Vos’ Company Got Up to 350k in Federal COVID Aid as Many Wait on Help From State

Assembly Speaker, who rails against government assistance, took at least $150,000 for his company.

That’s a lot of shitty popcorn, Robin.

Source: Vos’ Company Got Up to 350k in Federal COVID Aid as Many Wait on Help From State

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Statements and a GOP Cutoff: What Happened at Scot Ross’ First Election Commission Meeting

“I want to offer that the same people who were criticizing the fact that I was appointed to this commission are the same people who changed the laws so they could avoid accountability.”

Scott Ross is a veteran of Progressive politics and is used to calling out politicians for abusing their positions. He’s in a good place because Wisconsin politicians — particularly the GOP — have gone above and beyond in suppressing votes and trying to stay in power by any means necessary.

Well, the voters in Wisconsin are on to them and at the first opportunity, they threw Scott Walker out of office and put a Democrat in the Governor’s office. The GOP leadership did what they could to strip him of his powers, but Governor Evers was able to appoint Ross to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Source: Statements and a GOP Cutoff: What Happened at Scot Ross’ First Election Commission Meeting

It’s now become clear exactly how Republicans might try to overturn a Biden victory in November

The larger threat … is a scenario where a state like Wisconsin is pivotal in the election results and the electoral college, and Biden has won Wisconsin, but the Republican legislature decides to override the results from the election and award the electors to Donald Trump,” he said adding that the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Bush v. Gore noted that state legislatures have plenary power to decide how electors are appointed.“If you’re looking for a scenario where the results are somehow reversed from a Biden victory by allegations of irregularities in the election, that’s probably the scenario you’re looking at …

Source: It’s now become clear exactly how Republicans might try to overturn a Biden victory in November

Wisconsin Supreme Court rules to strike down Evers’ stay-at-home order

The conservative-controlled court sided with Republican lawmakers who sued over the Democratic governor’s order.

Did anyone seriously think the court that voted by video (while social distancing) to send the commoners to vote in person during a pandemic would not “give it to ’em” one more time? Please.

The Republican leadership is playing politics with human lives. I honestly thought they’d never reach this literal crisis point. I never thought they would send citizens to the polls in the middle of a pandemic simply because they were scared they might lose an election. And, I never thought they’d sue the governor — a governor who is trying best as he and his team can to walk the tightrope between keeping people safe and keeping business … in business.

But I was wrong. Republican leadership lost their souls a long, long time ago. To be fair, politicizing issues has gone on forever — both sides doing it. But — and I’m fairly certain the tipping point was the 2008 presidential election — one side saw the writing on the wall. Their base was shrinking and along with it, they became severely threatened that their “way of life” and their “values” were shrinking along with it. They became determined to fight. They gerrymandered the state and then stacked the Supreme Court. It’s a brilliant strategy. But they made a deal with the devil in 2016. And the devil wants his due. It will come soon enough. I just hope the assholes are held responsible and don’t take the good people of Wisconsin down with them.

Source: Wisconsin Supreme Court rules to strike down Evers’ stay-at-home order

In Wisconsin, Virus Creates New Front in Long-Simmering Partisan Wars 

Protests planned for Friday continue a decade-long partisan cleaving in the state and serve as a stand-in for the general election battle to come.

Source: In Wisconsin, Virus Creates New Front in Long-Simmering Partisan Wars – The New York Times

I refuse to admit it but maybe it’s so:  we as a democracy and maybe even as a species … are fucked.

No where is that more apparent than my own god-damned state.

You can’t make this shit up

Hey, whomever runs against this clown in his next election:

Here is what should be on every piece of campaign material. Here’s what should be on every TV spot. Run it. Run it into the ground and cover his shoes with it.

Why voting matters.

I’m from Wisconsin. I live in Wisconsin. I live in Madison, Wisconsin. Some call Madison the “Berkeley of The Midwest” which makes the past few years even harder.

Why? I’ll let Heather Cox Richardson explain. Read this. Then, subscribe to her newsletter.

Heather Cox Richardson11 hr235

There is complicated news about voter suppression tonight out of Wisconsin. It has overridden today’s news of the extraordinary outburst of Trump’s acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, who flew almost 8000 miles to Guam to harangue the sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

I’ll cover the Modly story later in the week, but for tonight, Wisconsin.

There is a crucial election there tomorrow that landed tonight at the US Supreme Court. The backstory is that in 2010, thanks to REDMAP the Republican Redistricting Majority Project I wrote about on Saturday, the Wisconsin legislature was controlled by Republicans. They worked to guarantee their control, gerrymandering the state so effectively in 2011 that in the 2012 elections, Republicans lost a majority of voters, but took 60% of the seats in the legislature. (They won only 48.6% of the votes, but took 61% of the seats.)

With this power, they promptly passed a strict voter-ID law that reduced black and Latino voting, resulting in 200,000 fewer voters in 2016 than had voted in 2012. (Remember, Wisconsin is a key battleground state, and Trump won it in 2016 by fewer than 23,000 votes.)

