• WisPolitics

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

 3:06 PM 

New Neumann ads feature kids to make a point about federal debt

Two new ads from Former Congressman Mark Neumann use children to decry the increasing federal debt.

A 30-second TV ad, entitled "Conservative Before it was Cool," begins by featuring children working in adult occupations, with one child dressed as a nurse, another a janitor and one repairing a car.

"You don't make your kids work to pay your bills," Neumann says. "But our grandkids will grow old paying for Barack Obama's debt."

The ad then shows news clippings of Neumann when he was in Congress, while Neumann talks about how he stood up to his own party on spending cuts.

"We cut spending and balanced the budget," Neumann says. "Now its time to stand up again and stop Barack Obama."

The ad ends with a child saying "Mark Neumann: Conservative way before it was cool."

Another 60-second radio ad, entitled "Charlie," features Neumann discussing why he should run for the U.S. Senate. He mentions a conversation with his grandson.

"Charlie, that little rascal, looked up at me with a loud strong voice," Neumann says. "He said, 'Grandpa, tell them to stop spending my money!"

Neumann says he laughed, but noted that government is spending "our grand kids money." He touts his line-item budget cuts and says he's going to stand up to Barack Obama.

"Rather than big debts, we should give our kids and grand kids the chance to dream big dreams," Neumann says.

The ad ends by noting endorsements by Wisconsin Family Action and Wisconsin Right to Life.

  -- By Jason Smathers

 1:07 PM 

Roys raised $61,549 in pre-primary period

Dem Kelda Roys raised $61,549 during the pre-primary period.

Roys' campaign said that includes $60,998 in individual donations between July 1 and July 25. The rest of the money came through in-kind contributions. Pre-primary reports are due to the FEC on Thursday.

-- By JR Ross

 12:28 PM 

Poll finds Hovde about even with Thompson, but one-fourth of respondents undecided

A new poll We Ask America released today found Eric Hovde about even with Tommy Thompson in the GOP U.S. Senate primary, though more than one-fourth of those surveyed said they were undecided.

The poll found 23.2 percent of respondents backed Hovde, compared to 22.79 percent for Thompson. Mark Neumann was supported by 16.66 percent of respondents, while 12.11 percent backed Jeff Fitzgerald.

Still, 25.24 percent of those polled were undecided.

The automated phone survey of 1,237 likely GOP primary voters was conducted Monday and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

We Ask America is linked to the Illinois Manufacturers Association.
-- By JR Ross

 8:58 AM 

Review shows Hovde, Thompson donations to Dem candidates

Eric Hovde, under fire from his GOP Senate rivals for giving $500 to Dem Gov. Jim Doyle, also donated to then-Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman in 1991, according to a WisPolitics.com review of campaign finance data.

Meanwhile, rival Tommy Thompson, one of Hovde’s fiercest critics for the Doyle donation, made donations in 2008 to Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and Dem North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue.

Hovde said on Sunday's "UpFront with Mike Gousha" that he didn't recall the contribution to Doyle and said he was simply speculating in a previous interview in which he said he was strong-armed into making the donation. He also said the vast majority of his contributions were to GOP causes, but critics were focusing only on the one contribution to Doyle.

Thompson has used the Doyle donation to question Hovde’s conservative credentials.

WisPolitics.com checked the databases maintained by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and OpenSecrets.org, the Federal Election Commission website, and IRS records to trace the donation history of all four GOP Senate candidates.

The search didn't turn up any contributions to Dems from either former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann or Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.

All but $2,000 Hovde’s donations found through the search went to GOP causes.

The $2,000 included the Lieberman donation, the $500 contribution to Doyle and a $1,000 to John Marshall Coleman, a Virginia Republican who was ran as an independent for that state's U.S. Senate seat in 1994.

Sean Lansing, a spokesman for the Hovde campaign, acknowledged the Lieberman donation.

"Yes -- he did contribute to Joe Lieberman," Lansing wrote in an e-mail. "The same Joe Lieberman who is an Independent and who supported John McCain in the 2008 presidential election."

Lieberman won re-election to the Senate as an independent in 2006 after losing the Dem primary, though he continues to caucus with Dems.

Thompson, who went after Hovde again on Monday for the Doyle donation during a debate featuring the four Republican candidates, donated $250 to Levin and $150 to Perdue in 2008. Both donations have been characterized by the campaign as "courtesy contributions" for people he worked with while Health and Human Services secretary or governor.

The heated Aug. 14 GOP U.S. Senate primary is two weeks from today.

See more in this afternoon's PM Update, which goes to Platinum subscribers only.

Monday, July 30, 2012

 1:03 PM 

Baldwin touts "Buy American" efforts in new ad

A new ad from Rep. Tammy Baldwin highlights her efforts to force the U.S. Coast Guard to "buy american."

The 30-second TV ad, entitled "Engines" begins with Baldwin noting that Coast Guard Cutters are "built in America, but powered by engines manufactured overseas."

Baldwin then says that she "led the fight" to require the Coast Guard to buy their engines from American companies, as the screen notes she sponsored the "BUY American Bill."

"While the Coast Guard protects our shores, we can also protect our jobs," Baldwin says. The ad ends with the tagline "Tammy Baldwin: Standing up for what's right."

-- By Jason Smathers

 11:28 AM 

Thompson, Hovde, Neumann trade barbs over ads, records in Senate debate

It didn't take long for the candidates to go on the offensive during Monday's U.S. Senate debate, as the top candidates took each other to task for their negative ads and records.

Hedge fund manager Eric Hovde claimed he was staying positive while being attacked by other candidates, citing former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann's ad comparing him to Barack Obama and Thompson's more recent ad attacking Hovde.

"As I often say, our country is on fire," Hovde said on the debate, which was moderated by conservative talk show host Jerry Bader. "We're heading off a financial cliff. And instead of talking about the issues that are meaningful and  how to get our country turned around, it seems since the day I've gotten into this race, I've had career politicians who've done nothing but attack me."

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson batted back Hovde's claim, saying he was the first candidate to launch an attack against him. He also brought up Hovde's $500 donation to former Dem Gov. Jim Doyle. While Hovde claimed Scott Walker was not running against Doyle, Thompson pointed out that Walker was planning on running for the office at the time of the donation. Walker eventually dropped out of the GOP primary against Mark Green.

"[Hovde's] literature, he puts out the information, all you can do is base your comments on the literature that's put out by Eric Hovde," Thompson said. "We don't know about this individual. All we know is the positive campaign he put on, but he was the first one to strike on a negative campaign."

