November 26, 2014

Governor Scott Walker wins second term (AUDIO)

Gov. Scott Walker rallies with supporters. (Photo: Andrew Beckett)

Gov. Scott Walker rallies with supporters. (Photo: Andrew Beckett)

For the third time in four years, Governor Scott Walker wins an election, beating back a challenge from Democrat Mary Burke.

Speaking to supporters in West Allis Tuesday night after a marathon week and a half of campaigning, Walker started out by thanking God for his win. “I want to thank God for his abundance grace and mercy. Win or lose, it more than enough for each and every one of us.”

Walker delivered an often fiery speech to those who backed his campaign, as a crowd of over a thousand supporters cheered him on at the State Fair Park Exposition Center. The governor said his victory came despite special interest groups from Washington pumping “tens of millions of dollars” trying to convince the people of the state be against something. Walker said he focused on a positive message instead, with the belief that people wanted to be “for something, not against something.”

AUDIO:Gov. Scott Walker delivers victory speech (11:09)

The governor said those who opposed him measure success based on “how many people are dependent on government,” while he looks at how many people are not. “In America, we celebrate our independence from the government, not our dependence on it,” Walker said to loud cheers.

Walker said he took a concession call from his Democratic opponent before taking the stage, and thanked her for taking the time to meet with him briefly and take a picture as their campaigns crossed paths in Green Bay on Monday. “I know there are disagreements on policy issues, but I think that picture symbolizes tonight that she had a great love for her state…together we are Wisconsinites more than we are Republicans or Democrats.”

Things to know on Election Day in Wisconsin



The months of campaigning, political ads, and debates are finally near an end. Election Day has arrived in Wisconsin and voters will be heading out to polling places statewide today to cast their ballots in the race for governor, attorney general, and a variety of other state and local offices. Before you head out to the polls though, the state Government Accountability Board is urging you to take a few minutes to make sure you don’t face any problems when trying to vote.

GAB Director Kevin Kennedy says the number one thing voters should do is make sure they know where to vote and whether they are currently registered. The agency maintains a website that allows voters to check that information, and to also look at what will appear on their ballot when they show up at the polls. Kennedy says voters also need to remember that a government-issued photo ID will not be required to obtain a ballot at the polls, although you can use one to help register to vote at your polling place.

State Elections Division Administrator Mike Haas adds that voters should not be afraid to report any problems they experience when trying to vote. Haas says you should start by bringing it to the attention of the Elections Inspector at the polling place. If that fails to address the issue, contact your municipal clerk’s office or local law enforcement.

Polling places statewide open at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m. The GAB predicts voter turnout will be at about 57 percent, with about 2.5 million votes cast.

McCarthy gets multi-year extension from Packers (AUDIO)

Mike McCarthy - UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Mike McCarthy – UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Green Bay Packers announced the signing of head coach Mike McCarthy to a multi-year contract extension.  Terms of the contract weren’t disclosed, but the new deal likely keeps McCarthy in line with general manager Ted Thompson’s new deal that he signed in July.

In a statement from Ted Thompson, the Packers general manager said, “We are very happy to extend our relationship with Mike.  Over the past nine years, he’s provided great stability and consistency to the Packers organization and our community as an excellent coach and leader.  He’s a good man and we look forward to the future with Mike as our head coach.”

McCarthy’s 98 wins rank third all-time in team history behind Curly Lambeau (212) and Vince Lombardi (98).  McCarthy is ahead of Mike Holmgren (84) and Mike Sherman (59).

AUDIO: Mike McCarthy on being 5-wins away from Vince Lombardi :21

AUDIO: Mike McCarthy asked how much longer he’ll coach :15

AUDIO: Mike McCarthy isn’t looking ahead, trying to make the best of the here and now :19

Since taking over a 4-12 Packers team in 2006, Green Bay has reached the postseason six times under McCarthy.  He won the NFC North four times, reached two NFC Championship games and won the Super Bowl back in 2010.



Wisconsin elections head predicts voter turnout at 57 percent

WRN File photo

WRN File photo

Expect plenty of Wisconsin residents to show up at the polls next Tuesday to cast their votes in a race for governor that both of the leading candidates admit will largely hinge on turnout.

The state Government Accountability Board project about 2.5 million voters will cast ballots in the November 4 election, which is about 57 percent of the eligible electors living in the state. GAB executive director Kevin Kennedy says the numbers are “extremely similar” to the ballots cast in the June 2012 recall election, where Governor Scott Walker won over Democratic nominee Tom Barrett. Walker, the Republican incumbent, is seeking reelection in a close race against Democrat Mary Burke.

Kennedy says “anytime you break 50 percent you know it’s got the voters engaged, they think that their vote is going to make a difference, and that’s why they get to the polls.” He says that seems to be the case this year, with major races for governor and attorney general at the top of the ticket. There are also a number of high profile races for Congressional seats, the state Legislature, and local offices, as well as referenda questions and a proposed state constitutional amendment on protecting the state transportation fund.


Burke calls allegation she was fired from Trek ‘ridiculous’

Mary Burke says she was never fired from her family’s business. Less than a week prior to Election Day, the Democrat running against Republican Governor Scott Walker vehemently rejected the allegation from a conservative media outlet, which claimed that she was fired from Trek Bicycle more than twenty years ago.

“That’s ridiculous, and frankly this is the sort of nonsense, six days before an election, baseless allegations that are detering frankly from the issues that are really important here,” said Burke.

During a campaign stop in Green Bay on Wednesday, Burke said that she left a position with Trek’s European operations of her own accord. “We reorganized and eliminated the position that I had, and I left that organization in charge of two other people who reported directly to the U.S.” Burke said.

John Burke, the President of Trek and Burke’s brother, issued a statement noting that the allegations reported by Wisconsin Reporter were attributed to Gary Ellerman, the Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party. John Burke said Ellerman was fired from Trek in 2004. “His politically motivated characterizations of Mary and her tenure at Trek are inaccurate.”