NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Thursday, May 4, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


Outside groups spent $28.8 million on the Wisconsin Supreme Court race that saw liberal Justice-elect Janet Protasiewicz beat conservative former Justice Dan Kelly by 11 points, a new report states.

For context, the nation’s most expensive judicial election before last month’s Supreme Court election was in Illinois, where just over $15 million was spent among all groups. The amount that the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reports outside groups spent on this race doesn’t include spending from the candidates or state parties.

Spending in the race among all parties exceeded $45 million, according to The heated race will see liberals take control of the Wisconsin Supreme Court as Protasiewicz supporters rallied around her in a bid to make abortion legal in Wisconsin, as well as to redraw the state’s legislative maps.

Groups supporting Protasiewicz spent $11.6 million, and those backing Kelly spent $16.76 million, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign tally. The rest of the spending was to support or knock other candidates who lost in the primary.

The top spender among outside groups was the liberal A Better Wisconsin Together, which put $6.3 million into the race, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported. A Better Wisconsin Together ran ads knocking Kelly in the general election. It also ran ads against then-conservative candidate Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow, seemingly in a bid to boost Kelly’s candidacy as liberals saw him as the weaker of the two conservative candidates.

The next-highest spender was the conservative Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which spent $5.6 million against Protasiewicz. Fair Courts America, funded largely by GOP donor Richard Uihlein, spent $5.5 million boosting Kelly.

Women Speak Out PAC spent $2.2 million boosting Kelly. And Wisconsin Conservation Voters spent just over $1 million supporting Protasiewicz.

Those were the only groups to spend more than $1 million on the race, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign report states.

—Lake Geneva News

A Wisconsin judge was set to hear arguments Thursday in a lawsuit challenging the state’s 174-year-old abortion ban, a statute held in abeyance for nearly five decades until the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last year.

State Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, filed the lawsuit in Dane County circuit court last June seeking to repeal the ban. Kaul argues that the 1849 law is so old it was essentially adopted without the people’s consent; or alternately, that narrower restrictions on abortion enacted in Wisconsin in 1985 supersede the older statute. The 1985 legislation permits terminating pregnancies up until a fetus can survive outside the womb, while the older law outlawed abortion except to save the mother’s life.

Republican Joel Urmanski, Sheboygan County’s district attorney who has vowed to prosecute anyone violating the abortion ban, has asked the court to dismiss the case. Urmanski argues that Kaul lacks standing to sue because the abortion ban doesn’t hurt him. Urmanski also rebuts Kaul’s argument that the ban is unenforceable because it’s so old. State laws don’t lose their effect through disuse, Urmanski said.

The judge wasn’t expected to immediately rule Thursday, but she could lay down a timeline for her decision.

The case will almost certainly end at the state Supreme Court. That plays to Kaul’s advantage because liberal-leaning justices will hold a 4-3 majority on the court after Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz is sworn in this August.

—Wisconsin AP

A group of Republican state lawmakers is introducing a plan that they say would force Wisconsin hospitals to be more transparent about how much they’re charging for procedures.

The move is opposed by the state’s hospital association, which argues it duplicates a similar requirement by the federal government.

The plan introduced by state Sen. Mary Felzkowski, R-Irma, Sen. Julian Bradley, (R-Franklin), and other GOP lawmakers would require hospitals to keep a list on their website of 300 “shoppable services,” or nonemergency procedures they provide. The plan would ban hospitals from charging for the information or requiring people to set up user accounts to read it.

The state’s Department of Health Services would be in charge of enforcing the requirement. If hospitals don’t comply, DHS could fine smaller facilities up to $600 per day. Larger hospitals, those with more than 550 beds, could get hit with daily fines of $10,000.

“Health care is the only thing Wisconsinites purchase that we don’t know the price of beforehand,” Felzkowski said Wednesday at a state Capitol news conference introducing the plan. “And that has to change.”

—WI Public Radio

A former University of Wisconsin football player was sentenced Wednesday to two consecutive life sentences for the 2020 killings of two women, although his sentence gives him a chance to eventually seek early release.

A jury convicted Marcus Randle El in January of two counts of first degree homicide and other charges in the February 2020 shooting deaths of 27-year-old Brittany McAdory and 30-year-old Seairaha Winchester in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Although Randle El’s convictions resulted in two automatic life sentences, Rock County Judge Barbara McCrory said Wednesday that he will be eligible to petition for early release and extended supervision after 60 years, WISC-TV reported.

McCrory noted that it is not a guarantee that if Randle El does eventually seek early release that his request would be granted.

Prosecutors argued that Randle El, who was a wide receiver for the Wisconsin Badgers from 2004 to 2007, killed Winchester after suspecting that she was informing police of his drug dealing and that he killed McAdory to eliminate her as a witness.

Randle El is the brother of former Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Antwaan Randle El.

—Wisconsin AP

A Trump-DeSantis GOP presidential ticket would crush President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, bringing in independents who are stubbornly sitting on the political fence.

