Tag Archives: Wisconsin

How a Bible-believing Christian won election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn
Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn

First, let’s go over the news story for this blog post, and then I’ll have comments after. The news story comes to us from the purple state of Wisconsin, which recently handed former Governor Scott Walker a narrow loss to his Democrat opponent Tony Evers. The news story is about a recent election for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Here’s the story from National Review.

They write:

On Wednesday, liberal-backed Wisconsin supreme court candidate Lisa Neubauer formally conceded to conservative-backed Brian Hagedorn after the official canvas of the vote only increased Hagedorn’s lead of roughly 6,000 votes out of 1.2 million ballots cast.

As we reported last week, Hagedorn’s victory was nothing short of stunning. His campaign had been left for dead by some business groups in the state after his opponents attacked him as an anti-LGBT bigot for founding a private Christian school that upholds traditional Christian beliefs about marriage and sex. The Wisconsin Realtors Association withdrew its endorsement, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce decided to stay out of the race.

[…]The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported that liberal groups backing Neubauer outspent conservative groups backing Hagedorn by as much as a 14-1 margin until the last week of the race, when the RSLC swooped in with a million-dollar ad campaign. It didn’t erase the disparity between conservative and liberal spending in the state, but did narrow the gap.

Here’s one of the ads that helped Hagedorn to win:

I was curious who the outside groups were campaigning against Hagedorn, and it turned out to be groups like Planned Parenthood, the big abortion providers who sell the body parts of children whose mothers didn’t want them. I guess they were afraid that he might put a stop to the taxpayer-funding of their business.

Basically, the question being decided in the election was “is it allowable for a Bible-believing Christian to hold elected office?”

And the answer in Wisconsin was, surprisingly, “yes”. A different National Review article explains how grass roots conservatives turned the tide:

The attacks on Hagedorn’s religious views “just lit an incredible grassroots fire,” says Brian Reisinger, a Republican strategist in Wisconsin who has worked for Scott Walker and Senator Ron Johnson. “They were calling this guy a bigot. They were saying that he was speaking to hate groups” because he had spoken to Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that backs religious freedom.

As a law student, Hagedorn also wrote on a blog that “Planned Parenthood is a wicked organization more committed to killing babies than to helping women.” The narrator in one TV ad claimed that Hagedorn would outlaw abortion “even when a woman’s health is in danger.”

I know we should be happy that Hagedorn won his election, and in a purple state no less. But reading about these attacks against Christians from the secular left really made me unhappy. It’s just so strange to see one group of people so committed to making other people celebrate their sexual behaviors against their own conscience. But maybe the bullying of Christians has come to a point where even ordinary people are starting to say “enough”.

This article from the New York Post explains:

Conservative activist Mary Magdalen Moser, a poll worker for the Republicans, sensed a turn in the tide. She was infuriated by the media’s treatment of Hagedorn — and she knew the populist coalition that put Trump in office would be electrified.

“Wisconsinites have always been a very open bunch,” she told me. “As long as you stay out of our way, we let you do your own thing. People were incensed that Neubauer went after Hagedorn’s faith.”

[…]“Trump and Hagedorn won because they didn’t back down,” said Moser, a 56-year-old who lives in Kenosha. Though she grew up in a Democratic home and has never registered with either party, she calls the treatment of Hagedorn a tipping point.

“Freedom of religion cannot be perverted into freedom from religion,” Moser said. “Tolerance must remain a two-way street, especially in our judicial branch.”

So, it turns out that mistreating evangelical Christians isn’t a winning strategy all the time. At least, it wasn’t this time. So what’s the way forward?

Well, I think that we who are conservative Christians need to do a better job of reading the news and sharing articles about how the secular left is using political power to silence and coerce Christians. The left is pushing an agenda in the culture that conservative Christians are predators, but the truth is we have less rights than non-Christians. Non-Christians don’t get dragged through the mud in public so they get fired. Non-Christians don’t get dragged into human rights courts for offending people.

I think we need to work on our brand as Christians, too. Being a Christian ought to mean things like chastity, sobriety, charitable giving, and stable marriages with lots of well-adjusted children. We should embrace our reputation as morally straight, and just try to show that off to others. Share when we make charitable donations. Share about our volunteering. Share about our marriages and children. Share about how much we show love for other Christians.

