so much winning!

Sorry this newsletter was delayed. Still, I'm glad to be late this time. The news from yesterday's events, both national and here in Wisconsin, was nothing short of fantastic. Also beginning next week, I will be sending the newsletter on Wednesdays to accommodate a change in various meeting schedules. So maybe it's not so much late as it is an unannounced surprise?

Let's begin with the HUGE win for fair maps for the 2024 partisan election! The Republican-controlled legislature hurriedly passed a new set of maps for legislative districts both for Assembly seats and state Senate seats yesterday — presumably to foreclose the Supreme Court of Wisconsin (SCOWIS) decision about which set of maps the justices would choose. After the usual shenanigans, the legislature chose the ones Governor Evers had submitted. The two expert consultants — who reviewed all six sets of remedial maps the court received — judged four of the remedial maps compliant with the criteria the Court had set forth, including the stipulation that the maps could not favor one political party. The maps Governor Evers submitted was one of the four.

As the Co-Chair of the North Shore Fair Maps group put it, "MAKE NO MISTAKE, WE WON BIGLY YESTERDAY!" She goes on to say "maps drawn by a Democratic governor and accepted by a Republican legislature are a far better reflection of good government than maps imposed by a Court. Governor Evers’s maps represent government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Good government." And that's the main point.

Almost all Democrats in both the Senate and the Assembly, however, voted against the bill. Many people are wondering why they did that if the maps that passed and that Governor Evers has indicated he will sign are such a big win for those of us who had persistently and vigorously opposed the rigged maps we've had since 2012. Two possible reasons have emerged: first the strength of the Democratic vote in the Assembly suggests that the GOP legislators lack the votes to override a gubernatorial veto should Governor Evers decide to go that route; and second, many Democratic legislators objected to the rushed process that Speaker Vos used.

This matter is not quite definitively closed. Someone with the requisite means could still to try to take the case to the US Supreme Court. But Doug Poland, one of the lawyers who brought the suit to SCOWIS, all but called this possibility looney: "People really think that if the GOP controlled Legislature and Dem. Governor agree on legislation adopting new districts that a federal court challenge will undo that? On what theory?" See Dan Shafer's account and analysis on The Recombobulation Area publication: The Wisconsin State Legislature passed new maps. It's a bit discombobulating.

The Washington Post covered the story today (gifted link). And in another, more analytic piece by Phillip Bump, there's a particularly clear graphic showing the difference between the share of the total vote each party won in the last four elections and the share of the seats in the Assembly and Senate each party held. The accompanying analysis confidently states, "It was a [GOP] concession born not of enthusiasm about Evers’s proposal but, instead, out of fear about even less favorable maps that might be created by the court." Bottom Line: Let's allow ourselves to celebrate what Speaker Robin Vos said to reporters: Evers had "a huge win today" because now "the legislature will be up for grabs." Surely an admission that Republicans had in fact rigged the maps.

Yesterday was also election day for two special elections, one in New York to fill the seat made vacant when the House of Representatives expelled George Santos and the other in a Philadelphia suburb to fill a Pennsylvania House seat. Continuing the successful run they've enjoyed in special elections in 2023, Democrats won both, convincingly. Tom Suozzi was elected to take Santos's place, shrinking the small (and dare I say dysfunctional) GOP majority. This result leaves "the G.O.P. able to afford only two defections from the party line on votes when all members are present." And the early March deadlines for funding the government loom (New York Times gifted link, February 14, 2024).

In Pennsylvania, Democrat "Jim Prokopiak won the special election and reaffirmed Democrats’ one-seat majority in the state House, according to the Associated Press, which called the race for him at 8:07 p.m., just after polls closed" (The Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 13, 2024). The article notes that "Democrats have had to defend their majority four times since they took control of the state House in 2023. They have successfully run each on a promise to protect abortion access in Pennsylvania." These latest wins add to the narrative that Democrats have significantly overperformed in a host of 2023 elections. You can see the table, the tally, and the average in "Democrats have been winning big in special elections." The article from ABC News sports a sub-head: "That could bode well for them in the 2024 election."

Let's turn now to a brief recap of the Cheeto Benito trials.