According to a Rasmussen Reports survey, a unity ticket of former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) would beat Biden-Harris by 51%-43%.

That margin is the biggest yet for any potential GOP ticket and follows a McLaughlin & Associates survey yesterday that said Trump has maintained a 47%-43% edge over Biden.

There have been rumblings in GOP circles about a Trump-DeSantis ticket, but both clearly want to test the waters on their own. In most surveys, Trump is pulling away from DeSantis, who has been portrayed as Trump 2.0 and the potential face of the future Republican Party.

“Trump-DeSantis wins with women, independents, Hispanics, and college grads and does historically well with African Americans,” said Larry Ward, president of Political Media Inc., which commissioned the survey. “Trump-DeSantis also wins the national popular vote, which would be a first for Republicans in 20 years. Trump does well head-to-head against Biden, but adding DeSantis to the ticket is powerful,” he added.

We the People Convention President Tom Zawistowski, who supports the ticket, said the survey shows “that a Trump/DeSantis Unity Ticket not only brings together Republican voters who may support one or the other, but also brings 5% more independent voters, 4% more men, and increases in support among every age group and every ethnicity by between 2% and 4%. It is clearly the winning combination that the majority of Americans want for 2024.”

Rasmussen tested other potential running mates also. A Trump-Kari Lake ticket would also edge Biden-Harris 47%-42%. Teaming Trump with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) would fall short 44%-40%.

—Washington Examiner

To combat a market value decrease of nearly $5 billion, Anheuser-Busch has resorted to giving out cases of free beer to every employee to “make amends” with wholesale distributors who suffered from the controversial partnership with transgender Dylan Mulvaney.

The company also plans to boost marketing spending and ramp up ad production to earn back the massive sales lost.

Figures from Bump Williams Consulting reveal that in-store sales fell 26 percent in the week ending April 22. The decline in the week prior was 21 percent, and the week before that, sales fell 11 percent.

Bump Williams, an alcohol industry analyst, said Bud Light’s “compass is completely broken” with “no game plan” in mind after consumers abandoned the beer over its woke deal with Mulvaney.

The analyst expects Bud Light to be in “serious trouble” by the end of the year, taking the risk of hurting themselves further if the company does not properly address the issue.

So far, Anheuser-Busch has not apologized to customers over the partnership, only standing firm in their denial that upper management had no clue the deal with a transgender influencer was being secured.


A Navy SEAL who took part in the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden says he was outraged over the U.S. Navy using a drag queen for a discarded recruitment program.

Robert J. O’Neill, a decorated combat veteran who served for eight years as a member of SEAL Team Six, said on Twitter he ‘can’t believe [he] fought for this bulls**t.’

‘Alright. The U.S. Navy is now using an enlisted sailor Drag Queen as a recruiter,’ he wrote. ‘I’m done. China is going to destroy us.’

O’Neill was referencing Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley, whose stage name is Harpy Daniels, who announced on TikTok in November that she would be the Navy’s first ‘digital ambassador.’

Kelley was tasked with highlighting her journey from performing on board beginning in 2018 and growing to become an ‘advocate’ for those who ‘were oppressed for years in the service.’

A Navy spokesman told the digital ambassador program was a pilot that ended in March 2023.

The program Kelley was part of ran from October 2022 to March 2023 and was designed to ‘explore the digital environment to reach a wide range of potential candidates’ for military recruitment.

After O’Neill sent out his tweet Wednesday afternoon, others chimed in to share in O’Neill’s outrage over the ambassadorship.

His tweet quickly gained 1.1 million views and thousands of likes and retweets.

‘As a Navy veteran, I am ashamed on behalf of the US Navy. I hope that goes over as well as Bud Light did,’ one person responded.

‘This is beyond disturbing. I’m a former military officer and I just can’t believe what our brass is doing,’ another added.

‘An insult to every veteran and their families. My dad just rolled over in his grave at Arlington. I’m so glad he didn’t have to see this happen,’ a woman wrote.

Others strongly disagreed with O’Neill’s sentiments, however, calling him out for his statements.

‘Honor, Courage & Commitment ,, I stand with the US Navy & their choice,’ one woman who identified herself as a veteran commented under O’Neill’s post.

‘Local man angry that he fought for freedom of expression,’ another wrote.

‘Can’t believe you fought to uphold the freedoms of citizens to be free to live however they choose? You did read the Constitution you swore an oath too right? Or did you skip the terms and conditions just to join?’ one man said.

—The Daily Mail

A Florida man drew ire over the weekend when he entered and won a women’s poker tournament at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the Sunshine State.

Dave Hughes, 70, entered the $250 no-limit Texas Hold’em event with a prize pool of up to $17,450. Of the 83 competitors to enter the tournament, 82 of them were women, and the last one was Hughes. Hughes ended up defeating Dayanna Ciabaton at the end and take home $5,555, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Hughes was allowed to enter the women’s tournament as Florida casinos are prohibited from banning men from entering women’s tournament, according to anti-discrimination laws. The newspaper noted that Nevada casinos have a similar rule. The World Series of Poker’s Ladies event has a $10,000 buy-in tournament, and women receive a 90% discount in hopes of keeping men from entering.

