Trump's trials and ours

Here's the biggest news this week: the jury has begun deliberations in the NY election fraud case against the abominable orange man. You can find coverage of the closing arguments and Justice Merchan's instructions to the jury just about everywhere you would think to look. CNN has a countdown clock to let people know how long the jury has been deliberating! It also provides a short profile of each of the 12 jurors and six alternates. The Washington Post has four front page stories about the trial and jury deliberations: Why a Trump lawyer’s prison reference was so ‘outrageous’ (gifted article), for example.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is an exception. The only headline on its virtual front page is an opinion piece: Every angle of Trump's trial has been analyzed except the law. Blame the media. | Opinion. Because piece was published before Justice Merchan gave the jury instructions on the law, blaming the media for its lack of attention to the laws involved in the case seems like an odd complaint.

And in BREAKING NEWS: Justice Alito tells Congress he will not recuse from Jan. 6-related cases. In the article (also gifted) Alito blames his wife, not only for the inverted flag at their home in Virginia but also for the so-called "Appeal to Heaven" flag flying over their summer home in New Jersey. In his letter to congress, he said he had asked his wife to take down the inverted flag but that she refused for several days. About the flag at their summer home and flags in general, he wrote "My wife is fond of flying flags. I am not." So he's not responsible and, he implies, they have no bearing on his own beliefs. So there.

What's important here in our corner of Wisconsin is the upcoming elections. I have now removed the links to potential candidates' nomination papers, which are due in Madison by 5pm on Monday, June 3. Although prospective candidates will not be officially certified until after June 3, our 2024 Partisan Elections page lists candidates we expect to see on the August 13 ballot together with links to their online information. I will be adding information to the page as it becomes available.

We also have a page devoted to the two ballot questions that will be decided by this low turnout election. You might recall that the April 2nd election also presented two ballot questions. And there's likely to be one more for the November 5 election. Any ballot question that passes immediately amends the state's Constitution. So while it's important to know what's at stake, it's devilishly hard to find out. The language of the questions is almost always vague.

Last week I briefly mentioned that the governor has set the dates for a special election for Senate District 4. The primary for this election will take place on July 2 with Election Day on July 30. Representative LaKeshia Myers and Representative Dora Drake have both indicated that they will run in that special election. Because the district is heavily Democratic (as much as 85% Democratic), it's quite possible that there will be no Republican candidate on the July 30 ballot. That means whoever wins the July 2 Democratic primary will win the seat. But that new incumbent will not sit in that seat for long. A new legislative term is slated to begin on January 6, 2025. The senator who will be sworn in on that date will be the winner of the November 5 election. Both Dora Drake and LaKeshia Myers have circulated nomination papers for the regular election also. So the special election will occur on July 2 and July 30. The election for the next legislature will occur on August 13 (the primary) and November 5. Again, if there is no Republican running in the district, the winner of the August 13 primary will become the next senator representing Senate District 4.

It seems that Wisconsin is the font of much of the sturm und drang bubbling up in our politics. First there's the matter of the fake electors. Four states have indicted these frauds. But not Wisconsin. Still Just Security ("an online forum for the rigorous analysis of security, democracy, foreign policy, and rights") recently published an exposé of the plot. In the settlement of a civil case against the Wisconsin fakes (Penebaker v. Hitt), Just Security "obtained thousands of emails, text messages, and other records from the defendants" that uncover previously unknown features of the scheme. The article focuses on "three major themes exposed by the settlement: (1) the role of James Troupis (a Wisconsin lawyer); (2) the earlier-than-understood origins of the plot, just days after the election itself; and (3) the design of the underlying scheme." The analysis of these documents reveals that the scheme was never designed to be a contingency plan dependent on successful litigation. "On the contrary, this was a premeditated effort to use fraudulent slates of electors to introduce uncertainty and chaos into the Joint Session, no matter what the courts ruled." Read the whole, jaw-dropping account.

Wisconsin also nurtured the strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade. In a New York Times (gifted) article, The Untold Story of the Network That Took Down Roe v. Wade, we learn that days after the 2016 election, at the annual conference of the Federalist Society, "the young solicitor general of Wisconsin, Misha Tseytlin was surprised when he overheard someone say that Roe v. Wade would never be overturned. There was no reason to think overturning Roe was impossible now, Tseytlin believed. Republicans had the White House, an open Supreme Court seat and legislatures passing a flood of laws restricting abortion in states across the country. If there really was no right to abortion in the Constitution, as many at the [conerence] believed, this was the time to prove it. And Tseytlin had an idea of how to do just that."

