Thursday, February 2, 2023
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Thursday, February 2, 2023

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

Liberal State Journal Lies About Eric Toney in Voter Fraud Attack

The liberal media will get push back when they handle things so dishonestly.

The Wisconsin State Journal ran and then deleted a venomous, dishonest editorial against Republican Attorney General candidate Eric Toney a few days before the primary. It accuses Toney of harassing people because he prosecuted them for illegally voting IN THE WRONG COUNTY.

The newspaper deleted the editorial when Toney demanded a retraction.

For following the rule-of-law, Toney was described by the liberal newspaper as causing “harm to the public” and engaging in a “sad stunt.” The newspaper called people voting in Fond du Lac County when they didn’t live there a “sad mistake.”

We live in Waukesha and Washington Counties. Can we go rent a PO Box in Dane County and vote in Dane County judicial races? Would the State Journal be OK with that?

The editorial board failed to conduct basic fact checking, reported falsehoods, and had all of the information in their possession but left out key facts anyway. They made readers believe Toney prosecuted the people discussed in their story solely for voting with PO boxes, leaving out the fact that those people didn’t even live in Fond du Lac County, according to the criminal complaint.

Seems like a serious problem.

The editorial board falsely argued that Toney won’t convict anyone anyway, implying that he brought the cases for political purposes, when he’s already obtained a conviction.

The board lied by implying that Toney did not realize one defendant was a Trump voter when that fact was in the criminal complaint. Which they had.

They didn’t tell readers that, according to the complaint, this defendant admitted not living in the county for two years, instead making readers think Fond du Lac was her home.

The editorial board made it sound like Toney was perpetuating a stolen election narrative, when he’s consistently said he opposes decertification and even noted in a press release, “This prosecution is not suggestive that the election was stolen but elections are the cornerstone of our democracy…”

The liberal newspaper editorial board negligently failed to tell voters that 3 of the 5 people in question cast votes in counties they didn’t even live in, the complaint says. Toney’s approach is to offer deferred judgments that don’t result in conviction in cases that fit the other two. That seems like measured justice to us. He’s not hitting them all with the same hammer.

The conviction the editorial board failed to mention came before a Tony-Evers appointed judge. Lawrence K. Klug ended up being convicted of only a misdemeanor after entering a plea of non-contest, which again seems proportional to the offense to us.

“This defendant illegally voted in Fond du Lac County, while living outside of Fond du Lac County,” Toney said. “This allowed him to vote in legislative races and a congressional race in which the defendant was not legally allowed to vote in.”

Jamie Wells, the Trump voter the State Journal focuses on, told authorities that she and her husband had been living outside of Fond du Lac County “for the past two years,” staying in New London, Wisconsin. New London is a city in Outagamie and Waupaca counties. When reached by police, Wells was in Louisiana and stated that she wouldn’t be back for a few months.

Wells and her husband were both charged.

Of course, that ruins the State Journal’s narrative.

State journal editorial

Even worse, the State Journal HAD the criminal complaint when they wrote this misleading and incomplete paragraph:

State journal editorial

That’s just dishonest.

Who is on the editorial board?

STAFF MEMBERS

KELLY LECKER, Executive editor

SCOTT MILFRED, Editorial page editor

PHIL HANDS, Editorial cartoonist

COMMUNITY MEMBERS

JANINE GESKE

SUSAN SCHMITZ

Scott Milfred, the editorial page editor, makes no secret of the fact he despises Trump:

For whatever it’s worth, he’s also a fan of the gas tax. You get the drift.

The editorial writers also didn’t tell voters that Toney filed two charges against felons who voted illegally, and he’s already obtained a conviction in one of those cases too. That’s probably not the sympathetic narrative they’re looking for, so they just left that part out.

State journal editorial

Guess it’s clear which Republican primary candidate the liberal media are worried will win on Tuesday! (Hint: They’re worried Toney will get through because he’s the only GOP candidate who has ever prosecuted a case.)

The headline on the State Journal editorial was also inaccurate. It read:

Whoops! AG candidate Eric Toney snags Trump voter with over-the-top charge

The “whoops” falsely implies that Toney didn’t know Wells was a Trump voter, but the criminal complaint revealed that he knew that already.

All that really proves anyway is that Toney follows the rule of law on election integrity issues regardless of politics. We know that’s a foreign concept to the State Journal, which is probably fine with Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul politicizing his office.

If you clicked on the editorial late Saturday night, August 6, 2022, you got an error page. We have screenshots of the entire editorial before it was taken down, however.

State journal editorial
The story even lied that Toney “no doubt hoped that criminally charging five of his Fond du Lac constituents for using post office boxes as voting addresses would convince more Trump supporters to back him in Tuesday’s primary.”

