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Only eight horses are entered in this year’s Belmont Stakes which, at a mile and a half, is the longest of the Triple Crown races.  Rich Strike, who shockingly won the Kentucky Derby at odds of 80-1 and then skipped the Preakness, is here and while he likely won’t be the betting favorite he’ll be a lot shorter priced than 80-1.  He’s also the puzzler in the race.  Was his Derby win a fluke or is he an improving horse who, with five weeks rest, will fire again?

This race is usually won by horses that run rather close to the pace.  None of these horses have run this far before and most never will again.  Often, all of them are on fumes in the stretch and horses that come from way out of it usually don’t have much left in the tank at the end of the Belmont Stakes.

This is written in anticipation there may be a wet track.

Back to the Preakness.  I totally nailed it with my picks on this site.  I not only had the 9-2 winner Early Voting but picked the top four horses in exact order!  That’s right; I hit the superfecta cold.  I had a much stronger opinion in the Preakness than I do in the Belmont and believe any of my top four choices here can win.



#1  WE THE PEOPLE—He’s the pre-race favorite even though he didn’t run in either the Kentucky Derby or Preakness and I can’t think of the last time that happened.  But he’s getting attention because of his 14-length romp in the Peter Pan stakes four weeks ago at this very track.  That race often produces horses who run big in the Belmont Stakes.  The horse has the perfect running style with his tactical speed and has perhaps the country’s best jockey in Flavien Prat.  His workouts at Belmont have been very good.

#2  SKIPPYLONGSTOCKINGS—He ran a non-threatening fifth in the Preakness and has only two wins in ten career starts.

#3  NEST—Here’s a filly facing males.  Trainer Todd Pletcher won the Belmont a number of years ago with a filly but that one was a lot better than Nest.  Nest was second in the Kentucky Oaks to Secret Oath who could do no better than fourth in the Preakness.

#4  RICH STRIKE—Who knows?  He sure passed the eye test in the Derby as he ran by virtually the entire field in the stretch like he was a quarter horse and they were mules.  But his prior races were nothing special.  He clearly benefited from the insanely hot pace in the Derby and will not get that here.  On the other hand, his races prior to the Derby were on a synthetic track and he may have moved way up on dirt.  He has trained well for this race and his owner and trainer clearly made the right decision in bypassing the Preakness.  If he runs like he did in the Derby, he will win.  If he runs like he did in the races prior to the Derby, he will finish last.

#5  CREATIVE MINISTER—-I picked him to run third in the Preakness and he did exactly that at odds of 10-1.  He is a lightly raced horse making only his fifth career start but he is running for the third time in five weeks and that may be asking too much.  He actually ran at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day but in an allowance race in very fast time.  He gets better each time he runs and one of his wins is over a sloppy track, which he might get in the Belmont.  He will likely sit three lengths or so off of what will be a moderate pace.  The question is whether he has the stamina to get the marathon distance of this race.  His breeding makes that question a tossup.  Jockey Brian Hernandez is very underrated.  If the horse improves yet again, there is nobody in the field who can beat him.  My tepid choice.

#6  MO DONEGAL—This deep closer finished a decent fifth in the Derby coming from as far back as Rich Strike but not going as fast as RS.  Trainer Todd Pletcher has excelled in the Belmont.  This horse actually beat Preakness winner Early Voting in the Wood Memorial in April.  My lone concern is that his running style will leave him with too much ground to make up in the stretch.  Jockey Irad Ortiz is a sensation and is winning lots of races at Belmont this spring.  This horse has been pointed for this race for weeks by Pletcher and has a very big shot at winning.

#7  GOLDEN GLIDER—He finished ten lengths behind We the People in running second in the Peter Pan.  None of his six races has been special but the Belmont Stakes has produced a lot of surprise winners over the years and this horse would be a surprise to me.

#8  BARBER ROAD—He’s another deep closer who ran sixth in the Derby in a performance almost identical to Mo Donegal.  He has an excellent jockey but his only two career wins were against very soft competition.