  • He's appealed the DC Appellate Court's ruling that he is not immune from criminal prosecution once he's magically been returned to being a mere citizen of the United States. The US Supreme Court has given Special Counsel Jack Smith until February 20 to reply to the Cowardly Lyin's brief. Not a super-urgent briefing schedule but not entirely dilatory either. We shall see.
  • The Fulton County judge will be holding an evidentiary hearing tomorrow to determine whether DA Willis and her entire office need to be dismissed from the case. At issue is whether the romantic entanglement with another prosecutor on her staff began BEFORE she hired him, as one of the defendants in the case has alleged, or AFTER, as she and Mr. Wade have both sworn. PBS will carry the televised hearing, beginning at 8:30am CT.
  • Judge Merchan, overseeing the NYC case about hush money and fraudulent business records, has denied Boss Tweet's motion to recuse himself. He'll hold a hearing tomorrow to make some decisions on motions and to consider any scheduling conflicts.
  • In the Mar-a-lago documents case, Judge Aileen Cannon has held separate hearings with the defendants' lawyers and the DOJ lawyers to deal with protective orders for the classified information in the documents found in the search of the Butternut Berlusconi's retirement home. Special Counsel Jack Smith has called her recent ruling that would unmask the names and grand jury testimony of key witnesses "clear error." Smith has filed an additional brief making his case with additional evidence about the harm such unmasking will surely do.
  • Judge Engoron is reportedly going to file his written decision in the NY State case in which he and his company, the Trump Organization, have already been found guilty of fraud. The amount of what's known as disgorgement he will have to pay and whether he and his sons will be barred from doing business in New York State are what followers of this case are waiting to see.

The website Just Security is producing a "Master Calendar of Trump Court Dates: Criminal and Civil Cases" for your edification. If you're a political and court junky, you might want to bookmark it. And you should not miss the superb investigative journalism taking place at Talking Points Memo: Josh Kovensky began a series of articles with new and interesting details about how the various coup plots intertwined. Called The Chesebro Docs, the series begins with an introductory piece: The Legal Coup.

If you missed the February 4 presentations by Professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat and state Senator Chris Larson, you can watch the Grassroots North Shore event on YouTube. Professor Ben-Ghiat is a world renowned expert on the rise of authoritarianism. Senator Larson provides a riveting history of what's been happening in Wisconsin over the last 14 years or so. You really should take the time to view it.

Two great organizations — the ACLU and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin — are recruiting people to assist with voter protection issues for the April 2 and November 5 elections.

WisDems: Signups for our spring hotline trainings are now open! The WisDems Voter Assistance Hotline (608-336-3232) aims to make sure the voting process is as smooth as possible and reduce barriers to access by providing accurate and helpful answers to voters' questions. The hotline is staffed for every election with volunteers and staff who are thoroughly trained on Wisconsin election law. We especially welcome volunteers who are comfortable helping voters in Spanish and Hmong.

ACLU:We need your help to protect every Wisconsinite's right to vote. For many years, the ACLU of Wisconsin has been engaged in Election Protection efforts alongside a broad coalition of non-partisan organizations across the state. With our partners, we work to ensure easy, fair, and safe access to the ballot box for every single Wisconsin voter. We do this by working with our coalition partners to provide individual assistance through the Election Protection Hotline, by monitoring and addressing systemic issues affecting access to the polls, and, when necessary, seeking relief for voters in the courts. But none of this is possible without the help of hundreds of attorneys and election observer volunteers in every election year, covering every corner of the state. Sign up now to volunteer for the April 2 and November 5 elections.

I've introduced a new section detailing the canvassing the WisDems are organizing ahead of the April 2 election. That is followed by the usual Events list for the next two weeks. The weather in this area has been astonishingly mild (though there does seem to be a snow storm on the way). So engage!


Saturday, February 17

Fox Point Dems Get Out the Primary Vote!, shifts at 12:00 & 3:00pm
7632 N Beach Dr, Fox Point

Join the Fox Point Dems for our Get Out the Primary Canvass! We'll be knocking doors ahead of the Spring primary to make sure Fox Point residents have plans to vote for Democratically-aligned candidates this February and April. Bring yourself, your smartphone, and your winter gear and join us as we hit the streets! Sign up.

