Wednesday, November 23, 2022
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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Milwaukee Press Club 'Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism' 2020 & 2021 Award Winners

Victim’s Son EVISCERATES John Chisholm at Darrell Brooks’ Sentencing, Calls Him a ‘Coward’

A murder victim’s son went after Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm hard at Darrell Brooks’ sentencing, calling him a “coward” whose bail policies are partly responsible for Brooks being on the streets to commit the Waukesha parade attack.

“He (Chisholm) is a coward who hides from the accountability of his office’s negligence,” the victim’s son said during the Nov. 15, 2022, sentencing. “If he had a tiny single sliver of integrity he would resign. Not once has Mr. Chisholm said three simple words to these victims and families: ‘I am sorry.'”

You can watch the video here:

The son laid into Brooks, calling him a “repulsive” narcissist, and saying that his name “brings anger and hatred into my heart.” Then he said that he holds two other people culpable for his mother’s murder: Brooks’ mother and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

He said that Woods enabled Brooks’ attack by bailing him out of jail after he ran another woman over with her Ford Escape and then allowed him to continue driving it.

“The other is John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County DA whose misguided and ill-conceived bail reform policies let a violent multi-convicted felon back into our community and on to our streets while already out on bail for a previous violent felony,” the man said.

“Mr. Chisholm disregarded his duty to keep the people of this community and state safe from repeat career offenders and allowed a career criminal to snuff out six innocent lives.”

Of Brooks, he said that he “sat silently almost every day in this courtroom, bit my tongue and restrained myself from jumping over this divide…Now he gets to hear from me.”

“He is simply a repulsive man who has shown zero remorse for his actions and depraved indifference to life. His fake tears in court were never for those harmed but only for himself.”

Brooks was free on two pending felonies at the time of the parade attack, both Milwaukee County cases. Chisholm’s assistant handled the second one. Brooks was also free on bail in the earlier felony, which was handled by a prosecutor who works for Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul, a fact the media have refused to report. In addition, a Waukesha County court commissioner David Herring refused a request to jail Brooks in a child support case right before the parade attack. Learn more about who dropped the ball on Brooks here, including the court officials who actually set the bail amounts.

 

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Nancy Pelosi to step down from House leadership

Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who has led her party as U.S. House Speaker and House Minority Leader for roughly two decades, announced Thursday that she would step down from her leadership role.

Pelosi, who is 82, said she plans to continue representing her California district in Congress.

“I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Pelosi said, adding that “the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect.”

Pelosi was the first woman to be Speaker of the House. Her announcement comes just hours after Republicans were projected to have a narrow majority in the House, setting the nation up for at least two years of divided government.

"I have enjoyed working with three presidents achieving historic investments in clean energy with President George Bush, transformative health care reform with President Barack Obama, and forging the future from infrastructure to health care to climate action with President Joe Biden," Pelosi said.

Pelosi’s Democratic colleagues in both chambers praised her for the years of leadership.

“Our nation is more resilient today and the pillars of our democracy are more secure because of the historic and trailblazing service of Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” said Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif. “As the first woman and first Californian to ever serve as Speaker of the House, she’s redefined American leadership for future generations and served as an inspiration for young women around the world.”

Armed and Beltway-ish: More Federal Bureaucrats than U.S. Marines Authorized to Pack Heat

When Congress authorized $80 billion this year to beef up Internal Revenue Service enforcement and staffing, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned that “Democrats’ new army of 87,000 IRS agents will be coming for you.”

A video quickly went viral racking up millions of views, purporting to show a bunch of clumsy bureaucrats receiving firearms training, prompting alarm that the IRS would be engaged in military-style raids of taxpayers. The GOP claims were widely attacked as exaggerations – since the video, though from the IRS, didn’t show official agent training – but the criticism has shed light on a growing trend: the rapid arming of the federal government.

A report issued last year by the watchdog group Open The Books, “The Militarization of The U.S. Executive Agencies,” found that more than 200,000 federal bureaucrats now have been granted the authority to carry guns and make arrests – more than the 186,000 Americans serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. “One hundred three executive agencies outside of the Department of Defense spent $2.7 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment between fiscal years 2006 and 2019 (inflation adjusted),” notes the report. “Nearly $1 billion ($944.9 million) was spent between fiscal years 2015 and 2019 alone.”