For the "elite strike force of Christian lawyers, activists and politicians ... the fall of Roe was not an end but a beginning in their effort to make all abortion illegal and, in effect, roll back the sexual revolution." According to the extensive article for which the authors interviewed 350 interviews, Tseytlin developed the strategy that ultimately overturned the 50 year old precedent. The critical elements were having some state adopt a law that would ban abortions many weeks before fetal viability (about 24 weeks) and working to ensure that the US Supreme Court would take the case. Thus the work of undermining Roe began. A mere five years later, the Dobbs decision came down.

Wisconsin seems to be the nursery for extreme, right-wing efforts to entrench power in the hands of the religious right, by providing the architecture for a coup and by removing key elements of our autonomy. Both men and women will feel the bite of abortion bans. Both will experience the life-altering events an unwanted pregnancy will bring. And both will suffer with loved ones whose untreated miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, or in utero fetal death caused by severe abnormalities will lead to life threatening conditions.

So, it's our job to push back. It's our job to expose and to defeat those who would fashion an illiberal world without our consent. Our new maps (see the assembly and senate districts) provide us with a powerful tool to redress the imbalance in our legislature. But we have to do the work. In the coming weeks, candidates will be officially launching their campaigns. In our area, we have several races to support. Amy Washburn and John Zarbano are vying to face off against Glenn Grothmann. Jodi Habush Sinykin will face off against Duey Stroebel, one of the most extreme MAGAites in the Wisconsin senate. Dana Glasstein will face incumbent Paul Melotik in the 22nd Assembly District, a fairly tough race for her.

This week's big ask: find a race and a candidate you can get behind and then volunteer to do something, anything, for that candidate. Texting or calling or emailing other people in the candidate's district. Or volunteering to occasionally drive the candidate to events. Hold a house party. Donate a little money (or a lot: visit our campaign contribution page to make sure you don't overdo it!). Canvass if you can. Hook up with the Democratic organizer in your area: Gilad Palley covers most of the Milwaukee County North Shore communities. For those in Ozaukee County, contact Debra Dassow, chair of the Democratic Party of Ozaukee County, to get directions for the organizer in your area.


Saturday, June 1

Neighborhood Canvasses, 9:00am - 12:00pm, 12:00 - 3:00pm, & 3:00 - 6:00pm

Fox Point, 7632 N Beach Dr, Fox Point.
Mequon, North Shore Country Club, Mequon: 9:00am - 12:00pm & 12:00 - 3:00pm
Shorewood 4516 N Newhall St: 9:00am - 12:00pm & 12:00 - 3:00pm.

Sunday, June 2

Lakefront Canvass, 9:00am - 12:00pm & 12:00 - 3:00pm
3271 N Newhall St, Milwaukee

Come help us recruit new volunteers! Every person counts and we win the election by getting out early to build our network of supporters. We will also engage undecided voters to help persuade them. We need you! 2 hours can make the difference in this election. Sign up.

Monday, June 3

Walk It Out, 9:00am
Washington Park, 1859 N 40th St, Milwaukee

Share the Love, Inc. presents Walk It Out every Monday and Wednesday. Walk into a Healthier Place. Contact Veronica Stanton, 414-791-9468.

Thursday, June 6

Dana Glasstein Campaign Launch, 5:00 - 7:00pm
Art of Joy, W63N664 Washington Ave, Cedarburg

If you live in Cedarburg, Grafton, NW Mequon, or Port Washington – then you want to help elect Dana Glasstein to represent you in the “New AD 22”. Sign up. And donate if you can.

Friday, June 7

Dancing for Democracy, Doors at 6:00pm, Music at 7:00pm
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

The Democratic Party of Milwaukee County presents Dancing for Democracy with the music of Milwaukee's own Superfly. Enjoy the music and help support the Milwaukee Dems. Tickets are $25. Buy them here.

Wear Orange Milwaukee/National Gun Violence Prevention Weekend: Candlelight Vigil, 6:00pm
Safe and Sound, 4422 W Leon Terrace, Milwuakee

Join with WAVE, Safe and Sound, Brady, Moms Demand Action, Milwaukee’s Office of Community Wellness and Safety, and others to support survivors and speak out against gun violence. This year’s events will include a candlelight vigil to honor and remember loved ones taken by gun violence, and a press conference and peace walk to raise awareness and build our community of survivors and advocates.

Saturday, June 8

Wear Orange Milwaukee/National Gun Violence Prevention Weekend: Peace Walk and Press Conference, 10:00am
Safe and Sound, 4422 W Leon Terrace, Milwuakee

Press conference at 10:00 a.m. — Safe Summer pledge signing at 11:00 a.m. — Peace walk at noon.

Glendale Canvass, 12:00 - 3:00pm
6563 N Crestwood Dr, Glendale

Every person counts in this election and we are looking to expand our volunteer base and identify newly registered Democrats so that we can win in November. We are going to be recruiting new volunteers at the doors by speaking with strong democrats. We will also have the chance to have some persuasion conversations with persuadable voters. We need you! Sign up.

