses be a faster, more reliable method of transportation.

July 30, 2010
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Finance

Rhode Island's Slots Subsidy

Some state officials insist financially helping the Twin River Casino would be a smart move.

July 30, 2010
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Management & Labor

Leading the Census-Participation Pack

Livonia, Mich., had the highest census participation rate not because of what it did – but because of what it is.

June 1, 2010
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Infrastructure & Environment

Rough Landing: Miami Airport Deals With a $1 Billion Debt

Real-life sinkholes are a problem in South Florida, but the one giving Miami-Dade County officials headaches these days is figurative: Miami International Airport's finances.

March 1, 2007
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Arnold Schwarzenegger: From Action Hero to Tragic Hero?

As he leaves office, is California's governor unpopular because he fought the good fight against Democratic and Republican ideologues? Or was he really part of the problem?

July 13, 2010
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Politics & Elections

A Global Warming Cool Down?

More Republican gubernatorial candidates are skeptical of the science of climate change.

June 30, 2010
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Management & Labor

Shutting Down State Fairs

To cope with budget shortfalls, some states – like Michigan – are choosing to shut down their state fairs.

June 30, 2010
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Infrastructure & Environment

Tunnel Vision in Seattle

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is proposing plans that focus less on roads and more on public transit.

June 30, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Reviving Local, State and Federal Collaboration

NACo's Larry Naake is pushing for a commission of representatives from all forms of government.

June 30, 2010
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

How Democrats Lost on Gun Control

Gun rights advocates have been on a roll lately. Is that because Democrats gave up the fight a decade ago?

June 28, 2010
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Immigration Fizzle

Arizona's new immigration law seems potent right now, but will it fizzle like Georgia's?

June 1, 2010
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Sacramento's Net Gain?

Ex NBA-player Mayor Kevin Johnson has an unorthodox plan to build a new basketball arena.

June 1, 2010
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Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Post-Primary Live Blog Transcript

GOVERNING staff answered your questions about Tuesday's primaries and any other election queries June 9.

June 9, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Voting the Straight-Ticket Sweep

Will Republicans win big in states that make voting a straight ticket easy?

June 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

The Rise of Attorneys General

With a Democrat in the White House, conservative state attorneys general are mobilizing against federal power.

June 1, 2010
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Infrastructure & Environment

High-Speed Rail: Transit Solution or Financial Disaster?

California is racing to build an ambitious high-speed rail system. Some cities think it should slow down.

May 1, 2010
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Education

Counting Down the School Days

Could shortening school years be a pain-free way for school districts to save money?

May 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Small Bag Tax, Big Impact

The tax on disposable bags in the nation's capital has had a noteworthy impact.

May 1, 2010
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Finance

Dues and Don'ts

As states engage in yet another round of budget cutting, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has zeroed in on an unlikely target: the money his state...

May 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Nevada's Comeback Kid?

Almost from the day he stepped into office, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons has been widely unpopular. But somehow, he still has a chance to win...

May 1, 2010
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Finance

Axing the Taxman

Tax collectors might not be the most popular government officials, but as Arizona recently discovered, they might be the very worst to cut in a...

March 31, 2010
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Management & Labor

A Vote for Appointed Offices

For years, California cities have debated whether their city treasurers should be elected or appointed officials. Now a new paper provides empirical evidence as to...

March 31, 2010
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Public Safety & Justice

Is 'Sexting' a Crime?

Sexting is a source of angst for parents and public schools. But should it be a crime? That's the question that, almost overnight, state after...

March 31, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Kansas Democrats' Best Case Scenario

In a year when Republicans are expected to make gains, the best hopes for Kansas Democrats are two unlikely candidates: Though Dennis McKinney is the...

March 31, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Taxing Services to Ease Budget Woes

Jim Wayne is getting an earful from Kentucky hot air balloon operators these days, and it's easy to understand why. Wayne, a Kentucky state representative,...

April 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Growing Alaska's Legislature

When Alaska state Rep. Peggy Wilson wants to visit her constituents, she goes by boat. Wilson represents seven Alaska towns, most of which are on...

March 1, 2010
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Finance

Philadelphians Withhold Billions in Taxes

Philadelphia residents owe the city a backlog of more than $1 billion in unpaid taxes. Now a city official has found a strange place to recover...

March 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

The Price of Moderate Politics

Bill Ritter became Colorado's governor in 2007, promising to be a pragmatic, pro-business Democrat. That political niche seemed like a good fit for a moderate state....

March 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

The Price of Popularity

John Hoeven may be something close to the perfect candidate for the U.S. Senate. The Republican governor is North Dakota's most popular politician and,...

March 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Local Governments Face Census Challenge

If you receive a water bill in Phoenix, you'll get a note about the census. If you spend time in a classroom, you're likely to...

March 1, 2010
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Management & Labor

Memphis Reporter Wins GOVERNING/Stateline.org Award

Marc Perrusquia, a reporter with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, is the recipient of the seventh annual Hal Hovey Award, presented by GOVERNING and Stateline.org....

February 3, 2010
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Education

Reaching for a Tuition Tax?

In cities from Boston to Baltimore to Birmingham, Ala., universities and hospitals have played key roles in revitalizing urban neighborhoods. But expansions of eds and...

February 1, 2010
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Education

Merging Historically Black Universities

Now that American higher education has been racially integrated for decades, what's the role of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)? That's the question that...

February 1, 2010
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Health & Human Services

Health Reform, Utah Style

Conservative Utah doesn't usually have a lot in common with liberal Massachusetts. But both states have embraced health exchanges - one of the big ideas...

February 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

A Candidate Takes on Taxes

When Lincoln Chafee kicked off his campaign for governor of Rhode Island in January, he did something unconventional: He actually made news. Rather than stick...

February 1, 2010
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Finance

Top 10 Legislative Issues to Watch 2010

The Great Recession may technically be over, but it continues to have a devastating effect on the ability of state legislators to craft new legislation...

December 31, 2009
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Politics & Elections

Following An Ethically-Challenged Governor

For better and for worse, it is Pat Quinn's fate to be the governor who followed Rod Blagojevich in Illinois. Quinn served as lieutenant governor...

December 31, 2009
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Health & Human Services

States Weigh Pot Reform

While political power has been shifting to the federal level lately, there's a clear exception. When it comes to policies on marijuana for medicinal use,...

December 31, 2009
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Politics & Elections

A Showdown Over Nuclear Power Wages in Vermont

State legislators in Vermont are the only ones in the country with authority to vote on whether a nuclear power plant can continue in operation....

December 31, 2009
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Finance

Energy Program Comes Under Fire

Every state wants to create green jobs. Oregon actually has done it. But a political consensus has emerged that the state has done it the...

December 31, 2009
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Politics & Elections

An "Ordinary Joe" Runs Indianapolis

The tenure of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is helping to answer an oft-posed question: What would happen if an "ordinary Joe" was in charge of...

December 31, 2009
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Infrastructure & Environment

Mike McGinn

In picking Mike McGinn as their next mayor, Seattle voters selected a little-known environmental activist over the incumbent and then over a wealthy and well-connected...

November 30, 2009
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Politics & Elections

A Democratic Governor's GOP Employment Program

Steve Beshear, the Democratic governor of Kentucky, is appointing Republicans to key offices--and other Republicans don't like it. Beshear's display of bipartisanship, GOP leaders say,...

November 30, 2009
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Finance

Should Cities Be in the Mega-Hotel Business?

The campaigns of Tom Leppert and Anne Raymond spent millions of dollars this spring wooing Dallas voters. Leppert and Raymond debated on radio and television....

November 30, 2009
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Politics & Elections

Maine Voters Reject Gay Marriage

For the second time in as many years, gay-marriage supporters yesterday suffered a narrow -- but stinging -- defeat at the polls. By a margin...

November 4, 2009
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Finance

Tax Troubles in Arizona

Jan Brewer was Arizona's popular secretary of state early this year when her political career took a turn for the worse. She became governor. With...

October 31, 2009
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Finance

Albuquerque Voters' Republican Gamble

When Richard Berry won a surprise victory last month for mayor of Albuquerque, voters wondered whether they had chosen new policies or merely a new...

October 31, 2009
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Education

Can Higher Ed Control Its Costs?

At Virginia Tech, freshmen learn mathematics in a 60,000-square-foot box of a building that used to be Rose's discount department store. It's called the Math...

October 31, 2009
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Politics & Elections

Can a White Candidate Be Elected Mayor of Atlanta?

The question in Atlanta's mayoral election this fall isn't just who will win, but what it may reflect about the demographics of the city. City...

September 30, 2009
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Public Safety & Justice

How Advocates for Fire-Safe Cigarettes Beat Big Tobacco

As a member of Congress 25 years ago, Jim Shannon fought to put a self-extinguishing mechanism in all cigarettes that would make them less likely to...

October 1, 2009
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Finance

Stimulus Results: Difficult to Pin Down

Suppose you're a state budget director and you started this year looking at a huge fiscal shortfall (as virtually all of them did). It seemed...

September 30, 2009
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Finance

Concierge Medicine and the States

Is it retainer medicine, concierge medicine or boutique medicine? When it comes to the practice of paying doctors a fixed fee for expanded primary care...

September 4, 2009
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Management & Labor

The Fight to Commercialize Rest Areas

Along I-95 in Maryland, rest stops come with fast-food restaurants and gas stations. Along I-95 in Virginia, they have orange barrels that block anyone from...

August 31, 2009
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Politics & Elections

The Governors' Big-State Blues

When Arnold Schwarzenegger's approval rating hit a new low of 28 percent in one poll this summer, it must have been only a small consolation that...

August 31, 2009
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Health & Human Services

Gay Marriage at a Crossroads

Other than the presidential election, no vote last November drew more attention than Proposition 8, California's ballot measure on gay marriage. The result, a 52 percent verdict...

August 31, 2009
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Health & Human Services

Disappearing Doctors

What accounts for the dramatic decline in the number of doctors opting to be primary-care physicians? Simple economics, mostly. "They're not dumb," says Candice Chen,...

August 31, 2009
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Health & Human Services

Primary Care Looks to States for a Booster Shot

Rhode Island doesn't have any retail health clinics. One major reason: toilets. Retail clinics are the facilities in drug stores or big-box stores where patients...

August 31, 2009
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Politics & Elections

New Alaska Governor Faces Difficult Year

As Alaska's new governor, Sean Parnell simply needs to diffuse a politically poisonous atmosphere, mend a fractured Republican Party and guide one of the largest...

July 27, 2009
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Finance

Just How Strong Are Muni Bonds?

Vallejo, California's bankruptcy last year represented the largest municipal default in 14 years. For 16 months, Jefferson County, Alabama has been unable to pay debts on billions...

July 31, 2009
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Finance

Beating the Spread

What happens in Vegas is coming to Delaware. In May, Delaware became the third state, along with Nevada and Montana, to allow betting on sporting...

July 31, 2009
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Politics & Elections

Quittin' Time In Colorado

There's an employer in Colorado that is having serious problems retaining its workers: the state legislature. Five legislators have left office this year alone, including...

July 31, 2009
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Finance

Drained

These days, Bettye Fine Collins doesn't talk like a power politician. "It's not easy being me," she complains. It's not hard to understand why. As...