Neumann also pointed a few barbs at Hovde. He engaged in a back-and-forth with Hovde over whether he'd vote for a balanced budget that included "revenue enhancers" -- to which Hovde said no -- defended his ads attacking Hovde and hit Hovde on investing in banks that took TARP funds.

"I want you to think about bank bailouts," Neumann said to Hovde. "My friends in the home building business, they were going under and the government didn't bail them out."

Neumann started his closing statement chastising Hovde for challenging Thompson's intelligence during an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Hovde pointed out duplication in Neumann's budget plan while also calling him a "career candidate the last 20 years of your life." He also targeted Thompson for comments he made to Wisconsin Eye last week, claiming that Thompson said Social Security is not a problem. He also struck out at Thompson on his spending record as governor.

"You talk about record and all the things you did, you also increased the size of the state budget by 118 percent," Hovde said. "You also increased taxes and fees by $400 million."

Thompson tore into Hovde on a range of issues following those claims, saying Medicare goes broke before Social Security, was a "much bigger problem" and that Hovde didn't "understand it." He also rebuffed Hovde's criticism of his record.

"You fall right into the Democratic trap," Thompson said. "That says that if it's a tax cut, it's spending. Well, I'm going to tell you I gave the property tax [payers] of the state of Wisconsin 1 billion, 200 million dollars not once but twice, and you call that spending. I call that a tax cut. You're just plain wrong."

Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald stayed largely away from the fray, instead promoting his own brand as a "Walker conservative" and noting that with him "what you see is what you get."

-- By Jason Smathers

 10:58 AM 

Rasmussen: Baldwin leads all GOP candidates; Hovde closest

A new Rasmussen Reports poll has Dem U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin leading all of her potential GOP rivals.

Hedge fund manager and community banker Eric Hovde lagged Baldwin 45 percent to 42 percent, which is within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The poll also showed former Gov. Tommy Thompson, who had been leading Baldwin in most polls, trailing the 2nd CD rep. She led Thompson 48-41, topped former U.S. Rep. Mark Neuman 48-42 and led Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald 47-37.

The automated phone survey of 500 likely voters was conducted Wednesday.

The same sample found President Obama edging GOP challenger Mitt Romney 49-46. It found 52 percent of voters surveyed approved of the job the president is doing, while 47 percent disapproved. Fifty percent of respondents had a favorable impression of Romney, while 48 percent viewed him unfavorably.

Dems generally criticize Rasmussen polls as biased toward Republicans.

 -- By Jason Smathers

 8:21 AM 

Pocan campaign poll gives him 29-point lead on Roys

A poll from Mark Pocan’s campaign had the Madison lawmaker up almost 30 points on rival Kelda Roys in the Dem primary for the 2nd CD.

The survey found 50 percent of those polled backed Pocan, compared to 21 percent for Roys, 4 percent for Matt Silverman and 2 percent for Dennis Hall. Twenty-one percent of respondents were undecided.

According to a polling memo Pocan sent to supporters and obtained by WisPolitics.com, 48 percent of Dem primary voters had a favorable impression of Pocan, compared to 6 percent who had a negative impression.

Twenty-five percent of those polled had a favorable impression of Roys, compared to 8 percent who did not.

The poll was conducted July 24-25 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc. It surveyed 401 registered and likely Dem primary voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

-- By JR Ross

Friday, July 27, 2012

 4:05 PM 

RNC targets Wisconsin with Olympics ad

The Republican National Committee is planning to air an ad during Olympic programming in Wisconsin and seven other states.

The ad, called "Again," criticizes the 2009 stimulus and says President Obama wants to try another round of stimulus if re-elected.

-- By Staff

Thursday, July 26, 2012

 11:57 AM 

New Hovde ad ties Thompson to Obama on health care law

A new radio ad from U.S. Senate candidate Eric Hovde accuses former Gov. Tommy Thompson of supporting the individual mandate and saying the health care law couldn't be repealed.

The 60-second radio ad, entitled "Hiding," uses Thompson's comments saying "I for one think the mandates for health insurance is alright."

They repeat the quote before then noting that President Barack Obama praised Thompson for supporting health care reform.

"It gets worse," the narrator says. "Thompson says we can't repeal Obamacare." It then plays a clip of Thompson saying "When it's all said any done, you're not going to be able to repeal health care."

 -- By Jason Smathers

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

 6:22 PM 

Ribble's first ad highlights reasons for going to Washington

U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble has released the first TV ad of his re-election campaign in the 8th CD.

The 30-second spot features the Sherwood Republican talking to the camera, saying that when voters sent him to Washington 18 months ago, "I said this town had problems."

"But I was wrong. The debt, the spending -- this town doesn't just have problems, it's completely dysfunctional," Ribble says. "And I'm fighting to change that."

-- By Staff

 6:18 PM 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce hits at Baldwin in new ad

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today announced a new TV ad criticizing U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin for "her record of failure on the economy."

The spot opens with an announcer saying it's "time to hold Washington politicians accountable for their records on the economy," followed by video footage of the Dem Senate candidate saying, "Hard working Wisconsin families have already taken it on the chin."

"Yes, Tammy, sadly they have, but your votes have made it worse," the announcer says.

-- By Staff

 3:19 PM 

Dem group launches ad against Hovde, Thompson

Majority PAC, a Dem group targeting U.S. Senate races, has unveiled its first Wisconsin TV ad of the 2012 cycle, criticizing GOP candidates Eric Hovde and Tommy Thompson.

The ad, titled "Street Signs," shows signs with their street names changing into Wall Street and K Street, respectively.

"If Eric Hovde becomes our senator, he won't be representing Wilson Street or Lombardi Avenue or Main Street," an announcer says, charging that Hovde invested in "bailout-funded banks involved in fraudulent loans" as a D.C. fund manager.

"And Tommy Thompson? He raked in millions on K Street working for a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm that represents pharmaceuticals and insurance companies," the ad continues.

"So how could Hovde or Thompson ever represent us?" the spot ends.

-- By Andy Szal

 1:33 PM 

Fitzgerald released new radio ad touting credentials as conservative

Jeff Fitzgerald has released a new radio ad touting his credentials as a conservative in the state Assembly.

The 60-second ad, entitled "Trust", begins with two women lamenting the fact that that there is "another election" complete with new ads. However, one of the women says it's important to send a "battle-tested conservative" like Fitzgerald.

"Jeff Fitzgerald?" The first woman asks. "Isn't he the Assembly speaker who helped Gov. Walker enact his budget reforms?"

The other woman then lists other accomplishments in the Assembly such as concealed carry and voter ID. She also notes his pledge to repeal Obamacare.

