• WisPolitics

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

 12:00 AM 

New Ryan TV ad calls him man of integrity

House Speaker Paul Ryan is out with a new TV ad today in which a Janesville resident calls the GOP lawmaker a man of integrity.

The ad features Richard Clarke, whom the Ryan campaign identified as a Janesville retiree and longtime supporter. The spot features Clarke speaking into the camera, interspersed with shots of Ryan speaking with others in a fair setting and praying.

“We want a man who’s got integrity,” Clarke says in the ad. “We want someone who’s going to back the causes that integrity brings: truth, honesty, the rarest thing in Washington.”

Clarke goes on to call Ryan a “unifying leader,” who is going to do the right thing, while being cautious and careful with decisions.

He then calls Ryan, “Somebody I know, somebody I trust, a local family man, a good man of God. That’s the guy I want to vote for, a man of integrity.”

Ryan’s campaign said the spot will run on Milwaukee and Madison network and cable TV through Aug. 2. The buy is $192,000 with another $25,000 going toward a radio ad featuring similar themes.

-- By JR Ross

Monday, July 25, 2016

 7:35 PM 

Source: Pence to campaign in Waukesha Wednesday

Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence will campaign in the Republican stronghold of Waukesha on Wednesday, according to a GOP source with knowledge of the plans.

The event is planned to the Waukesha County Expo Center, the same place where Gov. Scott Walker launched his presidential bid last year. The source said the expected start time is 7 p.m.

-- By JR Ross

 4:36 PM 

New Gallagher TV ad urges voters to 'shake things up'

Republican Mike Gallagher released a new TV ad today urging voters to “shake things up” and send him to Congress.

Gallagher faces state Sen. Frank Lasee, of De Pere, and Terry McNulty in the GOP primary Aug. 9 for the open 8th CD.

The narrator opens the spot saying career politicians “milk the system” year after year, funding “grade A perks” while “leaving us behind.” The ad shows a dairy operation in the opening scenes.

The narrator then describes Gallagher as a “Marine, not a politician. A conservative, not a spender.” The narrator says Gallagher wants to “trim the fat, cut the waste, balance the budget.”

“Career politicians have spent too much money for way too long,” Gallagher says to close the spot. “I’m Mike Gallagher, and I approve this message because it’s time to stop the spending.”

Gallagher’s campaign said the spot is running on local cable.
-- By JR Ross

 9:04 AM 

LCV, EDF start $1 million buy targeting Johnson

The LCV Victory Fund and EDF Action launched a $1 million TV and digital buy today targeting U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, on climate change.

The League of Conservation Voters last month named Johnson to its “Dirty Dozen” list. The spot opens with the narrator saying NASA, the Department of Defense and 97 percent of scientists agree climate change is real.

“So where can you find climate change science deniers? At oil companies and Sen. Ron Johnson’s office,” the narrator says.

The spot then plays a clip of Johnson saying, “I absolutely do not believe that the science of man-caused climate change is proven." 

The narrator then says oil companies gave Johnson more than $300,000 in contributions.

“Johnson supports their agenda,” the narrator says to close the spot. “We pay the price.”

-- By JR Ross

Friday, July 22, 2016

 5:25 PM 

State DOJ appeals voter ID decision

The state DOJ today appealed a federal judge's decision allowing those without an ID and have trouble getting one to cast ballots at the polls by filling out an affidavit attesting to their identify.

The state Department of Justice also filed a motion seeking to say the order and expedite a decision on that request.

See the motions.

-- By JR Ross

 8:26 AM 

Walker’s Our American Revival filing shows Q2 spending 10 times higher than amount raised

Scott Walker's 527 organization spent 10 times more money in the second quarter of 2016 than it brought in, according to the group's latest filing.

The group has steadily been spending more money than it's been taking in over the past year, according to a check of past reports.

The latest Our American Revival filing, which covers April 1 through June 30, shows it raised $24,305 and spent $265,363. The report, filed with the IRS, does not detail how much money the group has in the bank. But a check of past filings shows it has raised almost $7.5 million since its creation last year while Walker was making moves toward a presidential bid. It has now spent almost $7.36 million.

The group listed two donors during the most recent reporting period. John Rood, chairman of the Vestcor Companies Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., contributed $20,000. Meanwhile George Gialamas, director of the Gialamas Co. Inc., Madison, made in-kind donations totaling $4,305.

