stormy weather

We are living through very dark days. As I'm sure you're aware, a draft opinion on the Dobbs v Jackson case at the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) leaked and was published by Politico last week. You can read the draft opinion yourself. If it stands as written or even if the opinion is modified a bit but the heart of it stands, Roe v Wade and Casey v Planned Parenthood will both be overturned in their entirety. For Wisconsin, that means abortion will be illegal once again, as it was before Roe v Wade made reproductive healthcare a universal right under a right to privacy seven Justices wrote that the Constitution implied.

While the opinion drafted by Justice Alito goes out of its way to try to distinguish between abortion cases and all the other rights that have relied on the same legal reasoning about privacy that forms the basis of the Roe v Wade decision, the truth is all sorts of other decisions — access to contraception, same sex marriage, and interracial marriage, to name just a few — are likely to be challenged on the same grounds. Alito holds that because there is no mention of abortion in the Constitution, and there is also no explicit right to privacy, Roe and Casey were "wrongly decided."

Our current Attorney General, Josh Kaul, has announced that his office will not prosecute cases of abortion. Milwaukee's District Attorney, John Chisholm, was a bit more circumspect but both note that such cases would deflect resources from more urgent matters. On the other hand, Republicans running for Attorney General support prosecuting abortions should the 1849 Wisconsin law that banned abortions once again be in force.

It's easy to fall into despair over this turn of events. After all, there does not seem to be a clear avenue to protect reproductive health rights at the federal level. And our state legislature, dominated as it is by radical Republicans, will certainly not repeal the draconian anti-abortion laws already on the books here. (See this account of Wisconsin's abortion laws in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.) But we must not. Our recourse is simple: on Mother's Day thousands of people took to the streets in protest. Public pressure of that sort, though, won't reach the stony hearts of the five Justices who have already signaled that SCOTUS will overturn Roe v Wade and Casey v Planned Parenthood. The important thing to do now: VOTE FOR PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT OUR RIGHT TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE! What stands between us and a rash of new legislation attacking all sorts of other rights to privacy is the veto pen Governor Evers wields and the determination of Josh Kaul. Re-electing them in November is our ONLY WAY to protect our personal privacy in Wisconsin.

And in other startling, but perhaps not shocking, news, Russia's infiltration of the GOP goes back at least to the McCain campaign in 2008. So says Steve Schmidt, who, as campaign advisor for the 2nd half of the campaign, ought to know. Politico has the Twitter thread and the story. Plus Mark Esper, former Secretary of Defense under the former guy, reveals more of *Rump's viciousness and stupidity in an interview with Norah O'Donnell. So our president wanted to shoot missiles into Mexico and try to pretend we didn't; to shoot Black Lives Matter protesters; and to remove all US troops from South Korea. And he called his VP and other officials "f'ing losers." Nice, right? And we might be seeing this dangerous clown act return in 2025! Again, we must vote like our country depends on it. Because it does.

So here's a little help sorting out who should be the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Three declared candidates visited virtually with the steering and advisory committees. We're sharing the video on our YouTube channel. It's about 50 minutes long, but take the time to watch it. All three candidates — Peng Her, Sara Rodriquez, and David Bowen — are impressive. Mr. Her, founder and CEO of the Hmong Institute, declares on his campaign website that he is running because he is "a strong advocate for building strong and safe communities, helping small business succeed, and increasing access to quality health care." Sara Rodriguez, currently a member of the Wisconsin Assembly representing Waukesha County, is a nurse and public health professional, according to her campaign website. David Bowen is also a current State Assembly representative. You can find out more about him on his campaign Facebook page. You can help get one of them on the primary ballot by downloading and circulating their nomination papers from their websites. But remember you can nominate ONLY ONE.

We will be interviewing and meeting the top candidates for the Democratic nomination for US Senate in June. It's a two-part event. On June 5, Kathleen Dunn, former NPR host, will speak with the candidates on Zoom. You can sign up to watch. We will also make the video available if you can't attend the event. And on June 12, we will hold a safe outdoor event at Virmond Park in Ozaukee County. You can meet and talk to the Senate candidates in person. The candidates for Lt. Governor will also be available for you to meet. Sign up for part two here.



Tuesday, May 10

Drinking Liberally MKE, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Estabrook Beer Garden, 4600 Estabrook Drive, Milwaukee

Drinking Liberally MKE will be outdoors!. More information.

Book Event: Hate in America, 7:00 – 8:00pm

Jonathan Greenblatt, author of IT COULD HAPPEN HERE and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, will discuss the intense hate and violence that could arise in this country as it has in other parts of the world, and what to do to stop it. Registration.

Thursday, May 12

Reggie Jackson: Diversity in America, 6:00 – 7:00pm

Historian Reggie Jackson will talk about the hidden history of diversity in America. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Dane, Milwaukee, and Ozaukee Counties and the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. Registration.

Saturday, May 14

Stand for Peace, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Highway 100 & Bluemound Road, Wauwatosa

Stand for Peace has resumed in-person events with masks and social distancing. Check for more information. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.

Monday, May 16

Milwaukee Dems Meeting, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Teamsters Hall, 10020 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis

Milwaukee County Democrats meet monthly to discuss party business, hear speakers on current topics, pass resolutions, and network with other progressives. All interested Democrats are invited. You must be vaccinated or provide a negative COVID test within the last 72 hours to attend the meeting. No exceptions. At this meeting all candidates for Lieutenant Governor will be in attendance and speaking, along with other individuals and organizations! Make sure you attend! RSVP: TBA.

Wednesday, May 18

On the Issues: Election Outlook, 12:15 – 1:15pm
Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St.,, Milwaukee, or live stream

Marquette Law School experts will discuss Wisconsin’s 2022 election outlook, with perspectives on the effects of redistricting, changes in voter demographics, and highlights of poll data on some of the most significant issues facing the state. A light lunch will be available. The program will be live-streamed on the law school’s website via the “Watch Now” button. Registration.

Drinking Liberally Tosa, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Camp Bar Tosa, 6600 W Nor

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