Daily Bread for 12.9.21: Election Commission Upholds Election Grants

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 37.  Sunrise is 7:14 AM and sunset 4:20 PM for 9h 06m 12s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 33.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

 Whitewater’s Community Involvement & Cable TV Commission meets at 5:30 PM.

 On this day in 1868, the first traffic lights are installed, outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.

Patrick Marley reports A bipartisan commission allows Wisconsin election grants, once again rejecting challenges brought by Republicans:

Wisconsin elections officials from both parties threw out a challenge Wednesday to private grants that helped cities run their elections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The series of rulings by the state Elections Commission is the latest instance of authorities rejecting claims that the grants were illegal. Over the last year, three courts dismissed lawsuits over the grants.

In the latest development, the commissioners tossed out a new set of challenges over the grants that were filed this spring.

“The Commission finds that the Complaint does not raise probable cause to believe that a violation of law or abuse of discretion has occurred. All claims are hereby dismissed,” attorneys working for the commission wrote in a letter they sent Wednesday to the lawyer who spearheaded the challenges.

At issue is $8.8 million in grants the Center for Tech and Civic Life gave to Wisconsin’s five largest cities — Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Racine and Kenosha. No one has challenged smaller grants the center gave to about 200 other Wisconsin municipalities.


DeWitt’s lawyers concluded there was no reason to believe there was wrongdoing and sent their findings to the six commissioners.

If two or more commissioners asked, the commission would have had to hold a hearing and take a vote on what to do. No commissioner asked for a hearing. Under commission rules, that means it has adopted the attorneys’ conclusions.

The commission consists of three Democrats and three Republicans. They have clashed on some high-profile issues but have surprised observers by sticking together on some politically fraught matters.

There are sure to be appeals to circuit courts in counties where the grants were made.  The intensity of conservative populists’ opposition to programs that don’t assure the outcomes they want will motivate them to keep fighting against ballot access for all.

Drone footage reveals damage from Indonesia’s Mount Semeru volcano eruption:

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