Wisconsin Election Integrity Journalist Who Exposed Allegedly Illegal Democratic ‘Smurfing’ Donations Arrested

Peter Bernegger

Peter Bernegger, president of Election Watch in Wisconsin, was arrested last week after filing complaints against officials and candidates he exposed for accepting donations allegedly facilitated by progressive activists in the names of people who were unaware of them. He was charged with a felony, simulating a legal process.

Bernegger posted on X after posting bail and being released, “This is politically motivated where they are trying to shut me up, to shut us all up. For those who don’t know, this is the second time they have come after me; the first time was dismissed in 15 minutes when the judge learned the truth of the matter.”

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Green Bay Broke Same-Day Voter Registration Rules, Allowed Illegal Votes, Election Group Alleges

Celestine Jeffreys

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a complaint on Monday against the Green Bay city clerk to the Wisconsin Elections Commission for not following state law to verify same-day voter registrations. Same-day voter registration, which is when people can register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time, is a practice that both PILF and the Honest Elections Project warn may let illegal votes be counted before a voter’s registration can be verified.

PILF reported the Green Bay city clerk to the Wisconsin Elections Commission for failing to follow state law on same-day voter registration, an election practice that election integrity advocates warn can allow illegal votes to be counted.

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Wisconsin Directs Federal IDEA Funds Toward Racism, Equity Workshops

Teacher with Students

A project housed under the Wisconsin Department of Education is using federal special education funds to pay speakers to provide instruction to teachers on race, equity and Black queer feminist methodology.

Wisconsin’s Educational Equity Network’s virtual events feature presentations from authors and activists, including notable and controversial writers such as Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo, about racism, inequity and marginalized gender or sexual identities.

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State Bar of Wisconsin Changing Diversity Definition to End Discrimination Suit

Larry Martin

The State Bar of Wisconsin isn’t ending its diversity clerkship that faced a federal discrimination lawsuit, instead it is changing the definition of diversity.

The State Bar agreed to tweak the program and make it about the diversity of ideas and experiences, rather than base the clerkship on race and gender.

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Wisconsin Gov Shoots Down Bill to Keep Boys Off Girls’ Sports Teams

Girls Basketball

Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a bill Tuesday barring biological men from competing in women’s sports just weeks after it passed the state Senate.

The bill was passed by the state Senate in March by a 20 to 11 vote and would require athletes to compete in sports categories in line with their biological sex. Evers had expressed displeasure with the legislation in the past and opted to veto the bill, arguing that it would only embolden “anti-LGBTQ harassment, bullying, and violence,” according to a press release.

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Former Wisconsin Governor: Elections Too Important to Let Politicians Decide Integrity

Scott Walker

Wisconsin’s most-recent former governor says elections in the state must be fair and free from outside money posing as election aid.

Former Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday said voters need to approve a constitutional amendment banning so-called “Zuckerbucks” in order to keep politicians from sapping faith from voters.

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Jury Convicts Former Wisconsin Election Commission Deputy Director

Kimberly Zapata

Milwaukee’s deputy director at the Election Commission in October 2022 has been found guilty of election fraud.

Wednesday’s jury decision involving Kimberly Zapata at the Milwaukee County Circuit Court could be foretelling for another involving a man in Racine. In each case, those charged requested and received ballots using fake information.

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Recall Vos Organizers Shift Blame for Faulty Signatures, Recall Failures

Robin Vos

The people behind the Recall Vos effort continue to say they didn’t collect potentially fraudulent signatures and are hinting that a conspiracy is to blame.

Recall Vos organizers on Monday tried to shift the blame for their apparent failure to get enough signatures to trigger a recall election.

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Wisconsin Has Awarded 14 $3 Million Tax Credits for Investors in Innovative Businesses in 2024

Wisconsin Capitol

Wisconsin’s Department of Economic Development has awarded $3 million in tax credits to investors in 14 startups in the state so far in 2024.

The tax credits are part of the state’s Qualified New Business Venture program, which began in 2005. It gives 25% transferrable tax credits for investors in qualified new businesses capped at $3 million for a $12 million cash equity investment.

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Wisconsin GOP Lawmakers Blast State as Committee OKs New Reading Standards

Students Reading

Wisconsin’s push to help children in the state’s schools read better took its next step forward Monday.

The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee approved four new reading programs for the state’s public schools.

