• WisPolitics

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

 11:56 PM 

Reilly says character and integrity won

Paul Reilly says character and integrity won out in his campaign against fellow Waukesah County Judge Linda Van De Water for a spot on the 2nd District Court of Appeals.

But after a heated campaign with accusations flying from both sides, he's refraining from taking any more shots at his opponent.

"I'll let the voters answer that question," Reilly said when asked how his campaign displayed character and integrity compared to Van De Water's.

Van De Water did not return several messages left at her campaign number seeking comment.

Reilly was outspent in the campaign. The final campaign fiance reports, which covered the pre-election period of Feb. 2 through March 22, showed Reilly raised $65,416 for the period, spent $63,108 and had $14,823 cash on hand at the reporting deadline.

Van De Water -- who listed $215,000 in loans -- raised just $8,013 over the period but outspent Reilly with $81,055 in disbursements. She had a $66,654 warchest at the end of the period.

Reilly said he likely received a boost when several conservative talk show hosts in Milwaukee expressed support for his campaign, along with the numerous endorsements he had from law enforcement.

The race included some inflammatory accusations from both sides. Reilly questioned Van De Water's work ethic and temperament, while Van De Water accused him of being soft on crime.

"I was very disappointed with the way the tone turned out," Reilly said of the campaign. "We made a conscience effort from the beginning to run a clean campaign, and we did."

-- By Staff


 11:28 PM 

Blanchard credits campaign's tone, pledge on PAC money for win

Dane County DA Brian Blanchard said he believes his promise to refuse PAC donations and his decision to voluntarily limit the size of his individual contributions helped carry him to a spot on the 4th District Court of Appeals.

"From the start, we decided to run a completely positive campaign. There's certainly been a lot of concern about the tone of judicial campaigns in Wisconsin," Blanchard said. "I got a good reaction in terms of sticking with the issues, staying positive, and that's something we did throughout the campaign."

With almost 89 percent of the vote in, Blanchard had 63 percent of the vote in his race with Richland County Judge Ed Leineweber.

Leineweber said he hadn't had time to fully digest the numbers, but it appeared that Blanchard beat him soundly in most counties in the 24-county district. He said he wasn't sure if that was a matter of Blanchard having better name ID, a larger presence on TV or other factors.

Leineweber tried to make the argument during the campaign that the 4th District Court of Appeals could use more geographic balance, complaining it's dominated by members from Dane County. He also tried to play up his experience as a circuit court judge, something Blanchard lacks.

"Whether I was able to get that message out or not is not entirely clear to me at this point," Leineweber said. "Whether voters got the message and didn't agree with the message or it just wasn't effectively communicated through the district and was drowned out by substantially more TV and higher name recognition, I guess I'd just be surmising like the rest of us."

Blanchard will be sworn in Aug. 1. He said he will resign his position as Dane County DA at the end of July, clearing the way for Gov. Jim Doyle to appoint someone to serve out the remaining two years of Blanchard's four-year term.

Blanchard said he planned to make a recommendation to Doyle on his replacement, but said he wanted to keep that to himself for now. Capitol observers will be watching to see who takes over for Blanchard because that person may oversee the re-trial of former GOP Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen. His appeal to have his re-trial moved to Waukesha County is now pending before the state Supreme Court.

Blanchard said he expects whoever replaces him will oversee the re-trial.

-- By Staff


 11:20 PM 

Dane County supervisons largely unscathed

Only one incumbent on the Dane County Board was knocked off today.

Challenger Don Imhoff knocked off incumbent liberal Supv. Elaine DeSmidt with almost 58 percent of the vote.

Conservatives picked up one other seat on the board as Bill Clausius, a former Department of Corrections spokesman, won an open seat in Sun Prairie.

See the Dane County results.

-- By Staff

 11:07 PM 

Rep. Gundrum cruising to win for Waukesha County judge

GOP state Rep. Mark Gundrum is well on his way to knocking off Waukesha County Judge Richard Congdon.

With about three-fourths of the vote in, Gundrum was beating Congdon with more than 75 percent of the vote.