Saturday, June 8

Lakefront Canvass, 9:00 - 12:00pm
3271 N Newhall St, Milwaukee

Come help us recruit new volunteers! Every person counts and we win the election by getting out early to build our network of supporters. We will also engage undecided voters to help persuade them. We need you! 2 hours can make the difference in this election. Sign up.

Recruit Volunteers, 12:00 - 3:00pm
3271 N Newhall St, Milwaukee

Come help us recruit new volunteers! Every person counts and we win the election by getting out early to build our network of supporters. We will also engage undecided voters to help persuade them. We need you! 2 hours can make the difference in this election. Sign up.

Tuesday, June 12

Deb Andraca Campaign Kickoff, 5:30 - 7:00pm
Fox Point

Join State Representative Deb Andraca for her Campaign Kick Off with Minority Leader Greta Neubauer, hosted by Bonnie and Leon Joseph. For questions and to RSVP, email [email protected]. You can RSVP and donate online.

Wednesday, June 12

Fundraiser for Jodi Habush Sinykin, 5:00 - 7:00pm
Whitefish Bay

Please join us for a fundraiser in support of Jodi Habush Sinykin. The event is hosted by Kathie Spencer, Mike Fabishak, Jackie Boynton, and Peter McAvoy. Sponsorship levels: Champion - $2000 | Advocate - $1000 | Sponsor - $500 | Friend - $250 | Supporter - $100 | Guest - $50. All contributions appreciated. Please make checks payable to Jodi for State Senate, PO Box 170843, Miwaukee, WI 53217. Or donate online.

Wednesday, June 12

Voter Protection 101 Training, 5:00 - 6:30pm

Join our Wisconsin Voter Protection 101 Training to learn about Wisconsin election law so you can help people exercise their right to vote. We'll cover election law basics, voter registration, and available resources, as well as how you can get involved protecting democracy in your community! Sign up.


Wednesday, June 19

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

Join us at our monthly general meeting, the 3rd Wed of each month at 7 pm at our Grafton Office. Get caught up on the latest local politics while helping us elect people to office. Thanks to Fair Maps, we have an opportunity to elect people to the 22, 23, and 59 Assembly Districts as well as the 8th and 20th Senate Districts. Zoom links for the meeting are sent to paid DPOC members.

Thursday, June 20

Discussion with Author Dominic Erdozain,, 12:00pm

Join WAVE Educational Fund for an author discussion with Dominic Erdozain about his new book, One Nation Under Guns. Erdozain is a writer and historian with a passion for bringing the past into dialogue with the present. Erdozain has written widely on the intellectual origins of democracy and has published opinion pieces for CNN, placing America’s gun problem in a broader philosophical context. A graduate of Oxford and Cambridge, he is currently a visiting professor at Emory University. Register for free in advance to receive a link the day of the event.

Sunday, June 23

Stand for Women's Rights, noon - 1:30pm
Mequon & Port Washington Roads, Mequon

The 2nd Pro-Women's Rights Demonstration is June 23. Join "We Stand for Women's Rights," a grassroots group of people who want to amplify the message that women's rights are on the ballot this fall. Meet at Einstein Bagels in Mequon and walk to the corner of Mequon and Port Washington Roads. The first rally was a great success. We invite you to participate in the action. Sign up here.

Wednesday, June 26

WAVE: Annual Peace Through Music Benefit, 7:00pm
Linneman's Riverwest Inn, 1001 E Locust St, Milwaukee

John Lennon songs performed live by Sigmund Snopek, John Sieger, Electric Blu and more. Plus, there will be an amazing silent auction with items donated by local businesses like Adventure Rock, Irish Fest, Wy'east Pizza, Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers, Tosa Yoga Center, Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee Film, Float Milwaukee, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Rocket Baby Bakery, Milwaukee County Parks, and so many others! The $10 cover charge at the event is a donation to benefit WAVE Educational Fund and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. If you cannot attend you can still support our work at WAVE to prevent gun violence.

Saturday, June 29

Neighborhood Canvasses, 9:00am - 12:00pm, 12:00 - 3:00pm, 3:00 - 6:00pm

Fox Point, 7632 N Beach Dr, Fox Point.
Shorewood, 4516 N Newhall St.
Glendale, 6563 N Crestwood Dr.
Shorewood, 4516 N Newhall St.

Sunday, June 30

Neighborhood Canvasses, 9:00am - 12:00pm, 12:00 - 3:00pm, 3:00 - 6:00pm

Fox Point, 7632 N Beach Dr, Fox Point.
Glendale, 6563 N Crestwood Dr.
Lakefront, 4516 N Newhall St.

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