MADISON, Wis.— The city of Milwaukee allowed liberal, third-party groups funded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to set the rules and help administer November’s presidential election, according to a complaint filed on behalf of five residents by an election watchdog.
Milwaukee, with the complaint filed by the Amistad Project, became the fourth of the so-called WI-5 cities to be accused of election law violations under state law and the U.S. Constitution as more details emerge about the five cities’ partnerships with “safe elections” groups.
Complaints focused on Green Bay, Kenosha, Racine, and Milwaukee are filed with the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which has sought outside counsel because its administrator is accused of a conflict of interest.
The Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life handed out more than $8 million in “election safety and security” grants to Wisconsin’s five largest and most heavily Democratic cities, which also include Madison. The bulk of that total— $6.3 million—was distributed as part of a controversial contract between the center and the five cities.
The Center for Tech and Civic Life received more than $300 million from Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, ostensibly to help local elections offices administer safe and secure elections.
As a Wisconsin Spotlight investigation uncovered, CTCL required the “Wisconsin 5” cities to sign contracts that included funding “clawback” provisions if they failed to meet the organization’s demands. Local elections officials had to work with the center’s partner organizations, including the National Vote at Home Institute.
In final official results in Wisconsin, Democrat nominee Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by 49.6% of the vote to 48.9%, flipping a state with 10 electoral votes that Trump won in 2016.
Emails show longtime Democratic operative Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein, Wisconsin lead for the institute, was intricately involved in the administering Green Bay’s and Milwaukee’s elections, including offering to “cure” or correct absentee ballots.
Spitzer-Rubenstein and several other left-leaning activists in the Center for Tech and Civic Life’s network played prominent roles in Milwaukee’s election administration, according to emails obtained by Wisconsin Spotlight through an open records request.
The emails show the activists and election officials sharing raw voter data and discussing how best to maximize turnout of traditionally Democratic voters in “areas with predominantly minorities.”
The activists and officials tapped another liberal group, Power the Polls, to help recruit scores of poll workers and discuss ballot curing.
Activists recommended Mikva Challenge to recruit high school age poll workers to serve as “ballot couriers” and for “ballot drop-off voter registrations.” Mikva Challenge describes itself as developing youth to “be empowered, informed, and active citizens who will promote a just and equitable society.”
The complaint in Milwaukee, filed May 11, cites more than a dozen such left-wing partners of the Center for Tech and Civic Life.
Milwaukee city officials working with outside groups turned over responsibilities that solely belong to local elections officials and Wisconsin’s election regulator, according to the complaint.
To date, the Amistad Project has filed election law complaints against Milwaukee, Green Bay, Racine, and Kenosha. The Wisconsin Assembly’s Campaigns and Elections Committee is investigating the involvement of third-party groups in the state’s 2020 elections.
Reid Magney, spokesman for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said the agency had received the Milwaukee complaint and posted it on its website.
“The respondents have been notified of the complaint and have been given 10 business days to file a sworn response,” Magney said, adding that the complaint would be “handled the same way as the other complaints involving Green Bay, Racine, and Kenosha.”
Outside counsel will be brought in to review the complaint.
The office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, did not respond to a request for comment on the complaint.
In the end, Wisconsin’s five largest cities saw massive turnout, with Biden substantially benefiting from it.
The Democratic nominee won Milwaukee with nearly 79% of the vote to Trump’s 19.6%. In Milwaukee County, Biden claimed more than 69% of the vote.
In Dane County, home to far-left Madison, the state’s capital, Biden beat Trump 76% to 23%.
Biden won by more than 6,000 votes in the city of Kenosha, but lost Kenosha County to Trump, 50.8% to 47.7%.
Biden won Green Bay by about 4,000 votes, but lost surrounding Brown County to Trump, 52.8% to 45.6%. Trump also won Racine County with 51.3%, although Biden picked up more votes in the city of Racine.M.D. Kittle is an investigative reporter at the MacIver Institute, a free market think tank based in Madison, Wisconsin, Bureau Chief for Wisconsin Watchdog, an online news source that focuses on exposing government waste, fraud and abuse of power. Also a reporter at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Kittle is a 25-year veteran of radio, newspaper and online journalism, working not only in Wisconsin, but also Iowa and Missouri.
The Shallowater High School Student Council in Texas raised thousands of dollars for a very special cause during its annual Mr. Mustang event on Thursday.
The funds cancer “in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell),” according to the National Cancer Institute.
The event’s purpose was to raise shared pictures of students at the event with Baylor in the middle helping hold the giant check.
