There’s a month left before Wisconsin's most important election in living memory.
“No way,” you might respond. “Presidential elections are always more important than off-year elections.”
Nope, because if Governor Evers loses in 30 days, there is EVERY REASON TO BELIEVE that the will of Wisconsin voters will be ignored in 2024.
I’m not prone to hyperbole, but if Democratic Governor Tony Evers loses to Republican challenger Tim Michels, all three branches of Wisconsin’s government will be under Republican control which could lead to a doomsday scenario where THE POPULAR VOTE IN FUTURE ELECTIONS WOULD SIMPLY BE IGNORED.
Read that again for a third time.
It’s entirely possible that if all three branches of Wisconsin’s government are run by Republicans, they will be able to decide who wins in future elections regardless of who gets the majority of votes.
Sounds crazy, right? It is absolutely crazy and terrible, but it’s possible, and this scenario should be terrifying to every Wisconsinite and American.
Here’s how it plays out:
Trump-backed Republican candidate Tim Michels wins the race for governor. He signs a new law passed by the hyper-gerrymandered Republican legislature that abolishes the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), which currently administers our elections.
After abolishing the WEC, the Republican legislature gives itself the power to administer elections, “certify election results," and “ensure election integrity.”
By “certify election results,” I mean that if they hypothetically don’t LIKE that a democratic presidential candidate wins the race in Wisconsin in 2024, they might simply vote to NOT CERTIFY the results, leading to a constitutional crisis that destroys the very principles of the Republic that our founding fathers created.
By “ensuring election integrity,” I mean that if they hypothetically don’t LIKE that a democratic presidential candidate wins the race in Wisconsin in 2024, they could simply SAY they “THINK” that the election was somehow rigged, and open a LENGTHY investigation, which would nullify or delay Wisconsin’s electoral votes from being submitted to Congress.
The Democrats would obviously sue in court because this would be against the law—including especially the long-standing Voting Rights Act of 1965 and even the recently House-passed Electoral Count Act--but the 4-3 right-wing Wisconsin Supreme Court would likely rule against them.
Why on EARTH would Wisconsin’s top elected justices do this? Because they have a record of doing just that--over and over again. In the latest example out of many, last April, in a case called “Johnson v. Wisconsin Elections Commission,” our state’s highest court reversed its earlier decision adopting Governor Evers’ fair and balanced map—and instead approved of the gerrymandered line-drawing done by the Republican-led legislature.
In this latest scenario involving the upcoming 2024 race, the Democrats would then again likely appeal a legislative override of the voting results to federal court, where the 6-3 right wing U.S. Supreme Court would again LIKELY side with Republicans.
Why on EARTH would the U.S. Supreme Court effectively end democracy in Wisconsin? Because they, too, have a recent record of retaining hyper-gerrymandered maps drawn by politically-motivated state legislatures.
As recently as February of this year, for example, SCOTUS restored a congressional map in Alabama for the upcoming election that creates only one district out of seven favorable to Black candidates and voters—in a state where 27% of the population is African American. (The justices just this past week heard oral arguments on whether to make that racial gerrymander permanent for the next decade—in a case called “Merrill v. Milligan.”)
And here’s the even more SCARY PART…
SCOTUS, by agreeing in its current term to decide another gerrymandering case out of North Carolina called “Moore v. Harper,” signaled that they might be willing to entertain seriously and maybe even adopt an unsupported, debunked, and fringe legal theory called the “Independent State Legislature Doctrine.”
This dangerous, long-rejected concept suggests that when it comes to administering elections, our state courts would have NO ROLE in resolving disputes about the conduct of elections (including their results) and that only our state legislatures would have that authority—effectively REMOVING ANY CHECKS AND BALANCES to anti-democratic, rogue, and hyper-gerrymandered legislatures at the STATE level.
And since SCOTUS already ruled in 2019 (in a case called “Rucho v. Common Cause”) that the federal courts could no longer rule in cases of state partisan gerrymandering, a subsequent ruling in favor of the “Independent State Legislature Doctrine” would REMOVE ANY CHECKS AND BALANCES to the will of a hyper-partisan Republican legislative majority at the FEDERAL level.
Please go back and read the last few paragraphs if you got confused by the legal jargon because it's really important. In short, the U.S. Supreme Court looks like it wants to make Republican State Legislatures IMMUNE TO BEING SUED if they try to subvert the will of voters.
And yes, it is entirely believable that the 6-3 right-wing Supreme Court, with Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett—all with serious credibility issues—might decide to END DEMOCRACY IN WISCONSIN, a swing state that will most likely decide the next presidential election.
This is the doomsday scenario…and we’re probably going to see it happen if Governor Evers loses his bid for re-election.
We simply can’t let that happen.
Wisconsinites need Wisconsin to stay blue. Women need Wisconsin to stay blue. Public schools and the children that attend them need Wisconsin to stay blue.
And most importantly, AMERICA desperately needs Wisconsin to stay blue.
We’re doing everything we can at the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC to make that happen.
We’ve put up 8 signs like the one pictured here (in the city of Superior) on major highways throughout Northern Wisconsin.
We’re running hundreds of ads like the ones below in rural cities like Wausau, Wisconsin Rapids, Amery, and Richland Center to convince folks that this in an emergency.
We're on live radio every Wednesday throughout rural Wisconsin, which is syndicated as a podcast every Saturday telling rural voters that this is an emergency.
We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the money you’ve donated (an average of $50 per donation), and the money we’ve donated from beer/t-shirt sales, to ring the alarm bells that it’s now or never to save Wisconsin’s democracy.
Yes, we’re leaving it all on the table, as everyone should because this is an emergency.
All this stuff is really expensive, but I think it’s worth it. If you agree, we could use another $50K to keep these signs up, the radio ads up, the social media ads up, and THIS ESSAY DISTRIBUTED STATEWIDE, until the election.
That's a lot of money, but I think we're doing God's work up here in Northern Wisconsin, and no one with a megaphone as big as ours cares more about getting progressive voters to vote in this deep red area--because this is our home, and we refuse to give up on it.
If you can chip in, please donate here.
It’s time for EVERY REASONABLE WISCONSINITE to stand up, dig in, and REFUSE to let the Republican Party subvert our democracy—which means we simply MUST vote for Tony Evers on November 8.
Thanks for reading,
Owner, Minocqua Brewing Company
Founder, Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC
P.S. I’d like to thank Jim Santelle, former U.S. Attorney for Wisconsin’s Eastern District, for helping me write the “legal-heavy” parts of this essay.