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August 30, 2015

‘I am not intimidated,’ Walker tells protesters at Iowa State Fair

Walker at Iowa State Fair PHOTO: Asya Akca)

Walker at Iowa State Fair PHOTO: Asya Akca)

Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker delivered a message to protesters who were in the crowd, booing his speech at the Iowa State Fair this morning “You want someone who’s tested? I’m right here. You can see it. This is what happened in Wisconsin. We will not back down.”

The Wisconsin governor was in Des Moines as he continues his efforts to secure a strong showing in next year’s Iowa caucuses. “The left doesn’t want me to be your nominee ’cause they know I don’t just talk, I actually deliver on my promises,” Walker yelled.

About 50 protesters took a bus from Wisconsin to Des Moines to be on hand for Walker’s speech at The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox. Walker supporters in the crowd cheered, while the protesters booed and a few waved signs periodically. Walker kept talking over the din. “I am not intimidated by you, sir, or anyone else out there,” Walker said. “I will fight for the American people over and over and over and over again.”

Tatiana Anderson is one of the protesters. “Me and 50 other people came all the way from Wisconsin just to let people of Iowa know what is going on and we won’t stop here,” she said. “We will be everywhere Scott Walker is because he is representing us with all lies.”

Walker walked around the fairgrounds for a while, surrounded by protesters and the media. The latest CNN poll of likely Iowa Caucus-goers finds Walker in third place, behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson, and just ahead of Carly Fiorina – all candidates who have never before held elected office.

Walker began his speech to fairgoers with an emphasis on his status as someone who’s never before held federal elected office. “I’ve got to tell you, these days I’m not just frustrated with the president and with the Democrats in Washington, I’m frustrated with the Republican leadership in Washington as well,” Walker said, to cheers. “…I talk to voters all the time to voters in this state and around the country who say ‘We want to send a message to Republican leaders in Washington that when you make promises on the campaign trail, we want to see it.'”

Walker faults congressional leaders for failing to stop the president’s executive actions on immigration and for failing send a bill to the president’s desk that would “repeal ObamaCare.” Walker says he’ll release his plan to replace ObamaCare on Tuesday.

Radio Iowa

Proposed ban on fetal tissue research could see changes

Republican lawmakers at the Capitol are hoping to move quickly on a bill that would ban the use of tissue from aborted fetuses in medical research, although one GOP leader in the state Assembly says they are looking at potential amendments.

The legislation was the subject of a heated hearing earlier this week, which saw experts from the University of Wisconsin and private sector criticizing the potential impact of the bill. The research community claimed it could disrupt work that’s currently being done in the state and drive top talent out of Wisconsin, while damaging the state’s reputation in the biomedical community. Supporters of the prohibition argued the state should not be helping to promote abortions in order to further research.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said Wednesday that they are looking at possible changes and will work with the bill’s sponsors. “We are open to making amendments, if it’s necessary…we’re going to sit down with the authors, talk it through and try to craft a bill that can pass both chambers, get signed by the governor, and ultimately be upheld in court.”

One possible amendment could simply apply the prohibition to research done using fetal tissue donated after its effective date. Vos said that could allow existing work to go on. “If unborn children have been utilized in the past, I think that’s horrific, but I accept the fact that they’re already being used in research,” he said. However, Vos feels a “reasonable restriction” should be able to stop it in the future.

Even if the Assembly passes the bill this fall, Republican leaders in the state Senate have expressed some concerns of their own. Governor Scott Walker was also non-committal this week when pressed on whether he supports the proposal.

Walker signs financing deal for Milwaukee Bucks arena (AUDIO)

Gov. Scott Walker signs the Bucks financing deal. (Photo: Andrew Beckett)

Gov. Scott Walker signs the Bucks financing deal. (Photo: Andrew Beckett)

Calling it a “dynamic new addition” to the city of Milwaukee and the state, Governor Scott Walker this morning signed legislation that provides about $250 million in public financing for a new NBA arena in Milwaukee.