The watchdog reports that the Department of Health and Human Services has 1,300 guns including one shotgun, five submachine guns, and 189 automatic firearms. NASA has its own fully outfitted SWAT team, with all the attendant weaponry, including armored vehicles, submachine guns, and breeching shotguns. The Environmental Protection Agency has purchased drones, GPS trackers, radar equipment, and night vision goggles, and stockpiled firearms.

A 2018 Government Accountability Office report noted that the IRS had 4,487 guns and 5,062,006 rounds of ammunition in inventory at the end of 2017 – before the enforcement funding boost this year. The IRS did not respond to requests for information, though the IRS’s Criminal Investigation division does put out an annual report detailing basic information such as how many warrants the agency is executing in a given year.

More than a hundred executive agencies have armed investigators, and apparently no independent authority is monitoring or tracking the use of force across the federal government. Agencies contacted by RealClearInvestigations from HHS to EPA declined to provide, or said they did not have, comprehensive statistics on how often their firearms are used, or details on how they conduct armed operations.

“I would be amazed if that data exists in any way,” said Trevor Burrus, a research fellow in constitutional and criminal law at the libertarian Cato Institute. “Over the years of working on this, it’s quite shocking how much they try to not have their stuff tracked on any level.”

All this weaponry raises questions about whether the 200,000 armed federal agents are getting adequate weapons and safety training. HHS did not respond to a request to comment on the $14 million in guns, ammunition, and military equipment it purchased between 2015 and 2019 or its new National Training Operations Center within the Washington, D.C. Beltway. Another government agency – Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers – also declined to speak with RCI for this article.

According to Burrus, recent history helps explain the militarization of the federal government – “This is 20 years of the war on terror, with the production of an excessive amount of access to weaponry,” he says.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 extended law enforcement authority to special agents of 24 Offices of Inspectors General in agencies throughout the government, with provisions to enable other OIGs to qualify for law enforcement authority. As a result, even obscure agencies such as the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board’s Office of Inspector General now have armed federal agents. This summer, before the expansion of the IRS was approved by Congress, Republican congressman Matt Gaetz singled out the RRB as an example of the excesses of an armed bureaucracy. He introduced a bill to stop federal agencies from stockpiling ammunition.

Federal agencies doing their own criminal investigations raises important constitutional and civil rights questions. Last year, the EPA raided a number of small auto shops across the country for allegedly selling equipment that helped car owners circumvent emissions regulations.

“It was 12 armed federal agents, and they had little EPA badges on and everything,” John Lund, the owner of Lund Racing in West Chester, Pennsylvania, told the Washington Examiner. The EPA did not respond to a request for comment.

While it’s hardly a new complaint that federal bureaucracies are overstepping their rulemaking authority, the idea that executive agencies are broadly empowered to effectively create their own laws and go out and enforce them with armed federal agents is another matter.

“So many of the regulations that can be enforced at the point of a gun have almost nothing to do with what people would normally call dangerous crime, that would be the kind of thing where you might want armed agents there,” said Burrus. “And especially coming from agencies such as the EPA and other agencies that are more quality-of-life agencies dealing with regulatory infractions, rather than involved in solving real crimes.”

This article was adapted from a RealClearInvestigations article published Oct. 6.

GOP Regains Majority Control House Majority Control of The House

Projections: GOP Regains Majority Control of the U.S. House

Republicans took a majority of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after multiple media outlets projected California Republican Mike Garcia would win the 27th Congressional District.

CNN, Fox News, the New York Times and the Washington Post all reported the GOP took the House majority as of Wednesday night. With a handful of races still left to call, Republicans are projected to hold at least 218 seats, enough to secure majority control. Democrats had 210 seats as of Wednesday.

The New York Times tweeted, "Republicans seized a slender majority in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. It will reorder the balance of power in Washington and is expected to effectively give the party a veto on President [Joe] Biden's agenda for the next two years."

Conservatives celebrated.

"SO LONG, NANCY!" Fox News commentator Sean Hannity posted on Twitter.

Democrat Nancy Pelosi is the outgoing Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House has broad authority including the power to select who is appointed to which committees.

U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the current minority leader, is expected to lead the House but is facing some pushback within his own party.

"Republicans just won back control of the House. This is a big deal," Joe Walsh, a former GOP U.S. Congressman who ran for president in 2020, posted on Twitter. "The majority party in the House controls & dictates EVERYTHING. So the GOP will investigate EVERYTHING. They'll disband the Jan 6th Committee on day 1 & launch an investigation of the Jan 6th Committee on day 2."