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Gov. Evers OKs Millions for University of Wisconsin Construction, Tuition Distribution Changes

UW Campus

There’s going to be a building boom on some University of Wisconsin campuses across the state.

Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday signed a new law that clears the way for a new engineering building at UW-Madison, as well as classroom renovations in both Madison and Whitewater. The new law also includes nearly $200 million for central plant renovations and demolition projects.

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Wisconsin Republican Lawmaker Wants Local Voice on Wind, Solar Projects

New legislation at the Wisconsin Capitol would put local communities in charge of local wind and solar projects.

State Rep. Ty Bodden, R-Stockbridge, has introduced a plan that would require local leaders to sign off on wind and solar farms before regulators at Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission could move forward.

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Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson Doesn’t Rule Out Senate Minority Leadership

Ron Johnson

Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. Senator says he’s not looking to become the next Republican leader, but he’s not ruling it out either.

Sen. Ron Johnson told News Talk 1130 WISN’s Jay Weber he is focused right now on organizing the search for someone to replace Mitch McConnell when McConnell leaves Senate leadership in November.

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Green Bay School Superintendent Resigns After Calling Colleague ‘Witch,’ Wisconsin ‘Lily’ White on Hot Mic in Atlanta Radio Interview

Radio Interview

A Green Bay, Wisconsin school superintendent resigned on Tuesday after he was captured on a hot mic describing the district as “lily” white and expressing his displeasure at working in a “white district” during an appearance on WAOK-AM as he visited Atlanta to recruit educators.

Former Green Bay Area Public School District (GBAPS) Superintendent Claude Tiller Jr.’s hot mic comments were broadcast on YouTube while the radio station broadcast was on a commercial break.

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Expansion of Teacher Apprenticeship Program Awaits Evers’ Decision

Teacher Teaching

Expansion in the way Wisconsin prepares new teachers has passed the state Assembly and awaits a decision from second-term Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

His decision has yet to be signaled.

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Accused Wisconsin Pedophile Allegedly Recorded and Shared Sexually Explicit Videos of His Own Adopted Son

Adam Westbrook

The charges against accused pedophile Adam Westbrook, an alleged member of a Wisconsin chapter of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” reveal that the victim—a prepubescent little boy—is his own adopted son.

Westbrook is facing charges of possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child, four counts each. The case was dismissed at the state level in a procedural move that transfers it to the U.S. Attorney-Western District of Wisconsin Office as a federal crime.

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Republican Businessman Challenges Vulnerable Democrat Senator in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Senate Race

Republican businessman Eric Hovde launched his highly anticipated campaign against Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin on Tuesday.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) recruited Hovde, who had been weighing a campaign for months, after other prominent Republicans like Reps. Mike Gallagher and Tom Tiffany declined to jump into the race. Hovde announced his campaign in a social media video posted on X, and called for the country to unite to “find common sense solutions to restore America.”

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Wisconsin Speaker: Medical Marijuana Not Going to Happen This Year

Robin Vos

Wisconsin’s assembly speaker is not calling his proposal for medical marijuana dead, but he says it’s not going to happen this year.

Speaker Robin Vos told reporters Thursday there are too many different views of marijuana to find a consensus on a strict-medical only plan.

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Wisconsin Elections Commission Clarifies Absentee Ballot Rules

Absentee Ballots

Wisconsin’s election managers say as long as there is a house number and a street name, absentee voting witness slips don’t need a city, the state, a zip code or anything else.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission clarified the rule for absentee ballot witnesses address information.

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Trump Tied with Biden in Battleground Wisconsin: Poll

Trump Biden Wisconsin

Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden are locked in a tight race to claim Wisconsin, should both become their respective parties’ nominees in the 2024 White House race.

The pair earned 49% each in a recent Marquette Law School Poll of registered voters, when undecided respondents were asked to choose. Trump held a narrow edge of 50% to 49% among likely voters. Among independent registered voters, Biden led Trump 49% to 42%.

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Wisconsin Election Board Follows Court Order, Votes to Accept Partial Addresses on Absentee Ballots

Absentee Voting

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has complied with court orders and will now tell the over 1,800 local election clerks they can accept absentee ballots that are missing parts of a witness address.

The commission made the move after members voted 5-1 Thursday.

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Gov. Evers Promises Help for Chippewa Valley Health Care Workers, Wisconsin Congressman Wants More

Derrick Van Orden

Western Wisconsin’s congressman wants the governor to help with the planned hospital closures in the Chippewa Valley.