The first woman then responds that she's "sold" on Fitzgerald because he "stood up to the liberal speech interests" and that they need someone like that in Washington D.C.

Fitzgerald then comes in near the end of the ad, saying he's giving up his place as Assembly Speaker because Washington needs the same "political courage" he displayed.

 -- By Jason Smathers

 11:07 AM 

New Neumann ad uses cow to criticize Hovde

A new TV ad from former Congressman Mark Neumann uses a cow and Hovde's own recorded statements to accuse Hovde of not being a "real conservative."

The 30-second ad is a take-off of his earlier radio ad, which pointed out statements Hovde made that seemed supportive of bank bailouts and higher taxes. The ad replays the statements, while asking what the difference is between Hovde and "Ol' Bessie the cow."

After replaying the statements, the narrator says, "The difference? Old Bessie is a real cow. Eric Hovde's not a real conservative."

-- By Jason Smathers

 10:17 AM 

New Roys ad attacks Pocan for vote on Walker special session bills

A new ad from 2nd CD candidate and state Rep. Kelda Roys attacks fellow state Rep. Mark Pocan directly for the campaign cites as a failure to stand up to Gov. Scott Walker.

The ad, entitled "Stand Up" begins with a narrator asking "What do we really know about politician Mark Pocan?"

"We know he caved in and voted with Scott Walker to throw millions of dollars in tax giveaways to big corporations."

The ad then repeats the claim that Pocan caved in and displays a picture of Pocan with the word "failed" underlined, while the narrator ends "It's time to say no to Mark Pocan."

-- By Jason Smathers

 9:07 AM 

King, Tiffany lead money chase in most-watched Senate races

State Sen. Jessica King, D-Oshkosh, outraised her GOP challenger in the first half of 2012, while GOP state Rep. Tom Tiffany pulled in more than four times as much as his 12th SD Dem challengers combined, according to their campaign finance reports.

King's 18th Senate District and the open 12th district in northern Wisconsin are expected to be among the top races in the Senate this fall.

King reported raising $41,468, spending $7,169 and had $73,212 in the bank. Republican Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac raised $33,674, spent $7,050 and had $26,851 cash on hand.

In the 12th, which will be open with the retirement of Jim Hoplerin, D-Conover, Tiffany, of Hazelhurst, raised $80,860, spent $11,045 and had $100,268 cash on hand. His numbers included a loan of $1,269.

Lisa Theo of Tomahawk raised $14,277, spent $12,006 and had $2,271 in the bank with a $5,282 loan, while fellow Dem Susan Sommer of Eagle River raised $3,170, spent $2,413 and had $757 cash on hand.

Campaign finance totals in other watched Senate races included:

10th SD: Sheila Harsdorf raised $20,207 and spent $13,812 in the last reporting period. She has $23,187 in cash on hand. Harsdorf's opponent, Daniel Olson, has raised $223, all of which came from the candidate.

24th SD: Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, raised $21,954 in the last reporting period and spent $7,891, but has $163,545 in her campaign coffers. Steve Abrahamson, a Republican running against Lassa, raised $350 and spent $141. Figures for candidate Scott Noble, who also ran the unsuccessful recall effort against Lassa last year, were not immediately available from the Government Accountability Board's database.

30th SD: Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, has $127,753 in cash on hand after raising $20,903 in the last reporting period. John Macco, one of two Republicans vying the challenge him, raised $32,069, which included $10,623 in loans, and spent $12,501, leaving him with $19,568 in cash on hand. The report for Ray Suennen, the other GOP candidate, was unavailable.

32nd SD: Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, has more cash on hand than GOP opponent Bill Feehan, though the GOP challenger outraised her in the last reporting period. According to her report, Shilling raised $44,124, including $6,150 in PAC donations. Feehan, by comparison raised $76,341, though $12,500 of that amount came out of his own pocket. Feehan has also outspent Shilling by a more than 5-to-1 margin: Feehan has spent $54,293 while Shilling has only spent $10,179. Shilling has $61,791 in cash on hand, compared to $22,047 for Feehan.

-- By Staff

Monday, July 23, 2012

 12:19 PM 

Neumann radio ad turns Hovde comments against him

A new ad from former Congressman Mark Neumann uses clips of opponent Eric Hovde to claim that Hovde is "not a real conservative."

The 60-second radio ad begins with a narrator asking, "Don't know Eric Hovde? You're not alone." It then notes that he's lived in Washington D.C. for 24 years and begins using clips of Hovde talking about taxes and  infusion of capital into the banking system.

"In his newsletter, Eric Hovde supported billions more in stimulus on high speed rail," the narrator claims. It also repeats a clip of Hovde saying he has "no problem" paying higher taxes.

The Hovde camp claims that the newsletter cited by Neumann was written by another employee at Hovde Financial after Hovde stopped running the company.

"Billions in bank bailouts," the narrator says. "Billions more in stimulus spending for high speed rail and higher taxes? That's the Eric Hovde who gave campaign money to Jim Doyle. Hovde's TV commercials? That's politics. Hovde's record proves he's not a real conservative."

-- By Jason Smathers

 9:37 AM 

Thompson hits at Hovde for Washington contacts, Doyle donation in new ads

Two new ads Tommy Thompson accuse Eric Hovde of using political connections -- both in Washington and through former Gov. Jim Doyle -- for personal gain at the expense of taxpayers.

It's the latest in a series of negative ads from the top contenders in advance of the GOP primary on Aug. 14.

The 30-second television spot, entitled "Washington Games," features a board game with Hovde as a game piece hopping from square to square as the narrator says he ran a hedge fund “that used Uncle Sam to buy banks.”

The narrator goes on to say Hovde used government contacts to profit from taxpayer bailouts, “gamed” the system and “bet against American companies and homeowners.”

“After financial markets collapsed and families lost their life savings, Hovde bragged that he made a 40 percent profit,” the narrator says to close the spot. “Eric Hovde: He wins, taxpayers lose.”

The 60-second radio ad, entitled "Strong Armed," focuses more on his $500 donation to former Dem Gov. Jim Doyle in 2005. 

The ad begins noting the contribution and asking what Hovde's "new excuse" was for the donation. The ad then plays audio of Hovde saying Doyle would annually "strong arm the real estate community" for donations and that he "capitulated" in 2005.

"Hovde gamed the system, building a business on his regulatory contacts and government assisted transactions, which leaves taxpayers holding the bag," the narrator says.

The ad ends with the narrator saying "If Hovde played the game with Doyle, what games will he play with Washington liberals?"