July 31, 2009
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Finance

The Costliest Ride

In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a city of just over 150,000 people, almost half of the annual public transit budget doesn't go for buses, or trolleys,...

June 30, 2009
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Politics & Elections

Franchise Frustration

The recent bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors are halting, for now, a furious burst of state legislative lobbying by the nation's car dealers. As...

June 30, 2009
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Politics & Elections

Vive Le Roy?

When Roy Barnes lost his reelection bid as Georgia's Democratic governor in 2002, it was the surprise of the year. Now, the man his opponents once...

June 30, 2009
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Health & Human Services

Horrible Honeymoon

Sam Adams may be off to the worst start of any American politician since President William Henry Harrison. While Adams didn't catch a fatal case...

May 31, 2009
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Finance

Past the Deadline

California, 2008 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't sign the budget until 85 days after the 2009 fiscal year began, making it the latest in state history. Although state government...

May 31, 2009
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Finance

Mischief After Midnight

Last summer, just as the nation's credit markets were about to tighten, Gregory Schmidt received a loan from his bank under extraordinarily generous terms. His...

May 31, 2009
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Infrastructure & Environment

The Power of Purple Pipes

You may have never thought about the color of your pipes. You might even think the topic is so mundane that no one could possibly...

April 30, 2009
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Management & Labor

Rate of Return

If a citizen is having trouble with a state agency, what should he or she do? E-mailing the governor's office seems like a logical idea...

March 31, 2007
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Politics & Elections

What Makes New Hampshire Tick?

When I set out for New Hampshire to report "Blue Challenge" my task was clear. I had to explain how the Democratic gains in the...

December 31, 2006
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Politics & Elections

Blue Challenge

John Shea, of Nelson, New Hampshire, is nothing if not persistent. For many years, he has wanted a seat on the state Executive Council, the...

December 31, 2006
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Public Safety & Justice

Crackdown

When the subject of illegal immigration comes up, the states you think about first are Texas and California. Maybe Arizona. But, as of July 1, it...

June 30, 2007
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Politics & Elections

Issues to Watch 2008

That means focusing on infrastructure funding in response to the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. It also means trying to get homeowners into less-risky fixed-rate mortgages,...

December 31, 2007
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Politics & Elections

Out of the Blue

To say it's been a remarkable year for Michael Nutter is to understate the case. As the campaign for mayor of Philadelphia began last winter,...

September 30, 2007
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Health & Human Services

The Coverage Connection

Two years ago, when Massachusetts legislators began debating near-universal health insurance, a lot of smart people helped them craft the package. And all of these...

November 30, 2008
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Management & Labor

Attempted Merger

Leon Duff retired as a Maine school superintendent in 2001, but not for good. In the seven years since, he's been called back into school administration...

October 31, 2008
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Politics & Elections

Seizing the Initiative

The Florida Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of religion. It also protects life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And it defends the...

September 30, 2008
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Management & Labor

A Government Adrift

One day this June, a group of state agency managers came to Governor Mark Sanford with a pitch. They wanted to raise the projected growth...

July 31, 2008
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Health & Human Services

A Dental Scandal

The death of Deamonte Driver shocked the country. Deamonte, a 12-year-old from suburban Prince George's County, Maryland, died in February 2007 when bacteria from an abscessed...

May 31, 2008
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Health & Human Services

Pushing the Envelope

When his state holds its primaries later this month, Bill Bradbury will be in charge of the details. That's part of his role as secretary...

April 30, 2008
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Health & Human Services

The Price of Prevention

Woody Allen once described death as "a very effective way of cutting down on your expenses." In the past decade, states all over the country...

March 31, 2008
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Finance

Three Tracks to Vegas

The federal stimulus package provides $8 billion for high-speed rail--and a lot of tough questions. As states fight for this pot of money, they'll have to...

April 30, 2009
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Politics & Elections

Second Chance in San Antonio

For a few months in 2005, people in San Antonio were talking about Julián Castro as the Hispanic Barack Obama. The city councilman, educated at...

April 30, 2009
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Infrastructure & Environment

Shades of Greywater

Laura Allen is no one's idea of an unrepentant lawbreaker. But under California's state plumbing code, that's exactly what she is. Allen, a soft-spoken elementary...

April 30, 2009
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Finance

Uneven Stimulus

The feds are dumping piles of stimulus dollars on all 50 states, but when you look behind the 11-digit numbers, some interesting disparities emerge. Through subtle...

March 31, 2009
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Public Safety & Justice

The Second Best Job in the State

Eliot Spitzer of New York styled himself a steamroller, an uncompromising politician who preferred intimidation over negotiation. Mike Beebe of Arkansas is a behind-the-scenes dealmaker...

March 31, 2009
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Management & Labor

More Bridge for Your Buck

After a painful period of price inflation, the cost of concrete, steel and asphalt is dropping. So as states begin spending their stimulus checks from...

February 28, 2003
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Management & Labor

Minneapolis Speedway

John Chiglo is looking up from the banks of the Mississippi River at a huge ivory monolith. It's the new I-35W bridge, built on...

February 28, 2009
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Public Safety & Justice

Issues to Watch

The nation's political map has turned blue, but state budgets have gone decidedly into the red. The Democrats enjoy a more than 850-seat edge in...

December 31, 2008
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View

The Director's Cut on High-Speed Rail in California

Some reporters write long. If an editor gives them 3,000 words, they'll take 4,000. Some reporters write short. Give them 3,000 words and they'll struggle to ...

May 4, 2010
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Public Safety & Justice

Southeastern Water Wars

On June 10, 2009, state officials in Georgia declared that the severe three-year drought that parched metro Atlanta and much of the Southeast was finally over. But...

February 1, 2010
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View

A Tax from Governing's Past

In my April feature story, I said that the question of why sales taxes generally apply to goods but not services is "one of ...

April 13, 2010
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In Los Angeles, Avoiding the Risks of the Status Quo

I tend to think that one mistake people often make (in business, in government, in life in general) is to assume that maintaining the status ...

March 18, 2010
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Undemocratic Towns and Doughnut Holes

Governing announced the winner of our state and local government journalism award, the Hal Hovey award, last month.

March 2, 2010
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Staff Snapshots from D.C.'s 'Snoverkill'

Editor's note: Reading this month's photo essay on Syracuse's snow plows stings just a little for Governing's D.C. staffers, who ...

February 9, 2010
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Mississippi University for Women -- for Men Too

When I go on a long car ride, I always end up with a long mental list of things to look up on Google or ...

January 19, 2010
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Infrastructure & Environment

A Smart Park Plays Dumb

Big Brother watches and waits in Glendale.

July 1, 2003
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Infrastructure & Environment

To Dye For

On the morning of May 21, Philadelphians awoke to find that a prankster had dyed the water in the fountain at JFK Plaza bright pink. Rather than causing a hue and cry among city leaders, however, the stunt inspired them.

August 1, 2003
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Infrastructure & Environment

The Real Estate Rub

A downturn in the housing market is beginning to spell a slowdown in local revenue.

April 1, 2007
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Infrastructure & Environment

Easing the Campus-Parking Crunch

Car-sharing companies come to undergrads' aid.

November 1, 2006
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Introducing Our Public Officials of the Year

Civic Booster

Luring businesses by improving quality of life.

November 1, 2006
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Politics & Elections

Many Mansions

This is a busy gubernatorial year, with contests in more than two- thirds of the states. It may also be a year of significant change.

February 1, 2006
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Health & Human Services

The States of Health

When it comes to health care, some states are haves and some are have- nots. That's the central conclusion of a new report from the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation that conducts health care research.

August 1, 2007
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Infrastructure & Environment

Subway Story: A Fix for Escalator Woes

Washington, D.C.'s subway system hopes to have its elevators and escalators on the up and up thanks to a new training facility for the mechanics that keep them working.

January 1, 2007
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Finance

Rebirth Of The 'Death Tax'

States Are Turning Back To Estate Taxes

October 1, 2005
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Infrastructure & Environment

Revving Up the Rails

States are ready to put up big bucks to speed up passenger rail service--if someone would just push freight trains out of the way.

March 1, 2007
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Politics & Elections

Against the Grain

Governors are finding success in the unlikeliest places. They're doing it by choosing boldness over caution.

October 1, 2006
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Politics & Elections

Staffless in Madison

Wisconsin state Representative Mike Powers is going it alone--not politically but administratively.

September 1, 2003
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Politics & Elections

Tuition Tango

Illegal immigrants find new friends in statehouses--and get a break at state colleges.

March 1, 2004
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Infrastructure & Environment

Fleet Dreams

If tomorrow's cars won't be fueled by gas, what will run them and who'll pick the winner?

May 1, 2010
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Finance

Tax Grab Game

Cities are finding ways to raise revenue from suburbanites, without actually calling the levy a commuter tax.

April 1, 2007
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Infrastructure & Environment

Counting The Miles

Oregon looks to a non-gas 'gas' tax.

August 1, 2003
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Politics & Elections

The Inside Story

Schwarzenegger rejects plan to scan bodies for danger signs.

November 1, 2005
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Infrastructure & Environment

Frowning On Friendly

When Kentuckians are asked about their new license plate--which says of the Bluegrass State: "It's that friendly"--they get downright grouchy.

October 1, 2003
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Health & Human Services

Virginia's Medicaid Data Gets A Makeover

While compiling Medicaid managed care data can be daunting, it's an even greater challenge to present the numbers in a way that's accessible and useful. Virginia seems to have found success with a new, simplified reporting system.

October 1, 2003
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Politics & Elections

The Big Benefit Base

A recent survey finds that state and local employees have certain compensatory advantages.

December 1, 2007
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Health & Human Services

The States of Health

When it comes to health care, some states are haves and some are have- nots. That's the central conclusion of a new report from the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation that conducts health care research.

August 1, 2007
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Finance

Budget Builders: Collecting and Spending Stay Steady

More than half of the states exceeded their budgeted tax revenue in the 2007 fiscal year, according to data compiled by the National Association of State Budget Officers in their biennial "Fiscal Survey of States." Revenue came in below projections in just nine states.

August 1, 2007
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Public Safety & Justice

Got Bars?

States are cracking down on the proliferation of contraband cell phones in prisons.

August 1, 2007
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Politics & Elections

Keeping Up With E-mail

Governing takes a look at governors' constituent service

June 1, 2010
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Politics & Elections

Smuggler's Delight

The American marketplace is awash in illegal fake products. Governments are supposed to police them, but most don't.

July 1, 2007
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Finance

Revenue Retiree: A Michigan Tax Faces the Ax

It sounds like a drama-series finale where the scriptwriters can't agree: Michigan's unusual Single Business Tax is going to die, but how remains a matter of debate.

July 1, 2007
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Finance

The Muni Market's Bumpy Year

2006 had its ups and downs--although it was mostly positive for issuers and negative for some underwriters.

February 1, 2007
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Finance

Creating A Bond: Chicago Keeps The Little Guy in The Loop

Chicago is bringing municipal bonds to the masses.

December 1, 2005
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Infrastructure & Environment

Candid Camera: Traffic Lights in the Red

After Sioux Falls, South Dakota, installed red-light cameras at a key intersection, it saw its revenue from tickets for red-light infractions plummet.

