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Daily Trail Markers: Wisconsin high court unlikely to rule on voter purge case before Election Day

6/25: Red and Blue
6/25: Red and Blue 30:24

The Wisconsin Supreme Court signaled on Tuesday night that it's unlikely to rule on the case that could remove tens of thousands of people from the state's voter rolls before the November election, reports CBS News campaign reporter Adam Brewster

The court agreed to hear the case earlier in June and rejected a request from the plaintiffs, in a 5-2 decision, to decide the case based on briefs or expedited oral arguments. The court said oral arguments would follow the normal schedule and will not occur before September 29. That would make it difficult for the court to rule in the case before the presidential election.

The case stems from a letter sent in October 2019 to about 230,000 voters from the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) indicating officials believed those people may have moved from their current address. A conservative legal group filed a lawsuit last year asking the WEC to remove the voters who had not responded to the mailing about their address within 30 days. Since the letter was initially sent, thousands of voters have confirmed their address or have been deemed ineligible. As of early June, that left about 129,000 voters in question.

In her dissenting opinion, conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley said the court should hear oral arguments in August and decide the case before the November election, saying it's unlikely to do so under the current timeline. "Justice for the people of Wisconsin means deciding this case expeditiously for the citizens of Wisconsin in order to ensure the integrity of Wisconsin's elections going forward," Bradley wrote. Conservatives hold a 5-2 majority right now but will have a 4-3 majority when they hear this case. Judge Jill Karofsky, a liberal, takes the bench in August to replace conservative Justice Daniel Kelly, who joined Bradley's dissent supporting expedited oral arguments.

FROM THE CANDIDATES

JOE BIDEN

"We worked for W. We support Joe" is the banner for Joe Biden's latest coalition of supporters: former alumni of President George W. Bush's White House, CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson reports. "Together, we can help restore decency, honor, dignity, and true leadership to the White House," the group's website boasts. More than adding their vocal support, the group also has set up a super PAC to boost their message of bipartisan support for Biden. 

"We endorse Vice President Biden not necessarily in opposition to any political affiliations, but rather in service to our country which requires a greater obligation than partisan politics or party," they add. On the other side of the aisle, MoveOn, a progressive outreach organization, also endorsed Biden today. The last presidential candidate the organization supported was Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential primary against Hillary Clinton, signaling potential pick-ups from liberals who view Biden as too moderate. Before that the group supported then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008 and his reelection in 2012. 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

President Trump's reelection campaign announced it raised a record-breaking combined total of $131 million in the month of June, along with the Republican National Committee and joint fundraising committees and maintains a massive cash war chest heading into the summer with over $295 million in the bank, according to CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga and CBS News political unit associate producer Sarah Ewall-Wice.

According to the campaign, the entities brought in an average of $4.3 million a day. Last month, Mr. Trump's re-election team also announced it had smashed its single-day fundraising record across all GOP committees, bringing in $14 million on Mr. Trump's birthday, June 14th.

"The Trump campaign's monumental June fundraising haul proves that people are voting with their wallets and that enthusiasm behind President Trump's re-election is only growing," said Trump 2020 Campaign Manager Brad Parscale, in a statement Wednesday.

According to Kantar/Campaign Media Analysis Group tracking, the Trump campaign spent $34 million on ads in June alone including television ads predominantly in battleground states but also in states including Iowa and Georgia.  

Tracking also shows the campaign has already reserved nearly $100 million television ads for local broadcast and cable in six battleground states including $37 million in Florida, $18 million in Ohio, $16.5 million in North Carolina, more than $14.5 million in Pennsylvania, $7 million in Wisconsin and just over $5 million in Arizona.

Read more here.

President Trump's reelection campaign is moving chief operating officer Michael Glassner to spearhead legal affairs in the four-month homestretch to November's general election. His new role comes as Mr. Trump's approval numbers have taken a tumble and the president's first rally in three months attracted a smaller crowd than expected, reports CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga

The Tulsa event, in a heavily Republican area of the country where Mr. Trump is very popular, drew just over 6,200 guests, according to the Tulsa Fire Marshall's office, falling far short of the "1 million RSVPs" touted by the Trump campaign. Last month, senior adviser to the Trump campaign Jared Kushner and campaign manager Brad Parscale both pointed out to Mr. Trump that they are not "strategists," amid concerns the campaign lacks an overall reelection strategy, sources familiar tell CBS News. But it was Glassner — a longtime Trump ally and original member of the president's 2016 shoestring primary bid — who took the fall, since he plays a significant role in coordinating rally logistics. 

