NARAL Pro-Choice American president Ilyse Hogue endorsed Democrat Fred Hubbell for next November’s election, calling him “the champion we need in the Iowa Governor’s Mansion.” With Republicans in control of the governor and both chambers of the state legislature, the Hawkeye State has become a flashpoint in the legal and political battle over abortion rights.
Iowa state law currently prohibits abortions after twenty weeks of pregnancy. Incument Republican governor Kim Reynolds, whom Hubbell is hoping to defeat in the election, signed Senate File 359 into law last May. Known as the heartbeat bill because it would ban abortions once a heartbeat has been detected after about six weeks of pregnancy, it is considered one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
According to NPR, critics of the new law say it will prohibit abortions before some women might even know they are pregnant. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union both already announced their intentions to sue Governor Reynolds and the state. The law is scheduled to go into effect on July 1.
A recent court decision does not bode well for the future of the heartbeat law. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled 5-2 last Friday that women had a right to an abortion under the state’s constitution, striking down a 2017 law requiring a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. “Autonomy and dominion over one’s body go to the very heart of what it means to be free. At stake in this case is the right to shape, for oneself, without unwarranted governmental intrusion, one’s own identity, destiny, and place in the world,” Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady wrote in the majority opinion. “Nothing could be more fundamental to the notion of liberty. We therefore hold, under the Iowa Constitution, that implicit in the concept of ordered liberty is the ability to decide whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy.”
“Women deserve equal access to quality, affordable health care, and as governor, I am committed to making that a reality,” Hubbell said.
NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue officially announced her decision not to run for Democratic National Committee chair, and concluded that she’d be better off working in conjunction with the Democratic Party from the outside: “With so much on the line, I believe we need not just a strong party and party leader, but also equally strong leadership outside the party structure.” She also added, “We’ll look to a new DNC Chair to rebuild the concert hall, we will need lots of leadership from outside the party to help write and perform the music.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue has decided not to run for DNC chair, according to a scoop from Politico, which obtained the email she sent out to DNC members this morning informing them of her decision:
“I wanted to formally write and tell you I will not be seeking election for DNC Chair. I so deeply appreciate those of you who have spent time with me discussing this prospect and explained to me what you are looking for in a leader and I so deeply appreciate your willingness to serve our party at this critical moment,” Hogue wrote in the email, obtained by POLITICO. “I am happy that the field of candidates reflects so many capable people and different perspectives within the party and I look forward to continuing to work alongside all of you to make our party and our values grow strength in the coming years.”
The story also notes that Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is also considering a run for DNC chair.
She hasn’t entered the race for Democratic National Committee chair yet, but NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue is showing she is not afraid to use her organization’s muscle to keep Democrats in line. In response to reports that some Senate Democrats are considering agreeing with the Republican plan to dismantle Obamacare, Hogue issued this press release:
“NARAL has a clear message for Democratic lawmakers: If you support Republicans in their effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, NARAL, our one million member activists, and our PAC will not support you in 2018 or beyond.
“Republican leaders have made clear their only intention is to repeal the law. They do not have now, nor are they likely to ever have, a meaningful plan to ‘replace’ this historic expansion of Americans’ health care. Democrats should not play this game with them. Democrats fought hard to pass the law, and now millions of Americans are benefiting from those efforts. The law has expanded healthcare coverage for millions of people for the first time ever and guaranteed coverage of vital reproductive healthcare services like contraception, maternity care, and well-woman visits. That’s why most Americans want to fully implement or even expand the ACA and the benefits it has brought to families across the country.
“Democrats should not learn the wrong lessons from 2016. If they do, they will be without our support in 2018.”
The statement doesn’t mention any names, but the likely culprits are red state Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018. It will be interesting to see what kind of pressure this puts on the declared DNC chair candidates to take this position. All of them – with the possible exception of Keith Ellison in case he is not elected to the job and remains in the House – have the privilege of not having to vote for any Obamacare repeal or replacement proposals. It will also be interesting to see what kind of party discipline a threat like this can impose (or not).
Politics1 is reporting that outgoing Secretary of Labor Tom Perez will enter the race for chairman of the Democratic National Committee:
No other news organization has confirmed this as of this writing. If this reporting is accurate, Perez would presumably have to resign from his cabinet position in the immediate future so he can begin the process of campaigning for the DNC job.
Politico reported earlier today that Perez had stepped up his outreach to voting members of the DNC in recent days, though their story notes he was still considering a possible run for governor in Maryland in 2018 as well. Perez is “expected to hold a call with DNC members this week to discuss his intentions.”
Keith Ellison is seen as the frontrunner in the race now because of the number of endorsements he has racked up and the very public campaigning he has been doing for the job since the election last month. The other candidates in the race as of this writing are New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley and South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison. Perez could potentially be Ellison’s biggest challenger, given his proximity to President Obama and the fact that he was considered as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton this past election, although the potential downside to his candidacy is the risk of the DNC chairman race becoming a revisited proxy war for the Clinton-Sanders 2016 primary battle. Politico also noted that NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue is still considering entering the race as well.
The schedule for those campaigning for chairman and vice-chairman positions has stepped up recently, following recent events organized by Young Democrats of America in Memphis and the Ohio Democratic Party in Columbus where the candidates could speak and make their arguments. The campaigning will step up in the new year, when the DNC has scheduled four regional forums across the country for the candidates to make their case to Democrats ahead of the party’s winter meeting in Atlanta where the new chairman and vice-chairs will be chosen, scheduled for the end of February.
UPDATE: The New York Times is reporting Perez has told three senior Democrats that he intends to run for DNC chairman.
As the race for chairmanship and other elected leadership posts in the Democratic National Committee heats up, candidates have begun putting out their platforms. Here are the ones that are out so far (Note that candidates with an asterisk next to their name are incumbents running for re-election):
DNC Chair Candidates
Sally Boynton Brown
Robert Vinson Brannum
DNC Vice Chair Candidates
Maria Elena Durazo *
Grace Meng *
DNC Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Participation Candidates
Karen Carter Peterson
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake *
National Finance Chair Candidates
Henry Muñoz III *
Withdrawn/Did Not Run
Xavier Becerra (Opted not to run. Nominated Attorney General of California December 1.)
Howard Dean (Declared November 10. Dropped out December 2.)
Ilyse Hogue (Opted not to run December 21.)
Steve Israel (Opted not to run)
Martin O’Malley (Opted not to run)
Vincent Tolliver (Declared for Houston DNC Forum January 28, expelled from the race January 31.)
As more candidates get in the race and publish their platforms, they will be added to this list.
There has been a lot of speculation about whether or not NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue is going to enter the DNC chair race or not. There are currently four declared candidates (Ray Buckley, Howard Dean, Keith Ellison, and Jaime Harrison) and at least three others said to be considering a run (Hogue, former California Assembly speaker John Perez, and Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock).
One thing Hogue has done is publish a detailed agenda or platform (which you can read here) of what she thinks the party needs to do to reform and move forward.
She has also picked up the endorsement of liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas.