shorter and to the point

Last week the newsletter was late; this week it's early. And that's because I want to make sure you have an opportunity to attend Bob Tatterson's event from 5:30 to 7:00 on Monday, June 26, at SIP MKE (1515 W Mequon Rd, Mequon). You'll find the full description in the first item of the Events list. But you can also RSVP right here.

Also, if you have not yet signed up for To US: A Celebration of our nation's 247th birthday, you should. The event will be held outdoors in Doctors Park (1870 E Fox Lane, Fox Point) on Sunday, July 9 beginning at 3:30pm, and will feature one of Grassroots North Shore's favorite speakers, John Nichols. John is the National Editor for The Nation, Madison Editor of the Capitol Times, author of Dollarocracy and other books, and the Voice of Wisconsin Progressivism. And he always gives us inspiration to carry on the work of educating and persuading voters who care about the future of Wisconsin and the country.

Bob Tatterson will also be on hand and will speak at the birthday event. He's a terrific candidate with a real chance to win in this low, low, low turnout election to be held on July 18. So come out to cheer him on. Please RSVP so we'll know you're coming to the party. Bring a lawn chair and your family and friends.

And speaking of the special election in Assembly District 24, today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel publishes a piece about Tatterson's opponent that reveals his reaction to a costume competition in 2001. The winner wore an Aunt Jemima costume complete with blackface makeup! At the time, Paul Melotik "seemed less than outraged about the whole situation when he was interviewed several days later." When asked about it now, he basically shrugged and said he had noting to do with the Water Street Halloween party, even though at the time he was president of the Water Street Tavern and Restaurant Association, which sponsored the event and provided the $1,000 prize for the winner. At the end of the article, Daniel Bice writes: "At the very least would Melotik acknowledge that it's highly inappropriate for someone to don blackface while dressing up as Aunt Jemima? Nearly everyone agrees with that now, right?" Melotik finally coughs up a yes.

Another event you really shouldn't miss is the North Shore Fair Maps meeting on Monday, July 10, at 7:00pm on Zoom. The featured speaker is David Pepper, former chair of the Ohio Democrats and author of two books on the state of our nation and what we can do about it. The first book, Laboratories of Autocracy explores the ways statehouses have been undermining the democracies they were supposed to nurture. His most recent book, Saving Democracy: A User's Manual for every American, is exactly what the title says. You may have seen him recently on MSNBC discussing his latest. Our wonderful Lieutenant Governor, Sara Rodriguez will also attend the meeting. So sign up.

On the little matter of the fake electors in Wisconsin: in his weekly newsletter to Wisconsin Democrats, Ben Wikler writes: "From a slew of fake electors to the chief election denier himself, election conspiracy theorists were out in full force at the Wisconsin GOP’s convention last weekend, demonstrating that even years after Trump’s loss, the Republican Party is still dominated by the toxic election denialism that is profoundly alienating to Wisconsin voters."

Meanwhile, as our home state MAGAs parade around their state convention, it seems that Jack Smith, the special counsel investigating both the Mar-a-lago documents case and the January 6 case, has ramped the latter investigation. He's granted limited immunity to at least two of the fakes, from Nevada, and is compelling others to testify to the grand jury by the end of this month. CNN Politics notes, "That activity could signal that investigators are nearing at least some charging decisions in a part of the 2020 election probe." Also, the Department of Justice (i.e., Smith) has filed a motion in the documents case requesting that the trial date be set for December 11 this year. The postponement, the motion states, will allow enough time for TFG's lawyers to obtain the necessary levels of security clearance (see this piece in Reuters). And apparently the counsel's office expects the trial to be completed before Christmas.

There's a lot to say about the third party candidates as well as the also-rans in the GOP gearing up their campaigns and I will do a more comprehensive account of them in July. But an important item about Robert Kennedy, Jr., who has already declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination, is in the news right now. A few days ago Rolling Stone published "Pro-RFK Jr. Super PAC Has Deep Ties to Marjorie Taylor Greene, George Santos." The authors note that "There’s nothing abnormal about a candidate getting a Super PAC, even a candidate making a long-shot bid like Kennedy’s. What is abnormal, however, is that Kennedy is running as a Democrat in the Democratic primary, while the creators of the Super PAC have a deeply pro-Donald Trump bent — including ties to arch-MAGA officials such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, George Santos, and Herschel Walker." The article goes on to note: "It’s not just one MAGAfied Super PAC, however, that’s backing Kennedy’s run against President Biden in the Democratic primary. His bid is awash in support from Donald Trump’s allies in MAGA World, conservative media, and some of the Republican-donor elite." The point of this not-so-subtle GOP engagement is to make President Biden look weak by attracting a substantial number of votes during the primaries. Don't fall for it.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July Holiday. I will be home by then but plan to take a one-week vacation from the Grassroots North Shore newsletter. So the next time you hear from me — unless there's another coup in Russia or we're in the path of an oncoming asteroid — will be on Tuesday, July 11.

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summer fun with Grassroots North Shore

I apologize for the late newsletter. I'm currently 'on vacation' and trying to keep up with my 6-year-old grandchild. So I was just too tired yesterday to get to this. But I'm here now!

The Fourth of July is rushing toward us and that means our next Grassroots North Shore event is also coming up quickly. We're holding a celebration for our nation's 247th birthday. In my family, we celebrate important occasions on the correct date if possible, but any nearby date that's convenient will also do. And that's what we're doing — on July 9, beginning at 3:30 at Doctors Part, 1870 E Fox Lane, Fox Point. We'll have cake, of course, but the big deal is what will no doubt be a rousing speech by John Nichols (National Editor for The Nation, Madison Editor of the Capitol Times, author of Dollarocracy and other books, and the Voice of Wisconsin Progressivism). If you've never heard John speak, you're in for a real treat. And if you have, you won't want to miss it. Sign up here.

The event — To US — will also feature Bob Tatterson, our candidate for an open seat for Assembly District 24. It's paramount to win this special election on July 18 to flip the district from its red history to a blue new day. And if we succeed, we will strengthen our ability to thwart MAGA Republicans in our legislature from attacking our fundamental freedoms. So enjoy beverages and birthday cake and spend time with others gathered to make a difference in our state and country. Bring a lawn chair and like-minded friends and family. And celebrate our stunning victory in April and the good work we're going to do together in the upcoming year.

Speaking of Bob Tatterson, he's about to make an order for yard signs and could use some help, both with funding and with distribution of the signs when they arrive. You could also canvass in the district. We'll do our best to pair you with a driver or another canvasser to make the effort faster and more enjoyable. We're only contacting people who are strong Democrats because, in a super low turnout election like this one, the key is turning out Democratic voters. The reports we've heard from the field so far is that few people we contact even know an election is happening! With your help, we can make sure that they know and that they vote.

