Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers is calling the Wisconsin Legislature into a special session to take up a package of police reform bills after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back by a police officer in Kenosha on Sunday, according to CBS News campaign reporter Adam Brewster. Evers first unveiled the bills in June, which include measures like creating a statewide use of force standards, requiring officers to complete at least eight hours of deescalation training annually, banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and requiring an annual statewide report on police use of force incidents. “We must rise to this movement and this moment, and meet it with our empathy, our humanity and a fierce commitment to disrupt the cycle of systemic racism and bias that devastates Black families and communities,” Evers said on Monday. Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, the state’s first Black lieutenant governor, said what happened to Blake was “familiar violence to many of us” and said “this will continue” if lawmakers don’t take action. “We know that we can’t remedy the white supremacy and the systemic racism that is built into all of our systems in just a couple of years or with any package of legislation. But that doesn’t mean we don’t act,” Barnes said.
The GOP-controlled Wisconsin legislature does not have to debate or vote on the bills. After Evers announced the special session, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos seemed to dismiss the idea. “We have an opportunity to bring people together to find solutions,” Vos, who earlier on Monday called for a task force on racial disparities and policing standards, said in a statement. “Instead, the governor is choosing to turn to politics again by dictating liberal policies that will only deepen the divisions in our state.” Evers also told reporters that 125 members of the Wisconsin National Guard are being sent to Kenosha on Monday after local officials requested the assistance. Blake remains hospitalized, according to Evers.
President Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters outside the White House Monday that Attorney General William Barr was expected to come to the White House later in the day to provide a briefing on the incident. A White House official tells CBS News that the President has been briefed, adding that they are monitoring the situation and the President will receive further updates from DOJ as the facts play out.
Joe Biden added his support for further investigation into the police shooting of Blake, reports CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson. “His children watched from inside the car and bystanders watched in disbelief. And this morning, the nation wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force,” Biden wrote in a statement. “This calls for an immediate, full and transparent investigation and the officers must be held accountable,” he added, “These shots pierce the soul of our nation. Jill and I pray for Jacob’s recovery and for his children.”
Republican Congressman Bryan Steil of Wisconsin represents Kenosha County, where Blake was shot. Steil called on the state’s Department of Justice to conduct a “thorough, independent, exhaustive investigation.” In a statement Steil added, “We must support each other and our Kenosha community, and we cannot allow violence and destruction.” CBS News political unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro reports that other lawmakers looked to this moment as an example to support police reform, or in some cases, “defunding” the police. Congresswoman Gwen Moore is one of three from the Wisconsin delegation to vote for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in June. This act has yet to be brought up for a vote onto the Senate floor, which Moore called for on Monday. The Senate’s answer with GOP Senator Tim Scott’s JUSTICE Act, failed to meet the 60 votes needed for debate in June. Independent Congressman Justin Amash Tweeted Monday, “End qualified immunity.” Missouri’s 1st district Democratic candidate Cori Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist in Ferguson, Tweeted, “For those who are upset about our calls to ‘defund’: Is saving those funds more valuable than human life? Will you shed tears for him while advocating for militarized police forces? This is about humanity.”
In addition to providing counterprogramming to the Republican convention, the Biden-Harris campaign is launching national programming targeting a specific constituency in a different battleground state each day this week, as part of its efforts to grow its diverse coalition, according to a campaign official. CBS News correspondent Nikole Killion reports vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris is expected to make her first solo campaign appearance in events focused on this effort. “We will be reaching out to Black, Latino, AAPI, young voters and many more, in cities across America to hear firsthand their concerns and lay out Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s vision for a stronger, resilient, and more inclusive economy,” said Biden-Harris national coalitions director Ashley Allison. The initiative kicked off with a virtual event for young voters Monday in North Carolina, the site of the GOP opening session. Actor Darren Criss, of “Glee” fame, headlines an Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) gathering in Las Vegas Tuesday. Harris, a California senator who is the first Black and South Asian woman to be on a major-party ticket, will appear at a virtual organizing event with African-American women on Wednesday. The campaign later announced it would be a Sister-To-Sister roundtable in Michigan with Melanie Campbell, Chairwoman of Sisters Lead Sister Voter and DNC Black caucus chair Virgie Rollins for a voter engagement program for Black women. That will be followed by a “Shop Talk” session on Thursday for Black men led by political commentator Bakari Sellers and entertainment host Terrence J. Harris is also slated to attend a virtual event for Latinos in Miami Saturday, dubbed “Nuestros Negocios, Nuestro Futuro” (Our Business, Our Future). Her husband, Doug Emhoff, who is Jewish, will join “Believers for Biden” Friday in Florida.
