• WisPolitics

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

 2:47 PM 

Walker TV ad features domestic violence victim

Gov. Scott Walker's campaign announced its second new TV ad of the day this afternoon, a 30-second spot focused on combating domestic violence.

The ad features Teri Jendusa-Nicolai, a Racine County woman who was kidnapped in early 2004.

"My ex-husband beat me with a baseball bat, threw me in a garbage can filled with snow and left me in a frozen storage locker to die," Jendusa-Nicolai says to the camera. "At that time, I was pregnant and I lost the child I was carrying, but I fought to stay alive for my other two children -- and today I am fighting for Scott Walker."

Jendusa-Nicolai says she's worked with Walker to create funding and new laws protecting women affected by domestic violence.

"He cares about women and Wisconsin families -- I trust him," she says to close the ad.

-- By Staff

 9:34 AM 

RGA ad again knocks Burke over jobs plan

The Republican Governors Association today announced a TV ad that again criticizes Mary Burke over passages in her jobs plan lifted from previous Dem campaigns.

The 30-second spot, titled "Integrity," features clips from a TV interview with Burke speaking about her jobs plan along with footage from news reports about the plagiarism allegations.

The ad closes with Burke saying as as governor, "I want to make sure that I have the highest level of integrity," followed by the ad cutting to a black screen reading, "You can't trust Mary Burke."

-- By Staff

 7:48 AM 

Walker hits Burke on plagiarism in new TV ad

Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign is out with a new TV ad today that features Dem rival Mary Burke stumbling when asked to define plagiarism.

The spot features a series of news clips with anchors saying things like Burke was “accused of plagiarizing nearly word for word,” “sections were simply copied and pasted” and “tripping up this morning when asked to define plagiarism.”

The spot then shows video of Burke saying, "This, this probably, uh, using words, exact words, uh, from, uh, a source that doesn't, ah, that isn't cited."

The ad closes with a black screen and the words “Mary Burke plagiarized her jobs plan. Wisconsin deserves better.”

-- By JR Ross

Monday, September 29, 2014

 11:53 AM 

Grothman TV ad touts record on 'tough issues'

State Sen. Glenn Grothman today announced his first TV ad since winning the GOP primary in the open 6th Congressional District.

The 30-second spot, titled "Solutions," features three women speaking to the camera, touting the Campbellsport Republican's work "on tough issues like cutting government waste and lowering taxes."

The spot also says Grothman authored legislation to provide greater access to free health clinics and to protect domestic violence victims.

"Glenn Grothman is more interested in fixing problems than politics and finger-pointing," one woman says.

"And that's why we need Glenn Grothman in Congress," another says to close the ad.

-- By Staff

Friday, September 26, 2014

 10:04 AM 

NRA releases TV ad backing Walker

The NRA's Political Victory Fund has released a TV ad it started nearly a week ago urging viewers to vote "like your safety depends on it" and re-elect Gov. Scott Walker.

The ad opens with a woman putting a child to bed in a crib. She looks at her phone as a text message comes in, “Landed in Miami.” The screen shows her texting back “Love you. Good night.”

A shadow of a man in a baseball cap walks by a window before the front door is kicked in and the narrator says, “It happens like that. The police can’t get there in time. Self defense is up to you when it matters the most.”

The narrator then says Walker has protected “your right to self defense.”

“Vote like your safety depends on it. Protect your gun rights. Re-elect Scott Walker," the narrator says to close the spot.

The NRA-PRV said in a release the spot is part of a "million-plus dollar advertising campaign" that will air in Green Bay, Wausau and La Crosse. The liberal group One Wisconsin Now released numbers last week showing the NRA buy included $445,000 in La Crosse, $367,000 in Green Bay and $267,000 in Wausau.

The NRA also said its support of Walker includes a mail campaign that began last month and six-figure digital and radio ad buys.

-- By JR Ross

 9:45 AM 

Federal court refuses to rehear voter ID suit

A federal appeals court today denied a request to reconsider an earlier ruling that cleared the way for Wisconsin to implement its voter ID law for the November election.

Those challenging the law filed a motion for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its Sept. 12 decision lifting the injunction that had prevented enforcement of the law.