The group's spending included $52,000 on fundraising consulting, more than twice what it took in for the period.

There were also $29,629 in travel expenses listed, not including one charge for $4,672 listed as travel and office supplies and another for $15,732 for media consulting and travel.

Walker created OAR early last year as he was laying the foundation for his presidential bid. Several staffers who went on to work for his presidential campaign started with the organization, which had a mission of communicating a vision of "a more free and prosperous America by restoring power to the states." It also helped cover the travel and security costs Walker racked up last year while traveling the country.

See the filing:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

 10:32 AM 

Walker continues whittling down presidential debt

Gov. Scott Walker continued last month to whittle away at the remaining debt from his failed presidential bid, though he still owed $734,676 at the end of June, according to his latest filing with the FEC.

Walker collected $147,896 during the month and spent $97,849. Of that, $80,898 went to paying off debts and $6,475 was returned to donors.

The bulk of Walker's receipts came through the $96,107 he received from Granite Lists, a New Hampshire firm that rents fundraising lists. Walker also reported $16,285 in receipts from Connectivist Media in Milwaukee for the sale of equipment and $35,504 in receipts from individuals.

The guv finished the period with $78,952 in the bank.

-- By JR Ross

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

 3:40 PM 

DOJ weighing options after judge orders affidavit option for voters without photo ID

The state Department of Justice is weighing its options after a federal judge ruled today those who do not have an ID and have trouble getting one must be allowed to vote in November by filling out an affidavit swearing to their identity.

Sean Young, an attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, meanwhile, hailed the decision.

“Wisconsin’s voter ID law has been a mistake from day one,” Young said. “This ruling is a strong rebuke of the state’s efforts to limit access to the ballot box. It means that a failsafe will be in place in November for voters who have had difficulty obtaining ID.”

Judge Lynn Adelman’s order will not apply to the Aug. 9 primary. But he ordered the state to have the process in place for the Nov. 8 general election.

“We are disappointed with the court's decision,” AG Brad Schimel said. “We will decide the next course of action after Wisconsin Department of Justice attorneys have had time to fully review and analyze the court's decision.”

Read the decision.

-- By JR Ross

 9:39 AM 

Bowen amends campaign finance report to add more donations spurred by Sanders appeal

State Rep. David Bowen has amended his campaign finance report to add more donations spurred by an appeal from Bernie Sanders that were left off his original report.

Bowen, D-Milwaukee, said his campaign had a problem when uploading the information and some donations were left off.

His new numbers show $76,497 raised, $3,520 spent and $75,398 cash on hand.

Bowen, the only Wisconsin superdelegate to back Sanders, benefited from an appeal the Dem presidential candidate sent out in May on behalf of eight legislative candidates around the country.

Bowen's original report listed 14,216 individual donations with an average contribution of just less than $4.50. The new report now lists 16,858 individual donations, though the size of the average contribution was largely unchanged.
-- By JR Ross

 7:54 AM 

Nelson plays up ties to 8th CD in his first TV ad

Dem Tom Nelson today released the first TV ad of his bid for the 8th CD, stressing his connections to the northeastern Wisconsin district.

Potential GOP rivals Mike Gallagher and Frank Lasee have both been hit with questions about how deep their ties are to the area. Gallagher grew up in California, spent his summers in Green Bay and then moved back to Wisconsin last year to work for Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential campaign. Lasee, a state lawmaker, has faced questions about whether he lives full-time in the district, where he has an apartment, or in Racine, where his wife has a house.

Nelson narrates the ad, which opens with a picture of the church in Combined Locks his father founded, where the Outagamie County exec says he still worships.

It then shows the mill in Kaukauna where he worked to help pay for college and the home “where Maria and I are raising our children.” 

The spot then switches to the outside of the Outagamie County government building.

“This is where I lead our county, doing what government is supposed to do: Work together, protect seniors, balance our budget,” Nelson says.

He closes the spot by adding, “We need leaders with experience bringing people together, being effective, governing with Wisconsin commonsense.”

-- By JR Ross

 7:37 AM 

Ryan says not enough to talk about national security in first TV ad of re-election campaign

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, released the first TV ad of his re-election campaign this morning, saying it’s not enough to talk about national security.

Ryan says “Americans are right to be worried about ISIS plotting more attacks” following Orlando, Fla., and San Bernardino, Calif. Ryan adds he’s passed legislation to “stop radical Islamic terrorists from entering the U.S.” and is working with national security experts to “change practices so we can prevent future attacks.”

