• WisPolitics

Friday, August 26, 2016

 5:28 PM 

WISN, Marquette Law to host Oct. 18 Johnson, Feingold debate

Milwaukee's WISN 12 and Marquette University Law School are to host an Oct. 18 live televised debate between Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.

The debate is to be held from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Eckstein Hall at Marquette University
Law School.

The debate will be broadcast on WISN and will be live-streamed on wisn.com and the station's mobile app. It will also air statewide on WBAY, WKOW, WAOW, WQOW and WXOW.

For more information: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/160826WISN.pdf

 4:48 PM 

Appeals court rejects full court review in two election law cases

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today rejected requests by the ACLU and One Wisconsin Institute for full court review in two voting law cases.

The state Department of Justice today hailed the ruling rejecting the en banc, or full court, reviews.

“The Seventh Circuit’s order denying the plaintiffs’ en banc petitions is a significant victory for the people of Wisconsin and ensures that Voter ID will be in place for the upcoming election in November,” DOJ spokeswoman Rebecca Ballweg said in an email.

In the ACLU case, a three-judge 7th Circuit panel had granted the state’s request to stay federal Judge Lynn Adelman’s order creating a process that would let voters who lack an ID fill out an affidavit attesting to their identity in order to cast ballots this fall. The ACLU then sought full court review.

The court had previously noted current rules let those who apply for a free ID through the state receive a temporary receipt so they can vote while their application is pending. The court today rejected the en banc request.

Sean Young, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU, said the group is still considering its options, but he slammed how the state has handled issuing IDs in the past.

“Two trial courts have found that the DMV has failed over the last five years to issue IDs to vulnerable voters,” he said, “and there is no reason to think that they will be able to do so now.”

In the One Wisconsin Institute case, federal Judge James Peterson overturned several GOP-backed election laws. A panel of three GOP-appointed judges from the 7th Circuit then rejected the state’s request for an emergency stay.

The laws Peterson struck down include restrictions on early voting, an extension of residency requirements to 28 days and the prevention of municipal clerks from sending absentee ballots by fax or email. But Peterson also put on hold until after the elections a ruling that the state overhaul its petition process for those who don't have a valid ID.

But One Wisconsin appealed Peterson’s ruling. And the group sought en banc for that appeal, which the court today denied.

One Wisconsin Now spokesman Mike Browne said the group is “pleased the victories we won” in federal court striking down several election laws will stand for the November elections.

See the decision

-- By Chris Thompson

Thursday, August 25, 2016

 8:40 AM 

Trump campaign announces Wisconsin Women for Trump Coalition

Donald Trump's campaign Wednesday rolled out its Wisconsin Women for Trump Coalition, with one leader saying she won't be "distracted" by comments from the GOP nominee that some perceive as sexist.

"I trust Donald Trump to put America first," said Sue Lynch, a La Crosse resident who was president of the National Federation of Republican Women.

Lynch talked to reporters Wednesday about the coalition, which includes former Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow and state Sens. Alberta Darling and Mary Lazich. Lynch slammed Dem nominee Hillary Clinton as someone who "continues to lie to the American people."

That's why, Lynch said, young girls shouldn't want her to be the first female president.

"It isn't about gender," she said. "It's about the context of what they're talking about, and continually, Hillary Clinton has demonstrated time and time again lie after lie on these emails and her role in Benghazi. ... I don't think she's a role model at all."

The coalition also included two women who were involved in a John Doe investigation of Gov. Scott Walker's office while he was Milwaukee County executive. Rose Ann Dieck got immunity in the probe, while Darlene Wink got probation for campaigning on county time.

The list, though, didn't include Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Lynch said Kleefisch is "on board" and said they're still working on adding more names to the list.

"We wanted to get this coalition kicked off so people know that women are supporting Mr. Trump in the state of Wisconsin, and I fully hope the next time the list comes out we have a more complete list," she said.

Kleefisch's campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

 9:14 AM 

GOP polling firm finds Gallagher with a 16-point lead

A new poll paid for by Mike Gallagher's campaign finds he has a 16-point lead over Outagamie County Exec Tom Nelson in the 8th CD race.

The Public Opinion Strategies poll of 400 likely voters finds 52 percent support Gallagher, a former U.S. Senate aide and Marine. Nelson, a former Dem state rep, got the backing of 36 percent of voters.

The poll also found 83 percent of voters have heard of Gallagher, while 69 percent of voters said they’ve heard of Nelson. Gallagher’s favorable-unfavorable ratio was 43-13, while Nelson’s was 28-16.