State journal editorial

However, since three of the people actually did not live in Fond du Lac County, according to the complaint, they weren’t Toney’s constituents. Voting in the wrong county strikes us as a big deal in local elections that might be decided by a few votes.

It apparently never occurred to the rocket scientists on the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board that district attorneys don’t make laws. If they have an issue with these prosecutions, maybe their issue should be with the Legislature that wrote the law.

The newspaper made it sound like a big red flag that Toney said in a speech that he was the state’s most aggressive prosecutor of voter fraud, but they didn’t tell readers he was just quoting a line from their affiliate newspaper.

In an August 3, 2022, news release, Toney announced that he had obtained a voter fraud conviction against Donald C. Holz, a convicted felon who was barred from voting but did so anyway. Read the criminal complaint here.

The State Journal didn’t tell their readers about this conviction, either.

Holz illegally cast a ballot in the November 2020 presidential election. Felons aren’t as sympathetic to readers, so Holz didn’t make the editorial.

The editorial mentioned Trump over and over and over again. The editorial writers launched into a massive broadside against Trump, writing things like, “But Toney wants to trump up fears of voter fraud to appeal to Trump’s staunchest followers. Trump has lied about widespread voter fraud – which doesn’t exist – to try to explain away his loss to President Joe Biden. Trump all but requires GOP candidates seeking his endorsement to regurgitate his false claims.”

In other words, they are trying to create a false narrative that Republicans are all in with Trump’s narratives on the election to hurt their chances in November.

But, dishonestly, the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board fails to tell readers that Toney has repeatedly said he opposes decertification of the election.

The article relies on a similarly dishonest story by “Wisconsin Watch,” which is a liberal site that masquerades as objective journalism.

There are two remaining cases where the people voted with PO boxes but lived in the county. However, Toney’s approach would be to treat those people differently than people who didn’t live in the county or are ineligible felons.

“If someone was otherwise eligible to vote (but didn’t live in the county), we look for misdemeanor resolutions with no jail. If someone was ineligible to vote we look for a felony with jail time,” Toney said.

“If someone was living in the county and was otherwise eligible to vote, we will be looking at deferred judgement agreements where they wouldn’t be convicted. All defendants are presumed innocent or until proven guilty.”

In other words, the people who voted with PO boxes but lived in Fond du Lac County somewhere won’t get convicted.

Wisconsin Watch, a 501(c)(3) organization that disseminates news stories to many prominent media outlets statewide and is housed at the taxpayer-funded UW-Madison campus, has taken more than $1 million from an organization founded by George Soros over the years.

In November 2020, Wisconsin Right Now discovered that the group is still prominently pushing out stories by a writer, Howard Hardee, who was dispatched to Wisconsin by a Soros-funded organization to work on “election integrity” stories and projects. It has other left-wing donors.

The Wisconsin State Journal Editorial Board does not tell readers about these concerning biases.

Tip to the State Journal: Just keep the editorial down. You’re embarrassing yourselves.

 

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Dan Kelly Won’t Commit to Endorsing Jennifer Dorow if She Wins Supreme Court Primary

(The Center Square) – The harsh feelings over Wisconsin’s last race for Supreme Court are casting a shadow over the current race for the high court.

Former Justice Dan Kelly, who is running for the court, said Tuesday night that he won’t endorse Judge Jenifer Dorow if she wins the primary for Supreme Court in three weeks.

“Before I endorse, I need to see proof of what a person means when they say they are a judicial conservative,” Kelly said at a judicial forum hosted by the Republican Women in Greater Milwaukee. “I need to see it in writing, I need to see it in speeches, I need to see it in opinions, I need to see it somewhere. Because I am not going to endorse any more unless there is that proof.”

Kelly said his endorsement of Justice Brian Hagedorn has him taking such a strict stand now.

“I took a risk,” Kelly added. “I endorsed him, I campaigned for him, and I helped him get on the Supreme Court. And when he came, it turned out he really wasn’t [a judicial conservative.]”

Hagedorn has become the swing vote on the court, and has ruled with the court liberal members several times.

Kelly’s comments go along with a theme of this year’s race, that Dorow may be another non-conservative Republican judge.

Dorow said she was conservative enough for other conservatives to seek her endorsement.

“My background and my experience, apparently, was good enough for each of them to ask for my endorsement at one point. I didn’t always give it, but I was asked,” Dorow said. “And now, apparently, it’s not good enough to get the endorsement back.”

Kelly served four years on the Wisconsin Supreme Court before being defeated in 2020.

Dorow has spent her career as a prosecutor and a judge. She most famously presided over the Waukesha Christmas Parade killer’s trial.

