November 30, 2015

Voters recall Arcadia mayor

A change in leadership in Arcadia. Mayor John Kimmel was recalled Tuesday, losing to Trempealeau County Board member Rob Reichwein,  373-to-164.

Some 200 residents signed recall petitions a few weeks ago, claiming Kimmel did not appropriate city funds correctly, or let the public have enough of a say over the hot-button issue of frac-sand mining. Arcadia had a moratorium on new silica-sand mines which ended in September.

Kimmel, serving his fourth term, said the accusations were false and cited a strong local business climate with low unemployment and low taxes.



Feingold retains lead over Johnson in latest MU poll

russnrojo copyThe latest Marquette poll shows Democrat Russ Feingold continues to lead Senator Ron Johnson in their U.S. Senate election rematch. Marquette Law School Poll director Charles Franklin said the previous poll, released in September, found Feingold leading Johnson 50 percent to 36 percent.

“This time, it’s about the same, 49 to 38,” Franklin said Thursday. “Still an 11 point Feingold advantage right now.” The August Marquette poll had Feingold with a narrower 47 percent to 42 percent lead over Johnson. Franklin noted that just 55 percent of poll respondents were able to say if they have a favorable or unfavorable view of both Johnson and Feingold. “The Senate race is interesting because of the limitations,” Franklin said.

More than a third of poll respondents said they couldn’t say if they view Johnson, the Republican who defeated Feingold, favorably or not. “Senator Johnson has not become widely known in the state since we’ve been polling about him,” Franklin said. But he cautioned that the race is very far from decided.

“We are just under a year away from Election Day. This (poll) is the background, this is setting the stage for the race. Who knows what’s going to happen,” Franklin said. “I’m going to wait for the returns on election night.”

Walker not ready to make endorsement

Gov. Scott Walker

Gov. Scott Walker

Governor Scott Walker says he’s not ready to endorse a presidential candidate. Walker will be attending tonight’s Fox Business Network’s GOP presidential debate in Milwaukee. “My hope is that . . . ultimately for the good of voters here in Wisconsin and across the country, that the moderators aren’t the focus, the panelists aren’t the focus, the ideas are the focus,” Walker said Tuesday in Madison.

The Republican governor – who made an appearance in Milwaukee with Jeb Bush – said he’s not ready to make an endorsement. “Probably not. I think my goal right now is to help a fellow cheesehead, (RNC chair) Reince Priebus, and some of the others with the national party build a base, not only financially but in terms of grass-roots,” Walker said.

Walker ended his own presidential bid in September. The debate will take place at the Milwaukee Theater starting at 8 p.m. Just eight candidates will be on stage for the two-hour debate, which was only open to those polling above 2.5 percent. The four candidate undercard debate will take place at 7 p.m.

Senate will meet Friday on GAB and campaign finance bills


Reps. Barca, Vos

The state Senate will act to dismantle the state’s ethics and elections agency this week, while also taking up changes to Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws.

While the legislative session ends tomorrow, the Senate plans to meet in extraordinary session on Friday to pass a bill restructuring the Government Accountability Board and accompanying campaign finance changes. “It is my belief that they will find consensus, and be able to take some small tweaks if necessary,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

There will be tweaks to both bills. A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said Tuesday amendments will be offered, although details of those changes are not yet available.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) called the extraordinary session a waste of taxpayer money. “To come into an extraordinary session, strictly to feather your own nest, to make it better for your campaign committee and to enhance your prospects for reelection,” Barca said.

A spokeswoman for Speaker Vos said the Assembly could meet next Wednesday or Thursday to concur in any changes made by the Senate, at which point the bills will be ready for Governor Scott Walker’s signature.

Walker acknowledges presidential campaign drove poll numbers down (AUDIO)

Gov. Walker suspends presidential campaign. (WRN photo)

Gov. Walker suspends presidential campaign. (WRN photo)

Governor Scott Walker on Thursday compared his relationship with the voters of Wisconsin during his abbreviated presidential campaign to that of two friends unable to meet for a regular lunch date.

During a stop in Green Bay, Walker was asked for his reaction to The Wisconsin Survey released this week by the St. Norbert College, in which 60 percent of respondents disapproved of his performance as governor, while 39 percent though he’s doing a good job. Walker provided the lunch analogy in response.

“If you had a friend that you went out to lunch with every Friday, and suddenly that friend for a month or two . . . she just checked in and said ‘hi,’ you might have a different reaction,” Walker said. “We’ve been working, even while I was running for president, for the state, but physically being able to be back, realize that yesterday was just a month since I made my announcement. You know, I’ve been here every week since then.”

AUDIO: Governor Scott Walker (1:35)

The Wisconsin Survey also found that 66 percent of respondents felt that the governor’s run for president hurt the states. “I think just the opposite,” Walker said. “I think a lot of people didn’t know how amazing things were in the state of Wisconsin.”