The legislature looks poised to undermine Wisconsin's upcoming elections by failing to confirm Megan Wolfe to a second term as our election administrator. The election administrator is nominated by the Wisconsin Election Commission and must then be confirmed by the state Senate. For her first term, now ending, she was confirmed unanimously but now, of course, MAGA "politicians who helped sow the seeds of doubt about Wisconsin election results could reset election dynamics in a state pivotal to the 2024 presidential race" (ProPublica, June 15, 2023). If Wolfe is not retained, we will have a new administrator, one who is not as experienced as Wolfe and who might be, as the ProPublica article points out, "a staunch partisan or an election denier, tilting oversight of the state’s voting operations."

If we can be hopeful for a moment though, we might squint and see a slight decline in TFG's standing in his party. On June 15, Daily Kos ran Turns out crime doesn't pay: Trump's fundraising slides by Mark Sumner. It seems that not only did the indictments fail to boost his popularity, "the indictments weren’t even good for Trump when it comes to his wallet. Every time Trump gets in trouble, his well-oiled outrage machine reaches out to his massive email list with a cash ask." Yesterday, CNN reported that "his support has declined, as have positive views of him among Republican and Republican-leaning voters" and that "most Americans approve of Trump’s indictment stemming from his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving office." The poll shows that among independents, Democrats and others outside the Republican party, "these [federal] charges are broadly viewed as disqualifying."

And on that uplifting note, I'll finish with this: please participate in at least one of the activities planned in our area over the next two weeks. Saturday, June 24, is especially replete with postive ways you can voice your concerns and support for a worthy cause, including a NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION with Reproductive Justice Action-Milwaukee at Red Arrow Park. Have a serious look at the Events list.


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not just the indictment

In last week's newsletter, I speculated that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act — the only remaining mechanism in the VRA that could still be used to challenge election maps — would be declared unconstitutional or at least further curtailed. I'm overjoyed to tell you that I was wrong. In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh joined Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, and Jackson in the majority. Because this momentous decision was released Thursday, June 8, it was overshadowed by the announcement that a grand jury had issued an indictment of the former president. NPR had a great account of the decision and what it means for Alabama and for minority communities in other states.

The indictment has dominated the news for days. Tuesday afternoon TRE45ON will be arraigned in Miami. No doubt everything will be obsessively filmed for posterity, including the transportation that brings him to and whisks him away from the court house. He's scheduled to rant that evening at 7:15 CDT from his Bedminster abode. I don't know which news outlets, other than Fox, Newsmax, and OAN, will carry it live. Because the indictment's had such thorough coverage, I'm not going to discuss it today. You can read the pdf of the whole 49-page document. It's meticulous and detailed but still an easy (and enjoyable!) read.

Instead, I want to alert you to an ongoing threat to our next presidential election, a threat almost no one has yet heard of: No Labels, a 501c4 organization aiming to put a third party candidate for president on the ballot in all 50 states and all voting US territories. Reasonable, commonsense, bipartisan governance is the way No Labels presents itself. And that sounds great, doesn't it? But it's a trap that will help elect TFG — a.k.a, the former guy. The organization has produced a map that purports to show how the No Labels nominee will win at least 270 electoral college votes. A memo from another nonprofit group, the Third Way, has written extensively on the effort. See Does No Labels’ Math and Map Get Them to the White House? The answer to the question? In no known universe does this math work. The memo makes a very detailed argument, the gist of which is this:

Their notion of what it will take to win in an average state is fatally flawed. No Labels recently told supporters on a Zoom they intend to get at least 34% of the vote in every one of their 25 top target states to win. But 34% is a winning margin in a three-way race only if the Democrat and Republican each win precisely 33%. Such a photo finish is theoretically possible in some of the closely divided, modern-era swing states. But there are not nearly enough such battlegrounds to get them even a third of the way to 270 electoral votes.

Even more worrying — the Third Way analysis used polling from December 2022 to show that the presence of a No Labels candidate would almost surely syphon enough votes from President Biden, or presumably another Democratic candidate, to elect the putative front runner for the Republican nomination, i.e. that abominable orange man. In an update to their original analysis, Third Way argues that even if the No Labels claim that their candidate would earn 70% of the undecided voters were true (which they are at pains to say it isn't),

their unnamed “moderate independent” still spoils Biden’s re-election, still helps re-elect Trump, and still does not achieve a plurality of the popular vote to win the presidency. This echoes more recent polling from Echelon Insights. They showed that when a named third-party candidate is added (here it’s Sen. Joe Manchin), the vote-share of the third-party candidate only reaches nine percent and leads to a 42%-41% Trump victory over Biden in the three-way race.

Be On the Lookout (BOLO) for much more of this BS as we get closer to the election. As Third Way's memo notes, "History makes clear that the No Labels candidate is unlikely to win even a single state. The most successful third-party candidate since the dawn of the modern two-party system (Teddy Roosevelt) won only six states. And though the seven closest states in 1992 were all decided by less than 2.5 points, Ross Perot won zero of them."

—— Take Action ——

Support Bob Tatterson's run for the open seat in Assembly District 24. Election Day is fast approaching and in a super low turnout election — with nothing else on the ballot and in the middle of high summer fun — he who wins will have turned out more of his voters. So, voter contact is key. Most people in AD 24 are simply unaware that this election is taking place, our phoners and canvassers are reporting. Making strong Democrats aware is leading to more people requesting absentee ballots, or making a plan to vote early in person, or planning to go to the polls on election day. You can pitch in by

All these methods work. But it takes many hands.

Even if you don't live in AD 24, consider attending a fundraiser for Bob on Monday, June 26. It will be held at SIP MKE (1515 W Mequon Rd, Mequon) from 5:30 to 7:00pm. RSVP via Act Blue.

You can strengthen our democracy by volunteering with Supermarket Legends to register voters at one of Milwaukee's 3 DMV's. This is indoors in a safe environment under supervision of DMV management. The Teutonia DMV schedules two-hour shifts weekdays 8:20am - 4:45pm. Mill Road DMV schedules Saturday morning. All training and materials are supplied. The approach is non-partisan. Supermarket Legends provides voter education and encourages voters to use absentee ballots. This is very productive and rewarding work. Contact James Balk.

Vote Forward is launching a new letter writing campaign to encourage voter turnout in Ohio’s August special election. So many reached out to request an Ohio-specific campaign, and we heard you loud and clear. Letters will be available starting this week!

Republican lawmakers in Ohio want to increase the voter approval threshold for constitutional amendments from a simple majority to 60%. Ohioans will have the chance to vote "no" on that proposed change in an August 8 special election.

The impetus for the attempt to make it harder for citizens to amend the constitution by referendum is the MAGA fear that the voters of Ohio will successfully protect access to abortion. If you would like to help defeat the change that would make it harder for voters in Ohio to make a change to the constitution that is responsive to a simple majority, sign up here.