November 1, 2007
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Politics & Elections

Encyclopedia Virginia

Almost as soon as the election returns are in, every new governor must decide on a chief of staff. Most of them pick their campaign managers, party operatives and longtime confidantes. In this context, the choice of Bill Leighty by Virginia Governor Mark Warner was an aberration.

November 1, 2007
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Health & Human Services

Stub Snub: Setting New Limits on Tobacco

The battleground over smoking restrictions is shifting from bars and restaurants to cars and the great outdoors.

June 1, 2006
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Finance

States on a Bermuda High

Insuring a Welcome Mat for Captives

June 1, 2007
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Politics & Elections

The Unwelcome Mat

States are at their peril when they try to ease rules to make life in the U.S. less difficult for illegal immigrants.

November 1, 2007
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Health & Human Services

Menu Mandate: King County Wants You to Know What You're Eating

Policy makers in King County, Washington, are hungry for restaurant regulation.

October 1, 2007
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Infrastructure & Environment

SIC Transit Gloria: A Toll Story in Pennsylvania

As of mid-July, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's perpetual funding crisis was over. A few weeks later, it's back.

September 1, 2007
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Infrastructure & Environment

Sense of a Slowdown

Local governments have been automating the process of catching speeders and red-light runners for years, but traffic scofflaws on state highways always knew they'd be pulled over by a trooper. Now, Arizona is changing that.

September 1, 2007
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Politics & Elections

Legislatures 2006: Issues to Watch

As legislatures in most states come back into session this month, their members will be spending an unusual amount of time dealing with issues that involve other levels of government.

January 1, 2006
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Finance

Florida's Granny-Flat Top

In a referendum they passed last November, Floridians gave counties the option of offering residents tax breaks if they built new additions to house their aging parents or grandparents.

August 1, 2003
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Public Safety & Justice

Waiting To Inhale

Even where there wasn't smoke, there were fire watchers in the public schools of Orange County, Florida. During the final weeks of the school year, the district put some 30 fire watchers on duty after fire officials found some schools in violation of state safety regulations.

July 1, 2003
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Which Issues to Watch?

In next month's issue, for the fourth time in my five years at Governing, I'll be writing our annual preview of state legislative ...

December 15, 2009
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Mommy, Where Do Governing's Stories Come From?

The classic childhood question is "Where do babies come from?" Well, that's the classic question other than "Are we there yet?&...

October 6, 2009
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Story Behind the Story: A Quote Quota?

Currently, I'm reading Anthony Trollope's "Orley Farm." Or, at least I'm trying to read it. Don't get me wrong ...

September 15, 2009
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Making the Stimulus Czar Calls

One of the first things GOVERNING's editors taught me when I started here four years ago is that when reporting a story you have to think long and hard about where you call.

September 8, 2009
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A County's Contracts Go Missing

Jefferson County, Alabama, is likely the nation's most financially troubled large local government. Alabama's most populous county (home to Birmingham) could go bankrupt ...

July 16, 2009
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New Jersey Clings to School Districts Without Schools

posted by Josh Goodman I wrote 2,300 words last year about how even the smallest local governments are reluctant to merge with neighbors -- and how ...

July 13, 2009
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Are the Right Convicts Being Let Out of Jail Early?

State lawmakers from across the political spectrum are moving haltingly toward a consensus on corrections policy. Corrections costs have increased far more rapidly than the rate of inflation over the past couple of decades.

April 17, 2009
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Indiana Rejects Local Government Consolidation

I wrote a story last fall that centered on the question of whether state governments can force local governments to consolidate. We're starting to get the answer -- and it isn't surprising

February 19, 2009
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Our Economy Stinks, But at Least We Get to Be Fiscally Responsible!

Fareed Zakaria sees a silver lining in our economic woes. Individuals, the feds, and, yes, state and local governments, will suddenly have to show some ...

October 13, 2008
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Public Officials of the Year, 2008

Drumroll, please. Each year, we at Governing profile our Public Officials of the Year in the November issue of the magazine. We're announcing this year's ...

October 9, 2008
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Pride and Shame at the DMV

Could DMVs be in the process of becoming models of customer service? Don't laugh -- states such as Virginia and Indiana have already turned departments ...

October 5, 2008
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The Impetus for 311

In a session at Managing Performance this afternoon, Jill Jordan, the assistant city manager of Dallas, offered a reason for her city's interest in 311 that ...

October 2, 2008
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To the Dogs

Sure, state and local governments are slashing spending, announcing hiring freezes and imposing travel bans. But the dire state of municipal budgets didn't really hit ...

September 9, 2008
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Where the Starbucks Bubble Busted

Remember the heady days of 2005, when we thought that people could own homes without having any money and we thought that every block could support a Starbucks?

July 21, 2008
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The Out-Googling of Governments

I just googled Louisville and was surprised by the result. The first hit? Louisville.com, an entertainment Web site. Number two? The University of Louisville. ...

July 7, 2008
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Are Flight Delays Good for Airports?

from Midway Airport in Chicago after Governing's Managing Technology Conference in Seattle "It's not often that we're this busy at 8:30 in the evening." ...

June 4, 2008
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Fusing the Fusion Centers

from Governing's Managing Technology Conference in Seattle "Fusion centers" have developed over the past few years as places for local, state and federal ...

June 2, 2008
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Managing Expectations

from Governing's Managing Technology Conference in Seattle When I worked at the Big Belly Deli, I had a philosophy when someone called in a carry-out ...

May 29, 2008
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Mayoral Endorsement Guide

With Super Tuesday finally here, I'm willing to make the barely controversial suggestion that neither party's presidential nomination will hinge on endorsements and the completely ...

February 5, 2008
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Counting Some of the Votes

Here's an election reform proposal that has me intrigued. From Farhad Manjoo at Salon.com: But as many voting-reform experts have argued, manually counting the ...

February 4, 2008
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Hope for Spitzer and O'Malley

Lou Jacobson has a column at Stateline.org about the political comebacks of two governors, Alabama's Bob Riley and California's Arnold Schwarzenegger. To me, the ...

February 1, 2008
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Florida's Howard Dean Amendment?

Amid the presidential hoopla, Floridians vote today on an important policy question. A constitutional amendment on the ballot would create new limits on property taxes ...

January 29, 2008
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Oh, the Horror!

The Washington Post commented on Barack Obama in an editorial this weekend: "He is inclusive, forgiving and inspiring -- but can the nation afford ...

January 28, 2008
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An Endorsement That Actually Mattered

Most political analysts agree that endorsements are largely meaningless. Most political analysts also discuss endorsements endlessly. But I'm proud to be able to point you ...

January 25, 2008
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I Can Hardly Wait

November 2010 is only about a 1,000 days away, so it's high time we had some news about the election after next. Finally, we do. In California, ...

January 25, 2008
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Gubernatorial Politics in "a Divided Economy"

The nation's economic problems are hurting state budgets and roiling state politics. Just look what the office of Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell reported: Governor M. ...

January 24, 2008
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Gay Rights Legislation in Idaho?

States never cease to surprise me. A case in point, Idaho. According to the Spokane, WA, Spokesman Review : BOISE - An Idaho Senate committee voted 6...

January 24, 2008
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The Prince of Illinois

Political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli suggested "...it is better to be feared than loved." Perhaps if he'd observed the career of Illinois Governor Rod ...

January 23, 2008
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This Train Is Bound for Glory?

Once, Californians were scheduled to vote on whether to fund high-speed rail in 2000. And in 2004. And in 2006. The timing never seemed quite right, so lawmakers ...

January 23, 2008
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Better Yet, Elect His Mother

Lou Jacobson has a great roundup of state attorney general races on Stateline.org. Jacobson lists the contests in Missouri, Montana and West Virginia as ...

January 22, 2008
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Now That's Harsh

Liar, extremist, flip-flopper -- there's more than one way to skin a politician. But Hillary Clinton managed to come up with a new putdown when ...

January 17, 2008
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Teflon Terminator

California faces major budget problems and, after a period of post-partisan bliss, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been sparring more often with legislative leaders in recent ...

January 16, 2008
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"The ballot box will be the mailbox"

The New York Times has a report on voting by mail, one of my favorite topics: LOS ANGELES -- The first Tuesday in February, when 22 ...

January 15, 2008
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Federalism at Work

Many state legislatures decided they wanted to influence federal politics by moving up their presidential primaries. So which level of government has to shoulder much ...

January 15, 2008
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Deval Patrick's Immigration Gamble

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said recently that he's studying whether he can offer illegal immigrants in-state tuition without legislative approval. A few years ago that ...

January 14, 2008
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The Start, Perhaps, of a Taxing Debate

I've written a couple of times about places where Democrats have complete control over state government, but where, nonetheless, they are very cautious on taxation ...

January 11, 2008
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The Difference Between Iowa and New Hampshire

Former Vermont Governor Madeleine Kunin writes in the Washington Post this morning that gender was key to Hillary's comeback in New Hampshire, but not in ...

January 11, 2008
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A Different Kind of Political Party

Alabama doesn't want anyone to have to make a choice between voting and partying: Alabama is one of 24 states voting on Feb. 5. Early voting will ...

January 11, 2008
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Why Were the New Hampshire Polls Wrong?

Mark Blumenthal at pollster.com has a fascinating post looking at why the pre-election surveys didn't anticipate Hillary Clinton's victory in the New Hampshire Democratic ...

January 11, 2008
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When the Klan Ran Colorado

Peter Groff is now officially the first black state Senate president in Colorado history. But this passage in the Denver Post article on Groff is ...

January 10, 2008
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No Love for Tennis Courts

This might say something about the status of tennis in the United States. When the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an interesting article headlined, "Cities ...

January 8, 2008
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The Origins of Lethal Injection

Today's Supreme Court hearing on Kentucky's death penalty may be a prelude to the end of lethal injection nationally -- or perhaps the end of ...

January 7, 2008
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Two Peas in a Pod

Iowa and New Hampshire have a lot in common: They get to vote first in the presidential nominating process, both are racially homogenous and both ...

January 3, 2008
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Governor, Tell Us How You Really Feel

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland must REALLY not want to be vice president. Either that or he suffers from a political Achilles Heel: uncontrollable honesty. Strickland, ...

January 3, 2008
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When Losing Might Be Winning

On the morning of November 5, 2008, the day after Election Day, social conservatives may be celebrating Florida's vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

December 31, 2007
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Fuel for Thought

The most discussed provision of the new federal energy legislation, just signed by President Bush, is that vehicle fuel economy standards will go up for ...

December 20, 2007
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The Web Site is Dead. Long Live the Web Site!

A few days ago, the official Web site of the governor of Kentucky looked like this. There were more than 50 buttons total on the sides ...

December 12, 2007
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Confrontational Speaker

Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida, enjoys an approval rating around 60 percent. Marco Rubio, the speaker of the Florida House and a fellow Republican, is apparently part of the other 40.

December 10, 2007
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Huckabee's Home-State Immigration Debate

I recently called up Arkansas state Rep. Jon Woods to ask him about legislation he's sponsored designed to crack down on illegal immigration. I also wanted to ask for his thoughts on former governor Mike Huckabee, a fellow Republican with very different views on immigration.

December 3, 2007
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VOTESTRONG?

Arnold Schwarzenegger's story goes like this: -He was a celebrity actor and bodybuilder with no political experience. -He championed a popular ballot measure in California ...

