October 25, 2014

Bill Clinton stumps for Mary Burke in Milwaukee

Mary Burke rallies her supporters in Madison (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson, file)

Mary Burke rallies her supporters in Madison (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson, file)

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at a lunchtime campaign rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke at Milwaukee’s Hyatt Regency hotel.

Clinton says all eyes are on this race. “The whole country is watching this race because her opponent got a lot of headlines in the last four years all related to conflict.” He says, “She didn’t make so many headlines because in her business and in her public service she’s been about cooperation.”

Clinton tells the estimated 900 people that he would like an invitation to Burke’s inauguration. He references Burke’s experience as a business executive, saying it makes her a desirable candidate. “If I were a moderate Republican I’d vote for Mary Burke for governor … because I’d rather have somebody who knew what it would take to build a small business into a bigger one and hired people and took ‘em along for the ride on fair terms than somebody who thought we had to give more away to people who are already powerful whether they create jobs in our state or not.”

For her part, Burke again touts her Wisconsin roots, talks about raising the minimum wage, and criticizes Governor Scott Walker’s jobs record.

President Obama is expected to campaign for Burke in Milwaukee on Tuesday. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is due to return to the state to try and motivate the base for Governor Scott Walker. Polls still show the Burke-Walker contest as a dead heat.

After the rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin GOP Executive Director Joe Fadness says in a statement: “We can only hope that Bill Clinton spent part of his visit explaining that Burke should know better than to plagiarize her campaign documents and that it’s time for her to finally take responsibility for her actions.”

Grothman unfazed by lack of endorsement from Petri

Republican state Senator Glenn Grothman isn’t too concerned by the fact that Republican U.S. Representative Tom Petri won’t endorse him as he runs to succeed Petri. “I like Congressman Petri, a nice, soft-spoken individual, but right now we’re borrowing 20 percent of our budget, and I think I’m going to be a little bit more fiscally conservative than Congressman Petri,” Grothman told KFIZ.

“Why would I endorse a person who has said that if in two years people said he was ‘just like Petri’ he would be insulted?” Petri told the Fond du Lac Reporter this week. “I don’t want to smother him with love or anything like that.”

“I think what we have in that race is a situation where Grothman had challenged Petri earlier on to a primary, and that doesn’t usually sit well, challenging a sitting member of Congress in your own party,” said Lawrence University political science professor Arnold Shober. “Some things were said, and now Petri doesn’t feel the need to endorse him.”

Grothman may not have the endorsement of Petri, but that hasn’t seemed to temper his conservative talking points. “Right now we have a welfare system out of control . . . and I’m going to be much more aggressive than Congressman Petri in reigning in that welfare system,” he said.

Petri has even said Grothman’s Democratic opponent, Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, has done a good job, although Grothman says Petri has also made a donation to Grothman’s campaign.

“It’s not good for Grothman to not be able to claim that Petri has endorsed him,” Shober told WHBY. “That doesn’t mean it’s a death knell by any stretch. The district leans Republican. But Harris will be able to say ‘look, Grothman is not the kind of Republican that Petri was. Are you sure you really want that?'”

Wisconsin launches Ebola information line

(Image: CDC)

(Image: CDC)

State health officials are setting up a hotline to answer questions about the Ebola virus.

In addition to information already posted on the state Department of Health Service’s website, the agency has opened a toll free line for state residents who have questions about the Ebola virus.

State Health Officer Karen McKeown says the department is setting up the service because they recognize people are concerned and have questions about the virus. There have been no reported cases of the Ebola virus in Wisconsin and the risk to the public remains extremely low.

The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling 1-844-684-1064.

Rock County judge expected to launch Wisconsin Supreme Court bid

James Daley

James Daley

A Rock County Judge is expected to announce Monday that he plans to make a run for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

In an email, Judge James Daley said he plans to make a significant announcement related to the future of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court at noon on Monday in Lower Courthouse Park. The email says it was paid for by the Judge Daley for Supreme Court Committee.

Judge Daley was elected as Rock County District Attorney in 1984. He served in that position until he was appointed Circuit Court Judge by then-Governor Tommy Thompson in 1989.


Dems, GOP work overtime to turn out voters in Wisconsin

WRN file photo

WRN file photo

In a polarized, evenly-divided state, in which polls show the two gubernatorial candidates in a dead heat among likely voters, every single vote counts. Both political parties say turnout is the key to a win. In the days remaining before the election, Republicans and Democrats are knocking on doors, working the phones, and rallying voters.

Melissa Baldauff is communications director for the state Democratic Party. “There are about a million voters who cast a ballot in 2012, but didn’t vote in the midterm election in 2010.” She says, “It’s a very pivital goal for us here at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to find those voters, and engage those voters, and get them out.” Baldauff adds, early voting frees people up to volunteer on Election Day.

Joe Fadness is executive director for the state Republican Party. He says the state GOP ground game is “second to none.” Fadness says, “These 22 offices that the Republican Party of Wisconsin has are literally across the state everywhere from Kenosha up to Superior.” He says, “There’s not a single vote that can be taken for granted, especially in a state like Wisconsin and especially in a race like this.”

Fadness says TV ads “can only do so much.” It’s the personal one-on-one contact, he says, “that will make the difference.”

A photo ID is not needed in order to vote, but you will need to fill out an absentee application before getting a ballot.

Early in-person voting continues through October 31st — the Friday before Election Day. Absentee ballots can also be cast by mail.

Voters should check with their local municipal clerk’s office for voting times, which is limited to between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays but can vary among offices. Early in-person voting began on Monday October 20th.

Former President Bill Clinton was in Milwaukee Friday motivated the base for Mary Burke. Current President Barack Obama will be campaigning in Milwaukee next week. Meanwhile, Walker’s campaign says New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will campaign in Wisconsin next week to encourage voters to cast their ballots.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report :79