-- By Jason Smathers

Friday, July 20, 2012

 4:05 PM 

First-half fundraising reports trickling in to GAB website

Fundraising reports for the first half of 2012 are due today and some reports have been posted to the GAB website already.

See below for a round-up from some key Senate districts.

Senate District 12

Republican Rep. Tom Tiffany, who's running to replace retiring Dem Jim Holperin in the 12th Senate District, reported more than $100,000 in cash on hand as of June 30. He reported $80,860 in receipts, including $1,269 in loans, and $11,045 in spending.

Susan Sommer, one of the the two Democrats who will be on the Aug. 14 primary ballot, reported $757 cash on hand. Her primary opponent Lisa Theo did not have a report posted at the GAB website as of 3:30 p.m.

SD 32

La Crosse County Supervisor Bill Feehan, running as a Republican against Dem Jennifer Shilling, reported raising $76,341, spending $54,293 and $22,047 in cash on hand.

Feehan was his own biggest donor, dropping $12,500 into his campaign. Feehan also had several $1,000 donations from people such as Central States Warehouse CEO Cliff Le Cleir, Logistics Health President Don Weber and Richard Walz of Walz cabinet.

Shilling's report was not yet available at the GAB website.

SD 14

Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, has raised $5,820 so far, with $3,200 of that money coming from PACs. He has spent $1,967 so far, but still has $11,620 in his campaign account. Of the $3,200 in PAC money, $1,000 came both the School Administrators Alliance and the Northwestern Mutual Life PAC. Another $500 came from Waste Management Employees PAC.

Olsen is being challenged in a GOP primary by David Eiler, who did not have a report posted at the GAB website as of 3:30 p.m.

SD 10

Dem Dan Olson, who's challenging Republican Sheila Harsdorf, has raised $223, all of which was donated by Olson himself. All of that money was spent, including $114 on robocalls.

Harsdorf's report was not yet available at the GAB website.

See the state campaign finance website for more reports:

 12:15 PM 

Hovde dodges mud in new TV ad

A new TV ad from Eric Hovde builds on the mudslinging theme of his last ad, by having Hovde appear to dodge attacks from his opponents in the GOP Senate race

The 30-second TV ad, entitled "Missed me," begins with Hovde saying "Missed me that time!" while dodging pieces of mud flung at him.

"What do career politicians do?" Hovde asks. "They sling mud. Mark Neumann and Tommy Thompson are slinging mud to distract from their own weakness." 

Hovde says the attacks are in order to turn attention away from Neumann's four votes to raise the national debt and Thompson's previous support of Obamacare.

Hovde ends the ad saying, "I'm going to stay focused on the real issues, while those guys sling mud."

-- By Jason Smathers

Thursday, July 19, 2012

 10:50 AM 

Hovde releases radio ads touting endorsements of Lasee, Vukmir

Eric Hovde’s Senate campaign released a pair of radio ads today touting the endorsements of GOP state Sens. Frank Lasee of De Pere and Leah Vukmir of Wauwatosa.

The spots follow similar scripts with Lasee and Vukrmir saying they don’t easily endorse candidates for office, but after meeting Hovde, “I knew right away we needed him fighting for us in Washington.”

In their separate spots, the pair say Hovde is a “political outsider” who spend his career in the private sector turning around companies and creating jobs. They also call him a “financial expert” who understands what’s needed to fix the economy.

“Washignton needs leaders who have the courage to make the tough decisions needed to balance our budget and but things back on track,” Lasee and Vukmir say. “Eric will be that leader.”

Hovde then begins speaking, thanking them for the support and promising to make the “tough decisions needed to turn our country around” after “career politicians left us with a mess.”

“I’m not a career politician, and I hope to be your citizen legislator,” Hovde says to close the spot.

 -- By JR Ross

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

 1:58 PM 

Hotline rankings: Duffy, Ribble among most-watched House races

Two Wisconsin lawmakers are among the top 50 most-watched congressional races in the National Journal's first Hotline House race rankings of the 2012 election cycle.

The rankings, which will break down the top 75 seats most likely to change hands in November, take into account fundraising, polling, coverage of the race and "our own gut feelings."

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston, comes in at No. 37 on the list. Scott Bland writes that although the 7th Congressional District had previously long been in Dem hands, "Duffy has recovered after some major early missteps." He adds that former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow, D-Chippewa Falls, "has polish that Duffy’s last opponent lacked" and that the race is "taking its time coming together."

Duffy's fellow freshman Wisconsin Republican, Reid Ribble of Sherwood, ranks at No. 50. Bland writes that Gov. Scott Walker's margin in the 8th CD in the recent recall election gives Ribble "an extra sense of security heading into his first reelection effort.

Last week, the Rothenberg Political Report also included Duffy and Ribble among its 67 total House seats in play this fall. Duffy's race was in the "Lean Republican" category, while Ribble's was listed under the safer "Republican Favored" category.

-- By Andy Szal

 1:29 PM 

New Hovde ad attacks Thompson, Neumann for mudslinging

A new ad from Eric Hovde hits back at former Gov. Tommy Thompson and Mark Neumann for attacking Hovde.

The 30-second TV ad, entitled "Mud," begins with a narrator referring to Washington D.C. as "home of the mud" and then attempts to characterize Thompson and Neumann as D.C. politicians who "sling mud and tell lies."

"First, Neumann attacked Gov. Walker," the narrator says. "Now Neumann and Thompson are attacking Eric Hovde." The ad then shows a clip of the Club for Growth ad that attacked Hovde and Thompson. The Club for Growth backs Neumann.

The narrator says Neumann is trying to hide a record that included four votes to raise the debt ceiling while Thompson is hiding his support of Obamacare.

The ad ends with the narrator saying "Tommy Thompson, Mark Neumann: They're what's wrong with Wisconsin."

-- By Jason Smathers

 1:19 PM 

New Neumann ad uses "cocaine quail" study to criticize Obama

A new ad released today by former Congressman Mark Neumann uses a government funded study on the sex habits of quail as a way of criticizing spending by the Obama administration.

The 30-second TV ad, entitled "Cocaine and Quail Don't Mix," begins by showing two supposed scientists around a cage. One says that he's given cocaine to a quail as he puts it in the cage, while they wait for the two to mate.

"Can you believe our government spent $400,000 to study the effect of cocaine on the sex habits of Japanese quail?" Neumann asks as he walks into the lab. "Barack Obama's spending is killing our economy."

He then touts his plan to cut trillions out of the federal budget without higher taxes.

The ad ends with Mark Neumann calling Obama's spending "ridiculous."