November 29, 2007
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Fool Me Once...

The pundits all agree on immigration: "Immigration -- couched as border security -- is undoubtedly going to be a way Republicans look to change ...

November 21, 2007
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Beware of Supreme Courts Bearing Gifts

The Washington state Supreme Court recently overturned the state's one percent annual cap on property tax increases, which voters approved in 2001. This looked like a ...

November 16, 2007
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History in the Making

All of the state bureaucrats toiling away in obscure positions should take heart. You might be the next Rob Wittman. Republicans in Virginia gathered last ...

November 14, 2007
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Mailing It In

When between 45 and 50 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Washington state last Tuesday, the Seattle Times described turnout as "meager."

November 13, 2007
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Taking the Initiative

I wrote 560 words about the ballot measures voters faced this year, but I can summarize in just one: Huh? If you need a slightly longer ...

November 8, 2007
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My Head Hurts

From the Clarion-Ledger , Mississippi's largest newspaper: Republicans rolled to victory Tuesday in what could signal the virtual end of the two-party system in statewide races, ...

November 7, 2007
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The Significance of 2007 for 2008

Without a single result to report, I can already tell you what the 2007 elections will portend for 2008: Nothing.

November 5, 2007
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Lazy-Faire Federalism

The word everyone is using to describe Fred Thompson: lazy. Fewer people realize that he's calling for the federal government to be just as lazy ...

November 4, 2007
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Now That's Scary

If the state of Kentucky gets its way, the joke tonight will be on Snickers, Good & Plenty won't be plentiful and Almond Joy will ...

October 31, 2007
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Map Time

posted by Josh Goodman The Wichita Eagle has a neat feature on its Web site: A map, which is updated every weekday, of all the ...

October 30, 2007
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You Don't See This Every Day

The people of Maryland, by large majorities, want their taxes to be raised. The details of the Washington Post poll: -69% want cigarette taxes to ...

October 26, 2007
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The California Evacuations in Context

Press reports indicate that 950,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes as a result of the California wildfires. Just how many people is 950,000? It's ...

October 24, 2007
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Bayou Balloting

In some strange, scary alternate universe, tomorrow is election day. They call that universe "Louisiana." The big questions are whether the frontrunner for ...

October 19, 2007
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Health Care, Halfway Around the World

At Governing's management conference last week, a former hospital administrator mentioned at dinner that some private companies are sending employees to India for open heart ...

October 18, 2007
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Blogging the Management Conference: Honk If You Love Paying Fines

Virginia instituted some pricey new traffic fines this year: $900 for driving without a license, $1,050 for reckless driving and $2,250 for a first drunk driving offense. Critics ...

October 11, 2007
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Blogging the Management Conference: Taxi Tribulations

I arrived in New York City yesterday and, like everyone else who shows up in the Big Apple, needed a cab. So I hop in ...

October 11, 2007
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Mission Critical

Governing is a magazine, and a Web site, and newsletters and conferences and books. What's the point of all this stuff? To inform, to entertain, ...

October 3, 2007
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Name That Mayor

Imagine if a mayor could have this list of accomplishments: -A budget surplus -Rising test scores for K-12 students -A new NFL stadium and a ...

October 1, 2007
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Backroom Bipartisanship

Yesterday's news is that the U.S. Department of Transportation, with the approval of the White House, fought behind the scenes to stop California from ...

September 25, 2007
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Does This Ring a Bell?

Tom Leppert, Dallas' new mayor, won his first major policy battle by overturning an interesting policy with a dull name: "verified response." Under ...

September 24, 2007
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A Step in the Right Direction?

I know two things: 1) I've never spoken with anyone who, in a casual conversation, follows "way" with "forward." 2) Politicians, marketers and ...

September 20, 2007
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The Cuba Caucus

Nebraska media reported this week that Governor Dave Heineman is planning his fourth trade mission to Cuba, with nothing more than a hint that the ...

September 20, 2007
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Only in Louisiana

Louisiana has a unique way of making government more bipartisan. Consider the major candidates for governor this fall: -Foster Campbell, a Democrat -Walter Boasso, who ...

September 16, 2007
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Slowing Arizona

Arizona is doing something that, so far as I know, nowhere else has tried: A statewide effort to automate speeding enforcement on state highways.

September 14, 2007
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Little Sunshine Miss

I like a lot of different foods -- pie, hash browns, apple danish and lamb rogan josh to name a few -- but there's nothing ...

September 6, 2007
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Strange Consistency

If there's one place for premature speculation, it's the blogosphere. That's why I say with pride that I was speculating prematurely when I wrote about ...

August 27, 2007
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Heads Up 8.24.07

Texas to rate preschools. Morning News Does D.C. really have a textbook shortage? Washington Post Ad controversy continues in LA governor's race. Times-Picayune State ...

August 24, 2007
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Heads Up 8.23.07

Colorado governor declares emergency: too much wheat. Denver Post KY governor visits Illinois city to argue against casinos. Sun-Times Oakland School Board member asked to ...

August 23, 2007
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Diesel: The Fuel of the Future?

The sexiest futuristic cars run on electricity and hydrogen. A few months ago, I wrote a feature describing how state and local governments were picking ...

August 23, 2007
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Introducing Our New Henhouse Guard: Colonel Sanders!

When I saw the headline that a state senator is becoming the head of the Nevada Mining Association, I had to read more. A special ...

August 20, 2007
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Heads Up 8.17.07

Texas Youth Commission spokesman pepper sprayed -- at his request. Morning News Introducing the electric scooter. Union-Tribune Can mesh network solve San Fran's wifi politics? ...

August 17, 2007
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As Arkansas Goes, So Goes the Nation?

A year ago, Arkansas, with the signature of then-governor Mike Huckabee (has he been in the news lately?), became the first state to ban smoking in cars when children are present. Now the idea is finally spreading to the boonies.

August 16, 2007
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Heads Up 8.16.07

The uncertain future of municipal WiFi. WSJ (free link) St. Paul mayor: The state is to blame for higher property taxes. Pioneer Press Are carbon ...

August 16, 2007
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Water, Water Everywhere...

Word leaked last month that New Orleans' tap water hadn't contained fluoride since Hurricane Katrina. For almost two years, no one in city or state ...

August 16, 2007
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Heads Up 8.15.07

Brownback: Governors aren't qualified to be president. AP Advocacy group: Don't hide homeless during political conventions. Denver Post California raises taxes on sugary alcoholic beverages. ...

August 15, 2007
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The Anti-Crist

In the August issue of Governing, I described how South Carolina's response to the coastal property insurance crisis differs from Florida's. This was actually quite ...

August 13, 2007
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A Bridge Too Far?

If Grover Norquist is liberal with one thing, it's press releases. If you ignore the ideological pronouncements, his tax-cut advocacy organization, Americans for Tax Reform, ...

August 8, 2007
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Primary Motivation

Over and over during the past few months, states have moved forward the dates of their presidential primaries to try to get to the front ...

August 6, 2007
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That Was Fast

Across the country, newspapers are asking whether local bridges are safe. Some governors already have ordered reviews. A sampling of the coverage: Denver Post: $300M ...

August 3, 2007
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Don't Bet on It

One kooky California gambler has an idea: The state should make money off of online poker.

August 3, 2007
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The New College Try

Though state efforts to topple the Electoral College are stymied, North Carolina is tinkering away.

August 1, 2007
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What Governors See in the DLC

To the extent anyone is paying attention to the Democratic Leadership Council's annual convention in Nashville, it's to point out who isn't there.

July 31, 2007
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For Shame

Shaming: It's not just for sex offenders, drunk drivers, tax evaders and dangerous dogs anymore. The State of Wisconsin has set up a Web site ...

July 26, 2007
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A Love-Hate-Hate-Hate Relationship

Joe Bruno has been in a bad relationship for more than six months now. In January, he was on a "honeymoon" and in a "love fest."

July 23, 2007
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Luv from the Guv: The Democrats

Yesterday I told you about the Republicans. Now here's all the news, speculation and intrigue, surrounding the presidential endorsements of the nation's 28 Democratic governors.

July 18, 2007
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Luv from the Guv: The Republicans

Think that gubernatorial endorsements will make or break next year's presidential primaries? Consider that, far from winning his party's nomination, the candidate who Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack endorsed last November was the first to drop out.

July 17, 2007
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Who Ya Gonna Call? GooseBuster.

Our magazine only comes out once a month. Collectively, we only write a couple of blog posts a day. So how on Earth do Governing ...

July 13, 2007
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The Bear Facts

Here's something that perhaps no municipal official has ever asked: Which is a better bargain, a baseball team or a giant panda cub?

July 11, 2007
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My Words!

As I sat down to write a feature on immigration for Governing's July issue, part of me wished I were writing about a less controversial topic -- like abortion.

July 9, 2007
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State Lawmakers = College Students

Maryland lawmakers blissfully signed off on the 2008 fiscal year budget in April, which included new funding for school construction and stem cell research, without major ...

July 2, 2007
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Coming Soon: www.puttingthecaninkansas.com

When I was updating Governing's Sourcebook the other day, I came to a startling realization: State economic development department Web sites have some really goofy ...

June 26, 2007
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Got baum?

As the Bloomberg for President speculation reached Fred Thompson levels of hysteria over the past few days, it dawned on me that I had no ...

June 24, 2007
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Dull and Duller

Dallas voters will decide on a new mayor tomorrow, with the choices being businessman Tom Leppert, who the local media has deemed "a pleasant, ...

June 15, 2007
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Don't-Tax Democrats

One great thing about being a journalist is that you can raise questions with absolutely no obligation to answer them.

June 14, 2007
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What's Stopping the Immigration Bill

In 1786, Thomas Jefferson declared the United States "a country where the will of the majority is the law, and ought to be the law.&...

June 14, 2007
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A Test of Standardized Tests

SHOCKING NEWS!!!!!! The federal government has released an interesting report. That would be a Department of Education study, which reveals (or at least seems to ...

June 13, 2007
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Delicious Presidential Possibilities

Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I'm starting to believe that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is running for president as ...

May 29, 2007
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The Untrained Rider

I've spent the week in Atlanta, where I've acquainted myself with MARTA, the city's transit system. I've found MARTA's trains to be clean, spacious, reliable ...

May 17, 2007
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Oklahoma's Immigration Transformation

Temperatures have been in the upper 70s in Oklahoma City this week, perfect weather for flip-flops. That might explain why Governor Brad Henry signed a ...

May 11, 2007
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It's My Party and I'll Nominate Who I Want to

State Treasurer Jonathan Miller's decision to end his campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor of Kentucky simplified (slightly) a maddeningly complicated election. Democrats still ...

May 9, 2007
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Government Efficiency, Aisle 6

Blasphemy as it might be for a writer for the Magazine of States and Localities, I'll admit it: Local government is the vanilla level of ...

May 4, 2007
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All the Cool Kids Are Voting for Me

Why, more than anything else, does Anne Northup say she should be the Republican nominee for governor of Kentucky? Not because she'll fix the state's ...

April 30, 2007
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Inbox Inadequacies

Governors offices and I don't see eye to eye. Many (though not all) of them seem to think e-mail is just like snail mail -- ...

April 26, 2007
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Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Blogs?