“We knew we could not pass up the opportunity to bless this amazing family. I know that there is not a family more deserving than the Buckners!” said Student Council president, Hannah Fisher.
“They are so kind, positive, and grateful. They are such a great example of clinging tight to their faith despite the challenging circumstances. The smile on Baylor’s face is what made all of the work worth it,” she continued.
Shallowater ISD expressed its thanks to everyone who donated and helped make the event a big success, saying of Baylor, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
Facebook users congratulated the students and one person called their efforts “outstanding.”
“Bravo!!!! I am so proud to be a part of the SISD community! There is so much light ahead for our world with kids like this in the lead!” another said.
A 100-year-old Navy veteran received special recognition from the state of New Jersey for his service during World War II.
Navy veteran Sidney Finkle, who served as a Navy Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class during World War II, recently received the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal (Brandywine Living at Pennington, where Finkle, a Trenton native, has been living for seven years with his wife, Jean, to whom he has been married for 72 years.
When the factories closed, many blue-collar workers got jobs in the hallowed halls of higher education, one of the few remaining workplaces that would offer them benefits packages.
The problem? Now they had to put up with the heightened sensitivities of college students and bureaucrats, according to Robert Woodson, the civil rights veteran and anti-poverty activist.
The Woodson Center founder told Just the News he was already concerned about the "level of intimidation that exists among working-class white people" when Smith College branded a cafeteria worker and janitor as racist on the word of an "elite black student."
But the summer 2018 incident at the elite women's college, whose "eating while black" narrative was recently contradicted by a New York Times investigation, pushed Woodson over the edge.
Last month his center's 1776 Unites project brought together more than 40 black intellectuals, calling on Smith College (pdf) to make amends with the falsely accused service workers and halt its "forced" and "accusatory" anti-bias training.
Signatories included Columbia University linguist John McWhorter, Brown University economist Glenn Loury and syndicated columnist Clarence Page, who appeared in Woodson's recent panel discussion on desegregating poverty.
With the help of Smith whistleblower Jodi Shaw, an administrative staffer who quit in protest of the college's allegedly hostile environment for whites, Woodson's coalition has helped raise about $14,000 for the two employees, Jackie Blair and David Patenaude.
The Smith incident reinforced the 84-year-old's longstanding disillusionment with the civil rights movement, he said in a phone interview.
"A lot of the people who suffered and sacrificed didn't benefit from the change" 50 years ago, while a few activists ran for office, spent trillions on poverty programs and "pursued strategies to enrich themselves..
Woodson highlighted Rep. Maxine Waters' pricey Los Angeles home, Rev. Al Sharpton's private jet and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors' real-estate binge. "A rich Marxist!" he chuckled, referring to Cullors' declared political identity.
The volley against Smith College is not the first in a planned campaign to highlight class discrimination at elite institutions, however, Woodson clarified.
Because Smith is "really representative of a problem that is countrywide," it made sense to speak out in this case to show that "not all black people are victim-oriented."
A spokesperson for Smith told Inside Higher Ed that "some are trying to leverage this incident to promote their own assault on diversity and equity initiatives."
'I'm watching this being perverted by social justice warriors'
Student Oumou Kanoute's public accusations against Blair and Patenaude — whom she wrongly identified as the janitor who reported her unexplained presence in a shuttered dorm lounge — first fell apart in an external investigation commissioned by the college that found no discrimination toward Kanoute.
Smith President Kathleen McCartney still claimed the college could not "rule out the potential role of implicit racial bias," even though Blair and the unidentified janitor had followed its own protocols.
She didn't publicly apologize to the employees, whose identities and photos were now in the news, and service workers were soon forced to undergo anti-bias training. The training left Patenaude more sure of "money privilege" than "white privilege," he told the Times. Woodson called such training the "height of snobbishness."
"I've led demonstrations, went to jail in pursuit of justice for all, and I'm watching this being perverted by social justice warriors" such as Kanoute, he told Just the News.
"She is making false claims of racism, and then has a rant on Facebook trying to make herself a racial martyr at the expense of hard-working blue-collar people," Woodson said.
Kanoute did not respond to Just the News queries to Columbia University's School of Social Work, where she's a research assistant intern, or the ACLU of Massachusetts, whose racial justice director Rahsaan Hall spoke on her behalf to the New York Times. Kanoute deleted or hid her Facebook page, where she shared favorable coverage of the incident, sometime after Thursday night when Just the News viewed it.
The March 22 letter to President McCartney from 1776 Unites, which released an African-American history curriculum last fall, tore into the college for immediately assuming that its food and janitorial workers were "guilty of the vile sin of racism."
