First and Fourteenth Amendments in play

Now with four Dirty Don indictments filed, the action turns to the arraignment of the 19 people charged in the Fulton County case and the crowded trial and primary schedule ahead. While we're waiting for the next bunch of shoes to drop, you really should read the Fulton County indictment. It is fairly long, though, so in case you don't have the time or the patience to get through it all, Josh Kovensky, an investigative reporter for Talking Points Memo, published The 6 Interlocking Schemes Fani Willis Is Trying To Make Stick To Teflon Don to help us make sense of what is otherwise a pretty sprawling story. Here is a list of the six:

  1. Creating fake electors across the country
  2. Asking lawmakers to commit a crime
  3. Asking Georgia election officials to commit a crime
  4. Asking federal officials to commit a crime
  5. Sidney Powell’s voting machine caper
  6. Harassing Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman

In my view "asking" is simply a weaker version of what was really going on, namely soliciting.

The Tangerine Palpatine is not necessarily charged with every one of these, but he doesn't have to be. It is sufficient that every scheme advanced the common purpose all the folks indicted shared. Together the 41 charges make up the full conspiracy and support the overarching RICO charge. For Butternut Berlusconi, the total criminal charges from the four criminal indictments add up to 91! So, can he slither out of each and every one? And can he keep himself out of pre-trial detention. We shall see.

This week has seen a number of interviews and articles examining the question of whether TFG has disqualified himself from holding any state or federal office by engaging in and/or aiding and abetting an insurrection or rebellion. Former judge of the Fourth Circuit Court Appeals Michael Luttig and renowned constitutional scholar and emeritus professor at Harvard Law School Lawrence Tribe teamed up to write The Constitution Prohibits Trump From Ever Being President Again for the August 19 edition of The Atlantic. The authors carefully examine the language of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, focusing on whether the language of insurrection or rebellion properly applies to the totality of the efforts to overturn the election. As the title of the piece indicates, they answer the question affirmatively. On Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, Asa Hutchinson, current candidate for the Republican nomination for president and former governor of Arkansas, concurred. Talking Points Memo has a good article on this issue too.

Exactly how section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment can be legally enforced is a matter of some concern. Ned Foley, on Election Law Blog asks Do Voters Have a "Right" that Trump Be on the Ballot? Part of the inquiry about the means to disqualify a specific person or candidate hangs on timing. Thus Foley differentiates between the primary's voters and the general election's voters, writing that "in our electoral system, there is no 'right' belonging to voters to have their preferred candidate be eligible to participate in a political party’s primary." That is, even if Republican primary voters choose Trumpelthinskin, "the political party itself, given its First Amendment rights, can disqualify individuals from being its nominee" at pretty much any point in the calendar. Foley argues that if the the Supreme Court were to make a definitive ruling before the general election begins, the party would simply have to come up with another candidate. Exactly how would be up to the party itself to decide. That assumes, of course, that SCOTUS find TRE45ON in fact disqualified to hold any office by virtue of section 3.

In Wisconsin, the Attorney General has apparently decided not to investigate or indict the false MAGA electors, but Judge Frank Remington ruled that the 10 real electors for President Biden suing the pretend ones "met their burden to move forward with the civil suit." The plaintiffs are "seeking $2.4 million in damages from a dozen people who participated in an effort to falsely cast Wisconsin’s 2020 electoral votes." See the story at Battleground Wisconsin.

Lately, First Amendment issues have been surfacing a lot. Cheeto Benito's lawyers are signaling that issues of free speech are likely to form at least a part of his defense both in the D.C. case about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the Fulton County RICO case on the same matter. But it has been showing up in other recent events too. A small town newspaper in Kansas was raided by police (possibly leading to the death of its 98 year old publisher). The police seized computers, records, and cellphones. The raid may well have broken the law, some experts have said.

The role of local news investigations is especially fraught now. Here's a story from Wisconsin that highlights the way some are seeking to bankrupt media outlets. Report on Anti-Gay Slur Could Put Local News Site Out of Business: "As politicians have grown more comfortable condemning media outlets they view as hostile — banning reporters from covering events, attacking them on social media, accusing them of being an 'enemy of the people' — some public officials have started using the legal system as a way of hitting back. . . .  The Wisconsin case, First Amendment experts warned, shows how a single defamation suit can become a cudgel against the media in a way the law never intended. For small local news organizations, many of which are barely getting by financially, the suits threaten to put them out of business."

- - - TAKE ACTION - - -

Here's the place where I call your attention to actions you can take now and in the near future. First up is a rally of progressives and unions to make our voices heard from 3pm to 7pm before the August 23rd Republican Presidential Debate in Milwaukee. The Cowardly Lyin' is giving it his little middle finger of course, but there may well be national press looking for some alternative programming to include in their debate coverage. Join the crowd at NO Studios (1037 W McKinley Ave, Milwaukee) and stand with partners and allies from WI and other states and with Democratic Party leaders to claim our space. Let the organizers know you're coming!