How many governors currently have blogs? The same number that communicate through smoke signals, homing pigeons and telepathy (so far as I know). Zero. Here's ...

April 25, 2007
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A Governor's Best Friend

From Joe Six-Packs to a nine-term U.S. senator, everyone is worried about tainted pet food. Reaction to the recall from governors has been surprisingly ...

April 23, 2007
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Sex and the City Government

Sometimes a statistic is worth a thousand words. Case in point: New York City gave away 5 million condoms in the first month after introducing the ...

April 13, 2007
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'Price Is Right' Politics

I learned something important from Rudy Giuliani's inability to name the price of a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread: Reporters ask really ...

April 11, 2007
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Rasputins of the Web

Legend has it that Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin survived four gunshot wounds, a severe beating and enough cyanide to kill ten people. He's got nothing ...

April 10, 2007
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Here Comes the Son

All the attention Andrew Cuomo, New York's new attorney general is receiving (for example from our own Alan Greenblatt, see the third item here) got ...

April 6, 2007
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The Most Powerful City in the United States

It's Omaha, Nebraska. No, Omaha hasn't supplanted New York City as the world's financial center, nor displaced Washington, D.C., as our capital. But NYC ...

April 4, 2007
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The Most Intriguing Election of 2007

The most intriguing election of 2007, the Nevada governor's race, is intriguing for the very reason you've probably heard nothing about it: It isn't scheduled and ...

March 29, 2007
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Votes That Don't Count

The state of Alaska is going to waste $1.2 million on April 3 to hold a referendum asking voters their opinion on domestic partner benefits for public ...

March 23, 2007
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Curses, FOIAed Again!

I recently received a publication from the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas that raises an interesting question: At what volume (if any) do requests ...

March 22, 2007
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Angelina's Law

Angelina Jolie, the world's most famous adopter, soon might not be welcome in Arkansas orphanages. A bill, which passed the state Senate last week, forbids ...

March 21, 2007
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Assessing the New Governors, Part 3

Here's the final part of my assessment of the nation's new governors' political success. Nevada's Jim Gibbons (Rep): Gibbons started out by facing claims of ...

March 16, 2007
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Assessing the New Governors, Part 2

Here's part two of my thoughts on the new governors. Part 3 is coming tomorrow. Idaho's Butch Otter (Rep): Otter is showing signs of being the ...

March 15, 2007
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Assessing the New Governors, Part 1

The nation's new governors are just like newlyweds: Their honeymoons have only been lasting a few days. Many of the 11 new state executives have already ...

March 14, 2007
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What's Good for the Michigoose...

The other day, I was faced with a perplexing question: What do you call someone from New Jersey? "A genius," my colleague Chris, ...

March 12, 2007
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Direct Democracy Delayed

Earlier this week, I mentioned California's high-speed rail project, which would connect the Northern and Southern parts of the state with a 220-MPH bullet train. ...

March 9, 2007
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Little Engines That Might

I wrote a feature for the March issue of Governing that focused on one of the big reasons that the trains are unpopular for city-to-city ...

March 7, 2007
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Everyone has a cell phone.

Well, not quite everyone. A recent report from the Federal Communications Commission shows that as of July 2006 there were 215.1 million cell phone subscribers in the 50 ...

March 6, 2007
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REAL Opposition?

As the U.S. Senate begins debate today on measures to modify the REAL ID Act, which mandates standardized identification nationwide, what action Congress' upper ...

February 27, 2007
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A Tale of Two Governors

Which is the Democrat and which is the Republican? Governor #1 says: "It's the first budget in six years with no new taxes or tax ...

February 26, 2007
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Sex Offender Switcheroo

Since when did sex offenders become so popular? Consider some developments over the past couple of weeks in state legislatures: * On a 32-8 vote, the ...

February 23, 2007
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The Value of a Vote

Valentine's Day has come and gone, but don't tell that to two lovers who remain in a tight embrace 365 days a year: money and politics. ...

February 20, 2007
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Popular Vote Partisanship

You'll never guess what's standing in the way of efforts to select the president using the popular vote: partisan politics. Last year, a few states ...

February 15, 2007
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Repeat Performance

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is losing her touch. Two years ago, in her state of the state address she mentioned "jobs" 52 times. Last ...

February 8, 2007
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New York Senate Showdown

Remember how Levar Burton always used to say, "But you don't have to take my word for it," when recommending a book on ...

February 6, 2007
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Public Employee Retirement Benefits: An Overblown Crisis?

With state and local governments facing, by some estimates, $1 trillion in unfunded liabilities for retiree health care and other post-employment benefits over the next thirty ...

February 5, 2007
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Gambling on Lottery Privatization

Today's big topic in privatization is infrastructure: toll roads, parking garages and airports. Tomorrow's, though, seems to be lottery privatization, something Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels ...

February 2, 2007
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Unadulterated Truth

Governing gave William Glaberson of the New York Times our annual journalism award yesterday. There's lots that we liked about his series on New York's ...

February 1, 2007
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Too Many Conductors Ruin the Trains?

Have you every thought about who's in charge of intercity train service in the United States? Hopefully not, because if you did, you'd probably end ...

January 26, 2007
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When Tuition Freezes Over

Here's a hot issue in states: college tuition freezes. Governors O'Malley of Maryland, Gregoire of Washington, Rell of Connecticut, Pawlenty of Minnesota and Schweitzer of ...

January 24, 2007
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...and Tinkerbell Transit

Only once every three or four blue moons do we receive an interesting press release through our fax machine here on the 13th Floor, but ...

January 18, 2007
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"If Only We Could Be Like Mississippi"

Residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and other states have been known to remark, "Thank goodness for Mississippi," when presented with a 50-state ranking. ...

January 16, 2007
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What Goes 'Rounds...

Everyone's glad to hear that South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson is feeling better, but a few people are probably especially relieved: his family, his fellow ...

January 11, 2007
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Quote Larry Sabato, Ever More

The University of Virginia's Larry Sabato has been called a lot of things, from "the Mark McGwire of political analysts," to "America's ...

January 9, 2007
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Legislatures: Who's Really in Charge?

Which party, Democratic or Republican, has more power in our brand-new state governments? That simple-sounding question is actually much more complicated than at first blush, ...

January 3, 2007
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Two-Party Stranglehold

Here's a statistic that surprised me: Once all the new legislators are sworn in, Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown could have counted every state senator ...

January 2, 2007
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Senseless

Planning to promise this New Year's to lost weight, quit smoking or spend more time with your family? Those resolutions are tough to keep. Instead, ...

December 28, 2006
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'Twas the Fight for the Speakership

Nothing's stirring in the political world this week, except in the Texas House. When Texas Republicans retained their majority in the state House of Representatives ...

December 27, 2006
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Generation D?

Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne points to an important statistic from this fall's elections: Sixty percent of voters under the age of thirty supported ...

December 21, 2006
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War on Thanksgiving, Anyone?

I've held my fire long enough: It's time to revisit how governors are traversing the minefield that is the Christmas/holiday season. Like last year, ...

December 21, 2006
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Marginally Better Than Coal

Still stumped on what gifts to get your loved ones? Alabama Governor Bob Riley has some suggestions. "Show your family and friends how much ...

December 20, 2006
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More Troops = Fewer Cops?

The news that the Army and Marine Corps are requesting permanent increases in personnel doesn't sound like the type of thing that would impact state ...

December 17, 2006
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Capital Offense

I received this familiar-sounding message from Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff the other day: "Our agenda is ambitious: to build the best ...

December 13, 2006
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Park Place

Here's a neat Web site: Santa Monica, California has a real-time map of where parking spaces are available in its downtown and at the beach. ...

December 12, 2006
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Not a Hussein in the Bunch

Over the past couple of weeks, Sen. Barack Obama's middle name, "Hussein," has generated a minor stir, with analysts wondering whether it's a ...

December 12, 2006
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Blanco Scores Big

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco isn't generally known for political savvy, but she showed some smarts last week. That's when, to my knowledge, she was the ...

December 6, 2006
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Cities to Sports Teams: Good Riddance

Earlier this year I wrote a feature on baseball stadium financing, with the premise that it's getting harder for teams to win funding from state ...

November 16, 2006
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Nashville's First-Day Festivities

I still remember what the first day of school was like -- the excitement of seeing friends, meeting new teachers and getting ready to learn. ...

November 15, 2006
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The Governors Races: Oddly Friendly to Incumbents

I was on NPR a few minutes ago, where the subject turned to the difference between this year's congressional elections and governors' elections. I pointed ...

November 7, 2006
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Colorado Rejects Judicial Term Limits

That's the big judicial one on my list, other than the South Dakota vote.

November 7, 2006
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Governors Race Update

Here's the latest on the four that MSNBC hasn't called: AK: Palin (R) 52%, Knowles (D) 37% (43% reporting) ID: Otter (R) 54%, Brady (D) 43%  (35% reporting) MN: Pawlenty (...

November 7, 2006
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Arnold Says:

"I love doing sequels."

November 7, 2006
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State Spending Limits Failing

Nebraska, Oregon and Maine are all rejecting TABORs. No matter how often Colorado Governor Bill Owens makes the point that his state saved, rather than ...

November 7, 2006
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RI-GOV: Carcieri Wins

That's what MSNBC says.

November 7, 2006
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AZ: Gay Marriage Ban Failing?

Gay marriage bans seem to be passing in every state but one: Arizona. In that state, NCSL says the ban (which also would forbid other ...

November 7, 2006
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Arnold Wins

That's what MSNBC says: Four more years of the Governator. They only have five governors races left undecided: Minnesota, Rhode Island, Nevada, Alaska and Idaho.

November 7, 2006
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Oklahoma Governor: What Happened Here?

Democratic Governor Brad Henry of Oklahoma is winning reelection right now with 67% of the vote. That's incredible on at least three levels: 1) Oklahoma is very ...

November 7, 2006
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Gubernatorial Nailbiters

We've had a lot of easy calls tonight, but there are at least a few extremely close races for governor: Minnesota, Nevada and Rhode Island (...

November 7, 2006
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SD: Abortion Ban Loses

CNN has the call, that the abortion ban in South Dakota will fail. Let me be the first to suggest that this is a blessing ...

November 7, 2006
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Arizona: Fascinating Ballot Measures

In Arizona, the minimum wage increase is winning, English as the official language is winning, the gay marriage ban is down 51%-49% and voters have ...

November 7, 2006
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Democratic House: What Does It Mean?

Here's my one character analysis: ? And here's the longer version. I expect a Democratic majority to pursue an increase in the minimum wage, look to ...

November 7, 2006
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Hevesi, Cuomo Win

Scandal notwithstanding, Alan Hevesi has been reelected comptroller of New York according to the New York Times. Andrew Cuomo will be the next attorney general.

November 7, 2006
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AL LT. Gov: Folsom Leads

An astute reader in Alabama notes an interesting comeback bid: Former Alabama Governor Jim Folsom Jr., a Democrat, is currently leading in the race for ...

November 7, 2006
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AZ-GOV: Napolitano Wins

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, has won reelection. Napolitano rejected a pay increase for herself and the modest pay for the office is one ...

November 7, 2006
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TX-GOV: Perry Wins

CNN has Republican Rick Perry winning another term as governor of Texas. Democrat Chris Bell appears to be finishing second, while Kinky Friedman is languishing ...