In its ruling today, the court said the three-judge panel that lifted the stay voted to deny the motion for reconsideration.

A judge then called for a vote on the opponents' request for the full 7th Circuit to hear the case. But that request was denied by an equally divided court.

Today’s ruling said the members of the court may file opinions explaining their votes in the coming days.

-- By JR Ross

 8:44 AM 

Walker TV ad: Burke supported taxes 'from cradle to grave'

Gov. Scott Walker's campaign announced a new TV ad today, alleging Burke supported "raising taxes from cradle to grave" while serving in the Doyle administration.

An announcer then lists taxes on "birth certificates, daycare, driver's licenses, gas, tuition, property, garbage, nursing home beds, even burial fees," and says despite those positions, "the Doyle-Burke administration left Wisconsin with a massive deficit."

"Mary Burke, a Madison liberal we can't afford," the spot concludes.

-- By Staff

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

 9:50 AM 

Judge dismisses GOP suit over GAB ballot design

A Waukesha County judge this morning dismissed a challenge to the GAB's template for ballots to be used in this fall's election.

Judge James Kieffer ruled the campaign committees of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald did not have standing to file the suit and that a complaint should have been filed with GAB first before the agency was sued. 

Joseph Olson, a lawyer for Vos and Fitzgerald, said no decision had been made on whether to appeal Kieffer's decision or to file a complaint with the GAB.

During the hearing, Olson said the lawsuit was filed because going to the GAB "is obviously a futile process."

Christopher Blythe, an assistant attorney general representing the GAB, responded "even if it would be futile, that is what the statutes say you have to do. It's black-letter law."

The suit argued the GAB's recommended format, which doesn't include shading to set off the offices to be elected or lines to separate the offices from the first candidate listed, will cause confusion among voters. It also argued the format will favor Dem candidates since they'll be listed first in each race this fall. 

The GAB countered ahead of today's hearing the lawsuit was based on a faulty assumption that all counties are required to produce "exact replicas of the GAB template." Rather, the GAB produces a template that "shall be substantially followed" by the counties, which then work with their printers to develop their ballot. Those ballots are submitted to the GAB for review, and staff then works with county clerks to resolve any issues related to the design or layout, according to the agency's court filing.

During the hearing, Kieffer expressed surprise that the ballots in each of the state's 72 counties could be different.

"I was under the impression that the counties just inserted the names of local candidates," he said.

Olson argued that the ballots in 42 counties were flawed. But GAB Director Kevin Kennedy said only 16 were using the exact template ballot put out by his agency for their designs.

Kieffer heard the motion to dismiss before getting to the meat of Olson's argument.

In his oral ruling, Kieffer said the law requires that a complaint first be filed with the GAB. 

"Then and only then is it subject to judicial review," he said.

-- By Marie Rohde

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

 9:54 AM 

RGA TV ad accuses Burke of using plagiarism to cover failed jobs record

The Republican Governors Association released a new TV ad today that accuses Dem guv hopeful Mary Burke of using plagiarism to cover up a record "of failure and jobs loss."

The narrator opens the spot by saying Burke broke her promise to Wisconsin before and didn't deliver jobs. The screen shows a picture of Burke with the line "40% of jobs ... failed to materialize."

"Now, Burke says she has real ideas to create jobs," the narrator says. "But that’s not true either.

The spot then cites an Associated Press report that "entire sections of Mary Burke’s jobs plan were stolen from other candidates."

"The truth is Burke’s record is one of failure and job loss," the narrator says to close the spot. "Plagiarism to cover it up. Don’t go backwards with Mary Burke."

-- By JR Ross

 9:22 AM 

Burke TV ad hits Walker over projected August job losses

Dem guv candidate Mary Burke's campaign today released a new TV ad highlighting projected job losses in August.

"It's happened again: the new August job numbers are out, and Wisconsin lost another 4,300 jobs," an announcer says in the 30-second spot.

The ad continues with a shot of Gov. Scott Walker, saying he "promised to create 250,000 new jobs."

"Instead, he gave tax cuts to the wealthy, cut education, and we’ve fallen to dead last in Midwest job growth," the announcer says.

