November 23, 2014

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.”

Walker leads Burke by 7 points in latest Marquette poll

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke and GOP Governor Scott Walker (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke and GOP Governor Scott Walker (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Republican Governor Scott Walker picks up a seven point lead over his Democratic challenger Mary Burke in the final Marquette University Law School poll of this election cycle. Professor Charles Franklin is the poll director. “Walker at 50, Burke at 43.” Franklin points out it’s “a substantial increase from an even tie two weeks ago.”

That seven point lead is among likely voters.

Franklin says the gap between the two candidates is tighter among registered voters, with Walker at 46 and Burke at 45. “So what you’re seeing here in the contrast between all registered voters and a one point race, and all likely voters in a seven point race is just how important differential turnout is.”

Franklin reminds voters, “Polls don’t vote; people do.”

Joe Zepecki is communications director at Burke for Wisconsin. He says the race is “too close to call and going to come down to turnout.” Walker has maintained all along the only poll that matters is on November 4th.

Franklin says it’s the “likely” voter numbers that are more predictive of election outcomes, but that can change.

The poll interviewed 1,409 registered voters, including 1,164 likely voters, by landline and cell phone Oct. 23-26. For the full sample of 1,409 registered voters, the margin of error is +/- 2.7 percentage points. The margin of error for the sample of 1,164 likely voters is +/- 3.0 percentage points. This is the final Marquette Law School Poll before the Nov. 4 election.

Mary Burke votes early in Madison



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.