HORSE                                                               PROGRAM ODDS


#5  Creative Minister                                                     6-1

#6  Mo Donegal                                                            5-2

#1  We the People                                                        2-1

#4  Rich Strike                                                               7-2



I’m not sure I agree with the oddsmaker on how the betting will shake out as I think Rich Strikes will take more action.  But if I can get 6-1 on Creative Minister, it’ll be a bargain.  As stated in the analysis above, he’ll be closer to the pace than Rich Strike and Mo Donegal and that gives him tactical edge.  If We the People runs like he did in the Peter Pan he might win this race wire to wire.  My strongest opinion is that one of the four horses above will win the race and that the four horses not listed will not.



$25 to win place and show on #5  ($75)(adjust up or down to your budget and comfort level)

$2 trifecta 5 with 1-4-6 with all ($36)

$1 trifecta 1-4-6 with 5 with all ($18)

$1 trifecta 5-6 with 1-4-5-6 with all ($36)

$2 exacta 5 with all ($14)

$1 exacta all with 5 ($7)



In Race 10, the Manhattan, the race immediately preceding the Belmont Stakes, I like #2 Gufo (3-1).




Whether a horse race is interesting or not is irrelevant to people who bet on horses.  Boring races pay out just as fascinating races do.   So, even though this year’s Preakness seem dull, it is worth betting on.

First, let’s go back to the Kentucky Derby.  Rich Strike was one of the most improbable winners in the race’s history.   There were several horses rated above him on the Derby’s points eligibility system but those horses passed the race.  Even then, it took a last minute scratch to allow Rich Strike to draw into the body of the race, which he proceeded to win at odds of 80-1 ridden by an unknown jockey who spends most of his time at small tracks in Ohio.   There are two possible explanations.  The first is that Rich Strike was an improving horse who benefited from the stretchout in distance and a move back to real dirt after mediocre performances on a synthetic track.   He clearly benefited from the insanely suicidal pace put up by the foreign-based jockeys on the two frontrunners who essentially made fools of themselves by running their own horses into the ground.  The other explanation is that Rich Strike’s connections cheated.   But, there’s no evidence of that so we’re stuck with the first theory.

Epicenter, the Steve Asmussen-trained horse who ran an outstanding Derby, holding off my pick Zandon the entire stretch, only to be nailed at the end by Rich Strike, is in the Preakness and is the huge favorite.  Only two other Kentucky Derby runners are in: fourth place Simplification and 14th placed Happy Jack.   But there are several live horses who either skipped the Derby or weren’t eligible on points who have legitimate chances to upset Epicenter.   Once again, there is a lot of early speed in the race but I can’t imagine the pace will be as suicidal as in the Derby.




#1  SIMPLIFICATION—Ran a solid fourth in the Derby and has a versatile running style.  Jockey Jose Ortiz opts off to ride Early Voting but replacement John Velazquez is a Hall of Famer.  He’s very talented but my knock on him is that he hasn’t improved this year and keeps running the same race and that won’t be good enough to win the Preakness.

#2  CREATIVE MINISTER—He actually ran at Churchill Downs on Derby day two weeks ago but it wasn’t in the Derby himself.  The horse won an allowance race in extremely impressive fashion and has run well in all three of his career races.  He is almost a clone of another entrant, Early Voting, in terms of how lightly raced both are and the amount of upside both have.  Jockey Brian Hernandez is underrated.   Possible upset winner.

#3  FENWICK—This one would be as shocking as Rich Strike was two weeks ago.  He’s run six races and five of them were rather lousy.

#4  SECRET OATH—This is a filly facing males coming off a dominating win two weeks ago in the Kentucky Oaks.   Trainer D. Wayne Lukas who has seemed to be over the hill 15 times always seems to resurface with a big time horse and he’s done it again.  Here’s my knock: while all of her races this year have been good enough to beat top class fillies, I don’t think any are fast enough to beat the caliber of males she’ll face here.

