Progressives Rack Up Wins on Tuesday
Yesterday was a big day for progressives. Here’s a look at the important victories we racked up at the ballot box and elsewhere.
- Why Terry McAuliffe Won In Virginia: Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II on Tuesday to become the next governor of Virginia — in a race that Cuccinelli had termed a “referendum on Obamacare.” But an examination of the issues the made up the battleground of the race shows that the Affordable Care Act was just one of several progressive ideas that McAuliffe fully embraced and Cuccinelli fully opposed.
- Why Ken Cuccinelli Lost The Election: By defeating Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli II in the gubernatorial election Tuesday, Virginia voters rejected one of the most openly-right wing politicians in the country. While he at times attempted to downplay his record, Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe (D) repeatedly hammered the point that Cuccinelli was focused on his own agenda of climate change denial, anti-LGBT discrimination, restrictions on women’s reproductive health, steadfast opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and blocking any gun violence reduction efforts.
- Minimum Wage Increases Won On Tuesday Night: Voters in New Jersey and SeaTac, a small town in Washington state, voted to increase the minimum wage through ballot initiatives on Tuesday night. In New Jersey, the minimumw age will rise to $8.25 and be indexed to inflation. In SeaTac, a community incorporated around the Seattle airport, voters passed an initiative that means thousands of airport workers will now be paid a living wage of $15 per hour, the most generous in the nation.
- Hawaii House Committees Advance Marriage Equality Legislation: After five grueling days of testimony from thousands of individuals, the Hawaii House Judicial and Finance Committees — meeting jointly — advanced marriage equality legislation to the full chamber, where it is expected to pass. The legislation already passed the Hawaii Senate during this special session, which Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) called specifically to pass marriage equality.
- Four Cities Voted To Remove Penalties For Marijuana Possession: These initiatives roll back local penalties for possessing less than 1, or less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana (depending on location), regardless of whether it is for medical or recreational use. But they leave residents vulnerable to not just federal prohibition, but existing state laws.