the lull before Labor Day

After Labor Day, Grassroots North Shore will begin its election activities in earnest, but before then there's been an interesting election development in North Carolina. The state's Supreme Court ruled on August 20 that the gerrymandered state legislature "lacked the power to amend the constitution." It seems that the process for amending the state constitution begins in the legislature, as it does here in Wisconsin. The legislature ordinarily has the power to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot for voter adoption. In this case, though, the court ruled that the electoral maps behind the currently elected legislators had been struck down in 2017 when federal courts found that they discriminated against Black voters. As a result, the legislators representing the illegal districts could not help form the supermajority necessary to pass constitutional amendments.

Further litigation will presumably resolve the issues but there's an important moral to the story. It seems that two seats on the NC court are also on the November ballot. If Republicans win even one of those seats, the ruling could be overturned. Judicial elections have huge, if largely unheralded, consequences. In Wisconsin, we're currently gearing up big-time for the November 8 election. But close on its heels, we too will have a consequential election for a Supreme Court seat in April 2023. It will be a big one, folks! Our form of government — whether you think of it as a democracy or a republic — takes eternal vigilance and lots of hard, grassroots work. Grassroots North Shore is already planning spring actions. So get ready to work for fall AND spring elections.

If you have not yet seen it, the latest Marquette Law School Poll was published last Wednesday. The news is moderately positive for Democrats running statewide in this election: Governor Evers tops Tim Michels by a few percentage points and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes tops Johnson by 7 points. (A Fox News poll shows Mandela up by only 4 points.) But we cannot relax for a second! That's why you should join us in Doctors Park (1870 E Fox Ln, Fox Point) on Sunday, September 18, from 3:30 - 5:30pm for our Save our State rally!

Just Say NO to RoJo

In the latest chapter in the life of Senator Ron Johnson, apparently there's a 5-second rule for insurrections. If someone's engagement lasted only seconds, then it doesn't count, right? Asked about his involvement in the effort to deliver fake electors' ballots to then Vice President Pence during the electoral college vote count on January 6, Johnson is reported to have said "I had virtually no involvement. My involvement lasted seconds." Here's the key quotation: "'I think I fielded three texts, and sent two, and talked to my chief of staff that somebody wants you to deliver something,' Johnson told local ABC 12 during an interview in Wisconsin, adding, 'I knew nothing about it.'" You can read about Johnson's effort to duck and cover on yahoo! news.

In local news, in case you missed it, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos won his primary by fewer than 300 votes. So his challenger is mounting a write-in campaign. Vos has no Democratic opponent, however. So he's quite likely to win the election. If there were a three-way race, though, he might have had a tougher time, with the GOP vote split between Vos and Adam Steen. The situation highlights how important it is for Democrats to run candidates in every district, no matter how gerrymandered. That's why we owe Bob Tatterson, running in the 24th Assembly District, and Dan Larsen, running in the 60th Assembly District, our deep gratitude and as much assistance as we can give them.

And a little schadenfreude to end on: Just a few days after his close shave with defeat, Vos fired Michael Gableman and shut down the so-called "review" of the 2020 election in Wisconsin. Now he says Michael Gableman could lose his law license over 2020 election review, records violations. But Gableman has already found a new employer: The Thomas More Society, a conservative law firm that was involved in his fraudulent review.


Wednesday, August 24

Milwaukee County Budget Town Hall, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Kosciuszko Community Center, 2201 S. 7th St., Milwaukee

Share your budget priorities with Milwaukee County leaders and ask questions about the 2023 Milwaukee County budget. Also use the Balancing Act Tool (online) to express your opinions about the budget. Registration.

Grassroots Donor Town Hall, 6:15 – 7:15pm

Join Chair Ben Wikler at a virtual town hall event for monthly and August donors. Choose an amount: $1 to $500. More information and registration.

Thursday, August 25

Citizen Action Analysis of the Inflation Reduction Act, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Last week, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which allocates billions of dollars to address climate change, creates provisions to make medications more affordable, and makes big changes to our tax laws that ensure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. It is an understatement to say that this is the most historic legislation that America has seen in decades. RSVP.

Saturday, August 27

Stand for Peace, 12:00 – 1:00pm
76th Street & North Avenue, Milwaukee

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

Tuesday, August 30

The Constitution in Jeopardy, 12:15pm - 1:30pm
Lubar Center, Marquette University Law School, 1215 W Michigan Ave., Milwaukee

Russ Feingold and Peter Prindiville, coauthors of The Constitution in Jeopardy: An Unprecedented Effort to Rewrite Our Fundamental Law and What We Can Do about It, will discuss the danger of a convention to amend the US Constitution.

Saturday, September 3

Stand for Peace, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Lincoln Memorial Drive & Lafayette Hill Road, Milwaukee

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

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