#5  EARLY VOTING—He was eligible for the Kentucky Derby after an outstanding second place effort over a tiring track in the Wood Memorial in April.  But trainer Chad Brown opted to bypass the Derby in what would have been the horse’s fourth career start to wait for the Preakness.  He did the same thing in 2017 with a horse named Cloud Computing and they won that race.  Early Voting may be the best three year old I’ve seen this year and gets a crack at a tired Epicenter while himself being rested for six weeks.   The horse has been either on the lead or pressing the pace in all three of his races and that is a concern here because there are other pace horses to contend with.  I hope jockey Jose Ortiz is able to harness his horse’s speed.   If so, Early Voting can win the race.   He may be the most talented horse in the field.  His trainer is one of the best in the world.   And he won’t be favored.  To the windows…..

#6  HAPPY JACK—The horse was a non-threatening 14th in the Derby and may only be running because owner Calumet Farm loves to run in big races even if its horses are overmatched, figuring you can’t win if you’re not in.   Well, this one can win but it isn’t likely.

#7  ARMAGNAC— A former trainee of the now-suspended cheater Bob Baffert, this horse won an allowance race two weeks ago in California and will be one of those close to or on the lead.  He does have a spectacular jockey in Irad Ortiz but unless the new trainer has a stash of Baffert’s magic potion, I don’t see it in this race.

#8  EPICENTER— Every race he’s run has been excellent and he sure looked like the Derby winner 100 yards from home.   The jockey, Joel Rosario, is world class.  He’ll likely get a perfect stalking trip laying behind the speed horses.  But it’s possible he’ll regress after the brutally tough Derby.   Interesting note: in the last 28 years, the horse that ran second in the Derby has won the Preakness only once!   (25 years ago, my co-owned Captain Bodgit ran second in the Derby and then just missed in a blanket finish in the Preakness, finishing an unlucky third in what turned out to be his last race).

#9  SKIPPYLONGSTOCKINGS—There are some things to like.  He’s an improving horse who finished third behind Early Voting in the Wood Memorial.  He comes from behind in a race that will likely have a strong pace.  He’s had fast workouts in Florida.  But he seems a cut below on talent and will need to take a major step forward.




HORSE                                                                                             PROGRAM ODDS


# 5  Early Voting                                                                                          7-2

#8  Epicenter                                                                                                6-5

#2  Creative Minister                                                                                  10-1

#4  Secret Oath                                                                                            9-2

#1  Simplification                                                                                         6-1




I love Early Voting here and if I’m wrong I’m losing money.   I think he’s the best horse in  the race, he’s rested and he is likely to make a major step forward off his run in the Wood Memorial.   No knocks on Epicenter.   Creative Minister is so similar in profile to Early Voting and he likewise can win if he makes another step forward.   Secret Oath would be a great story, being a filly and trained by an elderly legend like Lukas, but I don’t think a win for her is likely.   The wildcard here is the pace.  If it’s too hot, one of the deeper closers could pull off a surprise win.




$25 to win place and show on #5 ($75). (Adjust up or down according to your budget and comfort)

$10 exacta part-wheel 5 with 2-8 ($20)

$5 exacta part wheel 2-8 with 5 ($10)

$1 superfecta 5 with 2-8 with 2-8 with all ($12)

50 cent superfecta 2-5-8 with 2-5-8 with 2-5-8 with all ($18)




In Race 7 at Pimlico, I like #6 Cilla (7-2).




A horse I co-own, Untreated (7-2), runs in Race 12, the Grade 3 Pimlico Special.  (This is the race in which Seabiscuit and War Admiral had their match race made famous in the movie Seabiscuit).  Our horse has a solid chance to get his first graded stakes win.   Race 13 is the Black Eyed Susan, the race for three year old fillies and I like a longshot #5 Beguine (12-1)



By far, the biggest story of this year’s Derby is the absence of scandal-plagued trainer Bob Baffert who has dominated the race the past 25 years. Baffert has been banned by Churchill Downs and has a separate suspension issued by the state of Kentucky which is being honored in other states. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any Baffert horses here. Taiba and Messier were both trained by Baffert up until six weeks ago and then transferred to trainer Tim Yakteen, a former assistant to, you guessed it, Baffert. There is every reason to believe Baffert is calling the shots.

