Capital City Sunday: How January 6 still drives WI politics; looking ahead at ’22 races | Politics



MADISON (WKOW) — One year after the worst attack on the U.S. Capitol in more than 200 years, the beliefs that inspired the insurrection influence policymaking at the state level and Wisconsin is no exception.

Grassroots conservative groups have been pressing Republican leaders to review the 2020 presidential election. Trump supporters were able to enter the Capitol by fighting police for certification.

In Wisconsin’s two most populous areas, there was a flurry of legal challenges. Reviewers outside the election nonpartisan state auditors and the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty found no proof of widespread voter fraud.

The 2020 election has been a central part of Wisconsin Republicans’ work. Negotiations are underway with Robin Vos, the Assembly Speaker (R-Rochester). to extendThe contract, which was $676,000 taxpayer-funded, was to investigate the election with former state Supreme Court Justice Mike Gableman.

Gableman ContinuedSubpoenas can be issued to the cities of Madison, Green Bay, and the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Assembly Republicans also demand that the elections commission be dissolved turn over dataAll 7 million voter records that were stored in the state’s database. This includes when those voters’ statuses were either deleted or reactivated.

Scot Ross, a Democratic analyst, said that January 6’s lasting legacy is Republican lawmakers allowing election conspiracy to become the party’s identity.

“I think the tragedy of the insurrection is it is an embodiment of what the Republican Party is right now,” Ross said.

Republican strategist Bill McCoshen countered that January 6 was sown after large protests against police violence towards Black Americans in America turned violent the previous year.

“Whether it’s riots on State Street where businesses are being destroyed and looted, or burning down businesses in Kenosha, or storming the Capitol on January 6, I think all of that violent activity is bad, it’s wrong,”McCoshen spoke. “It shouldn’t have happened in any of those cases but it was normalized in the summer of 2020.”

Ross countered that these two instances were incomparable because January 6 involved a sitting President encouraging supporters to disrupt the certification for an election that would take him out of power.

“Protesting violence against Black people, the killing of unarmed Black people by cops, is not the same as Donald Trump standing at the end of Pennsylvania Avenue and telling people to go to the Capitol,” Ross said. “And then them saying ‘hang Mike Pence’ and going to the Capitol.”

McCoshen spoke out about the election investigations and said that he wanted his party’s message to be more focused on 2022.

“We gotta stop looking backwards and start looking forward,”McCoshen spoke. “The reality is Democrats took advantage of the Covid issue and increased mail-in ballots beyond anything anyone had ever seen before, not only in Wisconsin, but nationally.”

Strategist’s guide to 2022

McCoshen and Ross both agreed that the governor race is the most important in the midterms. Democratic Governor Tony Evers is running for re-election, while Rebecca Kleefisch, former Lieutenant Governor, is the front-running Republican.

“I think the executive is the most important race on the ballot every single time,”McCoshen spoke. “Governor Evers is in a fair position but not a great position for re-election.”

Ross stated that he believed Republicans in the Capitol were more concerned about the race to governor than any other national issue, even the highly publicized race for the U.S. Senate, where sources suggest Sen. Ron Johnson will. Soon to be announcedHe is running for a third term.

“That’s my thoughts on it because they want to get the rest of the power to do what they want to do all across the state of Wisconsin,” Ross said. “And Governor Tony Evers is the only person standing in their way.”

Ross claimed Republicans were enjoying the Omicron COVID-19 surge and that Republicans are blaming Republicans for not recognizing the issues that would drive voters to the polls. This is because Democrats control both Congress and the White House, so the more Americans who are poorer in November, the more likely they are of punishing them.

“Republicans think and they are strategizing that if we make things as bad as humanly possible, the Democrats are going to lose and it is so despicable and disheartening,” Ross said.

McCoshen responded that Democrats are only to blame in the pandemic that is still affecting peoples lives in November. This was because Biden promised to end it.

“The reality is Joe Biden ran on shutting down the virus,”McCoshen spoke. “It is his biggest failure in his first year in office. There is no question about that.”

Reporters’ Roundtable – What Races are You Following?

Wisconsin’s governor and U.S. Senate races will dominate the news this fall. There are however, a number of important primaries in mid-card races which will also have an impact on Wisconsin.

Patrick Marley of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Jessie Opoien of The Cap Times shared which contests are under-the radar they’ll be following closely.

“Is anyone gonna really pull away when we start to see fundraising reports coming out in the handful of races we’re watching, which would obviously be the U.S. Senate Democratic primary,” Opoien said.

Lieutenant Gov. Mandela Barnes is the frontrunner, according to the few polls so far. Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry are the closest in polls. They have the wealth to keep themselves in front of voters. Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson is a well-known figure and has been circulating the state since he became the first Democrat to enter the Senate race.

Opoien claimed she was also monitoring the Republican primary to be attorney general between Eric Toney, Fond du Lac County District Attorney, and Adam Jarchow, a former state representative.

Marley stated that he was curious to know which Republicans would challenge Kleefisch during the gubernatorial primaries. Kevin Nicholson is supported by wealthy people and may be able to run for governor. Johnson seems to have already committed to running for re-election. Eric Hovde, a Madison businessman, could also run. Franklin businessman Jonathan Wichmann is also in the race and will challenge Kleefisch from to the right.

Marley said that both the primary and general governorial races will be filled with lots of talk about policy for the future. He stated that the challenge for Republicans will be to satisfy the far-right support for his party. “forensic”Moderate voters are fed up with Republicans questioning the 2020 outcome and want to audit.

“The answer seems to be they’re gonna pass legislation similar to legislation they’ve already passed that has been and will again be vetoed by Governor Tony Evers and so this is all gonna fuel the 2022 election,”Marley said.

Marley explained that for Democrats, this will mean that Evers will be presented as the only person who can prevent Republicans from changing the state’s electoral laws.

“I think what you’re gonna see the Democrats do is portray this as an attack on democracy, say that Republicans are going to undermine the will of the voters and that the only way to ensure we get a true reflection of the will of the voters in the next presidential election is to keep Tony Evers as governor,”Marley said. “They’re going to be saying he’s the hockey goalie, so to speak, and he can prevent what they consider bad bills on election laws from passing.”

Opoien pointed out that Johnson’s decision not to run for another term would be welcomed by both Democrats and Republicans.

“If you talk to Republicans behind the scenes, I think that they will say ‘go ahead.’ Democrats want Ron Johnson to run, they want him to run too,”She said. 

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