-- By Jason Smathers

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

 1:28 PM 

Neumann ad criticizes Hovde

Mark Neumann’s campaign today released a TV ad that accuses Eric Hovde of lying about the former congressman’s record and seeks to tie the investment banker to Barack Obama and Jim Doyle.

The spot opens by saying Neumann has a 96 percent rating from the American Conservative Union and was ranked "Wisconsin’s most conservative congressman in decades."

"So why is Eric Hovde lying about Mark Neumann?" the narrator asks.

The spot then says Hovde supported billions for high-speed rail like Obama and billions more to bail out banks.

"No wonder Hovde gave money to elect Jim Doyle," the narrator says before the spot closes. “Eric Hovde: too liberal with the truth -- and your money.”

-- By JR Ross

 12:05 PM 

Hovde focuses on pro-life views in new radio ad

A new radio ad released by Eric Hovde's campaign touts his pro-life credentials.

The 30-second radio ad, entitled "Life," starts by noting he is a "devout Christian" before touting his endorsement by Wisconsin Right to Life. The group also endorsed the rest of the GOP field, saying all of them were equally dedicated to pushing a pro-life agenda in the Senate.

"I believe that we're all created in God's image," Hovde says. "Defending innocent human life is a basic responsibility of civilized people."

He also says they must "preserve the family foundation, which has sustained our country for generations."

 -- By Jason Smathers

 10:47 AM 

FEC Filings: Thompson has $764k on hand

The campaign of former Gov. Tommy Thompson had $764,050 on hand as of June 30, according to portions of his FEC report.

That leaves him with slightly less on hand than former Congressman Mark Neumann, whose campaign has about $789,000 left after expenses. Thompson's report also showed that he spent $859,566 in the last quarter.

-- By Jason Smathers

 8:27 AM 

FEC Filings: Hovde puts $2.25 million of his own money into campaign; Neumann has $789k on hand

Hedge fund manager and community banker Eric Hovde put another $2.25 million of his own money into his U.S. Senate campaign in the last quarter, according to his FEC filing.

Hovde has now given his campaign a total of $4 million, which includes a $250,000 loan in the first quarter. The campaign currently has $546,867 in cash on hand.

Mark Neumann's report shows he currently has $789,532 in cash on hand for the U.S. Senate campaign.

Reports for Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, former Gov. Tommy Thompson and Rep. Tammy Baldwin have yet to be posted to the FEC site.

 -- By Jason Smathers

 8:17 AM 

Pocan touts work on rape victims bill in new TV ad

Mark Pocan’s 2nd CD campaign has a new TV ad out today touting his work on the Compassionate Care for Rape Victims Act.

The spot opens with a man -- not identified -- saying about the most “wrenching thing you can go through as a parent” is to learn your daughter has been raped.

“All you want for your daughter at that moment, especially at the hospital, is the right care and compassion,” he says.

A narrator then says the Madison state rep made the bill his cause and for six years “he worked and worked until he finally got enough Republican support to get it done.”

“Mark wouldn’t quit. That’s why this bill got passed,” says the man who first appeared in the ad.
-- By JR Ross

Monday, July 16, 2012

 5:47 PM 

Fitzgerald raises $41k in second quarter

Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald has raised $41,032 from April 1 to June 30, far below that of his rivals in the U.S. Senate race.

Fitzgerald has only brought in $144,000 in the U.S. Senate campaign so far, though his second quarter numbers were an improvement over the approximately $25,000 raised in the first quarter. Fitzgerald had hoped to bring in more money as a result of his surprisingly strong showing at the May GOP convention.

-- By Jason Smathers

 1:42 PM 

Thompson outraises opponents with $834k in second quarter

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson raised $833,912 from April 1 to June 30, according to the campaign.

There were no details as of yet on Thompson's cash on hand.

Thompson's amount is about $100,000 more than former Congressman Mark Neumann, whose campaign said he raised about $733,000 during the same time frame. Eric Hovde raised nearly $240,000 in the same quarter.

Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald has not yet released fundraising numbers yet.

-- By Jason Smathers

 10:21 AM 

Hovde raises nearly $240K in second quarter

Hedge fund manager and community banker Eric Hovde raised $237,210 from April 1 to June 30, according to his campaign.

The campaign says that 70 percent of Hovde's donations were under $100, while 80 percent came from in-state sources.

Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and former Gov. Tommy Thompson have not yet released their fundraising numbers.

-- By Jason Smathers

 9:09 AM 

Neumann raises $733k in second quarter, increases ad buy

Former Congressman Mark Neumann raised $733,000 from April 1 to June 30, according to his campaign.

A release from the campaign claims that 93 percent of their more than 27,000 donations were $100 or less and that none of the funds came from Neumann himself.

The campaign also said it was doubling its ad buy. Full reports could be posted later this week.

-- By Jason Smathers

 8:32 AM 

Pocan outraises Roys, Ryan top fundraiser in House delegation

Mark Pocan outraised Dem rival Kelda Roys in the 2nd CD and had more than twice as much in the bank, according to campaign finance numbers posted at the FEC site.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget chair and a potential vice presidential pick, continues to be the best fundraiser in the House delegation and freshmen GOP Reps. Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble each has a warchest of more than $1 million.

In the 2nd CD, Pocan, D-Madison, raised $248,634 during the second quarter, spent $140,589 and had $453,915 cash on hand. Roys, D-Madison, reported $128,248 raised, $110,985 spent and $190,120 cash on hand with $20,000 in debts.

Fellow Dem Matt Silverman raised $2,345, spent $4,085 and had $8,657 cash on hand, while Dem Dennis Hall didn’t have a report filed at the FEC site last night.

Republican Chad Lee reported $13,760 raised, $17,809 spent and $5,420 cash on hand.

The candidates are vying for Tammy Baldwin's seat in Congress. Baldwin, a Madison Dem, is running for the U.S. Senate.

Here’s a rundown of the numbers for the other House races, according to information posted at the FEC site:

1st CD
-GOP Rep. Paul Ryan $956,642 raised, $754,865 spent, $5,408,958 cash on hand.
-Dem Rob Zerban $355,643 raised, $226,050 spent, $557,522 cash on hand. $100,000 in debts.

3rd CD
-Dem Rep. Ron Kind $251,644 raised, $133,683 spent, $853,724 cash on hand. $4,500 in debts.
-Republican Ray Boland $23,846 raised, $23,332 spent, $10,641 cash on hand.