Taiba has raced only two times but both were brilliant. But no horse has ever run this race with such a limited background. Two of the biggest name trainers in the sport are Chad Brown and Steve Asmussen and neither has won the Derby. In Asmussen’s case that’s rather amazing because he has won more races than any trainer in thoroughbred history. One of them may get off the schneid this year as Zandon, trained by Brown, and Epicenter, trained by Asmussen, are the two race favorites.

In recent years, it always seems to rain on Derby day and a wet track is again possible.

No favorite won the race in a 20 year period in the 80s and 90s but the betting favorite has won ten of the last twenty races. This year, there are a remarkable number of no-hopers who seem to have no chance or very little chance. But horses like that often can come running late and finish third or fourth creating big payouts in wagers like the trifecta and superfecta.

In last year’s Breeders’ Cup and even more so in the big races earlier this year in Saudi Arabia and Dubai, Japanese horses have dominated. I believe Japan has the best horse racing in the world but racing there is almost exclusively restricted to horses based in that country, a parochial rule that has cost those horses the chance to prove how good they are. But their recent success in shipping to other countries and winning is forcing people to take notice. There is a Japanese horse in this year’s Derby named Crown Pride. He qualified for the Derby by winning the UAE Derby in Dubai. He is the wildcard in this race and can win.


#1 MO DONEGAL—Todd Pletcher trained winner of Wood Memorial, ridden by superstar jockey Irad Ortiz. The #1 post position isn’t as bad as it used to be since the introduction of the new starting gate. Still, it’s not ideal and traffic issues are possible.

#2 HAPPY JACK—-Badly beaten in all three of his stakes races.

#3 EPICENTER—-Has won four of his last five including a romp in the Louisiana derby at fair Grounds. This race is gradually becoming the most important Derby prep because of its six week break before the Derby. The post position isn’t ideal but jockey Joel Rosario is a master. The horse has tactical speed and will be close to the pace. He gets better every race as the distances get longer. That’s a very positive sign. Possible winner.

#4 SUMMER IS TOMORROW—-Set a hot pace in the UAE Derby in Dubai before fading to second. he’ll face much more pace pressure here and seems likely to wilt.

#5 SMILE HAPPY—-He’s run four times and every one has been a good one. In his only two races this year he has run second to Epicenter and to Zandon, the two likely favorites. He had to overcome a wide draw in his last. He actually got the lead with a strong middle move before being passed by Zandon. Horses that make that kind of move often sustain it in their next race. The rider is obsessed with staying on the rail which either works brilliantly or results in traffic trouble. His program odds of 20-1 would be a steal.

#6 MESSIER—-Possible front runner. He’s one of the two horses trained by banned Bob Baffert and transferred a few weeks ago to trainer Tim Yakteen. Nobody knows what to make of the situation. This horse is very reminiscent of Medina Spirit, the Baffert trainee who won last year’s Derby only to be disqualified for a drug positive.

#7 CROWN PRIDE—-The world traveler of the field. This Japan-based horse shipped to Dubai to win the UAE Derby, making him eligible for this race. Japan has the best racing in the world and proved it when their horses dominated the races in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. This one is bred to get the Derby distance and is ridden by the leading rider in Japan. Foreign horses often have pedigrees suited for the turf but this one is bred for the dirt. He’ll likely be mid-pack and will have to make a move on the turn. He has been trained much more aggressively for the Derby than the American horses as our trainers tend to baby horses. The Japanese are winning lots of global races right now and the Derby would be a massive accomplishment. Discount this one at your peril.

#8 CHARGE IT—-The best of the Todd Pletcher horses and a possible winner. Although he’s lightly race, he likely would have won the Florida Derby with a better break. He will forwardly placed and if he has the stamina to finish things off, he’s dangerous.

#9 TIZ THE BOMB—-He’s run eight times and his slowest three races have been on dirt. This race is on dirt.

#10 ZANDON—-He’s run strongly in all four of his races with a powerful breakthrough win in the Blue Grass at Keeneland last out. His workouts the last few weeks have been excellent and his jockey, Flavien Prat, is the best I’ve seen in this country since the now retired Jerry Bailey. As a closer, he will have to navigate through traffic but prat is great at that. he should be aided by a strong pace. A lot of people are touting this horse and expect to hear people cheering “Let’s Go, Zandon.”

