Latest reports

It's been many years since political conventions offered any real drama or suspense. Still, they're a nonpareil opportunity for partisans to unite and try to win over voters who are largely uninterested in the parties.

Advocates of raising the minimum wage gathered in downtown Milwaukee Friday in support of local low-wage workers who will travel to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Three Milwaukee representatives will join others from around the nation to protest Mitt Romney’s economic agenda. Cody Misiak is making the trip. He says he plans to convince Republican politicians that members of the working class cannot be ignored.
The base-wage in Wisconsin is currently set at $7.25 per hour. Misiak argues that people cannot survive on that hourly wage. He says, during the Convention, he hopes that sharing his story as a low-income worker will inspire other people to speak out against Republican leadership.

Here and Now

Marquette University Law School Professor Charles Franklin contextualizes the newest poll on Wisconsin's U.S. Senate race and the first statewide poll on the presidential race since the addition of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan to the Republican ticket.

Here and Now

As part of our coverage of the upcoming national conventions, delegates Republican Alberta Darling and Democrat Christine Bremer Muggli share their insights on what happens behind-the-scenes at the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

Democrats are using one of their central lines of attack in the presidential race in Wisconsin's U.S. Senate race. They are now pressing former Governor Tommy Thompson to release his tax returns. 
Democratic Representative Tammy Baldwin has already released the past 10 years of her tax returns, showing that Baldwin paid an average of about $29,000 a year in taxes and earned an average adjusted gross income of $169,000.
She wants Thompson to do the same, saying if Thompson backs tax cuts for the wealthy, voters should know how he might benefit. Baldwin said, “I challenge him to release 10 years of tax returns. I think it is very relevant to this, especially when you look at the tax proposals he has endorsed or is proposing."
Thompson has reported that his net worth tops $13 million, and he earned more than $5 million since 2010. 
Asked recently whether he would release his returns since leaving office,...

All Things Considered

Over the last two years, Wisconsin seems to have become an epicenter of national politics, and even more so conservative politics. Currently, Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick Paul Ryan is directing political heat Wisconsin's way and earlier this week, long-time Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson overcame a competitive primary battle. Guest host Cheryl Corley discusses politics in the Badger State with NPR's Don Gonyea.

Here and Now

UW-La Crosse Political Science Professor Tim Dale reflects on the U.S. Senate Primary results and looks ahead to November’s general election, when Tommy Thompson and Tammy Baldwin face off.

Here and Now

A look back at Paul Ryan's appearances on Wisconsin Public Television, starting in 1998 when he first ran for Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District.

Here and Now

UW-Milwaukee Political Science Professor Mordecai Lee talks about the impact Paul Ryan will have on the presidential race in Wisconsin after being chosen as Mitt Romney's running mate.

Here and Now

Reporter Zac Schultz on Tuesday's U.S. Senate Republican Primary, which former governor Tommy Thompson won.

Here and Now

Following last week's announcement that Paul Ryan will be Mitt Romney's presidential running mate, the Republican ticket stopped by Waukesha Sunday.

Here and Now

Director of the UW-Madison Public Health program Professor Thomas Oliver dissects the impact of the competing plans for the future of Medicare as set forth in the Affordable Health Care Act and the Paul Ryan Path to Prosperity proposal.

Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin will contrast her record with former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson's time in Washington as the two face off in the general election race for U.S. Senate.
Baldwin says she starts her general election campaign against Thompson in very strong shape. She argues while Thompson won his four-way Republican primary, he has to focus initially on regaining the support of his own party, "Sixty-five percent of his own party voted for another candidate."
Baldwin says Thompson is well-known for his work as Governor in Wisconsin in the '80s and '90s, but she contends his record in Washington is one of fighting for people and businesses who have way too much power already. She says, "In the Bush Administration as Secretary of Health and Human Services, he gave big PHRMA a pretty sweet deal in putting together Medicare Part D, but after leaving government service he's been continuing to fight their battles in Washington."