Ted Cruz rides pro-life endorsements to huge 48.4 to 35.0 victory in Wisconsin

I'm Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this study
I’m Scheming Unborn Baby, and I endorse Ted Cruz for President

Townhall reports that Ted Cruz got the endorsement from National Right to Life on Tuesday:

National Right to Life announced that they will be throwing their support behind Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for the upcoming primaries. NRL believes that Cruz has a stronger pro-life record and credentials than Donald Trump, and also that he has the best chance to defeat Hillary Clinton.

An average of seven recent national political polls shows that Mr. Trump trails Hillary Clinton by 11.2%.

In those same seven polls, Sen. Cruz trails Mrs. Clinton by an average of 3%.

National Right to Life believes Sen. Cruz is the only candidate for president who has always been pro-life, who has a 100% pro-life voting record with National Right to Life, who can win the Republican nomination, and who can defeat pro-abortion Hillary Clinton in November.

National Right to Life was one of the many pro-life organizations that slammed Trump for his (since-rescinded) comments that women who have abortions should be punished.

That NRLC endorsement undoubtedly helped him to a 13-point victory over Donald Trump in Wisconsin, on Tuesday night:

Ted Cruz wins Wisconsin convincingly, setting the stage for a contested convention
Ted Cruz wins Wisconsin, which will likely lead to a contested convention

So why did Ted Cruz get this NRLC endorsement on Tuesday? I think it might have something to do with an answer that he gave to a tough abortion question from Megyn Kelly on Monday night. Cruz was asked about his opposition to rape and incest exceptions to the pro-life view. His answer sounded like something Scott Klusendorf would say.

The Daily Wire reports:

Stating his belief that all unborn children’s lives should be protected, Senator Ted Cruz expressed his opposition to exceptional access to abortion for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Joining Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly for a town hall event in Madison on Monday, Cruz made a pitch to Wisconsin voters before the Badger’s State’s Republican primary on Tuesday.

“You don’t favor rape or an incest exception to abortion,” said Kelly, speculating that Cruz’s position on abortion might be “too far-right” for voters.

Recalling his former role as the Solicitor General for Texas, Cruz described his experience from the side of law enforcement in redressing rape.

“When it comes to rape, I’ve spent a lot of year in law enforcement. I was the Solicitor General for the state of Texas, and I have handled horrific cases of rape, people who had committed child rape. I went before the U.S. Supreme Court and argued in defense of state laws imposing capital punishment for the very worst of child rapists,” said Cruz.

Cruz then expressed the logically consistent position of opposition to abortion grounded in the belief that unborn children are persons entitled to the protections of life and security of person, opting not to carve out exceptions to this position for conceptions resulting from rape or incest.

“When it comes to rape, rape is a horrific crime against the humanity of a person, and needs to be punished, and punished severely. But at the same time, as horrible as that crime is, I don’t believe it’s the child’s fault, Said Cruz. “I don’t believe it makes sense to blame the child.”

Watch:

Are you ready to have that guy explain to the media and the public why the pro-life view makes sense? I am.

Ted Cruz is consistently pro-life. He’s not scared to defend the pro-life view that you or I would defend. He thinks his view is the right view, and he wants to defend the right view. He thinks that Roe v. Wade was a bad judicial decision, and he wants to go back to the way things were before that bad decision, such that each state would decide the life issue for themselves. That’s a moderate position, well suited to the general election. As for himself, he has supported pro-life laws and policies in his career, and achieved many pro-life victories.

Ted Cruz courts delegates in Colorado and North Dakota, ahead of Wisconsin stand

Conservative women rallying to Cruz in Wisconsin
Conservative women rallying to Cruz in Wisconsin

Let’s start with an article about Cruz’s get-out-vote plan in Wisconsin, from the radically leftist Politico.

Excerpt:

Just as in Iowa, Cruz arrived in Wisconsin before Trump, has worked it harder and stayed longer. He’s delivered speeches at rallies across the state, shaken hands at a sandwich shop, fought for votes at a fish fry and promised to bring back American jobs at a factory in Oshkosh.

Cruz has opened a “Camp Cruz” to provide free housing for volunteers who make the trek to the voter-rich Milwaukee region, as he did in Des Moines; he has again slammed Trump for refusing to debate him; and he has tried to fend off a third candidate (then Marco Rubio, now John Kasich) from serving as a spoiler.