#11 PIONEER OF MEDINA—-He’s been third and fourth in his only two stakes races.

#12 TAIBA—-The most interesting horse in the race. He’s run only twice but the last was a smashing win in the Santa Anita Derby. He was trained by Cheater Baffert who turned the horse over to Yakteen (same situation as Messier) in order to be eligible for the race. But the horse missed a workout after the Santa Anita race and not horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby in only its third start.

#13 SIMPLIFICATION—-Florida based horse always runs well and is impeccably bred but doesn’t seem to be improving. Veteran trainer has lots of horses but rarely wins big races.

#14 BARBER ROAD—-He’ll come from way back and has never run anywhere close to fast enough to win this race. he is the type that could clunk up late for third or fourth.

#15 WHITE ABARRIO—-He won both the Holy Bull and Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park near Miami this winter but has a lot of doubters. I’m not sure he’s bred to get the Derby distance. The trainer has aroused suspicion with his methods and gave the horse all of his timed workouts in Florida before shipping to Kentucky. There’s always one Derby horse that puzzles me and this one is it. He could win or finish last and I wouldn’t be shocked.

#16 CYBERKNIFE—-He won the Arkansas derby but with a slowish speed figure. Trainer Brad Cox’s horses always seem to fire in the Derby, however.

#17 CLASSIC CAUSEWAY—-This horse looked great last year asa two year old and also early this year but he simply hasn’t improved. Word is that his owners are forcing the trainer to run CC here.

#18 TAWNY PORT—-The third of the Brad Cox trainees. His rider in his last race has jumped ship to ride Cyberknife.

#19 ZOZOS—-Not to sound like a broken record, but this is the fourth of the Brad Cox trainees. This one is well rested after a strong second to Epicenter in the Louisiana Derby. The wide post position is a definite negative and the horse seems to be bred for shorter races but there’s a lot of talent here.

#20 ETHEREAL ROAD—-Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is back in the Derby! But there’s an asterisk. The horse hasn’t done much and only got in because a number of horses with more qualifying points decided to skip the race.


#10 Zandon 3-1
#5 Smile Happy 20-1
#3 Epicenter 7-2
#7 Crown Pride 30-1
#6 Messier 8-1


The key to making money on races is to bet the horses whose odds reflect the greatest disparity with their actual chances of winning. In this race, while the possible favorite, Zandon, may be likelier to win, I believe Crown Pride and Smile Happy represent the best value.


Bet $10 to win place and show on #5, #7 and #10 (adjust up or down according to your budget)($90)

$5 exacta box 3-5-7-10 ($60)

50 cent trifecta 5-7-10 with 3-5-6-7–10 with 1-3-5-6-7-8-10-11-12-13-15-16-18-19 ($72)

$1 superfecta box 3-5-6–7-10 ($120) This is a swing for the fence wager and is only for those willing to accept that the wager will likely lose. If it hits, the payout will be huge


In Friday’s race for three year old fillies, I like #4 Nest (5-2), #11 Cocktail Moments (30-1) and #7 Echo Zulu (4-1) in that order. #11 is a major longshot.


Two other Saturday plays at Churchill Downs:
In Race 2, #8 Osbourne (8-1).  The horse is named after Ozzy
Race 11, the Grade 1 Turf Classic, #8 Adhamo (9-2)


If you want to bet in person, you’ll have to travel. Potawatomi apparently isn’t going to reopen its off-track betting room. There are several OTBs in northern Illinois and live racing at Hawthorne near Midway Airport.

An easier way is to bet online. It is legal and secure. I do not endorse any of these but urge you only to use legal American operations where the money bet goes directly into the racetrack pools. In no particular order, some of these are: 1st Bet, Twin Spires, NYRA Bets, TVG, DRF Bets.

