Comics from Daniel Kelly’s Closet, Part Three: Our path to a better Wisconsin

Part three of a comics series on Wisconsin’s crucial Supreme Court race.
Header image for “Comics from Daniel Kelly’s Closet” by T.L. Luke. It depicts an illustration of Daniel Kelly and the title “Our Path To A Better Wisconsin.”

Part three of a comics series on Wisconsin’s crucial Supreme Court race.

In part three of this multi-part series about Wisconsin’s upcoming April 4 election for a crucial state Supreme Court seat, let’s conclude with a recap about the choices voters have and why the outcome matters. A victory for Judge Janet Protasiewicz would shift the ideological balance of the court. And despite the supposedly “nonpartisan” nature of judicial elections, Protasiewicz’s opponent, Daniel Kelly, embodies just how deeply politicized they really are. The stakes are huge for abortion access, fair maps, and democracy itself. If you haven’t voted early yet, you can head to to make sure you know where your polling place is and make a plan to vote.

As with Part One and Part Two, the full script is posted under the panels. 

Panel 1 of "Our Path to a Better Wisconsin" Comic. This explains the 2023 WI Supreme Court Election.
Panel 2 of "Our Path to a Better Wisconsin" comic. This explains the WI Abortion Ban of 1849.
Panel 3 of "Our Path to a Better Wisconsin" comic. This explains candidate Janet Protasiewicz's qualifiers.
Panel 4 of "Our Path to a Better Wisconsin" comic. This one explains Daniel Kelly's involvement with WI's gerrymandered maps.
Panel 5 of "Our Path to a Better Wisconsin" comic. This one explains Daniel Kelly's involvement orchestrating the 2020 fake WI elector slate.
Panel 6 of "Our Path to a Better Wisconsin" comic. This one explains how to find info on MyVote.WI.Gov.

Script and descriptions

This 6 panel comic is black and white with red and blue accents throughout. Every panel has text which are within black squiggly-edge bubbles (unless stated otherwise). At the bottom of every panel is text that reads, “@tl.luke, 2023 panel #/6” where # is the current panel number. 

Panel 1

Title: “Our Path to a Better Wisconsin” a comic by T.L. Luke. Beside the title is T.L. Luke’s logo, a black oval with T.L.’s white signature within. 

Top Text: Everyone has eyes on Wisconsin right now as we approach Tuesday, April 4th. Why? Because we are voting for a new Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice…

Central is an illustration of the Wisconsin Supreme Court bench with all seven of the Justices’ empty chairs. Each chair has a color corresponding with whether they’re conservative (red) or liberal (blue), and each panel on the front of the bench has the same corresponding colors with the Justices’ names written. Left to right, it reads, “Justice Brian Hagedorn, Justice Rebecca Bradley, Justice Bradley, Justice Ziegler, BLANK, Justice Rebecca Dallet, and Justice Jill Karofsky.” The BLANK chair is black and the panel is a gradient from red to blue, showing that this is the seat up for election. 

Bottom Text: …and conservative justice Patience Roggensack is retiring, which means whomever is elected will determine the new majority of the court.

Panel 2

Top Text: This vote is essential for several reasons but, for urgency’s sake, we’ll start with Abortion Rights.

Central are screenshots of the actual front pages of the Los Angeles Times, The Times Picayune, The Washington Post, and The New York Times’ from the day Roe v. Wade was overturned. 

Bottom Text: Regardless of opinion, abortions are a necessary medical procedure that, without protective legislation, threatens the lives of pregnant people on a daily basis. Since the fall of Roe, Wisconsin’s archaic Abortion Ban of 1849 (which does not have exceptions for rape and incest, and was voted on before women had a right to vote) promptly went into effect and the GOP majority has no intention of giving it a proper hearing. And that’s where the Supreme Court comes in.

Panel 3

Top Text: To put it very simply: If Fmr. Justice Daniel Kelly becomes Justice, abortion will remain illegal. If Judge Janet Protasiewicz becomes justice, the Abortion Ban of 1849 (WI was founded in 1848) will be challenged and abortion will likely become legal (again).

Center-left is a text bubble that says, “The way we get there is via candidate: Judge Janet Protasiewicz” and with bulletpoints, “Over 35 years of law experience, pro-abortion/privacy, pro community service, committed to fairness and “not predetermining a result”, common sense lawmaker, pro map redistricting, pro recusal.” 

Center-right is an illustration of Janet Protasiewicz, a white woman with light short hair who is smiling while talking. She’s wearing hoop earrings, her judge robes, and a white beaded collar similar to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s. From her mouth are three word bubbles, which top to bottom read, “When we say that “the maps are rigged,” the maps ARE rigged.”, “Electorates deserve to know my values.”, and, “I’ll be fair and impartial.” 

Bottom-left is a small illustration of T.L. Luke’s head (a white woman with shoulder-length black hair, black glasses, and black shirt) in a blue bubble. A word bubble comes out of her mouth that says, “Personally, this is who I’m voting for on Tuesday.” 

Panel 4

Daniel Kelly also was one of the attorneys who defended Republicans during Wisconsin’s Act 43 gerrymandering lawsuits. Before he was appointed Justice by Scott Walker in 2016, he worked very closely with Republicans and the RPW (Republican Party of Wisconsin) to help with the legality of this extreme partisan gerrymandering. It’s why many believe he was appointed in the first place despite having no experience as a judge.”