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election problems loom

While we're all holding our breath or crossing our fingers waiting for Special Counsel Jack Smith to indict TFG (see NBC News coverage), we're also waiting for the US Supreme Court to vitiate the remaining section of the Voting Rights Act that still permits aggrieved voters to turn to the federal courts for relief. That opinion, like the indictment, could drop any day now. (See NPR's coverage from October 2022 and an AP story in Daily Kos that also reviews the history of the Court's weakening of the Voting Rights Act.) In this pregnant pause, other important national news is not getting the coverage it deserves.

I want to call your attention to four pieces about how elections in this country are changing. First, Open Secrets — a nonpartisan nonprofit that tracks money in U.S. politics — recently published The nationalization of political contributions and the rising role of out-of-state donations. The piece demonstrates that "federal candidates are increasingly reliant on out-of-state contributions." But it opens with data from the April 4 election in Wisconsin. "Janet Protasiewicz, a liberal, outraised her conservative opponent Daniel Kelly five to one. More than $2.6 million of Protasiewicz’s $14 million fundraising haul came from out-of-state donors." So the percent of her funds from out-of-state remained modest compared to the money she raised in state, from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin as well as from individuals. The point is, though, that even down-ballot races are attracting funds from people who cannot vote for the candidate in question. And it may mean that big dollar donors, like the Uihleins, will dominate races everywhere.

Second, Republican-led states like Texas and Florida "have resigned their membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan data clearinghouse that helps states keep their voter rolls accurate and up-to-date" (New York Times, 6/6/2023). Why is this a problem? It turns out that ERIC is the only "comprehensive, secure and useful database of voter information. That information — drawn from voter rolls, D.M.V. records, Social Security death records and change-of-address data — gets analyzed, matched and compiled into reports that are provided to the states to help them clean up their rolls." Without ERIC, states have no way to communicate and coordinate voter information with each other.

ERIC uses states' information to identify people who have moved, either within a state or to another state, and have not remembered to change their status as a voter in their old location. But recently, MAGA Republicans have begun vilifying ERIC with the usual rhetorical accusations: the program is dominated by the left, funded by George Soros, connected to Democratic Party databases, and so on — none of it true, of course. And the point of the exodus? To allow voting rolls to become bloated and to foster a kind of chaos. That way they can point to poorly maintained voter rolls in their continuing efforts to restrict access to the ballot to shore up "election integrity." And Voila! Bring on more voter suppression.

Third, YouTube has now reversed its policy of preventing certain false "information" about prior elections from circulating on its platform. "YouTube will leave up content that says fraud, errors or glitches occurred in the 2020 presidential election and other U.S. elections" (Election Law Blog, 6/2/2023). The policy removing such content was established in December 2020, but now the company is concerned about squashing campaign speech without having a discernible effect on the threat of violence. The story first appeared in Axios.

This fourth piece returns to the pending Supreme Court decision on a case about racial gerrymandering. Richard Hasan, a constitutional law professor and scholar, and Dahlia Lithwick, a Slate reporter covering the courts and the law, find that There’s Unsettling New Evidence About William Rehnquist’s Views on Segregation. The article shows that, in 1952, Rehnquist seemed to support the infamous reasoning in Plessy v. Ferguson, a case that pronounced the 14th Amendment protected racial equality before the law but could not be the foundation for establishing social equality for Black people. Rehnquist still believed Plessy was correctly decided as late as 1993, when as Chief Justice he wrote a memo to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor saying "The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits discrimination; it does not require integration, and I think it is a mistake to intimate that it does even as a 'goal.'"

Hasan and Lithwick then draw the connection between Rehnquist's views and those of the current conservative justices: "Tragically, Rehnquist’s thinking on the 14th Amendment currently infects the conservative supermajority of the Supreme Court and could have devastating consequences for the end of this term." The piece concludes, "In short, Rehnquist consistently contended—and the current Supreme Court majority is likely to contend—that the Reconstruction Amendments were drafted not to protect disadvantaged groups from racially biased treatment at the hands of the government but rather to prohibit the government from using race-conscious measures to ever remediate inequality." If their reasoning is correct, we will see the court undermine the Voting Rights Act in their forthcoming opinion in Allen v. Milligan, a redistricting case "challenging Alabama’s congressional map" that diluted Black votes (Brennan Center for Justice, 9/29/2022).

On the large and increasing field of Republican candidates vying for the presidential nomination, Josh Marshal has an interesting (and somewhat amusing) take. Schrodinger’s Candidates: They’re Running and Not Running at the Same Time looks at the field and surmises that "aside from Trump, all of the people running for President in the GOP primary, with the semi-exception of Ron DeSantis, aren’t actually running for President. Normally, long shot entrants at least think they have some chance or they have some plan for career advancement by making a solid showing. But in this race, every candidate is in that category." Marshall posits that these people are probably thinking that running now is good preparation for their real campaign in 2028. He notes that "They’re running, sort of. But they’re not saying anything out of line with Trump and they’re definitely not criticizing Trump. Ferreting out the implicit critiques amounts almost to a latter-day variant of Kremlinology."

Last week, Politico published ‘Numbers Nobody Has Ever Seen’: How the GOP Lost Wisconsin. The piece asks "Did abortion make Wisconsin a blue state again?" It's long, chatty, and leans heavily on talking to and quoting people — some ordinary folks and some dignitaries from both parties. But it has some interesting bits. For example, it reveals that Scott Walker thinks his elections and Ron Johnson's were exceptions. Then Walker said, “Wisconsin has historically, and I think largely continues to be, a blue state.” An even more stunning statement reveals that "If you lopped Dane County off the map and didn’t count any votes there, Protasiewicz still would have won. Same thing if you excluded Democrat-heavy Milwaukee." The clincher for the 2023 election: Ben Wikler (Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair) said, "abortion was so salient not only in Democratic-leaning areas of the state, but in redder, rural areas, too." It behooves us to pay attention to how much this one issue moves the needle. "Abortion, while slightly more resonant an issue for voters in the Democratic-leaning media markets around Madison, Milwaukee and Eau Claire/La Crosse, was the main vote driver for Protasiewicz in every market in the state."

There's little of note happening just this minute in the Wisconsin's political scene. Hence my focus on big national issues. But I like to bow out with a little bit of spice. So here it is. From Talking Points Memo, "George Santos Falls On Sword For Mystery Donors: Rep. George Santos (R-NY) has told a judge he’d rather be taken into custody pre-trial than reveal the donors who co-signed on his $500,000 bond."


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Elections past and future haunt us

The big news of the weekend, of course, is the deal President Biden and House Speaker McCarthy reached to raise the debt ceiling until 2025. Before looking at the details, we should admire and rejoice at Dark Brandon's political jujitsu. The deal means that there will be no opportunity for MAGA Republicans to shut down the government during budget negotiations this fall and no opportunity to use the debt ceiling as a hostige again until after the 2024 elections. Masterful. But that's of course not all.

