Election Day Special Coverage – Races We’ll Be Watching

GamePolitics is a single-issue site. Video games and politics, that’s all we cover.

And while we don’t advocate casting your vote based solely on this issue, we know it’s important to you – otherwise you wouldn’t be reading GP. So let’s take a look at races around the country that involve candidates with involvement in the politics of video games:

U.S. Senate:

  • Hillary Clinton (D-NY): sponsor of the Family Entertainment Protection Act (FEPA)
  • Joe Lieberman (I-CT): his criticism of game violence in the mid-1990’s led directly to the formation of the ESRB
  • Rick Santorum (R-PA): backs Hillary’s game initiatives, but also backs the ESRB
  • George Allen (R-VA): backs the ESRB rating system
  • Candidate Mike McGavick (R-WA): trying to unseat Democrat Maria Cantwell; he believes the entertainment industry will not regulate itself and wants to explore legislative solutions

U.S. Congress:

  • Fred Upton (R-MI): sponsor of the “Video Game Decency Act”
  • Cliff Stearns (R-FL): sponsor of the “Truth in Video Game Ratings Act”
  • Jim Matheson (D-UT): sponsor of the “Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act”
  • Joe Baca (D-CA): sponsor of “SAFE Rating Act”
  • Betty McCollum (D-MN): offered harsh criticism of ESRB rating system at recent NIMF Ratings Summit
  • Candidate Ed Perlmutter (D): seeking election in Colorado; promises video game legislation
  • Candidate Dave Mejias (D): sponsor of Nassau County, NY law requiring ratings awareness

Governor Races:

  • Michigan incumbent Jennifer Granholm (D) – led her state’s failed attempt to legislate video game content
  • California incumbent Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) – signed his state’s video game bill into law; law is currently blocked, awaiting a final ruling
  • Illinois incumbent Rod Blagojevich (D) – led his state’s failed attempt to legislate video game content; state was ordered to reimburse the video game industry more than $500,000 in legal fees
  • Oklahoma incumbent Brad Henry (D): signed his state’s video game bill into law; law is currently blocked, awaiting a final ruling
  • Minnesota incumbent Tim Pawlenty (R): signed the Gopher State’s ill-fated video game law into effect.
  • Minnesota challenger Mike Hatch (D): current Attorney General, defended the Minnesota bill in court and lost. Along the way Hatch called violent games “worthless, disgusting speech” and “speech of low societal value.”
  • New York candidate Eliot Spitzer (D): the popular Attorney General is a shoe-in to become governor; earlier this year he promised video game legislation
  • Texas challenger Chris Bell (D): promised video game legislation, but seems likely to lose the race to incumbent Rick Perry
  • Georgia: Candidate (and current Lt. Guv) Mark Taylor (D) promises video game legislation
  • Kansas: incumbent Kathleen Sebelius (D) backed a video game bill which failed in the state legislature

Other State-level Races:

  • Minnesota: Rep. Jeff Johnson (R), co-sponsor of the state’s video game law, is running for Attorney General
  • Georgia: incumbent Attorney General Thurbert Baker is running for re-election; Baker has publicly supported the video game industry’s ESRB rating system
  • California: Assembly Speaker Leland Yee (D), sponsor of his state’s video game legislation, is a lock to move up to the State Senate
  • North Carolina: State Senator Julia Boseman (D), sponsor of her state’s failed video game legislation, is in a tough re-election battle
  • Kansas: Rep. Tom Thull (D) promises video game legislation
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