April 5 Results A Smashing Victory For Grass Roots Conservatism in Southeast Wisconsin

By Mark Belling

The difficulty in summarizing spring elections is that you have hundreds of races in dozens of communities. Simply keeping track of all of them is tough and in any year, good or bad, you will win some and lose some. That being said, the Tuesday results may go down as the most successful spring election for conservatives in the last 50 years.


It is impossible to overstate the success of the Waukesha County Republican Party’s WisRed campaign. Virtually all candidates endorsed by the GOP across the county won. For years, local Republicans sat on their apathetic butts and essentially conceded school board, mayoral, city council, county board and village elections to more organized liberals. This has been especially true in school board races where conservative communities ended up with very liberal school boards, often virtually handpicked by the teachers union.

But the Waukesha GOP, under chair Terry Dittrich, has aggressively recruited candidates to run, has screened candidates for endorsement and has printed flyers advising voters who the true conservatives are. The efforts have flipped several school boards away from liberal control and had impact on other local races as well.

The Menomonee Falls “Moms On A Mission” swept into office running a dominant 1-2-3. The backlash against an arrogant school board supported by old MF hacks began when the public’s desire to keep the high school’s Indians nickname was ignored. Overt embrace of Black Lives Matter after the anti-police riots and being caught red-handed inserting Critical Race Theory in the curriculum furthered the backlash. The result—-for the first time ever, true conservatives control a major MF agency.

A similar sweep occurred in the huge Arrowhead district and the various elementary districts that feed into Arrowhead High School. The endorsed conservative candidates won all of the elections, with several incumbents being thrown out. Arrowhead is conservative country but the superintendent of the school district came from Whitefish Bay and has arrogantly dismissed all efforts by parents to oppose liberally biased content in the curriculum. So much for her.

The conservative school board momentum extended beyond Waukesha County. Cedarburg voters elected the three conservative candidates who ran 1-2-3 despite vicious smear campaigns by Ozaukee County liberals. A conservative also won a closely watched school board race in Brookfield.

An enormous conservative win came in the most evenly divided swing county in the state, Kenosha County. Even though President Trump carried the county twice and it seems evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, the county’s government structure has been largely liberal. The retirement of longtime county exec Jim Kreuser opened that job up. While officially non-partisan, it was a Democrat-Republican showdown. The county’s court clerk, Rebecca Mentink, an elected Democrat, was backed by the county’s liberal establishment. Mentink was favored to win after running first in the February primary. But Mentink lost a tight election Tuesday to longtime Republican Assemblyman Samantha Kerkman. Kerkman’s win is another sign that Kenosha County is joining Racine County as GOP territory as the population grows in the much more conservative western halves of those counties. A big key to Kerkman’s win was her willingness to run bold TV ads showing the violence from the Kenosha riots and blamed the Democrat establishment for them. For once, a conservative candidate didn’t run away from a winning issue. Here’s an interesting bit of trivia: Even though Kerkman is only 47 and looks younger, she is the longest serving Republican in the entire state assembly. Not anymore, as she takes over at the Kenosha courthouse.

Helped mainly by a whopping margin in her home Waukesha County, Maria Lazar defeated Tony Evers-appointee Lori Kornblum for a seat on the state court of appeals district that covers all of southeast Wisconsin except Milwaukee County. A loss by Lazar would have been a disaster. After all of the legitimate anger over the soft criminal justice system and the lenience of Milwaukee DA John Chisholm, a win by a former Chisholm aide who was appointed by a Democrat governor would have been a train wreck.


It certainly isn’t a surprise that Cavalier Johnson was elected Milwaukee Mayor in a landslide. The 72-28 margin of his win over Bob Donovan is about an exact representation of the city’s population. About 72 percent of it is liberal and 28 percent of us are not. If you’re wondering what a Johnson mayoralty will be like, check out the last 60 years of city history.

One rare and big win for Democrats in Waukesha County came in the Oconomowoc mayoral race where incumbent Bob Mangus, endorsed by the Democrats, defeated GOP-backed Lou Kowieski.

Not all conservative school board candidates won. In a sign that Mequon is following Wauwatosa into the liberal sewer, the two conservative candidates for the Mequon-Thiensville school board both lost. Like Wauwatosa, Mequon has had a tremendous influx of Milwaukee residents. As some suburban communities clearly move more and more to the right, Mequon appears to be determined to commit a Wauwatosa-like municipal suicide.