Kelly said voters can judge him based on his years of rulings as a judge and Supreme Court justice. Dorrow doesn’t have the same history.

Dorrow said her focus is not on splitting the Republican or conservative base, and not allowing the Supreme Court to flip to a liberal majority.

“I’m not going to take a chance to take somebody out, so the Left can win this election," Dorow added. “We need to win this.”

Kelly brushed off that criticism.

“My commitment today is the same as it’s been my entire career, and always will be. I will promote judicial conservatism in every way that I can.”

Voters will choose between Kelly and Dorow, and two liberal judges Everett Mitchell and Janet Protasiewicz in the primary on Feb. 21. The top two vote getters will then face off in April.

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Biden’s Second Home Searched By FBI for Classified Documents

President Joe Biden's personal residence in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, was searched by the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday as part of an ongoing probe into classified documents, according to a statement released by Biden's personal attorney.

"Today, with the President's full support and cooperation, the DOJ is conducting a planned search of his home in Rehoboth, Delaware," attorney Bob Bauer said in a statement. "Under DOJ's standard procedures, in the interests of operational security and integrity, it sought to do this work without advance public notice, and we agreed to cooperate."

Earlier this month, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert Hur as special counsel to lead the investigation into Biden after classified documents were found at Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center and at his home in Delaware.

CBS has reported that investigators found classified documents at a former private office of Biden's in Washington, D.C. The Department of Justice did a search of the president's main residence in Wilmington, Delaware, as part of the probe.

RNC Research, run by the Republican National Committee, responded on Twitter to the search.

"On January 12, the White House said SIX TIMES the search for classified documents was 'complete.' The FBI is currently searching Biden's beach house," RNC Research tweeted.

Joyce Vance, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, tweeted, "Being told, this was a preplanned, consensual search. This is not a search warrant that the FBI is executing. Big difference."

Vance compared the searches involving Biden for classified documents to that of former president Donald Trump.

"Biden let the FBI come in & search," Vance tweeted. "Prosecutors obtained a search warrant from a fed'l judge for Mar-a-Lago based on probable cause to believe evidence/fruits of a crime would be found on the premises."

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Milwaukee Police Breaking News – Wed, 1 Feb 2023

Milwaukee Police are investigating a non-fatal shooting that occurred on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at approximately 11:51 p.m., on the 7600 block of W. Capitol Dr. The victim, a 40-year-old Milwaukee male, was conveyed to a local hospital for treatment. The investigation is ongoing. Milwaukee Police continue to seek unknown suspect(s).Anyone with any information is asked to contact Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360, or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at (414)224-Tips or P3 Tips. The City of Milwaukee is subject to Wisconsin Statutes related to public records. Unless otherwise exempted from the public records law, senders and receivers of City of Milwaukee e-mail should presume that e-mail is subject to release upon request, and is subject to state records retention requirements. See City of Milwaukee full e-mail disclaimer at www.milwaukee.gov/email_disclaimer
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Judicial Conduct Complaint Filed Against Protasiewicz For Prejudging Cases

(The Center Square) – There’s now a formal complaint over how one of the liberal candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court is campaigning. A western Wisconsin man, Randall Cook, filed the complaint Monday.

He said Judge Janet Protasiewicz has violated the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct by talking openly about how she’d rule on cases that will likely come before the Supreme Court. Specifically, the complaint says Protasiewicz has called Wisconsin’s political maps ‘"rigged," and has said she supports abortion and same sex marriage laws.

“Put simply Judge Protasiewicz is promising her vote on certain cases as a way to win over voters,” Cook said in his complaint. “This is completely unethical and cannot be condoned. As a result of her statements, there is no way Judge Protasiewicz can impartially participate in any future case involving Wisconsin’s current legislative maps or any legal challenge involving abortion law.”

Candidates for the court are not supposed to tip their hand about how they may rule.

Cook added that not only are Protasiewicz’s comments wrong, they hurt the reputation of the court itself.

“It is inappropriate for lower court judges to criticize judicial decisions of higher court judges. Such comments are out-of-bounds and undermine the public’s confidence in the judiciary,” Cook wrote.

Wisconsin’s Republican Party said the court should, at the very least, order Protasiewicz to recuse herself from any case that she’s talked about during the campaign.

“Janet Protasiewicz has decided to disregard her obligation to abide by the Code of Judicial Conduct in her pursuit of a place on the Supreme Court. The Judicial Commission must act and Protasiewicz clearly must recuse herself from participating in cases involving redistricting, abortion and Act 10 union reforms because she’s absolutely unwilling to hear them with an open mind,” Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Mark Jefferson said. “A high court candidate has never taken such an extreme stand in defiance of her responsibility to remain unbiased or set aside her personal beliefs on cases set to come before the Court, and Wisconsin deserves much better than the liberal personal agenda of Janet Protasiewicz.”

