You don’t need to be in or even follow politics to know it’s not a positive sign when the immediate analysis after a debate almost exclusively focuses on whether and by whom you can be replaced on the ballot.

Politicians here in Wisconsin have no such dilemma, personally. Although many will be wondering about any down-ballot fallout from the brewing national turmoil.

But you’ll get no squawking here. No eight-member panel all talking at once. This is the Dairyland Sentinel Key Reads weekday update–where we bring you a round up of the news you need to know to stay up to speed, but not overwhelmed.

Here we go…

Political ineptitude was also on display in Racine County for the first half of the year. The ill-advised, time and resource-consuming effort to recall Speaker Robin Vos failed. Again.

Wisconsin Elections Commission rejects recall attempt against state’s top Republican | Associated Press

The bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission on Thursday rejected an effort to force a recall election of the state’s top Republican after determining that not enough valid signatures were collected.

…Elections commission staff had determined that petition circulators submitted 16 more valid signatures than needed to force a recall election of Vos. But the commission broke with the staff recommendation Thursday and threw out an additional 188 signatures because they were collected beyond the 60-day petition circulation window.

The commission’s decision can be appealed to circuit court.

The recall committee issued a statement calling for the elections commission to be dismantled.

…Democratic Commissioner Carrie Riepl joined the three Republican members in voting to reject the recall.

We continue to look beyond the horse-race polling results to examine voters’ attitudes on a variety of issues.

School satisfaction drops across Wisconsin in latest Marquette poll | The Center Square

People across Wisconsin are losing faith in their community’s public schools.

The latest Marquette Law School Poll shows school satisfaction fell in all parts of the state, but Milwaukee saw the largest drop.

“Satisfaction with public schools has declined from the previous measure [last year]. In November 2023, 12% were very satisfied, 51% were satisfied, 25% were dissatisfied, and 10% were very dissatisfied,” the poll noted. “In June 2024, satisfaction with schools declined to 8% who are very satisfied and 44% who are satisfied, while 27% are dissatisfied and 20% are very dissatisfied.

That’s a 4% drop in satisfaction, and an 11% jump in the number of people who say they are “very dissatisfied” with the public schools in their community.

The numbers for Milwaukee Public Schools, however, are even worse.

The Marquette Poll says just 2% of people in the city are very satisfied with MPS schools, and 20% are satisfied. Forty-one percent of people in the poll say they are dissatisfied in Milwaukee Public Schools, and 37% say they are very dissatisfied.

That 37% number is 18% higher than any other school districts in the state, and 20% higher than the last time Marquette asked about school satisfaction in November.

People in Madison and the rest of the Milwaukee region are mostly sour on their schools as well, with just 8% saying they are satisfied and 19% saying they are very dissatisfied in both areas. The rest of Wisconsin has a slightly better view, with 9% saying they are satisfied, and the same 19% saying they are very dissatisfied.

One reason for the mass dissatisfaction is likely people’s perception of their communities’ public schools. ‘

The poll says just 6% percent of people think their schools’ reading scores have gone up, while 35% say they’ve gone down. It’s similar with math scores. The poll says 4% of people think their school’s math scores have gone up, while 43% say those scores have gone down.

The poll also shows that people believe absenteeism is up in their local schools, and the gap between rich and poor students is growing.

As for educational issues, the poll says half of people in Wisconsin think school choice has been a success, while more than half of people support Title IX’s success in getting girls athletic opportunities. More than half of those asked also support special education programs in public schools, and more than half support a return to phonics-based reading.

You can read the full Marquette Law School Poll here.

Things are good for Wisconsin and national legalized tribal gambling operations.

Tribes report record-breaking gaming revenue of $41.9 billion in 2023, an increase of $1 billion | Green Bay Press-Gazette

 Tribal gaming revenue hit $41.9 billion nationwide in 2023, setting a record, according to the National Indian Gaming Commission.

The record-breaking amount was announced Thursday during the Wisconsin Gaming Regulators Association summer conference at the Oneida Hotel.

The 527 independently reviewed and audited financial statements, submitted by 245 tribes across 29 states, were all combined to produce the 2023 Fiscal Year Gross Gaming Revenue Report, according to Sharon M. Avery the acting chairwoman of the National Indian Gaming Commission.

…Of the $41.9 billion, $5.1 billion came from the St. Paul region, which includes Wisconsin. That was a 2.8% increase from the previous year, the report shows.

It will be interesting to watch how tribal gaming weathers the rapid expansion of legalized sports betting across America. The influx of money at all levels of athletics continues to change both professional and amateur athletics, as does the relatively new ability of college athletes to profit from Name, Image and Likeness marketing. This fascinating column connects a lot of dots and the final picture isn’t pretty.

Threat to the walk-on in college sports stirs up analysts, coaches | The Cap Times

Among the ramifications of the House v. NCAA settlement, there has been speculation that there may be a roster limit in college football at the expense of walk-on players.

Grant House is a former Arizona State swimmer and a plaintiff in a 2020 suit that seeks back pay for Division 1 college athletes barred from earning Name, Image and Likeness compensation.

This would be prior to the NCAA changing its policy in the summer of 2021. Billions of dollars are at stake and the case is presently scheduled to go to trial in January.

..Most football teams now carry around 120 players with 85 on scholarship. But if the roster is capped at some other odd number, it might signal the end of the walk-on and the “Rudy’’ narrative.

At the Southeast Conference spring meetings, Georgia coach Kirby Smart and Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin were at the forefront of railing against any such threat to a pillar of their sport.

…Much to Kiffin’s surprise after offering to pick up the tab on walk-ons, he learned, “Actually, they told us, the financial aspect has not been a piece at all of this.

“This is about potential lawsuits down the road.’’

We told you on Monday it was going to be a busy week of news. Even though it will tail off considerably next week as reporters take an extended July 4th break, we’ll continue to scour the internet so you don’t have to.

Have a great weekend, and we’ll be back with you and for you on Monday.