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Monday, March 30, 2015

 12:00 PM 

Daley raised $148,557 in pre-election period

Rock County Judge James Daley raised $148,557 for his Supreme Court campaign over a seven-week period leading up to the April election.

Daley's campaign released his cover sheet for the pre-election period that shows he also spent $22,882 over the period, which covers activity between Feb. 3 and March 23.

Daley had $214,103 cash on hand with $6,500 in outstanding loans.

The deadline is today for spring candidates to file their pre-election reports with the GAB. Justice Ann Walsh Bradley's campaign said her numbers would be available later today.

-- By JR Ross

 11:45 AM 

Walker, Bush even in New Hampshire

A new poll of New Hampshire GOP voters has Gov. Scott Walker tied with Jeb Bush.

The survey from Franklin Pierce University and the Boston Herald found 15 percent of respondents backed Bush and Walker, while U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was close behind at 13 percent. Chris Christie was the only other candidate to crack double digits at 10 percent.

Forty-eight percent of Republicans had a favorable view of Walker, while 16 percent had an unfavorable one. Thirteen percent had no opinion, while 22 percent did not recognize him. Bush had a higher favorability rating at 53 percent, but 37 percent of GOP primary voters had a negative view of him. Eight percent were undecided, while 2 percent didn't recognize him.

The poll of 429 GOP primary voters was conducted March 22-25 by land line and cell phones. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.

  -- By JR Ross


 10:26 AM 

Walker noncommittal on 'religious freedom' law for Wisconsin, again talks stance on immigration

Gov. Scott Walker today was noncommittal on whether he believes Wisconsin should adopt something similar to Indiana's "religious freedom" law, saying it's not something that's been debated at any length here "but we'll see in the future."

Indiana's law, officially the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, has drawn scrutiny in recent weeks with opponents saying it would allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Some of the law's backers have disputed that, saying the law was only intended to protect religion from government intrusion.

Asked if businesses should have the option to refuse service to customers, such as gays, based on religious grounds, Walker replied, "Well again, in our state, there's a balance between wanting to make sure there is not discrimination but at the same time, respecting religious freedoms."

Walker, who was in Milwaukee for a public appearance, would not say whether he would sign such a law.

Walker also attempted to clarify his stance on immigration after questions were raised last week if he had privately backed a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally after saying publicly he did not support such an option.

"I do not believe in amnesty for citizenship," Walker said. "I believe that if someone wants to become a citizen they can go to their country of origin and come in the system just like anyone else, and then beyond that, I think that's going to take a lot of work and a lot of effort. And the next president and Congress are going to have to look at working together and setting a policy on what to do for others who are seeking something other than citizenship."

-- By Kay Nolan


Friday, March 27, 2015

 5:03 PM 

Walker: Texas border tour shows need for enhanced security

Gov. Scott Walker's political operation said his tour of the Texas-Mexico border showed him "more bodies and technology are needed" to secure the border.

Walker made the tour -- his first visit to the border -- with Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The full email from Walker's political team is below:

Good afternoon, this morning Governor Walker toured the Texas-Mexico border with Texas Governor Greg Abbott – his first trip to the Mexican border. Governors Walker and Abbott first discussed the trip as a way for Governor Walker to see firsthand the crisis at the border and to talk with local officials about the challenges they are facing. Governor Walker received a briefing on the ground as well as an aerial briefing. Here are a few take-aways:

First and foremost, Governor Walker believes it is painfully clear Washington, D.C. hasn't done its job securing our borders.

Officials on the ground are doing an excellent job with the resources they have, but more bodies and technology are needed.

In the past Governor Walker has talked about securing the borders to protect the safety of our citizens – it's a security issue even more than an immigration issue. During his briefing today, it was made even more evident that the broken border is a safety issue not only as it relates to potential extremists, but also continued drug cartel violence. Drug cartels pose a long-term danger to border states and securing the border is vital.


 5:01 PM 

Walker Watch 2016 Friday headline roundup

Gov. Scott Walker's immigration stance and foreign affairs were the focus of Friday's news and opinion pieces relating to Walker's likely run for the GOP presidential nomination.


- Wisconsin State Journal:  Walker spokeswoman Kukowski disputes story that he reversed his immigration flip-flop 

- Reuters: Walker Denies Changing Stance On Undocumented Immigrants 

- CNN: Walker backs pathway to citizenship at private dinner

- Wall Street Journal: Scott Walker Adjusts Stance on Immigration at Private Dinner

- Washington Post: Scott Walker softens immigration stance, dinner participants say

- CNN: Jim Talent to Scott Walker's team

- USA Today: Scott Walker: I'd reject Iran nuclear deal on 'Day One' 

- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Scott Walker wades into foreign policy as profile rises

- NBC First Read: A foreign-policy election (more or less) is upon us


- Jessie Opoien: Scott Walker spokeswoman disputes report on immigration shift, says his position hasn't changed

- Dara Lind: Scott Walker wasn't lying on immigration. He just hoped GOP voters misunderstood him. 