Some supporters of Democrats said the GOP won control by gerrymandering.

Jon Cooper, a New York Democratic activist who was the Long Island chairman for Barack Obama's presidential campaign, tweeted Nov. 15: "If Republicans do end up winning the House by a RAZOR-THIN margin, that will ONLY have been due to extreme, partisan gerrymandering by the GOP – in TX, FL, OH and elsewhere. The GOP couldn't win a fair fight."

Democrats in Blue states such as Illinois also have been accused of gerrymandering their way to big election wins.

widen I-94

Milwaukee Democrats Oppose State Plan to Widen I-94

(The Center Square) – There is a growing chorus of Milwaukee Democrats who say the state is missing the mark by expanding I-94 instead of focusing on buses and bicycles.

The Department of Transportation on Friday announced plans to widen I-94 between 70th Street and 16th Street in Milwaukee. That includes the lanes around American Family Field. The ultimate goal is to add new lanes, going from the current six lanes up to eight lanes.

Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, D-Milwaukee, is accusing Wis-Dot of living in the past.

“The DOT has an opportunity to redirect funds away from a backwards, environmentally disastrous ‘car is king’ mentality, and towards improvements that would do generational good in our communities,” Brotsoff said.

Many Milwaukee Democrats oppose the interstate project, either because they don’t like the costs, the environmental impact, or they believe that interstates have historically cut off communities of color.

Brostoff says he’d rather see Wisconsin invest in mass transit and bike lanes in the area.

“At a time when our communities are clamoring for multimodal transit options, pedestrian and bike safety improvements, and a shift away from car supremacy, expanding I-94 to eight lanes moves us in the wrong direction,” Brostoff said. “I urge the DOT to instead commit to redirecting the millions of additional dollars it would cost to expand I-94 towards making much-needed improvements across the region.”

He’s not alone. Milwaukee County Supervisor Peter Burgelis is also denouncing Wis-DOT’s I-94 plan.

“Building oversized freeways without considerations for multimodal transportation or permanent transit infrastructure is narrow-minded and shortsighted, and ignores concerns voiced by residents throughout this years-long design process. The eight-lane design does not serve the people of District 15, Milwaukee County, or Southeastern Wisconsin as well as it could,” Burgelis said in a statement.

Wisconsin has been talking about or actively planning to expand I-94 for years.

The project began in 2012, and was placed on hold in 2017 because state lawmakers didn’t include an expansion in the state budget.

Wis-DOT picked it back up in 2020, and has been marching toward a decision ever since.

There are two public hearings on the plan scheduled for next month.

Right now, the expansion project is expected to cost $1.2 billion.

Mitch McConnell

Senate Republicans Pick Mitch McConnell to Lead Party

Senate Republicans voted Wednesday to keep U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell as head of their party in the Senate.

The votes came in for McConnell despite a push from Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., to take the spot. Scott leads the National Republican Study Committee. He sent a letter to his Republican colleagues dated Nov. 15 making the case for their vote.

“I’m writing to you today because I believe it’s time for the Senate Republican Conference to be far more bold and resolute than we have been in the past. We must start saying what we are for, not just what we are against,” he said. “I do not believe we can simply continue to say the Democrats are radical, which they are. Republican voters expect and deserve to know our plan to promote and advance conservative values. We need to listen to their calls for action and start governing in Washington like we campaign back at home. There is a Republican Party that is alive and well in communities across America. It is time there is one in Washington, D.C., too. That is why I am running to be Republican Leader.”

He laid out a range of policy priorities in the letter.

"For those who want to get serious about ending reckless government spending and the devastating inflation it has caused, finally take action to protect Social Security and Medicare and preserve the promise of these programs for our children and grandchildren, hold government accountable from the FBI to the IRS, truly combat the extreme danger posed by Communist China and refocus our military on lethal defense instead of woke nonsense, I ask for your support in changing the direction of the Senate and rescuing America from the dangerous path Democrats have set it on,” Scott said.

The vote proceeded despite calls to delay it to include Herschel Walker, who is taking on Democrat Raphael Warnock in a Dec. 6 runoff for a Georgia Senate seat.