North Shore Dems Get out the Primary Vote in Shorewood!, shifts at 9:00am & 12:00pm
4516 N Newhall St, Shorewood

Join the Shorewood Dems for our Get Out the Primary Canvass! We'll be knocking doors ahead of the Spring primary to make sure Shorewood residents have plans to vote for Democratically-aligned candidates this February and April. Bring yourself, your smartphone, and your winter gear and join us as we hit the streets! Sign up.

Knock on Doors in Mequon, shifts at 9:00am & 12:00pm
4516 N Newhall St, Shorewood

Join us to knock on doors in Mequon!!! Sign up.

Sunday, February 18

Fox Point Dems Get Out the Primary Vote!, shifts at 12:00 & 3:00pm
7632 N Beach Dr, Fox Point

Join the Fox Point Dems for our Get Out the Primary Canvass! We'll be knocking doors ahead of the Spring primary to make sure Fox Point residents have plans to vote for Democratically-aligned candidates this February and April. Bring yourself, your smartphone, and your winter gear and join us as we hit the streets! Sign up.

Grassroots Glendale Gets Out the Spring Vote!, shifts at 12:00 & 3:00pm
6563 N Crestwood Dr, Glendale

Join Grassroots Glendale as we get out the vote for Spring elections. We'll be knocking doors and making sure our likeminded neighbors have plans to vote for Democratically aligned candidates up and down the ballot this April and November! Sign up.

Grassroots Glendale Texts Out the Vote!, 12:00 - 3:00pm
6563 N Crestwood Dr, Glendale

Join Grassroots Glendale for our Text Out the Vote Friendbank! We'll be getting together to learn how to activate and engage our networks using the Reach app for relational organizing. Join us as text our networks to hear what issues matter to them and to make plans to vote for Democrats up and down the ticket in 2024! Sign up.

North Shore Dems Get Out the Vote in Whitefish Bay, 12:30 - 3:30pm
4845 N Newhall St, Whitefish Bay

Join the Whitefish Bay Dems for our Get Out the Primary Canvass! We'll be knocking doors ahead of the Spring primary to make sure Whitefish Bay residents have plans to vote for Democratically-aligned candidates April. Bring yourself, your smartphone, and your winter gear and join us as we hit the streets! Sign up.

A look ahead to plan canvassing to Get Out The Vote for the April 2 election.

Fox Point, Glendale, Whitefish Bay and Shorewood Teams, as well as the Dems in Ozaukee County, will be hosting canvasses, texting, and Friendbanking: Mark these events on your calendar and be ready to sign up for one or more shifts!
  • GOT(E)V #1: March 16th/17th
  • GOT(E)V #2: March 23rd/24th
  • GOTV: March 28th, 30th, April 1st, and April 2nd


Tuesday, February 13

Fundraiser for Caroline Gómez-Tom, 5:30 - 7:30pm
Tres Hermanos Restaurant, 1332 W Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee

Caroline needs your help so she can win her re-election to represent District 14 on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. If we elect her, she will to continue to show Milwaukee County's South Side some love. Join Caroline as she tells you what she cares about most serving District 14 on the Milwaukee County Board. RSVP.

Thursday, February 15

Leading for Milwaukee, 5:30 - 7:00pm
Hawthorne Coffee Roasters, 4177 S Howell Ave, Milwaukee

This is a great opportunity to meet folks running for Milwaukee County Board and the Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson and to support Jack Eckblad's Campaign for Milwaukee County Board! RSVP.

Waukesha County Democratic Party Meeting, 7:00pm
Southminster Presbyterian Church, 200 Richard St, Waukesha

Join us for our monthly meeting. This month we are joined by former US Attorney James Santelle. James will be giving us an update on all things Trump legal woes. With over 90 charges, recent 80+ million dollar judgement, and pending Supreme Court rulings, there is so much to keep track of and James will have simple updates to share with all of us. We will also be discussing spring elections and laying the path forward to winning in April and in November.

Friday, February 16

The League of Progressive Seniors with Mayor Cavalier Johnson, 9:30am
The Knickerbocker, 1028 E Juneau Ave, Milwaukee

What's the plan for a safe and prosperous Milwaukee in 2024? Mayor Cavalier "Chevy" Johnson will present an overview of Milwaukee's key issues. Please let us know if you are coming so that we have enough chairs and refreshments. Contact Tom Callan.