The ad switches from Ryan speaking directly into the camera to scenes from memorials at the sites of attacks as well as men in head scarves carrying guns.

“Just talking about national security is not enough. We need new laws and action by the administration to protect Americans,” Ryan says as a bell dings and a “Vote August 9” red, white and blue logo pops up on the screen.

-- By JR Ross

 4:30 AM 

In new TV ad, Johnson calls Feingold 'too dangerous' for fourth term

GOP U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is out with a new TV ad today in which he calls Dem rival Russ Feingold “too dangerous” for a fourth term in the Senate.

Johnson, R-Oshkosh, originally planned to air the ad late last week. But he sought to pull it back after the attack in Nice, France, though some stations aired it briefly. The spot was revised to have Johnson read the script rather than a narrator.

The spot features news footage from attacks in Paris, Brussels, Istanbul, San Bernardino, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Nice. After reading off the place of each attack, Johnson says, “Islamic terrorists slaughtering innocents.”

Johnson then says Feingold was the only senator to vote no when “Congress gave law enforcement the tools to help stop international terror” and he voted against “authorizing our military” 11 times.

“Now, he’s asking you for a fourth term. The world is simply too dangerous for that,” Johnson says to close the spot.

The campaign said the TV and digital spot is part of a seven-figure buy running statewide.

-- By JR Ross

Monday, July 18, 2016

 8:00 AM 

Feingold lays out national security plan in new TV ad

Dem Russ Feingold is going up with a new TV ad today that says “we need to be strategic and tough” to defeat ISIS.

The spot comes on the heels of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, last week pulling back an ad that featured news footage from attacks in the U.S. and abroad while slamming Feingold as "too dangerous" for a fourth term in the Senate. Johnson intended to hold off on airing the ad following the attack in France, but several stations aired it briefly.

Feingold walks through a military museum in his spot, saying his plan is to “cut off their oil, arms supplies and cash.” He adds the use of special forces and targeted military strikes, along with better human intelligence is needed. 

He also calls for more resources “here at home” to track down and break up terrorist cells and for the U.S. to put pressure on Middle Eastern nations to “confront jihadist extremists.

“That’s what it takes to combat terrorism and protect America,” Feingold says to close the spot.

-- By JR Ross

Saturday, July 16, 2016

 2:05 PM 

Bowen raises $64.5k in first half of year, most from Sanders fundraising pitch

State Rep. David Bowen raised $64,581 in the first half of 2016, a dramatic uptick in his fundraising that was spurred by an appeal from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Bowen, the only Wisconsin superdelegate who backed Sanders, told WisPolitics.com he estimates $61,000 of his fundraising total was a result of the pitch the Vermont senator made to his backers in late May. In that appeal, Sanders urged backers to support eight candidates running for seats in state legislatures around the country. The others were in South Carolina, South Dakota, Illinois, California, Colorado and Vermont.

A check of Bowen's fundraising report shows 14,216 individual donations with an average contribution of just less than $4.50.

"I've never seen that level of reach before that email request and email solicitation," Bowen said. "That was huge."

Bowen, D-Milwaukee, raised $2,246 in all of 2015 and $29,242 in 2014, when he won a four-way primary for his Assembly seat. Bowen is unopposed this fall and said he will use the money to support candidates who believe in Sanders' platform and to help turn out progressive voters this fall.

"They donated to us because they believe in Bernie's message," Bowen said of the influx of donations.

-- By JR Ross

 1:31 PM 

Gallagher tops Lasee in 8th CD 2Q fundraising, both trail Nelson

Mike Gallagher raised $402,108 in the second quarter of 2016, topping GOP rival Frank Lasee, who pulled in $149,100.

Both trailed Dem Tom Nelson, though it was the Outagamie County exec's first quarter raising money in the race for the open seat in northeastern Wisconsin.

Gallagher, who raised $922,440 since getting into the race, spent $363,964 between April 1 and June 30 and finished the period with $545,425 cash on hand.

Lasee has now raised $310,473 overall after pulling in $149,100 this period. He spent $65,592 over the second quarter and had $237,700 in the bank at the end of June.

Terry McNulty, the third Republican in the race, reported $3,847 raised in the second quarter and a negative balance of $2,108.

Dem Tom Nelson raised $530,767, spent $60,779 and had $469,987 in the bank at the end of June.

-- By JR Ross

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