“We have a contested leadership election in the Senate GOP,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “My view is we should let @HerschelWalker vote! Don’t disenfranchise him. Tomorrow at the election meeting I will ask for a vote on a delay to allow Herschel, if elected, to participate.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, blasted McConnell Monday.

“Mitch would rather be leader than have a Republican majority,” Cruz said on “Verdict,” his podcast. “If there’s a Republican who can win who’s not going to support Mitch, the truth of the matter is he’d rather the Democrat win.”

McConnell told reporters Tuesday he was confident he would continue to lead the party.

“I think the outcome is pretty clear,” he said. “I want to repeat again, I have the votes. I will be elected.”

McConnell also shifted the blame for Republicans’ underwhelming midterm election performance to other leaders in the Republican party.

“We under-performed among independents and moderates because their impression of many of the people in our party, in leadership roles is that they’re causing chaos, negativity, excessive attacks,” he said. “And it frightened independent and moderate Republican voters.”

Scott, though, made that poor performance a key argument in his letter.

“Like each of you, I am deeply disappointed by the results of the recent election,” he said. “Despite what the armchair quarterbacks on TV will tell you, there is no one person responsible for our party’s performance across the country. I know there is no shortage of people who are eager to point fingers and assign blame here in Washington, but I won’t be one of them. It’s unproductive and a massive waste of time. We know that chief among our problems in races across America was a lack of Republican voter turnout. There may be many reasons for that, but after traveling the country to support our candidates I believe voters want a plan. They are begging us to tell them what we will do when we are in charge. Unfortunately, we have continued to elect leadership who refuses to do that and elicits attacks on anyone that does. That is clearly not working and it’s time for bold change. The voters are demanding it.”

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives remains up for grabs with Republicans just one seat away from the needed 218 votes to secure a majority. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is expected to get the official House Speaker spot when the new Congress takes over next year.

GOP Regains Majority Control House Majority Control of The House

House Majority Near for Republicans; Here’s How Remaining 10 Races Stand

At noon on Wednesday, a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives remained unresolved but was nearing a decision.

By consensus, Republicans have been called victorious for 217 of the 435 seats and needed just one more to flip control of the chamber with 10 remaining. Races in California, where seven are uncalled, could be decided today and have a mix of the GOP and Democrats leading.

The following are the remaining situations:

• California 3rd Congressional District: Republican Kevin Kiley 52.8% of the vote, Democrat Kermit Jones 47.2%; precincts counted 57%; difference about 10,000+ votes.

• California 13th; Democrat Adam Gray 50.3%, Republican John Duarte 49.7%; precincts 86%; difference about 3,000+ votes.

• California 22nd; Republican Rep. David Valadao 52.4%, Democrat Rudy Salas 47.6%; precincts 64%; difference about 3,000+ votes.

• California 27th; Republican Rep. Mike Garcia 54.2%, Democrat Christy Smith, 45.8; precincts 70%; difference about 13,000+ votes.

• California 34th; Democrat Rep. Jimmy Gomez 52.3%, Democrat David Kim 47.7%; precincts 70%; difference about 4,000+ votes.

• California 47th; Democrat Rep. Katie Porter 50.8%, Republican Scott Baugh 49.2%; precincts 84%; difference about 3,000+ votes.

• California 49th; Democrat Rep. Mike Levin 52.3%, Republican Brian Maryott 47.7%; precincts 89%; difference about 8,000+ votes.

• Colorado 3rd; Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert 50.2%, Democrat Adam Frisch 49.8%; precincts 99%; difference, about 1,000+ votes.

• Maine 2nd; ranked choice voting results expected to be announced Wednesday; Democrat Rep. Jared Golden 48.2%, Republican Bruce Poliquin 44.9%, independent Tiffany Boyd 6.9%; difference, about 10,500 votes lead for Golden over Poliquin, and Bond earned 21,555 votes that will be dispersed through the ranked choice tabulation.

• Alaska at-large: ranked choice voting results are being tabulated so that a candidate secures 50% of the vote; Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola 48.1%, Republican Sarah Palin 26.1%, Republican Nick Begich 23.8%, Libertarian Chris Bye 1.7%; precincts 90%; difference, Peltola by 53,000+ votes over Palin, by 58,000+ votes over Begich.

