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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

 11:45 PM 

Local Races Set for April Election

Eight Madison City Council races, a Madison school district board race and two Milwaukee school board races have been set as a result from tonight's primary.

Madison City Council
Marsha Rummel, who received 68 percent of the vote, will face Carl Durocher, who received 15 percent of the votes, in the District 6 race. The two bested Brooks McGrath (5 percent) and Adam Casey (12 percent).

Brian Solomon, who received 72 percent of the vote, will face Chris Ogden, who received 17 percent of the vote, in the District 10 race. The two bested Thomas M. McClure (6 percent) and Nick Dorneanu (4 percent).

Incumbent Alderman Tim Gruber, who received 46 percent of the vote, will face Chris Schmidt, who received 43 percent of the vote, in the District 11 race. The two bested Sandra Lynne Saul (10 percent).

Satya Rhodes-Conway, who received 34 percent of the vote, will face Mark Deadman, who received 34 percent of the vote, in the District 12 race. The two bested Michael A. Basford (29 percent) and Marcus Watson (3 percent).

Julia Kerr, who received 74 percent of the vote, will face Duane Steinhauer, who received 14 percent of the vote, in the District 13 race. The two bested Mike Clark (11 percent).

Incumbent Alderman Larry Palm, who received 50 percent of the vote, will face Vicky Selkowek, who received 40 percent of the vote, in the District 15 race. The two bested Mark Schmitt (9 percent).

Joe Clausius, who received 55 percent of the vote, will face Sarah H. Florino, who received 23 percent of the vote, in the District 17 race. The two bested Mary E. Thornton (21 percent).

Michael Schumacer, who received 49 percent of the vote, will face Jon Becker, who received 36 percent of the vote, in the District 18 race. The two bested Benito Juarez Olivas (10 percent) and Andy Lindgren (4 percent).

Madison Metro School District
Beth Moss, who received 50 percent of the vote, will face Rick Thomas, who received 26 percent of the vote, in the MMSD Board Seat 3 race. The two bested Pam Cross-Leone (22 percent).

Milwaukee School Board
Michael Bonds, who received 39 percent of the vote, will face Stephanie Findley, who received 29 percent of the vote, in the Milwaukee School 3rd District race. The two bested Leon Todd (24 percent) and Markus Watts (8 percent).

Terry Falk, who received 44 percent of the vote, will face School Board President Joe Dannecker, who received 44 percent of the vote, in the Milwaukee School District 8th District race. The two bested Tricia Young (19 percent).

The citywide at-large seat was not decided at the time of this posting.

-- By Matt Dolbey

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 11:17 PM 

Clifford, Ziegler to Meet Tomorrow in First Forum

Linda Clifford and Annette Ziegler won't have to wait long to make their first joint appearance as the final two candidates for the state Supreme Court.

Both were scheduled to appear before the Madison Rotary tomorrow for the first in a series of forums and debates. They'll then be in Wausau before the Chamber of Commerce there.

A number of groups had already set up a series of debates and forums in advance of the primary.

The big debates will be the We The People Forum, scheduled for March 30, and a debate sponsored by the Wisconsin Bar, WisPolitics, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Wisconsin Law Journal and the Wisconsin Radio Network. It’s scheduled for March 9 in Madison.

There is also a possible debate March 19 that would be sponsored by the Marquette University Law School and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Here are some of the forums and debates planned, according to the campaigns:

-- Outagamie Bar Association Feb. 26, Appleton
-- Sheboygan County Medical Society Feb. 27, Sheboygan
-- Waupaca Co. Bar Association Feb. 28, Waupaca
-- Winnebago County Medical Society Candidate Forum March 1, Oshkosh
-- Electric Cooperatives Candidate Forum March 7
-- Waukesha Medical Society March 7, Nashota
-- Legal Association of Women March 14, Madison
-- Brown Co. Medical Society March 15, Green Bay
-- Rotary Club of Milwaukee March 20, Milwaukee
-- Waukesha Bar Association Forum March 22, Waukesha
-- Dane County Bar Assn, March 26 Madison
-- West Bend Chamber Commerce Debate March 27, West Bend

Clifford, Ziegler and fellow candidate Joe Sommers met attended a WisPolitics luncheon last month. See the Webcast:
http://wispolitics.mediasite.com/wispolitics/viewer/?peid=8cc2bbc7-e8f5-403e-b777-879d87bb8aa7


-- By JR Ross

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 10:37 PM 

Ziegler, Clifford to Face Off April 3

Washington County Judge Annette Ziegler ran away with today's Supreme Court primary and will face Madison attorney Linda Clifford April 3.

The three-way primary had been perceived largely as a two-person race between Ziegler and Clifford heading into the primary. But with 85 percent of precincts reporting, Ziegler had 58 percent of the vote, while Clifford was a distant second with 26 percent. Attorney Joseph Sommers -- who raised less than one-tenth of the other two candidates -- was third with 16 percent.

Ziegler was the only one of the three to run a TV ad leading up to today's primary. She also ran a radio spot statewide, and the Club for Growth-Wisconsin did an issue ad praising her as well.

