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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
May 1, 2023

Judge blocks Missouri AG's rule limiting transgender health care

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is still blocked from enforcing an emergency rule limiting gender-affirming care after a St. Louis County judge granted a 14-day temporary restraining order Monday.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and Lambda Legal, alleges that Bailey abused the state’s consumer protection law to create the emergency order. If the attorney general is allowed to place restrictions on gender-affirming care, the lawsuit contends, their five plaintiffs will face harm, like possible infertility or not being able to continue medical treatment.

Circuit Court Judge Ellen Ribaudo ruled Monday that plaintiffs proved they would be harmed by the emergency rule, and the court will have to decide whether Bailey could use the consumer protection law, known as the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, to regulate gender-affirming care.

“This is a novel use of the attorney general’s power to promulgate emergency rules under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act that has never previously been subjected to judicial scrutiny and may impermissibly invade a function reserved to the legislature,” Ribaudo wrote in her order.

Ribaudo scheduled a hearing for 1 p.m. on May 11 to determine whether the court will place a preliminary injunction, which would stop the emergency rule until the completion of the lawsuit.


May 1, 2023

TX-SEN: Allred set to launch Texas Senate run against Cruz

Democratic Rep. Colin Allred is planning to announce a run against Sen. Ted Cruz as soon as this week, according to two people familiar with his plans.

A former NFL player-turned-civil rights attorney, Allred has been quietly prepping for a run against Cruz for months. During his two successful reelection bids since ousting an entrenched incumbent in 2018, Allred has proven a prolific fundraiser. He’s well-liked within the Democratic Caucus and has also picked up positions in leadership, now serving as a member of House Minority Whip Katherine Clark’s (D-Mass.) team and as previously part of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) expansive leadership team.

Allred won his suburban Dallas House seat in 2018, unseating Rep. Pete Sessions — a former House Rules Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee chair who later returned to the House after running in a different district.

After 2020’s redistricting, Allred’s district became safely Democratic, meaning he could likely hold his current seat for as long as he chooses. His decision to give it up to run for Senate instead, in a state where his party has struggled to win statewide, sets up a potentially high-profile general election race next fall.

Cruz, now serving his second term in the Senate, faced a tougher-than-expected challenge from then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) in 2018. Though O’Rourke lost by about 2.6 percentage points, the former House member developed a national profile that he parlayed into an unsuccessful 2020 presidential run.


May 1, 2023

New York City's Asian neighborhoods feature some of the City Council races to watch

It’s a common question in New York City politics these days: Which elections are you watching? Every City Council member is up for reelection in 2023, since redistricting led to two consecutive two-year terms, rather than the typical four-year term. And a quick rule of thumb for which races to watch? Districts with significant Asian American populations.

Asian American voters – as diverse as the communities are, across the city – have been getting more attention lately. Andrew Yang ran a competitive mayoral primary running up huge margins among East Asian Democrats, and heavily Asian neighborhoods were hot spots in both the 2021 and 2022 general elections as candidates like Curtis Sliwa and Lee Zeldin found opportunities to flip voters who had previously backed Democrats. Voters across most demographics shifted right in the past couple cycles, but the biggest shifts were in areas where the majority of voters were Asian.

In this City Council term, there are more Asian members than ever before, with six. And after redistricting, there are nine seats out of 51 that have a population that’s at least 30% Asian. Here’s a primer on a few of those competitive races.

City Council District 1

Lower Manhattan, including the neighborhoods of Chinatown, Soho and Tribeca.

City Council District 20

Eastern Queens, including the neighborhoods of Flushing and Murray Hill

City Council District 23

Eastern Queens, including the neighborhoods of Bellerose, Douglaston and Little Neck

City Council District 26

Western Queens, including the neighborhoods of Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside

City Council District 43

Southern Brooklyn, including the neighborhoods of Sunset Park, Bensonhurst and Gravesend


May 1, 2023

PA:Central Bucks School Board Candidate Karen Smith Offers Something Her Opponent Can't - Experience

Karen Smith has been actively involved in public education for more than 20 years because she believes in the power of public education.

“I love public schools. I think they’re really a foundational part of America and we are highly regarded across the world for our schools,” she said. “The creativity that American kids end up with because of our schools, the freedoms that we have within our schools, and the freedom to think and learn in a number of different ways.”

With more than a decade of experience, Smith, who is running for a third term for Central Bucks School District school board in Region 1, brings a lot to the table – including eight years as executive director for the Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association and six years as the public relations director in the Central Bucks school district. Additionally, Smith was a featured writer in the Pennsylvania School Board Association’s magazine The Bulletin and she is also a Pennsylvania Education Policy Fellow.

Winning her first election for school board director in 2015 provides Smith with a unique overview of the Central Bucks School District both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Smith notes that the district changed dramatically after the 2021 school board elections, and not for the better.


May 1, 2023

PA: Monto Commissioner Races Heat Up

The old saying “politics ain’t beanbag” is playing out in the Montgomery County commissioners race, which is more wide open than it has been in recent memory.

Monday is the last day to register to vote in the May 16 primary. And in the last two weeks of April, the contest for two Republican Montgomery County commissioner spots on the fall ballot has ramped up into high gear.

Radio stations are running ads for incumbent Joe Gale and another narrated by Liz Ferry, touting herself and her running mate, Tom DiBello.

Ferry also has many digital ads on Facebook and other platforms and plans to air TV ads, too. Both Ferry and DiBello were endorsed by the county GOP. Gale did not seek its endorsement.