Center-left has a black and white portrait of Daniel Kelly from his TMJ4 News interview. He is white, has short curly grey hair, his mouth is open, and he’s wearing a black suit and grey tie. In a white bubble to his right it says, “Kelly talks about having unbiased, nonpartisan Justices on the bench, but when asked if he would recuse himself from new redistricting cases given his previous involvement working closely with the Act 43 lawsuit, he simply said:” Under this is a word bubble from Kelly’s mouth that says “If it was the map that I worked on, I would. But it’s not the map that I worked on, so no.” 

Bottom Text: But, it essentially is the map he worked on, because when it was up for redistricting again in 2022, it barely changed (and was fraught with more lawsuits that once again fizzled in a conservative-majority court). And, not only that, map redistricting will come up as a Wisconsin Supreme Court case again (like it did in 2022) and, if Kelly is on the bench, we can count on him siding with the Republicans who benefit the most from this gerrymandering.

Panel 5

Top Text: Daniel Kelly even secretly met with a group of Republicans in the State Capitol and created an “Alternative” slate of electors to falsely declare Donald Trump as the true winner of Wisconsin.

Central is a word bubble toward the left that says, “Thanks to the public January 6th Deposition of Andrew Hitt, we now know that Daniel Kelly was one of only two attorneys counseling said group on these ‘legal procedures.’ The word bubble is slightly covering a page from Andrew Hitt’s January 6th deposition. What is visible reads, “Q Okay. So you were – from what you can recall, you were told by legal counsel, if you all didn’t meet on December 14th and there was later a court decision that perhaps threw out a bunch of Biden votes and made President Trump the winner of the State, it wouldn’t matter because you – you guys hadn’t met on December 14th. Is that fair?

A Yes, that’s fair. I was told there would be a complete waiver. And I remember – I remember asking, how could that be? Like, how could you have, you know, such a – what seems like a…” To the bottom right is another word bubble that says, “Hitt even said he wasn’t sure about moving forward, but was “encouraged” by his special counsel to proceed with the meeting.” Behind this word bubble, and a section of the deposition, is an actual photo from the January 6th insurrection. The background in the center is the open shoebox.

 At the bottom is a timeline. It reads from left to right, “December 14, 2020: Daniel Kelly organizes fake elector meeting in WI’s State Capitol” and “January 6, 2020: WI Senator Ron Johnson attempts to give fake elector slate to Vice President Mike Pence. 

Panel 6

Top Text: So, make a plan and vote for Judge Janet Tuesday, 4/4! You can find out more info here:

Central is a black phone that has the MyVote.WI.Gov page pulled up on the screen. There are white bubbles surrounding the phone that start on the top left with “First go to,” arrow points to MyVote.WI.Gov on the screen. Another arrow from the web address points to a bubble on the right that says, “to see,” with an arrow pointing to “where to vote” on the screen. From the “Where” is an arrow that points to a bubble on the left that says, “based on your address and,” with an arrow that points to “what’s on you ballot” on the screen. From “your” is another arrow that points to a bubble on the right that says, “The whole state is voting for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court Justice.” 

At the bottom is another illustration of T.L. Luke’s head in another blue circle like in Panel 3, with a word bubble from her mouth that says, “And that’s it! Polls are open 7AM – 8PM! Happy voting!”


“Investigating Gerrymandering and the Math Behind Partisan Maps,” The New York Times

Protasiewicz would ‘enjoy taking a fresh look’ at voting maps,” The Cap Times

“Wisconsin Supreme Court chooses Evers’ ‘least changes’ redistricting plan,” Wisconsin Public Radio

“Janet Protasiewicz, Daniel Kelly on Wisconsin redistricting,” PBS Wisconsin

“Kelly and Protasiewicz financial disclosures show only one candidate did partisan work,” Wisconsin Examiner

“US Supreme Court Ruling Effectively Ends Wisconsin Gerrymandering Challenge,” WPR

“Assembly Districts,” Wisconsin Blue Book 2007-2008

“Wisconsin’s Assembly maps are more skewed than ever. What happens now?,” Wisconsin Watch

“2011 Wisconsin Act 43,” Wisconsin State Legislature

“Why Do Republicans Overperform in the Wisconsin State Assembly? Partisan Gerrymandering vs. Political Geography,” Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog

“Evaluating Partisan Gerrymandering in Wisconsin,” Duke University

“Walker’s Bizarre Choice for High Court,” Urban Milwaukee

“Who is new Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly? Questions and answers about Scott Walker’s appointment to the bench,” The Cap Times

“Gov. Scott Walker appoints attorney Dan Kelly to Wisconsin Supreme Court,” Associated Press

“Walker Appoints GOP Legal Ally To State Supreme Court,” WPR

“How Daniel Kelly worked with the GOP to fuel election denialism,” American Independent

“Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Dan Kelly was paid $120,000 by GOP,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“January 6th Transcript,” US House of Representatives

“Disbursements,” Federal Elections Commission

“Business leaders group troubled by court hopeful’s refusal to take democracy survey,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“2020 WI 91 – Supreme Court of Wisconsin,”

“Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Kelly worked for Republican party in 2020,” PBS Wisconsin

“Trump ally with ties to ‘fake elector’ scheme advances in Wisconsin Supreme Court race,” NBC News

“Wisconsin Republican’s plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election,” Kenosha County Dems

“Ron Johnson suggested GOP Legislature could choose presidential electors following Trump’s 2020 loss,” WPR

“Ron Johnson tried to hand fake elector info to Mike Pence on Jan. 6, panel reveals,” Politico

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