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    HomePoliticsA wild Wisconsin veto. Your weekly non-Beltway political stories.

    A wild Wisconsin veto. Your weekly non-Beltway political stories.

    Welcome to The Daily 202! Tell your friends to sign up here. On this day in 1976, the Associated Press tells me, the United States Military Academy at West Point included female cadets for the first time — 119 of them in the class of 1980.

    A wild Wisconsin veto. Your weekly non-Beltway political stories.

    Wisconsin’s governor deletes a “20” and a hyphen and increases school funds for the next 400 years. A fight over the Ranked Choice Education Association “church” in Alaska. Vermont cleverly boosts its federal broadband funds. And awful assisted-living deaths in Colorado.

    These are your weekly outside-the-Beltway political stories.

    The Daily 202 generally focuses on national politics and foreign policy. But as passionate believers in local news, and in redefining “politics” as something that hits closer to home than Beltway “Senator X Hates Senator Y” stories, we try to bring you a weekly mix of pieces with significant local, national or international importance.

    Please keep sending your links to news coverage of political stories that are getting overlooked. They don’t have to be from this week! The submission link is right under this column. Make sure to say whether I can use your first name, last initial and location. Anonymous is okay, too, as long as you give a location.

    Delete three characters, boost education money for 400 years

    It’s always dangerous in 2023 to describe something as the craziest political story of the week (especially when this happened) but this news out of Wisconsin has to be a contender.

    Gov. Tony Evers (D) used his veto on a legislative provision that increased education spending by $325 per student for the 2024-25 school year. He removed the “20” and the hyphen. Ta-da! The spending increases now run through 2425.

    Here are Molly Beck and Jessie Opoien for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “The surprise move will ensure districts’ state-imposed limits on how much revenue they are allowed to raise will be increased by $325 per student each year until 2425, creating a permanent annual stream of new revenue for public schools and potentially curbing a key debate between Democrats and Republicans during each state budget-writing cycle.”

    The politics: Republicans have limited means for overriding the veto. This is a (truly remarkable) story about the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches at the state level.

    A ranked voting-themed church?

    Iris Samuels of the Anchorage Daily News filed this report about supporters of ranked-choice voting in Alaska filing a complaint alleging their opponents took an unusual step to skirt campaign finance rules and evade donor disclosure rules.

    From Samuels: “The complaint alleges that opponents of ranked-choice voting founded a church called the Ranked Choice Education Association that could have allowed donors to gain tax advantages for their contributions while skirting disclosure requirements. Those requirements apply to any group working to promote the ongoing effort to repeal Alaska’s ranked-choice voting and open primaries through a ballot measure. The Ranked Choice Education Association appeared to engage in ‘the laundering of contributions’ for Alaskans for Honest Elections, the anti-ranked choice voting ballot group, the complaint alleges.”

    The politics: It’s a complaint, not a finding. But this is a story about America’s complicated (and highly secretive) campaign financing universe and the way some actors try to game the system.

    Vermont challenges the feds on broadband

    President Biden championed a law providing $42 billion to upgrade the nation’s access to broadband internet. Now states are competing for their share of the money. None of that is news if you keep up with current affairs. But this wrinkle in my home state caught my eye.

    Rachel Hellman at Vermont’s Seven Days highlighted how the allocation depends “on an internet connectivity map generated by the Federal Communications Commission, which overstated the number of Vermont households with reliable broadband connection.”

    “That led the Vermont Community Broadband Board to launch a campaign urging residents to look up their home on the federal commission’s website, which tracked high-speed connections house-by-house and had a mechanism for challenging the findings. On June 26, state officials learned that Vermonters had won almost 11,000 challenges, each worth $3,000 to $5,000 in additional aid,” Hellman reported.

    The politics: Local pols in the Green Mountain State were really alert, and their actions got tens of millions more federal dollars for Vermont. An interesting twist to the state-federal relationship.

    Grim news out of Colorado

    A four-month investigation by the Denver Gazette found official data understate the number of preventable deaths at assisted-living centers in Colorado.

    There were 110 documented deaths classified by the state as ‘unexplained or suspicious’ at assisted-living facilities between Jan. 1, 2018, and Oct. 28, 2022, according to Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment records obtained and analyzed by The Gazette. The records come from mandatory self-reporting by facilities,” the Gazette’s Jenny Deam reported.

    “But the Gazette analysis of the more than 4,500 reports plus independent reporting also discovered three dozen more deaths or incidents of neglect and abuse that later led to death. In some of those cases, the deaths were found within state records classified as something other than death. In at least one other, a facility never reported a death at all.”

    The politics: There’s a lot here, but I’ll focus on a cause I’ve regularly championed here. Local/regional news is vital, and you should support yours.

    See an important political story that doesn’t quite fit traditional politics coverage? Flag it for us here.

    Employers add 209,000 jobs in June, a slow but steady gain

    “The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in June, the smallest pickup in jobs since December 2020, signaling a slow but still strong labor market. June’s job gains fell short of economists’ predictions, indicating that the labor market is cooling down from its peak last year,” Lauren Kaori Gurley and Abha Bhattarai report.

    World shipping body votes on ‘historic’ emissions cuts to curb warming

    “The International Maritime Organization, the obscure United Nations group that oversees the global shipping industry, agreed Friday to slash its greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades in an attempt to limit future global warming,” William Booth reports.

    • The landmark deal — for a slow-moving, polluting industry that has traditionally been resistant to change — includes a standout pledge to reduce its emissions to net-zero ‘by or about 2050.’ Previously, the IMO pledged to reduce its emissions by half by 2050 — so Friday’s agreement is a clear advance.”