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh defended the timing of Glassner's reassignment. "This is not a reaction to Tulsa. Michael Glassner is moving into the long-term role of navigating the many legal courses we face, including suits against major media outlets, some of which will likely extend beyond the end of the campaign," Murtaugh said in a statement to CBS News. 

Jeff DeWitt, the president's 2016 Arizona chair, will replace Glassner as chief operating officer while the campaign rethinks its own mega-events in the run up to Election Day, hoping to avoid the embarrassment of another sparsely filled venue.  DeWit, a Republican who earlier this year departed a top position at NASA and recently headed an app developer pitched as "the Solution to Big Tech Suppression," once reportedly turned down a personal plea from Trump in 2015 to primary then-Sen. John McCain, according to CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin. A longtime top ally to DeWit, former Arizona deputy treasurer Sean Dollman, already serves as operations director for the campaign.

VEEPSTAKES

ELIZABETH WARREN

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is urging Vice President Mike Pence, the chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, to revamp the federal response to the pandemic. In a letter to Pence Wednesday, Warren argued Dr. Anthony Fauci's admission to her in a Senate hearing that the United States could reach up to 100,000 COVID-19 cases a day showed the White House had mismanaged the pandemic and obscured the reality of it.  

"Either you do not have the slightest comprehension of the scope, causes, and risks from the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak in the United States, or you are deliberately attempting to mislead the American public about the scale of the outbreak," Warren wrote, pointing to a Wall Street Journal op-ed Pence penned in mid-June that downplayed concerns of a coming second wave of the virus. In the letter, CBS News campaign reporter Zak Hudak reports Warren wrote that the federal government had already failed to adequately expand testing and contact tracing and that Pence and President Trump have sent Americans mixed messages on mask wearing and social distancing. She asked Pence to explain what the administration is doing to prepare the country for up to 100,000 new cases of the virus per day. "The pandemic and its human and economic costs grow daily because of the Administration's failed response," she wrote. "I once again, implore you to take action to ramp up testing, secure the supply chain, enforce and encourage public health measures, and bolster contact tracing efforts."

STATE-BY-STATE

ARIZONA

While Democrats in Arizona are ramping up their team ahead of the final stretch to the general election, CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin reports state party Chair Felecia Rotellini said Wednesday that their organizing would remain virtual as coronavirus cases have surged to record highs in the state. 

"We will be able to do door knocking when it's safe. And when we aren't jeopardizing the safety and health of both our field organizers and our volunteers and the folks whose homes we knock on their door," Rotellini told reporters on a conference call ahead of Pence's visit to the state today. Meanwhile, after pausing on-the-ground campaigning earlier this year, Republicans in Arizona have touted face masks as they resume in-person canvassing.  The campaign recently declared it had made "its two millionth voter contact" of the cycle in Arizona.

MICHIGAN

The Detroit Pistons announced on Wednesday that they will be jumping into the 2020 election to offer their training facility as a voting "satellite center" in November, according to CBS News campaign reporter Adam Brewster. The facility will be used for voter registration and in-person voting during the general election. The announcement comes after the Atlanta Hawks announced on Monday that they were partnering with Fulton County to create Georgia's largest voting precinct for the August runoff and November general elections at their arena. The Hawks also said that hundreds of team and arena employees will be trained to serve as election workers. The Pistons will be giving employees a paid day off and are working with election officials for an employee volunteer program to work the polls.

CONGRESSIONAL COVERAGE

IN THE HOUSE

Four freshman Congresswomen are creating a new, joint progressive fundraising committee.  Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib launched the Squad Victory Fund Wednesday, reports CBS News Correspondent Nikole Killion. The committee will support their re-election campaigns, leadership PACs and provide resources to mobilize a broad, grassroots movement across the country. "The progressive policies that my sisters and I are fighting for – Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, racial justice, an end to mass incarceration – have never been more important. The Squad Victory Fund will help us fight back," said Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. The Democratic lawmakers also announced their endorsements of one another for 2020. Last month, Ocasio-Cortez fended off a challenge to her New York district seat. Omar and Tlaib face primary opponents this summer in Minnesota and Michigan.

IN THE SENATE

Former Governor John Hickenlooper won Colorado's Democratic Senate primary Tuesday night and will take on GOP Senator Cory Gardner in November, reports CBS News political unit associate producer Eleanor Watson. The former governor and brief 2020 presidential candidate prevailed over former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff after a month full of attacks on Hickenlooper from both Republicans and progressive Democrats. In a remarks on his Facebook page after winning the primary, Hickenlooper said he spoke to Romanoff who offered him his full support. Colorado is one of the top targets for Democrats in the fall to flip the Senate. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as a toss-up.  

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