only one week to go!
As you are probably aware by now, Tom Nelson, Alex Lasry, and Sarah Godlewski all dropped out of the race for the nomination for US Senate last week. All of them have endorsed Mandela Barnes. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin then endorsed Barnes too, in effect clearing the field for him ahead of the August 9 primary. Following suit, Grassroots North Shore has enthusiastically endorsed Mandela. But lest you think this development lets you off the hook, think again. There are a LOT of contested races on your ballot and those races need your considered vote. (See our election information pages to learn about all the candidates in these races.) Even uncontested races — like the one for Governor Evers and the one for Attorney General Josh Kaul — still need your love and attention. That goes double for Barnes where there are still four other candidates who have not dropped out. And indeed all eight names, including the three who have now stepped aside, will appear on your ballot!
If you have voted already, either by absentee ballot or early in-person, and have cast your ballot for one of the candidates who has now endorsed Barnes, you can rescind your earlier vote and submit a new ballot. Here's the NPR account of how to do it. "To void a ballot, voters need to contact their local clerk, either in person or by sending a message through the mail or email. Once the clerk's office receives the request and locates the returned ballot, their office writes 'spoiled' at the top and makes a small tear in the envelope to ensure the ballot is not counted. After the original ballot is spoiled, the office will issue a new absentee ballot. The deadline for spoiling an absentee ballot by mail is August 4 at 5 p.m. To spoil a ballot in person, the deadline is August 7."
In a reprise from last week's newsletter, here are some primary election reminders. Tuesday, August 9 is Election Day. But you can vote early all this week in your city/village clerk's office. In the 'burbs and Oz County, early voting runs through Friday, August 5. Our early in-person voting page will provide you with dates/times and contact information for North Shore and Ozaukee County clerks. For the city of Milwaukee, there are four early voting locations. Early voting hours run through Saturday, August 6. So, make a plan. And VOTE.
Speaking of the upcoming election, Milwaukee still needs election inspectors (aka poll workers). Go to the Election Inspector page of the Milwaukee Election Commission ASAP. And then sign up for the virtual training — the last one before the primary — on Saturday, August 6 at 9:30am. (You'll get the link for the training session after you apply.)
While you focus on election matters this week and next, take some time for some fun! The Ozaukee County Fair runs from August 3-7. Visit the Oz Dems at the Ozaukee County Fair. Have fun completing the Scavenger Hunt for the fair! Meet local and state politicians and find out more about our local DPOC group. The fair runs from 10am Wednesday, August 3, to 8pm on Sunday, August 7. The Wisconsin State Fair, at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, runs from Thursday, August 4, through Sunday, August 14. Its hours of operation are Sunday – Wednesday: 10am – 10pm; Thursday – Saturday: 10am – midnight. Lots of fun, lots of good eats. And don't forget to stop by the Milwaukee County Democrats' booth and pick up some swag.
Coming attractions: The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors recently approved two resolutions for advisory referendums to appear on the November 8 ballots in the county. One would advise banning military-style weapons and the other would legalize marijuana for personal use while regulating the sales and also raising some revenue by taxing the sales. I've put the exact language on our website.
Say NO to RoJo
COVID-19 is still very much with us. So here's a little trip through Senator Ron Johnson's various FALSE takes on its seriousness and how to treat it.
December 6, 2021: "On a December 1 episode of the Brian Kilmeade Show on Fox Radio, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) suggested that Anthony Fauci, MD had “overhyped” AIDS and was doing something similar with Covid-19. Yes, that AIDS, the infectious disease that has killed an estimated 37.7 million people around the world. And that Covid-19, which has already killed over 785,000 people in the U.S since the beginining of the ongoing pandemic." In mid-2022, the number of people who have officially died from COVID-19 is 1.03 million!
January 26, 2022: "We’ve heard story after story. All these athletes dropping dead on the field" after taking the vaccine.
May 5, 2022: "Johnson said the way 'we've handled COVID has been a miserable failure.' Among those he criticized were 'Big Pharma, big media, big tech giants,' and doctors who 'don't want to admit that the vaccine they were pushing on their patients are injuring them, potentially killing them.'"
Of course, all three claims are utter bunk. Keeping yourself and your loved ones out of a hospital or a morgue is worth two vaccine shots and two booster shots. So if you haven't completed the series by now, get on it.
breaking summertime news
Over the past week, the news has been breaking at a furious pace, considering that we're in the middle of summer! Locally, we learned yesterday that Tom Nelson, County Executive of Outagamie County, has dropped out of the race for the Democratic Party's nomination for US Senate. His name, of course, remains on the ballot for the August primary. But if you were planning to vote for him, choose one of the other seven candidates!