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GOP Regains Majority Control House Majority Control of The House

Control of The House Still Up in Air, Republicans Edge Closer to Majority

With several races still uncalled, Republicans are on the verge of taking the 218 seats needed for a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

So far, 217 House seats have been called for Republicans, according to The Associated Press, opposed to 205 for Democrats, leaving a little more than a dozen seats up for grabs, mostly in California, and along with it control of the House.

“When it comes to nominations – both judicial and executive – it will be more of the same. If the Democrats stick together, they can confirm whoever they want,” said John Malcom, an expert at the Heritage Foundation “In terms of policy, a lot will depend on whether the Republicans get the majority in the House, and if so, by how much.”

Divided government seems likely and could halt much of President Joe Biden’s agenda. Biden's several-trillion dollar spending spree will be a much harder sell for House Republicans.

Also, gas prices have soared since Biden took office amid his discouragement of oil drilling and reliance on foreign oil. Those prices dipped again after Biden released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but that release is scheduled to end shortly after the midterms. That, along with less oil being released by OPEC, could lead to higher prices at the pump.

“Divided government is usually preferred by markets and investors, but unfortunately the pain inflicted on American energy will not be mitigated by divided government,” said Daniel Turner, executive director of the pro-energy workers group Power the Future. “We need real vision and courageous legislation, and we will see none of that for at least two more years.”

Senate control has officially been handed over to the Democrats, regardless of the results of the Georgia runoff, after Republicans took tough losses in Arizona and Nevada this week. Biden will still only have slim margins to push through nominees of all kinds.

“Biden is still able to confirm his nominees to the various agencies,” Turner added. “Someone like Richard Glick at the FERC whose chairmanship is in doubt- can now be replaced with someone even more political. And any retiring cabinet or sub-cabinet official is screened and approved in a purely partisan manner meaning American Fossil Fuels will still get punished.”

In the House, members are grappling over new leadership positions. U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the current minority leader, was expected to lead the House but is facing some pushback within his own party. Reports indicate more conservative members are asking for commitments from McCarthy before he gets tjeir vote, including legislative influence and committee spots. There will be a formal vote in January for House Speaker.

The Senate is having its own discussions over leadership with the pick expected this week. Some though, have raised questions about whether Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee for Georgia's Senate seat, should be allowed to have a say.

"I don’t get the Senate GOP line on @HerschelWalker: Please, please win - but we won’t let you vote for leadership," Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., wrote on Twitter Monday. "Are you going to treat him like a full member of the Senate or not?"

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump is expected to make a major announcement Tuesday evening that could be the unveiling of his White House bid. That would have major implications in particular for the Georgia runoff in December.

“Hopefully TODAY will turn out to be one of the most important days in the history of our Country!” Trump wrote on TruthSocial early Tuesday.

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New Wisconsin Wolf Hunt Plan Moves Away From Wolf Population Numbers

(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s new wolf hunt plan doesn’t include a target number for the state’s wolf population.

The Department of Natural Resources on Thursday unveiled its new plan.

“The proposed draft Wolf Management Plan reflects the detailed and significant work done by DNR staff to ensure the health and stability of Wisconsin’s wolf population,” DNR Secretary Preston D. Cole said in a statement.

Wisconsin’s current wolf management plan has not changed since 2007, and has been a source of friction between hunters and environmentalists.

Perhaps the biggest change in the new wolf plan is the end to a specific number for Wisconsin’s wolf population.

“Moving away from a single numeric population goal and instead using an adaptive management process focused on balancing the [DNR’s] three main objectives,” the agency said in a news release.

Those main objectives include:

Ensuring a healthy and sustainable wolf population to fulfill its ecological role.Addressing and reducing wolf-related conflicts.Providing multiple benefits associated with the wolf population, including hunting, trapping and sightseeing.

While there is a hunting and trapping season included in the new wolf management plan, DNR is proposing that it be limited.

The plan calls for “reducing harvest registration times and issuing zone-specific wolf harvest permits to improve the department’s ability to effectively meet harvest quotas.”

There’s also a suggestion to “mechanisms to address localized concerns, including wolf harvest concerns near tribal reservation boundaries and focused wolf harvest in areas with a history of wolf-livestock conflict.” And revise “wolf management zone boundaries to better reflect current wolf distribution and habitat.”

There’s now a 60-day comment period before the plan can go to the DNR Board for a vote.