While she acknowledged that the commercials were an important tool in reaching out to voters, Ziegler insisted her good showing were results of an all-around effort.

"I've been working hard. I've gone to all 72 counties in the state," Ziegler said. "I think people think that it's important to have experience as a judge and a prosecutor if you want to sit on the highest court in the state."

Clifford said she did not make a mistake in deciding to conserve her resources, pointing out turnout for the primary was expected to be especially low that it made more sense to put her money into the final push of the campaign. She also estimated Ziegler and "her special interest groups" spent half a million dollars on the primary.

Clifford reported $343,144 cash on hand as of Feb. 5, compared to $269,910 for Ziegler.

"We'll be spending our resources wisely now that we know who we'll be facing, and we won't have to rely on out-of-state interest groups to get our message across and we won't have ot rely on extremist rhetoric, either," Clifford said.

Sommers did not immediately return a call from WisPolitics Tuesday night.

*See the WisPolitics AdWatch for the Ziegler and Club for Growth spots:
http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Content=24
*See Clifford's campaign finance report:
ftp://doaftp04.doa.state.wi.us/electionsboard/2007/CliffordL-PRPS07.xls
*See Ziegler's report:
ftp://doaftp04.doa.state.wi.us/electionsboard/2007/ZieglerA-PRPS07.csv

-- By Greg Bump and JR Ross

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 10:14 PM 

Zeigler Claims Victory

Judge Annette Zeigler issued a statement on her victory in the State Supreme Court primary.

"The voters made it clear that they value judicial experience when selecting a Supreme Court Justice," Zeigler said. "I believe my depth and breadth of experience has me best suited to be an effective member of the Court from day one."

*See the press release:
http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=89349


-- By Andy Szal

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 9:29 PM 

Cieslewicz, Allen to Face Off in Madison

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz continued his effort to label Ray Allen a Republican Tuesday night, while the challenger promised he wouldn't "spend my time on trolleys."

Both men continued to lay out the battles lines they've already draw in their race for Madison mayor after advancing out of Tuesday's primary.

With all precincts reporting, Cieslewicz finished with 58 percent of the vote, while Allen came in with 30 percent. Peter Munoz and Will Sandstrom trailed with 10 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Cieslewicz said he planned to focus on his plans to manage Madison's success in "a way that doesn't mess up the things that people come here for in the first place."

"Clearly, he is proud to be a Republican. I don't fault him for it. He contributes to Republican candidates. He contributes to Republican causes," Cieslewicz said. "That is out of touch with Madison."

Munoz indicated he will support Allen in the general election.

Allen said the results show that voters are looking for "somebody who will manage the city well, hold down taxes and address crime." Allen vowed to run an aggressive fundraising campaign and was happy that Munoz has thrown his support behind him.

"I think that’s a very positive effect," he said. "Peter got 10 percent of the vote, and we will welcome that support."

-- By Greg Bump and JR Ross

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 9:25 PM 

Ziegler Jumps Out to Big Lead in Supreme Court Race

Washington County Judge Annette Ziegler is out to a big lead in the three-way primary for the open seat on the state Supreme Court.

With 63 percent of the precincts in, Ziegler has 62 percent of the vote. Madison attorney Linda Clifford is a distant second with 23 percent, while attorney Joe Sommers has 15 percent.

The top two will advance to the April 3 general election.

-- By JR Ross

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 9:13 PM 

Green Bay Referenda Soundly Defeated

A referendum seeking permission to build a $69 million high school in Green Bay, the district's fifth, has lost big. Unofficial results show 15,946 voting against the referendum, with just 8,217 voting in favor.

A second question, asking whether the school district could exceed revenue limits by $2.1 million per year for a 15 year period beginning in 2009-10, was defeated by an almost identical margin. In that vote, 15,840 voted no, while 8,038 voted yes.

-- By Greg Bump

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 9:07 PM 

Hinz, Lasee Will Face Off in Brown Co.

Tom Hinz will take on state GOP Sen. Alan Lasee on April 3for the Brown County Executive position vacated by Carol Kelso.

Hinz received 52 percent of the vote. Lasee finished a distant second at 27 percent.

Hinz said while it's good to know where he stands, he's going to continue working hard.

"But tomorrow's another day. We've got to go back and regroup, and move forward before April 3rd," he said.

Third-place finisher Patrick Evans ended up with a strong 21 percent, and Lasee said he hopes to lure the Evans voters to his camp.

"The people that voted for Lasee and Evans -- particularly the ones who voted for Pat Evans now -- where are they going to go? They wanted to go for the conservative, so I'm going to talk to those folks and see if I can't get their votes," Lasee said.

More than 31,000 Brown County residents cast ballots.

-- By Greg Bump

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 8:58 PM 

Chase, Clausius Advance in Sun Prairie

Incumbent Joe Chase and challenger Bill Clausius, a former spokesman at the Department of Corrections, will face off April 3 for Sun Prairie mayor.

Chase finished with 56 percent of the vote. Clausius had 30.

The third candidate, Robert Meyer, received 14 percent of the vote. In all, 3556 residents cast votes in Sun Prairie.