-- By Staff

 9:04 AM 

State GOP ad knocks Burke over 'plagiarized' jobs plan

The state GOP is out with a new ad accusing Dem guv hopeful Mary Burke of plagiarizing her jobs plan.

The 30-second spot opens with a series of broadcast reports on news last week that Burke's plan lifted passages that had been used by Dem guv candidates in other states.

The clips include broadcasters saying things like "Mary Burke plagiarized parts of her jobs plan" and "she admitted part of her jobs plan was copied."

"Mary Burke copied her jobs plan then blamed someone else," a narrator says to close the spot. "Wisconsin deserves better than Burke's plagiarizing and finger pointing."

A party spokesman said the spot will air statewide.

-- By Staff

Monday, September 22, 2014

 9:35 AM 

EMILY's List announces $1.2 million TV ad buy in guv's race

EMILY's List, which is backing Dem Mary Burke for guv, announced today it will start a $1.2 million TV buy next month.

The announcement did not include details of the ad other than the first ones "will educate voters about Governor Scott Walker’s poor record on women’s health."

The ads will air statewide on broadcast and cable TV starting in early October, the group said.

-- By JR Ross

Saturday, September 20, 2014

 5:09 PM 

Republicans call on Burke to withdraw from guv's race

Republicans today called on Dem guv hopeful Mary Burke to withdraw from the race because her jobs plan lifted sections from three Dems who ran for governor in other states during previous cycles.

Burke's campaign said she is not dropping out, but declined comment otherwise on the call from GOP state Sens. Alberta Darling and Leah Vukmir that was released through the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

On Friday, Burke cut ties with a consultant she said was responsible for inserting the passages that he had written and used in the other candidates' materials while working for their campaigns. In media interviews yesterday, she declined to apologize for using passages from the other plans, called it a minor mistake and suggested the story was being pushed by partisans to distract from disappointing job numbers.

Darling, R-River Hills, and Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, said Burke had "betrayed the trust of Wisconsin families."

"By directly plagiarizing major portions of her jobs plan, Burke demonstrated that she puts her ambition and self-interest before the people of Wisconsin," they said. "Burke has a consistent problem with pointing the finger at others while dodging responsibility, and that’s not leadership."

UPDATE: Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff offered this response to the GOP call: "Bless their hearts. This phony outrage is almost as embarrassing as Scott Walker's record on job creation."

-- By JR Ross

 3:40 PM 

Greater Wisconsin up with new TV ad knocking Walker on school funding cuts

The Greater Wisconsin Committee is up with a new TV ad slamming Gov. Scott Walker for cutting school funding more per student than any governor in America.

The spot features a similar theme to one the independent group ran last month. Both accuse Walker of giving the money from the cuts to his friends.

The new spot shows a student walking between rows of desks, collecting money in a hat. The narrator says Walker passed a half a billion in tax breaks and giveaways to "his corporate friends," who then gave him a million in campaign cash.

The spot shows the boy placing the hat full of cash on a table in front of four men in shirts and ties.

"That’s how things work in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin," the narrator says to close the spot. "Tell Gov. Walker we need more for our schools, not for him and not for his friends."

Greater Wisconsin says the new ad began today.

-- By JR Ross

Friday, September 19, 2014

 8:30 AM 

Burke campaign cuts ties with consultant over passages in jobs plan

Mary Burke’s campaign says it has cut ties with a consultant it blamed for lifting sections of her jobs plan from three Dems who ran for governor in other states during previous cycles.

The website Buzzfeed reported last night that language in Burke’s plan mirrors sections from those put forward by Ward Cammack, who ran for Tennessee governor in 2009 before withdrawing from the race; Delaware Gov. Jack Markell in 2008; and John Gregg, who lost to Mike Pence in the 2012 Indiana guv’s race.

Burke’s campaign said Eric Schnurer worked on all four campaigns cited in the article and was responsible for the passages Buzzfeed cited in its report. The campaign described Schnurer as a subcontractor. It also sought to downplay the significance of those passages in her plan.

“The core strategies she outlines and the vision for Wisconsin's economy that she lays out is entirely her own, and stand unquestioned by anyone,” Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said. “They are informed by her time at Harvard Business School, through starting her own small business, serving as a top executive at Trek and leading the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.”