The Marquette Law School June poll on races in Wisconsin finds close races in the Senate and Governor primaries and in the November elections. You can also watch a video of Charles Franklin discussing the results. For a different look at the US Senate race in Wisconsin, you can read "Race to the WH."
Marquette recently produced a poll that tries to measure the impact of the Supreme Court's abortion decision and another measuring approval of the Court. Those last two polls were taken in July using a national sample of voters, not just those in Wisconsin.
In case you missed the prime time hearing on Thursday, July 21, you can see highlights at the Washington Post. You can see the complete hearing on YouTube. There are a lot of riveting details in the whole thing. The outtakes from speech The Former Guy (TFG) gave on January 7 are clear indications of his mental state. But the most hilarious (or Hawley-rious) bit is watching Senator Hawley run from the "peaceful demonstrators" — Hawleyng ass, if you will.
Yesterday, Congresswoman Elaine Luria, a member of the January 6 Select Committee, released another video on Twitter showing revisions TFG made to his January 7 speech. The video seems to have been prepared for the July 21 hearing but was simply left out because of time constraints. The clip includes members of his inner circle and his family testifying to TFG's refusal to say that the election was over or that his StormTrumpers should be prosecuted for breaking the law. The clip runs a little more than 3.5 minutes. And it is damning.
In momentous news, Marc Short, former Vice President Pence's chief of staff, confirmed that he has testified in front of a federal grand jury investigating the January 6 insurrection. His testimony is, of course, shrouded in secrecy so we cannot know what he was asked or what he said. But pundits are speculating that it's a big development not least because it reveals that the Justice Department has moved beyond trying those who invaded the Capitol to investigating those who were members the White House's inner circle. According to the New York Times, Greg Jacob, Pence's top lawyer, was also subpoenaed and testified in the federal criminal inquiry. "The testimony of the two Pence aides marked the first time it has become publicly known that figures with firsthand knowledge of what took place inside the White House in the tumultuous days before the attack have cooperated with federal prosecutors."
Meanwhile, in Georgia, there was a strange development in the criminal case Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is pursuing. In what may turn out to be a relatively minor digression, the judge overseeing the special grand jury Willis is using ruled that she cannot investigate one of the fake electors because he is the GOP nominee for Lieutenant Governor and she hosted a fundraiser for a Democrat seeking to become the party's nominee for that position in a run-off primary. Apparently, State Senator Burt Jones will have to be investigated by another prosecutor. Here's the New York Times's account. DA Willis will still be able to probe Mr. Jones's role in the scheme to send a phony slate of electors to the Vice President and the National Archives by asking other fake electors and GOP officials about his actions.
Politico reports that "six weeks into the committee’s public hearing schedule, an emerging consensus is forming in Republican Party circles — including in Trump’s orbit — that a significant portion of the rank-and-file may be tiring of the non-stop series of revelations about Trump." And Jennifer Rubin, a former Republican and a current opinion author at the Washington Post, thinks that "more Republicans are dumping Trump. But the GOP still imperils democracy." She goes on to note that even if prominent Republican rags like the Murdoch-owned NY Post and the Wall Street Journal are dumping Trump, "it’s arguably more important for Republican politicians to be warriors for Christian nationalism and generators of racial grievance than Trump apologists." She concludes: "So while it’s true that some Republicans are moving on from Trump, his two legacies — authoritarianism and ethno-nationalism — still dominate the GOP. The threat to pluralistic democracy remains."
Finally, some primary election reminders. Tuesday, August 9 is election day. But you can begin voting TODAY in your city/village clerk's office. Early voting runs through Friday, August 5. Our early in-person voting page will provide you with dates/times and contact information for North Shore and Ozaukee County clerks. For the city of Milwaukee, there are four early voting locations and early voting hours on Saturday July 30, Sunday July 31, and Saturday, August 6. So, make a plan. And VOTE.
And one more thing: the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County is looking for volunteers to staff their booth at the State Fair. The Democratic Party of Ozaukee County is looking for volunteers to staff their booth at the Ozaukee County Fair. Voting is super important, but showing up for party duty (and fun) helps the cause too.Read more
It's time to VOTE
It's time to make sure you have a plan to vote in the August 9 primary. It's usually a low-turnout election but with so many important offices on the ballot, we can't afford to sit it out. When more people vote in a primary, the winning candidates represent a broader swathe of the voting public and are therefore likely to have greater appeal to general election voters. So do your part. BE A VOTER!
You cannot use a drop box to return your ballot. Plan to put it in the mail by August 2 or drop it off in your city/village clerk's office. Make sure you and a witness sign the certification envelop and that the witness includes a full address on the envelop. Voters who need help returning a ballot can have a spouse or friend put it in a mailbox. BUT a spouse or friend cannot take the ballot to the city/village clerk for you.