President Trump made a surprise appearance at the Republican National Convention’s opening day site, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Monday, as party members formally nominated him in a roll call. Mr. Trump received a unanimous 2,550 delegate votes, making his title official as the Republican Party nominee. Mr. Trump repeated his hard-charged claim that Democrats are “using COVID to steal the election,” without citing evidence, before a room filled with delegates. “The only way they can take this election away from us, is if this is a rigged election. We’re going to win this election,” Trump added. The president said he “felt an obligation,” to be in Charlotte despite Governor Roy Cooper’s statewide restrictions due to COVID-19 and nixed party festivities that were at one then were slated to take place in Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Trump announced he will issue a list of new potential Supreme Court Justice picks in the coming weeks, pressuring rival Joe Biden to do the same ahead of November. And while the president is not set to deliver his formal speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination until Thursday, CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga says the commander-in-chief will make appearances every day this week, according to a senior campaign official. A former aide to Mr. Trump who sued the president following writing a brutal tell-all book about his White House tenure – “Team of Vipers” – will help craft the president’s RNC speeches, along with other keynote addresses. Cliff Sims was hired by the Republican National Convention, a senior Trump campaign official confirmed to CBS News. ABC News reported this story first. Monday’s GOP Convention schedule includes former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Donald Trump, Jr., and Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a St. Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina will close out the night’s festivities. Trump Campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh told reporters Monday Scott is expected to discuss police reform and take on Joe Biden for his language and policy decisions, described by Trump campaign officials as “racially damaging and divisive.”
CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell notes that more than 50 speakers are scheduled to give remarks this week in “Honoring the Great American Story,” which is the overall theme for this year’s RNC. Daily themes throughout the week include celebrating a Land of Promise, a Land of Opportunity, a Land of Heroes, and a Land of Greatness. Other notable guests throughout the week include Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, more of the president’s children, and First Lady Melania Trump, whose remarks have already sparked conversation from some after she was accused of plagiarizing parts of former first lady Michelle Obama’s speech during the 2016 RNC. In addition, Mitchell notes that representatives from the key battleground state of Florida will be featured throughout the week too, with Rep. Matt Gaetz, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, and Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi all scheduled to give remarks.
While most of Mr. Trump’s 2016 supporters were Republican base voters, for some, the decision to back him in 2016 came in the quiet of a voting booth or as the credits rolled on the final presidential debate. To win again, he must hang onto his previous supporters, including reluctant ones, and win over some who are undecided — all amid nationwide calls for racial justice and a global pandemic that has the U.S. economy reeling, CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga and senior manager of election analytics Kabir Khanna report. “If the election was tomorrow, I probably wouldn’t even vote,” Lori Jo Peters sighs into the phone. “I’m just so confused. It feels like North is South. East is West. Up is down. Nothing is the way it used to be. Nothing is the way it should be,” said the 56-year-old from Manheim, Pennsylvania. In 2016, her ballot for Mr. Trump was simply a “vote against Hillary.” In nine battleground states polled by CBS News since July, a majority of Mr. Trump’s voters stand firmly behind him – between 58% and 76% of his ’16 voters across these states both say their support is “very strong” and that they would never vote for Biden. Georgia and Arizona boast the highest numbers of firm Trump voters, with the lowest levels of support showing in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida. However, this cadre of unshakeable supporters alone can’t carry Mr. Trump to victory in November. There aren’t enough of them. In absolute terms, they’ve comprised only 22-29% of likely voters in our polling. That’s a large enough group to put a floor on the president’s approval rating but not enough to win critical states again.
Longtime Trump critic and former Senator Jeff Flake on Monday said he planned to vote for Joe Biden after voting for a third party candidate in 2016, reports CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin. “It is not enough to just register our disapproval of the president,” the Arizona Republican said in a livestreamed address sharply critical of the president, delivered just as the GOP was formally nominating President Trump for a second term. “Jeff Flake has abandoned any set of principles he once professed to have in order to embrace Joe Biden, a far-left Democrat,” RNC spokesman Steve Guest said in a statement, responding to news of the endorsement. Flake joins a growing list of Republicans in the battleground state that have rallied around Biden, from Cindy McCain lending her voice to a video praising the former vice president to a retired state judge raising money to distribute hundreds of “Arizona Republicans for Biden” yard signs. The endorsement comes as the Arizona Democratic Party says it has ramped up its operation, touting having “recruited 2,000 regular volunteers” and “trained nearly 100 of the next generation of organizers” in the state.
