Walker-backed candidate Shelley Grogan upsets sitting District II Appeals Court Judge Jeff Davis

A Milwaukee area municipal court judge with no appellate court experience but the backing of former Repulican Gov. Scott Walker defeated Jeff Davis, a sitting District II Appeals Court Judge, 149,104 (56%) to 117,740 (44%) on Tuesday. District II covers  Calumet, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago counties.

In Green Lake County, Grogan topped Davis, 1,500 to 1,238, with 19.10% voter turnout.

Underly, who opposes school vouchers, tops Kerr in battle for Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction post

Jill Underly, a candidate backed by many in the Democratic Party, defeated Deborah Kerr, the former Brown Deer School District Superintendent, who claimed to be a Democrat, Tuesday, in the fight to lead the state’s office of Public Public Instruction. 

Underly won relatively easily with 377,131 votes (56.9%) to Kerr’s 286,028 (43.1%). Up until the election, Underly has been superintendent of the Pecatonica School District 

In Green Lake County, Kerr topped Underly by 7 votes, 1,386 to 1,379. The voter turnout percentage for the race in Green Lake County was only 19%.

In theory the race was nonpartisan, but Kerr, who supports the controversial school vouchers program, gained support from the Republican Party and conservatives, while Underly, also backed by several teachers’ unions, was the clear choice of Dems and Dem-aligned voters and organizations.

According to Ballotpedia, “Wisconsin superintendents serve as the head of the state’s department of public instruction. The superintendent’s responsibilities include providing leadership for Wisconsin’s public school districts, providing the public with information about school management, attendance, and performance, licensing the state’s teachers, and receiving and disbursing federal aid for schools.

Republicans using Supreme Court to put $49 million in monthly federal food aid to low income residents in jeopardy

As is often the case, buried in the weeds is a kicker with very real consequences. The decision on Wednesday by the conervative-led Wisconsin State Supreme Court to invalidate Gov. Tony Evers’ mask mandate could result in the cutting off of nearly $50 million in federal food assistance to low-income people. 

According to an article in the Journal Sentinel, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau told Wisconsin lawmakers in January that the state’s Foodshare program could lose its extra funding if the state’s emergency were ended. Evers also suggested that this could happen when he issued his last emergency order.

But Republicans and conservatives don’t care. They never have. For them it is all about taking power from the governor, a Democrat. The court’s decision on Wednesday came after a major Repulican donor filed a lawsuit challenging the governor’s right to issue emergency orders. The way the law is currently written, no governor can issue successive emergency orders. This was cited by conservative Judge Brian Hagedorn who wrote the majority decision.

Absent that lawsuit, there would have been no case for the justices to review.

Think the Republicans/conservatives were not aware of this? Think again. This was and is still another case of the Republican Party, still stinging from its loss of the governorship to a Democrat, doing everything it can to block his efforts, regardless of the cost, both in terms of lives lost or harmed by the pandemic, and in providing food security to thousands of the state’s residents.

Conservatives on Wisconsin Supreme Court shut down Evers’ mask mandate

The ongoing battle between the state’s top elected official, Gov. Tony Evers, and state legislators took a turn Wednesday morning toward the GOP-controlled legislature, when the conservative-dominated Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Evers’ mask mandate was illegal.

The court, which ruled 4-3 in favor of a lawsuit brought by a donor to one of the court’s judges, Rebecca Bradley, said that while the Governor, a Democrat, had the power to put in place the mandate, it was time-limited to a 60-day period. That period expires April 5. It also means Evers can not extend the mandate.

What happens now? It appears that extending the mandate, if it is extended in some form or shape, is up to the Republicans. So far, most Republicans have not been supportive of the mask mandate and instead they have pushed for what they call “reopening the economy.” 

Bottom line? The top court’s ruling is a victory for the Republican Party. It remains to be seen, however, if this is a victory for public health and safety as in the last week many states have reported a surge in Covid infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Is Wisconsin next?

Read article from USA Today

Compare qualifications of Appeals Court candidates Jeff Davis and Shelley Grogan; Davis is obvious choice

There is no reason Shelley Grogan is on the ballot for the District II Appeals Court judgeship position now held by Jeff Davis.

None. Absolutely none, except, she is a conservative backed by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his family. Davis and Grogan face off in the April 6 election.

Davis’ experience and qualifications dwarf Grogan’s; there is no comparison. Don’t take my word for it. Check out their websites. Once you get past the expected fluff, check their qualifications, experience, and endorsements. 

Notice that Grogran is a municipal court judge and that Davis is a sitting Appeals Court judge. It is like comparing a second-string quarterback on a Division III football team with Aaron Rodgers. Which one do you want on your team?

Additionally, Davis has extremely strong bipartisan support. That should tell you something right there. Grogan’s support is almost exclusively from conservatives and Republicans. They are attacking Davis because Davis was “handpicked by Tony Evers” for the Appeals Court post back in 2019. What they and Grogan conveniently don’t tell us is that Groagn was a candidate for that appointment, despite her lack of experience and qualifications. 

Her current television ad also misleads by stating that she is endorsed by Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly. Whoops. Kelley is not a sitting Supreme Court Justice. He is a former Supreme Court Justice, appointed by Scott Walker.

Grogan is on the ballot because the Republicans, once again, are not putting forth qualified candidates for election. All you need are conservative bonafides and a desire to support the conservative/Republican agenda.

Consider former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly. Appointed to the bench in 2016 by Walker, Kelly no experience as a judge–none. But he was a supporter of the conservative agenda and that was enough for Walker. Thankfully, Wisconsin voters saw the folly of Walker’s appointment and in 2020 voted out Kelly. Voters instead elected Jill Karofksy. 