It forced them to "publicly 'cleanse' themselves through a series of humiliating exercises in order to keep their jobs," and when the external investigation cleared the two workers, "merely doubled down on the shaming of its most vulnerable employees."
Signatories who participated in the civil rights movement were "fighting for equal treatment under the law," the letter said. "We didn't march so that Americans of any race could be presumed guilty and punished for false accusations while the elite institution that employed them cowered in fear of a social media mob."
They challenged President McCartney to provide the "evidence" she cited as the basis for Smith's anti-bias training. Woodson told Just the News that McCartney's "very cavalier" response simply referred back to the report that cleared the service workers.
The college just wanted to "purchase innocence at the expense of these workers," who now face a dilemma, Woodson said: Do they apply the rules when a black student commits a violation? "That's a hell of a place to put people in."
He's not sure yet whether the pushback against Smith will convince other mistreated service workers to come forward, but his group is hearing "rumors."
Whom has diversity training helped 'except for the people doing the training'?
Going forward, 1776 Unites will continue highlighting the harm of what Woodson called "race grievance training," which he considers an impediment to upward mobility.
"It always benefits those at the top" to generalize about race, he said, citing Delta among corporations that have started using racial quotas that primarily benefit well-off blacks. "What does that have to do with working-class black people?"
Woodson is just as critical of diversity and inclusion bureaucracies in higher education. Its advocates are "hard-pressed to say where is the proof" that the training has "improved the life of anybody except for the people doing the training."
Though Blair remains a Smith employee, she is raising money for legal expenses related to possible action against the college, as well as for therapy and medical bills related to her lupus, which was exacerbated by the false accusation.
Patenaude left the college because the publicity spurred by Kanoute worsened his anxiety disorder so badly that he couldn't work. His GoFundMe page says he's now on permanent disability, though Smith told Inside Higher Ed that he's still employed.
During a routine audit of body camera footage, a Texas police department caught one of their officers performing an act of unprecedented kindness.
The bodycam footage shows the officer purchasing a brand-new set of wheels from a local pharmacy before presenting it to the grateful stranger.
The officer responded to a call expressing concern for a disabled man, stranded at the junction of Old Denton Road and Rosemeade Parkway, who was trying in vain to fix his broken chair.
The officer called a local pharmacy before driving there to collect the chair. In bodycam footage, a pharmacy staffer can be heard praising him for his kind deed.
The homeless man, upon receiving his upgraded chair, asks what he owes the officer. “Nothing. This is for you,” comes the reply.
“Oh, man. This is amazing,” the homeless man exclaims. “It’s wonderful.”Louise Bevan is a writer, born and raised in London, England. She covers inspiring news and human interest stories.
On Monday, March 8, 2021, the Supreme Court ruled, 8-1, that a college cannot escape liability for quashing a student’s First Amendment rights to free speech and religious freedom by merely reversing its restrictions. Even if the school drops its free speech restrictions, students can still sue for damages, even if the damages are only nominal to make a point.
Chike Uzuegbunam, a Christian student at Georgia Gwinnett College, had sued his school after the college prevented him from preaching the gospel and handing out religious tracts due to its excessive speech codes, which limited free speech to 0.0015 percent of campus. Uzuegbunam sued, demanding an injunction and nominal damages. At first, the school defended its policy and claimed that Uzuegbunam’s preaching “arguably rose to the level of ‘fighting words.'” Then the college reversed, dropping the challenged policies.
Both the district court and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that since the college had dropped its restrictions, the case was moot. Yet Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas ruled that a demand for nominal damages can save a lawsuit from becoming moot.
“For purposes of this appeal, it is undisputed that Uzuegbunam experienced a completed violation of his constitutional rights when respondents enforced their speech policies against him. Because ‘every violation [of a right] imports damage,’ nominal damages can redress Uzuegbunam’s injury even if he cannot or chooses not to quantify that harm in economic terms,” Thomas wrote in the majority opinion for Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski (2021).
Justices Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett joined in Thomas’ ruling. Kavanaugh filed a concurring opinion. Only Chief Justice John Roberts dissented.
“The Supreme Court has rightly affirmed that government officials should be held accountable for the injuries they cause,” Kristen Waggoner, general counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the law firm representing Uzuegbunam, said in a statement.
“When public officials violate constitutional rights, it causes serious harm to the victims. Groups representing diverse ideological viewpoints supported our clients because the threat to our constitutionally protected freedoms doesn’t stop with free speech rights or a college campus,” she added.