    More than 100 migrants died from heat near U.S.-Mexico border this year

    “More than 100 migrants have died from heat this year along the U.S.-Mexico border as the Southwest continues to swelter through record-breaking heat. There were 13 deaths and 226 rescues for dehydration and other heat-related causes last week alone, U.S. Border Patrol chief Jason Owens said Wednesday on Twitter,” Frances Vinall reports.

    Lunchtime reads from The Post

    Ukraine wants and expects an invitation to join NATO. Allies are not sure.

    “But just days before leaders arrive in the Lithuanian capital, it’s far from clear that corks will be popping — or that there are even any bottles to put on ice. Instead, questions loom about what options Ukraine will be left with if its hopes are dashed, which may probably be the case. NATO allies are still negotiating what exactly to offer Ukraine at the meeting, which begins Tuesday,David L. Stern, Emily Rauhala and Isabelle Khurshudyan report.

    Once hailed for decriminalizing drugs, Portugal is now having doubts

    “Portugal decriminalized all drug use, including marijuana, cocaine and heroin, in an experiment that inspired similar efforts elsewhere, but now police are blaming a spike in the number of people who use drugs for a rise in crime. In one neighborhood, state-issued paraphernalia — powder-blue syringe caps, packets of citric acid for diluting heroin — litters sidewalks outside an elementary school,” Anthony Faiola and Catarina Fernandes Martins report.

    Investors bought nearly $1 billion in land near a California Air Force case. Officials want to know who exactly they are.

    “Government officials are investigating large land acquisitions near a major air force base northeast of San Francisco, concerned that foreign interests could be behind the investment group that purchased the land,” the Wall Street Journal’s Kristina Peterson, Jack Gillum and Kate O’Keeffe report.

    • “At the center of the probes is Flannery Associates, which has spent nearly $1 billion in the last five years to become the largest landowner in California’s Solano County, according to county officials and public records. An attorney representing Flannery said it is controlled by U.S. citizens and that 97% of its invested capital comes from U.S. investors, with the remaining 3% from British and Irish investors.”

    Inside the subsea cable firm secretly helping America take on China

    SubCom, a New Jersey company born out of a Cold War spy project, has become a key player in the U.S.-China tech war. It’s laying internet cables on the ocean floor to boost Washington’s economic and military might, including a clandestine mission to a remote island naval base,” Reuters’s Joe Brock reports.

    For years, Republican states wouldn’t pass diaper laws. The end of abortion protections changed that.

    2023 will likely be a banner year in diaper legislation. The issue, which has long gone unaddressed, is getting renewed attention from states looking to pass ‘pro-family’ policy following the reversal of Roe v. Wade,” the 19th’s Chabeli Carrazana reports.

    Biden approves cluster munition supply to Ukraine

    President Biden has approved the provision of U.S. cluster munitions for Ukraine, with drawdown of the weapons from Defense Department stocks due to be announced Friday,” Karen DeYoung, Alex Horton and Missy Ryan report.

    • “The move, which will bypass U.S. law prohibiting the production, use or transfer of cluster munitions with a failure rate of more than 1 percent, comes amid concerns about Kyiv’s lagging counteroffensive against entrenched Russian troops and dwindling Western stocks of conventional artillery.”

    Biden administration proposes limit on skimpy health-insurance plans

    The White House plans Friday to announce proposed rules that would constrain use of skimpy health plans that former president Donald Trump touted during his administration as an affordable means of insurance — and that Democrats, including President Biden, have derided for years as junk,” Amy Goldstein reports.

    What Americans think of two recent SCOTUS decisions, visualized

    Perhaps the court’s most significant new decision came on affirmative action. The opinion severely restricts the use of race in college admissions programs,” Aaron Blake writes.

    • This would seem to be in line with the views of the American people. A Washington Post-Schar School poll late last year showed that Americans supported banning colleges and universities from considering a student’s race and ethnicity in admissions, 63 percent to 36 percent. Even nearly half of Black Americans (47 percent) and Democrats (47 percent) said they supported such a ban.”

    Secretary Yellen, where are the crypto tax regulations?

    “The initial expectation was to have Treasury provide the new guidance by the end of 2022, allowing reporting changes to begin with transactions completed in 2023. However, despite approval of the proposed regulations by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in February (the usual stumbling block in this sort of proceeding), the department has yet to publish the regulations,” Timi Iwayemi writes for the American Prospect

    • “Now, considering that Treasury may be wary of kick-starting a new reporting regime midyear and the nature of rulemaking—proposed regulations go through a 60-to-90-day public comment period which is then reviewed before final rules are published—it seems likely that implementation will be delayed another year.”

    Texas Republicans divide over impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton

    “The verbal assaults on [state Rep. Terry Wilson] were one marker of divisions rippling through the state Republican Party ahead of an impeachment trial Sept. 5 that political strategists say is likely to further divide its members and spur primary challenges next year,” Molly Hennessy-Fiske reports.

    • “Democrats, meantime, are sensing opportunities as they expect the battle to drive a party that’s already among the most conservative in the country even further to the right ahead of the 2024 election, turning a slew of state legislative and congressional races competitive.”

    At 3:30 p.m., Biden will deliver remarks in the East Room about reducing costs for Americans.

    Biden will leave the White House for Rehoboth Beach, Del., at 6 p.m., arriving at 7:35 p.m.

    What to know about ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)’ as it consumes the internet

    “To anyone on the internet on Friday who is not familiar with the works of Taylor Swift: Sorry, it’s going to be a tough day,” Emily Yahr explains.

    • “At midnight, Swift dropped the highly anticipated ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),’ the third of six albums that she is re-recording after a dispute with her former record label. These re-releases have taken on legendary status in the fiercely loyal Swift fandom and consume social media, especially given that they include previously unreleased songs (and sometimes previously unreleased lyrics).”

    Thanks for reading. See you next week.

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