Scott Walker’s campaign slammed Burke for the report.

"It's a sad day for Wisconsin when the Democratic nominee for governor misleads voters by offering a plagiarized jobs plan, in which she has staked her entire candidacy,” said Walker campaign manager Stephan Thompson. “Wisconsin deserve better, and it’s clear that Mary Burke cannot be trusted to lead our state."

The passages Buzzfeed cited included this from Cammack:

“Supporting the development of public-private partnerships by working to match small farmers with business professionals to help farmers improve management, develop new markets plans and improve use of risk management tools and risk reduction strategies.”

And this from Burke:

“Supporting the development of public-private partnerships by working to match small farmers with business professionals to help farmers improve management, develop new markets plans and improve use of risk management tools and risk-reduction strategies.”

Buzzfeed, which fired an editor this summer for multiple instances of plagiarism, earlier this week accused Oregon U.S. Senate candidate Monica Wehby of lifting her original health plan from a survey on health care reform done for Karl Rove’s Crossroads USA.

-- By JR Ross

EDITOR's NOTE: This post has been updated to reflect Burke's campaign has clarified Schnurer was a subcontractor. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

 7:31 AM 

New Walker TV ad says Burke supports Obamacare 'unequivocally'

Gov. Scott Walker is out with a new TV ad this morning that seeks to tie Dem rival Mary Burke to President Obama’s health care plan, saying she supports it “unequivocally.”

It's one of two new ads Walker released today.

The health care spot opens with the narrator saying it’s been called “the lie of the year” before a clip is shown of Obama saying, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

With flames superimposed over the image, the ad then shows Burke saying “It doesn’t mean that the government is going to tell you which doctors to go to or which plan to have.”

The announcer says millions have lost their doctors and plans, but Burke still supports Obamacare unequivocally and wants to expand it.

“Wisconsin can’t afford Madison liberal Mary Burke,” the announcer says as a picture of Burke and former Gov. Jim Doyle is shown.

The spot closes with video of Obama saying, “Period, end of story.”

The other spot features Walker saying the average family will save an extra $322 to spend thanks to his reforms and he asks, “What are you going to do with your savings?”

The spot then shows people saying they’re going to buy more clothes and school supplies, 96 gallons of gas, take a trip to see the grandkids, get new tires and more than 2,700 diapers.

“My opponent criticizes the Wisconsin comeback,” Walker says to close the spot. “She wants to undo our reforms and keep your money in Madison. I want you to keep it.”

-- By JR Ross

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

 12:49 PM 

Walker, Burke still close in latest Marquette poll, but shift in GOP excitement

Gov. Scott Walker and rival Mary Burke were still close in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll, though the latest survey found a shift with Republicans now more excited to vote than their Dem counterparts.

The poll found Walker and Burke tied at 46 percent apiece among registered voters. Among likely voters, Walker had the edge 49-46.

In last month’s poll, 47.5 percent of registered voters backed Walker, while 44.1 percent favored Burke, while among likely voters it was 48.6 percent for Burke and 46.5 percent for Walker.

Poll director Charles Franklin said the survey found a shift from the last poll in August with Republicans now more enthusiastic about voting than Dems. The sample also was more Republicans than the last one. He said that could be attributed to either an outlier survey or that there is a true shift among the electorate. Franklin noted a growth in GOP partisanship across all geographic regions and other factors that make it less likely the results were an outlier.

The poll also found a closer contest in the AG campaign than last month.

Thirty-nine percent of registered voters backed Dem Susan Happ, while 38 percent support Republican Brad Schimel among registered voters. Among likely voters, it was 42-41 for Schimel.

In August, 40 percent of registered voters favored Happ, while 33 percent supported Shimel. Among likely voters, 42 percent backed Happ, while 32 percent supported Schimel.

The September poll of 800 registered voters, including 589 likely voters, was conducted Thursday through Sunday using land lines and cell phones. The margin of error for registered voters was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, while the margin was plus or minus 4.1 percentage points for likely voters.

 -- By JR Ross

 9:24 AM 

Republicans file suit challenging redesigned ballot

Republicans filed suit this morning in Waukesha County court challenging a redesigned ballot to be used for the November election, arguing it unfairly favors Dems.

