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Each Saturday, this feature links and excerpts commentary and reporting from a dozen progressive state blogs in the past seven days around the nation. The idea is not only to spotlight specific issues but to give readers who may not know their state has a progressive blog or two a place to become regularly informed about doings in their back yard. Just as states with progressive lawmakers and activists have themselves initiated innovative programs over a wide range of issues, state-based progressive blogs have helped provide us with a point of view and inside information we don't get from the traditional media. Those blogs deserve a larger audience. Let me know via comments or Kosmail if you have a favorite you think I should know about. Standard disclaimer: Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.
At Hillbilly Report of Kentucky, Hillbilly writes A New Challenger for Mitch McConnell?
Since Ashley Judd declined to run against the Senator for Communist China Mitch McConnell, he has yet to draw a big name challenge from the Democratic side. Thus far also, the Kentucky Tea party has whined and bickered but have shown themselves as all talk and no backbone and have failed to produce a primary challenger. So far only two candidates have stepped up to attempt to take this seat back from the Communist Chinese. Louisville musician and music promoter Bennie J. Smith and former Congressional candidate and contractor whom we respect greatly here, Ed Marksberry. That could be changing soon.  
At Nevada Progressive, atdnext writes Unspinning the Coming "Mod Squad" Mining Tax FAIL:
Yet while Senator Roberson and his allies find new legal arguments for their mining tax alternative, they haven't been able to find any new votes. And while he keeps trying to blame Democrats for this, the fact remains that he can't even get the rest of his Republican Party to back his initiative. He may be a titular Republican leader, but the heart of the party still very much looks to be with Sharron Angle. Nevada's own "Tea Party Queen" appeared in Elko earlier this week to promote her new book, but she also didn't hesitate to talk about her new plan to grow more "tea party" candidates for higher office.
At Big Sky Political Analysis, David Parker writes Max Baucus Shocks Washington and Montana...and just made Montana interesting for 2014:
Let’s just say I did not spend a single minute on the book yesterday. Instead, I spoke to everyone and everybody about Senator Baucus’ retirement and its political implications. Not too long ago, I had written a piece saying that Max Baucus remained a favorite for reelection. I still maintain that was the case had he remained in the race. His war chest of $5 million is formidable, incumbents are hard to beat, and thus far the Republican candidates who have announced are not raking in the cash (Baucus raised $1.5 million in the last fundraising quarter compared to Corey Stapleton’s $140,000. No numbers have been reported yet for Champ Edmunds). Sure, the Senator’s approval ratings were not great. Sure, the race would be tighter than people might have expected. And sure, I can spin a yarn about how Senator Baucus’ situation looked pretty similar to Senator Frank Church in Idaho in 1980 (who also was chair of a powerful committee supporting the agenda of an unpopular president in his state and who ultimately lost a close race). But at the end of the day, Baucus would raise $15 million, Governor Schweitzer would stay away, the Republicans would not field a challenger comparable to Idaho Congressman Steve Symms, and Baucus would win a seventh term. So why did Senator Baucus step away when reelection, while tough, would likely be the order of the day?

There are lots of reasons why, but I’m not sure fear of losing is one of them.

At Blue Mass Group, writes Bringing it all home for Tuesday 4/30: GOTV weekend for Markey:

I just talked with Carl Nilsson, field director for the [Ed] Markey campaign. They’ve targeted 500,000 voters, people whom they’ve contacted multiple times. [...]

The current Markey organization consists of many folks who are veterans of the previous grassroots-oriented campaigns: Regional field directors Gabe Frumkin, Mark O’Halloran for central MA, Christina Pacheco for MA-09 all worked for the Warren campaign; Chelsie Oulette (FD for MA-3) worked for Obama and Patrick; and Taryn Hallweaver (name??), (FD, MA-06) worked for Obama. Along with campaign veterans Amaad Rivera of Latino Vote for Markey and Lydia Vega, the Coordinator for Latino and New Americans Vote, these are the folks who will be driving this train home.

At Plunderbund, Luke Brockmeier writes Ed FitzGerald in Cincinnati:
Plunderbund blog logo
Ed FitzGerald wrapped up his “three-C tour” at the Hamilton County Democratic Party Executive Committee meeting, where he announced his candidacy for governor.