After the rally, at 7:15 on Thursday, August 23, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison is hosting a reception (and fundraiser for President Biden). The event will also feature DNC Secretary Jason Rae and DNC Member Alex Lasry. This is a great opportunity to hear about the 2024 campaign from leaders of the Democratic Party and to support President Biden and Vice President Harris for re-election. You can go to the union-organized Tailgate event and then watch the debate with the Democratic Party honchos! Who wants to miss that! Contribute and sign up.

The Democrats' Fall Regional Trainings: Our organizing team is planning to host in person volunteer trainings across the state this September/October where team leaders and county party leaders can come together to share best practices and learn from each other. We would likely host this training in Milwaukee. We are hoping to gauge interest in whether attendees would be interested in an in person training or a virtual training with teams/counties who have similar features. Please fill out a survey to let the Dems know what you are interested in.

A number of states are having important off-year elections, mostly for local and some state offices. More or less like Wisconsin's April elections but conducted in the odd-numbered years between congressional or presidential contests. You can help get voters to turn out in these states by signing up with Postcards to Swing States. You can purchase progressive postcards online from ProShop here. Activate America is organizing postcards to several congressional and senate districts to urge voters to get behind candidates who support gun safety legislation. If that strikes your fancy, you can sign up here. To give you some idea of the organization's reach, Activate America participants sent over 610,000 for Janet Protasiewicz's election in April 2023!


Wednesday, August 23

Milwaukee GOP Debate Worker Tailgate, 3:00 - 7:00pm
No Studios, 1037 W McKinley Ave, Milwaukee
On August 23rd, we’re bringing together SEIU members, allies and the community, to send a powerful and loud message at the first Republican debate that we are fighting for Unions For All and policies that work for ALL of us! The RNC is kicking off their 2024 primary election with a debate in Milwaukee where they will be on full display with all of their usual attacks on unions, working people and our communities. We will show up in force to tell the real story: Working people are winning! We are the future. Working people built a strong, vibrant, beautiful middle class in the midwest, and we are claiming our space and showing the way forward with Unions for All. On August 23rd, Union and not yet union workers will raise our voices to tell the real story of what the future holds as we continue to gain ground and win together. We will stand with partners and allies from WI and other states and with Democratic Party leaders to claim our space. Let us know you're coming!

A Reception with DNC Chair Jamie Harrison, 7:15pm
Address on RSVP

Team Midwest invites you to join us in Milwaukee, WI, for a viewing party featuring DNC Chair Jaime Harrison & DNC Secretary Jason Rae to watch the first Republican primary debate and remind us what’s at stake in 2024. This is a fundraiser for the Biden Victory Fund. Ticket levels: Champion $500 | Advocate $250 | Friend $100 | Attendee $50. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Monica for more information at: [email protected].

Saturday, August 26

Women's Equality Day and LWVMC Potluck Brunch Kickoff! 11:00am - 1:00pm
Summit Place, 1st Floor Conference Center, 6737 W Washington St, Milwaukee

Join the fun at the annual LWVMC Kickoff on Women's Equality Day. The event is traditionally the first all-member event of the new League year (July 1 - June 30) and is a great chance to meet new members and connect with friends. Register.

Sunday, August 27

Greater Milwaukee Faith Voices for Justice Picnic! 1:00 - 3:00pm
Underwood Memorial Baptist Church, 1916 North Wauwatosa Ave, Milwaukee

Please join us for this celebration of diversity and building bridges among faiths, rain or shine! Rabbi Bonnie Margulis is organizing this interfaith picnic. She is a true champion of the interfaith community, and this promises to be a lovely afternoon. Beverages and dessert will be provided. Please bring a vegetarian dish to share! Please RSVP by August 25 to Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, 608-513-7121.

Monday, August 28

Tosa Dems School Supply Happy Hour, 6:00 - 8:00pm
7701 Stickney Ave, Wauwatosa

Join the Tosa Dems for a MPS school supply drive and happy hour! As GOP lawmakers refuse to share revenue with the City of Milwaukee, and with funding already restricted, MPS will continue to be squeezed. To ensure that MPS students have the resources they need, MPS will begin collecting these school supplies to help students succeed in the upcoming school year: spiral notebooks, folders, crayons, markers, pencils, colored pencils, pens, erasers, glue sticks, highlighters, lined paper, and rulers. Bring yourself, a friend, and any of these supplies to meet other folks in your area supporting our students! Sign up.