Republican Congressman Derrick Van Orden asked Gov. Tony Evers to use any state or federal resources that can be tapped to make sure the people who use HSHS’ hospitals or Prevea’s clinics in and around Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls are not left without medical care.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Experts Reject Republican, Democratic Maps

Experts hired by Wisconsin’s supreme court to redraw the state’s political maps say there won’t be anymore Republican gerrymandering.

The court’s outside experts rejected maps drawn by Republican lawmakers and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. The experts said both maps continued to gerrymander the state for Republicans.

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WILL Sues to Preserve Act 10

Rally for Union

Act 10, the law that fundamentally weakened Wisconsin’s public school teachers’ unions, is headed back to court. And again there is an effort to save it.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on Monday filed a motion to join the new case that seeks to end Act 10. That case claims there was “no conceivable rational basis” for Act 10 to begin with.

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University of Wisconsin Law School Training Prompts Legal Threat amid Medical School, Journal Walkback

UW Law School

The threat of losing federal funding or defending against an expensive lawsuit, for allegedly promoting discrimination against popular punching bags on campus, isn’t dissuading the University of Wisconsin Law School from inculcating students in the dogma of diversity, equity and inclusion.

UW Law required first-year students to participate in a “reorientation” Friday that catechized the same ideologies that prompted doctor and House Appropriations Committee member Rep. Andy Harris to float federal funding cuts to medical schools that force DEI upon students.

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Report: Wisconsin Choice Schools Score Better in Reading, Math

School Work

The latest report on school choice in Wisconsin again shows choice schools outperform public schools in Milwaukee’s biggest cities and rural areas.

The Apples to Apples report from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty compares proficiency rates in math and English language arts in public schools, charter schools and private schools part of Wisconsin’s voucher program.

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Wisconsin Republicans Introduce Abortion Bill as 2024 Election Draws Near

Robin Vos

Wisconsin Republicans introduced a bill Friday that would ban abortion at 14 weeks, just months ahead of the 2024 presidential primary.

The bill would limit abortions in the state by an additional six weeks since Wisconsin already has a 20-week ban on the books, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In addition to passing the legislature and getting Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ signature, the bill would also have to appear on the ballot for voters during the state’s primary election in April, which is just months before the presidential election in November.

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Wisconsin Assembly Approves Doomed Parental Bill of Rights

Parents Child Learning

The latest version of a Parental Bill of Rights has cleared its first major hurdle at the Wisconsin Capitol, but it’s not expected to get much further.

The State Assembly on Thursday approved AB 510, which spells out the rights that parents in the state have over their own children.

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Reformers Look for Apprenticeship Opportunities for New Teachers in Wisconsin

Teacher Teaching

A reform group in Wisconsin wants to take what works for plumbers and get it to work for teachers.

The Institute for Reforming Government has been working since last spring to create teacher apprenticeships in the state.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Rejects Remap Reconsideration

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court will not reconsider its ruling that tossed out the state’s political maps.

The new liberal-majority court ruled 4-3 against a request from Republican lawmakers to listen to arguments again.

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Gov. Evers Open to Tax Cut for Wisconsin Retirees

Tony Evers

Wisconsin’s governor may be softening on a tax cut for retirees in the state.

Gov. Tony Evees was a guest on Capital City Sunday on television in Madison. He said he’s open to the idea of a tax cut for retirees in the state.

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Milwaukee Sales Tax Increase Has Mayor, Washington County Executive at Odds

Sales Tax Difference

Milwaukee’s new 2% sales tax has spawned a war of words between the city’s mayor and the county executive in Washington County.

It began New Year’s Day when Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann posted a message on social media welcoming people to shop in his county.

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Judge: Wisconsin Absentee Ballots Without Complete Addresses Can Be Counted

A judge in Dane County says absentee ballots in Wisconsin don’t need a full address to be counted this year.

Judge Ryan Nilsestuen ruled local election managers need not reject absentee ballots if the absentee witness’ address is incomplete.

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State Rep. Brandtjen Doesn’t Trust Wisconsin to Count Absentee Ballots Due to Milwaukee’s Past ‘Election Shenanigans’

The Republican who led the first investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 election says she does not trust the effort to count the state’s absentee ballots early because she doesn’t trust election officials in Milwaukee.

