NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Monday, April 17, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


About 2,000 people attended the visitation and funeral of slain police officers Emily Breidenbach and Hunter Scheel as they were laid to rest Saturday.

Hundreds more lined the streets for the procession as the small northwestern Wisconsin town swelled with law enforcement and others who traveled to pay their respects.

Breidenbach, a 32-year-old Chetek police officer, and Scheel, a 23-year-old Cameron police officer, were killed a week ago in a shootout with 50-year-old Glen Douglas Perry of New Auburn during a traffic stop. Perry later died at a hospital.

At the funeral for the officers, Chetek Mayor Jeff Martin said Breidenbach wore a badge, carried a gun and helped maintain public safety.

“But like all good officers, she did so much more than enforcing the law,” he said. “She built bridges into our community with kids and adults alike in our schools, on our streets downtown.”

Maranatha Evangelical Free Church Senior Pastor Cody Kargus said he was close to both officers. He said both were good Christians and will be remembered for making the ultimate sacrifice: laying down their lives in the line of duty.

The village of Cameron and city of Chetek are small communities located 8 miles from each other. Each has about 2,000 residents.

Both communities’ police departments have just a handful of officers.

Mike Breidenbach, Emily’s brother said, “There is darkness and there always will be. When that darkness comes to call I can thank God that there are such truly special men and women like Emily and Hunter.”

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Justice said Breidenbach and Scheel pulled Perry over to check on his welfare after their departments received “notification of concerning behavior” and because he had an outstanding warrant.

Court records show a Barron County judge issued a bench warrant for Perry on March 30 after he failed to appear during a court hearing requested by the county’s child support agency as part of a divorce case. Perry was also charged twice with offenses related to domestic violence in 2020.

—La Crosse Tribune

This spring’s election saw the lowest passage rate for school district referendums statewide in over a decade.

For the past few elections, voters overwhelmingly supported referendums, approving 80% of them last year across the state in both April and November.

But this spring’s election told a different story.

Wisconsin voters approved a little over half of the 83 referendums on ballots earlier this month, according to an aggregated list of school district referendums across the state from the Department of Public Instruction. Researchers from the Wisconsin Policy Forum told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin this is the lowest passage rate for school district referendums in over a decade.

“One concern we have is if this is the beginning of a downward trend in support for those referendums,” said Dan Rossmiller, director of government relations for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

School districts won’t have another chance to go to referendum until spring 2024, so Rossmiller said some districts may now be left with tough choices to make. Referendum dollars can help a district with construction projects, staffing costs or buying new technology, and Rossmiller said many districts go to referendum for maintenance needs.

“You can only put off getting a new roof for so long,” he said.

Voters may have “sticker shock” from the price of some referendums, Rossmiller said.

The largest referendum on a ballot this April failed. It was a capital referendum in Marshfield with a price tag of $99.5 million.

In a time when roaring inflation drove up the cost of groceries, rent and utilities over the past year, households may be less inclined to allow an increase to their taxes.

—Appleton Post Crescent

As a new election season begins, the Republican Party is struggling to navigate the politics of abortion.

Allies for leading presidential candidates concede that their hardline anti-abortion policies may be popular with the conservatives who decide primary elections, but they could ultimately alienate the broader set of voters they need to win the presidency.

Republican leaders have struggled to answer nagging questions about their opposition to the controversial medical procedure as GOP-controlled state legislatures rush to enact a wave of new abortion restrictions.

Recent electoral results suggest that voters aren’t pleased.

Republicans have suffered painful losses in recent weeks and months across Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada and even deep-red Kansas in elections that focused, at least in part, on abortion. Last week in Wisconsin, an anti-abortion candidate for the state Supreme Court was trounced by 11 points in a state President Joe Biden carried by less than 1 point.

“Any conversation about banning abortion or limiting it nationwide is an electoral disaster for the Republicans,” said New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican who describes himself as “pro-choice” but also signed a law banning abortions in the state after 24 weeks.

“The Republican Party has an inability to move off this issue in a way that doesn’t scare the heck out the average voter, the independent voter, the younger generation of voters,” Sununu continued. “These guys keep pushing themselves deeper and deeper into an ultra-right base that really does not define the bulk of the Republican Party.”

Privately, at least, strategists involved with Republican presidential campaigns concede that the GOP is on the wrong side of the debate as it currently stands. While popular with Republican primary voters, public polling consistently shows that the broader collection of voters who decide general elections believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Anti-abortion activists have been particularly vocal in warning Republican presidential candidates that the party’s base will not tolerate any weakness on abortion given that GOP leaders have been vowing for decades to ban abortion rights if given the chance.