The lawsuit, filed by the campaigns of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, argues the new design will also cause confusion among voters and lead to undervotes.

The suit seeks a declaration the new ballot violates state law, a ban on the GAB requiring local clerks to use the new ballot template and an order for the elections agency to immediately tell municipalities they must use the old design.

The suit notes previous ballot templates typically had a shaded area at the top of each office for voters to consider. There are solid lines between the shaded box and the first candidate listed as well as lines between each candidate up for that office.

Under the new design, the office is not shaded and there is no line between the office up for election and the first candidate listed. Lines separate each candidate.

Dem candidates are listed first this year because President Obama won the state in 2012.

The GOP's suit points to GAB Director Kevin Kennedy's comments at a news conference yesterday in which he said he had some "quibbles with the way some of the things came out." But Kennedy also said any suggestion GAB staff had a partisan motivation in the redesign was "absurd."

2014 general election ballot (new design)

2014 primary election ballot (using previous design)

-- By JR Ross

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

 2:36 PM 

GAB says photo ID needed for absentee ballots to count, ACLU asking for hearing before full appeals court

Those seeking to vote absentee this fall will have to provide local clerks a copy of their photo ID before their ballots will be counted, GAB Director Kevin Kennedy said today.

Meanwhile, the ACLU said it plans to file a request for the full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case after a three-judge panel lifted a stay on Friday holding up enforcement of the law.

Kennedy told an afternoon news conference absentee ballots are the most pressing issue in implementing the requirement. 

Some absentee ballots had already been mailed out before the decision came down, and some ballots have already been returned.

He said clerks are being asked to send a written communication to those voters that they need to get a copy of their photo ID to their local clerk as soon as possible. If they are not there by Election Day, their vote will be treated as a provisional ballot. Those absentee ballots missing the photo ID requirement will not be destroyed. 

The GAB is also asking clerks to follow up through other methods.
“This is where we’re asking the clerks to take some extraordinary steps,” Kennedy said.
In those cases where voters have requested an absentee ballot, but they have not been mailed, Kennedy said clerks are being instructed to make clear voters need to provide a copy of their ID before the ballots will be mailed.

-- By Staff

 9:10 AM 

New Burke ad tells Walker to 'stop digging'

Dem guv candidate Mary Burke's campaign today announced a new TV ad using footage from Gov. Scott Walker's latest spot.

The Burke ad begins with a clip of Walker saying in an ad, "It's a lot easier to dig a hole than to get out of one."

"But hold on -- it was Gov. Walker who got us here," an announcer says. "His tax breaks for the wealthy helped create a $1.8 billion deficit ... and Wisconsin hit rock bottom in Midwest job growth."

"Gov. Walker, please stop digging," the ad concludes.

-- By Staff

Sunday, September 14, 2014

 12:01 AM 

Walker's new jobs package limits public assistance, extends tuition freeze to tech colleges

Gov. Scott Walker's new jobs package calls for drug testing of adults seeking unemployment checks or food stamps and setting new limits on public assistance for those without children.

Requiring drug testing for public assistance has been struck down in at least one other state, but Walker downplayed those concerns as he discussed the jobs plan he released seven weeks out from the election.

In an interview, Walker told WisPolitics.com he wants to cap public assistance programs at 48 months rather than the current 60 and says drug testing is a way to get people ready for work. The plan also would require childless adults receiving food stamps or unemployment benefits to participate in job training or part-time work.

“If you're an able-bodied, working age adult, particularly one without children, and you want things like food stamps or an unemployment check, we'll give you help. We just don't believe it should be permanent," Walker said.

He said the approach is better for taxpayers, employers and the people seeking jobs.

"We'll help you out, but we want something in return," he said. "What I hear repeatedly from employers are the request, 'Just send me people who are willing to work and drug free.'"

Wisconsin would join at least 11 states that have passed drug testing requirements for those applying for or receiving public assistance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A federal judge, however, struck down Florida's drug testing law late last year, ruling it violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision in February.

Walker’s proposal would apply to “able-bodied, working-age childless adults.”