November 7, 2006
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Ballot Measure Roundup

The ban on same-sex marriage is ahead in Colorado, while the effort to legalize domestic partnerships is currently behind. The ban on affirmative action is ...

November 7, 2006
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U.S. House: Democratic Sweep in Pennsylvania?

It's still earlier in many of these races, but currently five incumbent Republican congressmen in Pennsylvania are behind.

November 7, 2006
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Kansas AG: Kline in Trouble

The nation's premier downballot election is in Kansas, where Attorney General Phill Kline, a conservative Republican, is facing Democrat Paul Morrison. Kline in big trouble ...

November 7, 2006
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MD-GOV: O'Malley Wins

This is the first incumbent governor to lose and the first true toss-up gubernatorial election to be called. Democrat Martin O'Malley has defeated Republican Governor ...

November 7, 2006
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Media Ethics Case Study

MSNBC called the Pennsylvania Senate race around 8:30 because they knew Casey would beat Santorum and polls had closed in most of the state. CNN held ...

November 7, 2006
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MI-GOV: My Upset Predictions Are a Disaster

The Detroit Free Press says that Democrat Jennifer Granholm is winning big, but that Republicans are winning downballot elections.

November 7, 2006
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Ballot Measures: Something for Everyone

Increases in the minimum wage are projected to pass in Ohio and Missouri. The same goes for bans on same-sex marriage in Tennessee and South ...

November 7, 2006
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IL-Gov: Blagojevich Wins

The AP has called the Illinois governors' race for incumbent Democrat Rod Blagojevich, making him a leading candidate for the Gray Davis Award for most ...

November 7, 2006
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Governors Race Bonanza

We have a bunch of winners from various news organizations. Republicans Jodi Rell in CT and Sonny Perdue in GA, plus Democrats Ed Rendell in ...

November 7, 2006
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MA-GOV: Patrick Wins

Democrat Deval Patrick has won the Massachusetts governorship, according to the AP. Two mind-boggling stats: He will be only the third black governor in American ...

November 7, 2006
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Polls Close in 19 States

CQ has this useful list of poll closing times. Now that polls are closed in the majority of states, I think it's safe to say ...

November 7, 2006
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Could the Ohio Legislature Be in Play?

Few analysts have been talking much about Republicans losing either house of the Ohio legislature, but with the toxic environment for the GOP in the ...

November 7, 2006
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OH-GOV: Strickland Wins

We have our first gubernatorial call: Democrat Ted Strickland will be the next governor of Ohio.

November 7, 2006
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Louisville Mayor: Abramson Leads

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson looks like a safe bet for reelection, with a 2 to 1 lead and a third of precincts reporting.

November 7, 2006
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Gay Marriage Ban Passes in Virginia

Our first call: CNN says that the ban on same-sex marriage will pass in Virginia, which is a surprisingly quick call on a vote that ...

November 7, 2006
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Upset Possibilities

Here are some potential upsets. And I'm not talking mild surprises, I'm talking UPSETS. Florida Governor: Republican Charlie Crist has led the whole election, but ...

November 7, 2006
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Useful Links

NCSL has a helpful guide to which legislatures are in play. This post explains their methodology. Also, here's my list of where to find election ...

November 7, 2006
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Elvis Has Left the Statehouse?

One Indiana Republican legislator facing a serious challenge tonight is Bruce Borders. Democrats charge that he's not a serious enough lawmaker. Why would they say ...

November 7, 2006
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Kentucky and Indiana Bellwethers

As polls close in parts of Indiana and Kentucky in a few minutes, you'll hear a lot about the congressional races in those states foreshadowing ...

November 7, 2006
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Election Results: 50 States, 50+ Links

With one day until THE day, I've compiled a list of where to find election results in all fifty states. If you're only interested in ...

November 6, 2006
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Disappearing Polling Places

posted by Josh Goodman Early this year, officials in Sedgwick County, Kansas announced that they were eliminating more than two thirds of their voting locations. ...

November 3, 2006
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The Only Reason State Legislatures Are Important

This type of coverage drives me nuts. From this morning's New York Times article on state legislative elections: "Most significantly, the groundwork for redrawing ...

October 31, 2006
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Judging the Ruling

Here are two takes on that ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court: 1) "NJ Court Stops Short of Gay Marriage OK" 2) "N....

October 26, 2006
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SPAM!: Jesse Ventura's Statesmanship Edition

With a month's worth of spam rotting in my Inbox, here's the latest gubernatorial election news...

October 25, 2006
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Nashville's New Island

Everyone loves riverfront property, there's just never quite enough of it. But now Nashville has a solution: Build more rivers. The city and the Army ...

October 18, 2006
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WAat Next?

"SayWa" is dead. The State of Washington's nonsensical tourism slogan lasted only six months before officials retired the five-letter failure. Let the record ...

October 17, 2006
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Puzzling Governors, Part 3

Here are my final two explanations for all those puzzling governors: Explanation #7: Many states prefer one party in today's presidential elections, but have a rich ...

October 16, 2006
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Puzzling Governors, Part 2

Here's the second part of my series on why Democratic governors have thrived in Republican state and vice versa: Explanation #4: For them to get elected ...

October 13, 2006
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Puzzling Governors, Part 1

I wrote a feature investigating two related puzzles for the October issue of Governing: Why have so many gubernatorial candidates won elections in unfriendly places (...

October 12, 2006
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Standing by Their Party

posted by Josh Goodman There are lots of ways to get a sense, prior to Election Day, how a political party is going to fare. ...

September 29, 2006
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Ohio to Governing: Do You Support Terrorism?

A few months ago, we told you about a new Ohio law requiring everyone that does business with the state to affirm that they don't ...

September 25, 2006
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Pension Puzzle

Amid all of the justifiable concern about underfunded public pension systems, most recently in Alaska, it's easy not to notice that some places appear to ...

September 19, 2006
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Two Words: Spam

Here's the latest gubernatorial election news cluttering my Inbox: * Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich circulates a video message in which he says, "When you think ...

September 19, 2006
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Len Munsil's Modesty

Every person I asked in Arizona a couple of weeks ago told me that Len Munsil, the gubernatorial candidate who won the Republican nomination last ...

September 13, 2006
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Arizona's Immigration Test

From state and federal election results this November, we'll get a good idea of where the American people stand on immigration reform. But if you ...

September 12, 2006
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Spam, Frog Legs and Fried Chocolate Pie

posted by Josh Goodman With the official Labor Day kickoff of campaign season behind us, you can bet my inbox is filling up with spam. ...

September 11, 2006
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The Politics of a Health Care Experiment

We've heard tons about the policy merits of Massachusetts' new health care plan, which, among other things, requires that all state residents obtain health insurance. ...

September 8, 2006
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The New Ethanol Debate: Food v. Fuel

The ethanol debate sometimes seems like "Field of Dreams." It's the same today that it was ten years ago and there's lots of ...

September 7, 2006
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Swann Sings Independent Song

Youngsters across the country are headed back to school this week, so it's a good time for a reminder of what it's like to be ...

September 6, 2006
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Spam to the Future

The name "spam" was originally short for "shoulder of pork and ham." Now it's what I call all the e-mails that ...

August 29, 2006
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Adding Insult to Injury

There's been a lot of talk about how Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski's third place finish in the Republican primary is a dramatic reversal of fortune ...

August 23, 2006
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Puzzling Part-Timers

posted by Josh Goodman One more item is itching to get out of my notepad after my trip to NCSL's annual meeting last week. I ...

August 21, 2006
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Free and Easy

Yesterday at the National Conference of State Legislatures annual meeting in Nashville, I set out on a search to find the weirdest booth in the ...

August 18, 2006
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Will the New York Senate Go Democratic?

I queried folks here at NCSL's annual meeting in Nashville as to whether Democrats were in a position to take control of the New York ...

August 18, 2006
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Plethora of Polk

The Nashville and Davidson County metro government has a lot going for it -- improving schools, affordable housing and an attractive business location -- but ...

August 17, 2006
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No Child: The Problem of Defining the Problem

No Child Left Behind doesn't come up in Congress for reauthorization until next year, but that hasn't stopped a lively discussion from taking place over ...

August 16, 2006
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Crying Fowl

Oklahoma State University political scientist Bob Darcy has just done his best to dispel me of one of my favorite urban rural legends: That Brad ...

August 15, 2006
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From Brat to Wurst

Here's the latest delicious political spam candidates for governor are sending to my inbox: * Wisconsin Republican Mark Green has a folksy video in which he ...

August 8, 2006
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Meth: Good News and Bad

The first time I glanced at the National Association of Counties' latest report on meth, I thought it vindicated the meth precursor laws that have ...

August 7, 2006
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A Gay Marriage Reversal of Fortune?

It's been a rough summer for gay marriage supporters, what with courts in New York, Washington, Georgia and Nebraska all ruling against them. But recent ...

August 1, 2006
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Sock Puppets, Potato Blossoms and Cheerful Candidates

Spam has accumulated once again in my inbox since my post a couple of weeks ago, so it's time for the latest tidbits from the ...

July 28, 2006
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Gay Parenting: The Next Front in the Culture Wars?

Gay marriage may soon run out of steam as a political issue in the states, but there's little danger that a ceasefire is imminent in ...

July 25, 2006
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"A Compassionate Redneck"

Here's a pop quiz for the elections junkies out there. What candidate for governor recently described himself as "a compassionate redneck," noted that ...

July 20, 2006
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"Let's See Some ID, Grandpa"

posted by Josh Goodman Legislators in Tennessee are taking a swig of something we here at Governing find highly intoxicating: policy innovation. Earlier this summer, ...

July 18, 2006
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So Much Spam

posted by Josh Goodman A few weeks ago, I did something that no sane person would do. I signed up for dozens of gubernatorial candidate ...

July 14, 2006
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A Cold-Button Issue

Everyone knows the hot-button political issues these days: the Iraq War, gay marriage, abortion, immigration and unfunded public employee pension liabilities. Ok, so maybe the ...

July 11, 2006
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Cell Outs

Hate cell phones? You should move to Vermont. As of June 2005, the most recent data available, the Green Mountain state had the fewest cell phones ...

July 10, 2006
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One Way to Boost Turnout

An Arizona ballot measure may hold the key to boosting voter turnout: paying people to vote. The initiative, which last week the state certified for ...

July 6, 2006
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The Straw that Broke Joe Camel's Back?

Ninety-nine government reports out of one hundred instantly get tossed in the wastebasket of irrelevancy, but yesterday's Surgeon General report on secondhand smoke seems destined ...

June 28, 2006
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"I like you, just not like that."

A Washington Post poll released today had lots of good news for Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich. Fifty-six percent of registered Maryland voters approve of the ...

June 28, 2006
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Former Governors Have More Fun

What with the lousy hours, mediocre pay, constant media scrutiny, obligatory baby kissing and inevitable squabbling with the legislature, why would anyone want to be ...

June 21, 2006
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Now Blogging: Tom Vilsack

Writing a recent diary on liberal Web site Daily Kos, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack proved that he isn't your father's blogging politician -- and not ...

June 20, 2006
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Smoking Analogies Abound

When I was in high school, I thought that nothing I was learning would be useful in the real world. History class was about Tippecanoe ...