4th CD
-Dem Rep. Gwen Moore $150,911 raised, $90,476 spent, $97,545 cash on hand.
-Republican Dan Sebring $9,641 raised, $6,352 spent, $3,686 cash on hand.

5th CD
-GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner $95,329 raised, $111,102 spent, $442,427 cash on hand.
-Dem Dave Heaster no report filed.

6th CD
-Republican Rep. Tom Petri $129,217 raised, $132,094 spent, $978,688 cash on hand.
-Dem Joe Kallas no report filed.

7th CD
-Republican Rep. Sean Duffy $378,056 raised, $196,379 spent, $1,147,757 cash on hand.
-Dem Pat Kreitlow $215,996 raised, $130,686 spent, $450,826 cash on hand.

8th CD
-Republican Rep. Reid Ribble $401,690 raised, $127,182 spent, $1,001,013 cash on hand. $69,989 in debts.
-Dem Jamie Wall $240,358 raised, $80,327 spent, $542,206 cash on hand. $49,000 in debts.

- By JR Ross

Friday, July 13, 2012

 4:52 PM 

New Hovde TV ad hits back at Neumann for Club for Growth ad

A new TV ad from Eric Hovde attributes a recent negative ad from the Club for Growth to Mark Neumann, saying that Neumann's negativity goes back to the 2010 campaign against now-Gov. Scott Walker.

The 30-second ad starts by claiming Neumann voted for "over 2,000 earmarks, including the bridge to nowhere" and also hits him for taking stimulus money for one of his solar companies.

"First Neumann viciously attacks Scott Walker, saying Walker has no concern for taxpayers," the narrator says. "Ridiculous. Now, negative Neumann is making false attacks against conservative businessman Eric Hovde." It then shows a clip of the Club for Growth ad.

The ad ends by saying "We've had enough of 'negative Neumann.'"

At no point in the ad does it identify the anti-Hovde ad as being run by Club for Growth.

  -- By Jason Smathers

 1:00 PM 

Thompson released new TV ad on repealing Obamacare

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson has released a new television ad focusing on his pledge to repeal the health care reform law.

The 30-second TV ad, which is titled "Road to Repeal," takes most of the points made in his 60-second radio ad related earlier this week, but includes visuals of Thompson riding a Harley-Davidson through the roads of Wisconsin. The narrator says Thompson has "always fought for freedom" noting his repeal of welfare as Wisconsin governor. The narrator notes Tammy Baldwin's support of the health care law and states that Thompson will be the "51st vote to repeal Obamacare."
 -- By Jason Smathers

 10:25 AM 

Fitzgerald runs first radio ad; asks supporters to help get ad on the air

Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald has released his first advertisement of the campaign, which highlights his ties to Gov. Scott Walker and move to push through a conservative agenda in the Legislature.

The 60-second radio spot, entitled "Proven," begins with Fitzgerald saying that he stood firm in the face of "violent protests" last year and lists achievements such as balancing the budget without tax increases as well as enacting concealed carry, the castle doctrine and voter ID legislation.

"I may not be independently wealthy, but with me you know what you're going to get," Fitzgerald says. "A battle-tested conservative who'll take the fight to Washington."

He then says he'll enact Paul Ryan's entitlement reforms in the Senate and that Wisconsin needs the same "political courage" they've shown in this state.

"This is Jeff Fitzgerald and I approved this message because Washington needs more Wisconsin," Fitzgerald ends.

In an e-mail to supporters early Friday, Fitzgerald says the ad will start running on Monday and encouraged them to make small donations to get the ad on the air.

-- By Jason Smathers

Thursday, July 12, 2012

 11:06 AM 

Baldwin says she raised $2.2 mil in last fundraising period

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and Rep. Tammy Baldwin told supporters Thursday that she has raised $2.2 million for her campaign between April 1 and June 30.

In a facebook post from Baldwin, the Wisconsin congresswoman says 90 percent of her donors contributed $100 or less and that 55,174 people donated to the campaign in the last cycle. The campaign says Baldwin has $3.47 million in cash on hand as of the last report.

-- By Jason Smathers

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

 1:45 PM 

Marquette Law poll: Thompson leads GOP primary, but Hovde has momentum

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson led among likely GOP primary voters in the U.S. Senate race, but political newcomer Eric Hovde has narrowed the lead since June, according to a new Marquette University Law School poll.

Thompson was backed by 35 percent of respondents, compared to 23 percent for Hovde, 10 percent for Mark Neumann and 6 percent for Jeff Fitzgerald. The July poll represents a nine-point gain for Hovde since the June survey, while Thompson was up one point, Neumann slipped six points and Fitzgerald remained steady.

Twenty-five percent of GOP primary voters remained undecided, the same as the June poll. The margin of error for the survey of GOP primary voters was plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

In the general election, Thompson came in at 45 percent to U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin's 41 percent, while the poll had Baldwin up on Hovde 44-38. She also edged Neumann 43-40 and led Fitzgerald 43-37. The margin of error for the general election survey was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The poll of 1,000 registered voters was in the field from July 5-8. The sample include 810 likely general election voters, with a subsample of 432 likely GOP primary voters.

A survey from the Dem firm Public Policy Polling released yesterday put Hovde at 31 percent and Thompson at 29 percent in the GOP primary, within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

-- By David Wise

Editor's note: This post was been edited to correct Thompson gained a point compared to the June poll.

 11:22 AM 

PPP Poll: Romney trails Obama in Wisconsin by 6 points; race tightens with Ryan on ticket

A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows Mitt Romney trailing Barack Obama by six percentage points in Wisconsin, but nearly closing that gap if GOP Rep. Paul Ryan joins the tickets as his running mate.

Voters preferred Obama to Romney 50 percent to 44 percent in a head-to-head matchup but narrowed that lead to 47 percent for Obama to 46 percent for Romney when Ryan was added as a VP. When Gov. Scott Walker was added to the ticket, the gap remained, with 49 percent preferring Obama's ticket and 43 percent preferring Romney's.

In addition, 51 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Walker, while 46 percent had an unfavorable opinion.

The poll also surveyed voters for their opinion on Supreme Court Justice John Roberts and the health care decision. About 39 percent of those polled weren't sure of their opinion on Roberts, while 31 percent disapproved and 30 percent approved. The health care decision was split down the middle, with 46 percent approving of the ruling and 44 percent disapproving.

The poll, which surveyed 1,057 voters from July 5-8 through automated telephone calls, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

-- By Jason Smathers

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

 2:19 PM 

Pocan, Roys release TV ads

2nd CD Dem candidates Mark Pocan and Kelda Helen Roys have released their first TV ads of the campaign.