- Ken McIntyre: Scott Walker Lands Former Senator as National Security Expert for 2016 Race

- PolitiFact: Has PolitiFact rated Scott Walker the nation's "most factually-challenged" politician?

- Jennifer Rubin: Rick Perry and Scott Walker get more impressive with time 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

 1:41 PM 

Suffolk: Bush 19, Walker 14 in New Hampshire

A new Suffolk University poll has Jeb Bush and Scott Walker at the head of the GOP pack in New Hampshire.

Nineteen percent of GOP primary voters backed Bush, while 14 percent supported Walker and 7 percent backed Rand Paul.

As with other GOP presidential primary polls, Walker led Bush among Republicans who described themselves as conservatives; 20 percent of those voters backed Walker, while 14 percent supported Bush. Meanwhile, 46 percent of Republicans had a positive view of Walker, while 15 percent had a negative view. Bush's split was 54-27. 

The statewide survey of 500 likely GOP presidential primary voters was conducted Saturday through Tuesday using live interviews over land lines and cell phones. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

-- By JR Ross


 12:19 PM 

Walker Watch 2016 Thursday headline roundup

Gov. Scott Walker's stance on Iran tops news headlines, and columnists in today's roundup opine on Walker's management style and whether he is spending enough time in the state.


- USA Today: Walker: I'd reject Iran nuclear deal on 'Day One'

- The Hill: Walker says he'd reject deal with Iran 'on day one' 

- Madison.com: Charting national search interest in Scott Walker 

- Washington Times: Walker scheduled to tour U.S.-Mexico border Friday  


- James Howerton: The Huge Move Scott Walker Says He'd Make on 'Day One' If Elected President

- Josh Israel: Scott Walker's Spectacular Flip-Flop On Political Contributions From The Gambling Industry

- Chris Rickert: Scott Walker hits the campaign trail armed with what works (for him) 

- Christian Schneider: Walker hasn't left Wisconsin home alone

-  Lisa Kaiser: Scott Walker Can't Run on His Job-Creation Record 

- ELiana Johnson: Scott Walker Is His Own Best Political Operative, and That's a Problem 

- Matt Lewis: Scott Walker Has A Micromanagement Problem 

- Carl Leubsdorf: 7 obstacles Ted Cruz must overcome -- including Scott Walker

- Travis Arbon: Walker speaks to Ariz. Chamber of Commerce behind closed doors

- Benjy Sarlin: Walker fundraises off voter ID victory

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

 2:09 PM 

Walker Watch 2016 Wednesday headline roundup

In today's headlines, Walker's political group hires a former Romney aide, Walker plans a Texas visit and pundits weigh in on John Menard's $1.5 million donation to a group that backed Walker in the recall election.


- Texas Tribune: Texas Gov. Abbott, Walker to Tour Texas-Mexico Border

- Houston Chronicle: Abbott to tour border with potential 2016 contender Walker

- Newsmax: Gov. Scott Walker to Visit Texas-Mexico Border Friday

- Breitbart: Walker Heads to Texas Border with Abbott

- Cap Times: Latest Scott Walker map point: David Koch's oceanside mansion

- Miami Herald: Walker's team picks up a top Romney staffer

- MJS: Walker's political group hires a top Romney staffer

- NBC First Read [5th item]: Why "John Doe" investigation remains a problem for Walker

- Wisconsin State Journal: Report: John Menard gave $1.5 million to conservative group tied to Scott Walker 


- Paul Waldman: If the campaign finance system is scandalous, let's treat it that way

- Jazz Shaw: Another "dark money scandal" hits, this time for Scott Walker 

- Steve Benen: Walker confronts new 'dark money' controversy 

- Charles Pierce: Scott Walker Saves More Money For Menard

- Jessie Opoien: Scott Walker's time: The governor is running for president. Can he win?

- Jamelle Bouie: What Scott Walker Can Teach Hillary Clinton


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

 11:39 AM 

PPP: Walker narrows gap with Bush in Florida, trails Clinton

Scott Walker has narrowed the gap with Jeb Bush in Florida among GOP voters, according to a new survey from the Dem firm Public Policy Polling.

Bush led the GOP field at 25 percent, while Walker was backed by 17 percent. Marco Rubio was next at 15 percent, while Ben Carson was at 12 percent.

The last time PPP did a presidential poll in Florida was June. Since then, Bush’s numbers have dropped 5 percentage points, while Walker’s support has ticked up 10 points.

The firm found only 37 percent of Florida voters think Bush should run for president, while 35 percent believe Rubio should.

The survey also asked about a series of hypothetical general election match ups between Dem Hillary Clinton and the GOP field. She had an edge of between 2 and 8 points on each of the Republicans she was paired with. Rubio was the closest, down 48-46, while Walker trailed her 49-41. 

The poll also paired Walker with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has said she will not run. It found 42 percent backed the Massachusetts senator, while 41 percent favored Walker. Against Vice President Joe Biden, Walker was tied at 43 percent apiece.

