Exclusively for WisPolitics Subscribers


June 28: WisPolitics.com luncheon with Attorney General Brad Schimel

Join WisPolitics.com for lunch at the Madison Club, 5 East Wilson St., Madison, on Thursday, June 28 with Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel on his re-election run.

See Schimel’s bio: https://bradschimel.com/about-brad/

Check-in and lunch begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program going from 12 p.m.to 1 p.m.

Madison Club members and their guests receive discounted pricing for WisPolitics luncheons, $19 per person. WisPolitics subscribers and members also receive discounted pricing of $19 per person. Price for general public is $25 per person.

This luncheon is sponsored by: Husch Blackwell, American Family Insurance, Xcel Energy, Walmart, AARP Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

Register here:



White house

2018 governor campaign

State government

Federal government

Local government






Health care

Law and order









Taxpayers paid $98,000 for state lawmaker travel since 2015
… records [from Speaker’s Office] show that taxpayers spent $32,000 in 2015 and 2016, and $66,000 since 2017 on travel to places including the nation’s capital, Nashville, Tennessee, New Orleans, Boston, and Canadian cities, including Toronto and Quebec City. … Vos must approve any out-of-state travel for Republicans and Democrats. … Since 2015, taxpayers have paid $66,350 for Republican trips and $31,891 for Democrats. Republicans hold a 64-35 majority in the Assembly. Republicans have 65 percent of the seats in the Assembly and accounted for roughly that same percentage, 67 percent, in travel costs over the past two years. … Most of the Democratic travel was to attend meetings hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures … Republicans from Wisconsin also attended those events. OWN’s Ross attacks, VOs defends. By Bauer of AP, WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL

Walker misses goal of 250K new private-sector jobs in his first seven years in office
… increase of 213,000 private-sector jobs … are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages … Wisconsin ranks 34th out of the 50 states in the percentage increase (9.4 percent) of total private sector employment from end of 2010 to end of 2017. … Wisconsin’s unemployment rate, which is calculated under a separate monthly survey, dropped in April to a record low of 2.8 percent. In a separate statement on Thursday’s data, the Walker administration [DWD] noted that Wisconsin’s wages have ticked higher. In 2017, wages in Wisconsin’s construction sector grew 7.5 percent, and wages in the state’s manufacturing sector grew 5.5 percent. By Schmid and Gilbert, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

Trump’s planned Milwaukee visit for Foxconn groundbreaking includes $2,700-$100,000 per couple fundraiser
… price of admission to [Ted Kellner’s] invitation-only event June 29 starts with $2,700 per couple for a lunch reception and goes up to $100,000 per couple at the “host” giving or fundraising level … After the luncheon, Trump is expected to head to Mount Pleasant that afternoon for a groundbreaking ceremony … Proceeds from the luncheon will go to Trump Victory, which is a joint fundraising committee of Donald J. Trump for President Inc., and [RNC] … Kellner declined to comment … declined to disclose the location. Link to Trump’s top 18 WI donors, including Gehl, Burke, Uihlein. By Kirchen, MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL

Ryan Promises House Immigration Bill in Election Season
… Because of the arcane rules for such “discharge petitions” … “We have a firm deadline of Tuesday,” said Representative Jeff Denham of California, a leader of the petition drive. “Tuesday we will hit 218.” … “The next step is to start putting pen to paper so we can get legislation to the floor,” Mr. Ryan told reporters after the meeting. … [argued] forcing immigration votes … would not become law. “Our members realize it’s better to have a process that has a chance of going into law than not,” Mr. Ryan said. “Amnesty” bill would alienate base voters, depress GOP turnout in November. But failing to help Dreamers could harm vulnerable GOP targeted by Dems. Homeland Security chair McCaul: “The discharge petition actually did put pressure to get us to where we are today. But I don’t think there’s any will in the Congress to move forward with the discharge petition.” Rep. Amodei: “I guess we’re at the ‘family meeting’ stage, still.” Most vexing is the nature of the pathway to citizenship. Rep. Steve King: “It’s just surrealistic that I’m standing in here listening to member after member talk about everything except what they’re doing, which is destroying rule of law. When you reward lawbreakers, you’re destroying the rule of law.” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen: “We’re three signatures away, but it’s like the last two minutes of a football game: It just goes on forever.” By Kaplan and Fandos, NEW YORK TIMES