Pocan's spot, released yesterday, touts his background in small business.

He says in the spot that his dad ran his own printing company, while his mom owned a beauty supply store. They taught him how to run a business and treat employees and customers fairly.

“I practice those lessons every day in my own union print shop,” he says.

He adds that those lessons helped him in get results in the Legislature like passing a bill to crack down on corporations that ship shops overseas.

“It’s simple. Stand up for what you believe and work until you get it done,” Pocan says. “That’s what I’ll do in Congress.”

Roys put out two spots. Both ads feature Roys speaking directly into the camera against a blue background. In a spot entitled “Cave,” Roys says most legislators “just went along” when Walker wanted tax breaks for wealthy corporations.

“I stood up to him. In Congress, I’ll stand up to anyone and fight for equal pay, for reproductive rights and to protect Social Security,” Roys said, adding to her line approving the message in the ad that “This is my fight, too.”

In the second spot, Roys says experience matters and as a leader of a pro-choice organization, she “helped build a movement” and in the Legislature, she took up to Walker’s corporate tax giveaways.

“Here’s the kind of experience I don’t have. I don’t cave in when things get tough, and I don’t make backroom deals. In Congress, you’ll know where I stand,” she says. “I’m Kelda Roys, and I approve this message because integrity matters, too.”

-- By JR Ross

 1:52 PM 

Thompson releases new radio ad focused on repealing Obamacare

Former Wis. Gov. Tommy Thompson has released a new radio ad that claims he'll be "the 51st vote" to  repeal Obamacare.

The 60-second ad, entitled "Road to Repeal," starts with a narrator saying Thompson has "always fought for our freedom and he always will" as rock music plays in the background.

"Tommy ended welfare, freeing a generation from dependency on government," the narrator says. "And Tommy will end Obamacare too, freeing us from its grip on our economy and our health care decision."

The narrator then says that Baldwin wants to expand the law while Thompson testified to Congress against it.  He then describes Thompson as a "proven winner," highlighting his history of tax cuts and job creation as governor.

"And Tommy's economic plan will restore America by capping spending, cutting job killing regulation and reforming entitlements," the narrator says.

The ad ends with the narrator calling Thompson "a conservative leader who can get our economy back on track."

 -- By Jason Smathers

 12:13 PM 

Hovde edges Thompson in latest PPP poll; both about even with Baldwin

Eric Hovde edged Tommy Thompson in the latest survey of GOP Senate primary voters from the Dem firm Public Policy Polling.

The survey found 31 percent of respondents backed Hovde, compared to 29 percent who supported Thompson. Mark Neumann was third with 15 percent, while Jeff Fitzgerald was at 9 percent. The margin between Hovde and Thompson was within the margin of error.

PPP wrote in its analysis of the poll that Thompson's approval rating has dropped since its last survey in February and 50 percent of primary voters surveyed want someone more conservative than Thompson. Thirty-four percent said they supported Thompson when given the option of someone more conservative.

Hovde, meanwhile, had a favorable-unfavorable split with GOP primary voters of 50-9. 

In the general election, Hovde was backed by 45 percent of those surveyed, compared to 44 percent who supported Dem Tammy Baldwin. She was even with Thompson at 45 percent apiece, while Baldwin led Neumann 45-41 and Fitzgerald 46-42.

PPP conducted an automated phone survey of 1,057 Wisconsin voters July 5-8 as well as an oversample of 564 usual Republican primary voters. The margin of error for the overall survey was plus or minus 3 percentage points and plus or minus 4.1 percentage points in the GOP primary.

-- By JR Ross

 10:03 AM 

Senate Dems respond to Wanggaard decision

The Senate Democratic Campaign Committee issued a statement this morning applauding Sen. Van Wangaard's decision not to challenge the results of a recount in the 21st SD.

"We are excited for Senator-elect John Lehman to join his Democratic Senate colleagues in the near future -- so we can actually get Wisconsin back to work, and move forward," said SSDC Executive Director Zac Kramer. "We look forward to expanding our majority in the November elections -- and our amazing slate of candidates will ensure that we retain our advantage after November.”

-- By Staff


 9:40 AM 

Neumann's first TV ad targets Obamacare; freedom of religion

Former U.S. Congressman Mark Neumann's first television ad attacks the Affordable Care Act for coverage requirements imposed on religious hospitals.

The 30-second TV ad begins with video of an abandoned hospital where medical supplies are overturned, while Neumann narrates. He says that while President Barack Obama thinks "the government should make every decision for you," his health reform act also imposes on religion by forcing church-run hospitals to carry abortion inducing drugs.

"It's bad enough Obamacare will bankrupt America, but government telling religion what to do," Neumann says, appearing on screen while walking through the hospital. "That should scare you to death."

Neumann then says Obama is hurting America as a narrator ends the ad by saying "Mark Neumann will stand up to Barack Obama and stand up for our constitutional freedom."

 -- By Jason Smathers

 9:27 AM 

GAB to certify 21st SD results tomorrow

The Government Accountability Board is set to certify the results of the 21st Senate District recall election Wednesday at 8 a.m. after incumbent Sen. Van Wanggaard said he wouldn't file a lawsuit challenging the results by today's deadline.

Once that certificate is issued, Wanggaard, R-Racine, would be automatically removed from office.

Sen.-elect John Lehman, D-Racine, would then have up to 10 days to be sworn into office, giving Senate Dems a 17-16 majority heading into the fall elections.

-- By Andy Szal


 9:01 AM 

American Commitment, EMILY's List hit air in Senate race

EMILY's List and American Commitment are up on the air with new TV ads in the U.S. Senate race.

EMILY's List, which supports female candidates who back abortion rights, started a new TV ad in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Wausau today that knocks Eric Hovde and Tommy Thompson as "DC insiders." One woman says she voted for Thompson before, but can't now because he's changed and "He's tied to lobbyists and special interests." A man then says he's concerned Hovde has lived in DC for the last "20-some years" and will stick up for "Wall Street, the people made of money."

The spot then pivots to praise Baldwin as people says she's strong, honest and "She won't give the state away to special interests."

EMILY's List said the two-week buy is for $400,000.

The conservative PAC American Commitment went up on the air last week with a spot targeting Baldwin.

Entitled "Cheating," the spot opens with a woman who notes Baldwin's own claim that Wisconsin leads the nation in paper industry jobs. She then knocks Baldwin for voting to put "thousands of those jobs in danger."

The ad then shows Baldwin next to a factory worker and the words "7500 Wisconsin paper jobs lost," while citing Baldwin’s vote against the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011.

