• WisPolitics

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

 11:15 AM 

Johnson releases new ad focused on his career

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is up with a new TV spot emphasizing his career path, from a dishwasher to one of the founders of the PACUR plastics company.

The 30-second ad, which began running today, starts with the Oshkosh Republican talking about his first job washing dishes at a Walgreens grill for $1.45 an hour, the minimum wage at the time.

“Not many people start at the top,” Johnson says. “Most of us start at the bottom. I sure did.”

The ad then cuts to images of Johnson working at PACUR. He shows a photo of a machine used at the manufacturing company.

“Not only did I help install this machine, I also operated it, working 12-hour shifts at night,” Johnson says. “As the business grew, we added machines and created more jobs.”

Johnson closes the ad talking about his job as a senator.

“And now I’m working hard to keep Wisconsin prosperous,” he says, “and America safe.”

The ad is part of the Johnson campaign’s $1.3 million ad buy for June, a source familiar with the buy said. It is running statewide across TV and digital formats.

-- By Chris Thompson

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

 1:31 PM 

Walker presidential campaign owes $808K, trims debt by $91K in May

 Gov. Scott Walker's presidential campaign held $807,676 in debt at the end of May, according to the campaign's latest filing with the FEC.

That's down $91,000 from the $898,676 his campaign owed at the end of April.

The campaign reported $127,236 in revenue from May 1 to May 31 and spent $115,120

Unlike recent months, the bulk of Walker's receipts in May came from donations, with $90,095 reported from individuals and $5,000 from committees. Most of the donations were for less than $1,000, with one donation for $5,000 from Xcel Energy Employee PAC and nine donations of $2,700 each.

Those donating $2,700 included: People's State Bank President Mark Forsythe, of Prairie Du Chien; retiree Pamela Galloway, of Warsaw, Ind.; Fiduciary Management Chairman and CEO Ted D. Kellner and his wife, Mary Kellner, both of Mequon; homemaker Susanne Shore, of Omaha, Neb.; Jenner & Block attorney Ronald Wanke and homemaker Joyce Wanke, both of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and I Love This Bar and Grill General Manager Bryan Zabinski, of Winter Garden, Fla.

Other income included $14,380 for sale of office equipment and $16,650 from Granite Lists, a New Hampshire firm that rents out mailing lists. In April, Walker's campaign reported $49,584 from Granite Lists.

Top spending included: $25,000 to FLS Connect for telemarketing and data work; $16,520 to Google for online advertising; $15,000 to SCM Associates for direct mail; and $10,000 to Connectivist Media for online advertising.

Walker's largest remaining debt is to FLS Connect, which is owed $235,000 as of the end of May.

-- By David Wise

 12:59 PM 

New Gallagher ad emphasizes his military background

Mike Gallagher, a Republican candidate for the 8th CD, is out with a new TV spot highlighting his background in the Marines.

The 30-second ad on national security starts with an image of President Obama and a narrator saying, “He apologized for America and emboldened our enemies.” Next is an image of Hillary Clinton, and the narrator says, “She’s pledging four more years of dangerous weakness.”

The ad then switches to a photo of Gallagher in Marine gear before cutting to him speaking to the camera.

“I swore an oath to defend the Constitution against America’s enemies,” he says. “In Congress, I’ll honor that oath to keep Wisconsin safe.”

The narrator then says Gallagher will “secure our borders, rebuild our military and defeat radical Islamic terrorism.”

The ad closes with the slogan: “Marine. Conservative. Mike Gallagher.”

The spot started running in the Green Bay market last weekend on cable and local TV and is expected to continue through at least July 4. Gallagher’s campaign did not release the cost of the ad.

-- By Chris Thompson

Friday, June 17, 2016

 8:38 AM 

Johnson, Feingold express concerns over ban on guns sales to those on no-fly list

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is hopeful the Senate can reach a bipartisan deal to prevent would-be terrorists from obtaining arms to carry out their attacks.