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Robin Vos Re-elected as Speaker, Looks to Compromise With Governor on Abortion, School Choice, Tax Cuts

(The Center Square) – The top Republican in the Wisconsin Assembly says he’s willing to work on “solutions” with Gov. Tony Evers.

Speaker Robin Vos on Thursday said he sees Republicans offering the governor compromises on abortion, school choice and taxes.

“I think when you look at where we are, we need to make some potential changes to the 1849 [abortion] law. One of the things that I want to make sure of is that we have a law that can withstand court challenges,” Vos told News Talk 1130 WISN’s Jay Weber Thursday morning. “When Tony Evers said he wouldn’t even consider making exceptions for rape and incest because he wants radical, up until birth abortion laws, let’s put something in front of him and see if he really believes that.”

The governor said during the recent campaign that he wouldn’t sign an abortion exemption law because it would continue to ban most abortions in the state.

Many other Republicans in the legislature have said they have no plans to change Wisconsin’s abortion law, including the leader of the state Senate.

Vos also said he could see offering the governor a compromise on school choice.

“I want universal school choice, he wants more money for schools,” Vos explained. “That probably means we get both. We’re probably not going to do one or the other.”

Vos sees the same kind of possible agreement on taxes.

“He wants more money for government, I want more money in the hands of the people,” Vos added. “Maybe we can find a way to thread the needle, with most of the surplus going back to people but some of it going back to law enforcement at the local level. I think there should be things that we can find consensus on.”

Vos did warn that it could take a while to find a balance with the governor.

Gov. Evers bragged during his campaign about blocking Republican ideas. Evers vetoed more pieces of legislation, nearly 150 pieces, than any other governor in state history.

During his victory speech Tuesday, Evers hinted that he wants to invest more in public schools in the state and focus on climate change and green energy during his second term.

Lawmakers return to the Capitol for a new session in January.

DeSantis Surges, Trump Falters in Midterms

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ sweeping win in Florida on Tuesday has propelled his stature in the Republican Party just as candidates backed by former President Donald Trump struggled on election day, setting a more favorable stage for DeSantis ahead of a potential 2024 presidential primary matchup.

DeSantis won his gubernatorial race in 2018 by about 33,000 votes. This time around, with 99% of the total reporting, DeSantis leads his Democrat opponent by more than 1.5 million votes.

DeSantis’ win validated his brand of economically strong, anti-COVID restriction politics with an edge on culture war issues. He hammered home that message in his victory speech Tuesday night.

"We have embraced freedom,” DeSantis said. “We have maintained law and order. We have protected the rights of parents. We have respected our taxpayers, and we reject woke ideology ... We will never ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die!"

Miami-Dade County supported Hillary Clinton by 29 points in 2016 but swung hard for DeSantis this year. DeSantis won that county by about 11 points.

Miami-Dade and other regions showed an impressive number of Hispanic voters side with DeSantis, a fact that would be crucial in a potential general election in 2024.

Meanwhile, Trump’s candidates did not fare as well. Candidates like Dr. Mehmet Oz and Herschel Walker, celebrities backed by Trump, struggled Tuesday. Oz lost his race, and Walker is headed for a Dec. 6 runoff.

One outspoken Trump supporter, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., is trailing as her race is near a dead tie and comes down to the wire.

“There’s no question this was a bad election for Donald Trump,” said Asher Hildebrand, former Capitol Hill Chief of Staff and current associate professor of the practice at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. “With the possible exception of Kari Lake in Arizona and Herschel Walker in Georgia, every governor and Senate candidate he endorsed in five main battleground states appears to have lost.

“…That combined with DeSantis’ strong showing in the Florida governor’s race increases pressure among Republican elites to find another standard bearer in 2024,” he added.

Others echoed that message.

“An election where Oz and Walker narrowly lose and where DeSantis romps by 20 points is the worst possible night for Trump and the best possible night for DeSantis,” Patrick Ruffini, a pollster for Echelon Insights, wrote on Twitter.

Likely aware of this narrative, Trump posted on TruthSocial Wednesday afternoon attacking DeSantis, whom he recently nicknamed “DeSanctimonious.”

During his 2016 primary campaign, Trump belittled his GOP rivals with crude nicknames.

“Now that the Election in Florida is over, and everything went quite well, shouldn’t it be said that in 2020, I got 1.1 Million more votes in Florida than Ron D got this year, 5.7 Million to 4.6 Million? Just asking?”