Although I am one of those people who thought the President ought not to negotiate at all with people who basically think it might be a good thing to crash the economy, Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo makes a really good point. Like me, he was adamantly opposed to Biden engaging in negotiations in the first place. But as he points out, "Something like this set of concessions was more or less baked in the moment Republicans won control of the House. There was always going to be a budget negotiation this fall that shifted fiscal policy to the right. Again, baked in as soon as Republicans won the House." He goes on to say, "That’s why to me this is a very big win both in policy and political terms. In fact, such a big win that I’m still not totally clear how it came about. Once Biden started negotiating and appeared to rule out extraordinary measures, I was sure he was going to get taken to the cleaners. Somehow he didn’t. Score another one for Dark Brandon."

Here at home, we're finally going to see some public account of how the phony elector scheme started and worked (or didn't, of course). Remember the matter of the bogus "electors" who tried to construct the pretext for overthrowing the 2020 presidential election? Well, the issue has new life. The Fake Electors lawsuit Democrats filed in May, 2022, has been set for trial on September 3, 2024, and is scheduled to last a month (Urban Milwaukee, May 25, 2023). Dane County Judge Frank Remington set the trial schedule last week. Democrats are arguing that "the 10 Republicans and two attorneys who advised them broke a variety of laws, including one that bans people from falsely acting as public officials. Plaintiffs are seeking punitive damages of up to $2.4 million." Jeff Mandell, the lead attorney for the Democrats, "noted that one of the goals for plaintiffs was to prevent Republican plaintiffs from serving as electors in future elections. Mandell said the next slates of electors would be chosen in October 2024."

In early May, the same judge ordered the Wisconsin Election Commission, which had unanimously rejected a complaint about these pretend electors, first filed in 2021, to revive it. In his ruling, Judge Frank Remington wrote, "To emphasize, Wisconsin voters chose none of these persons to serve as presidential elector — on the contrary, each had been named to serve as the potential electors for a losing candidate." You can read the details in full at the PBS News Hour. His order requires the Commission to give "no deference to or consideration of its previous decision."

Are you tired of the anti-majoritarian institution, the Electoral College, enabling a candidate to win the presidency while losing the popular vote? The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is for you: See Robert Reich explain it. Minnesota just joined the Compact. The matter is still pending in Michigan. It's of course a long shot in Wisconsin and not just because the state legislature is thoroughly controlled by a political party that stands to lose a lot of presidential elections in the future if the nationwide popular vote determines the winner. Wisconsin would stand to lose its outsized influence in presidential elections. Why? Because there would no longer be "swing states" who get all the candidates' attention (and advertising money!). Nevertheless, it is the only way to rid ourselves of minority rule through the structure of the Electoral College without amending the US Constitution. And boy would it be worth it. With the NPVIC, John Kerry would have won in 2000 and Hillary Clinton would have won in 2016!

One of our three branches of national government — the judiciary — has fallen into disrepute, it seems. Or perhaps it is just the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) that has earned the disapproval of the population. The latest Marquette Law School poll, released on Wednesday, May 23, shows that disapproval in the survey conducted May 8 - May 18 has reached 59% while approval has slumped to 41%. The same poll conducted one year ago showed approval at 44% and disapproval at 55%. This poll only began 2.75 years ago, in mid-September 2020. Since then approval has plummeted from 66% then to a mere 41% now. Disapproval has risen just as dramatically: from 33% in September 2020 to 59% now, an increase of 26%! We can see disapproval of the court rising rapidly in just the last five months. Among Republicans, approval has dropped nine points since mid-January, 2023. The ratio of disapproval to approval among independents has stayed roughly the same during that 5-month period: 2-1 disapproval. For Democrats, approval has dropped from 31% to 24% while disapproval has risen to 76%, a 3 to 1 ratio!

Make sure you're informed about the Special Election in Assembly District 24. The League of Women Voters Wisconsin plans to post its special election voter guide on If you live and vote in AD 24, make a note of the URL and check it periodically for useful information. (Right now it simply returns no information and states that there are no elections, which is wrong. So give it a week or so and then try.) Like Grassroots North Shore, the LWVWI reminds you that "it’s important to plan ahead to make sure you’re ready to be a voter. If you’re in the district, consider requesting your absentee ballot for the Special Election today! Also, help your friends, family, and neighbors make their voting plan." Election Day is July 18. The district encompasses Grafton (town and village), part of Mequon, Germantown (town and village), and Menomonee Falls. To find out whether you live in the district, visit the home page for the Wisconsin Legislature.

—— Take Action ——

You can send Bob Tatterson to the Assembly to protect essential freedoms, like a woman's right to choose, fully funded public schools, fair election maps, and much more. You can help in three ways if you live in Assembly District 24 (find out here by typing in your address):

  1. Volunteer with his campaign.
  2. Donate to his campaign.
  3. Vote for Bob
    • by absentee ballot (request one at;
    • early in person from July 5 through July 14 (in the office of your village/city clerk);
    • or go to the polls on Election Day, July 18.

If you DON'T live in AD24, concentrate on numbers 1 and 2 above.

You can strengthen our democracy by volunteering to register voters at one of Milwaukee's 3 DMV's. This is indoors in a safe environment under supervision of DMV management. The Teutonia DMV schedules two-hour shifts weekdays 8:20am - 4:45pm. Mill Road DMV schedules Saturday morning. All training and materials are supplied. The approach is non-partisan. Supermarket Legends provides voter education and encourages voters to use absentee ballots. This is very productive and rewarding work. Contact James Balk.

Protesting is also taking action. In this case, telling your cable provider that you don't want to pay even more than you're paying already (probably about $2 per subscriber per month) to have Fox News as part of your "Basic Cable" offerings. Media Matters has produced a site that will explain the whole thing and allow you to register your #UNFOXMYCABLEBOX views. It even allows you to calculate how much you've unknowingly paid in fees to Fox News.

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A lot of tasty bits

I have finally understood that both the Washington Post and the New York Times offer subscribers 10 "gift links" per month and that they can be used in the Grassroots North Shore newsletter! So from now on, you can use those links to penetrate the paywalls these two important publications use. So click on the links with abandon. It apparently doesn't matter how many recipients use the links, only that the limit of 10 applies to the sender. Hurrah!

Today's newsletter begins with TRE45ON's troubles. This afternoon, the judge in the criminal proceedings brought by District Attorney Bragg will reiterate his protective order that is supposed to prevent TFG from using the discovery phase of the trial to share any information gleaned from the prosecution's evidence or to make disparaging remarks about witnesses, the prosecutors or the judge (Washington Post, May 23, 2023). E. Jean Carroll is seeking to amend her still pending defamation case (stemming from TFG's time in the White House) to include his latest remarks defaming her during his CNN Town Hall (ABC News, May 22, 2023). And Special Counsel Jack Smith has issued a subpoena to the Trump Organization for records of foreign business transactions since 2017 (Salon, May 23, 2023). Meanwhile, in Georgia DA Fani Willis has indicated that she will make indictments in all probability in early August (MSNBC, May 20, 2023). What with all these legal matters taking shape, it's a wonder the guy has time to golf!