– Ryan remarks on Trump ‘spygate’ leave conservatives fuming … But Trump allies on Capitol Hill say Gowdy, a former prosecutor, defended the FBI before reviewing key underlying documents — and they are furious that Ryan has backed him. Senate Intelligence Chair Burr has also backed Gowdy’s assessment. Gaetz called Ryan’s remark “shameful.” HFC-er Jordan called Ryan’s decision “frustrating,” but agreed Ryan has helped in seeking documents, upset Gowdy, Ryan have taken FBI’s word on their proper procedure. Ryan has leaned into GOP document requests. Gowdy and Ryan along with other top lawmakers got DOJ, FBI briefing in May on informant [Jordan, Gaetz, other conservatives did not], but their request to view the underlying documents remains unmet.

– Ryan Comes Back to “No Collusion” After Breaking With Trump On Spy Claims

– Dobbs: Ryan and the RINOs

– Kind decries Trump’s tariffs, citing risk for WI dairy, other jobs … “It’s been very frustrating to try to work with the president and his trade team to try to get clarity,” Kind said during a phone interview after he and other members of the House Ways and Means Committee met with Lighthizer’s team Thursday afternoon. … With Mexico’s tit-for-tat including U.S. cheese, Kind said, “I mentioned to the trade ambassador if you want to destroy the American dairy industry, that will do it.” … “Our president should be forming marketing agreements in a national coalition against China — not the way this administration is working,” Kind said.

– Republicans skeptical of Trump’s tariff plan ahead of G7 summit … “We’ve stopped the regulatory burden, we’ve made America’s tax system more competitive, that produced certainty and great optimism in the economy, which is one of the reasons we’ve had these economic results,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican. “Let’s face it, we’re now on the opening shots of a trading war, (creating) greater uncertainty and puts all that at risk.” Sens. Lankford, Cornym, Flake, Graham comment.

– GOP chairman seeks Obama-era communications, docs on Russian interference … documents requested by Ron Johnson [in letter to DHS Sec. Nielsen] include communications among then-Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, then-FBI Director James Comey, former President Obama’s homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and other U.S. officials … All three individuals participated in the September 2016 briefing referenced by Ron Johnson. “The briefers … assured Members that the Administration had the matter under control and asked for Congress’ help in reinforcing public confidence in the election,” Ron Johnson wrote, adding that he is requesting the documents in order “to understand the threat as it existed at the time of the briefing.” … set a deadline of June 20 … Johnson has separately launched an investigation into communications between FBI officials after the Justice Department inspector general unearthed text messages between two officials in which they disparaged President Trump before the election. Those officials were once assisting special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference.

– Read what [9] Western Wisconsin voters have to say about Scott Walker: Gov. Scott Walker has visited western Wisconsin more times per capita than anywhere else in the state since January 2017. The Wisconsin State Journal asked voters there what they think about his first two terms and whether he deserves a third.

– McCabe Runs ‘People Powered’ Campaign In Bid For Governor’s Office, Activist’s Independent Streak Has Inspired And Frustrated In Democratic Primary

– PolitiFact: Kelda Roys, Democrat for governor, commits to participating in debate, then withdraws commitment … saying she objected to the [WBA] criteria, she withdrew her commitment, saying: “I cannot in good conscience commit to attending.” … Full Flop.

– More than $160K paid to legislators: for travel expenses … information from last year shows Rep. August Tyler, R-Lake Geneva and Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, ranked near the top for compensation on travel expenses. … Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, reported the third highest total among local legislators, disclosing $5,183 for travel to four conferences and a seminar in 2017, according to state records. Totals for Loudenbeck, Kloste, Ringhand. Details for Spreitzer, Nass. Spreitzer comments. Nass could not be reached.