After some warm-up parliamentary procedure, FitzGerald took the stage with his family. He spent a good deal of time attacking Kasich’s record.

I was worried that FitzGerald wouldn’t get to a positive vision for his governorship. He allayed those fears.

At LouisianaVoice, tomaswell writes Anonymous but emboldened state employees now posting essays on LouisianaVoice critical of Jindal administration:
We’ve been trying to spread the message for some time now about how the administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal is cognizant only of the well-being of Bobby Jindal and his presidential aspirations which, by the way, are evaporating like so much acetone-based nail polish remover. [...]

Now, though, it seems that others are beginning to catch on. There are rumblings of discontent in the Legislature, the Board of Regents backed the governor down in his attempt to fire the commissioner of higher education, the state school principals association simply walked away from a state-sponsored Principal of the Year contest over the criteria imposed on the selection process by Education Superintendent John White.

At Minnesota Progressive Project, The Big E writes Fox News attack Ellison as “very dangerous”:
Fox News has been in full Muslim-hating hysteria since the Boston Marathon bomber was identified as a Muslim. It was inevitable that they would attack Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-MN). Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress and swore his oath of office on Thomas Jefferson’s Koran. [...]

While calling for profiling of American Muslims, Fox News host Eric Bolling attacked Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), calling him the “Muslim apologist in Congress” and describing him as “very dangerous.” [...]

Bolling’s attack is part of a long line of smears directed at Ellison. Fox host Sean Hannity attempted to link Ellison to Louis Farrakhan, the controversial leader of the Nation of Islam. Hannity also compared Ellison’s use of the Quran for his swearing-in ceremony to using “Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which is the Nazi bible.”
At Nebraska Watchdog, Deena Winter writes Still smarting from Facebook dislike, Nebraska lawmakers look to land wind farm:
Nebraska lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would give tax incentives to wind power companies with an eye toward luring a Kansas company to build a $300 million wind farm in northeast Nebraska.

WINDY: Nebraska lawmakers today passed a bill to offer incentives for wind energy.
Kearney Sen. Galen Hadley told Nebraska Watchdog that TradeWind Energy, Inc., is considering locations for a wind farm in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas, but would have to pay more in Nebraska without the incentives. He said the project would create 15 to 20 “well-paying jobs.” The company reportedly wants to build 118 wind turbines in Dixon County.

Nebraska is still smarting from the news that Facebook chose Iowa over Nebraska for a billion-dollar data center, in part because Iowa generates much more wind energy than Nebraska. Iowa ranks No. 3 in the nation; Nebraska No. 26.

At Cottonmouth of Mississippi, David writes What Went On at the Capitol Tonight?:
The Clarion Ledger is reporting that something sketchy went down with Republican leadership in the State Capitol tonight (Monday evening), and while Speaker Gunn is scrambling to explain it as "a meeting...with supporters," many (including myself) are confused as to why Capitol security turned away media and wouldn't allow any insight on a private dinner with big-money donors in a public venue.

An officer told the Clarion-Ledger the media “would have been informed if the private event was important to the public.”

At BlueJersey, vmars writes Random Drug Testing Students is Wrong. Wrong.:
We know definitively that Barack Obama did drugs. He's admitted it.  If a policy like this were in place his life would have been destroyed instead of being an inspiration to so many here in the US and around the world. There are rumors about Bush, and Clinton tried but didn't inhale.

We all know many of our high school classmates who are now doctors, lawyers, Mayors, Governors, bankers, mothers, fathers, teachers, principals and otherwise contributing to society smoked marijuana in high school.  And probably after.  Should they all have had their futures damaged by government intrusion into their bodily fluids?