—Associated Press

Hundreds of teenagers stormed the streets of downtown Chicago, smashing car windows, attacking bystanders and sending panicked tourists running from the sound of gunfire.

“Where are their parents at? That’s my question,” a woman who identified as a Chicago native told Fox 32 as the unruly scene played out in downtown Chicago on Saturday night.

Fox 32 cameras captured video of teenagers crowding the streets and police seeking to restore order to the area.

Large groups of teens were seen blasting music from Bluetooth speakers and roaming in front of traffic, with some attempting to gain access to the city’s Millennium Park, which is off-limits to those under 21 after certain hours, and the downtown Art Institute.

Some teens in the group began jumping up and down on cars, smashing windows and attacking people inside. One woman told Fox 32 her husband was attacked from the driver side of his vehicle and beaten after a group of teens jumped up and down on the couple’s windshield. The man was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Hundreds of police officers assisted by SWAT teams descended on downtown in an attempt to restore order as gunfire was reported multiple times amid the unfolding scene.

—FOX News

Bud Light is set to sponsor the 2023 NFL Draft this month amid controversy after the beer brand partnered with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney, a man who announced in March 2022 that he was now a woman and hosts a TikTok series called “Days of Girlhood.”

Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, issued a statement Friday, where CEO Brendan Whitworth said, “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”

Nike has also received backlash for partnering with Mulvaney after Nike Women paid Mulvaney — a man — to promote women’s bras.

“People are pissed, and justifiably so,” Donald Trump Jr. said during an episode of his podcast, Triggered. “Anheuser Busch is an iconic American company. This is Budweiser, you know, with the Clydesdales with the football and bald eagles.”

The publicity debacle has caused financial losses for the beer company to the tune of over $6 billion.

The 2023 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 27, at 8 p.m. Eastern at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.

—Breitbart News

A public relations crisis manager said that he would not have recommended Bud Light to partner with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney because it “goes against its brand identity.”

Considerable backlash has erupted against Bud Light in recent days after Mulvaney and the company confirmed a partnership. Specially made Bud Light cans with Mulvaney’s likeness were also given to Mulvaney, which he displayed on his social media accounts.

Country singer John Rich, Kid Rock, and others suggested people boycott the brand over the controversy. Late last week, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch, Brendan Whitworth, issued a statement that “we never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people … we are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”

David Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision PR Group and expert in crisis communications, told Fox News that he would have told Bud Light to avoid “this situation,” meaning, using Mulvaney in its advertisements.

“Their brand identity is Midwest, southeast, southwest, rural purchasers, conservatives, sports fans as well,” he said. “And the Mulvaney endorsement, partnership seems to go against that brand.”

Data shows that Bud Light does not appeal to “young, upper-class females,” which is what the Mulvaney ad campaign may have sought to target, Johnson said. “Those people, that demographic, is never gonna be your Bud Light fan. They’re not a big beer drinker—we’ve seen this in survey after survey,” he said.

“They’re not gonna go to Bud Light, no matter whether it’s Dylan Mulvaney, Jennifer Lopez, whoever is endorsing the brand,” he continued. “So what they did was went against their brand identity and then worse, they were unprepared for the backlash they were gonna get,” he added.

—The Epoch Times

The U.S. Postal Service is pushing back against a pressure campaign from Democrats to turn thousands of post offices into a network of electric car charging stations for the public, saying the plan would slow down mail operations and conflict with its mission to provide “prompt, reliable, and efficient postal services.”

House Democrats want to install public electric vehicle chargers at thousands of post offices, turning USPS into a nationwide charging network—a proposal that has reportedly “excited” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

“We already own the property, the postal service has these vehicles and we could make them available to the public as well,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur in 2021 (D., Ohio).

The news comes as the cash-strapped and understaffed agency has faced demands from the Biden administration to increase its investment in green energy. Last month, the USPS said it would buy over 9,000 electric vehicles for its fleet and 14,000 charging stations.

But USPS officials warned that the plan to make such stations public would “conflict with or complicate the execution of USPS’s mission” of providing timely mail services, according to a congressional report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

“USPS officials said hosting public chargers could conflict with the high importance USPS places on reduced wait times in retail facilities,” said the report.

The postal service has been in a financial crisis for years and is struggling with massive staffing shortages that have caused mail delays. USPS reported a $2 billion net loss in the last fiscal year. The agency said providing public charging stations would create more financial hardships and overburden its workforce.

—The Washington Free Beacon

The Milwaukee Bucks didn’t have their best player around for the full game. The Miami Heat did.