Another bad development was the passage of some, but not all, school referendums. Increasing school spending and building while enrollment is crashing is fiscal malpractice and will leave districts with a debt time bomb. On the other hand, one of the largest referendums in the state, the whopper in West Allis, lost.


An avowed Marxist who has bragged about beating up a Mexican police officer was elected to the Milwaukee County Board. Juan Miguel Martinez is now arguably the most radical elected official to hold any position in southeast Wisconsin.


The huge absentee vote margin in favor of Johnson in the Milwaukee mayoral election is a sign ballot harvesting remains alive and well in the state. If the Republicans don’t get it, and mail-in voting, banned, they could lose the November statewide elections

The success of the Waukesha GOP’s WisRed campaign proves what happens when local Republicans organize and flex their muscles. It is in sharp contrast to most of the other county GOP operations. It is also the kind of politics that the state GOP needs to embrace. But there is little sign of other counties and their lazy leaders stepping up to the plate and the Madison-based state GOP remains as irrelevant as ever.

EXCLUSIVE: Milwaukee Police Union Refuses To Endorse Pro-Cop Mayoral Candidate Bob Donovan

EXCLUSIVE: Milwaukee Police Union Refuses To Endorse Pro-Cop Mayoral Candidate Bob Donovan
By Mark Belling, WISN-AM

The union of Milwaukee police officers is refusing to endorse the mayoral candidacy of Bob Donovan who has made support of police and fighting of crime the centerpiece of his campaign. The union has instead decided to stay neutral in the race between Donovan and Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson despite Johnson’s support for a city budget that reduced the number of sworn officers in the department.

Donovan was routinely endorsed for election by the MPA in his many runs for the city council, a body on which he served for nearly two decades. The union also endorsed Donovan when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor against Tom Barrett in 2016. The union for many years has endorsed conservative candidates for public office and has generally supported Republican candidates for governor, one of the very few labor unions in the state to do so. Given that history, the MPA’s abandonment of Donovan in 2022 is stunning.

On the other hand, the union is under new leadership. Former union heads Bradley DeBraska and Mike Crivello both oversaw the union when it was endorsing conservatives in the past. The current head of the union, Andrew Wagner, may be going a different route.

Wagner told me the decision by the union board to remain neutral was unanimous. He said the union wanted to maintain strong relationships with whon=mever is elected mayor. Translation: The union thinks Johnson is going to win and kicked Dovan to the curb.

The union recently clashed with new Police Chief Jeffrey Norman over Norman’s order that officers not display anything containing the phrase “thin blue line.” Donovan defended the cops on that issue. Apparently, Wagner’s union doesn’t believe in supporting its own friends.

Watch Sen. Ron Johnson’s New Ad Criticizing Media’s Pro-Biden Bias

Sheboygan County Republican Party Demands Resignation Of Robin Vois As Assembly Speaker (GOP Grassroots Revolt Is On)

Whereas, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has refused to cooperate with Representative Janel Brandtjen, Chair of the Campaigns & Elections Committee and the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Government Accountability & Oversight, in her efforts to investigate election fraud, including his refusal to sign subpoenas issued by her or allow her the rightful oversight role of the investigation led by former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman and

Whereas, each State Representative is provided with staff to serve the people of their respective legislative district and

Whereas, Representative Ramthun was elected to serve the people of the 59th District and

Whereas, Speaker Vos removed the only full-time staff member of Representative Ramthun after Representative Ramthun unveiled the truth of Speaker Vos’s support of drop boxes for the 2020 election and

Whereas, this removal makes it impossible for Representative Ramthun to effectively serve and assist those who elected him and

Whereas, this removal is an immoral, vindictive step, one that punishes open discourse on controversial issues and has no place in the actions of a leader and

Whereas, this removal sends a clear message to all other State Representatives that Speaker Vos will punish them for speaking the truth if it damages his reputation and

Whereas, the support of drop boxes is antithetical to election integrity, encourages voter fraud, and results in a distrust of election outcomes by the large majority of Wisconsin voters and

Whereas, Attorney Misha Tseytlin wrote on behalf of Speaker Vos regarding drop boxes; “We wholeheartedly support voters’ use of any of these convenient, secure, and expressly authorized absentee-ballot-return methods” and

Whereas, Speaker Vos and Senator Fitzgerald signed off on drop boxes without a full vote of the legislature and

Whereas, Republican State Senator Kathy Bernier is writing legislation to legalize drop boxes, and, when questioned, Speaker Vos has refused to answer questions if he supports drop boxes or not.