May 1, 2023

PA:Shapiro Signs First Bill Requiring Insurers To Cover Preventive Breast, Ovarian Cancer Screenings

Gov. Josh Shapiro made history on Monday with his signature on a first-of-its-kind law in the nation that will require insurers to cover preventive breast and ovarian cancer screenings for high-risk women at no cost.

The landmark legislation that was introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) passed both the House and the Senate unanimously. It removes out-of-pocket costs associated with genetic testing for hereditary breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancer syndromes – as well as supplemental breast screenings for women with a high lifetime risk of breast cancer. Act 1 ensures this critical healthcare will be accessible and affordable for more Pennsylvanians and save countless lives.

“I am proud that the first bill I have signed as Governor is a bill that passed both chambers unanimously – with Democrats and Republicans coming together to improve access to critically important healthcare and save countless lives in Pennsylvania,” said Shapiro.

“This historic legislation is going to help women fight breast cancer and live healthier lives – and it would not have been possible without the courage, tenacity, and bipartisan cooperation of Senate Pro Tempore Kim Ward and Speaker Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia). “I believe government can and should be a productive force for good – and this is a real example of the big things we can accomplish in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when we work together.”


May 1, 2023

Endorsements: Philadelphia Mayoral Race

Jeff Brown

- Labor: AFSCME District Council 33; United Food and Commercial Workers locals 1776, 360, and 152; Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Local 108; Transport Workers Union Local 234
- Law Enforcement: FOP Lodge 5

Allan Domb

- Organizations: Philly Forward PAC

Helen Gym

- Congress: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
- State Senators: Nikil Saval
- State Representatives: Elizabeth Fiedler, Rick Krajewski
- City Council: Jamie Gauthier, Kendra Brooks
- Organizations: Jane Fonda Climate PAC, Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance, Our Revolution, Sierra Club, Reclaim Philadelphia, One Pennsylvania, Free The Ballot
- Teachers: Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, American Federation of Teachers
- Labor: AFSCME District Council 47, Working Families Party, Teamsters BMWED, Unite Here Philly

Cherelle Parker

- Congress: Dwight Evans, Brendan Boyle
- State Senators: Vincent Hughes, Sharif Street, Tina Tartaglione, Art Haywood
- State Representatives: Jose Giral, Morgan Cephas, Donna Bullock, Danilo Burgos, Pat Gallagher.
- City Council: Darrell Clarke, Curtis Jones Jr., Anthony Phillips, Michael Driscoll, Mark Squilla.
- Organizations: National Organization for Women, Philadelphia Chapter, Collective PAC, Higher Heights for America PAC, New Progressive Alliance, Black Women’s Leadership Council, Philadelphia Black Clergy
- Labor: Philadelphia Building Trades Council, SEIU Local 32BJ, IBEW Local 98, Eastern Atlantic States Council of Carpenters

Rebecca Rhynhart

- Former Mayors: John Street, Michael Nutter, Ed Rendell
- Newspapers: Philadelphia Inquirer

May 1, 2023

PA: What the 2 Democrats running to be Northampton County DA are fighting over

The Democratic candidates for Northampton County district attorney in the May primary election each share extensive backgrounds in criminal justice.

Challenger Stephen G. Baratta, a retired county judge, has criticized incumbent Terry Houck on several issues, including the death penalty, gun control, low-level drug prosecutions, cash bail and management of the DA’s office.

Houck, at every turn, has labeled Baratta’s criticisms as false.

What follows is a summary of the candidates’ positions on several of the issues.


May 1, 2023

AOC endorsed Helen Gym for Philly mayor, becoming the latest national figure to back her candidacy

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday endorsed Helen Gym for Philadelphia mayor, becoming the latest in a string of celebrities and Democrats with national profiles to back her candidacy.

“Helen isn’t afraid to take on tough fights or go up against big special interests,” Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) said in a statement. “And when she does, she wins.”

In a statement, Gym said she was “honored” to receive the endorsement, saying, “From Philly to New York to Chicago, a bold grassroots movement grounded in meeting people’s basic needs is sweeping the country.”

Gym, who has before been compared to Ocasio-Cortez, has amassed a handful of endorsements from progressives across the country, including Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. She’s also been endorsed by U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.) and U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.), who are Ocasio-Cortez’ fellow members of “the Squad,” a group of left-leaning lawmakers in Congress.

And she’s won the backing of a few celebrities from outside Philadelphia, including actor and longtime environmental activist Mark Ruffalo and actress Jane Fonda, whose climate-change focused political action committee contributed to Gym’s campaign.


May 1, 2023

NC Supreme Court upholds law that disenfranchises thousands convicted of felonies

The North Carolina Supreme Court issued a ruling Friday upholding a 1970s law requiring people convicted of felonies to complete the terms of their probation or parole in order to regain their right to vote.

The decision — which fell 5-2 along party lines — affects more than 50,000 people.

Friday’s majority opinion was written by Associate Justice Trey Allen, a Republican elected to the Supreme Court last year. A previous ruling by a trial court found that the law, passed by the General Assembly in 1973, disproportionately harms Black people by locking them out of the voting booth. In rejecting that lower court ruling, Allen disputed statistical evidence showing African Americans made up a disproportionate share of those on supervision as part of a felony conviction, and said reforms passed by lawmakers “made it easier for eligible felons of all races to regain their voting rights.”

Allen pointed out that North Carolina’s constitution expressly says people convicted of felonies “have no fundamental right to vote.” However, the constitution also says that right can be restored “in the manner prescribed by law.” The 50-year-old law re-enfranchises people convicted of felonies, rather than disenfranchises them, Allen and the Republican majority ruled. Otherwise, “plaintiff-felons and all other felons in this state would be disenfranchised permanently,” Allen wrote.


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Current location: San Francisco, CA
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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

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