Congdon was appointed to the post by Dem Gov. Jim Doyle and was badly outspent by Gundrum, R-New Berlin, who transferred money from his legislative account to his judicial campaign to boost his warchest.

Gundrum said he ran on his broad legal experience as well as his values and said the fundraising advantage helped him deliver that message effectively.

"There's a general mood among the public right now toward conservatism," Gundrum said.

Gundrum will be sworn in as judge Aug. 1. He said he will resign his Assembly seat at the end of July.

-- By Staff


 10:48 PM 

Mixed results on some school referendums

Voters in Jefferson have approved the largest school referendum in the state on the April ballot. But other districts have had mixed success with their requests for additional taxpayer dollars.

With 100 percent of the vote in, just less than 55 percent of voters in the Jefferson School District have approved spending more than $35 million to fund an addition and pay for renovations to the local high school.

Waunakee asked voters for an additional $34.5 million, but three of the questions were rejected. The only one approved was $8.45 million for additions and remodeling at the high school; it passed with just more than 50 percent of the. The other questions requested money to build a new elementary school and remodel two existing schools, and two questions seeking to exceed revenue limits for maintence costs and.

In Stoughton, it appears both referendum questions, totaling $15.7 million have been approved. With one precinct out, almost 56 percent of voters had voted to support the first one, while 65 percent backed the second.

See a list of all the referendums on the ballot today.

-- By Staff


 10:05 PM 

Blanchard wins 4th District Court of Appeals seat

The Associated Press has declared Brian Blanchard the winner of an open seat on the 4th District Court of Appeals.

A Blanchard campaign spokeswoman also says Richland County Judge Ed Leineweber has called Blanchard to concede.

With 64 percent of the vote in, Blanchard was leading 64 percent to 36 percent.

Blanchard will replace Judge Charles Dykman, who opted not to seek re-election.

-- By Staff


 9:46 PM 

Waukesha County mayoral races update

Here are some early returns in a couple of Waukesha County mayoral races.

In Pewaukee, incumbent Scott Klein is up 68-32 on Roger Hathaway with 20 percent of the vote in.

In Waukesha, challenger Jeff Scrima is up on incumbent Larry Nelson 62-38 with 8 percent of the vote in.

UPDATE: The Journal Sentinel is reporting that Nelson has conceded.

UPDATE: With 100 percent of the vote in, Klein has won re-election with 62 percent of the vote.

-- By Staff


 9:18 PM 

Early Waukesha County returns in

In Waukesha County, state Rep. Mark Gundrum is out to a big lead in early returns against Judge Richard Congdon, who was appointed to the post by Dem Gov. Jim Doyle.

In the race for the 2nd District Court of Appeals, Paul Reilly has the edge on Linda Van De Water for Waukesha County's votes. The county is one of 12 that comprise the appeals court district.

-- By Staff

 8:37 PM 

Early returns starting to come in

Some early returns are starting to trickle in.

With about 4 percent of the vote in, Dane County DA Brian Blanchard is leading Richland County Judge Ed Leineweber 64 percent to 36 percent for the 4th District Court of Appeals.

-- By Staff


 4:35 PM 

Turnout light so far

Some local turnout is exceeding the state's prediction, according to a sampling of clerks.

But for the most part, turnout at the polls has been light, and there have been no major problems.

"We're not hearing that anybody's having real hot activity anywhere," said Kevin Kennedy, director of the Government Accountability Board.

Kennedy said problems at the polls that he's heard of so far have been minor, such as whether signs or material on a referendum are too close to a polling site. But he said it's been nothing out of the ordinary.

Kennedy had expected 11 percent of the state's 3.4 million registered voters to go to the polls today with local races driving turnout.

That was the case in West Bend, where Clerk Amy Reuteman said the southeastern Wisconsin community had about average turnout for a spring election. The exception was an area with an aldermanic race that already had turnout of 18.6 percent by 3 p.m. The community also had several contested school board races on the ballot.

"We'll be lucky to get to 20 percent," she said.

Richland Center Clerk-Treasurer Jude Elliott said he expected turnout to top the state's expectation because local Judge Ed Leineweber was on the ballot for the 4th District Court of Appeals. But other than a school board race, there wasn't much on the ballot.