“Clearly, the GOP primary campaign left Mike Gallagher well positioned to run a successful general election campaign,” the GOP polling firm wrote in a memo to Gallagher’s campaign and the NRCC.

The poll also found GOP nominee Donald Trump led former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 8th CD. Trump had 40 percent of voters backing him, while Clinton had 37 percent.

And while Nelson was up in the district, he trailed the generic Republican candidate, who would have a 47 percent to 41 percent advantage.

The poll did live interviews and included people with cellphones. The margin of error was +/- 4.9 percent.

See the poll memo

-- By Polo Rocha

Editor's note: This post has been updated.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

 5:22 PM 

State won't ask U.S. Supreme Court to stay election law ruling

The state’s Department of Justice won’t ask the U.S. Supreme Court to place an emergency stay on a judge’s ruling overturning several GOP-backed election laws, according to a DOJ spokesman.

The DOJ suffered a loss in court yesterday when an appeals court panel of three GOP-appointed judges decided to keep those laws in place, for now. The state was looking to reinstate those laws ahead of the November elections after federal Judge James Peterson struck them down last month.

But DOJ spokesman Johnny Koremenos said the state won’t ask the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay.

“After reviewing the Seventh Circuit’s order denying our motion to stay the district court’s decision in One Wisconsin,” he said in an email, “the Attorney General has decided not to ask the Supreme Court for a stay.”

The laws Peterson struck down include restrictions on early voting, an extension of residency requirements to 28 days and the prevention of municipal clerks from sending absentee ballots by fax or email.

The state had first asked Peterson to reinstate those laws. Peterson declined to do so, though he did put on hold until after the elections a requirement that the state overhaul its petition process for those who don’t have a valid ID.

The state then turned to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the three-judge panel yesterday decided through a one-page ruling that it was denying the state’s request for an emergency stay.

Monday, August 22, 2016

 6:18 PM 

Appeals court rejects state’s emergency stay request in voting laws case

The state’s Department of Justice is deciding whether it will appeal a ruling today that sided with those who challenged several GOP-backed voting laws.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the state’s request for an emergency stay of Judge James Peterson ruling last month, which struck down several laws that included restrictions on early voting.

The panel of three GOP-appointed judges didn’t elaborate on why they were rejecting the state's request in their one-page order.

DOJ spokesman Johnny Koremenos said the agency is reviewing the order and “determining our next course of option.”

Peterson recently rejected the state's request to reinstate the series of election laws he had overturned. But he did put on hold his order for Wisconsin to fundamentally change by November the process letting those who lack the required documentation for an ID get one.

The state then turned to the 7th Circuit, seeking a stay on the rest of Peterson's ruling that struck down several election laws, including one that expanded the state’s residency requirements and another that prohibited expired student ID cards as valid IDs for voting.

See the order.

 9:33 AM 

Walker continues to pay down debt from presidential bid

Gov. Scott Walker cut down the debt from his failed presidential bid to $672,556 last month, according to his latest FEC filing.

The guv paid off nearly $70,000 in debt last month, including paying off a $10,000 debt with Chicago-based BKZ Consulting Inc.

He brought in $116,129 in July, about $30,000 less than he raised in June. Roughly $66,400 of that money came from Granite Lists, which rents out donor lists, and $3,000 came from two committees tied to U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, an Illinois Republican.

Walker spent $76,588 last month, ending the period with $118,493 in the bank.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

 2:13 PM 

Johnson downplays consultant's departure

MILWAUKEE -- U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson today sought to downplay the departure of consultant Brad Todd, who had been working on the Oshkosh Republican's media strategy and polling.

Politico Pro first reported the split, citing two GOP sources. The report did not detail why.

Johnson has largely trailed Dem Russ Feingold in polling and is considered one of the most vulnerable GOP incumbents in the country. The latest Marquette University Law School Poll had Feingold leading Johnson 49 percent to 43 percent among registered voters and 53-42 among likely voters.

Asked why Todd left, Johnson, who appeared at a WisPolitics.com luncheon today, noted his campaign hired consultants Terry Sullivan and Alex Conant, both of whom worked on Marco Rubio's presidential bid. 

The campaign announced a little more than a week ago that both had come on board. Conant specializes in communication and media, while Sullivan was executive director of Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC before working on the senator’s presidential campaign.

“I'm a business guy. [You] try and attract more talent and add to your team,” Johnson said.