Don’t let another miscarriage of justice happen. Vote on April 6 for the most qualified candidate. Vote for Jeff Davis.

Be prepared; last minute misleading ad campaign against Jeff Davis may be coming from Scott Walker camp

It is coming; look for a last minute smear campaign against Jeff Davis by conservative outside black money sources.

History suggests that if it hasn’t happened already in the state’s major media markets, we’ll soon start to see a campaign by conservatives and Republicans to discredit sitting District II Appeals Court Judge Jeff Davis. 

There is a history of their doing this. When Appeals Court Chief Justice Lisa Neubauer ran for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2019 against fellow Appeals Court Judge Brian Hagedorn, there was a flood of last minute misleading ads attacking Neubauer. 

The ads came from out-of-state black money sources. And they may have cost Neubauer the election. Hagedorn’s camp denied that they played a role in the ads, but the damage was done. Hagedorn won in an extremely close race, 606,414 to 600,433 (50.2% to 49.7%). To be fair, liberal-leaning organizations, including those from outside the state, actually outraised Neubauer, but the timing of the pro-Hagedorn ads appear to have made a difference.

Republicans/conservatives, unlike the Dems, have figured out that if you can’t beat them at the ballot box, beat them in the courts. Hence the makeup of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court: conservatives dominate.

Because the Republican Party/conservatives recognize the power that they gain when conservative courts rule in their favor, at all levels, they are willing to do whatever it takes to elect conservative judges. And in today’s hyper political environment, that means mislead and misinform. 

To aid in spreading this garbage, groups like the Republican State: Leadership Committee has spent  more than $2.2 million in election activities to support conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates in 2020, 2019, and 2016. 

Is Deborah Kerr a Dem or a Republican? She says Dem, but Scott Walker has endorsed her. Something fishy here, for sure

It is quiz time and since Deborah Kerr, one of two people seeking election on April 6 for the Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction post, is a teacher, she should ace this, right?

The question: Why do you have both financial support and endorsements from conservatives, including former Gov. Scott Walker, yet you consider yourself a Democrat?

Huh?

Sorry, this does not make sense. Yes, I know that officially the election is nonpartisan, but Deborah, according to an article in the Journal Sentinel by Daniel Brice, you ran in the primary as a “pragmatic Democrat.” It also says you are telling people you voted for President Joe Biden.

Ok, so Scott Walker is now supporting Democrats? Wow. That is news. And when I look at the list of people who have sent you money, it includes $15,000 from “conservative mega-donor and voucher supporter Arthur Dantchik and $2,000 from George and Susan Mitchell, former leaders of School Choice Wisconsin.”

Something is not right here. And then last week it was reported that your campaign manager and legal counsel, both with strong ties to the Democratic Party in Wisconsin, resigned. Hmm.

Sorry, Deborah, you’ve failed the test. It appears you are trying to hoodwink voters by telling them you are a Democrat while at the same time hauling in money and endorsements for the conservative, pro-voucher folks. If voters buy into this, you have the best of both worlds: support from Dems and Republicans.

The problem here is the Dems and the Republicans do not see eye to eye when it comes to public education. Not the use of the word “public.” Republicans, especially Scott Walker, have gutted public education in Wisconsin. State funding is now dramatically reduced, and many public school districts have had to resort to costly referendums just to get needed dollars to keep their systems alive. 

Plus, and this clearly is the 800-pound Gorilla in that too-small seat in the back of the classroom: Republicans, under the guise of fiscal responsibility and free-market economics, favor voucher schools, which drain dollars from the public schools, further putting public education in peril. 

Would Scott Walker, the Mitchells, and Arthur Dantchik support a candidate who did not support the voucher program? I think not, but go to Kerr’s website and you won’t find any mention of her support for vouchers. So how did Walker, etc., come to the conclusion that Kerr is pro-voucher? Could it be that when she is not in public, Kerr tells Dems one thing and Republicans something else?

Kerr’s lack of transparency and her not-so-obvious attempt to play both sides is disturbing, disingenuous, and dangerous. She has, so far, misled everybody and we can’t have this in such a critical position. Vote for Jill Underly on April 6..

View WISN interview with Jill Underly and Deborah Kerr.

Looks like a lot of Dems (and maybe Republicans) want to replace GOP Senator Ron Johnson

Two Dems have already announced that they intend to challenge Republican U. S. Senator Ron Johnson in 2022: Alex Lasry and Tom Nelson. But wait, they may be more Dems. Sarah Godlewski, the Wisconsin State Treasurer, has publicly expressed interest in entering the race but she has not formally announced.

Additionally, there are at least four other Dems who are potential entrants: Mandela Barnes, the current Lieutenant Governor; Josh Kaul, the current Attorney General; Ron Kind, the 3rd District Congressman;and Chris Larson, a Wisconsin State Senator for the 7th district since 2011.

Additionally, Mark Pocan, a U.S. Representative from the 2nd District, has had supporters, but for now, he has declined to run.

The big question, of course, what Republican will seek the post in the U.S. Senate. Johnson has the seat now, and he has filed his paperwork for reelection, but that doesn’t mean he will run. If he doesn’t there are a number of Republicans willing to step into the fray. Three of them are or were reps in Congress; Sean Duffy, who represented the 7th Congressional District until 206; Mike Gallagher, represents the 8th CD, and Bryan Steil, who represents the 2nd CD. 

Other potential Republications seeking the seat include David Beth, the Kenosha County Sheriff, and Kevin Nicholson, who finished second in the 2018 Republican primary for the seat Baldwin won in 2018.

Democrat Tammy Baldwin, who holds the second Wisconsin seat in the Senate is not up for reelection until 2024.

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