Even his lawyers are deserting him. In a recent interview, Ty Cobb, "who worked for Trump from July 2017 and May 2018, said he was confident 'The Apprentice' star 'will go to jail' for obstruction for refusing DOJ requests to return classified documents after he left the White House." He told CNN's Erin Burnett last Thursday that “all they really have to do is show that Trump moved these documents at various times when DOJ was either demanding them or actually present. That he filed falsely with the Justice Department, had his lawyers file falsely with the Justice Department, an affidavit to the effect that none existed ― which was shattered by the documents that they then discovered after the search ― and the many other misrepresentations that he and others have made on his behalf with regard to his possession of classified documents." (Huffpost, May 21, 2023)

An article by Azi Paybarah and Jacqueline Alemany in the Washington Post spills the dirt former TFG lawyer Timothy Parlatore dishes on CNN just after he resigned from the classified documents case. According to Parlatore, he quit because Boris Epshteyn, a lawyer on the team and a close long-time associate of the orange man who once occupied the White House, “had really done everything he could to try to block us — to prevent us from doing what we could to defend the president.” And the critique did not stop there: “In my opinion, he was not very honest with us or with the client on certain things,” Parlatore said of Epshteyn. “There were certain things like the searches that he had attempted to interfere with.”

Two big issues are on my mind lately. The first is the spate of book-banning all across the country but especially in Florida. Finally, someone is taking to the courts to push back. In DeSantis’s book banners face a tough new foe: Angry moms with lawyers, Greg Sargent notes: "In one of the big political surprises of 2023, pockets of stiff resistance have sprung up to defend teachers, textbooks, novels and libraries against censorship efforts across the country. These efforts just took an important turn, with a lawsuit filed by Florida parents in federal court Wednesday to try to stop book bans in school libraries in Escambia County. In an important twist, the lawsuit doesn’t directly target DeSantis’s laws or directives. Instead, it argues that the removals themselves are unconstitutional."

The other big issue I've been stewing about is gun violence. This year has already been more horrendous than past years and it's only May. Paul Waldman, also in the Washington Post, asks How many guns will it take to make us safe? His opinion piece argues that gun advocates are tacitly using an argument akin to the raising-taxes-cause-diminishing-returns nonsense Republicans have long touted. "Good-guy-with-a-gun proponents imply that there exists a kind of Laffer curve of gun murders that will be our liberation. Recall the quack economic theory propagated by Arthur Laffer positing that raising tax rates slightly from a low starting point might bring in more revenue, but further increases would cause revenue to fall as people discouraged by taxation stopped working. Gun advocates seem to assume a similar arc for the relationship of guns to gun violence: At some point, there will be so many guns that the trends will reverse, crime will be deterred, and all arguments will be resolved peacefully." Yes, that does seem to be the gun nuts' basic argument. And if you believe that malarky, I might have a bridge to sell.

An intriguing post on Daily Kos speculates about how possible new congressional maps for Wisconsin after Judge Protasiewicz is sworn in to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, on August 1, might affect future elections in our congressional districts. The piece goes into substantial detail about two congressional districts that might be more competitive if new maps are adopted: WI 01 and WI 08. The more promising district is the 1st CD where the current representative is Republican Bryan Steil. The district encompasses southeastern Wisconsin and was once held by Paul Ryan. The optimism about CD1 is largely based on Protasiewicz's 53-47 win there. CD8 — Republican Mike Gallagher's district encompassing the Green Bay area — is somewhat more problematic. "OB-GYN Kristin Lyerly, who is one of the three doctors participating in Attorney General Josh Kaul's challenge to the state's 1849 abortion ban, says she's thinking about taking on Gallagher." Here's hoping.

And a final word on the upcoming special election in Assembly District 24. Bob Tatterson announced yesterday that he has gathered more than enough signatures to be on the ballot. Signatures are due in Madison tomorrow, May 24. Shortly after that we will know whether a primary will actually be necessary. One of the two Republicans listed on the Wisconsin Election Commission's form for tracking candidates has already turned in 369 valid signatures. The other Republican — Spencer Zimmerman, who oddly enough seems to reside in Janesville (well outside the boundaries of AD24) — has as yet filed neither a "Declaration of Candidacy" form nor any nomination papers. So we still don't know for sure whether there will be a primary. But we do know that Bob will need everyone's help. You can step up right now in two ways: (1) volunteer with his campaign; (2) DONATE.
Doctors Park, 1870 E Fox Lane, Fox Point

It's a party to celebrate our country's 247th birthday. John Nichols — National Editor for The Nation, Madison Editor of the Capitol Times, author of Dollarocracy and other books, and the Voice of Wisconsin Progressivism — will get us ready for 2024 with a talk on where we have been and where we are going. Bob Tatterson, now running in a special election for Assembly District 24, will also be on hand to speak, meet, and greet. Enjoy beverages and birthday cake. Bring your family, your folding chairs, and your hope for our future as we celebrate our good work in recent elections. RSVP.


If you missed some newsletters and want to catch up, you'll find them archived on our website.


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endless sturm und drang

Let's start with news about the AD24 election. First I want to correct an error. The 24th AD includes the following communities:

  • In Ozaukee County: Town of Grafton (wards 1-6); Village of Grafton (wards 1-14); and City of Mequon (wards 1-4, 6, 10, 12);
  • In Washington County: Town of Germantown; Village of Germantown (wards 1-14);
  • In Waukesha County: Village of Menomonee Falls (wards 1-7, 9, 11).

It seems likely that there will be a June 20 primary involving at least two Republican candidates: Paul Melotik and Spencer Zimmerman. It is increasingly likely that Bob Tatterson WILL NOT have a challenger in the Democratic party. Nevertheless, if you live in the district, he will be on the primary ballot and really could use your vote. He could also use help RIGHT NOW getting signatures on his nominating papers. Again, if you live in the district and have not yet signed, please download the papers now, sign them (both as nominator and as circulator), and get them to Bob by Friday, May 19. The directions for filling out the form and for getting them to Bob are included.

We're now preparing to send postcards to support Bob Tatterson to 5000 strong and leaning Democratic women in AD24. And we need to buy a large number of stamps. The price of postcard stamps is set to increase on July 9 so we also want to purchase as many as we can to prepare for 2024. Help us beat the higher cost by donating to our stamp fund now. A roll of 100 stamps currently costs $48. You can send a check to Grassroots North Shore, PO Box 170684, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53217-8056. (Please write "stamps" in the subject line.) Or you can go online to support our election actions.