-- By David Wise

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

 10:36 PM 

Trump appeals to African-Americans who want different, better future during West Bend rally

WEST BEND -- Donald Trump Tuesday urged African-Americans who “want a different and much better future” to back his campaign, citing unrest in Milwaukee and saying the Dem Party has failed them.

Trump, who has struggled badly with African-American voters in a string of polls, charged Dem policies have resulted in more crime, more broken homes and more poverty.

"I'm asking for the vote of every African-American citizen struggling in our country today who wants a different and much better future," Trump said.

He also charged Hillary Clinton is against the police.

"Just like Hillary Clinton is against the miners, she is against the police. Believe me," Trump said. "Those peddling the narrative of cops as a racist force in our society ... share directly in the responsibility for the unrest in Milwaukee and many other places within our country."

Trump repeatedly addressed problems “here in Milwaukee” while speaking to a crowd about 35 miles north of the city, which saw violent protests over the weekend following a police shooting. Trump, who had the support of just 1 percent of black voters in some recent national polls, said the main victims are the African-Americans who live in the community.

Trump said the unrest represents an "assault on the right of all citizens to live in security and to live in peace.

"Law and order must be restored."

Trump called for an end to "the war on our police."

"The war on our police must end and it must end now," Trump said to loud applause. "The war on police is a war on all decent citizens who want to be able to live and work and send their kids to school in safety."

Trump pointed to rising violent crime in Milwaukee, failing schools, high poverty, the loss of manufacturing jobs and high African-American male unemployment.

"To every voter in Milwaukee, to every voter living in the inner city, or every forgotten stretch of our society, I'm running to offer you a much better future, a much better job and a much higher wage," Trump said.

Trump started his visit to Wisconsin, his second since the national convention, in La Crosse for a fundraiser and a series of interviews with local media. He then did several stops in Milwaukee, including a fundraiser and an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. That interview was originally supposed to air Tuesday night, but Fox instead carried Trump’s rally.

The event in West Bend began at 7:30 p.m. with speeches from several GOP elected officials. There was then a 45-minute break until Trump began speaking after 9 p.m., when Hannity’s show normally airs in the Milwaukee market.

While they waited in the sweltering and packed Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center, people waived each other with campaign signs.

Dems knocked Trump in La Crosse and Milwaukee as he visited both cities. State Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, said the choice this fall is not between a Dem and a Republican, “but between a responsible leader who will keep us safe, and a volatile man who threatens our security." In Milwaukee, Randy Bryce, Veterans Caucus chair for the state Dem Party, said Trump does not show respect for the nation’s veterans and their families.

“It further demonstrates how unfit his is to lead the United States," Bryce said.

Trump also rolled out a new pledge to require senior officials in his administration to sign an agreement banning them from accepting speaking fees from a corporation that employs a registered lobbyist. The ban, which would last five years, would cover foreign governments as well.

He was introduced by Gov. Scott Walker, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Before the main program, GOP U.S. Reps. Sean Duffy and Glenn Grothman, along with state Reps. Bob Gannon and Dan Knodl addressed the crowd to chants of "USA," "lock her up" and "build that wall."

Walker, who briefly shared the stage with Trump Tuesday, was originally expected to miss the rally due to a planned trip to Colorado to participate in a panel discussion and attend the RGA's quarterly meeting. But he canceled that trip amid the violence in Milwaukee.

Walker did not attend Trump's Aug. 5 rally in Green Bay while the guv was meeting with flooding victims in northern Wisconsin. But Tuesday, he attended a fundraiser for the GOP presidential nominee, the Hannity interview and the rally.

Walker said Clinton and Trump are the two choices before voters, and knocked Clinton over a host of issues, declaring her "unfit" to serve as president.

-- By David Wise

 12:56 PM 

Milwaukee Rotarians given heads-up on Trump stop at War Memorial

Milwaukee Rotarians were asked to arrive early for today's luncheon and leave promptly because GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is visiting the War Memorial Center, where the group is meeting.

An email provided to WisPolitics.com warns members the Secret Service will "have a strong presence in the building" and asked that all Rotarians leave by 1:30 p.m. The group canceled its meetings after today's luncheon.

Trump had several stops planned in the Milwaukee area today, including an afternoon fundraiser at the Pfister Hotel, an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity and a rally at the Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center.

Trump's campaign declined comment on whether he also would stop at the War Memorial.

Gov. Scott Walker originally planned to be in Colorado this week for a panel discussion and the RGA's quarterly meeting, but canceled the trip amid the unrest in Milwaukee. His campaign said the guv would attend Trump's fundraiser, the interview at the Pabst Theater and the rally in West Bend.

-- By JR Ross

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