That pretty much made the difference Sunday as the top-seeded Bucks saw their path toward a championship face an early obstacle.

Fiserv Forum was rocking before Game 1 of the first-round playoff series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat on Sunday.

The Bucks had earned the No. 1 seeding in the NBA postseason after having the best record in the regular season. After getting nicked up by minor injuries in the final week, Milwaukee had a clean injury report heading into the playoffs.

Everything seemed set up for a long playoff run, with hopes high of adding a second NBA title in three seasons. But the vibes quickly changed to anxiety among the sellout crowd of 17,381 fans in the building after the first quarter.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo hurt his lower back on a hard fall in the first quarter and was declared out for the game not long after that. Milwaukee’s defense without Antetokounmpo then couldn’t contain former Marquette star Jimmy Butler as he put up 35 points and and 11 assists in the Heat’s 130-117 victory.

“There was (an) X-ray that was clear here, so we’ll monitor him, see how he does,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “See how he wakes up, how he feels the rest of tonight and tomorrow.”

—Associated Press and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Nikola Jokic is a finalist to win a third straight NBA MVP award, with Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo the players who can stop him.

The three leading vote-getters for the league’s individual awards were announced Friday and the marquee category featured familiar names.

Jokic repeated as MVP last year, with Embiid the runner-up and Antetokounmpo third. The Denver Nuggets center could now become the first player to win three straight MVP awards since Hall of Famer Larry Bird from 1984-86.

Antetokounmpo has also won consecutive MVP awards, in 2019 and 2020, along with an NBA Finals MVP when the Milwaukee Bucks captured the 2021 title. Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers center who won his second straight scoring title, has never won.

The winners will be announced beginning next week.

The finalists for the other categories:


Mike Brown, Sacramento; Mark Daigneault, Oklahoma City; Joe Mazzulla, Boston.


Paolo Banchero, Orlando; Walker Kessler, Utah; Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City


Jalen Brunson, New York; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City; Lauri Markkanen, Utah.


Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis; Brook Lopez, Milwaukee; Evan Mobley, Cleveland.


Malcolm Brogdon, Boston; Bobby Portis, Milwaukee; Immanuel Quickley, New York.


Jimmy Butler, Miami; DeMar DeRozan, Chicago; De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento.

—Associated Press


The Clintons are clearly traitors willing to endanger their nation for profit, and it would be fully just to prosecute them as such. Yet as president when he had the chance, Trump decided not to pursue it. According to Trump Attorney General Bill Barr’s recently published memoir, “Trump brought up the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and surprised Barr by saying that he had wanted the matter to be dropped after the 2016 election,” according to a review of Barr’s memoir in the fall 2022 Claremont Review of Books.

“‘Even if she were guilty,’ he told Barr, “for the election winner to seek prosecution of the loser would make the country look like a ‘banana republic.’”

Ever since riding down his golden escalator, Trump has been ceaselessly vilified as a tinpot dictator, an evil supervillain, an authoritarian, the second coming of Adolf Hitler. But Democrats cannot change the facts, which include that Trump had fully legitimate justification to prosecute his horribly corrupt political opponent and refused to do so. They can make no such argument for themselves.

So if it is indeed the stuff of banana republics and ending democracies to jail one’s political opponents, let’s all be clear about which political party is dragging the nation down that route. And let all in authority who care about equal justice under the law begin fiercely applying Democrats’ standards to them until they stop perverting justice to destroy our country.

The no-holds-barred legal shutdown and prosecution of leftist insurrectionists filling state capitols in support of a transgender child murderer would be one such proportionate response.

—Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist

Good News

• Tens of thousands of babies have been saved by pro-life state laws.

• Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation protecting pre-born babies from abortion.

• Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed legislation protecting children from mutilating transgender surgeries.

• Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed legislation protecting children from mutilating transgender surgeries.

• Kansas enacted legislation banning boys who claim to be girls from girls’ sports. The bill only became law after conservative legislators overrode the veto of the state’s liberal governor.

• North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed legislation protecting girls’ sports from boys who claim to be girls.

• Pro-parent, pro-transparency school board candidates won important victories in Illinois and Wisconsin.

• Louisiana State Representative Jeremy LaCombe became the third elected Democrat in a month to switch parties and join the GOP.

• Elon Musk weighed in on the transgender debate, tweeting this: “Any parent or doctor who sterilizes a child before they are a consenting adult should go to prison for life.”

—Gary Bauer

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 2012, Jamie Moyer became the oldest Major League Baseball player ever to pitch a winning game, throwing seven strong innings at age 49 to help the Colorado Rockies win 5-3.

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