Democracy & Elections

The Lawfare Podcast: Intimidation of State and Local Officeholders with Maya Kornberg

Tyler McBrien, Quinta Jurecic, Maya Kornberg, Jen Patja
Thursday, February 22, 2024, 8:00 AM
Discussing the risks and threats state and local officeholders are facing

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

As a new report on the intimidation of state and local officeholders from the Brennan Center for Justice points out, “The January 6 insurrection at the Capitol seemed to mark a new peak in extremist intimidation targeting public officials. But it was hardly the only act of political violence to break the period of relative stability that followed the assassinations of the 1960s.” Citing the 2017 shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, last year’s hammer attack on Paul Pelosi, and many other cases, the report paints a troubling picture of today’s climate of political violence in America. 

To talk through the report and its implications, Lawfare Senior Editor Quinta Jurecic and Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Maya Kornberg, a Research Fellow at the Brennan Center’s Elections and Government Program and one of the report’s authors. They discussed how Maya and her team surveyed so many state and local officials across a number of jurisdictions, the pervasive risks and threats those officeholders face, and how these threats are distorting U.S. democracy as a whole.

Tyler McBrien is the managing editor of Lawfare. He previously worked as an editor with the Council on Foreign Relations and a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Equal Education in South Africa, and holds an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago.
Quinta Jurecic is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a senior editor at Lawfare. She previously served as Lawfare's managing editor and as an editorial writer for the Washington Post.
Dr. Maya Kornberg is a research fellow on the Elections and Government Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, where she leads work related to information and disinformation in politics, Congress, and money in politics.
Jen Patja is the editor and producer of the Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.

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