In other more-or-less local news, Alex Lasry will be at the Waukesha County Democratic Party meeting on Thursday, May 18. He's running to be one of two Wisconsin representatives to the Democratic National Committee. This is an important position and it would be worthwhile to attend, especially if you happen to live near Waukesha. RSVP if you can go.

Wisconsin Republicans are stalling elections reforms even though they're gung-ho on "election integrity" (whatever that means). The 545 items Republicans have stripped from Evers' budget bill include reforms unanimously backed by the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission. The WEC recommended establishing an Office of Transparency and Compliance that would be headed by an elections inspector general. See more about this issue in Urban Milwaukee.

As the legislature tries to wrestle with the budget, you might be interested in "How municipal governments would fare under Assembly Republicans’ and Tony Evers’ shared revenue plans."

The "fake electors scheme" in Wisconsin is back in the news in two different judicial rulings, both by Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington. A lawsuit filed a year ago by two Democratic electors and a voter "alleges that the defendants broke several criminal and civil laws when they met at the Wisconsin state Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, in an attempt to cast the state’s electoral votes for Trump." The defendants wanted the lawsuit broken up and refiled in each county where a "fake elector" lives. Judge Remington ruled that "the law requires that the case be heard in Dane County where it was filed." The lawsuit seeks $2.4 million in restitution and disqualification of the 10 Republicans from serving as electors in the future.

In another action, Judge Remington ruled that the Wisconsin Election Commission must "reconsider a complaint filed against fake Republican electors." The election commission had dismissed the complaint earlier and had allowed Robert Spindell, one of the commissioners, to participate in the decision even though he was one of the "fake electors." The WEC and Commissioner Spindell together with those who had filed the complaint reached agreement that Spindell would not participate in the new WEC deliberation and decision. "The complaint asked the elections commission to investigate the fake electors' actions and declare that they broke the law (Spectrum News)."

Steve Schmidt, a former Republican consultant and prolific Substack author, writes today about the latest book-banning in Florida. The opening paragraph reads: "The state of Florida has banned textbooks that focus on the Holocaust under Governor Ron Desantis’s censorship laws that politicize and corrupt the teaching of history in Florida. All of this is a type of sick performance theater — a grotesque kabuki. Ron DeSantis has made an assessment that the fastest way to climb the greasy pole all the way to the top and reach the MAGA throne room is by engaging in poisonous theatrics that have come to include censorship of books about the Holocaust."

It's quite a long piece, ending with an address Elie Wiesel — Nobel Laureate, Holocaust survivor, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom — delivered to the United Nations commemorating Auschwitz on January 24, 2005. Schmidt and Wiesel both insist on the "obligation of future generations to bear witness" to the Holocaust, which Schmidt calls "a singular event in human history." Schmidt ends his post with the following sentences: "There is a new extremism rising, and it is happening in America. It is being led by men like Ron DeSantis." Will there be any blowback from this book-banning and others? Is this really what we as a nation have become?

Enough darkness for one day. So here's your woo-hoo goody for the week: Racehl Maddow interviewed E. Jean Carroll and Robbie Kaplan last night. Carroll is likely to file another defamation lawsuit against TFG for remarks he made just the day after a jury found him liable for sexual assault and defamation. According to Kaplan, the potential new lawsuit won't have to adjudicate liability because it's already been adjudicated. Meaning that the new one, if it materializes, will only have to show that the former president defamed Carroll, again.

And one more thing: a Randy Rainbow tribute to Ron DeSantis. You'll love it.

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and we're off and running!

Hallelujah! We finally have a special election for Assembly District 24 scheduled for July 18. Nomination papers began circulating on Friday, May 5. You can get Bob Tatterson's here.They must be filed in Madison by 5pm on May 23. If a primary is needed, it will be held on June 20. Bob Tatterson ran for this seat in the November 2022 elections but he was running against a long time incumbent. It's now an open seat, meaning there is no longer an incumbent. And having just run, Bob is prepared to give it his all. This is a huge opportunity to flip an Assembly seat from red to blue! Help him out by going to his website to volunteer or to donate.

Not everyone can vote in this important election. But everyone can do something to help the cause. Anyone can circulate nomination forms but only residents of the district can sign as nominators. So if you know voters in AD 24, you can ask them to sign the form. If you are a resident of the district, you can both circulate the form AND sign as a nominator. Be sure to follow the directions exactly! Assembly District 24 includes the following locations:

  • In Ozaukee County: Town of Grafton (wards 1-6); Village of Grafton (wards 1-14); and City of Mequon (wards 1-4, 6, 10, 12).

  • In Washington County: Town of Germantown; Village of Grafton (wards 1-14).

  • In Waukesha County: Village of Menomonee Falls (wards 1-7, 9, 11).

Grassroots North Shore is even now preparing postcards to be sent as soon as the candidates have qualified by turning in enough valid signatures on nomination forms. Norma Gilson will be recruiting people to write postcards. Nancy Kaplan will be recruiting people to follow up the postcards with phone calls. Additional actions will take place as we get closer to election day. Make a promise to yourself that you will help in some way. We're already collecting names and contact information for people who are willing to act as drivers for people who are canvassing. Send email to Nancy Kaplan if you are willing to be a driver.

Once upon a time, people in Wisconsin were blessed with one of the easiest systems for voting in the country. Now Wisconsin is one of the hardest states for voters to cast a ballot. Since 2010, when Republicans gained control of the legislature and the governor's office, rules for voting have become more restrictive. In a May 4 article in the Wisconsin State Journal, Matt Mencarini details how "Voting has gotten harder in Wisconsin. Organizers have found ways to help." In the section of the article called "How it’s gotten more difficult to vote in Wisconsin," Mencarnini provides the narrative. As I pointed out in an earlier email, Republicans are at least entertaining making it even more difficult for college students to access the ballot. Today's New York Times leads with the article "Under the Radar, Right-Wing Push to Tighten Voting Laws Persists." This link to it will get you past the paywall.

In June 2022, Attorney General Josh Kaul initiated a legal challenge to the 1849 law that prohibits abortion in Wisconsin. On Thursday, May 4, Dane County Circuit Judge Diane Schlipper convened a hearing on the defendants' motion to dismiss the case. In the course of the hearing, Judge Schlipper suggested that the 1849 law proscribes feticide and may not apply to abortions at all. (See 1849 feticide bill may not apply to abortions, Dane County judge suggests.) But not all media outlets covering the hearing even seemed to notice this striking part of the argument. Wisconsin Public Radio's piece, for example, doesn't even mention the feticide issue. The judge intends to rule on the motion to dismiss the case at a later date.

