This Week in RSLC News: Wisconsin Flips Supreme Court Seat With the Help of the Judicial Fairness Initiative, Michigan Speaker Lee Chatfield Opposes Gas Tax, and more

melinaNews, Weekly Roundup


With polls showing Judge Brian Hagedorn down by eight points ten days in advance of Tuesday’s Supreme Court election in Wisconsin, the RSLC’s Judicial Fairness Initiative invested $1.3 million on a targeted tv, digital and mail campaign to promote Hagedorn, helping him to a 6,000 vote victory. Congratulating Hagedorn on his victory, RSLC President Matt Walter declared, “Wisconsin voters knew what was at stake in last night’s election: a choice between a liberal, activist judge who would legislate from the bench or a conservative, rule of law judge committed to interpreting the state Constitution as written.” Hagedorn’s victory has been credited in part to the RSLC — Judicial Fairness Initiative’s voter education project in the final weeks of the campaign. In a memo released publicly on Thursday, the RSLC — Judicial Fairness Initiative laid out how its efforts “helped carry conservative Judge Brian Hagedorn to victory in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race,” with a data-driven strategy.
 Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald spoke with Politico following the results in the state Supreme Court race saying holding the court, “became a lot more important in November, when Scott Walker lost.” He additionally noted that if a liberal majority were to overtake the court they would try to “to overturn or roll back the progress Republicans made over the last eight years.” In an op-ed penned to The Detroit NewsMichigan Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield criticized Governor Whitmer’s proposed 45-cent gas tax increase as a “non-starter for the people of Michigan.”  Chatfield points out that “any plan that passes through the Legislature should make sure everyone statewide sees better, longer-lasting roads no matter where they live,” unlike the administration’s plan which redirects dollars from local and county roads to a handful of big cities.On Tuesday, Louisiana state Senator Sharon Hewitt testified on Capitol Hill before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.  In her testimony, Senator Hewitt highlighted the economic benefits the oil and gas industry provides to both the United States and the state of Louisiana, saying “It creates jobs in every state in the U.S., with more than 650,000 jobs nationwide estimated to be linked to Gulf energy activity, with tens of thousands of those jobs in Louisiana.”In a statement released on Tuesday, Virginia Speaker of the House Kirk Coxchastised Virginia House Democrat leaders over their repeated rejections of offers to hold bipartisan hearings to investigate the sexual assault allegations against Democrat Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax. “There should be no mistake about what has happened here: the alleged victims are seeking a bipartisan hearing; Republicans are seeking a bipartisan hearing; Democrats in the House of Delegates are refusing to allow that to happen,” Cox said. Democrat Oregon Governor Kate Brown appointed former state House Speaker Bev Clarno to serve as the state’s next Secretary of State. Clarno, a Republican, succeeds Dennis Richardson, who passed away in February from brain cancer. “Bev’s career is marked by her trailblazing spirit, focus on fiscal responsibility and a commitment to Oregonians,” Governor Brown said following the appointment. Clarno has pledged to only serve through the remaining term which ends in 2020. She was first elected to the legislature in 1988, served as Speaker from 1995 to 1997, and later was elected to the state Senate.