Now, there is a move afoot to purge about 240,000 more voters from the rolls, thanks to the old system called “voter caging.” The state sent letters to registered voters, largely in districts that voted Democratic in 2016, and those who did not respond to the letters have been removed from the voter rolls on the argument that the fact they didn’t respond to the letters must mean they have moved. Initially, the purge was supposed to happen in 2021, after the election, but a conservative group sued to removed them earlier and a conservative state judge, Paul V. Malloy ordered it done. Malloy’s decision has been appealed to the Wisconsin state supreme court, which has deadlocked over the issue by a vote of 3-3.

On tomorrow’s ballot is a contest for a seat on that court. The Republicans desperately want to reelect their candidate, Justice Daniel Kelly, who recused himself from the voter purge vote pending the election. Trump has endorsed Kelly, who will uphold the purge if he is reelected. Before the pandemic, observers thought Kelly’s opponent had a good chance of unseating him because of expected high turnout among Democrats. But now, of course, all bets are off, especially since the Democratic strongholds in the state are in the cities, where the residents are hunkered down.

The election was originally scheduled for tomorrow, but the pandemic has gummed up the works. A stay-at-home order went into effect in the state on March 25, and more than a million voters have requested absentee ballots. But this huge surge means the state is running behind and hasn’t been able to deliver the ballots. Meanwhile, roughly 7000 poll workers, who are volunteers and often elderly, have said they would not come manage the election, so a large number of polls can’t open. The city of Milwaukee, whose 600,000 people normally would have 180 polling places, will have five. Milwaukee tends to vote Democratic.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, tried to get the Republican-dominated legislature to postpone the election or to mail ballots to all voters for a May 26 election deadline, but it refused. Over the weekend, the mayors of Wisconsin’s ten biggest cities urged the state’s top health official, Andrea Palm, to “step up” and use her emergency powers to replace in-person voting with mail-in voting, as Ohio did when faced with a similar problem. On Monday, Evers signed an executive order postponing the election until June 9—something even he was unsure he had the power to do, but he said he felt he had to try to keep people safe– but Republicans challenged the order and the Republican-dominated state Supreme Court blocked it.

Last Thursday, a federal judge permitted absentee ballots to be counted in the election so long as they arrived back to election officials by April 13, but Republicans immediately challenged the decision. Tonight, in a 5-4 decision, the US. Supreme Court refused to permit this extension of time for the state to receive absentee ballots, arguing (apparently without any self-awareness) that the federal judge made a mistake by changing the rules of an election so close to its date. This means that absentee ballots have to be postmarked tomorrow, even if the voter hasn’t gotten one by then.

The court insisted that the issue in the decision was quite narrow, and had nothing to do with the larger question of the right to vote. The four dissenting justices cried foul.

Writing for the four other judges in dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote that “the court’s order, I fear, will result in massive disenfranchisement.” “The majority of this Court declares that this case presents a “narrow, technical question”…. That is wrong. The question here is whether tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens can vote safely in the midst of a pandemic. Under the District Court’s order, they would be able to do so. Even if they receive their absentee ballot in the days immediately following election day, they could return it. With the majority’s stay in place, that will not be possible. Either they will have to brave the polls, endangering their own and others’ safety, or they will lose their right to vote, through no fault of their own. That is a matter of utmost importance—to the constitutional rights of Wisconsin’s citizens, the integrity of the State’s election process, and in this most extraordinary time, the health of the Nation.”

The New York Times editorial board echoed Ginsburg, warning that what is happening in Wisconsin, where Republicans are trying to use the pandemic to steal an election, could happen nationally in 2020. This is why Democrats tried to get robust election funding in the $2.2 trillion coronavirus bill to bolster mail-in ballots, and why Trump said: “The things they had in there were crazy, they had things, levels of voting that if you ever agreed to, you would never have another Republican elected in this country again.”

This crisis in Wisconsin has national implications. The reelection of Kelly will likely mean Wisconsin loses another 240,000 voters, most of them Democrats. This will increase Trump’s chances of winning the state in 2020, and Wisconsin is likely key to a victory in the Electoral College.

This is why I watch the minutia of politics so carefully. It’s hard to imagine that the election of a state judge in Wisconsin matters to our nation of fifty states and 330 million people, but it does. Oh, boy, does it.

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You can sign up for this free newsletter at heathercoxrichardson.substack.com

Wisconsin Republicans to challenge election delay in state’s top court | TheHill

Top Wisconsin GOP lawmakers vowed to mount a legal challenge in the state’s Supreme Court over the Democratic governor’s postponement of Tuesday’s election.

Source: Wisconsin Republicans to challenge election delay in state’s top court | TheHill

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald and Rep. Robin Vos — the leaders in the legislative majority — refuse to let a good crisis go to waste. The crisis being COVID-19, which is a dream come true for voter suppressionists like Big Fitz and The Popcorn Colonel.

Seriously. I don’t know how they sleep at night.