Tuesday, August 29

WISDOM 5 Week Fall Training Series, every Tuesday from 6:30 - 8:00pm

Please join us for our 5-week Fall Training Series every Tuesday night from August 29-September 26. We are excited to cover a variety of topics about community organizing. Whether you're a new WISDOM member, an old timer or need a refresher - we welcome you to come learn from our leaders within our network! Once you register, you will recieve your Zoom information within a few minutes. It is the same Zoom link for all 5 sessions. You can choose to attend one or all sessions. If you have any questions please contact Amanda Ali, WISDOM's Digital Organizer.

Wednesday, August 30 - Tuesday, September 5

The Golden Rule, an historic sailboat, docks in Milwaukee
The Golden Rule, a storied sailboat that helped bring about an end to atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, will stop in Milwaukee Aug 31 - Sep 5 as part of a 15-month, 11,000-mile voyage to inform and educate the public about the dangers of nuclear weapons proliferation. A number of public events will be held, and speakers / crew members will be available for presentations at schools, churches or other venues during the four-day visit. Boat tours and visits with the crew will be offered every afternoon. (See a real-time map of the boat's journey.) The Golden Rule is a project of Veterans For Peace.

Friday, September 1

WisDems Back to School Giveaway, every Tuesday from 2:00 - 6:00pm
WisDems Field Office, 8405 W Lisbon Ave. Milwaukee

Join WisDems and the Milwaukee County Democratic Party as we celebrate Back-to-School by giving away school supplies and having good time before the studying begins! Backpacks filled with supplies will be available for all K-5 grade levels and are free to grab. There will also be additional supplies separate for those who are in need of specific items. We will also have snacks available! If you or anyone you know is in need of school supplies this year, share this event with them. We hope to see you there! RSVP is required to reserve a backpack!

Saturday, September 2

WisDems Back to School Giveaway, every Tuesday from 2:00 - 6:00pm
WisDems Field Office, 8405 W Lisbon Ave. Milwaukee

Join WisDems and the Milwaukee County Democratic Party as we celebrate Back-to-School by giving away school supplies and having good time before the studying begins! Backpacks filled with supplies will be available for all K-5 grade levels and are free to grab. There will also be additional supplies separate for those who are in need of specific items. We will also have snacks available! If you or anyone you know is in need of school supplies this year, share this event with them. We hope to see you there! RSVP is required to reserve a backpack!

Monday, September 4

Enjoy Labor Day with Family, Friends, and Communities


Saturday, September 9

Wisconsin Coalitions Candidate Summit, 9:00am - 4:00pm
Location TBD, Milwaukee

The National Democratic Training Committee — in partnership with WisDems and their Coalitions (Black, Native American, Pride, Latino), Wisconsin Progress, Emerge Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Senate Democratic Committee, and Assembly Democrats — is offering an in-person event designed for candidates of color and LGBTQIA+ candidates. This summit will prepare you for your run for office and provide you with the tools you’ll use from now to Election Day! Register, Not a member of one of these communities? Fill out our candidate interest form to stay in the loop about other training and resource opportunities.

Sunday, September 10

Keeping Our Kids Safe at School Rally, 12:30pm
North Point Water Tower Park, 2288 N Lake Dr, Milwaukee

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER SHOOTING: After each new horrible mass school shooting, we ask ourselves “how can we demand that our elected officials pass common sense gun safety legislation?” If you’re tired of hearing about “thoughts and prayers” as if they were solutions, join Grassroots North Shore together with WAVE, Moms Demand Action, and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, at a rally on Sunday, September 10th, at 12:30, at North Point Water Tower Park. State Senator LaTonya Johnson and speakers from WAVE, Moms Demand Action, students, and Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence will fill us in on upcoming Lobby Days and recently introduced legislation. We’ll briefly march along North Avenue to Murray Avenue and then loop back to hear our speakers. After that, you can address already printed postcards to your legislators. We will stamp and mail them. RSVP.

Monday, September 11

North Shore Fair Maps Meeting, 7:00 - 8:30pm

It's the Maps, stupid! By this time there could be movement on maps and otherwise in Wisconsin's Supreme Court. If so, our friends at Law Forward will explain it all to us. Sign up.

Thursday, September 14

North Shore Fair Maps Meeting, 5:00 - 8:30pm
Shully's, 146 Green Bay Road, Thiensville

Join us at our 5th annual FUNdraiser at Shully’s. Your ticket will include hor devours, dinner, dessert, and entertainment. The guest speakers will inspire, the auction will be good fun, and great people – like you – will make it fun. We hope you’ll attend and bring a friend! Click here for tickets. Price levels: VIP Table Seating $200 each | Table for 8 $800 | Rgular %75 each.

other important links

Become a Member of Grassroots North Shore

Milwaukee County Democratic Party


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