Pluribus AM: Combatting retail theft; OH abortion ban blocked; new polls in MI, NM, CO and RI

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. In today’s edition, states unite to combat retail theft; Ohio abortion law blocked; new polls in Mich., N.M., Colo. and R.I.; and the battle for state legislatures hits the TV airwaves:

Top News

RETAIL THEFT: An unlikely alliance between e-sellers and retail sales giants has resulted in a major lobbying push to get Congress to act on a bill aimed at curbing organized retail theft. More than a dozen states have already passed a version of the INFORM Act, and 17 other states are considering their own versions. The goal is to require online third-party sellers to disclose more about themselves to prevent the sale of stolen goods. (Pluribus News)

OHIO: A Hamilton County judge has granted a preliminary injunction against an Ohio law barring abortions more than six weeks after conception. The ruling means abortions are now legal until 20 weeks after conception. Attorney General Dave Yost (R) is expected to appeal the ruling. (Columbus Dispatch)

NEW YORK: Attorney General Letitia James (D) said she would appeal a U.S. District Court judge’s ruling blocking parts of a new concealed carry law. The judge blocked parts of the bill that would require applicants to submit three years of social media data and demonstrate “good moral character.” (New York State of Politics)

CALIFORNIA: The Supreme Court hears arguments this morning in a challenge to a 2018 animal welfare law that prohibits confining breeding pigs to narrow metal cages. The law was approved by voters in 2018 with 63% of the vote. The National Pork Producers Council alleges the law unconstitutionally requires producers in the Midwest and North Carolina to change how they handle breeding pigs. (Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will call a special session in December to act on a proposed windfall tax on oil industry profits. The Western States Petroleum Association called the special session a “political stunt.” (CalMatters)

FLORIDA: Federal officials rebuked state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo’s recommendation that men aged 18-39 avoid a COVID mRNA vaccine. Ladapo cited a state-published, non-peer-reviewed analysis as the basis for his recommendation. FDA experts said the risk of developing heart problems from COVID is greater than the risk of developing the same problems from a vaccine. (Orlando Sentinel)

All of Florida’s students will be back to school by Monday, Oct. 17, after school districts in Charlotte, DeSoto, Lee and Sarasota counties — those hit hardest by Hurricane Ian — said they would reopen in the coming days. (Florida Politics)

DELAWARE: Gov. John Carney (D) has signed new legislation making wage theft a crime, punishable by financial penalties. Companies that retaliate against workers who report wage theft would be fined between $20,000 and $50,000. (Delaware Public Media)

GAMING: Massachusetts residents should be able to place their first in-person sports bets by late January, just in time for the Super Bowl. Online betting is scheduled to roll out in early March, after the state Gaming Commission adopted a new rollout timeline. (MassLive) Online gaming generated $175 million for Connecticut’s two largest casinos over the last year, and $41 million in tax revenue, well beyond expectations. (Hartford Courant)

PLURIBUS NEWS: The New York Times profiled our growing venture this weekend. We hope you’ll check it out — after you get through the rest of today’s newsletter, of course. While you’re at it, save the date for our gubernatorial election previews: We hear from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) on October 19, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on October 21. Both events begin at 12:15pm ET.

In Politics

ADVERTISING: State legislative candidates and the outside groups that support them have spent more than $100 million on television advertising since July, according to AdImpact. That’s up $20 million over the same period in 2020. (New York Times)

MICHIGAN: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) leads online talk show host Tudor Dixon (R) 53%-47%, in a new CBS News/YouGov poll out over the weekend. Whitmer’s job approval rating stands at 52%. A ballot measure to add abortion rights to the state constitution is leading 54%-38%.

NEW MEXICO: Two robe-polls both show Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (R) with healthy leads over former meteorologist Mark Ronchetti (R). A SurveyUSA poll for KOB-TV has Lujan Grisham up 53%-37%, while a PPP poll has her ahead 48%-40%. Grisham won office in 2018 with 57% of the vote.

COLORADO: Gov. Jared Polis (D) is cruising to a second term over University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl (R). A new Marist poll shows Polis up 54%-39% among those who say they will definitely vote in November. Polis leads 49%-35% among independents. His favorable/unfavorable rating stands at 50%-37%, while Ganahl’s is upside down, 26%-32%.

RHODE ISLAND: Gov. Dan McKee (D) leads businesswoman Ashley Kalus (R) 46%-36% in a new Suffolk University poll conducted for The Boston Globe. McKee’s job approval rating stands at 45%, while 38% disapprove. But 48% say Rhode Island is headed off on the wrong track.

OREGON: A rare sighting on the campaign trail: President Biden will stump for former House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) during a visit to Portland on Friday. (KTVZ) Biden carried 56% of the vote in Oregon in 2020, a higher share than any Democratic presidential candidate received there in the last half-century, with the exception of Barack Obama in 2008. 

By The Numbers

21.18%: The margin by which Mississippi’s total revenue collections last month exceeded legislative projections. Year-to-date revenue collections stand at 14.9% above estimates over the first quarter of the fiscal year. (Y’all Politics)

$150 million: The amount of funding allocated to Georgia in federal COVID relief funds that have not yet been allocated — just about 3% of the $4.8 billion the state received. The money did not have to be committed until the end of 2024, but Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has sent virtually all of it out the door already. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

30,000: The number of non-citizens who received a postcard from Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s (D) office urging them to register to vote. Griswold blamed the error on a database glitch. None of those who received the card will be allowed to register. (Associated Press)

Off The Wall

Gas prices on the island of Lanai, long the most expensive in Hawaii, are now the cheapest, about a dollar below the state average. The price cratered after Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who owns about 98% of the land on the island, bought Lanai’s only gas station and began subsidizing fuel costs earlier this year. Ellison also owns the island’s only newspaper, the main grocery store and the county building where community meetings are held. (Civil Beat)

Quote of the Day

“You’re filling this thing out in your pajamas, you know, in the comfort of your own home sitting by yourself. And so, you know, we get a better indication of people’s actual preferences.”

Colorado state Sen. Chris Hansen (D), on quadratic voting, a system Colorado legislators have used in recent years to prioritize bills during session. The practice has raised transparency concerns. (KUNC)