– US Senate Defense Bill Could Carry Federal Counter-Drone Authorities … Sen. Ron Johnson said he hopes the counter-drone bill will be attached to the defense bill as a manager’s amendment. … said the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018 will provide “table stakes authority to begin the process, the complex process, of addressing this threat.” The threat stems from the use of small drones by terrorist groups and criminal organizations to drop explosives and hazardous materials, ferry drugs and conduct surveillance against critical infrastructure and other sites. … applies to federal authorities in limited circumstances and is seen as a first step in developing the techniques, policies and capabilities to begin to effectively counter threats from UAS in the U.S. … DHS and DOJ both support the proposed Senate bill.

– Fractured House GOP emerge from meeting with no final deal to protect young immigrants

– Ryan pleased with GOP “consensus,” though immigration meeting had no clear resolution

– Ryan is in denial about Republicans’ immigration fight … “What we all agree is that the four pillars is a really good point to rally around,” Ryan said at a press conference Thursday [after 2-hour GOP/DACA pow-wow] about the White House’s four immigration policy demands. “We don’t have disagreement on those four pillars. What we are doing now is reaching consensus on how to address those four pillars.” … [but] everyone knows isn’t true. … “This is an issue that everything is complicated, everything is controversial,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) said when asked how much disagreement there is on Trump’s four pillars. “There is disagreement on everything.” … Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) told Vox there isn’t even consensus on what the four pillars are. Ryan himself has never named them, but Trump’s proposal includes path to citizenship for 1.8M DACA-ites, funding a border wall, ending the diversity visa lottery, curbing family-based immigration. The Senate has voted on 4 immigration bills and the most Trumplike of them got the fewest votes. Though Ryan has said he wants to pass a bill that has a chance to become law, he said, “We don’t spend our time thinking about votes in the Senate. We spend our time thinking about how we can get consensus here in the House Republican conference and getting bills through the House,” which sounds opposite of seeking a bill that can become law.

– Ryan Buys More Time in House Immigration Battle, Rebellious moderates agree to back down for a few days. Again.

– U.S. Immigration Officials Can Now Deport Hosts of Migrant Children …[ICE] will now screen families seeking to host children, including others living in the home, checking their immigration status “to identify and arrest those who may be subject to removal” — meaning deportation — the new policy states. … More families are needed to host the children, because more migrant families are crossing the border and because the Trump administration has elected to separate children from parents to deter unauthorized immigration.

– Milwaukee IDs two commissioner finalists for troubled Health Department

COURTS ^top^
– Green Bay Packers fan’s lawsuit against Chicago Bears could affect NFL player protest rules … Beckman, a Green Bay Packers fan and Bears season ticket holder, sued the Bears because they would not let him wear his Packers garb on the sidelines when he participated in a 2016 pre-game event as part of a season ticket holders’ rewards program.

– East side congregation to renovate building, house immigrants under threat of deportation … James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation is raising funds to renovate its building, so that if and when the time comes, they can house an undocumented immigrant who could otherwise be deported. The Dane Sanctuary Coalition is made up of faith-based organizations, schools and campus ministries … Other committed congregations include First Unitarian Society and Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, which share a site, as well as Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ and Madison Mennonite Congregation

– Study: In 2016, Wisconsin’s job market improved but the state’s poverty rate increased … to 10.8% in 2016, compared to 9.7% in 2015… [UW] Institute for Research on Poverty … report was authored by Timothy Smeeding and Katherine Thornton.