The woman then references Baldwin's ad claiming that China "leads the world in cheating." People in the spot then ask why she voted for the stimulus bill and health care law.

"We'll have to borrow money from China to pay for those," a man intones.

"Would you borrow money from a cheater?" the woman asks.

The ad then ends with a man saying "Tell Tammy Baldwin to stop putting special interests ahead of Wisconsin."

A spokesman for American Commitment said it started running the ad statewide on cable and network TV last Thursday with a $490,000 ad buy.

-- By Staff

 8:46 AM 

Wanggaard won't challenge recall results, to run for 21st SD again in next election

GOP state Sen. Van Wanggaard announced this morning he will not challenge the results of a recount in his narrow loss to Dem John Lehman in the recall election for the 21st SD.

Wanggaard, R-Racine, raised a series of questions about how the vote was handled June 5 and the results of the recount, which wrapped up last week. But facing a deadline today to file a suit, he said there "was not enough time to fully investigate the mountain of evidence and answer the questions that have arisen."

He also announced he will run for the 21st SD again in the next election.

"As General Douglas MacArthur once said, 'I shall return,'” he said.

Wanggaard's decision clears the way for Lehman to retake the seat he lost to Wanggaard in 2010 and will put Dems in control of the state Senate 17-16 through the end of the session.

-- By JR Ross


Thursday, July 5, 2012

 6:09 PM 

Barrett raised $2.5 million in last weeks of campaign; $6.3M overall

Tom Barrett raised $2.5 million over the final weeks of the guv race, his campaign said.

Overall, Barrett raised $6.3 million for his guv campaign between March 30 and June 30. That does not include money he transferred from his mayoral fund.

He spent $6.6 million on the race and had $252,000 left over.

Barrett's campaign said the report had not been filed early this evening as numbers were finalized, but they were not expected to change much when the final document was filed.

-- By JR Ross

 3:36 PM 

Walker raises $6.7 million in final recall reporting period

Gov. Scott Walker raised $6.7 million in the final push of the recall election and the weeks immediately after, his campaign said today.

The money raised between May 22 and June 30 pushes Walker’s total haul since taking office in January 2011 to more than $37 million. He raised $27.6 million in the first half of 2012 alone.

Walker’s campaign said the final $6.7 million was raised from 82,206 contributions with 63,895 of those in increments of $50 or less. It also said he finished the period with more than $1.6 million cash on hand.

-- By JR Ross

 11:57 AM 

Lehman: Wanggaard, GOP 'insulting' 21st SD voters

Sen.-elect John Lehman today charged that Sen. Van Wanggaard and GOP leadership are "insulting" the voters of the 21st Senate District by refusing to concede last month's recall election.

Lehman said the campaigns have heard virtually the same result in the 21st District three times -- in unofficial returns, in the official canvass and after a recount -- and said he wants to get to work on job creation with Senate Dems.

Lehman had a lead of 819 votes following the conclusion of the recount Monday, down from an 834-vote lead in the canvass. Wanggaard, R-Racine, may still challenge the results in court, and said after the recount ended that he would take some time to weigh his options. He has until July 10 to file a lawsuit.

"We have a long history of close elections in Racine," Lehman said. "But for somebody to stretch that, and to say that, 'We want to keep talking about this as some kind of a fraudulent situation,' is just really inappropriate and doesn't respect the long tradition in this country of peaceful turnover of power."

Senate Republicans responded that Wanggaard's actions are justified.

“Van Wanggaard is granted time under the law to decide whether or not to appeal the recount,” said CERS executive director Dan Romportl. “In light of all issues that were exposed with the city of Racine’s facilitation of the election, it is certainly justifiable that Van is using that time to decide what course of action to take.”

-- By Andy Szal

Monday, July 2, 2012

 3:40 PM 

Miller calls on Wanggaard to concede

Senate Dem Leader Mark Miller has called on GOP Sen. Van Wanggaard to concede after the recount in the 21st upheld John Lehman's win.

"It is time for Senator Wanggaard to concede and let the voters of the 21st Senate District have the senator they chose," Miller said. "Any attempt to delay with court cases is irresponsible and a waste of time and money, not to mention a denial of democracy. The voters in the 21st have spoken. Let's move forward and let Senator-elect Lehman start working on job creation for his constituents."

-- By Staff

 12:58 PM 

Lehman says he looks forward to joining Dem colleagues in Senate

Following the conclusion of the recount in the 21st SD, Dem John Lehman issued a statement thanking those who conducted the second tally of the results from last month's election.

"I look forward to joining my Democratic colleagues in the new majority senate, and begin bringing jobs back to the citizens of Racine County,” Lehman said.

-- By Staff

 12:38 PM 

Lehman holds 819-vote lead following recount

With the recount in the 21st SD recall complete, GOP Sen. Van Wanggaard picked up 15 votes, leaving his Democratic challenger John Lehman ahead by 819 votes, according to a Dem Party observer.

The official canvass before the recount had Lehman ahead by 834 votes.

UPDATE: The GAB has posted results of the recount with Lehman receiving 36,358 votes to 35,539 for Wanggaard.

-- By David Wise

 11:58 AM 

Wanggaard to wait a 'couple of days' before deciding how to proceed after recount

State Sen. Van Wanggaard said this morning he'll take some time following the conclusion of the recount in the 21st Senate District before "deciding my next step."

"Unfortunately, rather than clarify the myriad of issues that surfaced on June 5, the recount uncovered even more suspicious activity," the Racine Republican said in a statement, pointing to "missing pages in poll books, missing signatures, wrong voter numbers, wrong and unverified addresses and most shocking of all, unsealed and sealed and reopened ballot bags."

“Anyone who argues that this recount was a waste of time, or that we do not need voter ID, either wants to conceal these potential fraudulent activities or hasn’t been paying attention," Wanggaard said.

-- By Andy Szal

 11:04 AM 

Counting ballots ends in 21st SD recount

The last ballots have been counted in the 21st SD recall recount, and the Racine Board of Canvassers has moved on tallying the results and completing required paperwork, according to representatives for the campaigns.

The representatives did not immediately have a final number on the recount.
The latest tally posted at the GAB site over the weekend showed GOP Sen. Van Wanggaard gained a net 17 votes over the official canvass, which had his challenger, Dem John Lehman, up by 834 votes.

The window for legal challenges begins Tuesday, and parties have through July 10 to file a lawsuit.

If no party files suit, GAB spokesman Reid Magney said the GAB would likely certify the results on July 11. If a lawsuit is filed, the results will not be certified until the matter is resolved.

-- By David Wise

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