Two candidates are on Tuesday's (5/8) Democratic Party primary ballot in the recall election for the 29th state Senate District the assistant minority leader of the state assembly, and a protest candidate who doesn't live in the district. Minority Leader Donna Seidel has served eight years in the state Assembly, after 16 years as the Marathon County clerk of courts, an investigator with the district attorney's office, and a Wausau police officer, "I'm running for the 29th state Senate because we have problems here that I believe I can solve. I have lived and worked in this community for the past 40 years."Her opponent, political activist James Buckley, does not live in the district. He admits that Republicans asked him to run as a Democrat to force a primary election. On two recent Wisconsin Public Radio talk shows, he accused Donna Seidel of being part of a machine led by financier George Soros to form a one world government, "To...
Governor Scott Walker raised two-thirds of his campaign money from outside Wisconsin in his most recent report filed with the state's election agency.
According to an analysis from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, more than $8 million of the roughly $13 million the governor raised this year came from individual donors living in other states. That's 66 percent of all the governor's individual contributions. It follows a reporting period covering late last year where the governor raised 61-percent of his money from out-of-state donors.
Democracy Campaign Director Mike McCabe says it's a huge break from the past when it raised eyebrows if a candidate received 10-percent of his campaign funds from out-of-state, "Clearly this is seen as a national referendum now and wealthy donors with a national agenda see Wisconsin as a domino. And they want to make sure that that domino falls in a direction that favors them."
Among the Democrats running for governor, former Dane County...
Democratic candidate for Governor Kathleen Falk says she has some differences with fellow contender Tom Barrett on the issue of public education.
Falk continues to campaign in Milwaukee, ahead of next week's Democratic recall primary. The former Dane County executive is trying to win over Milwaukee Democrats not sold on Mayor Barrett. Falk spoke Tuesday (5/1) outside a public school that was shut down last year, amid state aid cuts and Gov. Walker's expansion of taxpayer funded school vouchers. Falk says expanding vouchers was a bad idea.
Milwaukee public school teacher Kim Schroeder says he's also concerned about the Milwaukee charter schools chartered to the city.
Mayor Barrett has tried several times to get state lawmakers to fix what he calls a funding flaw that he says hurts Milwaukee taxpayers and helps the private voucher schools.
Doug La Follette is an environmentalist and one-time state senator who became Secretary of State, an office where powers were diminished under two Republican governors. Next week, he hopes to be elected as the Democrat who will take on Governor Scott Walker in next month's recall election.
When candidates talk about being fit for office they usually mean political credentials. Physical stamina rarely comes up. 71-year old Doug La Follette says he's fit for office politcally and literally--and he chafes a bit when people suggest otherwise, "I've heard some people say well, gee, he's too old," he says. "And I would just say that a couple months ago I climbed (hiked) a 5-thousand foot mountain, made it to the top in 2 hours. And I would challenge my opponents to keep up with me. I walk to work and back, I walk several miles each day when I have time. And I think we have a mountain in Wisconsin...
Gov. Scott Walker has announced a $100 million economic development plan for Milwaukee, but refuses to call it a "stimulus" effort. Democrats say the timing of the announcement is political.
Walker says the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority has committed $100 million to a Transform Milwaukee plan over the next two years. The aid will come in the form of federal tax credits, business development loans, workforce housing financing, residential mortgage loans and grants to clean-up vacant property. Walker says the money will mainly be spent in economically depressed parts of the city, where there's double digit unemployment.
Walker rejects the idea that his plan is like the Obama administration's economic stimulus effort of 2009.
Walker says his administration has been working on transform Milwaukee for about a year, and the announcement has nothing to do with the recall election he's facing. Milwaukee Mayor and Democratic candidate for Governor Tom Barrett is skeptical.
Secretary of State Doug La Follette says if he's elected governor he'll return some of the office's powers to other boards and officials.
La Follette says that as governor he'd push to let the state Natural Resources Board and the state Veterans Board appoint their cabinet secretaries. The Natural Resources Board had that power until the legislature gave it to the governor under former Gov. Tommy Thompson's administration. The Veterans Board had that power until it was given to Gov. Scott Walker by this legislature.
On top of that, La Follette says he'd also give powers back to the secretary of state that has been shifted to the governor over the years dealing with corporations and trademarks, "The secretary of state's office still gets phone calls and e-mails every day looking for those important services. And I would suggest taking those away from the governor and putting them back to the secretary of state."
La Follette also...
Ben Merens talks with, Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 13th district.
Ben Merens talks with democratic state representative and state senate candidate in the 29th district, Donna Seidel
Joy Cardin talks with Ira Robins, private investigator in Milwaukee and Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
Joy Cardin speaks to Milwaukee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate
Joy Cardin speaks with Democratic State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Vinehout.
Joy Cardin talks to Secretary of State and Democratic candidate for governor Doug LaFollette.
Joy Cardin speaks with Republican Governor Scott Walker.
Joy Cardin speaks with Arthur Kohl-Riggs, a political activist from Madison and Republican gubernatorial candidate.
Joy Cardin talks to former Dane County Executive and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Falk.
Joy Cardin speaks with Mahlon Mitchell, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin and Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
Retiring United States Sen. Herb Kohl hit the campaign trail with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett Monday.
Kohl and Barrett flew across the state with stops in Green Bay, Eau Claire and La Crosse. At Heartland Aviation in Eau Claire, Sen. Kohl told the crowd that he's known Barrett for more than 20 years and believes Barrett is the Democrat with the best chance to take the governorship from Walker, "He's a man of great experience, he's a man that you can trust, who's civil at all times, who knows and understands that government is people who manage to work together in the better interest of the people that they represent and that's how you move the ball forward."
During a speech to about 50 supporters Barrett said, as governor, his top priorities would be to focus on jobs and the economy. Barrett criticized Gov. Walker for claiming the recall elections have hindered economic recovery, "The governor has complained...
Gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Falk is calling on Gov. Scott Walker to fire the current secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.
Falk's demand that Walker fire Cathy Stepp comes on the heels of a report in the Wisconsin State Journal highlighting a steep drop in environmental enforcement actions initiated by the DNR since Stepp was appointed secretary last year. At a news conference outside the DNR's Madison offices, Falk promised if elected to return the agency to its independent status established in the 1960's under Republican Gov. Warren Knowles, "The DNR secretary was chosen by the independent department of Natural Resources board and along with a public intervener to serve as an outside watchdog. That's what we need to restore, so that we get the politics out of protecting our natural resources."
A spokeswoman for Gov. Walker told the Associated Press the governor stands behind Cathy Stepp and praised her efforts to make the DNR more customer friendly...
Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance President Todd Berry offers context and meaning for recall candidates' state spending debate.
Democratic State Senator Kathleen Vinehout is traveling across the state seeking to win next week's Democratic primary and take on Governor Walker in the upcoming recall election. But a lack of statewide name recognition for Vinehout could make that difficult.
Vinehout entered state politics later in life than many do. At 48, the dairy farmer and former college professor from Alma made her first bid for public office. In 2006, she was elected to represent the 31st State Senate District, which isn't known as a Democratic stronghold.
"I ran because I wanted to bring affordable health insurance to farmers," Vinehout says. "At that time I was without health insurance, my family hadn't had health insurance for almost 24 months and I could see how to solve the problem of bringing affordable health insurance to farmers and I wanted to be able to do it."
Vinehout says she began studying the possibility of a state health insurance exchange,...