With this newsletter, Grassroots North Shore is sending an enormous THANK YOU to all the many, many Grassroots North Shore volunteers:
- who wrote postcards and letters,
- who distributed yard signs,
- who phoned nearly 6300 women,
- who delivered flyers,
- who stood outside libraries with election signs,
- who dropped off sample ballots in Cambridge Woods,
- who went to UWM, MIAD, MSOE, and MATC to register young people to vote, then to encourage early voting and finally to urge them to vote on election day, and
- who canvassed with Neighborhood Action Teams and the Ozaukee Dems.
We worked as hard as we could right up until the polls closed last night. And it looks as if it paid off big time. Let this election be a lesson: we cannot ever afford to sleep through an election — ANY ELECTION — ever again.
We won't know specific turnout numbers for some time yet but we do know that both statewide and locally we won a huge victory. We probably lost the race for State Treasurer but Governor Evers won re-election with a much healthier margin than he had in his first election four years ago. And despite their extreme gerrymandering of the election maps, the Republicans failed in their bid to win a veto-proof majority in the state legislature. Governor Evers can wield a veto pen whenever he needs to prevent the state legislature from enacting harmful laws!
Attorney General Josh Kaul will also win re-election. As I write this, the Journal Sentinel has not yet called the race, but with 99% of the vote counted, Kaul leads by 1.4%. Unfortunately, Wisconsin will continue to be represented in the US Senate by the pernicious ignoramus Ron Johnson, but we can take some comfort from the fact that the young and talented Mandela Barnes kept it close. Doug LaFollette will probably be re-elected with a .3% of the vote, although there may well be a re-count of that race.
Although control of the US Senate and the US House are not decided yet, Democrats racked up a huge win, in my view, simply by defying the doomsaying predictions of the pre-election pundits. Republicans were expecting a so-called "red wave." Generally in midterm elections the party that holds the White House, in this case President Joe Biden, loses a lot of seats in both the House and the Senate. Not this time! In the New York Times online, one article begins "Democrats showed up, Trump-backed candidates underperformed and inflation wasn’t the whole story." It goes on to say that "across the East Coast, in Virginia’s northern suburbs and mixed areas of Rhode Island and New Hampshire, embattled Democrats managed to hang on. They even knocked off a few Republicans here and there. In many tight races, abortion and Mr. Trump’s looming presence may have been the G.O.P.’s undoing."
In the Washington Post's first analysis, Trump lost by backing flawed candidates like Mehmet Oz. And in three toss-up races yet to be decided — Blake Masters (R) vs Mark Kelly (D) in Arizona, Herschel Walker (R) vs Raphael Warnock (D) in Georgia, and Adam Laxalt (R) vs Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in Nevada — Democrats are favored in two. And Democrats also won two new governors' races: Maura Healy will replace the outgoing Republican governor in Massachusetts and Wes Moore will replace the outgoing Republican governor in Maryland. Democratic governors in Kansas (!), Michigan, New York, New Mexico, Minnesota — and let's not forget Wisconsin! — won re-election. Josh Shapiro, the current Attorney General in Pennsylvania, will retain the governorship there too, keeping that state in Democratic hands. And it looks like Kari Lake will go down to defeat in Arizona where that state's current Attorney General, Katie Hobbs, has a small lead. You can check in on the gubernatorial races at Politico.
Finally, abortion rights won where it was on the ballot: Voters support abortion rights in all five states with ballot measures: "Voters in California, Vermont and Michigan on Tuesday approved ballot measures enshrining abortion rights into their state constitutions, while those in the traditionally red states of Montana and Kentucky rejected measures that would have restricted access to reproductive care." In Wisconsin, constitutional amendments must be initiated by the state legislature, and there's little hope that the 1849 law banning abortions here will be overturned any time soon. Alas. But the strength of this issue in the election was clearly underestimated.
The events list this week is really short and will probably remain so as we head into the winter holidays. But I want to make you aware that in Wisconsin, we have an upcoming election (the primary on February 21 and the general election on April 4). It's vital that we pay attention: in addition to a critical race for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat, there will be elections for city and village governance as well as for school boards. As we know, MAGA types are vowing to contest local governance at every level. We need to be strong in the fight for our values and our freedoms. More to come on when and how to prepare for these contests.
Thursday, November 10
WisPolitics Post-Election Analysis, 10:30am – 1:15pm
Alumni Fireside Lounge, UW-Milwaukee, E. Kenwood Blvd., Milwaukee
Analysts will be Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Corri Hess; WTMJ-TV anchor Charles Benson; Republican strategist Bill McCoshen; Democratic strategist Sachin Chheda. More information and registration.
Drinking Liberally West Allis, 6:00 – 9:00pm
Studz Pub Sports Bar & Grill, 6833 W National Ave, West Allis
Drinking Liberally West Allis will be meeting monthly at Studz Pub for conversation, liquid refreshment and great food.
Friday, November 11
16th annual Armistice Day event, 7:00 - 9pm
Milwaukee City Hall, 200 Wells St., Milwaukee, OR Webinar
Armistice Day observance sponsored by Veterans for Peace and a coalition of peace and justice groups. Milwaukee City Hall Rotunda, 200 E. Wells St, 7 pm. Speakers: Reggie Jackson, journalist, Navy veteran, consultant to local, national and international media on race relations. Kelly Denton-Borhaug professor and co-director of Peace and Justice Studies at Moravian University in Pennsylvania, author of books on moral injury. Music by Frogwater and Harvey Taylor. Free public event. All welcome. For more information: Bill Christofferson, 414-486-9651. Facebook event. Register for the Webinar version.
Saturday, November 12
Stand for Peace, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Capitol Drive & Oakland Avenue, 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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