Early In-Person Voting:
Be sure you take your photo ID to the clerk's office when you go to vote. Business hours can vary from one city/village to another. You can visit our Elections 2022 page for early in-person voting to find the days, times, and phone number for clerks' offices across the North Shore and the southern half of Ozaukee County. For the city of Milwaukee, check the days, times, and places for early voting on the website for the Milwaukee Election Commission.
August 9, Election Day:
Polling places have a habit of moving around! Before you set out to vote, check to make sure you know where your polling place is for the primary at MyVote.WI.gov. You can also see a sample of the ballot for your specific location. Remember that Assembly District lines were redrawn after the 2020 census. That has made a difference for all residents of Shorewood and Glendale and some residents of Brown Deer and Milwaukee.
Our Elections 2022 pages have you covered. The links from the main page take you to the pages for each race: US Senate; Governor; Lieutenant Governor; Attorney General; Secretary of State; Treasurer; Assembly Districts 10, 23, 24 & 60; and Congressional District 4. (There is no Democrat running for Congressional District 6.) We also have a modest amount of information about candidates running for Milwaukee Count Sheriff.
Would you like a yard sign for Governor Evers? We have some in various locations. To get one, send email to the person listed for your area to arrange a pick-up.
- Shorewood: Paul Geenen;
- Shorewood: Norma Gilson;
- Whitefish Bay: Shirley Horowitz;
- Glendale: Cheryl Maranto;
- Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point: Eilene Stevens;
- Ozaukee County: Kath Michel.
Also, the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County has yard signs for other Democratic candidates in our area. You can pick them up at the office, 2999 S. Delaware Ave in Milwaukee, during office hours: M - F 10am - 7pm and Saturdays from 9am - 1pm. You might want to call ahead to check on which signs are available: (414) 269-9287.
Finally, here are two Save the Date announcements for Town Halls from WISN 12 in collaboration with University of Wisconsin-Madison and Nō Studios:
- On Monday, August 1, 2022, from 7:00pm - 8:00pm, the Town Hall will include Republican candidates in the primary election for Wisconsin governor. Former Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, businessman Tim Michels, and Wisconsin State representative Timothy Ramthun (R) Kewaskum are invited to take part in the town hall. Grassroots North Shore supporters might want to tune in to check out the competition!
- On Tuesday, August 2, from 6:30pm - 8:00pm, the Town Hall features the Democratic candidates for the state’s U.S. Senate primary election: Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, Milwaukee Bucks Senior Vice President Alex Lasry, Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.
If you want, you can submit questions for the candidates.
And a coda: As you probably already know, the January 6 Select Committee will hold another hearing on Thursday, July 21, beginning at 7pm CDT. Because Chairman Bennie Thompson announced that he has COVID-19, Vice Chair Liz Cheney will helm the meeting. It promises to be a doozy. I'm sure most major news outlets will be airing it live. Tune in.
one month to primary day
So that I can watch Tuesday morning's January 6 Committee hearing at 9am CDT, I am writing this intro to the Events list on Monday afternoon. (You can watch the hearings live at MSNBC, CBS, the New York Times website, the Washington Post website and probably a lot of other channels.) So the news won't be quite so up-to-date. But there have been some important developments since last week's newsletter, not least of which is the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that voters MAY NOT USE DROP BOXES to return absentee ballots. All absentee ballots can be returned to the village/city clerk's office during business hours OR ballots can be sent by US Mail. Disabled voters can have a spouse or a friend put their absentee ballots in a mailbox for them, but the spouse or friend cannot hand-deliver a disabled voter's ballot to the village/city clerk.
In essence the 114-page opinion and Justice Hagedorn's concurrent opinion simply stressed that the Wisconsin Elections Commission had exceeded its authority when it approved the use of drop boxes for ballots as one of many measures to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic. If you think this ruling is silly — after all, absolutely no voter fraud occurred with drop boxes in 2020 — you're clearly not a MAGA Republican. According to an article in Talking Points Memo today, Trump And Co. Seize On Wisconsin Ruling As PROOF 2020 Election Was Rigged. TFG was first in line to make the false claim. Read the piece for yourself so I don't have to quote his ridiculous words.
You can still request an absentee ballot at MyVote.WI.Gov but you need to take care of this matter ASAP. You'll want to put ballots in the mail no later than August 2 to ensure that they arrive before 8pm on Election Day. Early in-person voting takes place on weekdays from July 26 through August 5. Check our webpage for exact dates and times for your municipality.