The issue of a man playing in a women’s tournament sparked a debate.

“I love ladies-only poker tournaments. I would have no problem with them having a men’s only and I wouldn’t enter it as I would not qualify for it,” Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson said, via Poker News. “I would have no problem if they had a tournament for 26-year old, motorcycle riding, Mohawk-haircut seniors and I wouldn’t enter it because I wouldn’t qualify.

“I don’t think men should play in ladies-only tournaments. That said, I think there is a total overreaction to the few man (sic) who do enter. They are usually looking for attention, so why give it to them? Maybe we should just ignore them and play our best. This is just my two cents and you are welcome to your own thoughts on this.”

—FOX News


Our domestic neo-Marxist left is doing more damage to this country than any foreign enemy could dream of. The latest example (if the Navy’s drag queen recruiting scandal wasn’t enough) comes from Fallbrook, California.

For several years now, the Rainbow Oaks Restaurant in Fallbrook has carried on a tradition of playing the national anthem every day at noon. As you might expect, many patriotic patrons stand when the anthem is played out of respect for our country, our flag and our veterans.

Well, some woke leftist happened to be in the restaurant recently when the national anthem played, and, boy, was she triggered!

As restaurant patrons stood respectfully, this woman videoed the scene and posted it on social media. She claimed the experience was, “By far the most dangerous situation I’ve ever been in.” Clearly, she’s never spent a weekend in Chicago!

What would have made this lady feel safer? The communist Chinese national anthem? Some separatist, leftist anthem? Clearly, this lady does not love America.

This country is made up of patriots of all races who love America and who have fought to protect America. Trust me, there are plenty of black, Hispanic and Asian patriots.

But there are some people who are trying to fundamentally transform America because they hate our country. Remember the New York Times reporter who was “disturbed” by flags on pickup trucks?

Remember the leftist teacher who removed the American flag from her classroom because it made her “uncomfortable”? She encouraged her students to pledge their allegiance to the gay pride flag instead.

My advice to these and other Marxists: Find somewhere else to live, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

Meanwhile, I am pleased to report that the owners of the Rainbow Oaks Restaurant are not backing down, and will continue to play the national anthem every day. Good for them!

—Gary Bauer

Fox News Underwent a Tucker-ectomy But Didn’t Survive the Procedure.

“Young people have abandoned Fox News in primetime,” according to the latest numbers surmised by A Newsman on Twitter.

How bad is it, really?

Tucker Carlson had 270,000 viewers in the 25-to-54-year-old demo on his last night at Fox News and the top-rated cable news show. One week later, his (temporary?) replacement, Fox News Tonight, had just 110,000 demo viewers and had dropped to 16th place. The numbers got worse as the week dragged on for the once-mighty 8 p.m. Fox time slot.

But wait, as the TV pitchman used to say, there’s more!

Sean Hannity has apparently been relying bigly on Carlson’s lead-in audience for his 9 p.m. show. “Hannity now below 100k in the demo,” warned A Newsman, “and Tucker’s old time slot losing more than 70% of its young audience. Catastrophic.”

Ratings rebounded somewhat on Monday and Tuesday after Friday night’s NFL draft pulled eyeballs away from their (formerly?) favorite cable news shows. But they didn’t rebound high enough to avoid this embarrassing headline: Cable News Ratings Monday May 1: MSNBC Tops Fox News in Prime Time.


The ratings don’t tell the real story of Fox’s troubles, however. The Five and Gutfeld! are still doing great, MSNBC’s appeal remains focused entirely on hard lefties, and CNN has been a zombie news network for years. Maybe they should rebrand as ZNN.

When Tucker lost his show, it dawned on me that even at $35 million, his salary was probably too low. If someone like Steven Crowder could afford (or so it seemed at the time) to turn down a $50 million web deal, then clearly Tucker could get bigger bucks going indy. Essentially, he was Fox News primetime. Fox can’t replace their star, but their star can take his viewers elsewhere.

Fox News hasn’t been the star, so to speak, with its conservative viewers since the network called Arizona early on Election Night in 2020. They threw away their brand that night and have since relied on genuinely conservative personalities like Tucker to maintain primetime dominance.

If the talent is forced out or leaves for more modern platforms, where does that leave Fox?

Bleeding out on the floor from self-inflicted wounds, that’s where.

—Stephen Green, PJ Media

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – On this day in 1970, an anti-Vietnam War demonstration at Kent State University turned deadly when the Ohio National Guard shot four unarmed students and wounded nine others, further turning public opinion against the war.

And in 2001 the Milwaukee Art Museum outdoor addition, the first Santiago Calatrava-designed structure in the United States, opened to the public along the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s