Almost every outcome for any political issue in our state results from voting maps that are so skewed that MAGA Republicans are almost guaranteed to retain the majority in both the Senate and the Assembly for the remainder of the decade. And by any political issue, I mean control of women's bodies, the epidemic of gun violence, the future of our climate, funding and supporting education from pre-school through graduate school, local control of key issues, revenue sharing, and even the right to propose non-binding advisory referendums. We know from surveys and past advisory referendums that large majorities of Wisconsin voters want to see changes in these areas. But we can't have nice things, it seems, until the voting maps construct fair districts. To learn more about how dark money has led to the landscape we now inhabit — and to get a legislative update from Representative Deb Andraca — join the North Shore Fair Maps Zoom meeting featuring Matt Rothschild discussing Money, Money, Money in our elections. The meeting begins at 7:00pm on Monday, May 8. You can sign up here.

Looking ahead, Law Forward is planning to "challenge the state’s voting maps based on the assertion that partisan gerrymandering violates the Wisconsin Constitution," according to The Cap Times. The plan is to file the suit soon after Janet Protasiewicz takes her seat on the Supreme Court of Wisconsin on August 1. Stay tuned.

And finally, a little schadenfreude: your gift article from the Washington Post — Even Tucker Carlson knew Tucker Carlson was out of control. Erik Wemple notes that the last straw seems to have been a texted conversation with one of his producers. "Carlson appears to believe that 'white men' somehow stick to principles of fairness and chivalry when fighting in the streets — whereas men of color presumably hew to a less honorable code of engagement. Racist trash, all of it." Wemple nails the wonderment many of us feel about why this particular message sealed Tucker's fate when his whole show revealed who he truly is.

But if the board was genuinely concerned, perhaps it should have paid attention to Carlson’s nightly output over the past six years. There was plenty of racism on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” as when the host said that immigrants made the country “dirtier” or when he repeatedly espoused the “great replacement theory” or when he said that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who fled civil war in Somalia, is a “living fire alarm” for the U.S. immigration system.


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a little this, a little that

t's budget time in Wisconsin. And you know what that means. The governor proposes and the legislature disposes: reportedly preparing to remove 545 items from Evers' plan. (During the last budget cycle two years ago, the legislature removed about 391 items.) In the crosshairs are the proposed 12-week paid family and medical leave program, legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana, hiring additional mental health providers in schools, and much more. Tax rates, too, are coming in for their share of struggle. Evers wants to reduce the tax rates "by 10% for individuals earning $100,000 or less a year and married filers making $150,000 or less." Republicans plan to strip out that proposal and focus "their efforts on flattening the state’s more than 110-year-old income tax." The Wisconsin State Journal published an extensive article on the push and pull between the governor's proposed budget and the legislature's plan to strip huge chunks of it out. It contains a long list, though of course not an exhaustive one, of the Republican's likely cuts. The more you know, the more there is to dislike.

We still have no word on when the special election to replace Dan Knodl, the former representative of the 24th Assembly District, will be held. We do know, from an email he has sent to his constituents — and to me even though I am no longer his constituent since the new election maps assigned me to the 10th Assembly District — that at the end of his last Assembly floor session "my colleagues gave me a nice sendoff by unanimously messaging me over to the Senate." I have no idea what "messaging" someone over to the Senate could possibly mean, but he could be sworn in during the next scheduled Senate floor session. Or not. Maybe he's just enjoying a rest from his light record as a legislator? Who knows. According to the Senate's online calendar, though, the next Floorperiod is May 16-18, and he could take his seat then, setting the machinery of a special election in motion.

On the national scene, last week's news covered the Dominion lawsuit, Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon's departures from their respective cable news networks, and TFG's mounting legal woes. This week, the press seems to be preoccupied by the ethical morass some justices at the Supreme Court seem to have created and the E. Jean Carroll suit. The New York Times has of course provided lots of details about the relationship between Justice Thomas and his billionaire buddy Harlan Crow. And they've also discussed Justice Gorsuch's sale of property to the CEO of a prominent international law firm with plenty of business before the court. Plus the unreported income from commissions Chief Justice Roberts' wife was paid.

But the story most worth your time to read, and which is "gifted" to you so you can pierce the paywall, takes a close look at the relationship between the conservative justices and their sweetheart deals with the Scalia School of Law at George Mason University. "The documents [the Times reviewed] show how Scalia Law has offered the justices a safe space in a polarized Washington — an academic cocoon filled with friends and former clerks, where their legal views are celebrated, they are given top pay and treated to teaching trips abroad, and their personal needs are anticipated, from lunch orders to, in Justice Gorsuch’s case, house hunting." If these arrangements weren't verging on open bribery, the idea of providing a "safe space" for the justices' conservative thinking might almost be funny.

E. Jean Carroll's litigation has turned out to be strikingly interesting. She has now endured several days of testimony and cross-examination with what has been described as poise and good humor. The latest revelation from her testimony: that George Conway (erstwhile GOP lawyer, soon-to-be former husband of Kellyanne Conway, and Never Trumper) encouraged her to file the suit. The Guardian has a good article about the ongoing trial.

Looking ahead to the punditry we will endure during the endless 2024 election, which has of course already begun, Doug Sosnik, who was a senior advisor to President Clinton and who regularly writes political memos, has a relatively new piece out that goes into great detail about what he and others are calling "the diploma divide." Sosnik writes "educational attainment has increasingly played a dominant role in voting. This has led to a political realignment, with the base shifting for both political parties." He goes on to say that "educational sorting has made the vast majority of states no longer politically competitive. It is the battleground states in the middle - where education levels are neither disproportionately high nor low - that will decide the 2024 presidential election." Eight states, his analysis shows, will determine the outcome of the presidential election: "Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin."

This is a rather hodgepodge version of the newsletter. So let me end with something completely different and yet relevant to the national debt ceiling "debate" we must endure. In the April 30 edition of Middle Wisconsin, an online magazine, Dave Svetlik has two articles — SEEMS OBVIOUS – PART ONE and SEEMS OBVIOUS PART TWO — that take a rather jaunty look at how the country makes its money. Seriously: not earns but creates. He begins PART TWO with a brief recap of PART ONE: "So, we know the US Government is the creator, the source, of the nation’s money. We know the US Government always has money of its own (for Heaven’s sake it creates the money). We know the US Government can never run out of money. There, the review of Part One is done. Thank God!" And then he goes on to poke holes in the very notion that the United States government would ever need to borrow money in the first place. Now I was never any good at economic theory so I'm sure there's some snappy rejoinder a serious economist could make. But it's a fun read and some food for thought.

Bay Bridge Restorative Justice Series, 6:30 - 8:00pm
Untied Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay, 819 E Silver Spring Dr, WFB

Healing the Survivor and Community with Janine Geske, Director of the Andrew Center of Restorative Justice and Distinguished Professor of Law at Marquette University of Law School. She will discuss how restorative justice can bring healing to victims and survivors and repair relationships and communities impacted by crime. Sponsored by: Bay Bridge Wisconsin; United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay; MICAH; WISDOM; EXPO; The Community; From the Same Dust, a Baha'i Group, Bay Shore Lutheran Church, Christ Church Episcopal, Congregation Sinai, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, Interfaith Restorative Practices Coalition. LIVESTREAM will be available.