In the spirit of the exhortation to organize instead of agonizing, let's all do more than moan! Grassroots North Shore has a number of activities taking place now to get out the vote for the August 9 primary. And a good turnout is tremendously important. The winner of a contested primary should appeal to the broadest group of voters, but only that's really only possible when we see a great turnout, as we did in elections in 2018 and again in 2020. Strong turnout translates to stronger candidates! Here are the actions you should sign up for this summer:
- Phoning the 3300 postcard recipients in Ozaukee County, undertaken from home and on your own time;
- Distributing literature to strong Democratic women in Bayside, Brown Deer, and Fox Point beginning on July 18 and running through July 31;
- Canvassing in Fox Point on July 16 & 23;
- Canvassing in Glendale on July 17;
- Canvassing in Shorewood on July 23 and 30.
We have yard signs for Governor Evers we'd like to place in visible and high-traffic areas. If that describes your location, here's how to get one. Send email to the person listed for your area to make arrangements to get a sign.
- Shorewood: Paul Geenen;
- Shorewood: Norma Gilson;
- Whitefish Bay: Shirley Horowitz;
- Glendale: Cheryl Maranto;
- Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point: Eilene Stevens;
- Ozaukee County: Kath Michel.
And a reminder that our website hosts a lot of candidate information and links so that you can be a well-informed voter in the primary. Many of the nominations are contested. Those for Governor and Attorney General are not. But the US Senate, Lieutenant Governor, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State are. The new Assembly District 10 now includes all of Glendale and Shorewood. So voters there will need to decide which candidate to back for an open seat. And Brown Deer is now (mostly) in Assembly District 23, ably represented by Deb Andraca, who is running unopposed on the Democratic side but who needs your votes now also. Farther north, Bob Patterson is taking on Dan Knodl in the 24th Assembly District and Dan Larsen is bravely taking on Robert Brooks in the 60th Assembly District. If you live in one of these districts, you should visit our page for Assembly races.
Let's end today's newsletter with a little hopeful sign for us lefties and normal folks: Candidate challenges, primary scars have GOP worried about Senate chances, exclaims the Washington Post. GOP "success in the fight for the evenly divided Senate and in gubernatorial races, where candidate quality and the unique political contours of each state tend to factor into the outcome, are less of a sure thing..." than the weak political environment for Democrats made it seem. So here in Wisconsin, be sure to vote for the strongest candidate we have to beat RoJo in November!
Anger begets ORGANIZING!
Aside from the continuing coverage of Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimony to the January 6 Select Committee last week (highlights), the news has been a little light ahead of the July 4 holiday. Except of course that Highland Park, Illinois, held a 4th of July parade that was disrupted by a mass shooting, one that has killed at least six people and seriously wounded at least 24. A suspect has been detained but not yet indicted. Three other mass shooting events had already taken place in Illinois since last Friday. There have been several more across the country. We can't say that these latest atrocities stem from the recent US Supreme Court ruling that authorizes virtually anyone to carry a loaded firearm anywhere, but the ruling doesn't help quell such violence either.
There's plenty to sigh and roll your eyes about in Wisconsin, but the latest ruling from our Wisconsin Supreme Court deserves a special shoutout. The conservatives ruled that Frederick Prehn could remain on the Department of Natural Resources Board even though his term expired more than a year ago. Prehn claimed that he could remain until the Wisconsin Senate confirmed his replacement — which they are refusing to do for an Evers's appointment. The Republicans seem to be following the Mitch McConnell playbook — refusing to seat President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court but then rushing through The Former Guy's (TFG's). In his Milwaukee Urban editorial on the subject, Matt Rothschild, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, explains how the State Supreme Court ruling reinforces gerrymandering.
And in case you missed it, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel informs us that the Gableman "investigation" has lasted a year, has cost taxpayers $1 million, and has turned up NOTHING. Here's what the July 2, 2022, report offered:
Lawmakers did not receive any recommendations from Gableman before wrapping up their work for the year. And the review has turned up little information not previously known, and has not found evidence showing the 2020 election outcome was incorrectly called."
In a delicious irony, the TFG is going after other grifters, the Washington Post reports. It seems he disapproves of other people using deceptive email and advertising to raise funds using his name and/or image. "While being known for his own false and misleading emails, Trump faces armies of unaffiliated fundraisers who ape his message and sometimes threaten Republicans in Trump’s name," reads the subhead. The article provides juicy examples of his own deceptions. I'm especially fond of this one: "In one small example on Friday, a text message to Trump’s fundraising list began, 'LIVE FROM MAR-A-LAGO! Pres Trump: It’s me, your FAVORITE President.' But Trump is not at Mar-a-Lago, having moved for the summer to his golf club in Bedminster, N.J." There are lots of giggle-filled moments in the piece but one seriously important one: "The problem has become more acute in recent months as small-dollar donations to Republican Party efforts have fallen, a trend strategists blame both on donors having less disposable income because of inflation and on their fatigue with the relentless fundraising appeals." Enjoy.