-- By Greg Bump

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 7:17 PM 

McGee Concerned Over Voting Irregularities

Milwaukee Alderman Michael McGee accused poll workers of contributing to voter fraud in the primary election, citing problems in the City of Milwaukee.

McGee said that numerous polling stations appeared to be soliciting write-in votes for Jeffrey Norman, a Municipal Court judge candidate kept off the ballot by a late report to the Ethics Board.

McGee said in a statement that the city's election workers are "not just passive observers but actually complicit participants in voter fraud."

*See the McGee Statement:
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/070220_McGee_Polls.pdf



-- By Andy Szal

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 4:04 PM 

Candidates Go About Business on Election Day

Supreme Court candidates Joe Sommers and Annette Ziegler went about business as usual today, while fellow candidate Linda Clifford attended a luncheon and called voters.

Sommers said he voted this morning in Oregon and then went to the office for some legal work. He had no special plans for tonight.

"I'm doing it like a regular night, taking it all in and going to sleep," he said.

Ziegler and Clifford both have plans to attend the Milwaukee Judges Night this evening.

Ziegler campaign consultant Mark Graul said the Washington County judge voted in the Town of West Bend this morning and headed into the office.

Clifford campaign manager Nicholl Caruso said the Madison attorney voted today on Madison's near west side, attended a luncheon and then spent the afternoon making calls. She's hosting an Election Night party at Madison's in downtown Madison.

-- By JR Ross

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 12:37 PM 

Primary Voting Going Smoothly So Far, Turnout Low

Turnout has been low and problems have been minimal so far during today's spring primary.

Dane County clerk Bob Ohlsen said Madison reported 4.2 percent of voters voted by 11 a.m. Ohlsen said he hasn't heard of any issues other than minor voting machine issues that were resolved early. Ohlsen said he could only guess at what turnout would be today, but might reach 13 to 14 percent.

Milwaukee Election Commission executive director Susan Edman said things are going pretty well there, and she estimates 20,000 will vote today, which is about seven percent of the approximate 300,000 voters registered in Milwaukee. Edman said some poll workers were tardy or didn't show up at first, but those problems have been resolved now.

Green Bay also looks to be snag-free, according to a city clerk employee, saying more than 3,500 people voted at 10 a.m., with a few precincts not reporting. Green Bay is holding the largest school referendum, with two proposals totaling $95 million.

Milwaukee County's Greenfield, which is holding a school referendum for $38 million, also looks to be without any problems with a clerk's office employee saying "so far, so good," but didn't have any ballot tallies yet.

-- By Matt Dolbey

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 11:50 AM 

$200 Million in School Referendums on Ballot Today

Sixteen referendums in 12 school districts worth $200 million will be voted on today during the spring primary.

Green Bay voters face the largest referendums -- two proposals totaling $95 million -- most of which will go toward building a new high school.

Milwaukee County's Greenfield will hold the next largest referendum; voters there are being asked whether to spend $38 million on school renovations.

Sun Prairie, home to state Supreme Court candidate Joe Sommers, is also holding a referendum for $15 million, while no referendums are being held in Madison, home to Supreme Court candidate Linda Clifford, or in Washington County, home to candidate Annette Ziegler.

Districts holding Tuesday votes:
--Adams-Friendship
--Bangor
--Brillion
--Green Bay
--Greenfield
--Kewaunee
--Little Chute area
--Oostburg
--Pardeeville area
--Seymour community
--Sun Prairie area
--Wisconsin Heights

-- By Matt Dolbey

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Monday, February 19, 2007

 6:18 PM 

Weekend Sees Flurry of Supreme Court Autocalls

A flurry of autocalls went out over the weekend urging recipients to vote for Linda Clifford or Annette Ziegler in tomorrow's primary for the state Supreme Court.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce sent out mailers and autocalls praising Ziegler, while the Washington County judge recorded a message on her own and sent out another featuring Ozaukee County Sheriff Maury Straub. She'd already hit the air waves with a radio and TV ad, while the conservative Club for Growth-Wisconsin has been running an issue ad praising her.

WMC's auto call says Ziegler is tough on crime and urges listeners to "call and thank her for keeping Wisconsin families safe." Its mailer proclaims, "Annette Ziegler is one tough judge" and lists her endorsements by 46 Wisconsin sheriffs, the majority of county DAs and various law enforcement organizations.

*See the WMC mailer
*Listen to the Straub call
*Listen to the Ziegler call

First Lady Jessica Doyle, U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold and Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton sent out communications urging support for Clifford.

Jessica Doyle sent out an e-mail urging people to vote for Clifford in tomorrow's primary, writing the Madison attorney "has the integrity, experience and commitment to fairness we need in our next Supreme Court Justice." The e-mail, sent from a Doyle-Lawton campaign e-mail address and posted on the campaign Web site, notes the historically low turnout in spring primaries and asks recipients to "please join me in supporting Linda Clifford for Supreme Court justice."

In her autocall, paid for by Clifford's campaign, Lawton praises the Madison attorney for "helping thousands of real people solve their problems." The call also mentions Clifford also has the backing of Lawton's fellow Dems Feingold and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Madison.

*See the Jessica Doyle e-mail

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