In the News

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Although still in its infancy, the USC Schwarzenegger Institute has already generated extensive media coverage in connection with its mission and activities.

Lawmakers with stock holdings vote in ways that juice their portfolios, data shows

A series of well-timed stock trades early in the pandemic brought Justice Department scrutiny on at least five U.S. senators this year over potential insider trading, including Georgia Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Though the inquiries were dropped, both lawmakers have taken heat on the issue as their respective campaigns head into a January runoff election that will determine partisan control of the Senate. Washington Post

How can we fix democracy? USC students embrace expert advice from around the country

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and classes migrated online, Christian Grose thought long and hard about how his fall class on fixing American democracy would continue to engage his politically savvy students. Then the light bulb went on for Grose, an associate professor of political science and public policy at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and academic director of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. USC News

Californians Weigh in on Who Should Take Kamala Harris’ Senate Seat

Now that U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D) will be taking the role as Vice President, California Governor Gavin Newsom is tasked with deciding who will take her place. A recent survey from the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy polled registered California voters on who should be the next Senator. Spectrum News 1

Arnold’s Next Role?

Some Republicans have suggested that Newsom might want to go a different route entirely, and think about former Gov. Arnold Schwarzegger as a bipartisan, placeholder pick that would give Democratic contenders an even playing field. We asked Schwarzenegger yesterday at a University of Southern California Schwarzenegger Institute event: Would he consider accepting such a post? His answer: "The governor will pick the right person. And I wish him good luck with that, because it's a big responsibility to represent the state. And I leave that up to him, when he wants to do that." Politico California Playbook

Who will replace Kamala Harris in the Senate? It’s up to Gavin Newsom

It didn’t take long when Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris as his running mate in August for people to begin wondering who Gov. Gavin Newsom might appoint as her replacement in the U.S. Senate. Now after months of speculation — and plenty of public and private lobbying — Newsom has a decision to make about who will be California’s next junior senator. Biden wrapped up the votes he needed Saturday to win the presidency, and barring a legal challenge from President Trump that would somehow derail the results, Harris will resign her seat so she can become vice president Jan. 20. San Francisco Chronicle

Wealthy Donors Spend Big to Expand Voting Access

Poll worker training doesn’t usually involve a call to do 200 push-ups. It also doesn’t usually involve Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Let’s pump it up!” the actor, businessman, former professional bodybuilder and former Republican California governor told a crowd of 16 surprised trainees in Muscogee County, Georgia, over Zoom earlier this month. “Let’s pump it up,” the trainees sitting in a church gymnasium dutifully repeated through their masks. Pew Trusts 

Schwarzenegger Institute provides voting grants to Georgia counties

Movie star and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger have given a blockbuster amount of his own money to help improve voter access this election cycle. In late September the Schwarzenegger Institute at the University of Southern California announced the launch of "Democracy Grants for Voting Access and Election Administration." The fast grant program allowed local governments and other organizations to apply for funding to reopen closed polling places, hire poll workers and provide PPE. Fox 5 Atlanta

Arnold Schwarzenegger pitches in $250K to help Texans vote safely during COVID

Tens of thousands of Texas voters in one of the regions hardest-hit by COVID-19 will safely be able to cast ballots, thanks to an unlikely source: The Terminator. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor and last Republican governor of California, is sending $250,000 through a foundation he runs to Cameron County on the Texas border to help that area open up supercenter polling sites that will assure people have enough social distancing to safely vote in the fall elections. Houston Chronicle

Redistricting Commission Doesn’t Need Reforms…Well, Maybe One

When the first eight commissioners to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission were chosen by random drawing the beginning of the month, there was an outcry that no Latinos were selected. Because Latinos make up the largest ethnic group in California, the Los Angeles Times editorial board called the result an embarrassment. Others joined in to say the selection process must be fixed. A fix is not needed to ensure diversity on the commission. There is a built-in mechanism to deal with oversights in the initial selection of commissioners. Fox&Hounds