Walker was surrounded by lawmakers, team officials, and local government leaders, as he signed the bill during a ceremony at State Fair Park in West Allis. The governor touted the economic benefits the plan is expected to bring, with the addition of the $500 million sports entertainment district in downtown Milwaukee.

Walker noted that the state could have lost at least $6.5 million a year in income taxes from players’ salaries, if the NBA followed through with a threat to relocate the Bucks if a new arena is not built. “If we didn’t take this path, we’d be looking at a $6.5 million dollar hole…which would be obviously a negative impact on future budgets,” Walker said.

AUDIO: Gov. Scott Walker argues why it’s cheaper to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee (

The plan calls for an overall investment of $250 million in taxpayer funds, which is projected to be closer to $400 million once interest is factored in. The state’s share is capped at $80 million over the next 20 years, with southeastern Wisconsin officials covering the rest of the costs.

Several Democratic votes were needed to pass that bill through both chambers, amid concerns from some Republicans that taxpayer dollars should not be used on what’s essentially a private sports facility. Walker said it was “a good example where people came together, not just across party lines, but from many different places in Wisconsin.”

Wolf joins Hall of Fame greats today (AUDIO)

Ron Wolf

Ron Wolf

Former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf becomes the 23rd member of the Packers organization today to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Wolf’s son Eliot, who is the Packers director of player personnel, said he cried when his mother called him in January with the news that his dad had been elected.  Eliot Wolf said he used to joke with his dad that when he got into the Hall of Fame, he would present him.

So that is how it is going down today.  Eliot Wolf will present his father as he enters football’s biggest shrine.

Wolf joined the Packers in 1991 and led the franchise’s turn-around.  He started by hiring Mike Holmgren as his coach and trade a first round pick to Atlanta for quarterback Brett Favre.  Once the ball started rolling, then it was time to make a big free agent splash.  That’s when Wolf enticed Reggie White to sign with the Packers.  [Read more…]

Governor Walker plays it safe in first presidential debate

Gov. Scott Walker (File photo)

Gov. Scott Walker (File photo)

While several candidates in the crowded Republican presidential primary field were aiming criticism at each other, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker took a largely scripted approach in Thursday night’s first debate.

Walker, one of ten candidates appearing on stage during the Fox News debate in Cleveland, Ohio, used what time he had to lay out his candidacy to viewers, sticking largely to positions he’s already mentioned on the campaign trail.

When he did lash out against anyone with criticism, it was typically Democrats Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama. “Everywhere in the world that Hillary Clinton touched is more messed up today than before,” Walker said of the Democratic frontrunner.

Responding to a question on foreign policy by referencing a recent cyber-attack linked to China, Walker quipped “It’s sad to think right now, but probably the Russian and Chinese government know more about Hillary Clinton’s email server than members of the United States Congress.”

Walker criticized Clinton’s support for Planned Parenthood, while answering a question on whether his stance on opposing abortion, even in cases where the life of a mother is at risk, puts him out of touch with the majority of Americans. Walker said “I’ve got a position I think is consistent with many Americans out there, in that I believe that that is an unborn child that’s in need of protection.” He also noted that he defunded Planned Parenthood more than four years ago, before the latest controversy erupted surrounding secretly recorded videos.

Much of the evening was dominated by attacks between some of the other candidates, including real estate mogul Donald Trump, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Walker trailed many of the others in terms of time on screen, speaking for less than six minutes during the two hour debate. Trump led the field with time spent talking, clocking in at more than ten minutes.

In his closing statement, Walker detailed his track record as governor in fighting unions and pushing for reforms, while making the case for why he’s a normal guy. Walker said “I’m a guy with a wife, two kids, and a Harley. One article called me ‘aggressively normal.'”

Walker returns to the campaign trail on Friday, with stops in Ohio, then on to Georgia and South Carolina this weekend.