Let me end with important ACTION ITEMS.
On Friday, July 15, we're holding a brief training in how to use an online tool — MiniVAN — to aid in voter contact. You can download the app either from the Apple Store or from Google Play, depending on what kind of tablet or smart phone you have. The training will take place in Cheryl Maranto's back yard. To get the exact address, sign up to attend.
We need people to make phone calls to follow up on the 3300 postcards we've already sent to strong Democratic women in Ozaukee County. These are easy, friendly calls to make. And if no one answers, we can often leave a voicemail and/or send a text message to a cell phone. These calls aim to encourage people to vote. Please reach deep and sign up!
Voter protection, as I noted last week, is more important than ever as GOP interference with elections threatens to ramp up. You can help by filling out a general interest form for becoming a poll observer. You should also check out upcoming Voter Protection events. The Voter Protection Team is hosting three events in the next few days:
- Saturday, July 9, 11am - 2pm: Weekend of Action August Election Recruitment Phonebank;
- Saturday, July 9, 11am - 1pm: Weekend of Action Textbank;
- Monday, July 11, 6pm: Voter Assistance Hotline Training.
For those of you planning to contact voters by phone or in person, it's really worth your while to attend one of the Research Collaborative Briefings online, Wednesdays, 2pm CDT. Sign up to learn about evidence-based messaging!
Sad. Angry. DETERMINED!
Friday's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade has left many people angry and demoralized. The anger is righteous, but we cannot afford despair. Read Rebecca Traister's article The Necessity of Hope In New York Magazine for inspiration and direction.
A New England Journal of Medicine editorial is a blockbuster. It ends with this paragraph: “By abolishing longstanding legal protections, the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade serves American families poorly, putting their health, safety, finances, and futures at risk. In view of these predictable consequences, the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine strongly condemn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.”
Governor Evers spoke strongly in his response to the immediate resumption of an 1849 law banning abortion in Wisconsin. Here's Channel 3000 in Madison coverage: "Gov. Tony Evers said he will grant clemency to any abortion providers who are convicted under the state’s 1849 abortion ban, during a rally Saturday ahead of the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention in La Crosse."
And here's a quotation from Governor Evers published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online on June 25, 2022: "I don’t think that a law that was written before the Civil War, or before women secured the right to vote, should be used to dictate these intimate decisions on reproductive health."
In spite of everything, Grassroots North Shore must persevere. And as I remind you frequently, the organization cannot continue to do its work without you. One thing you can do to help: make a donation to support our election work.
Just a reminder: absentee ballots for the August 9 primary are being sent out already. I received mine on June 25! But it's not too late to request one at MyVote.WI.gov. COVID-19 is not the only or even the chief reason to vote absentee or early in person (see info about early voting). One vital thing you can do voting absentee or early allows you to do: apply to be a poll worker (i.e., an election inspector). In Milwaukee County, residents can find the qualifications and an online application at the Election Commission. In Ozaukee County and elsewhere, check with your municipal clerk. (Find contact information on our website.)
Just as important: Voter Protection. The Voter Protection Team for the Wisconsin Dems sends out a newsletter listing volunteer opportunities:
- answering voter's questions on a hotline (use the "contact the organization" button to send email inquiring about the possibility);
- making phone calls to recruit people to help protect voters;
- becoming a poll observer (at a polling place on election day).
Getting out in force to protect voters has never been so important, given what the GOP is doing to undermine elections at local, state, and federal levels. Here's what we know about GOP plans in an article by Heidi Przybyla on June 1, 2022: ‘It’s going to be an army’: Tapes reveal GOP plan to contest elections. "Video recordings of Republican Party operatives meeting with grassroots activists provide an inside look at a multi-pronged strategy to target and potentially overturn votes in Democratic precincts: Install trained recruits as regular poll workers and put them in direct contact with party attorneys." We need to help protect voters and that means stepping up to do our part in these crucial elections.
Another way to turn out voters is to participate in voter registration at MATC in the fall with the American Federation of Teachers Local 212, representing the faculty of MATC. We need volunteers. We are in need of volunteers to help students register to vote at all four campuses. We will be conducting registration from 11:00-1:00 several days of week from the end of August through election day. Part of the role is to help students understand the importance of voting as well. We are asking volunteers to pick one or maybe two days per week to help. We understand that some weeks you might not be there but it is easier to coordinate if we have you on a specific day. If you are interested or have questions contact Dave Weingrod.
Say No to RoJo
My Goodness! Does Senator Ron Johnson prevaricate?
Here's a brief account of a string of events that began with last Thursday's January 6 hearings: Ron Johnson now says he helped coordinate effort to pass false elector slates to Pence, but his new explanation drew a quick rebuke.