[…]Cruz has the backing of one of the state’s leading right-wing talk radio hosts (Charlie Sykes in Wisconsin, Steve Deace in Iowa), one of the state’s leading social conservative groups (Wisconsin Family Action PAC now, The Family Leader in Iowa) and another extensive and deeply organized grass-roots network fueled by county chairs blanketing the state and a long list of supportive faith leaders. He spent Saturday night here in Ashwaubenon, screening a Christian film — just as he did in West Des Moines last fall.

The Christian film this time was “God’s Not Dead 2”, and it features two well-known Christian apologists – J. Warner Wallace and Lee Strobel. You can read more about what Ted thought of the movie.

The Politico article continues:

[T]he biggest differences between Iowa and Wisconsin appear only to benefit Cruz. Then, he was under fire from the political establishment — from the popular Republican governor there (Terry Branstad) to national leaders like Bob Dole. Now, Cruz has the backing of Wisconsin’s popular governor, former rival Scott Walker appears in one of his closing TV ads, as well as support from key figures in the state Legislature, including the majority leader and the Assembly speaker, both of whom previously supported Rubio.

The local conservative talk show hosts love Cruz, and they are attacking Trump for attacking Walker’s successful conservative reforms:

Local talk-radio hosts have pilloried the front-runner for denigrating Walker when he was still in the race and in recent days.

“When Donald Trump comes into Wisconsin, knows nothing about our state, trashes all the work we’ve done, trashes our governor, trashes our party, we take it personally,” said Vicki McKenna, another prominent conservative radio host. “It’s just spectacularly stupid.”

Cruz, on the other hand, has taken full advantage of the two weeks leading into Wisconsin that are uninterrupted by any other primary or caucus, McKenna said.

“He’s actually got people here in Wisconsin advising his campaign; he’s made an effort to understand even district to district, county to county,” she said.

[…][Governor Scott] Walker and Carly Fiorina spent days crossing the state stumping for Cruz. Walker’s wife, Tonette, joined Cruz’s wife, Heidi, for a Saturday sprint, hitting three stops along with Utah Sen. Mike Lee.

Wisconsin votes on Tuesday, but there is more going on with the delegates from states that have voted already.

Delegates and the GOP Convention

Even though the delegates who attend the conference from each state are bound in the first round(s) to vote according to the primary / caucus election results for their state, they are released to vote how they want in later rounds of voting. If Trump shows up at the convention in Cleveland and doesn’t have 1,237 votes, then he won’t win the nomination in the first round. If no one gets 1,237 votes, then the convention becomes a “contested” convention. That’s when having true conservative delegates become crucial, because delegates vote according to their conscience in the 2nd round and later. (Some unbound delegates can even vote their conscience in the first round).

The Cruz campaign knows this, and they are trying to make sure that the delegates who picked are genuine conservatives and are members of the Republican Party.

Conservative Review reports on North Carolina delegates:

In North Carolina, Donald Trump won 30 bound delegates at the primary, and Ted Cruz won 27.  That is for the first ballot, where delegates are officially bound.  District Conventions were held in four of the state’s thirteen congressional districts last weekend.   A grassroots activist in North Carolina provided Conservative Review with the results of those districts.  Nine of the 12 delegates elected yesterday are definitely Cruz supporters and have worked to elect Cruz for a significant period of time.  Two others identified themselves as Cruz supporters at the convention so that 11 of the 12 are Cruz supporters.

The Washington Times reports on Colorado delegates:

Ted Cruz on Saturday picked up the first six of 37 Colorado delegates to be chosen before the Republican National Convention, giving his candidacy a boost entering this week’s Wisconsin primary. The six delegates, three each from 1st and 6th congressional districts, shut out would-be delegates for businessman Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at party assemblies.

[…]Delegates from Colorado’s other five congressional districts are to be selected at assemblies leading up to Saturday’s Colorado Republican Convention in Colorado Springs, which Mr. Cruz is expected to attend.

Leftist CNN reports on North Dakota delegates:

Ted Cruz claimed a majority of delegates in North Dakota on Sunday — though the delegates are not bound to him, so their loyalty remains uncertain.
North Dakota Republicans selected 25 national delegates and, of those, 18 were on a list of preferred delegates that Cruz circulated — a clear win for the Texas senator.

North Dakota delegates are “unbound”, so they get to vote however they want from the first round on at the convention.

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