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Daily Bread for 4.9.24: Competitive Legislative Races Return to Wisconsin

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 60. Sunrise is 6:20 and sunset 7:31 for 13h 10m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 1 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Public Works Committee meets at 6 PM.

On this day in 1860, on his phonautograph machine, Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville makes the oldest known recording of an audible human voice.


Wisconsin has new legislative maps, and although maps do not elect candiates, there’s reason to believe that the extreme gerrymandering begun in the Walker years will give way to a more representative set of legislative districts. In the New York Times, Julie Bosman reports (open link) Fierce Races Loom With Wisconsin’s New Political Maps (‘The new legislative maps reflect a near split between Republican- and Democratic-leaning districts. For more than a decade, earlier maps had helped Republicans hold power’: 

Yee Leng Xiong, a 29-year-old nonprofit executive, has been an elected official in Wisconsin since he was a teenager. From a north central county known for ginseng farming and downhill skiing, he has served on the local school board, the Marathon County Board and the village board of trustees in Weston, population 15,000.

But he is a Democrat, and running for a seat in the State Legislature in a solidly Republican district had always seemed a little outlandish.

Until this year.

In February, new legislative maps in Wisconsin were signed into law after more than a decade of partisan wrangling and legal battles. The new maps undid the gerrymander that had helped Republicans keep control of both state legislative chambers since 2012. The 85th Assembly District in Marathon County, where Mr. Xiong lives, is no longer a Republican-leaning seat: It is a tossup.

“This idea came to reality when the maps changed,” Mr. Xiong said in an interview last month.

….

The state’s residents have long been a close mix of Democrats and Republicans, which makes Wisconsin a crucial swing state in presidential elections and means statewide races are often fiercely contested. The reshaping of the maps is expected to suddenly return many legislative races to the realm of true competition as well.

After more than a decade of languishing in the minority in the State Legislature, Democrats are now in a position to vie for political power with the Republicans, who currently hold about two-thirds of the seats in both the Senate and the Assembly.

Competitive races do not assure outcomes — they are, after all, competitive not prohibitive races. And yet, and yet, competitive races can work their will on candidates, forcing them (if they wish to win) to take positions acceptable to the more balanced electorates in their districts.

It’s been a long time since most WISGOP legislative candidates had to compete earnestly in their districts. They’re going to have to learn compromise and persuasion all over again.

Not so easy for those legislators who’ve lived a troll’s life for a decade.


Daily Bread for 2.14.24: Speaker Vos Rushes While the Rushing is Good

 Good morning.

Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 45. Sunrise is 6:52 and sunset 5:25 for 10h 32m 57s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 28.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 2018, a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida is one of the deadliest school massacres with 17 fatalities and 17 injuries.


Baylor Spears reports Legislature adopts Evers’s maps in second attempt to choose before state Supreme Court (‘Most Democrats vote no, saying they don’t trust Republicans’):

Six parties submitted maps to be considered and consultants recently said that the two sets of legislative maps submitted by Republican lawmakers and the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) amounted to more partisan gerrymandering.

The consultants did not pick a preferred map, but said the other maps, including Evers’ submission, were “nearly indistinguishable.” Those proposals have been projected to reduce Republican control of the Legislature from its current near-supermajority status 

Republicans lawmakers have found Evers’ maps, which would likely keep a Republican majority, although a smaller one, in the Legislature, preferable to the other submissions before the state Supreme Court. 

“Republicans were not stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Sen. Van Wannggard (R-Racine) said in a statement about the vote. “It was a matter of choosing to be stabbed, shot, poisoned or led to the guillotine. We chose to be stabbed, so we can live to fight another day.” 

….

Vos, who was the only representative to speak during the floor session, also rejected the idea that the move was a legal strategy.

Ahead of the floor sessions, some Democrats expressed concerns that Republicans wanted to pass Evers’ maps and then back a federal legal challenge before Republican-nominated U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Diane Sykes, formerly a conservative justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Such a challenge “could ultimately keep the state with its current gerrymandered maps, Democrats told the progressive news platform Democracy Docket

“If we get these new maps, the governor’s maps, signed by the Republicans, it’s more than likely that there’ll be a challenge in the 7th Circuit Court,” U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan said over the weekend. “We’re fearful the Republicans are finally trying to come around to do what they should have done in the first place, but they’re doing it with — I guess the technical term would be ‘with sh-t-eating grins on their faces.’ We can assume that this is not done because of the idea of good government.”

Evers’s maps would be an improvement, but Vos’s trustworthiness is discernible only with an electron microscope. Delays in Evers’s maps, either as implementation within the legislation or by litigation against implementation, would be objectionable. 

Vos does objectionable quite well. 

Note to the special-interest men (movers & shakers, lobbyists, p.r. men, whatever) in Whitewater: looking up to Robin Vos is like looking up to the pigeon that’s gonna relieve itself on a car. Normal people do not respect the men, or the pigeons, who do that.


Ukraine’s forces claim to have destroyed a large Russian landing ship in the Black Sea

Daily Bread for 1.19.24: Wisconsin Assembly’s Queen of Crackpottery Comes Up Short (Yet Again)

 Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 11. Sunrise is 7:19 and sunset 4:51 for 9h 31m 26s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 66.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1983, the Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, is announced.