"After initially claiming to be 'basically unaware' of an effort by his staff to get fake presidential elector documents to Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Thursday he coordinated with a Wisconsin attorney to pass along such information.... [He] acknowledged he coordinated with Dane County attorney Jim Troupis and his chief of staff by text message that morning to get to Pence a document Troupis described as regarding 'Wisconsin electors'" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 23, 2022).
A glimmer of welcome news? A Politico article June 26, 2022, is headlined "Trump fatigue sets in: ‘Some donors are getting sick of the sh--show'." "As the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots lays out Donald Trump’s obsessive efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Trump allies have responded with the political equivalent of a collective eye roll." The SCOTUS decisions on gun safety, abortion, and religion in public schools haven't helped either. Here's the Daily Kos roundup of weekend polls on the impact of the Dobbs decision: Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The fallout continues as the GOP's regressive plan comes into focus.
Bottom line: We need every Democrat, Independent, and disaffected Republican — all those who support women's rights — to elect Democrats at all levels to mitigate the damage that the GOP plans to do to the social fabric of this country. We're counting on you to help us get all like-minded voters to the polls in August and November. And to support our election work. We're the majority. We need to act like it and win like it!
Finally, I want to leave you with a view of our political present and future by Ronald Brownstein in The Atlantic, June 24, 2022:
The whole article is worth a read.Read more
How we're getting ready
The January 6 Committee hearings continue today at noon CDT, but there are plenty of places to read about the three that have already occurred and to catch a recap of today's action on MSNBC beginning at 7pm CDT. So this week's newsletter is focused on what Grassroots North Shore and other organizations are undertaking ahead of the August 9 primary.
We've all but completed our candidate information for the upcoming election. In our Elections 2022 section, we provide links to online information for each candidate in each race — including Governor Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Assembly Districts 10, 23, 24, and 60. Plus, of course, US Senate and the 4th Congressional District. In contested races, we also provide a questionnaire with candidates' responses. In addition, we provide information on early in-person voting and videos of candidate interviews. We hope you will use these materials to become a well-informed voter. And of course that you will vote in the August 9 election.
In addition to the candidate information we provide in our Elections 2022 section, there's a recording of Kathleen Dunn interviewing the top four candidates for the nomination for US Senate. If you missed it or simply want to review it, you can find it on our YouTube site.
You can still request an absentee ballot at MyVote.WI.gov for the August and November elections. If you live in Milwaukee County — and you vote absentee by mail or early in person at your municipal clerk's office — you can sign up to be an election inspector in the county. (By the way, we're still waiting for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule on the use of drop boxes and whether someone can deliver a ballot to your mailbox or your municipal clerk for you. Stay tuned.) The Milwaukee Election Commission needs 1,500 election inspectors for the fall primary on Tuesday, August 9th, and 2,500 for the General Election on Tuesday, November 8th. New and returning election inspectors must take a training class. They will be paid $30.00 to take the class. Election inspectors will be paid a $220 stipend for working a full shift and $113 for working a half shift on Election Day. It's just one of the ways you can help Wisconsin vote! You can find information about qualifications and apply online.
We're already sending out 3300 postcards contacting voters in the hard-to-canvass areas of Ozaukee County and will be sending material to people who now find themselves in Assembly District 10 after the redistricting required every ten years. As the August election nears, we will be making phone calls, dropping literature, and knocking on doors. We'd love to have your help. So stay tuned for specific volunteer opportunities with Grassroots North Shore.
Among our ambitions around the November election, we plan to do what we can to support Ann Roe who is running for Congress in the 1st Congressional District (encompassing much of southeast Wisconsin). The district is winnable: it's one of two truly competitive congressional districts in this election cycle. Those of you who have wanderlust or happen to be in the district at some point ought to consider pitching in. You can find Ann's website here.
Right now, Supermarket Legends is running voter registration drives at two DMVs: the Chase Street locale and the one on Teutonia. Volunteers have been at the DMVs for many weeks, and no one has reported getting COVID. Volunteers wear masks, so the organization feels this is a COVID-safe activity. They need more volunteers to fill all the shifts daily. Please consider volunteering for a two- or three-hour shift. Supermarket Legends will provide training and you will work with someone. They have a real impact at the DMVs as people registered to vote are more likely to vote, and turnout will be key in the midterms. To volunteer, contact Jim Balk.
On a bittersweet note, WAVE (Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort) has announced that it's longtime program director Heidi Rose is retiring this week. In her role as program director, Heidi has done so much. Her work has touched (and even saved) countless lives in Wisconsin and beyond. She is truly irreplaceable. Those of you who know her and/or been involved with WAVE may want to honor her. Contact the organization for more information.
