Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Republican Arizona AG says no evidence of election fraud in state … Florida news reports raise questions about intentional spoiler candidates … Louisville newspaper accuses city of lying about police public records.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged people to stay home as coronavirus cases spike in the city, although she didn’t issue a formal shutdown order. Lightfoot said limits of 10 people will be placed on weddings, birthday parties, funerals and other events starting on Monday, while she also asked people to stay home unless going to work, school, to get medical care or the grocery store. “I am more worried about COVID right now than I have been at any point since March,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, the city’s public health commissioner. Lightfoot emphasized that current projections show another 1,000 people in Chicago could die from the virus by the end of the year. Asked why she wasn’t ordering a shutdown, as the city and others did this spring, Lightfoot said she hopes taking a “progressive step” will get people to take the spike seriously. “If the possibility of 1,000 more people dying in the city in the next seven weeks doesn’t grab you by the throat as it did me when I started seeing that modeling, then there’s little we’re going to do to move you,” she said. [Chicago Tribune; WBEZ]
ARIZONA AG | Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, flatly rejected that there is any evidence of voter fraud that would alter President-elect Biden’s narrow win in the state. He noted that while President Trump and Republican senate candidate Martha McSally lost, other Republicans were able to hold off Democratic challenges that many thought could be successful before the election. “In Arizona, there was a prediction the legislature would flip, it didn’t,” Brnovich said. “The county recorder here who oversees elections went from Democrat to Republican. The county attorney remained Republican. And, so, if there is some great conspiracy, it apparently didn’t work.” [Fox Business]
MICHIGAN AFFIDAVITS | Affidavits attached to a lawsuit by President Trump urging a judge to stop Michigan from certifying election results in the state—which was won by Joe Biden— contained no evidence of substantial fraud. Many of the affidavits focused on slights to the Republican poll watchers, such as one who said she was told, “go back to the suburbs, Karen.” [Washington Post]
INTENTIONAL SPOILERS? | News reports are raising questions about whether Florida candidates not affiliated with political parties, but with ties to Republican donors, ran in statehouse races to swing elections to the GOP. For example, a Miami Dade County state Senate race is now in a recount because Republican challenger Ileana Garcia edged out incumbent Democratic Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez by 31 votes. But there is a third candidate named Alexis Rodriguez, who received over 6,300 votes. Alexis Rodriguez did not campaign and did no fundraising, although he did get backing from a political action committee. [Orlando Sentinel; Local10]
LOUISVILLE POLICE RECORDS | The Louisville police concealed and then deleted copies of records that could shed light on the actions of two officers involved in a department program called “Explorer Scout” who were convicted of sexually abusing children, the Courier Journal asserted in a story Wednesday. The paper had filed a public records request for the documents, but was told that the material had all been given to the FBI. Material made available during public records litigation showed that wasn’t true, attorneys for the newspaper said. A spokeswoman for Mayor Greg Fischer said it isn’t clear whether the records really are public records. "Issues of ownership for records in an investigation led by a federal task force are not as clear as your newspaper would suggest," she said in a statement. "The mayor is awaiting the independent review being conducted for the Jefferson County Attorney’s office before deciding next steps, and he remains committed to releasing all documents that the law allows." [Courier Journal]
Laura Maggi is the managing editor of Route Fifty.