October 23, 2014

Lawmaker wants audit of Walker’s plane use

A state lawmaker wants an audit of the governor’s use of state planes. Representative Melissa Sargent wants an audit of the usage and costs associated with state aircraft by Governor Scott Walker. “Governor Walker’s been using the state plane more in first term than his predecessors,” Sargent said.

The Madison Democrat said Walker used planes for 34 flights under 40 miles, and 275 flights to the Milwaukee area. Sargent has sent a letter to the co-chairs of the Joint Audit Committee requesting that the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau conduct the review

Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick says nearly all of the shorter trips were legs on days during which Walker stopped in multiple locations, and nearly all the flights between Madison and Milwaukee were beginning or returning legs of much larger trips or returning legs. Patrick said Walker feels it’s important to get out of Madison and around Wisconsin to talk with the people of the state, and his schedule reflects that.

Mary Burke votes early in Madison

PHOTO; WRN

PHOTO; WRN

Mary Burke cast her vote Tuesday in Wisconsin’s closely contested governor’s race. The Democrat cast her early absentee ballot at the Madison clerk’s office – and there were plenty of media on hand as she did. Burke said she wants to make voters aware of the option. “It is to increase awareness of early voting, that there is that opportunity,” she said. The early voting got underway Monday at clerks offices across the state.

In a race that’s all about turnout, Burke said she’s not overly focused on specific numbers of early votes versus those cast on Election Day November 4th. “I look at the turnout overall by November 4th, and certainly need to have good turnout.” she said.

The race is generating support from big names: First Lady Michelle Obama has campaigned twice for Burke, former President Bill Clinton will be in Milwaukee on Friday, and a visit from President Obama is possible in the week prior to the election. “People wouldn’t be here unless they thought I had great chance of winning,” Burke said.

Burke expects turnout to be greater than in the 2010 race for governor, but probably not as large as in the 2012 recall. Republican Governor Scott Walker – who plans to vote on Election Day – has had only one campaign visit from a big name supporter so far – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Senator Tammy Baldwin doesn’t see need for Ebola travel restrictions

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says Congress needs to debate a policy towards ISIS. “I certainly believe that there is a role that the Congress of the United States should have already played, but we still have opportunities to have a full debate on what the nature of that engagement will be,” the Wisconsin Democrat said in Madison Monday.

Baldwin said the Obama administration is relying on a pair of resolutions on use of force that were passed by Congress more than a decade ago – which are “ill-suited” to the current problems in Iraq and Syria. “I do believe that there’s a role for debate, and have concerns that if we don’t have that, this could end up being an open-ended military engagement. Baldwin said “Iraq has to be able to stand up and fight for itself” and if it can’t, no international coalition will be able to do that for the Iraqis.

Baldwin also doesn’t see the need to ban travel to West Africa in response to the Ebola epidemic there. “I agree with the scientific community that says that it would be unwise, in terms of our ability to contain the epidemic in the three west African countries where it originated,” Baldwin said.

Wisconsin Republicans, Senator Ron Johnson and Representative Reid Ribble, where among the politicians who voiced support for such a ban.

“The measures that have been taken to increase screening at entry points in the United States where we receive passengers that might have been in west Africa are the right way to go,” said Baldwin.

Governor Scott Walker may request Ebola travel ban

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said Friday that he’d consider requesting travel bans in response to Ebola. With some members of Congress calling for a travel ban from west African nations beset by Ebola, Walker was asked to weigh in.

It’s something he’d consider – and which may come up as he meets up with state health officials and representatives from the health care sector. “I want to get their assessment as to whether they think that would be effective,” Walker told the media after addressing the Wisconsin League of Municipalities in Middleton.

The governor noted that it’s not a decision that can be made at the state level. “That would have to be . . . a matter of speaking out and asking the federal government to do that.”

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson has called for travel restrictions and quarantines for air passengers from Ebola-striken nations, and congressman Reid Ribble has suggested a travel ban to the region and emergency action by Congress.

Tomah man arrested in wife’s shooting death

A northern Wisconsin man has been arrested in the death of his wife. Cade Clark, 26, was arrested Wednesday in Tomah, 10 days after his wife was shot in the head. According to the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office, Clark called 911 to report that his wife had been shot around 2 a.m. on October 5 at a residence near Winter. Kristina Star Clark, 25, was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, where she later died.

Cade Clark faces charges of first-degree intentional homicide, according to the sheriff’s office. Funeral services for Kristina Clark were held last Sunday in Tomah. The couple had three young children.