As for the investigation of the long-decided 2020 presidential election in our state, there was an interesting development this month. As WisPolitics reported: Judge fines Gableman, refers him to OLR for ‘unprofessional behavior.’
Judge Frank Remington also referred Gableman to the Office of Lawyer Regulation to review what he referred to as the former justice’s “unprofessional behavior.” Among other things, Remington wrote in yesterday’s order Gableman made misogynistic comments about a fellow attorney.
Finally, let me leave you with Paul Waldman's profound insight into where the Republican Party is right now: "When [Republicans] say they fear for democracy’s survival, what they’re afraid of is the idea that we might continue to have a competitive system, in which elections are contested, sometimes Democrats win, and when they do, they get to implement their policies." We have to defeat the Republican Party at every level of government. I hope we can count on your vote in August. And your volunteer efforts!Read more
The focus of this week's newsletter is, of course, the January 6 Select Committee hearings. If you missed the opening hearing last Thursday evening, you can see it on PBS's website (beginning at 1:06) or see key bits and a written account in the New York Times. The second hearing, on Monday, June 13, is available online starting at about 19:30, in case you missed that one.
The first hearing provided an overview of the whole case and included a 7-point plan the former guy used to try to steal power. You can read a synopsis of it on Talking Points Memo. The second hearing focused on the number of times the cast of White House and campaign officials repeatedly told the ex-president that the election was not stolen, there was no widespread voter fraud, and the voting machinery did not "flip" votes from him to President Biden. Former US District Attorney Joyce Vance, commenting on MSNBC, noted that the lies tRump kept issuing and still issues will not provide an adequate defense in a criminal court because he exhibits what is known as "willful blindness." You can read a slightly different version of the same idea in an op-ed piece by Jennifer Rubin, a former Republican, in the Washington Post this morning.
The schedule and guide to how to watch is available with the caveat that the hearing originally scheduled for Wednesday, June 15, has been postponed for technical reasons and has not, as of this writing, been rescheduled.
And in case you missed the big local news last week, a judge finds Michael Gableman's office in contempt during tense court appearance in which the former justice refused to respond to questions."
On Sunday, June 5, Grassroots North Shore sponsored a forum with the four top candidates for the Democratic nomination for US Senate. Watch it on YouTube.Read more
the hearings are here!
The first hearing of the January 6 Select Committee will take place Thursday, June 9, in prime time at 7pm CDT. Even if you think you already know enough about the previous administration's numerous efforts to stay in power illegitimately, it's absolutely MUST SEE TV. Why? Because like the Watergate hearings 50 years ago, these hearings promise to weave a riveting, coherent, and above all comprehensive narrative tying together all the numerous strands and major participants and showing what Liz Cheney believes is an "extremely broad..." and "well-organized" conspiracy that took place over months.
There are numerous ways to watch. The Washington Post is reporting that ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and CNN will all air the proceedings in full. "The Washington Post will have anchored coverage and analysis beginning Thursday night on www.washingtonpost.com. Whether you watch at home or join with others, make a plan to see the whole thing.
Carlene Bechen and the Oregon Area Progressives are hosting a watch party. Although the Zoom is fully subscribed, the event will also be in a live stream on Facebook. Watching with others adds to the fun!
The primary election is coming up fast. And there are several things you need to do to prepare.
Make a plan to vote:
- request an absentee ballot for the August 9 primary and the November 8 general election at MyVote.WI.gov;
- or plan to vote early in person, beginning no later than July 26 and ending on August 5 (consult our early in-person voting page for community-specific information);
- inform yourself about the candidates in every race on our Elections 2022 pages;
- meet and greet some of the key candidates in our area at Virmond Park in Ozaukee County from 4pm to 6pm on Sunday, June 12 (drop in any time during the event).
Voting may be the most important action you can take for every election. But it is definitely not the only thing you can or perhaps should do to help safeguard our elections. The Milwaukee County Election Commission is soliciting Election Inspectors, also called poll workers (for people who live in Milwaukee County).
This online form also contains information about training classes. Every returning Election Inspector needs to take a refresher training this summer or in the fall. We will offer in-person and virtual options. Please use the online form to sign up for a class.
Assignment emails will be sent in July.
Election Inspectors will be paid a $220 stipend for working a full shift and $113 for working a half shift on Election Day. Chief Inspectors will be paid a $325 stipend for a full day shift. They will also be paid $30 for the training class. The Election Commission will continue to provide PPE supplies like KN95 masks for Election Inspectors, surgical masks for voters, face shields, surface disinfectant and hand sanitizer.
If you have any additional questions, please contact us by sending email or by calling us at 414-286-3491.
Help make elections in Milwaukee County run smoothly if you can.