June 12, 2006
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Flunking the Electoral College

While much has been made of the effect a bill making its way through the California legislature could have on presidential politics, the impact could ...

June 8, 2006
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States Grapple With Gas Price Politics

My biggest question regarding state responses to high gas prices is, "What took so long?" USA Today reported last week that more than 20 ...

May 24, 2006
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HAVA Heart!

Irony-loving officials in Sedgwick County, Kansas, have found a way to implement the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) that almost certainly will make it ...

May 19, 2006
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Assessing Governor Candidates: Who's Looking the Same

In the final part of my update on governors' races, I'm looking at candidates whose chances haven't changed much over the past few months. Of ...

May 17, 2006
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Assessing Governor Candidates: Who's Looking Worse?

Yesterday I wrote about candidates for governor whose fortunes are brightening, but others haven't been so lucky. Here are three aspirants who are in worse ...

May 16, 2006
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Voting 4 Me? U R 2 Kewl!

Podcasts are so yesterday. Text messages are the new way for governors to communicate. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm's reelection campaign is already signing up supporters ...

May 15, 2006
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Assessing Governor Candidates: Who's Looking Better?

A few months have passed since I previewed this year's governors races in Governing and since then the political world has been downright uncooperative, refusing ...

May 15, 2006
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And Ima Luzer Won't

Here's my prediction for tomorrow's Austin mayoral election: Will Wynn will win.

May 12, 2006
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What's with the Optimism?

As a Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians fan, if there's one thing I don't understand, it's optimism. I often notice a strange, strange synchronicity between ...

May 4, 2006
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Downballot Elections to Watch

If you're like me, you're counting the days until the 2006 election, which is now little more than 6 months away. Undoubtedly, you've heard about the governors' ...

May 1, 2006
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911 Cell Stragglers

Studious Governing.com readers might have noticed the Daily Digit stating that only 1% of Oklahoma residents live in areas where 911 callers from cell phones can ...

April 27, 2006
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Now Guest Blogging: Jeb Bush

Now that the digital graveyard is overflowing with the dead, dormant and infrequently updated blogs of elected officials, many may be wondering whether they can ...

April 21, 2006
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"We Need Some Stinkin' Badges"

When Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa last week proposed hiring 1,000 new police officers over the next four years, most of the attention focused on the 155% ...

April 18, 2006
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Tax Reform Finally Comes to Alabama

With barely a peep of dissension, Alabama has finally decided to make reforms to its uniquely regressive tax code. Legislation signed by Governor Bob Riley ...

April 14, 2006
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The Minimum Wage Momentum

Although the minimum wage is always an issue for state legislators, last year and this year they have been especially active. At least nine states ...

April 13, 2006
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A Smoking Ban with a Twist

Here's an idea that might catch on around the country. Arkansas just became the 17th state to ban smoking in workplaces, but, more interestingly, it ...

April 11, 2006
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Beer, Borders and Beavers

State legislators are never short on creativity. If you don't believe me, consider some of the quirky ideas percolating in legislatures around the country this ...

April 6, 2006
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Please, Just Give Me a Phone Number!

A couple of months ago, I had a very simple question for a state that will remain nameless. I found the division that would have ...

March 30, 2006
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Michigan's Referendum Machinations

Recent events in Michigan illustrate how voter referendums are becoming devices for influencing the results of other votes. Governor Jennifer Granholm was all smiles yesterday ...

March 29, 2006
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Women Make Gains in State Tech

I've just completed an initial update of the state technology officials for Governing's Sourcebook and the results show that slowly more women are moving into ...

March 27, 2006
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Change of Forecast in Illinois Race for Governor?

Voters are headed to the polls today in Illinois for primary elections -- or at least they're supposed to be. As Taegan Goddard points out ...

March 21, 2006
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The Anti-Slogan

In one episode of the Simpsons, Marge tells Homer, "It's very easy to criticize," to which he responds, "and fun, too!" ...

March 20, 2006
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Say What?

If you've been paying attention to the 13th Floor over the past few months, you know that we've taken a good bit of glee in ...

March 17, 2006
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Making Changes to No Child Left Behind

The Washington Post offered principals in the D.C. area an interesting opportunity this weekend: Explain for the world why your school is not meeting ...

March 15, 2006
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If Roe Is Overturned, Which States Will Ban Abortion?

Now that South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds has signed legislation to ban virtually all abortions, a renewed court battle over Roe v. Wade seems inevitable. ...

March 7, 2006
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2006: Year of the Independent? (Revisited)

A few months ago, I argued that although the political environment might be turning voters against both the Republican and Democratic parties, no credible independent ...

March 6, 2006
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Baseball's Big Test

If you're curious about the future of public financing of Major League Baseball stadiums, keep a close eye on the Minnesota legislature over the next ...

March 1, 2006
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Eminent Domain Restrictions and Credit Ratings

One reason I'm so fascinated by the response to the Supreme Court's Kelo decision is that every day there seems to be a new angle ...

March 1, 2006
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Washington State's Malpractice Miracle

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire seems to have worked a minor miracle in brokering a compromise between doctors and malpractice attorneys in her state. That's not ...

February 27, 2006
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Anti-Meth Laws Come to D.C.

Here at Governing, we always take pleasure in pointing out when federal legislation mirrors laws already on the books in the states. Well, the congressional ...

February 27, 2006
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Eminent Domain Could Swing Elections in November

The backlash against the Supreme Court's Kelo decision is continuing unabated. Property rights advocates across the country are proposing amendments to state constitutions to restrict ...

February 24, 2006
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Virginia's Laziness Tax

The Virginia legislature is considering a gas tax increase with a twist. Anyone could mail in their receipts for gas purchases twice a year and ...

February 22, 2006
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What's Wrong With This List?

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee took a new step in his public health crusade yesterday, granting "Healthy Arkansas" designations to 106 of his state's dining ...

February 20, 2006
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Good News for Small-State Guvs

One thing that strikes me about SurveyUSA's newest batch of polling on governors' approval ratings is that people like their governors a lot more in ...

February 16, 2006
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Rhode Island's Gamble

Rhode Island doesn't have a lot going for it. It's about 1/429th the size of Alaska. It's not actually an island. And, it was one ...

February 14, 2006
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Will the Dearth of African-American Governors End in 2006?

Only one African-American, Virginia's Doug Wilder, has ever been elected governor of a U.S. state. As a result of developments over the past two ...

February 8, 2006
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Kelo's Effect on Stadiums

While working on an article for Governing's March issue on financing sports stadiums, one question I've asked a couple of sources is whether last year's ...

February 7, 2006
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Virginia's "Singing" Senators

Virginia is embroiled in a state song controversy, but for all the wrong reasons. The ordeal began in 1997 when, due to patently offensive lyrics, "...

February 6, 2006
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States of the President

The State of the Union address is as much about measuring the standing of the president as it is about the country as a whole. ...

January 31, 2006
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Utah's Constitutional Kerfuffle

The last time many people felt passionately about the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, other hot topics included Prohibition and women's suffrage. But ...

January 26, 2006
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Govs' Polls: Woe the Ex-Congressmen (UPDATED)

SurveyUSA's newest approval rating polls reveal the secret to being a popular governor: Don't be a former member of Congress. Ten (Correction) Nine current governors ...

January 20, 2006
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Relentlessly "On Message"

Sometimes a word is worth a thousand words. That's certainly been true during the latest round of governors' State of the State addresses. You can ...

January 19, 2006
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Who Let the Dangerous Dogs Out?

A national movement is afoot to crack down on dangerous dogs, from San Francisco, to Colorado to Virginia. Now counties across the country have a ...

January 13, 2006
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Trend Against Death Penalty Grows

posted Josh Goodman There is new momentum against the death penalty in state government. Death sentences are declining, the New Jersey legislature passed a death ...

January 10, 2006
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Term Limits Tango

One of the primary reasons for adopting term limits is to get fresh faces into government. However, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported recently, it ...

January 8, 2006
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Showgirls in the Senate?

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman (alas, no relation) is contemplating a bid for U.S. Senate. If C-SPAN had a little more entrepreneurial savvy and ...

January 6, 2006
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Martinez vs. Martinez

As Political Wire notes, one Texas House of Representatives campaign is sure to get personal. That's because the candidates in the Democratic primary are incumbent ...

January 5, 2006
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Redefining the Statehouse

If you're still trying to come up with a New Year's resolution, do me a favor. Promise to only use the word "statehouse" ...

January 2, 2006
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Great Potatoes. Lousy Slogans.

New Jersey's taken a lot of heat for its search for a new slogan. But based on this list of current state catch phrases, it ...

December 28, 2005
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The Battle of the Sexes: A Draw

With a new 50-state poll of governors' approval ratings out, I decided to check an argument I made last month: that female executives are as ...

December 22, 2005
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Governors Elections to Watch

For a preview of the 2006 governors elections that I'm writing for the February issue of Governing, I've spoken with the University of Virginia's Larry Sabato ...

December 21, 2005
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Immigration Issues Roil the GOP

A few days ago the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill designed to crack down on illegal immigration, but not before business ...

December 20, 2005
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Governors and the "War on Christmas"

Claims by some conservatives that liberals are waging a "War on Christmas" have gotten a lot of attention lately. Some groups have criticized ...

December 14, 2005
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The New History

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed recently announced that the Web site of former governor Mike Lowry, who served from 1993-1997, would be maintained in ...

December 12, 2005
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States Steering Seniors' Drug Choices

Several states are quietly altering the way Medicare's new prescription drug benefit operates. The changes mean that when the program begins on January 1, it will ...

December 11, 2005
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The Effects of Term Limits

Governing's January issue will discuss whether term limits have dulled institutional memory in state legislatures and shifted power to governors and agency heads. That got ...

December 8, 2005
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The Myth of Political Polarization

Going along with my post below, I have often wondered why, with so many governors thriving in states where their party is supposedly in the ...

December 1, 2005
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Guvs' Polls: What's Red is Blue and Blue is Red

Survey USA has new approval ratings for all 50 governors. The polls bear out an odd trend that has become increasingly clear over the past few ...

December 1, 2005
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Kelo's Defenders

From most of the commentary on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. New London, which affirmed the use of eminent domain ...

November 29, 2005
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Sanford Conspiracies

South Carolina's Mark Sanford (pictured here) may have been the most controversial pick for Time magazine's list of three worst governors. Now the fallout from ...

November 18, 2005
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The Mayoral Glass Ceiling

Believe it or not, only one mayor of America's 25 most populous cities is a woman (Laura Miller of Dallas, pictured here). Though the extent to ...

November 16, 2005
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Will Arnold Be Back?

Two years ago Democratic voters gave a Republican official what Governing termed "a stinging rebuke" on a reform-minded ballot measure he pushed. If ...

November 15, 2005
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Summary and Goodnight

2:35 A.M.: We're still waiting on the last results from California, but I'm headed to bed. Prop. 75 is especially close and you can get all ...

November 8, 2005
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Washington State Smoking Ban Passes

2:22 A.M.: Washington state has passed one of the nation's toughest smoking bans.

November 8, 2005
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Detroit Mayor: Technical Glitch

2:00 A.M.: It looks as though it might still be a while before we know the result in Detroit, but, as far as I can ...