Be a Voice, 5:00 - 9:00pm
The Bavarian Bierhaus, 700 West Lexington Boulevard, Glendale

Join us for our 2nd Annual Wisconsin Voices Gala. This year the theme is Be A Voice! Donation amounts range for $75 for a single seat up to $20,000 for PLATINUM Exclusive Presenting Sponsor, with a host of benefits for the sponsor. You can donate and buy tickets online.

Saturday, February 17

Get Out the Vote - Spring Primary, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Help connect with Ozaukee County voters ahead of the February 20 Spring Primary Election. You can contact us at Oz Dems Events.

Stand for Peace, 12:00 - 1:00pm
Sherman Blvd and North Ave, Milwaukee

Stand for Peace demonstrates for peace at a different intersection in Milwaukee County every Saturday.

Sunday, February 18

Glendale Team Get Out the Vote, shifts begin at 12:00 and 3:00pm
6563 N Crestwood Dr, Glendale

Join Grassroots Glendale as we get out the vote for the February primary! We'll be reaching out to our networks to make vote plans. This is a great opportunity to encourage regular voting and help out our likeminded local candidates! Sign up.

DPMC Special Meeting, 6:00pm

The Democratic Party of Milwaukee County is holding this meeting so that there will be enough time to discuss relevant resolutions. We hope Zoom is more accessible and accountable, and we hope that a special meeting will give this important discussion the time it needs. We hope to pass one or more resolutions. To introduce a resolution: Please submit to [email protected] by Feb. 11, 6pm CST. You must be a dues-paying member to submit a resolution. All resolutions submitted by the deadline by dues-paying members will be voted upon. There will be no amendments or adjustments to resolutions on the floor. <span="font-weight: bold; text-decoration: underline;">To vote: You must be a dues-paying party member to vote. No registration required. We will vote on resolutions in the order in which they are submitted. All resolutions will be posted in the Feb. 12 newsletter. We will hold a majority, up-down vote on all qualified resolutions. Sign up to speak and attend.

Monday, February 19

MKE County Dems Monthly Meeting, 6:00pm
Potawatomi Hotel, 1721 W Canal St, Milwaukee

he Democratic Party of Milwaukee County holds its monthly meeting on the third Monday of each month. Join with fellow Democrats to hear from important speakers, to learn about upcoming Dem events, and to discuss important issues with each other.

Tuesday, February 20

Spring Primary Election Day, 7:00am - 8:pm
Your polling location

Be sure you know whether there is a primary this year for your community. You can find out by visiting You will find some information about the candidates on the Grassroots North Shore Elections 2024 web page.

Wednesday, February 21

SCOTUS Coordinating Call, 11:30am CT

United for Democracy is a national organization dedicated to reforming and reining in the US Supreme Court: "Radical justices are breaking with judicial norms and ignoring decades of legal precedent to impose their own right-wing agenda on our country and take away our freedoms. Congress has the power to fix this. They need to take action." These calls are an excellent way to find out what SCOTUS is doing. Sign up for this monthly series.

DemTeam 2024 Scholarship Fundraiser, 5:00 - 7:00pm CT
Art Bar, 722 E Burleigh St, Milwaukee

Our goal is to build a larger, stronger Democratic community. To be successful in winning elections and moving progressive issues forward, we need to have a well-trained, well-connected network of activists, staff, and candidates. The DemTEAM training helps to build a stronger, more strategic community of Democrats in Milwaukee County to run campaigns, plan events, recruit new members, stand for office, and advance progressive values and causes. RSVP.

Oz Dems General Meeting, 7:00 - 8:00pm
Dems Grafton Office, 1930 Wisconsin Ave, Grafton

Join us at our Grafton office every third Wednesday of the month at 7:00. Meet like-minded people who are your neighbors and committed to electing Democrats here in Ozaukee County.

Thursday, February 22

Turn Out & Turn Up to Vote, 6:30pm
Canaan Baptist Church Annex, 2964 N 11th St, Milwaukee

MICAH's Black History Month Celebration with guest speakers Former L. Governor Mandela Barnes and Anita Johnson, Souls to the Polls Voting Education Specialist & Community Outreach Manager. Doors open at 6:00pm; Dinner begins at 6:0pm. Be inspired! Let's commemorate and honor the African-Americans who shaped history, and those doing that today. REGISTER.

Saturday, February 24

Stand for Peace, 12:00 - 1:00pm
Sherman Blvd and North Ave, Milwaukee

Stand for Peace demonstrates for peace at a different intersection in Milwaukee County every Saturday.