Still, a spokesman said the Oshkosh Republican is urging caution about preventing those on the no-fly list from buying guns, adding there are concerns about “using very large classified government lists with undefined criteria as the basis for removing an American’s constitutional rights.”

Johnson's Democratic rival Russ Feingold also is striking a cautious tone on the proposal, though he called for Congress to approve other gun-control proposals.

President Obama pushed the proposal in December following the San Bernardino shooting, and it's picked up steam again in the wake of the Orlando shooting at a gay nightclub.

The idea, along with a bill to expand background checks, is getting a vote in the Senate following a nearly 15-hour Dem filibuster.

“The senator will support an approach that achieves the shared goal while protecting Americans’ constitutional liberties and the due process of law guaranteed under the Constitution,” said Johnson spokesman Patrick McIlheran.

Feingold said the U.S. "absolutely must keep guns out of the hands of terrorists" but that Congress needs to make sure "it's not restricting the fundamental rights of American citizens without due process."

He also called for Congress to approve waiting periods on purchases, expand background checks and ensure people can't buy "unnecessary high capacity magazines that allow would-be killers to inflict massive harm in mere seconds."

"There are a host of commonsense, responsible safety measures we can take right now to help prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future," he said.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

 2:02 PM 

Pocan becomes ninth Wisconsin superdelegate to back Clinton

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan announced today he is backing Hillary Clinton, becoming the ninth Wisconsin superdelegate to pledge their support to the former secretary of state.

Clinton now has a 9-1 edge for Wisconsin's 10 superdelegates over Bernie Sanders, who won the state's presidential primary in April with 56.6 percent of the vote. Delegates to this month's Dem state convention approved a resolution calling on the superdelegates to cast their votes 6-4 for Sanders to reflect the primary results, but that call is nonbinding.

Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, had been waiting for the conclusion of the primaries before announcing who he will support. Tuesday's Washington, D.C., primary was the final one ahead of the national convention next month in Philadelphia.

“Now that every single person has been allowed to cast their vote, it is evident that Hillary Clinton will be our nominee and I pledge my support to her in this endeavor," Pocan said in announcing his support. "I am proud of the way in which Hillary has taken on progressive issues such as universal child care, debt free college and a ban on military style assault weapons. I look forward to working with her to continue to promote progressive values. Democrats face a dangerous, racist fear mongerer this election and Hillary Clinton is more than up to the task of soundly defeating Donald Trump."

-- By JR Ross

 9:46 AM 

New Feingold TV ad says political system working overtime for CEOs

Russ Feingold released a new TV ad today, saying what he hears the most from people while knocking on doors and traveling to all 72 Wisconsin counties is “how hard it is to get ahead.

“One big reason: We have a political system working overtime -- for CEOs,” Feingold says.

The spot shows him behind the wheel of a black minivan and talking to people in various settings. Feingold goes on to call for protecting Social Security, making college affordable for families and “fixing a tax system that rewards companies for exporting our jobs.”

He closes the spot saying he approves the message, “because we need an economy that works for everyone.”

-- By JR Ross

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

 5:46 PM 

Dem superdelegate Laning backs Clinton

State Dem Chair Martha Laning, one of Wisconsin's 10 superdelegates, will support Hillary Clinton at next month's national convention.

Clinton now has the backing of eight superdelegates from Wisconsin, which Bernie Sanders won in April with 56.6 percent of the vote. Party Vice-chair David Bowen is the sole Wisconsin superdelegate supporting Sanders, while U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan has not announced who he will back.

At this month's state convention, Dem delegates passed a resolution urging the state's 10 superdelegates to split 6-4 for Sanders to reflect the results of the Wisconsin primary. The resolution is nonbinding.

Laning has said she will cast her vote for the party's nominee for president. Between the support of pledged delegates and superdelegates, Clinton has accumulated enough support to win the nomination.

"Last Tuesday, it became clear that Hillary Clinton will be that nominee," said Laning, who first announced her endorsement on the Devils Advocate radio show. "I’m excited to cast my vote for her, and excited to get to work to ensure that Wisconsin once again helps to elect a great Democrat to the White House."