"We're willing to give people assistance, but we want them to be getting prepared to work,” Walker said. “And what we know is it just seems crazy that if we're trying to prepare people to work, one of the first things employers do overwhelmingly is say they want a drug test to make sure people are drug-free."

Joe Zepecki, a spokesman for Dem guv hopeful Mary Burke, slammed the package for being light on details and called it a political document rolled out in the final weeks of the campaign in the hopes of helping him "keep his job."

"The people of Wisconsin deserved a real, detailed, thought out plan from this Governor four years ago," Zepecki said. "Instead, they're left with more of the same politics first approach that has led us to where we are today -- dead last in the Midwest in private sector job growth and facing a nearly $2 billion budget shortfall."

The jobs package also restates a series of Walker goals, such as making property taxes in 2018 lower than they were in 2010. Some pieces also would extend previous Walker priorities, with the guv expanding his pledge to cut taxes each year he’s in office to now pledging income taxes would be lower in 2018 than they are now. He would extend the tuition freeze at the UW System to tech colleges, too.

But a 60-page overview is light on details for how the guv would accomplish those goals. It largely reads as a review of his first term and a contrast with the record of Dem Gov. Jim Doyle, including the time Burke served as Doyle’s Commerce secretary.

Republicans pushed through a cut in income tax rates as part of the 2013-15 budget and followed that up with a second tax cut package earlier this year that changed withholding tables and bought down $400 million of the tech college property tax levy.

Walker said he had no specific number for an income tax cut, but said he would target relief toward the middle brackets. Likewise, he did not commit to a preferred path for reducing property taxes.

Walker’s call for new tax cuts follows a projection pegging the state’s structural deficit for the 2015-17 biennium at $1.8 billion. That had led some to believe there will be little room for big spending priorities or tax reductions without cuts elsewhere or a rebound in revenues.

Walker said he’s confident revenue growth will cover the shortfall while allowing for money to be returned to taxpayers.

"Our goal is that rates across the board will be lower in four years than they are today in the same way that our goal is to have property taxes being lower," Walker said

Walker’s plan includes broad promises to provide tax relief for manufacturing and agriculture and removing barriers to starting a new company and expanding a small business.

Other goals include:

*Continuing the two-year freeze on UW tuition. Walker has previously proposed the move, though his plan would extend it tech colleges as well. The guv said the state would invest in tech colleges, “particularly in high-need areas,” to help cover rising costs with a tuition cap in place.

*Expanding the Fast Forward program to provide more customized worker training in cooperation with private employers.

*A promise to “fight ObamaCare,” though it does not say how. The guv declined federal money to expand the Medicaid program as proposed under the Affordable Care Act. He instead covered all of those below the federal poverty line through BadgerCare while pushing others who had previously received health coverage through the program into the federal exchanges.

The guv said his administration would work with the congressional delegation to seek changes to the program if Republicans win the Senate this fall.

"Outright repeal isn't likely but we're still going to push for that, and we're going to push for some additional relief," Walker said.

* See related documents

-- By JR Ross and Andy Szal

Friday, September 12, 2014

 4:41 PM 

GAB plans to implement voter ID in November after appeals court lifts stay

After hearing oral arguments today, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay on Wisconsin's voter ID law, clearing the way for the law to be in place for November's elections.

The order says the stay was lifted in part because of a state Supreme Court ruling making it easier for some voters to obtain the necessary documentation.

"This reduces the likelihood of irreparable injury, and it also changes the balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief," the order says. "The panel has concluded that the state's probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court."

The Government Accountability Board said it is working to have the law in place for November.

"We are taking every step to fully implement the voter photo ID law for the November General Election," GAB director Kevin Kennedy said. "We are now focused on communicating with local election officials and voters, and will have more information about the details next week."

"Today's decision is a victory for common sense, fair elections, and the right of every eligible voter to cast a vote that will count," AG J.B. Van Hollen said in response. "My staff and I will work with the Government Accountability Board to ensure every eligible voter will be able to cast a ballot."

ACLU of Wisconsin executive director Chris Ahmuty said the order would "cause chaos and disruption for voters and elections workers for the November election."