Tuesday, February 27

Forum: Proposed Constitutional Amendments, 6:00 - 7:30pm

The proposed constitutional amendments on the April 2 ballot put our elections at risk. Join the League of Women Voters to learn about the constitutional amendment questions that will be on your ballot on April 2 and why you should VOTE NO. Elections need to be fully funded. Speakers will discuss the constitutional amendments in Wisconsin and what we can expect next.

  • Joan Schwarz is a member of the Dane County LWV, a retired civil law attorney and University Academic in Literature and Women’s Studies.
  • Michael Haas is the Madison City Attorney. He worked as a staff counsel and elections division administrator at the Government Accountability Board before becoming the interim administrator at the Wisconsin Elections Commission in 2016.


ACLU-WI Election Trivia Night, 6:00 - 78:00pm
Cactus Club, 2946 Wentworth Ave, Milwaukee

Are you feeling lost in the seemingly endless election cycles in Wisconsin? Do you know how local offices affect your daily life and community? Join the ACLU of Wisconsin at Cactus Club to test your trivia knowledge about pop culture, voting rights, and more! Come for the game, stay for the raffle prizes and free snacks. RSVPs encouraged but not required.


Thursday, March 7

Milwaukee Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon, 11:45am - 1:30pm
Newsroom Pub, 137 E Wells St, Milwaukee

Milwaukee Chief of Police Jeffrey Norman will be the guest speaker at a Newsmaker Luncheon, hosted by the Milwaukee Press Club and Norman, who joined the Milwaukee Police Department in 1996, rose through the department, serving as a detective, lieutenant and captain before being named assistant chief in 2020. Among his responsibilities, Norman served as executive commander of the Criminal Investigation Bureau, overseeing the Homicide, Special Investigation, Violent Crimes, General Crimes, Sensitive Crimes, Fusion and Forensic Divisions. Later that year, Norman was appointed acting chief. He was sworn in as chief in November 2021. Norman will take questions from a panel of journalists and from the audience at the luncheon, to be moderated by Milwaukee Press Club President Maryann Lazarski, series/documentary producer for Milwaukee PBS. Advanced registration and payment are required. Checks may be mailed to the MPC at PO Box 176, North Prairie, WI 53153-0176.

Friday, March 8

International Women's Day, 12:30 - 3:30
Marcus Performing Arts Center

Presented by the Women's Leadership Collaboration. Registration and networking at 12:30; Keynote speaker Emilie Aries at 1:00; Inspire Inclusion activity at 2:00. Registration will begin the week of February February 5. Watch for information for signing up.

Sunday, March 10

Shorewood School Board and Village Board Forums, 12:00 - 1:30pm
Shorewood Village Center, 3920 N Murray Ave, Shorewood

League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County will be facilitating a non-partisan forum for the candidates running in the April Election for the Shorewood School Board and Shorewood Village Board.

Tuesday, March 12

PFAS: The Everyday, Everywhere Toxin, 6:30 - 8:00pm

News about PFAS is infiltrating our lives and – appropriately for "forever chemicals" – isn't going away. Contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, has been found in sites all over Wisconsin, stemming from any number of the many ways these substances are used. To arm yourself for the fight to clean our waters and protect the health of Wisconsinites, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin invites you to join us in the first of two virtual webinars that delve into how PFAS get into our bodies, how to protect ourselves, and what is happening at the state and federal level to mitigate this issue. Speakers: Dr. Beth Neary, Co-President of Wisconsin Environmental Health Network and Meleesa Johnson, Executive Director of Wisconsin’s Green Fire. Register.

Monday, March 18

Training for MyVote Online Voter Registration, 5:30 - 7:00pm
Milwaukee Zen Center, 2825 N Stowell Ave, Milwaukee
</br />Prepare yourself to help people register to vote! Learn how to register people to vote using Learn what is acceptable photo ID for voting in Wisconsin and how to acquire it. Registration required. Questions regarding this announcement? Please email [email protected]. Register here: My Vote Training Sign Up.

Sunday, March 24

Milwaukee County Dems Annual Gala, times TBA
631 E Chicago St, Milwaukee
</br />The year's theme: "Democracy — Our Sacred Cause." More information to follow.

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