-- By JR Ross

 12:46 PM 

Marquette poll: Clinton 42-35 among registered voters, Feingold 45-41

Hillary Clinton and Russ Feingold led in this fall’s races among Wisconsin voters in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll.

The picture, though, was slightly different for registered voters vs. likely voters.

In the presidential race, Clinton led Donald Trump 42 percent to 35 percent among registered voters. In the March poll, Clinton led Trump 47-37 percent among registered voters, which was unchanged from the month before.

Among likely voters, though, Clinton led 46-37.

The poll included a match up between Trump and Bernie Sanders, who led the businessman 56-31 among registered voters and 57-33 among likely voters.

In the Senate race, Feingold led U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, 45-41 among registered voters. In March, that margin was 47-42. 

Among likely voters, Feingold led 51-42, compared to a 3-point edge in March.

Poll director Charles Franklin said some of the difference in registered voters vs. likely voters could be attributed to those who say they will definitely vote this fall compared to in March. Then, 87 percent of Republicans said they were absolutely sure to vote. That dropped to 78 percent in June. For Dems, 81 percent said they were certain to vote in March. Now, it's up to 84 percent.

Franklin said the universe of likely voters typically doesn't firm up until late summer, so he focuses on registered voters until then.

The poll of 800 registered voters was conducted Thursday through Sunday, and the sample included 666 likely voters. Half of the interviews were conducted via cell phone. The margin of error for registered voters was plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, while it was plus or minus 4.9 percentage points for the sample of likely voters.

-- By JR Ross

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

 9:53 AM 

New Feingold TV ad hits Johnson on $10 million payment, tax breaks

Dem Russ Feingold is out with a new TV ad that slams Sen. Ron Johnson for a “sweetheart corporate payout” of $10 million. The spot also says Johnson voted for tax breaks that help companies ship Wisconsin jobs overseas.

The $10 million refers to the deferred compensation package Johnson received from PACUR, the plastics company he helped found, before joining the U.S. Senate in early 2011.

The spot opens with a clip from Johnson’s first TV ad of the campaign. The narrator in the Feingold spot says to listen carefully as Johnson says, “And I respect you enough to tell you the truth.”

“But here’s the truth,” the narrator says. “Before Sen. Johnson left for Washington, he paid himself $10 million, a sweetheart corporate payout.”

The narrator then says Johnson voted in Congress five times for tax breaks that help companies ship Wisconsin jobs overseas.

A woman identified as Lyla F. of Janesville says, “He campaigned as a job creator,” before Bruce P. of Janesville adds, “But Sen. Johnson helps companies ship jobs overseas.

Feingold closes the spot saying he approves the message, “because we need an economy that works for everyone.”

Feingold's campaign said it will air in Green Bay, Wausau, Milwaukee and La Crosse/Eau Claire.

-- By JR Ross

 8:54 AM 

Bill Clinton to raise money for victory fund in Milwaukee June 24

Bill Clinton will be in Milwaukee on June 24 to raise money for the Hillary Clinton Victory Fund, according to a copy of the invite obtained by WisPolitics.com. 

Raising or contributing $100,000 will include a reception with the former president. Those who donate $33,400 per couple also will get a reception with Clinton, while donations of $2,700 qualify donors as "champions." 

Clinton established the victory fund with more than 30 state Dem parties, including Wisconsin. The first $2,700 from an individual goes to Clinton's campaign with the next $33,400 going to the DNC. Anything on top of that will be split up among 32 state parties up to $10,000 each, according to the invite.

-- By JR Ross

Sunday, June 12, 2016

 3:06 PM 

Clinton postpones Green Bay stop after Orlando shooting

Hillary Clinton's campaign has postponed Wednesday's campaign stop in Green Bay with President Obama due to the shooting in Orlando, Fla.

The campaign said in a brief statement this afternoon details on the rescheduled event will be provided as soon as possible.

-- By JR Ross

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