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    Wisconsin Tag

    On the face of it, answering the question as to what happened in the GOP primary in Wisconsin seems like a no-brainer. As Edward Morrissey writes, Trump shot himself in the foot---dissing popular governor Scott Walker, and flubbing abortion questions---and ended up losing by 13 points, 35 to Cruz's 48. To shore up this argument about a Trump reversal in Wisconsin, Morrissey cites a Wisconsin poll from late January and one from late February, the first of which had Trump leading by 6 and the second by 10. So the narrative seems to make sense---that is, until you actually look a bit deeper, when you find that something additional might have been going on.

    Remember when Ted Cruz (or Marco Rubio, or Jeb Bush, or any other Republican) lost a primary and accused his opponent of criminal election activity, and then hid from the media on election night? Neither do I. You get out there on election night, congratulate the other side and give a speech to rally for the next battle. Or at least you don't act like a two-year old brat who just had a half-finished candy bar taken away. Last night Donald Trump acted like the two-year old. For the first time in his adult life he was speechless and camera-shy after getting crushed in the Wisconsin primary. Wisconsin Republican Primary 2016 Results No graceful concession speeches there. Instead Trump issued a vitriolic, bizarre statement (emphasis added):

    All eyes are on Wisconsin. Before I get to today's primary, let's take a look back at one of my favorite political periods in the history of the world - the defeat of the Recall against Governor Scott Walker after over a year of protests against the public sector union collective bargaining reform bill. It was what I called Wisconsin's Long, Strange Trip, linking to our exhaustive coverage of all the crazy:
    Police insurrections.  Palace guardsCatch a Senator contests.  Doctors behaving badly.  Massive national solidarity protests which weren’tIdentity theft as political theater.  Shark jumping.  Legislators who run away to other states.  Busbang bangs.  Protesters locking their heads to metal railings and pretending to walk like EgyptiansBeer attacksCanoe flotillas.  (alleged) Judicial chokeholds.  Tears falling on Che Guevara t-shirts at midnight.  Endless recalls.  And recounts.  Communications Directors making threats.   Judges who think they are legislators (well, I’ll grant you that one is common).  V-K DayHole-y warriors.  Cities namedSpeculation and Conjecture.  And the funniest blog headline so far:
    First They Came For The Right To Retire After 30 Years On Full Salary With COLAs
    When Walker defeated the Recall late in the evening of June 5, 2012, it was Oh what a night. That was a time when the Legal Insurrection community was more united and cohesive, and thousands of us celebrated the win with the inaugural launch of website fireworks and John Phillip Sousa music:

    Rebel Pundit (aka Jeremy Segal) and Andrew Marcus have filmed some great videos of anti-Trump protesters. They filmed Bill Ayers and other wack jobs at the Chicago protest to shut down the Trump rally. The blond woman screaming about white male privilege is a haunting image of post-intellectual America. Language Warning

    On Tuesday morning, Ted Cruz kicked off a Women for Cruz coalition in the liberal stronghold of Madison, Wisconsin. The senator was joined by his wife Heidi, mother Eleanor, and former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina for a conversation on issues considered important to women. In a change of pace from prior events, Cruz gave a shortened stump speech and focused on the meaning of the term "women's issue," itself:
    "This event this morning is a celebration of strong women. One of the most frustrating things about the Democrats is the Democrats love to pigeonhole women. Put 'em in a little box [and] you have a set of issues that are women's issues. Well, listen. I have news for the Democrat party: Women are not a special interest. Women are a majority of the United States of America and every issue is a women's issue."
    Cruz went on to say that his campaign is about three issues, those being jobs, freedom, and security. Despite the Democrat party's effort to deem only issues advancing the progressive cause as valid women's issues, Cruz made a point to emphasize that these three crucial issues are inherently women's issues just as they are men's.

    As the primary battle in Wisconsin heats up with the endorsement of Senator Ted Cruz by Governor Scott Walker, an different kind of fight is occurring among the state's citizens. As of this report, nearly 60 Wisconsin residents have been stricken with bloodstream infection from a bacteria called Elizabethkingia, and 18 have died. Additionally, one Michigan resident has also died from an infection.

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker appeared on the Charlie Sykes radio show in Wisconsin and endorsed ... Ted Cruz. It was a very strong endorsement for Cruz, not an anti-Trump endorsement. Walker said he was "all in" for Cruz. https://twitter.com/ZekeJMiller/status/714817364588634112 Scott Walker Statement Endorsing Ted Cruz

    Wisconsin is trying to take measures to deal with illegal immigration and sanctuary cities. Naturally, detractors are describing the initiatives as racist and anti-immigrant. As a result, thousands of protesters showed up at the Wisconsin capitol yesterday, reminiscent of the anti-Walker protests of several years ago. Here's what it looked like in 2011, in case you've forgotten:

    Thursday night, news broke that federal authorities arrested two Iraqi immigrants. One in Sacramento, California, the other in Houston, Texas. Both individuals were arrested for allegedly lying to immigration officials about their connections with terrorist organizations. Early reports Thursday night provided conflicting information and left many questions unanswered. According to Houston local news, the Sacramento and Houston arrests were related. But CNN reported the arrests, "did not appear to to be directly related, but the cases had several similarities."