“Officials within our public institutions shouldn’t get a free pass for violating constitutional rights on campus or anywhere else,” Waggoner argued. “When such officials engage in misconduct but face no consequences, it leaves victims without recourse, undermines the nation’s commitment to protecting constitutional rights, and emboldens the government to engage in future violations. We are pleased that the Supreme Court weighed in on the side of justice for those victims.”
“The Supreme Court got it right. Today’s ruling protects students’ ability to vindicate their priceless First Amendment rights and hold public university officials accountable,” Darpana Sheth, vice president at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), said in a statement. (FIRE filed an amicus brief on behalf of Uzuegbunam.)
“As FIRE’s two decades of firsthand experience shows, public colleges and universities across the country routinely infringe student speech rights but can escape accountability by relying on a student’s impending graduation or otherwise mooting the case by changing the policy after a lawsuit is filed. The ruling correctly recognizes that these violations impose real harm, even if the silenced student cannot ‘quantify that hard in economic terms,'” Sheth added.
On the larger issue of whether or not the gospel of Jesus Christ qualifies as “fighting words,” Attorney General Christopher Carr (R-Ga.) later rescinded that claim. Carr had originally argued in a brief defending the college that Uzuegbunam’s preaching fell outside of the First Amendment’s free speech protections because his words had “a tendency to incite hostility.”
After Dr. R. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, quoted this argument on his “The Briefing” podcast, Carr reached out, explaining that he had removed the argument that the gospel presentations are “fighting words.” He became attorney general in 2016 as his office was litigating the case, and it appears that his staff wrote the brief before he was able to reverse the argument.
“He stated to me that he emphatically does not identify the gospel of Jesus Christ with the language of fighting words when it comes to constitutionality,” Mohler reported last August.
Even so, the fact that lawyers working for the state of Georgia would consider making this argument is terrifying. “The point here is the abhorrence of considering the gospel of Jesus Christ as fighting words,” Mohler noted. “That does tell us again a great deal of where we stand in America, at least with some.”
Carr’s decision to rescind his claim was heartening, as was the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case.Senior Editor of PJ Media, Tyler O'Neil is an author and conservative commentator. He has written for numerous publications, including The Christian Post, National Review, The Washington Free Beacon, The Daily Signal, AEI's Values & Capitalism, and the Colson Center's Breakpoint.
It's always risky to roll up on a mom taking care of her young child, unless those up to no good enjoy tangling with Mama Bear.
Hudson was transported to a hospital, where he was listed as stable, KTRK said, adding that the mom and her son weren't hurt.
Hudson is charged with burglary of a habitation and unlawfully carrying a weapon, the station noted.
The woman's neighbors told the station they aren't upset about her actions.
"I would have done the same thing," Brittany Spivey told KTRK. "Absolutely."
Roger Clayden added to the station: "Just make sure I keep my guns loaded. Not much else you can do."
KTRK said officers spent Friday morning looking for surveillance video from neighbors' homes to determine if there were other suspects involved.
More from the station: Although there have only been two other residential burglaries in the city so far this year, Sugar Land Police plan to be more present and vigilant.
"Any time you have somebody that's breaking into your house is going to be of concern. So, obviously we the, Sugar Land Police Department, will do our best to help assuage that kind of fear. Were going to have extra patrols," Asst. Chief Michelle Allen said.
A dog in Trabzon, Turkey, has diligently visited the hospital every day since her elderly owner’s admittance, patiently awaiting his return.
Last week, Cemal Senturk was admitted to a medical facility in Trabzon. The elderly man’s condition was not specified, but his dog Boncuk could not have cared less. Boncuk left home the next day. After a brief search, Senturk’s family finally located her sitting outside the entrance of the hospital.
Ever since her beloved owner was hospitalized, this dog walks to the hospital every day and sits outside, waiting to see him 😢 pic.twitter.com/0erjUUH45w
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 21, 2021
While they took her back home, efforts to prevent a return to the hospital were wholly unsuccessful. Every day, Boncuk disappeared again. And every day, she was found carrying out her vigil. Boncuk would peek into the building every time the door opened, checking for some sign of her best friend, always keeping watch. A security guard told Turkish news outlet DHA that “she comes every day around 9 a.m. and waits until nightfall. She doesn’t go in.”
On Wednesday, Boncuk was finally reunited with Senturk in an emotional reunion captured on video, shared by CBS News via Twitter. “She’s very used to me. And I miss her, too, constantly,” Senturk said. Fortunately for them both, the waiting is over — Senturk was discharged later that day, and the two returned safely home.