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Milwaukee Police Breaking News – Tue, 31 Jan 2023

The Milwaukee Police Department is investigating a non-fatal shooting that occurred on 01/30/23 at about 10:10pm in the 4500 block of W. Fond Du Lac Ave. The 21-year-old Milwaukee man was conveyed to a local hospital and is in stable condition. The investigation is ongoing. Milwaukee Police continue to seek unknown suspects. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360, or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at (414)224-Tips or P3 Tips.Capt. Warren E. Allen Jr.Milwaukee Police DepartmentNight Watch Commander749 W. State StreetMilwaukee, WI 53233414-935-7313/ at aboutThe City of Milwaukee is subject to Wisconsin Statutes related to public records. Unless otherwise exempted from the public records law, senders and receivers of City of Milwaukee e-mail should presume that e-mail is subject to release upon request, and is subject to state records retention requirements. See City of Milwaukee full e-mail disclaimer at www.milwaukee.gov/email_disclaimer

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Speaker Robin Vos & Gov Evers Discuss Wisconsin Flat Tax Proposal

(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s governor says he will 100% veto a flat tax, and the top Republican in the State Assembly says he knows that.

Both Gov. Tony Evers and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos talked about the proposal to take Wisconsin to a 3.25% flat income tax during appearances on TV over the weekend.

The governor was on Capital City Sunday in Madison. He once again vowed to kill the flat tax proposal.

”The flat tax proposal, where it’s going to be equal across all parts of Wisconsin, is not in my bailiwick,” Evers said during the interview,

Evers has made it clear in the past that he doesn’t support the Republican’s flat tax proposal, but he said for the first time over the weekend that he may “possibly” veto the entire state budget to stop it from happening.

“[The flat tax] is a death nail for me,” the governor added. “I think our progressive tax system is a good one. And we don’t need to be spending our time and effort to provide the wealthiest of Wisconsinites with an extraordinarily large tax cut.”

Meanwhile Vos was on UPFRONT on Milwaukee TV, talking about the flat tax as well.

“I think we need to have significant tax reform to be able to make sure that Wisconsin remains competitive,” Vos said.

Vos said that may or may not include a 3.25% flat tax.

“That would be my preference. But again, I understand that Gov. Evers has concerns with that,” Vos added. “The most important thing for us to do, is we have to make big efforts toward reducing our tax burden. A flat tax would be ideal. But if we can’t get to ideal, there are other ways to get there.”

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, who introduced the flat tax proposal this month, has said the flat tax proposal currently up for debate may not be the final plan that reaches the governor’s desk.

Gov. Evers will deliver his budget speech next month, and the Republican-controlled legislature will then write the state’s new two-year spending plan.

Evers said on Capital City Sunday that his ideas, even in a Republican budget, “never go away.”

In addition to tax reform, this year’s budget will likely include something new on shared revenue of local governments, school funding, and other plans on how to spend or return Wisconsin’s record $7.1 billion surplus to taxpayers.

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New Marquette Law School Poll: Trump, Biden Would Tie in 2024 Match-up

(The Center Square) – While Joe Biden and Donald Trump remain very popular with their respective bases, nearly half of voters in their own parties don’t want them to run for president again.

The latest Marquette Law School Poll, released Thursday, shows that 48% of registered Republicans don’t want Trump on the ticket next year. Among Democrats, the poll says 51% of voters don’t want to see Biden run for reelection.

“In the case of the former president and the current president, their parties are pretty divided over them as candidates even though the parties have pretty positive views of them individually,” MU lead pollster Charles Franklin said.

Trump is viewed favorably by 70% of Republican voters. Biden is viewed favorably by 83% of Democrats.

The poll also shows that Trump and Biden would tie in a 2024 head-to-head match-up.

“We see a tie between Biden and Trump, 40% for each of them,” Franklin explained. “That’s an improvement for Trump. In November Biden led 44-34, a 10-point lead.”

The new MU Poll did not ask about a head-to-head between Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, but those results may be different.

Republican voters told pollsters that they have an even more favorable view of DeSantis than Trump, with 71% of voters liking DeSantis compared to 70% for Trump.

Biden is the most popular Democrat with the support of 83% of Democrats, Bernie Sanders is second at 75%. Interestingly, the poll says Vice President Kamala Harris is the third most popular Democrat with a 67% favorability rating, while also being the most unpopular Democrat with a 23% unfavorable rating according to the poll.

The most unpopular Republican, according to the poll, is former Vice President Mike Pence. Thirty-three percent of Republicans have an unfavorable view of him, compared to the 28% unfavorable rating for Trump.

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