Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Sunday, June 23, 2024

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

Josh Kaul ‘Let Us Down,’ Milwaukee Police Association Says; Endorses Eric Toney

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Calling it a “life and death Decision,” the Milwaukee Police Association endorsed Eric Toney for AG, slamming Josh Kaul for failing to prioritize public safety.

The Milwaukee Police Association has endorsed Fond du Lac County DA Eric Toney for Attorney General instead of Democratic incumbent Josh Kaul, slamming Kaul for putting “safety at the bottom.”

“Milwaukee Police Association members are working on the front lines every day to provide the highest degree of uninterrupted public safety service to the community. So is Fond du Lac District Attorney Eric Toney,” wrote Andrew Wagner, MPA president, in a news release.

“That is why the MPA, representing 1,500 professional Police Officers, Forensic Investigators, and Detectives of the City of Milwaukee, proudly announces its endorsement of Eric Toney for the office of Wisconsin Attorney General,” the release continues. The MPA said that Eric Toney “is the tough-on-crime prosecutor Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin needs to combat the surge in violent crime and he’ll be a strong partner for law enforcement during this critical moment.”

Toney, a Republican, is seeking the GOP nomination to square off against Josh Kaul, an ideological Democrat, in the general election. Toney, who is endorsed by more DAs and sheriffs than Josh Kaul, recently slammed Kaul for his failed record on crime.

“The MPA’s decision to support DA Toney is not based solely on promises – it is a life and death decision for our police officers and our communities,” said Wagner, acting president of the MPA. “When we hear, ‘defund the police,’ we need an Attorney General that will stand up to this rhetoric and fight for the resources needed to maintain law and order. But our current Attorney General has let us down. He has shown us that law enforcement and law and order clearly are not his priority. The so-called ‘Top Cop’ has put safety at the bottom.”

The release continues, “The MPA – the entire state – needs our criminal justice leaders to direct resources toward the efforts that will help us stem a crime epidemic most of us haven’t seen in our lifetimes in this city. Police officers are out there doing the job day after day, but they cannot do it alone and they cannot do it without a partnership with the very agency – DOJ – that provides officer training, vital crime lab services, and sufficient resources for staffing and funding the justice system.”

Josh Kaul Has ‘Overseen Cuts to All These Areas Key to Community Safety,’ MPA Says

MPA says: “The current Attorney General has overseen cuts to all these areas key to community safety, including gutting the state’s prosecutors’ offices.”

The MPA described Toney’s experience, writing, “The son of a 30-year retired Wisconsin Deputy Sheriff, DA Toney has experience working at the intersection of the community and the law, both as a District Attorney and as a private attorney who worked for justice for his clients. DA Toney has led the fight to change the laws that endanger our communities. He successfully worked with local officials,the state legislature, and the Governor to change state law to prevent violent sex offenders from being dumped all over Wisconsin and now requires them to be placed in their county of residency, when a court orders their release.”

According to the MPA, the city of Milwaukee “is at a crisis point amid a surge of violent crime that has made us a national shame. Our homicide rate is on pace for another record year after it just doubled in 2020. Our police officers are doing their part with what they have. We need an Attorney General who does his part.”

“Milwaukee’s homicide epidemic is bleeding into the rest of Wisconsin, and families are living in fear of violent crime due an attorney general playing politics with public safety. As the state’s next ‘Top Top,’ I’ll be a strong partner with the MPA, and I’ll fight to ensure they have the tools and resources needed to protect all residents of Milwaukee,” said District Attorney Eric Toney. “As the son of a cop, I‘ve seen firsthand the sacrifices MPA members make each and every day, and understand the overwhelming majority of our law enforcement officers would give up their life to keep us safe. They have earned our support, and they deserve an attorney general that won’t turn their back on law enforcement.”

 

 

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The poll found only 14% of voters said it was “very likely” Harris would win a general election for president if she became the Democratic nominee. Another 20% said it was “somewhat likely.”

The poll is especially noteworthy given Biden's age. The incumbent president is 81 years old and appears increasingly in decline.

A moment of confusion for Biden at a June 6 D-Day ceremony went viral last week, the latest in a string of similar incidents. At the same time, Biden remains competitive with former President Donald Trump, though several polls suggest Trump has a lead over the president.

Biden's incidents have led some to speculate that Democrats could or should try to replace Biden at the Democratic convention in Chicago in August. That would be a highly unusual, though not impossible, move. Removing Biden would naturally raise the question about who could replace him, but for now voters seem to lack confidence that Harris could win.

The poll also looked ahead to 2028: “If President Joe Biden were not in the running for president in 2028, which of the following Democrats, if any, would you want to be the Democratic candidate for president?”

While Harris was top of the list among Democrats, she only received 21% support. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg both received 10% support each, while 41% said they were unsure or didn't know.

Only 42% of those polled described Harris as trustworthy, and 44% described her as honest, according to the poll.

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Evers recently called for an operational and an instructional audit of MPS.

“I’m proposing today to go two steps further with two important goals: the first, to audit MPS’ programs and operations in their entirety, and the second, to audit the effectiveness of teaching and instruction of our kids in classrooms across the district,” Evers said.

The governor, however, wants to keep the audit within his administration and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said that’d be a mistake.

“I’m glad that Gov. Evers has called for an audit of the Milwaukee Public School System. Gov. Evers and DPI should work with Joint Legislative Audit Committee Co-Chairs [Eric] Wimberger and [Robert] Wittke to discuss authorizing the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau to audit MPS, DPI and any other involved stakeholders,” LeMahieu said. “The LAB is more than capable of handling this important undertaking independently and transparently without the use of outside contractors.”

The worry is an audit controlled by the governor’s office will not fully look into MPS’s shortcomings.

The calls for audits in Milwaukee Public Schools come after the state withheld nearly $17 million last week because of incomplete and late financial reports. One of those reports was due to the Department of Public Instruction in September 2023.

Evers has asked MPS leaders to be a part of any audit process but warned that not everyone will be invited.

“I also have to say – I’m exceedingly disappointed by the politicking and jockeying I’ve seen since this situation came to light by opportunists who’re seizing this moment to serve their own selfish goals instead of worrying about what matters most: our kids,” Evers added.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos took to social media to accuse the governor of being the one who is playing politics.

“And who do you think [Evers] will suggest conducts the audits?” Vos asked. “The same failed DPI bureaucrats who allowed this to happen or his administration who wanted to dismantle the school choice system so all kids were forced into this MPS mess? We need real reforms to the current mentality where MPS has been protecting the bureaucracy and Gov. Evers has been advocating for shoveling hundreds of millions of dollars into this broken system.”

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The mandate requires that all nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding provide a total of at least 3.48 hours of nursing care per resident per day. Plus, nursing homes must have a registered nurse onsite at all times.

Research by SeniorLiving.org shows 82%, or nearly 12,000 facilities in the U.S., will need to hire staff or face being shut down.

Spokesperson Corie Wagner said Illinois is home to the fifth highest number of understaffed nursing homes in the country.

“If we were to apply the new policies and new standards to nursing homes in Illinois today, 84% of facilities would need more staff, and that is really significant,” said Wagner.

The mandate will be phased in over three years, with rural communities having up to five years.

Nursing home operators strongly objected to the minimum staffing proposal in September, saying they already struggle to fill open positions.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in September announced a $75 million campaign to increase the number of nurses in nursing homes.

Nearly 1.2 million residents live in Medicare- and Medicaid-certified, long-term care facilities, but Wagner said that number is expected to increase.

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