Investment banker Eric Hovde says his first run for political office will be his last. After losing the Republican Senate primary to Tommy Thompson, Hovde made an announcement that disappointed supporters hoping for another chance to support their candidate.
With a surprisingly strong showing for a political newcomer, it might be expected Eric Hovde's budding political career had just suffered a setback, and the Republican might pursue elected office again. During his concession speech he indicated otherwise. Hovde said, "This is the end of my political career. Look, I will continue to be a voice out there, very loud, very firm and do whatever I can for my country.”
Hovde urged citizens to get involved in politics, saying everyone needs to "do their part" to make this country great, "We all love our home. We love our country, get involved. Care. Work hard on this country's behalf fight against cronyism. Fight against corruption. Fight for what is right....

The man whose Senate seat is up for grabs this election year is urging whoever succeeds him, regardless of political party, to support community health clinics for low-income people.
There was no shortage of “good jobs” to staff when Sen. Kohl visited the Lake Superior Community Health Center. “Community health centers are really important. They provide enormous services at either prices that are affordable or at no cost to people who otherwise wouldn’t get served,” the senator said.
Lake Superior Community Health Center Director Mavis Brehm says there are few health centers like this one in the Midwest, and he thanks Kohl for his help. “We’re very happy for the dollars that have come to both to Wisconsin."
Kohl is retiring after 24 years in the upper chamber. He says whoever succeeds him in January, Democrat or Republican, they should realize the importance of these health centers. “There’s no doubt that whoever is in office in the...

State Rep. Mark Pocan defeated a crowded field of fellow Democrats Tuesday in the primary for the 2nd Congressional District seat.
It was good night for Mark Pocan, on what was also his 48th birthday. The longtime state representative from Madison soundly defeated three Democratic challengers to win his party's primary. Pocan said, "I am extremely honored tonight to be the Democratic nominee for the 2nd Congressional District. I am really proud that we ran a positive campaign based on our progressive values and on accomplishing real results."
Pocan defeated entrepreneur Dennis Hall, attorney Matt Silverman, and his fellow state representative Kelda Helen Roys in the race to replace Tammy Baldwin, who left the seat to run for the U.S. Senate.
The race became a little heated between Roys and Pocan, with some Democrats accusing Roys of going negative. She said Tuesday night after her defeat that the party is united. "You know politics ain't bean bags,...

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson has won the Republican Senate primary in Wisconsin, setting up a November contest against Democrat Tammy Baldwin.
Thompson only won about one-third of the Republican ballots, but that was enough to defeat second place finisher Eric Hovde by about 18,000 votes. At a noisy victory gathering, Thompson told reporters he is in the Senate contest to help ease the burden of the national debt on future generations. He said, "I don't need anything on my record. I've done all that. I want to save this country."
Some Republicans say it was spending choices made by Thompson as governor, and later as federal Health and Human Services secretary, that added to the government red ink. Now Thompson is trying to align himself with much younger GOP leaders like Congressman Paul Ryan, who say they share the debt concerns.
As Thompson tries to win in November, he also will need help from older Republican voters,...

It’s Tommy versus Tammy, an alliterative race for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin this fall. Marquette University political scientist Amber Wichowski speaks with WPR's Terry Bell about the GOP primary results.

Former prosecutor Susan Sommer defeated UW geology professor Lisa Theo Tuesday for the right to take on Republican Assemblyman Tom Tiffany in a crucial northwoods state Senate district.
Attorney Susan Sommer defeated Lisa Theo by more than 20 points to become the Democrat's standard bearer in an effort to hang on to a district that may determine control of the state Senate. The district's boundaries have been redrawn to make it more Republican, which should favor Assemblyman Tom Tiffany according to political pundits. Democrat Sommer disagrees, “There are many people, and they're not just Democrats, who do not think that Tom Tiffany would be the best person to represent us. The partisan politics is dividing our state and it's polarizing our communities. It's such a disservice.”
At a tavern outside Tomahawk, Lisa Theo's supporters watched the returns come in. Theo lost despite snagging most of the endorsements from Democratic groups and labor unions. She agreed with Sommer that...

Talk of the Nation

The Republican ticket is complete now that Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. NPR's Ken Rudin and Sergio Bustos, of The Miami Herald, discuss what the Ryan pick means for the presidential race.