Resolved, we, the Republican Party of Sheboygan County, in caucus gathered on February 5, 2022,

  1. Condemn Representative Vos’s actions:
  2. Removing Representative Ramthun’s staff
  3. Undermining Representative Brandtjen as Chair of the Campaigns & Elections Committee and the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Government Accountability & Oversight
    1. The slow-walking any meaningful investigation of the 2020 election.
    1. Demand a vote of no confidence be taken by the Assembly and a new Speaker be elected immediately and/or demand Speaker Vos resign from his role as Assembly Speaker.
  1. We fully support Representative Ramthun’s 2021 Assembly Joint Resolution 120



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EXCLUSIVE: Conservative State Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack Not Running For Reelection in 2023; Her Daughter Will Seek To Replace Her

EXCLUSIVE: Conservative State Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack Not Running For Reelection in 2023; Her Daughter Will Seek To Replace Her

By Mark Belling, WISN-AM

Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack, a stalwart member of the Court’s conservative bloc, will not seek reelection to another ten year term on the Court in the spring of 2023.   Her daughter, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Ellen Brostrom, intends to run for the position.

The election could decide ideological control of the Court.   At present there are three clear conservatives on the court and three staunch liberals.   The seventh justice, Brian Hagedorn, inevitably casts the deciding vote on virtually all controversial cases. Hagedorn ran as a conservative but has frequently voted with the liberal bloc.

Given the close ideological divide on the court, expect a remarkably contentious campaign.   The biggest question is where Brostrom would fit in on the Court if she won.

Brostrom’s ideology is hard to pin down.   She has a history of endorsing liberals in major judicial elections and supported Lisa Neiubauer, a liberal, in her successful run for reelection to the state Court of Appeals.   Brostrom also endorsed Rebecca Dallet in her 2017 run for the Supreme Court but withdrew it after Dallet blasted the current Court which was then headed by Roggensack, Brostrom’s mother.  But Brostrom has also donated money to the campaign of Justice Rebecca Bradley, the most conservative member of the court.

It’s probably fair to say that liberals would be wary of Brostrom because she is the daughter of Roggensack.  And conservatives may be wary of Brostrom because of her past support for liberals and the fact that she serves on the bench in Milwaukee County.

It is not a secret that Roggensack would likely not seek reelection.  She is 81 years old.  She was elected to the Supreme Court in 2003 and served on the Court of Appeals for seven years prior to that.   She is the Court’s former Chief Justice and with Rebecca Bradley and current Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, she has been part of a rock solid conservative bloc on the Court.   The court’s three liberals, Dallet, Ann Walsh Bradley and Jill Karofsky are as solidly liberal as the other bloc is conservative.

Hagedorn has bitterly disappointed conservatives with his frequent siding with liberals.   Hagedorn was strongly backed in his campaign for the Court by conservatives especially after Wisconsin liberals attacked him for his conservative Christian beliefs.   Given what happened with Hagedorn, Brostrom will have a hard time convincing conservatives that she is one of them.

Legal observers have long praised Brostrom as one of the best judges in Milwaukee County and she is extremely well-liked.

There is no seat up for election on the Court in 2022.   If any Justice retires in the next year, Democrat Governor Tony Evers gets to name the replacement.   After next year, whichever candidate is elected Governor will fill all vacancies via appointment for the next four years.   Ultimately, all justices have to win election.  With the terms being ten years and with most incumbents winning reelection, battles for open seats like the one coming in 2023 are critical.

Mark Belling

December 20, 2021

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