State Rep. Janel Brandtken told The Center Square there are serious security concerns with the Monday Count plan moving ahead at the Wisconsin Capitol.

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One Republican Wants Answers on What University of Wisconsin Knew About Porn-Producing Chancellor

Steve Nass

One Republican state senator wants more answers from the University of Wisconsin about the porn-producing former chancellor at La Crosse.

Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, the legislature needs to find out just what the UW knew about Joe Gow’s porn videos.

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Planned Parenthood: Proposed Wisconsin Abortion Referendum an ‘Attempt to Strip Rights’

Planned Parenthood Supporters

Planned Parenthood is looking to label the possible ballot question on abortion before voters in Wisconsin ever get to see it.

Planned Parenthood reacted to news Republican lawmakers are looking to vote early next year to add a statewide referendum on abortion to the April ballot.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Orders Redrawing of State Legislative Maps

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday rejected the Republican-drawn legislative district maps and demanded that the creation of new electoral lines ahead of the 2024 contests.

The left-leaning court ruled 4-3 in ordering the new maps, which Democrats had sought to overturn over claims of gerrymandering, according to the Associated Press. The maps included non-contiguous districts.

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Audits: Many State, University of Wisconsin Offices Empty as Employees Work from Home

Working from home

A pair of Republican lawmakers are promising to hold hearings into why so many state and University of Wisconsin workers aren’t in their offices.

A pair of audits from the Legislative Audit Bureau looked at telework and office space trends.

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Wisconsin University System Accepts $800 Million Deal in Exchange for Slashing Diversity Efforts

The University of Wisconsin System accepted an $800 million deal with the state legislature on Wednesday that requires them to slash their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) departments, according to the Associated Press.

The UW Board of Regents originally voted 9-8 against a deal that would give the university system $800 million for new infrastructure and employee pay raises in exchange for freezing the total number of DEI positions in the system. The board later reversed the decision and voted 11-6 in favor of the deal, which also orders the system to stop requiring diversity statements on student applications and will require UW Madison to end a race-based hiring program, according to the AP.

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Wisconsin Senate Leader Rejects Calls for GOP Election Commissioner to Resign

Wisconsin’s secretary of state wants one of the state’s Republican elections commissioners to be fired after he settled a lawsuit over Wisconsin’s 2020 Trump electors.

Secretary of State Sarah Godlewski asked the Wisconsin Senate to remove Republican Commissioner Bob Spindell.

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State GOP Backs Plan to End Wisconsin Elections Commission

Republicans at the Wisconsin Capitol are pushing to end the state’s Elections Commission.

The latest plan comes from Senate elections boss Dan Knodl and 10 Assembly Republicans. They want to get rid of the commission and shift the power to oversee elections to the secretary of state.

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Wisconsin Deer Harvest Down by Thousands Compared to First Weekend Last Year

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources is not surprised by the low numbers out of the state’s first weekend of gun deer hunting and not worried, yet.

The DNR reported hunters harvested 92,050 deer last weekend, compared to 103,623 for the first weekend last year.

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Republicans and Democrats React to Wisconsin Supreme Court Redistricting Hearing

There are no surprises among the reactions to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s questions about drawing new political maps in the state.

A number of lawmakers and advocacy groups weighed in after the high court Tuesday heard arguments to redraw the state’s legislative maps.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Successfully Refer Three Ballot Measures to Amend the State Constitution

As of Nov. 14, three ballot measures have been certified for Wisconsin’s statewide ballot in 2024, including three new certifications Ballotpedia tracked from Nov. 8-14. All three measures are legislatively referred constitutional amendments on the ballot, two April 2 and one Nov. 5.

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End Sought to Litigation of Wisconsin School Choice, School Voucher

Teacher and Students

Litigation of school choice and school vouchers in Wisconsin Supreme Court should end, the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce said on Wednesday.

The state’s largest business group filed an amicus brief with the court. It asks justices to reject the lawsuit that seeks to end school choice and school vouchers.

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Wisconsin Representative Says Universities Should Be Graded Publicly on Antisemitism

Rep Grothman College

Congressman Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., says that universities should be graded in regard to antisemitism on a scale for the public to see. 

“On the antisemitic thing, groups ought to come out and rank the universities: A, B, C, D and E,” Grothman said on the Thursday edition of the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “Say if you have a Jewish child. Would you want them to go to this university?  What university would want to be labeled an F for Jewish children?”

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