This afternoon’s House Oversight hearing featuring Postmaster General Louis DeJoy lasted nearly six hours gavel to gavel. Questions ranged in topic from Dejoy’s finances, to his management of USPS in his 70-day tenure, to the collection of mailed ballots. Members used their five minutes of allotted time to often accuse the other side of the aisle of manufacturing chaos and ignoring crucial issues. For Republicans, DeJoy was painted as a victim of democratic overreaching. Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio suggested that Democrats were sowing doubt in the Postmaster General because they are expecting a Trump victory in November and are willing to do anything to prevent it. Some even suggested that letter carriers cannot be trusted to handle ballots without bias. Others Republican members said Democrats were grandstanding in hopes to bolster fundraising. Democrats on the committee worked to frame DeJoy as a pro-Trump, anti-worker conspirator trying to interfere with the election. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez used most of her time asking about DeJoy’s work calendar; if it has even been tampered with and if he would share it with the committee – seemingly trying to build a case around DeJoy’s interactions with the Trump administration, of which he testified he has had little to none. Some Democrats seemed bent on embarrassing Dejoy, hoping to show him as unfit for the job. Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter rattled off questions about the price of stamps and packaging. Others asked DeJoy to provide examples of data used to install policy changes, though DeJoy often had no data to present. Michigan Brenda Lawrence, a former postal worker, went back and forth with DeJoy on changes to delivery standards. A representative for the American Postal Workers Union told CBS News campaign reporter Cara Korte that DeJoy’s testimony showed him to be untrustworthy and unequipped for the job. “[DeJoy] is so vague about things that are so common; that’s telling,” this source told CBS News. Postal workers say DeJoy’s changes and delivery backlogs are a sign of his “arrogant” approach to the job.
Senator Martha McSally of Arizona is still on deck to speak at her party’s convention, her campaign’s communications director Caroline Anderegg told CBS News in a text message, despite the Trump campaign not listing the Republican on its slate of speakers. McSally had initially told a local radio station that the party planned to play “a short speech” by her at the convention. The omission comes as McSally has faced ridicule over a plea for supporters to “fast a meal” and donate the money to her campaign, reported Friday by CBS affiliate KPHO/KTVK. McSally’s campaign has dismissed the viral clip as a joke by the senator, “selectively edited” to attack the Arizona Republican. CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin says the GOP has highlighted a handful of other speakers with Arizona ties at its convention, including Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer who “supported the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.” Last week, the Navajo Nation’s President Jonathan Nez had delivered part of the Democratic Party’s convention keynote.
After Tuesday’s runoff election, either State Senator Stephanie Bice or businesswoman Terry Neese will move on to face incumbent Democrat Kendra Horn reports CBS News political unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro. In 2018, Horn narrowly flipped Oklahoma’s 5th congressional district, a seat Trump won by double digits. Bice led the June primary with 37% of the vote. She has also led Republican candidates in fundraising, and was endorsed by David Hill, who placed third in the primary. Neese, who was the state’s Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 1990, has played up her support to Mr. Trump and role as national co-chair of his small business advisory council. Absentee ballots may be dropped off at a polling location, but had to be returned by close of business on Monday.
REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION
Of the announced speakers at the Republican National Convention this week, four are Republican House candidates, reports Navarro. Sean Parnell in Pennsylvania’s 17th district and Burgess Owens in Utah’s 4th district are both facing competitive battleground races against incumbent Democrats. Parnell, an Afghanistan veteran, is aiming to flip back a district that Trump won by about 20 points. Owens, a former NFL player and repeated Fox News guest, is tied with Democrat Ben McAdams according to the latest polling. Both Parnell and Owens trail their Democrat opponents in cash on hand. Kim Klacik, running in Maryland’s 7th district, got recent attention from conservatives after an online ad of her walking throughout poverty-stricken areas of Baltimore and criticizing Democrats. Mr. Trump retweeted the ad, and Klacik was endorsed by Donald Trump Jr. on Monday. The district, formerly held by the late Congressman Elijah Cummings, is safely Democratic. More than 80 percent of registered voters in this West Baltimore district are Democrats, and it’s been held by one since 1953. Madison Cawthorn, running in North Carolina’s 11th district, would become the youngest member of Congress at 25-years-old if he wins in November. In a statement, Cawthorn previewed that youth would be a central part of his convention appearance. “In times of peril, young Americans have always turned towards our founding principles, and doing so again will ensure that the blessings of liberty can be passed on for generations to come,” he said. While this western North Carolina district is solidly Republican, Cawthorn had recently been in hot water for an old Instagram post of him in front of Adolf Hitler’s vacation home. Multiple women have also come out and accused Cawthorn of inappropriate sexual advances. After the first accusation, a Cawthorn campaign spokesman framed the accusations as being fueled by Democrats, and that he has apologized and spoken to the woman.