Dear fellow Wisconsin Democrats,

We have 32 days until the first big fight of the year: April 7, 2020’s Supreme Court race. The moment we lift up Judge Jill Karofsky to the highest court in the state—and remove Trump’s ally Dan Kelly from a position he never should have held.

The winner on April 7 will serve until 2030. The first six months of that term could be the most significant: in that period, the election’s winner will shape shape the Court’s interpretation of election laws that affect who wins Wisconsin—and thus, the White House—in November.

No wonder Trump Trump endorsed Kelly.  No wonder GOP groups are already running a scorched-earth campaign against Jill Karofsky

No wonder we’re fighting with an energy and focus that we’ve never before brought to a spring election.

In every corner of Wisconsin, for the next 32 days, Democrats will be going to bat to make sure the public understands the truth about Dan Kelly. That he was appointed by Walker as a thank-you gift for defending Walker in the John Doe corruption investigations and going to bat for gerrymandered maps. That he consistently sides with Big Oil and right-wing groups whose board members contribute to his campaigns. That he sides with Betsy DeVos, instead of public schools.

And we’ll cut through the GOP’s lies to share the truth about Judge Jill Karofsky: that she’s exactly the kind of Justice our state needs. Someone who believes in civil rights, in women’s health, and in equal justice for all—not just big corporate interests.

The Supreme Court race will be a dress rehearsal for the fall election. It would be urgent even if it weren’t—but it is. So let’s do this. Clear your weekends on March 21-22, March 28-29, and April 4 through April 7: it’s time to knock doors. RSVP to some shifts at Let’s fight for justice—by electing a Justice worthy of the name.


FIGHT on the Issues & FIGHT to Win:

Who Does Trump Want to Pay for His Wall? Wisconsinites.

On Wednesday, Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul announced that Wisconsin would be joining a lawsuit challenging Trump’s unlawful and unconstitutional diversion of $3.8 billion taxpayer dollars to pay for his unauthorized border wall—including $101 million that was supposed to come to Wisconsin’s Oshkosh Corp.

Oshkosh Corp’s 3,100 employees—and the local businesses that rely on their spending—are now among the many thousands of Wisconsinites who might pay the price for Trump’s disastrous policies. The Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power of the purse. In order to break his promises, Trump has to violate his Constitutional oath. This year, we’ll fight for the rule of law, for Wisconsin manufacturers—and for an end to vanity projects like Trump’s wall that have come to symbolize our president’s misbegotten “America alone” policies.

Dan Kelly: Fundraising with Guns After a Massacre

Just a day after the tragic Molson Coors mass shooting last week, the GOP’s favorite candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Dan Kelly, held a fundraiser at a gun range. While Wisconsinites were still mourning another wrenching incident of gun violence, Dan Kelly was busy selling sponsorship levels named after calibers of ammunition—honoring $5000 donors as reaching the “50 Cal M2HB” level, named for the bullets fired from a Browning .50-caliber machine gun.

After Kelly was called out for his insensitivity, he doubled down—by sending a fundraising email feigning outrage about the outrage that he’d caused. Sadly, it’s not a surprise. This is the same man who wrote the partisan Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion that overrode a local law preventing guns on Madison city buses.

As DPW Communications Director Courtney Beyer put it to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter, “We wish Dan Kelly cared about gun violence as much as he does fundraising.”

U.S. Supreme Court: ACA and Women’s Health on the Chopping Block

This week marked two big developments on the Supreme Court of the United States: The Court heard oral arguments on a case that could sharply curtail women’s reproductive freedom. And the Court announced that it would take up the legal challenge to the entire Affordable Care Act that far-right judges and litigators have, with support from Trump, been pressing in the courts.

The abortion decision could come this June. The ACA decision might not come until a year from now. But both cases could change life in America, and both cases underscore the extent to which health care—for women and men alike—rae on the ballot this fall. If the far right fails in these cases, it will be because Chief Justice John Roberts decides not to go to partisan extremes. If Trump is reelected and can choose one or even two more Supreme Court justices, the hope for that sort of outcome will become a distant memory.

That’s one more reason why our work in Wisconsin this year will be so crucial.


The Race-Class Narrative Comes to Wisconsin

Last weekend, county party leaders and activists from across Wisconsin gathered for the annual County Chairs Association retreat, organized in partnership with DPW. There, they heard fresh research about Wisconsin from Anat Shenker-Osorio, a message and polling expert who previously worked with George Lakoff. The question she sought to answer: how to fight back against Trump’s message of racial and anti-immigrant division and resentment with a message that would resonate among all potential Democratic voters, across race and geography?

The answer: start with a shared value that unites us across race, then explain how Trump and the GOP’s wealthy backers try to divide us by race in order to pick the pockets of white, Black, and brown people alike—and return to the power of our unity to achieve the change we need. It’s called the race-class narrative, and it will be a key tool to power our victories in 2020. We’ll have more research to share in the coming months, but in the meantime, listen to Anat (and DPW chair Ben Wikler!) talk about the race-class narrative on former Obama speechwriter-turned-podcaster Jon Favreau’s podcast The Wilderness (Episode 5: The Midwest) or on Anat’s own podcast, Brave New Words. The strategy was tested in 2018 in Minnesota’s Greater Than Fear campaign—and it worked better than anyone had dared hope.

Join the Growing DPW Staff

As we scale up for the fight of our lives, we’re bringing on new staff for a number of essential positions. We encourage anyone who’s passionate about electing Democrats up and down the ballot to apply! You can check out all available positions on our job openings page

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is an equal opportunity employer. Women, People of Color, LGBT, people of all religious affiliations & people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

EMPOWER the Grassroots:

A County Chairs Association Retreat to Remember

This past weekend, Gov. Evers, 7th Congressional District Democratic candidate Tricia Zunker, and Judge Jill Karofsky joined county party leadership and Chair Ben Wikler at the County Chairs Association retreat, an opportunity for DPW staff and leadership from county parties to get together and strategize and improve our programs for the year to come.

This year’s retreat was a spectacular succcess—alternating between inspiring speeches and intensive trainings on new technology, tactics, and the nuts and bolts of holding elections for DNC delegate. Thanks to everyone who turned out this weekend for a fantastic two days of trainings!

Get Your Tickets to Founders Day!
Tickets are on sale now for the 2020 Founders Day Gala April 4th at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee!

Click here to get your tickets now >>

The Founders Day Gala on April 4th is a few days before our Supreme Court race and presidential primary, and we expect to have many great keynote speakers you won’t want to miss! We are sure this will be one of our biggest events to date.

Join us to celebrate our incredible momentum as we build toward the most important election of our lives.

We expect tickets will sell out quickly, so don’t wait! Click here to secure your spot at this can’t-miss event!

We’re looking forward to seeing you on April 4th!


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