While we're talking election information, I want to alert you to some important information in this year of redistricting. Although many people won't notice any changes to their electoral districts, it's important to know what happened, why it happened, and where those who have been moved finally landed. Cheryl Maranto and Deborah Patel are offering a series of "Know Your District" meetings. For Assembly District 10, sessions will take place on Thursday, June 16, and on Wednesday, July 13, at 7pm. For Assembly District 23, the sessions are Monday, June 20, and Thursday, July 14. For Assembly District 24, the sessions are Tuesday, June 21, and Friday, July 15. All of these programs begin at 7pm. You can sign up here.
Finally, we are sad to announce that Mike Maher, a long-time and active supporter of Grassroots North Shore, has died. The viewing and funeral were last week but you can read his obituary in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Memorial Day approaches
Let's start off with an announcement from the Ozaukee County Democrats: "Exciting news! Our very own Bob Tatterson (24th Assembly) and Dan Larsen (60th Assembly) announced their candidacies for state assembly at this week's Ozaukee Democrats meeting! .... And here's a link to Larsen's nomination form." Be sure you live in the district before signing his nomination papers. And that goes for any nomination papers you sign.
It's really important that the Democrats field candidates in every race. Not only do nominees help get the message out; they really help elect others up and down the ballot. How? They make it more likely that people will turn out to vote. We're going to need every last blue vote we can muster to return Governor Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul to their offices. And we need to elect a new Lieutenant Governor and Treasurer. Plus, the Secretary of State is also on the ballot in the August 9 primary and the fall general election. We need to win all five statewide offices plus the race for US Senate if we want to keep our rights and our democracy from falling into the hands of would-be autocrats.
Behind the scenes, right-wing operatives are ginning up ways to thwart the will of the voters. Here's one you've probably never heard of: a Talking Points Memo/ProPublica article about Jay Stone and his role as Big Lie proponent in Wisconsin.
Last weekend, the Wisconsin GOP held its convention. Can we say Republicans in Disarray? Here's how Urban Milwaukee announced the fact that Republicans failed to endorse a gubernatorial candidate ahead of the August 9 primary. As the article notes, "After a weekend of extreme politics, the race to the bottom for the WisGOP gubernatorial nomination continued at the state convention. It appears that the chaos will not be ending any time soon: the Republican Party of Wisconsin chose not to endorse a single candidate ahead of the primary on August 9." At the same convention Assembly Speaker Robin Vos was booed when he said the 2020 election results cannot be decertified. "We need to focus on going forward," he told the audience. Let chaos reign!
A few more nomination papers have trickled in. To sign any candidate's papers, you must live in the district the candidate is running in. You need to sign nomination papers and get them back in the mail (email and fax won't cut it) ASAP. You can search on your own address to make sure you know what district you're in.
Peter Peckarsky is running for the nomination for US Senate. Because it's a statewide race, you don't need to look up a district map. You can download his nomination papers and send them back by mail (Peckarsky For Wisconsin, 1345 N. Jefferson Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202). In the event of a delay in seeing the papers and snail mail will not be fast enough, please contact the campaign by email ([email protected]) or telephone (414-719-1838) and the campaign will schedule someone to pick up the fully signed papers from you.
Steven Olikara is also running to be the Democrats' US Senate nominee. Here is his nomination form and a Cap Times piece about him. Send nomination forms to Olikara for Senate, P.O. Box 510216,Milwaukee, WI 53203.
- Darrin Madison is running for Assembly District 10. You can help him get on the ballot if you live in the new AD10. (Look up your new voting district here.) Send his nomination papers to 4080 N. 21st St. Apt#4, Milwaukee, WI 53209. Or you can phone or text his campaign and someone can pick them up from you: 414-303-2404 or 414-366-5778. WisPolitics.com published an article about him recently.
You can find others' nomination forms on our Elections 2022 pages.
Say NO to RoJo
Here's an oldie but a goodie op-ed from Urban Milwaukee, December 2020: Paging Dr. Johnson. The article begins "Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson is an impostor pretending to be a health care expert and a U.S. senator. But Johnson is in over his head and oblivious of facts. He is an object of ridicule, even from other Republican senators." Johnson says COVID is similar to “a cold or a normal flu.” He rejects mask mandates and recommends discredited treatments. He also calls the Affordable Care Act “the greatest single threat to my freedom…” and repeats erroneous statements about it.
Even though 1 million Americans have already died from the disease, he's still at it. We MUST defeat him in November. But to do that, we have to vote August 9 to nominate a US Senate candidate who can WIN! Request your absentee ballot at MyVote.WI.gov today! Or plan to vote early in person at your municipal clerk's office. Early voting will begin on July 26. Make a plan and VOTE.
Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend, everyone! I can smell the grilling already.
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