‘UpFront’: Vinehout ‘testing the waters’ for potential guv bid

State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout said she expects to make an announcement in September on whether she will run for governor in 2018.

“I’m out there testing the waters, and I can tell you that the waters are getting warmer,” she said on Sunday’s “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

Vinehout discussed the Foxconn bill, a $3 billion package of incentives the Walker administration has put together to lure the Taiwanese tech giant to Wisconsin.

“There’s certainly a lot of questions and a lot of things I’d like to see changed before it becomes a deal I can support,” the Alma Democrat said.

“Voters are right to question the whole policy of whether or not we should give a great deal of money to one company,” Vinehout said.

She said the tax credits proposed for Foxconn are “front-loaded,” meaning that “we’re going to have to pay out cash” to the company when it starts making capital expenditures.

“We haven’t even seen the state’s cash flow statement going forward. What’s it going to look like to the budget? How much are we going to have to cut schools and health care and local government and roads in order to pay for these tax credits? That’s the math that the Legislature needs to see,” she said.

Also on the program, Kevin Nicholson, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, explained why he switched parties after being active in Democratic politics years ago.

Nicholson said he was raised in a “left-of-center” family and his grandfather, who was his personal hero, was an FDR Democrat.

He said when he went away to college he became active in politics, eventually becoming president of the College Democrats of America. But he said he didn’t like the “identity politics” he saw practiced within the Democratic National Committee.

“I had to find out myself that the vision of the Democratic Party was not my vision for the future,” he said.

“When I talked about joining the Marine Corps, which I’d always planned to do, people looked at me like I was a little bit crazy,” he said. “I knew this probably wasn’t my crowd.”

Nicholson said the rest of his life went in a very different direction.

“My life shaped me. Those are the experiences that made me a conservative,” he said.

Nicholson also said his life experiences, including becoming a father of three and seeing lives lost in combat, changed his outlook from supporting abortion rights to opposing them.

“People will come to this decision in different ways. I can tell you that my experience is hard-earned and it’s the kind of thing that has stuck with me,” he said.

And ABC News Political Director Rick Klein suggests former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of Kenosha may run for office again in the future.

“He is remaining pretty loyal to President Trump in what he’s said publicly so far,” Klein said. “Personally, I’d be surprised if his name doesn’t make it onto to a ballot in Wisconsin at some point.”

Priebus once ran for state Senate from Kenosha.

Priebus left the West Wing about 10 days ago. President Trump replaced him with retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, who had been secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.

Priebus is a former head of both the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

“Reince Priebus was given a managerial structure that was almost unmanageable,” Klein said.

Klein noted the close relationship between Priebus and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville, and said many in the Trump White House do not have the level of comfort that Priebus had in picking up the phone and talking to donors or people on the Hill.

See more from the show:
http://www.wisn.com/upfront

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