November 8, 2005
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King County Executive: Sims Pulling Away

1:47 A.M.: King County Executive Ron Sims got a bit of a scare, but he appears to be winning. By the way, the Hotline blog ...

November 8, 2005
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San Diego Mayor: Sanders Looks Likely to Win

1:29 A.M.: Republican Jerry Sanders appears to be pulling ahead. If he does win, his unenviable task is to fix the fiscal mess in San ...

November 8, 2005
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Hotline: Liberal Counties Still to Report in California

1:08 A.M.: I haven't tried to figure out what California counties have reported so far, but the Hotline blog says that the liberal, populous counties ...

November 8, 2005
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San Diego, Detroit Mayor Updates

12:50 A.M.: Republican Jerry Sanders leads Democrat Donna Frye in early returns in San Diego. In Detroit, the Free Press explains why they haven't called ...

November 8, 2005
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Seattle Results: Monorail Losing, Nickels Winning

12:42 A.M.: The Seattle Times has lots of interesting results on their site. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels appears headed to reelection in early returns, but ...

November 8, 2005
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New York Budget Referendum Fails

12:32 A.M.: New York's ballot measure to change the state budgeting process has failed. Anytime both Gov. Pataki and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer are against ...

November 8, 2005
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California Numbers

12:23 A.M.: Results on California's referendums are here. Referendum 75, which would require written consent for the dues of public employee union members to be used ...

November 8, 2005
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First California Returns

12:12 A.M.: According to the Los Angeles Times, two of the ballot measures pushed by Arnold appear to be failing. The two are Refs. 76 and 77, ...

November 8, 2005
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Maine Appears to Keep Anti-Discrimination Law for Sexual Orientation

11:59 P.M.: Although I haven't seen any official call, barring a very dramatic turn of events Maine voters will keep a law banning discrimination on ...

November 8, 2005
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Mayoral Roundup

11:46 P.M.: Four more results: Incumbent Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell has just conceded to City Council Chairman Frank Jackson in a tight race. Minneapolis Mayor ...

November 8, 2005
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New Jersey Voters Approve Lt. Governorship

11:30 P.M.: New Jersey voters have passed a ballot measure to create a lieutenant governorship. Prior to the vote, I believe New Jersey was the ...

November 8, 2005
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Boston Mayor: Menino Wins 4th Term

11:19 P.M.: Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has easily won a fourth term.

November 8, 2005
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It's Official: All Four Ohio Reform Measures Fail

11:13 P.M.: The four referendums designed to reform Ohio election law have all officially been defeated. An article from the AP suggests that voter confusion ...

November 8, 2005
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NYC Mayor: Bloomberg Wins

11:05 P.M.: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been reelected easily. The New York Times had the best analysis on this race: Bloomberg's greatest ...

November 8, 2005
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California, Washington Polls Close

11:00 P.M.: Polls are just closing in both Washington state and California. There are tons of interesting referendums in both places.

November 8, 2005
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Cincy, St. Paul Mayoral Races Called

10:51 P.M.: Two more mayoral updates: St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly has been defeated by fellow Democrat Chris Coleman. This is a win that Democrats ...

November 8, 2005
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Dallas "Strong Mayor" Vote Fails Narrowly

10:40 P.M.: For the second time this year, Dallas voters have rejected a proposal to strengthen the city's mayorship. Today's referendum would have made more ...

November 8, 2005
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Pittsburgh Mayor: O'Connor Wins

10:29 P.M.: As expected, the AP reports Democrat Bob O'Connor has won the mayoral race in Pittsburgh.

November 8, 2005
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Atlanta Mayor: Franklin Reelected

10:22 P.M.: Although most precincts haven't reported yet, Atlanta's Democratic Mayor Shirley Franklin is taking 92% of the vote, so I'm personally declaring her the winner ...

November 8, 2005
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Republican Wins Virginia Lt. Gov?

10:14 P.M.: Not Larry Sabato is calling the Virginia lieutenant governor race for Republican Bill Bolling. I haven't heard an official call, but the tone ...

November 8, 2005
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OH: Redistricting Measure Fails

10:04 P.M.: Issue 4 fails according to the AP. It will be interesting to dissect afterwards why, when Ohio residents have such low opinions of Republican ...

November 8, 2005
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AP: Corzine Wins

9:55 P.M.: According to the Associated Press, Democrat Jon Corzine has been elected governor of New Jersey.

November 8, 2005
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Ohio: Could the Entire Reform Agenda Be in Jeopardy?

9:50 P.M.: The much-ballyhooed four reform referendums in Ohio appear to be in serious danger of defeat. It isn't a big surprise that Issue 4, the ...

November 8, 2005
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NJ GOV: Corzine Leads

9:32 P.M.: With 41% of precincts in, New Jersey Democrat Jon Corzine has a 54%-43% lead over Republican Doug Forrester.

November 8, 2005
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Texas Gay Marriage Ban Passes

9:28 P.M.: As expected, the gay marriage ban in Texas has passed easily. Currently, it is winning with 74% of the vote. Based on the standard ...

November 8, 2005
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Houston Mayor: White Reelected

9:20 P.M.: Bill White, the Democratic mayor of Houston is taking upwards of 90% of the vote has been officially called as the winner.

November 8, 2005
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AP: Kaine Wins

9:13 P.M.: The Associated Press has called the Virginia governor's race for Democrat Tim Kaine.

November 8, 2005
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St. Peterburg Mayor: Baker Winning Easily

The St. Petersburg Times reports that incumbent Republican Rick Baker has 68.5% of the vote with 88 of 115 precincts reporting. I'm not sure whether this one has ...

November 8, 2005
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Polls Close in New York

8:58 P.M. Polls are about two minutes from closing in New York. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appears likely to cruise to reelection. A ...

November 8, 2005
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Kaine Number Look Strong

8:53 P.M.: Tim Kaine appears to be matching Mark Warner's numbers from 2001 in many places.  That's good news for him because Warner won by 5%. ...

November 8, 2005
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Kaine Running Ahead of Other Statewide Democratic Candidates

8:26 P.M.: Looking at the aggregate Virginia results, Democratic Tim Kaine appears to be outperforming fellow Democrats Leslie Byrne and Creigh Deeds, candidates for lt. ...

November 8, 2005
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Non-Partisan Redistricting Running Behind Other Ballot Measures in Ohio

8:07 P.M. Only a small percentage of Ohio's precincts have reported so far, so it's too soon to jump to any conclusions. Still, it is ...

November 8, 2005
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Polls Close in New Jersey

7:55: Polls close in 5 minutes in New Jersey and Maine (where there is a referendum seeking to overturn a law barring discrimination on the basis of ...

November 8, 2005
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Polls Close in Ohio

7:33 P.M.: Polls have now closed in Ohio. Besides the statewide referendums, there are also interesting mayoral races in Cleveland and Cincinnati. In Cleveland, incumbent ...

November 8, 2005
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Virginia Spin Gets Going

7:25: As the Hotline's blog points out, we are hearing conflicting reports about turnout in Virginia. I just heard two reporters on T.V., one stationed ...

November 8, 2005
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Polls Close in Virginia

7:10 P.M.: Polls have closed in Virginia, but there are no exit polls today, so we'll have to wait for the results. Not Larry Sabato ...

November 8, 2005
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VA-GOV: Look to Loudoun

6:51 P.M.: With Virginia's polls closing in a few minutes, I'll be looking with interest at the results from Loudoun County. Loudoun is growing remarkably ...

November 8, 2005
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Poll Closing Schedule

CBS has a helpful map with information on key races around the country, including what time the polls close (thanks go to Political Wire for ...

November 8, 2005
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Evaluating the Texas Gay Marriage Vote

6:04 P.M.: Conspicuously absent from my previous post was any mention of Texas' gay marriage ban. That's because the ban will fail only if pigs ...

November 8, 2005
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Upset Possibilities

Welcome to the 13th Floor's Election Night 2005 coverage!  Here are a few thoughts on some contests where we might see an upset. NJ GOV: ...

November 8, 2005
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Votes to Watch on Tuesday

GOVERNING.COM COVERAGE & ANALYSIS IS HERE. ELECTION NIGHT LIVEBLOG IS HERE. I'll be on the 13th Floor Tuesday night, monitoring state and local election ...

November 4, 2005
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The Importance of TABOR

Colorado's vote today will offer a decent barometer on the public's willingness to raise taxes in an era of small government. What's on the ballot ...

November 1, 2005
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The Media's Favorite Governor

I just finished Craig Crawford's new book, Attack the Messenger , in which he claims that officeholders have increasingly turned to criticizing the media to deflect ...

October 26, 2005
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A Tale of Two Referendums

Two questions on ballots this November on opposite sides of the country are turning into a case study of partisan hypocrisy. At the same time, ...

October 20, 2005
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2006: Year of the Independent?

Next year is shaping up to be a banner year for independent and third-party office seekers. The only thing that is missing is the candidates.

October 14, 2005
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So Irrational, It Just Might Work

At Governing's Managing Performance conference last week, Delaware Budget Director J.J. Davis touted a policy being tested in her state as the answer to ...

October 12, 2005
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Getting a Job the Hard Way

Most people peruse classified sections and send out resumes when they want a new job. Arkansas state Rep. Charles Ormond has decided to try and ...

September 28, 2005
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HOT or not?

Does congestion pricing on highways create "Lexus lanes" that only rich drivers can afford? It depends, as two examples currently under review in ...

September 26, 2005
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State of the Governors

Yesterday, polling firm SurveyUSA released the latest rendition of their 50-state survey of governors' job-approval ratings. The simultaneous polls make it easy to draw broad ...

September 21, 2005
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TABOR Tantrum

Colorado's upcoming vote on whether to temporarily suspend its Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) is shaping up as one to watch. There's more at stake ...

September 16, 2005
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Utah's Retro Governor

Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. of Utah could hardly be more old school. Sure, he doesn't listen to disco (as far as I know) or drive ...

September 14, 2005
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Hitting Too Close to Home

Debates about whether employees of local governments should live in the municipalities they serve have been around for a long time. In fact, Governing ran ...

September 9, 2005
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High on Potts

With the New York mayoral race and the New Jersey governor's race both looking like snoozers, only one contest on the ballot in 2005 stands to ...

September 8, 2005
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Happy Day for Gays

Yesterday's news that California's legislature passed a bill to legalize gay marriage, becoming the first legislature to do so without judicial prodding, marked a substantial ...

September 7, 2005
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Shaming the Feds

Over the past few days, a great deal of discussion has focused on what officials at all levels of government did wrong when responding to ...

September 6, 2005
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Libertarians Rejoice!

Last year a group of anti-government types, interested in creating a utopia free from the burdens of pesky social services, designated New Hampshire as a ...

August 26, 2005
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Dick Cheney's Soul Mate

There are a number of interesting storylines emanating from yesterday's New York Post article about secretly taped conversations involving a top aide of New York ...

August 23, 2005
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One Step Above Dogcatcher

The hopes of political junkies everywhere were dashed earlier this week when the most intriguing 2006 election failed to materialize. I'm not speaking of the reelection ...

August 17, 2005
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The Starbucks Stops Here

Almost everyone knows that Starbucks coffee shops are everywhere. In fact, pointing out the ubiquity of Starbucks long since became passé. The Simpsons played off ...

August 11, 2005
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