He added: "The state has not demonstrated it is prepared to make this new ID scheme work. The new procedures were presented at the last second and it is unclear whether or how they will work in time to ensure that eligible voters are actually able to vote. It has not demonstrated how it will train 1,852 municipal clerks and tens of thousands of poll workers, as well as notifying voters of the new rules."

See more reaction here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

 9:34 AM 

New Burke TV ad knocks Walker for cutting EITC

Mary Burke is out with a new TV ad today that says Gov. Scott Walker was wrong for reducing the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The 30-second spot opens with Burke in a neighborhood saying Ronald Reagan had a really good idea about taxes.

“Surprised you, didn’t I?” she says before adding he expanded the EITC and cut taxes for working families.

She then says Walker “had a really bad idea” in reducing the credit. 

“Cutting taxes for the wealthiest and raising them on 140,000 Wisconsin families,” she says to close the spot. “Raising income taxes on working families isn't just bad economics, it's wrong.”

Burke’s campaign said the spot will run in the Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wausau and Eau Claire/La Crosse markets.

-- By JR Ross

 8:16 AM 

Walker ad: 'Easier to dig a hole than to get out of one'

Gov. Scott Walker's campaign today announced a new TV ad that features the governor standing in a ditch, saying, "It's a lot easier to dig a hole than to get out of one."

"The policies my opponent supports, well, they got us in a pretty big hole," Walker says. "Raised our taxes, left a massive deficit and cost Wisconsin 133,000 jobs."

As the governor climbs a ladder, he says his reforms -- cutting taxes, eliminating the deficit and creating more than 100,000 jobs -- "got us out of the hole."

"My opponent criticizes the Wisconsin comeback. She wants to undo our reforms and dig another hole," Walker says. "Instead, let's keep moving Wisconsin forward."

-- By Staff

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

 8:42 AM 

GWC ad knocks Walker over private school tuition deduction

The Greater Wisconsin Committee is out with a new TV ad knocking Gov. Scott Walker over a tax deduction for private school tuition.

In the 30-second ad, a man identified simply as Jim from Sauk City says he was "shocked" that Walker "made the biggest cuts to public education in the country."

"I understood when Scott Walker said he had to make tough choices," Jim continues. "But I was outraged to learn one of those choices was to give $10,000 in tax deductions to millionaires who send their kids to private schools, basically benefiting people that don't need the help."

"Scott Walker didn't make the tough choices; he made the wrong choices," the spot concludes.

-- By Staff

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

 10:58 AM 

RGA ad ties Burke to 'Occupy Wall Street protesters'

The Republican Governors Association is out with a new TV ad ripping Dem guv candidate Mary Burke.

The 30-second spot opens with an announcer asking, "What kind of governor would Mary Burke be?"

The announcer then says Burke "supports the values of Occupy Wall Street protesters" -- as footage of protesters appears on screen -- and points to her school board vote to "raise property taxes on Madison families."

The spot also says the "Doyle-Burke administration left Wisconsin with a $3.6 billion shortfall and 130,000 fewer jobs."

"Liberal Mary Burke's record: taxing, spending, lost jobs," the ad concludes.

-- By Staff

Friday, September 5, 2014

 11:49 AM 

Wittwer won't challenge recount results in 17th SD

Ernie Wittwer said today he will not challenge in court the results of a recount in the Dem primary for the 17th SD.

The recount left Wittwer 33 votes behind Pam Bomhack in the southwestern Wisconsin seat.

Wittwer's campaign spent the week reviewing possible irregularities with the recount in various spots, including 110 ballots that were lost in Green County. But he said at least one possible issue was just a clerical mistake that had no impact on the deficit.

"We just didn’t think there was a reasonable chance of success," Wittwer said.

 -- By JR Ross

Thursday, September 4, 2014

 8:42 AM 

Walker ad features jobs announcements

Gov. Scott Walker's campaign announced a new TV ad this morning highlighting recent jobs announcements.

The spot, titled "Creating Jobs," features the governor speaking to the camera, along with clips from local TV newscasts about job gains at Amazon, Marinette Marine and others.

"We promised Wisconsin we'd work to create more jobs," Walker says. "We've gone from losing over 133,000 jobs to gaining over 100,000 jobs, and we won't stop until everyone who wants a job can find a job."

-- By Staff

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