Saturday, May 13

5th CD Dems Convention, 1:00pm
Jackson Area Community Center, N165 W20330 Hickory Lane, Jackson

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin 5th Congressional District is holding its annual convention on Saturday. Registration opens at 1pm. The Convention convenes at 2pm. Please RSVP by ordering your tickets ($20 each). Questions? Please email [email protected] or call 414-491-4544.

Stand for Peace, 12:00 - 1:00pm
Wisconsin and Prospect (by orange sunburst), Milwaukee

Stand for Peace demonstrates for peace at a different intersection in Milwaukee County every Saturday. This week we will focus on Palestinian rights Join us.

Monday, May 15

DPMC Monthly Membership Meeting, 6:00 - 7:30pm
734 N. 26th Street, Milwaukee

The Democratic Party of Milwaukee County is focused on empowering citizens with the tools they need to improve our communities. We must join our friends and neighbors in electing leaders that we believe in. We’re ready to win, but we need your help to do it. Let’s get to work! Join us for our fifth membership meeting of 2023!

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oy vey!

Yesterday was a mind-blowing news day, what with Fox firing Tucker Carlson and CNN firing Don Lemon. If you watched, listened or read any news Monday, you couldn't miss the bombshell from Fox News. It was everywhere with oodles of speculation about why Carlson was fired. I won't bother with links. Just Google it. The Lemon matter was hardly covered at all but still made a little noise. You can Google that one too. And maybe you learned the E. Jean Carrol's lawsuit against TFG is beginning with jury selection today. It will no doubt take up some air space in the weeks to come.

Meanwhile DA Fani Willis sent letters to law enforcement agencies in and around Atlanta to warn them that she will be announcing criminal indictments between July 11 and September 1, 2023. She wrote to give the agencies "sufficient time to prepare the Sheriff’s Office and coordinate with local, state and federal agencies to ensure that our law enforcement community is ready to protect the public" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 24, 2023). She justified the early warning: "We have seen in recent years that some may go outside of public expressions of opinion that are protected by the First Amendment to engage in acts of violence that will endanger the safety of those we are sworn to protect. As leaders, it is incumbent upon us to prepare." It sure seems like she has someone in particular in mind.

But all the hubbub around the national press should not distract us from the urgent need to keep sharply focused on the constant GOP stratagems to rig our elections. As I mentioned last week, the April 4 election in Wisconsin featured record turnout, especially among college students. Here's a link to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel piece on April 13: Wisconsin college students voted in huge numbers for the 2023 spring election. What led to increase and will it continue?

Sure enough, a leading Republican lawyer, who also happens to be on the board of the Bradley Foundation here in Milwaukee, jumped right on it. It's a huge problem for the far right, of course, because these young people apparently don't seem inclined to vote for the current crop of Republicans. Our former governor Scott Walker thinks the problem lies in the way young people are "indoctrinated" presumably by the education system he worked so hard to undermine. ("On Fox, Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says result of the state Supreme Court election is 'liberal indoctrination coming home to roost'.") But Cleta Mitchell, the aforementioned MAGA lawyer, wants to tackle the voting behavior of college students by, you know, making it impossible or at least harder for them to vote. Here are a few accounts of the "private" remarks she made to top GOP donors: a gifted link (to get you around their paywall) to the story in the Washington Post on April 20 titled "Top GOP lawyer decries ease of campus voting in private pitch to RNC." On the same day, and based on the Post's story, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published "Bradley Foundation board member Cleta Mitchell bemoans college voting in private meeting with top GOP donors." MSNBC covered the story on Alex Wagner Tonight on April 22: "MAGA lawyer recorded while discussing ways to suppress the youth vote." (Skip the Alex Wagner video at the top of the post and read the blog post by Ja'han Jones.)

The attack on democracy, human rights, and our individual freedoms is pervasive and pernicious. What’s Next in Wisconsin, a sobering piece in the the Brennan Center for Justice's newsletter, looks at "how Wisconsin’s conservative state legislature might respond to Justice Protasiewicz’s win and the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s new liberal majority." From impeachment proceedings based on rulings MAGA Republicans don't like to "bills that target the court’s power or independence by, for example, stripping its jurisdiction or remedial powers," the legislature has several avenues to constrain the state's Supreme Court.

For the future of your personal pocketbook, here's the result of the Dominion defamation case: Fox Corp. and Fox News have been ordered to pay humongous amount of money to Dominion Voting Systems. But foxy Fox is now demanding that cable companies pay it more per customer to carry Fox on its basic cable system. In essence, Fox wants TV viewers to pay for its defamation costs! We do not have to stand for it. Call your cable provider to demand that they not raise the amount they pay Fox to carry its "news."

We do not yet have specific information about the special election to fill the Assembly seat in District 24. Once we have that information, Grassroots North Shore will be partnering with grassroots groups in Germantown and Menomonee Falls to work on the election. And I will be calling on you to get involved in all the usual activities: writing postcards, making follow-up calls, texting with the campaign of whoever runs (c'mon Bob Tatterson!), canvassing with the Democratic party. And with this election, we'll be trying something new: organizing a Driver Brigade to make canvassing in the district both easier and more fun. So stay tuned for announcements and pitch in when you can. (You can already to sign up to drive a canvasser.) It will be a turnout election and we stand a good chance of an upset here. There will be no incumbent and turnout will be especially low. That means every vote we get will really further our chances.

In the meantime, we're not just taking a vacation. Grassroots North Shore is partnering with the Democratic Party in a donation drive for kids' school supplies from May 1 to May 18. We'll be collecting notebooks, folders, crayons, markers, pencils, colored pencils, pens, erasers, glue sticks, highlighters, lined paper, and rulers. Drop items off at Shirley Horowitz's house at 4845 N Newhall St in Whitefish Bay or Andy Berger 's house at 7632 N Beach Drive in Fox Point. Andy will be hosting a gathering to celebrate the drive on Sunday May 21st. So hit those stores and/or scrounge in your homes for stuff to help kids thrive in school!

Also, the Democratic party is looking for canvassers ahead of the May 2 special election for Milwaukee County Supervisory District 14 (in the south part of the county). The party has endorsed Caroline Gómez-Tom and will be hosting canvasses our of the county party's office at 2999 S Delaware St. on Saturday, April 29: sign up for a shift at noon or at 3pm. There will also be two shifts on Tuesday, May 2 at noon and 3pm.

Today, President Biden announced that he will run for President in 2024. As if we didn't know already. Anyway, there will be ample time to chew over the pros, cons, whys, and wherefores in future newsletters.

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