Democrats Post More State House Gains
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Democrats Post More State House Gains

Flip Two More Legislative Seats in Special Elections

Swelling tide. Democrats flipped their 38th and 39th GOP-held seats in state legislatures since Trump was elected president in 2016, beating out Republicans in two special elections on Tuesday night. In New Hampshire, Democrat Phil Spagnuolo won in a district where Trump had defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by a 54%-41% margin. Spagnuolo beat Republican candidate Les Cartier 54% to 46%. Hours later in Connecticut, Democrat Phil Young made history by becoming the first Democrat to represent state House District 120 in 44 years. Young beat out Republican Bill Cabral to win the district with 51% of the vote.

No guns. Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of our country’s largest sports retailers, announced that it will no longer sell assault-style weapons, effective immediately. CEO Edward Stack said on Good Morning America: “When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset. We love these kids and their rallying cry, ‘Enough is enough.’ It got to us.” Dick’s—which has more than 600 stores across the U.S.—also announced it would no longer sell high-capacity magazines or any gun to anyone under 21 years of age, regardless of what the local laws are. Stack confirmed the company had sold a gun to Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz last November, but it was not the gun used in the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead.

ACA undermined. The White House and Republican-controlled Congress have managed to sabotage the Affordable Care Act in ways that will both cost 6.4 million Americans their health insurance while increasing federal spending on the remaining beneficiaries by about $33 billion per year, Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik reports.

Re-election bid. Trump has named former digital adviser Brad Parscale as campaign manager of his 2020 re-election campaign. Parscale will lead “advanced planning” for the 2020 effort, and the campaign will also be engaged in the 2018 midterm elections, which are shaping up to be a challenging environment for Republicans.Trump filed the paperwork to organize his re-election committee on the same day as his inauguration. Parscale, an Austin-based digital consultant and ally of First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner, ran the Trump campaign’s digital operations in 2016, which included sophisticated social media targeting. He previously worked for the Trump Organization.

HUD furnishings. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has agreed to spend $165,000 on “lounge furniture” for its Washington headquarters, in addition to a $31,000 dining set purchased for housing secretary Ben Carson’s office, despite a proposed $6.8 billion cut to its annual budget, or roughly 14% of its total spending, which would lead to reductions in programs aimed at poor and homeless Americans. Department officials signed a contract last September with an Indiana-based seller for the furniture, according to a federal procurement record.

February 28, 2018