This Week in Statehouse Action: All Good Things Must Come To An Endgame edition

Lawmakers, assemble!

… cried Speaker Steve Rogers as he summoned Earth’s Mightiest Legislators to combat the scourge conservative overreach plaguing the land.

(Y’all know Chris Evans is [basically] a Democrat, right?)

Campaign Action

Civil War: … Okay, it’s not so much a war as it is a righteous defection, but this week’s big news in Iowa was the state’s longest-serving Republican lawmaker bailing on his party and joining the Democrats.

Rep. Andy McKean knows his way around the statehouse quite well—or at least one assumes he does, since he’s spent 29 years there (including stints in both the House and Senate) as a member of the GOP caucus.

McKean took a powder in 2003 after putting in a solid 24 years in the legislature.
Then, in 2016, he staged a comeback, winning a seat that swung from 56-43 Obama to 58-37 Trump.
In 2018, a relatively good year for down-ballot Democrats in Iowa (Dems picked up four seats in the House and two in the Senate), McKean won re-election 69-31 during his final campaign as a Republican.

McKean had long been considered a moderate:

He notably sided with Democrats in recent years on legislation concerning workers’ rights and gun safety and was open about being “increasingly uncomfortable” with many Republican positions on “high profile issues.”

But McKean specifically singled out Trump as a major factor in his need to leave his party and join with Democrats, saying that he’s unable to support Trump in 2020 and calling him a “bully” who is “a poor example for the nation and particularly our children.”

If you’re tapping your chin thoughtfully right now and musing to yourself, Hey, I don’t think this is the first R-to-D party switch that’s happened recently, congrats! You have a great memory and/or are a dedicated reader of This Week in Statehouse Action.

McKean is, in fact, the sixth Republican to leave his party for Team Blue since the November 2018 elections.

The other switches were in New Jersey (one), California (one), and Kansas (three).

McKean’s switch leaves Republicans with an uncomfortably small 53-47 majority in the Iowa House.

All 100 House seats are on the ballot in 2020, and yes, McKean’s running for re-election as a Democrat in his red seat.

Can’t-Man: Perhaps one of the Iowa GOP’s moves that made McKean so uncomfortable was lawmakers’ efforts to strip power from the state’s attorney general—who just happens to be a Democrat.

The Republican-controlled legislature just passed a bill that requires the (Democratic) AG to get permission from the (Republican) governor, the (Republican) legislature, or the (Republican) Executive Council before joining lawsuits that don’t originate in Iowa (e.g., any of the many lawsuits filed by Democratic AGs to counter the hateful and regressive policy moves by the Trump administration).

Weird … seems like it was just last week I was writing in this space about GOP-controlled legislatures trying to strip Democratic statewide officeholders of power.

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Fake German Heiress Anna Sorokin Found Guilty in Fraud Trial

TIMOTHY A. CLARY

Anna Sorokin—the fake German heiress accused of swindling friends and businesses out of hundreds of thousands of dollars to bankroll her lavish Manhattan lifestyle—was found guilty of grand larceny and theft on Wednesday, according to the New York Post.

Known in New York’s social scene as Anna Delvey, Sorokin reinvented herself when she arrived in the United States from Germany in 2016, posing as a wealthy socialite when she was in fact the daughter of a Russian truck driver, prosecutors said.

After traveling the world and living in expensive boutique hotels, the 28-year-old was arrested in October 2017 and charged with grand larceny and theft of services for allegedly stealing about $275,000 in a 10-month spree.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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