Credit where credit is due, including credit for recognizing that the attempts to impeach the Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe are baseless (where baseless properly excludes drunken delusions, chanting voices in one’s head, or congenital cognitive deficiency). Scott Bauer reports Wisconsin Republican leader derides GOP impeachment attempt targeting state’s top elections official:

In the Assembly, state Rep. Janel Brandtjen has introduced a resolution to impeach Wolfe. As of Thursday, it had just five co-sponsors in addition to Brandtjen. It would require 50 votes to pass.

Brandtjen tried in vain on Tuesday to be recognized to speak in an attempt to get a vote on her proposal. Brandtjen, who has endorsed discredited conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, accused Republican leaders of being “Administrator Wolfe’s PR team.”

During a news conference before Thursday’s session, Assembly Majority Leader Tyler August said Brandtjen’s proposal would not be voted on because it doesn’t have enough support to get out of committee or be approved by a majority of the Assembly.

“We have a process that has been utilized in this building for decades of how to bring a bill or a resolution to the floor,” August said. “And that’s the process that we’ll continue to use.”

August said if Brandtjen has enough support to bring the measure forward for a vote, she can.

“But the fact is she doesn’t,” August said. “Our caucus is focused on real things, not grifting and not making a big show for the cameras. And that’s all she’s interested in doing.”

Now, I’m not inclined to agree that the WISGOP is focused on real things, but it’s indisputable among non-lunatics that Brandtjen is focused on unreal things. A low bar, yes.

And yet, and yet, among the 5.8 million Wisconsinites, Brandtjen is not the state’s only crackpot, although she now seems to sit on the crackpottery throne. (Where Michael Gableman is these days I do not know, as Arkham Asylum is a fictional place. )  

By Mikel Janín / DC Comics – [1], Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54136917


Amish man, horses help pull SUV out of snow in Ethridge, Tennessee:

Daily Bread for 1.11.24: Conservative Activists Launch Recall Effort Against Speaker Vos

 Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 31. Sunrise is 7:23 and sunset 4:41 for 9h 17m 56s of daytime. The moon is new with none of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1964, Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Luther Terry, M.D., publishes the landmark report Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States saying that smoking may be hazardous to health, sparking national and worldwide anti-smoking efforts.


Anya Van Wagtendonk reports Recall effort launched against Vos (‘Conservative opponents of the powerful Assembly speaker hope to force a recall election in June’):

Conservative activists have launched a recall effort against Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, citing his criticisms of former President Donald Trump and what they describe as an insufficiently right-wing record.

Matthew Snorek, a resident of Union Grove in Racine County, filed the petition to the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Wednesday. Vos, R-Rochester, has represented parts of Racine County in the state Assembly since 2005.

In the complaint, Snorek alleges Vos “is blocking fair elections in WI” and pointed to Vos not contributing to efforts by a small bloc of right-wing Assembly members to impeach Meagan Wolfe, the state’s top election administrator. 

“Wisconsin must move ‘Forward’ without Robin Vos in power,” the complaint reads. 

 In a statement, Vos called the recall “a waste of time, resources and effort.”

….

Snorek’s petition will need to get about 7,000 signatures — calculated as a quarter of votes cast in Vos’ Assembly district in the 2022 gubernatorial race — in order to force a recall election. Organizers are aiming for an election date in June.


Mouse secretly filmed tidying man’s shed every night:

Daily Bread for 8.3.23: Nineteen Wisconsin Residents File Suit Against Gerrymandered State Legislative Districts

Good morning. Thursday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 87. Sunrise is 5:49 AM and sunset 8:12 PM for 14h 23m 43s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 95.5% of its visible disk illuminated. Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission meets at 6 PM. On this day in 1977, Tandy Corporation…

Daily Bread for 6.6.23: How Influential Will Janet Protasiewicz’s Supreme Court Win Be?

Good morning. Tuesday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 77. Sunrise is 5:16 AM and sunset 8:30 PM for 15h 13m 43s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 92.4% of its visible disk illuminated.  Whitewater’s Common Council meets at 6:30 PM.  On this day in 1944, Operation Overlord begins…

Daily Bread for 5.12.23: Shared Revenue Changes Advance

Good morning. Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with intermittent thunderstorms and a high of 73. Sunrise is 5:34 AM and sunset 8:08 PM for 14h 33m 39s of daytime. The moon is in its third quarter with 49.9% of its visible disk illuminated. On this day in 1949, the Soviet Union lifts its blockade…

Daily Bread for 3.5.23: Michael Gableman’s Greatest Productivity Has Been in Ethics Complaints Against Himself

Good morning. Sunday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 48. Sunrise is 6:22 AM and sunset 5:49 PM for 11h 27m 16s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 96.53% of its visible disk illuminated.  On this day in 1981, the ZX81, a pioneering British home computer, is launched by Sinclair…

Daily Bread for 8.18.22: Gableman Accomplished Nothing

Good morning. Thursday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 80. Sunrise is 6:05 AM and sunset 7:51 PM for 13h 46m 02s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 56.6% of its visible disk illuminated.   Whitewater’s Community Development Authority meets at 5:30 PM.   On this day in 1868, French astronomer Pierre Janssen…

Daily Bread for 8.14.22: After a Million Dollars and a Million Lies, Vos Fires Gableman

Good morning. Sunday in Whitewater will see a stray morning shower on a day with times of clouds & sun and a high of 73. Sunrise is 6:01 AM and sunset 7:57 PM for 13h 56m 24s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 91.2% of its visible disk illuminated.   On this day in 1784, the…