The survey also found the guv is still relatively unknown in Florida. Thirty-three percent of voters had a favorable opinion of him, 28 percent an unfavorable opinion and 39 percent were not sure.

The poll of 923 registered Florida voters was conducted March 19-22. The sample included 425 GOP primary voters and 371 Dems. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.2 percentage points for the general election questions, 4.8 percentage points for the GOP sample and 5.1 points for the Dem sample. Eighty percent of the interviews were conducted over the phone, while 20 percent were done over the Internet.

-- By JR Ross


 11:09 AM 

Walker Watch 2016 Tuesday headline roundup

'Dark money,' voter ID and Ted Cruz are the focus of the latest stories surrounding Gov. Scott Walker's likely presidential run.


- Wisconsin State Journal: Scott Walker planning to return to South Carolina on May 9 

- The State: Scott Walker coming to Greenville in May

- Wisconsin Radio Network: Waiting for Scott Walker to announce his presidential run

- Yahoo News: Secret $1.5 million donation from Wisconsin billionaire uncovered in Scott Walker dark-money probe

- MJS: Report: Menards owner gave $1.5 million to pro-Walker group


- Elias Isquith: Ted Cruz’s 'Scott Walker' problem

- James Beattie: Walker Compliments Cruz Before Saying Washington Needs A ‘Fresh Face’

- John Nolte: Voter ID: Supreme Court Hands Scott Walker Another Win

- Jason Howerton: Supreme Court Hands Scott Walker Big Victory on Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law

- Perry Bacon Jr.: Should Republicans Believe Scott Walker's Story?

- Scott Keyes: Scott Walker Deputy Admits Clean Energy States ‘Have A Competitive Advantage’

- Tom Clementi: Check Walker’s motives on energy choices

- Robert Leonard: 'The Internet is a dark place' says former Walker aide Mair


Monday, March 23, 2015

 10:52 AM 

Schimel: Voter ID won't be in place for April 7 election

Attorney General Brad Schimel said in a statement today voter ID will not be implemented for the spring election because absentee ballots are already in the hands of voters.

"The Voter ID law will be in place for future elections – this decision is final,” Schimel said in a short statement.

-- By Staff

 10:42 AM 

Walker Watch news, analysis and opinion headlines

Below is a roundup of selected headlines about Gov. Scott Walker's likely presidential bid.

News and Features

- MJS: Walker set to make political trip to Israel in spring

- AP: Walker to make appearance in Phoenix

- Washington Post: Republicans rally to Walker’s call, believing he’s a scrappy survivor

- New York Times: For 2016 Run, Walker Washes ‘Wiscahnsin’ Out of His Mouth

- New York Times: Scott Walker’s Path

- MJS: On campaign trail, Scott Walker kick-starts Regular Joe image

- MJS: Walker in South Carolina says he can win broad support

- MJS: Walker’s teen years in Delavan put him on the road to politics 

- Wisconsin State Journal: Walker on potential presidential run: 'There's a good vibe out there'

- Bloomberg: Walker Once Backpedaled After Supporting Wisconsin Gun-Control Bill

Opinion and Analysis 

- Haley Sweetland Edwards: Scott Walker: Bold in Office, Meek on the Trail

- John Torinus:  Absentee Gov. Scott Walker defers to staff and it shows 

- Harlan Green:  Governor Scott Walker vs. Unions

- Michael Hiltzik:  Could Wisconsin's Scott Walker now abolish the weekend? 

- Besty Woodruff:  Does Scott Walker Have a Jobs Problem?

- Susan Berry: Gov. Scott Walker and the Problem of Common Core


 9:22 AM 

Supreme Court refuses to take voter ID challenge, opponents file emergency request to extend stay

The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to hear a challenge to Wisconsin's voter ID law.

The court had blocked the requirement from being implemented for the November 2014 election. Today's decision leaves in place a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the law is constitutional.

Those opposed to the law immediately filed an emergency request to extend a stay of the requirement to prevent it from being implemented for the spring election. The request notes absentee ballots have already been sent ahead of the April 7 election.

-- By JR Ross

Friday, March 20, 2015

 9:13 AM 

Walker continues S.C. swing

Gov. Scott Walker continues his swing through South Carolina today.

During an event Thursday, Walker alluded to the departure of Liz Mair from his campaign. She was hired earlier this week to lead his online communication efforts, but resigned following an outcry over her past tweets, including some that were viewed as critical of Iowa voters.

"One of my clear rules is, if you're going to be on our team, whether on the paid staff or a volunteer, what I say is, you need to respect the voters, even those that don't agree with you," Walker said at an event in Greenville, according to one report. "Even if you don't agree with voters all the time, even if you don't understand all the voters, you need to respect them."

Here are a few headlines about Walker's visit:

In S.C., Scott Walker touts ‘grassroots,’ nationwide fundraising network

Walker declares he can 'put the nation on a path to the right'

- Walker touts right-to-work in South Carolina

Wherever Walker campaigns, dogged protesters follow


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