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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek September 7, 2020

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United States
Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
an election like no other

Throughout this issue, we’ve highlighted words that pick up on six current American crises: It’s 2020, and everything is broken. The novel coronavirus is ravaging the globe—especially in the U.S., where more than 180,000 lives have already been lost. The U.S. economy has cratered, and unemployment has soared. The killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer in May set off the largest wave of American protests since the 1960s. Clashes between protesters and right-wing groups have since led to deaths in Kenosha, Wis., and Portland, Ore. The U.S. government fell short in its handling of the pandemic from the start, with President Trump alternately saying it was under control and deflecting blame onto states. Testing rolled out haltingly; states scrambled for ventilators and protective equipment; and…

17 min.
the color of the rust belt

One afternoon in June, Mike Mikulich led a masked visitor into the empty chambers of the Ambridge Borough Council and dropped his mobile phone and thick forearms worthy of a former steelworker onto a table. As council president he’d been wrestling with one crisis after another for months. He confessed that after spending 32 of his 74 years helping run this former Pennsylvania factory town of 6,600, he was thinking of calling it quits. Covid-19 had claimed Ambridge’s police chief in April and the owner of its leading funeral home just a few days later. Two of its biggest employers had closed up shop, laying off some 300 workers between them. Within weeks, a third business would suffer a devastating fire. A few days before our meeting, Mikulich had presided over an…

12 min.
where politics is still local

Montana’s Battle of the Steves started at the buzzer. On the morning of March 9, the last day to file as a challenger to U.S. Senator Steve Daines, the first-term incumbent held a commanding lead in his bid for reelection. Daines, a former software executive and reliable Republican ally of President Trump, was considered a lock over the scattered field of little-known Democrats who’d declared their candidacies. But that was before the secretary of state’s office at the Capitol in Helena received a last-minute visitor: Governor Steve Bullock, a two-term Democrat and the state’s most popular politician, who arrived to submit his filing papers from his office across the hall. “We decided that this wasn’t a time to be on the sidelines,” Bullock said after filing. Bullock’s entry upended the Senate…

17 min.
how the republicans are losing suburbia maricopa county, arizona

When Sean Bowie first ran for an Arizona state Senate seat in 2016, his odds didn’t look great. The 32-year-old Democrat was running in a suburban Phoenix district that was entirely red: The two state House members and one senator representing the 18th legislative district, in the East Valley suburbs where Bowie grew up, were all Republicans. No Democrat had ever been elected to the state Senate from the district. Bowie, who worked in the provost’s office at Arizona State University, had an inkling that things were changing. Many of the district’s voters were high-income professionals: professors and scientists at the university, and engineers and executives at Intel Corp. or Honeywell International Inc., the largest employers. An influx of tech workers was arriving at PayPal Inc., which anchors the thriving tech…

25 min.
the deciders

FLORIDA’S NEWLY ENFRANCHISED CHARACTERISTICS ○ Some of the 1.4 million Floridians with past felony convictions who had their voting rights restored in 2018—with state-imposed conditions In 2018, Florida voters passed a ballot initiative, Amendment 4, that restored voting rights to 1.4 million residents who had previously been convicted of a felony. It looked like a milestone for voting rights: Almost 1 in 5 Black adults in the state was unable to cast a ballot. If even a portion of this population made it to the polls, it could alter Florida election outcomes, perhaps decisively. ○ But last year the Republican-led state legislature and Republican Governor Ron DeSantis teamed up to pass a bill undermining Amendment 4 by requiring ex-felons to repay all outstanding fines and judicial fees to be registered to vote.…

17 min.
vote-by-mail is the easy part

If there’s one thing Kenny Montgomery thought he could always count on, it was the arrival of the U.S. mail. He’d delivered it himself during heat waves and blizzards in Rochester, N.Y. He trudged through the city with a mail sack over his shoulder during the 1991 ice storm that closed businesses and government offices and left residents cowering in their homes without power. They might not have been able to turn on the lights, but they got their mail. Last month, however, on the morning of Aug. 1, Montgomery, president of the local branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), saw his faith shaken. Almost 120 of his members reported to the city’s eight post offices, he says, and found that trucks had brought them packages from processing…