    After the Charleston shootings, there was a renewed push by President Obama for restricting access for law-abiding citizens to guns. Scott Walker wasn't having any of it. He signed into law a loosening of waiting periods that have been on the books for decades. From FOX News:
    Wisconsin Gov. Walker ends decades-old waiting period for handguns Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed two bills loosening his state's gun laws on Wednesday, including one ending the state's 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases. The timing of the bill signing comes amid a renewed debate over gun control and race relations after the fatal shootings at a Charleston, S.C., black church on June 17; a white man faces multiple murder charges. But the measures on Walker's desk predated the massacre and passed earlier this month in the GOP-majority Legislature with bipartisan support. The second measure would allow off-duty, retired and out-of-state police officers to carry firearms on school grounds.
    CNN covered the topic too, and to their credit, they were fair:

    Put another feather in his cap, Scott Walker today signed Right to Work legislation in Wisconsin, becoming the 24th State to do so. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported prior to the signing:
    Gov. Scott Walker will sign so-called right-to-work legislation on Monday morning at Badger Meter in Brown Deer after the Assembly passed the measure Friday morning following almost 24 hours of debate. The measure bans labor contracts that would make it mandatory for workers to pay union fees. The legislation zoomed into play this year, pushed by GOP legislators, after Walker brushed aside the issue as a distraction during his re-election campaign last year. Now as a presumed 2016 presidential hopeful, the pending change in law could add polish to Walker's record on business. Twenty-four states have right-to-work laws. Supporters say that workers shouldn't be forced to pay a group if they don't believe in it. They say the change could provide a spark to the Wisconsin economy. Opponents say businesses and unions should be left alone to negotiate labor contracts. They say the law change isn't about worker rights but more about driving down wages and exerting more control over the workplace.
    Here are some images from the signing:

    Embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is steadily outpacing Democratic challenger Mary Burke in all of the latest polls---so of course that means a swastika ad is the only logical option left for Team Burke. The ad released by the Burke campaign is inside baseball-ish in that if you haven't been following the intricacies of the race, it's hard to understand why anything disclosed is significant. Picked up by and reported by the Washington Post, the ad shows Scott Walker with "donor and campaign worker, Gary Ellerman." The ad then drops its one and only bomb: "Ellerman posts pictures like this on his Facebook page." Scott Walker Nazi Mary Burke Swastika Ad Evidently, Ellerman was fired from Trek (the consumer is supposed to know what Trek is and why it's important). Mary Burke was also employed by Trek. Ellerman went on to share his account of Burke's time with the company, an account Burke disputes. Avner Zarmi of PJ Media provides the background:

    Some people. The first image is an  Anti-Scott Walker protester who, along with a friend, locked her head to State Capitol railing in June 2011 in a budget protest, via JSOnline.  The police broke the lock and released her.  At the time we noted there was a simpler solution:
    Turn out the lights, lock the doors, and go home. And leave them there.
    Wisconsin State Capitol head lock The second image is from the anti-Israel "Block the Boat" protest in Tampa this weekend, via Twitter account Global Revolution TV.  Presumably, she too was unlocked by police: Tampa Block the Boat Head Locked Here's the view from another angle, via Twitter user RadicalMedia_:

    In a ruling just handed down (h/t RightWisconsin), a panel of the 7th Circuit has vacated a prior injunction staying enforcement of the law, and holding that it will be in effect for this November's election. The full Order is embedded at the bottom of the post. The case was argued before the Court of Appeals earlier today. The critical finding was that recent changes enacted in Wisconsin to make it easier to get an ID obviated the likelihood of irreparable harm, a necessary test for an injunction:
    The district court held the state law invalid, and enjoined its implementation, even though it is materially identical to Indiana's photo ID statute, which the Supreme Court held valid in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008). It did this based on findings that it thought showed that Wisconsin did not need this law to promote an important governmental interest, and that persons of lower income (disproportionately minorities) are less likely to have driver's licenses, other acceptable photo ID, or the birth certificates needed to obtain them, which led the court to hold that the statute violates §2 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §1973. After the district court's decision, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin revised the procedures to make it easier for persons who have difficulty affording any fees to obtain the birth certificates or other documentation needed under the law, or to have the need for documentation waived. Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker, 2014 WI 98 Guly 31, 2014). This reduces the likelihood of irreparable injury, and it also changes the balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief. The panel has concluded that the state's probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court.

    Yesterday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state's voter ID laws in two separate opinions that could drastically affect the rules governing the polling place come November. Although a federal court previously ruled Wisconsin's laws to be unconstitutional, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen told the press that yesterday's separate rulings by the Wisconsin Court could convince the federal court to put its ruling on hold and allow the laws to remain in place for the fall elections. Writing for the majority, Justice Crooks stated that the challengers to the law did not meet their burden of proof when arguing that the law violated the constitutional rights of Wisconsin voters:
    We conclude that the legislature did not exceed its authority under Article III of the Wisconsin Constitution when it required electors to present Act 23-acceptable photo identification. Since 1859, we have held that "it is clearly within [the legislature's] province to require any person offering to vote[] to furnish such proof as it deems requisite that he is a qualified elector." Cothren v. Lean, 9 Wis. 254 (*279), 258 (*283-84) (1859). Requiring a potential voter to identify himself or herself as a qualified elector through the use of Act 23-acceptable photo identification does not impose an elector qualification in addition to those set out in Article III, Section 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution.
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