The stocks for TruthSocial’s merger partner, Digital World Acquisition Corp, dipped roughly 20% after Trump’s candidates did not fare well.

“While in certain ways yesterday’s election was somewhat disappointing, from my personal standpoint it was a very big victory – 219 WINS and 16 Losses in the General - Who has ever done better than that?” Trump wrote on the platform Wednesday.

Other analysts pointed out that regardless of whether Trump is the nominee in 2024, his style of politics isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

“There may be an end of Trump but there won’t be an end of Trumpism,” said Adriane Lentz-Smith, associate professor and associate chair in Duke's Department of History.

wisconsin covid-19

Balance of Power Retains Status Quo at Wisconsin Capitol

(The Center Square) – The next four years at the Wisconsin Capitol are likely to be the same as the last four years.

Governor Evers took the governor's mansion. The Republicans held on to the legislature, but fell just short of a supermajority.

That means the same kind of split government that Wisconsin has seen for the past four years.

“Republicans won't have a supermajority in the state Assembly. Gov. Evers' veto pen is secure,” Wisconsin Democratic Party boss Ben Wikler said on Twitter after Tuesday’s election.

Republicans needed to flip one seat in the State Senate to get to a supermajority, they did that by winning Democratic Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley’s seat in far northwestern Wisconsin. She didn’t run again.

Republicans needed to take five seats in the Assembly in order to get a supermajority there. They grabbed three seats.

The top Democrat in the Assembly, Rep. Greta Neubauer, said stopping a Republican supermajority is something to celebrate.

“With the governor’s veto power intact, Republicans in the legislature will be prevented from turning Wisconsin into ground zero for dismantling our democracy,” Neubauer said.

Gov. Evers made his veto power an issue in the campaign for governor, bragging that he vetoed more pieces of legislation than any other governor in Wisconsin history.

He scuttled nearly 150 different pieces of legislation passed by Republican lawmakers.

But Evers’ veto power will not stop Republicans from controlling the state budget.

Republicans ignored the governor’s first two budget proposals, both of which included billion-dollar-plus tax increases and several billion dollars more in spending.

The legislature will get to work on a new state budget when lawmakers return in January.

While Gov. Evers won comfortably over Republican Tim Michels, and Attorney General Josh Kaul narrowly won over Republican Eric Toney, the state’s race for Secretary of State remained too close to call Wednesday. Early vote totals also suggest that Republican John Lieber won the little-noticed race for Wisconsin Treasurer.

Governor Evers Ranked $150 Tax Rebate evers maps commission

Evers Wins Second Term, Says ‘Boring Wins’

(The Center Square) – Tony Evers celebrated his victory after winning a second term as Wisconsin governor early Wednesday morning by telling his supporters that some people called him boring during the campaign, but he said it didn’t matter.

“You know what Wisconsin? As it turns out, boring wins,” Evers said.

Evers comfortably beat Republican Tim Michels, grabbing 51% of the vote.

Evers said Democrats “showed up” on Election Day.

“You showed up for reproductive rights and the freedom for you and your neighbors to make their own health care decisions,” the governor said during his victory speech. “You showed-up for our kids, our educators, and our public schools…You showed up for LGBT folks and trans kids who want to be safe and who they are in our state. You showed up for conservation, for clean energy, to take climate change seriously, and a future that doesn’t treat protecting our environment and good-paying jobs like they are mutually exclusive.”

Michels’ concession speech was brief, more of an acknowledgement that “the math doesn’t add up.”

“In hindsight looking back I don't know what we would have done differently. It was a very spirited effort,” Michels told his supporters. “But it wasn’t our night tonight.”

Evers is the first Wisconsin governor in nearly 30 years to be re-elected while his party sits in the White House.

He won thanks in part to a huge voter turnout in Dane County. Election managers there said nearly 90% of voters cast a ballot.

But Evers also picked-up votes in traditional Republican strongholds. Michels got fewer votes in many WOW county communities than Scott Walker did four years ago.

Evers’ victory did not come cheap.

Wisconsin’s race for governor was the most expensive in the nation, with a total price tag of at least $115 million.

Evers was not the only Democrat to win statewide, however. Late numbers gave Josh Kaul a win in the race for Wisconsin Attorney General. Those same numbers also showed Doug LaFollette winning another term as Secretary of State.

Earlier vote counts had Republicans winning both of those seats.

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