Wednesday, January 24 - Call on Senators on Michael Brennan’s Judicial Nomination / Sign Petition Against Sinclair-Tribune Merger

Actions You Can Take Today

  • Action 1: URGENT - Call on Senators to Speak Out Against Michael Brennan’s Judicial Nomination

  • Action 2: Sign the Sports Fans Petition Against the Sinclair-Tribune Merger


Tools You Can Use


Action 1: URGENT - Call on Senators to Speak Out Against Michael Brennan’s Judicial Nomination

The Senate Judiciary Committee announced Monday that it is holding a hearing TODAY that will include 7th Circuit nominee Michael Brennan. Such lack of notice precludes senators, especially those in the minority party, from having adequate time to prepare for hearing questions. Brennan’s nomination is moving forward despite his record and the fact that the White House ignored Wisconsin’s Federal Nominating Commission and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in naming Brennan for the seat.

Brennan was interviewed by the White House and Department of Justice well before Wisconsin’s Federal Nominating Commission began accepting applications. When he was eventually evaluated by the well-respected, bi-partisan commission that has been used by every Wisconsin senator since 1979, he did not pass muster. President Trump nominated him nonetheless. Senator Baldwin has not returned her blue slip, and Senator Grassley has scheduled a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing anyway. The scheduling of this hearing represents a serious pattern in disregarding processes, traditions, and respect for individual senators, all in an effort to quickly pack the bench with Trump’s judges. For more information, check out Alliance for Justice’s full report on Brennan, and read People for the American Way’s letter detailing the dangers of holding this hearing.

Call Senator Duckworth | DC:  202-224-2854 | Chicago 312-886-3506
Call Senator Durbin | DC:  202-224-2152 | Chicago 312-353-4952

Script: Hello! My name is ___ and I’m calling from [zip code]. I want Senator ___ to speak out against the nomination of Michael Brennan for the 7th circuit court. The GOP brought this nomination forward hastily and without following traditional procedures or receiving a blue slip from Senator Baldwin. The Senator needs to speak out strongly against this nomination.


Action 2: Sign the Sports Fans Petition Against the Sinclair-Tribune Merger

Sinclair Broadcasting, the nation's largest TV broadcast company, has been working to acquire Tribune Media in order to expand its reach. It has a practice of forcing local news stations to air segments, often hosted by former Trump aide Boris Epshteyn, that are filled with extreme right-wing propaganda. This practice not only injects inaccurate and partisan rhetoric into the news media at a dangerously effective level, it also imposes excessive control over local news stations.

The pending takeover of Illinois-based Tribune Media by Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcasting poses a severe threat to the ability of Illinois sports fans to watch their local high school, college, and professional games. Sinclair in the past has bought stations, fired the local sportscasters, and moved operations to Baltimore, where a stuffed shirt reads sports scores from thousands of miles away. Sinclair also has a history of taking down its programming during fee disputes with pay-TV distributors, often around sporting events, in order to demand higher payments. Fans either lose the ability to watch games, end up paying more, or both. It's a bad deal for sports fans.

But there's one sports community perhaps at the greatest risk from a Sinclair-Tribune merger — WGN's.

Sinclair is threatening the jobs of local WGN Chicago sportscasters Dan Roan, Pat Tomasulo, and Lauren Magiera. Without their voices on the air, Chicago sports fans will be left in the dark on the sports news. If the past is any indicator, Chicagoland sports fans can expect worse coverage, or none at all, of local high school and college games. We must speak out against a merger that imperils both fans and sportscasters alike.

Sign the Sports Fans Coalition petition against the merger here.

Listen to this week’s episode of the Indivisible Chicago Podcast to hear more from Brian Hess, executive director of the Sports Fans Coalition, about the impact of the Sinclair-Tribune merger on local sports coverage.


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Daily Actions Editor