Pluribus AM: Indictment highlights Trump’s pressure on state lawmakers

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, August 2, 2023. In today’s edition, Trump indictment focuses on state legislators; Indiana abortion clinics halt procedures ahead of ban; New Jersey’s lieutenant governor has died:

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TRUMP: The indictment of former President Donald Trump over his role in allegedly seeking to overturn the 2020 elections cites Republican state legislators and statewide elected officials in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona, all of whom told Trump his claims of voter fraud were false. The indictment cites Trump’s pressure campaign targeting then-Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R), Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R) and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) and Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R), among others.

Read the full indictment here. Pages 10 through 21 detail state-specific pressure campaigns.

ABORTION: Indiana’s six abortion clinics have stopped providing abortions ahead of a new state law that bans nearly all of the procedures. Abortion rights advocates are challenging the new law in court. (Associated Press) A federal judge in Idaho has issued a preliminary injunction barring Attorney General Raul Labrador (R) from taking legal action against medical providers who refer patients for abortion care across state lines. (Idaho Capital Sun)

MORE: North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein (D) has filed court documents backing Planned Parenthood’s efforts to block provisions of a new law that bars abortions after 12 weeks. Stein opposes provisions that require abortions to take place at hospitals, rather than abortion clinics, and require physicians to document the existence of a pregnancy. (Carolina Journal)

TECHNOLOGY: A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from adult industry groups that challenged Utah’s new law requiring adult websites to verify the age of users. The judge said the group cannot sue because the law does not direct Utah to pursue or prosecute websites; instead, it gives residents the power to sue. (Salt Lake Tribune, Associated Press)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Massachusetts Senate unanimously approved legislation allowing non-binary people to select “X” as their sex designation on birth certificates or driver’s licenses. Twenty-six other states allow residents to change their sex designation on official documents. (MassLive)

POVERTY: Michigan will provide cash payments to expectant and new mothers in Flint, in a first-of-its-kind experiment to test whether cash payments can protect children. The $55 million program, seeded with money from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, will provide up to $7,500 during pregnancy and the first year of a child’s life. (Bridge MI)

PUBLIC SAFETY: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) has signed legislation that will allow non-citizens to serve as police officers, bypassing federal law. The bill is meant to overcome a workforce shortage plaguing police departments across the state. (WTVO) A new North Dakota law will require the state to report all traffic citations to auto insurance companies. (KFGO)

TAXES: Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) has signed legislation eliminating taxes on residential rentals. Hobbs also signed a bill that will allow Maricopa County voters to decide whether to extend a half-cent sales tax to fund light rail. (Arizona Republic)

IDENTIFICATION: Iowa has launched a mobile app allowing residents to upload their driver’s license to display on their smartphones. Businesses are not yet required to accept mobile identification, but they can accept an ID using a QR code. (Des Moines Register)

In Politics & Business

MASSACHUSETTS: Dueling ballot initiatives ahead: SEIU and a group of gig economy workers will file a ballot measure giving drivers the right to organize, while Uber, Lyft and DoorDash will file a measure formally declaring drivers independent contractors. A state court removed an industry-backed initiative from last year’s ballot. (Boston Globe)

Expect an expensive fight ahead.

TEXAS: Suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) will appear in a Houston courtroom Thursday on securities fraud charges. Paxton was indicted in 2015 on two counts of securities fraud, a first-degree felony. The criminal case is separate from the impeachment trial scheduled for September. (KXAN)

MICHIGAN: Former Attorney General candidate Matt DePerno (R) and former state Rep. Dare Rendon (R) have been charged for their roles in efforts to access voting machines after the 2020 elections. The two Republicans were arraigned Tuesday; DePerno faces four charges, including two felonies. (Detroit News)

NEWSOM: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has raised millions through two fundraising committees. Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show his PAC had $6.2 million in the bank at the end of June, while his super PAC had $6.3 million on hand. Newsom’s political spokesman says he’s definitely not running for president. (Sacramento Bee)

How do you do a wink emoji on this thing?

PEOPLE: New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver (D) died suddenly on Tuesday, a day after entering the hospital. Officials did not announce a cause of death. Oliver, 71, was the first Black woman to hold statewide elected office in New Jersey. (NJ Advance Media)

Our condolences to the New Jersey political family.

MORE: South Carolina state Sen. Stephen Goldfinch (R), a captain in the National Guard, has been injured during a deployment to Africa. Goldfinch is being transported to Germany for surgery. Senate President Thomas Alexander (R) says Goldfinch is recovering and is in good spirits. (The State)

By The Numbers

$87.43 million: The amount Marylanders spent on cannabis during the first month of recreational sales, an average of about $2.8 million per day. Licensed growers sold 19,582 pounds of pot last month, the equivalent weight of three female Asian elephants. (Washington Post)

102.7 degrees: The average temperature in Phoenix in July, making it the hottest month ever recorded for an American city. That average smashes the previous record, 99.1 degrees, set in August 2020. (Arizona Republic)

166: The number of people who are homeless in Denver who have died this year, a 50% spike over last year. Accidental overdoses are driving the surge, the city’s medical examiner says. (Colorado Sun)

Off The Wall

Go ahead, go for a swim in Ohio: A new study found 86% of the state’s large river miles were in good or excellent condition, up from just 18% in the late 1980s. The report found major reductions in ammonia, phosphorous and lead, and reductions of mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic in fish. (Associated Press)

Hungry? Why not take a bite of one of the world’s largest sandwiches, a 150-foot long Lebanon bologna sandwich unveiled Tuesday at the Lebanon Area Fair. Sandwich makers used 600 slices of provolone and 1,200 slices of Lebanon bologna for a tasty snack meant to raise money for the local food pantry. (Associated Press)

Quote of the Day

“It’s so fascinating, because people talk to us like we’re Republicans — they just share everything with you.”

Wisconsin state Rep. Kristina Shelton (D), who attended a recent meeting of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to learn what Republican legislators will propose next year. (Wisconsin Examiner)