In Dane County, the city of Madison was at 3 percent turnout by early afternoon. Stoughton, meanwhile, had already topped 11 percent with a $15.7 million in school referendum questions on the ballot.

La Crosse Clerk Tery Lehrke said she was overly optimistic yesterday when she predicted the city would have turnout of about 12 percent. Other than the 4th District Court of Appeals and some county supervisor races, there isn't much on today's ballot.

"I'm hoping that we get 10 percent," she said.

-- By JR Ross


 6:54 AM 

Polling information

The first polls have opened in Wisconsin for today's spring general election. They close at 8 p.m.

Look here to find your polling place information and check on your voter registration status.

-- By WisPolitics staff


Monday, April 5, 2010

 4:34 PM 

11 percent expected at polls Tuesday

The state's top elections official expects about 11 percent of registered voters to show up at the polls Tuesday.

Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy said the lack of a statewide race at the top of the ticket will help keep turnout low with about 375,000 of the state's 3.4 million registered voters expected to cast ballots.

The lack of a statewide race will also delay a final tally on how many people showed up. Usually, the state can use the total votes cast in a statewide race for a quick gauge on turnout. Instead, the GAB will have to wait until all county results are in, which could be a month.

"You're going to see pockets of interest where there's referendum questions on the ballots or a hot school board race," Kennedy said.

-- By JR Ross


 2:21 PM 

Some local races of note

There's no statewide races or referendums on Tuesday's ballot. But insiders are keeping an eye on a few local races of note.
Here are a few worth watching:

--Waukesha mayor.

Incumbent Larry Nelson won four years ago during the Democratic wave, and conservative critics have been after him since. He finished second in the primary to real estate developer Jeff Scrima. The two have tussled over the issue of Waukesha's future water supply, with Nelson advocating using Great Lakes and Scrima warning that such a move would be costly and could allow Milwaukee control over Waukesha growth.

See WISN-TV video:

--Pewaukee mayor.

Incumbent Scott Klein and Ald. H. Roger Hathaway have argued over a proposed merger with the neighboring Village of Pewaukee and the disbanding of the city's police department. Klein says abolishing the police department and contracting with the Waukesha Co. Sheriff's Department saved taxpayer money and suggests a merger might do the same. Hathaway wants to rebuild the police department and suspend a merger study.

The advisory committee is hoping to have a merger referendum in June.

-- Waukesha Co. judge.

State Rep. Mark Gundrum, R-New Berlin, is running against Waukesha Co. Circuit Court Judge Richard Congdon, who was appointed to the post by Dem Gov. Jim Doyle. Gundrum has outspent Congdon this year by better than 6-to-1.

-- Dane Co. board.

The board in Democrat-dominated Dane Co. totals 37, and of those only 20 are contested.

But insiders are watching to see whether progressives take a hit, given the general political environment, the involvement of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Transit Authority tax issue.

The Madison chamber for the first time ever has endorsed County Board candidates -- something Board Chair Scott McDonell earlier said was action on behalf of the Republican Party.

The RTA could charge up to a half-cent local sales tax to finance transportation projects.

-- Manitowoc Co. exec

Dem state Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer is seeking re-election to his post as Manitowoc County executive, a post he's held since 2006. Ziegelbauer faces small business owner Carla Halvorson.

-- By WisPolitics staff


 2:12 PM 

School districts seek $260 million in referendums

Three dozen school districts are asking voters for an additional $260 million through a total of 48 referendum questions on Tuesday's ballots.

The largest referendum will be held in Jefferson, where the school board is asking voters for more than $35 million to fund an addition and renovations to the local high school.

Other large ballot initiatives set for April 6 include: the Waunakee Community School District, which will hold four referendums totaling $34.5 million; Pewaukee, which is seeking nearly $25 million through three referendums; Johnson Creek, holding two referendums worth just over $20 million; the Green Bay Area School District with two referendums totaling $16.7 million; the Stoughton Area School District with two referendums worth a total of $15.7 million; and one referendum for $11.9 million in central Wisconsin's Tomorrow River School District.

See all school referendum information and results:

-- By Andy Szal


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