At BlueNC, scharrison writes Problems in NC arising from "nonexistent" sea level rise:
And it comes as no surprise that NC's agricultural industry would be the first to feel the effects:
Sea level rise has caused an increase in saltwater intrusion for farmland areas in North Carolina like Hyde County. This is problematic because it affects crop efficiency and the amount of usable farmland. The county has very low elevation, with the highest point in the county only 14 feet above sea-level, and the majority of the county lying between three and five feet above sea-level, according to Gibbs. “Sea-level rise is real and it’s been happening for years. We are seeing a loss of farmland from the saltwater intrusion,” Gibbs said.
For those who find themselves still doubting, do a little research on Megalodon tooth discoveries, some of which have been found 35-40 miles inland in North/South Carolina. Looking at the flood patterns of previous melts will give you an idea of what's at stake, if we continue to ignore the scientifically obvious.
At Uppity Wisconsin, Stephanie M. Wilson writes Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Urges Legislature to Reject Additional Cuts to Women’s Health Care:
On Friday, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin began the process of closing four health centers as a result of budget cuts directed at Planned Parenthood’s patients, starting in the community of Shawano. Despite the cost-effective health benefits and need for continued access to preventive, essential health care, it only took one vote by our state legislature to end health care for Planned Parenthood patients in Shawano and surrounding communities. For more than 34 years, the Planned Parenthood health center in Shawano has provided thousands of patients with cancer screens, wellness exams, birth control, and STD testing and treatment. The Governor’s current budget proposal poses an additional risk of future health losses without strong public response.
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Comment Preferences

  •  I hear the Chinese want their votes back. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinto Pony

    Bad Mitch.
    Bad.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:11:35 AM PDT

  •  Who's the guy with the huge megaphone? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BvueDem

    Can anyone tell us who that guy talking into the great big megaphone is, and when and where the picture was taken?

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:12:55 AM PDT

  •  In Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli's scandal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, Eric Nelson

    involving gifts he "forgot" to disclose from the slimy Star Scientific and others continues to grow. See here for comedian Steve Martin's take on it (humor/snark)

  •  What a rich deposit of wonderfulness! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lorikeet, Eric Nelson

    Especially the news from Massachusetts (and if we can only find a better Democrat to primary Lynch in 2014) and Louisiana. I'm feeling good about things today.

    -7.75, -8.10; . . . Columbine, Tuscon, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Boston (h/t Charles Pierce)

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:32:51 AM PDT

  •  grow more "tea party" (0+ / 0-)

    What? She's admitting they're vegetables?

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:37:43 AM PDT

  •  this is again one of the very useful series (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    from MB.

    For those who are not in the intestines of local campaigns and are not insiders, I wonder, if those action pop-up (right now for Brian Schweitzer) windows, couldn't have included  links to the most, best, convincingly written diaries explaining WHY some of us know-nothings should support this candidate.

    I for example missed to understand why Chuck Hagel was so disputed though I remember having read MB's diary explaining some of his reservations. I didn't quite get it then. If, for example, an action thingy would pop up, either to support Hagel or not support him and instead someone else, it would be helpful to be linked to the diaries that explain the reasons.

    In other words, if pop-up action windows are in my face, they should link back to diaries and not only say: "Do, as I say".

    Just saying...

  •  Thanks for doing this great roundup, MB. I really (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, Vetwife

    do look forward to it.

  •  Hillbillyreport has had 431 diaries (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    on Mitch McConnell. this is the first year he has started campaigning this early. his last election he spent $22 million dollars most of that is from out of state. we hope this is the year we can beat Mitch

    •  Yes, Im' wondering who would be the better.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem

      challenger. Ed Marksberry, with his pro-gun safety (calling assualt weapns - slaughter guns) postion or Tom FitzGerald; a man with a mission on enviromental advocacy.
      Anyone but Mitch, but I would choose the environmetalist a over gun control if that was the only factor, but they're both progressive issues. Who has the best chance of beating a republican though.

      Hillbilly report is right on top of the sequester issue too.

      This video showing the childish. I mean like a little squalling brat childish behavior from congressman Hal Rogers is exactly why Dems should make the republicans stand by their early cheering of the sequester..

       From Hillbilly report ((sorry short commercial)<.smal>
      ..letting congress off the hook by allowing the "inconvenience" of flight delays for those very congresspersons when meals for children and other vital services are being cut, looks bad for Dems.

      If the Dems held firm the country would see this instead coming from republicans:   - from Rogers when he was whinig about not being warned about the cuts/furloughs to Air traffic controllers - "la..dee dah''? - embarrassing hypocirtical idiocy from the right. That's what people Need to see imo because it's the truth

  •  I found it interesting that Facebook chose Iowa (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gygaxian, Eric Nelson, Vetwife

    over Nebraska for its data center, partly because Iowa has more wind energy, and that it's being acknowledged as a reason for the current bill to try and bring more wind energy to Nebraska. I'm glad if some companies are paying attention to that.

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