– UW President Ray Cross: System merger ‘on track’ for July 1 start

– Advocacy groups push Janesville to enact anti-bullying ordinance

– CVTC evolves, budget to stay about the same

– Kitchens, Thelen to meet in Assembly District 1 election

– Bice: Assembly candidate [Daniels] doesn’t challenge accusations that she forged nomination signatures … missed the deadline for responding to a complaint … is now facing a criminal investigation by the Watertown Police Department … “I have no comment,” Michael Maistelman, attorney for Daniels, said. … should effectively hand the victory … to incumbent Rep. John Jagler … “I don’t know how the challenge could have been defended,” Jagler said. “Going to let the process play out on Monday.”… state Elections Commission is expected to formally decide to bounce Daniels from the ballot at its Monday meeting.

– Marshfield doctor Brian Ewert aims to unseat Duffy in 7th CD

– Tuesday’s special elections in Wisconsin could offer clues about a possible ‘blue wave’

– John Nichols: Democrats Have Now Flipped 42 State Legislative Seats From Red to Blue, Since Trump became president, Democrats have been on a legislative winning streak that sends a powerful signal about resistance politics.

– Mount Pleasant prepares to hire more police due to Foxconn

– Report: Donald Trump to return to Wisconsin for fundraiser, Foxconn groundbreaking

– Sessions explains to Congress rationale for not defending ObamaCare … After Congress repealed the mandate penalty as part of last year’s tax bill, the GOP-led states and DOJ argue the mandate itself is no longer a tax and is now invalid. … also argue that key pre-existing condition protections cannot be separated from the mandate and should be invalidated, while the remainder of the law can stay. … [AG letter to Ryan read,] “As you know, the Executive Branch has a longstanding tradition of defending the constitutionality of duly enacted statutes if reasonable arguments can be made in their defense. But not every professionally responsible argument is necessarily reasonable in this context,” he continued, adding this is “a rare case where the proper course is to forgo defense” of the law. Other admins have refused to defend laws, as Obama refused to defend the 2011 Defense of Marriage Act.

– Doctors Are Prescribing Fewer Addictive Painkillers, But Narcan Use Continues To Rise, Opioid Prescriptions Drop By Double Digits Across Nation And In Wisconsin

– [F&P] Commission calls for MPD audit of Sterling Brown tasing incident

– Police spend millions for mental health training that runs counter to way program was designed … Of all the mental health training programs for police, CIT is held up as the gold standard. … has three basic principles: All officers participate voluntarily. … continuous training … build relationships with people in the community who have mental illness. … “CIT is a lot more than just training,” Cochran said. “It’s a whole different way of policing. You have to want to do it to make it work.” But, in recent years, as deadly encounters with police have attracted more attention –particularly on social media — cities such as Milwaukee are requiring all officers to complete the training. … Meanwhile, some officers took to calling the existing program “Hug-a-Thug” and griped that it was not their jobs to be “street psychiatrists,” Pasch said.

– Sheriff candidate acknowledges raffle violation … Groelle said he read in a DCI report that someone had contacted the state Gaming Commission to ask for a raffle license for a political campaign, was told it was illegal, and then told the commission that the Groelle campaign was doing it. … Two DCI agents told him their visit was strictly educational, that he should stop holding raffles for his campaign, and he did, Groelle said.

– Jury convicts Flynn [for providing drug] in Fort heroin homicide

– Milwaukee police officer killed in squad car rollover crash: in pursuit of reckless driver

– Ashley offers free bus to work, Perk aimed at enticing EC residents to work at firm’s Whitehall facility

MINING ^top^
– Huge sand mine expansion eyed near Bloomer, Sand company plans massive expansion west of Bloomer, 60-year mine life expected

– U.S. House OKs Nolan’s infrastructure amendment for Soo Locks

– Minneapolis ends arrests for low-level marijuana charges

– Suicide rates jump in Minnesota, across US

– To Keep ‘Internet Free and Open for All,’ Dems Demand Paul Ryan Schedule Net Neutrality Vote Immediately, “Activists and advocates in every district are already turning up the heat on anyone who sells out their constituents to line the pockets of AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon.” … the entire Senate Democratic caucus sent a letter to Ryan on Thursday demanding that he end his “obstruction” and immediately schedule a vote to preserve … overwhelmingly popular net neutrality protections–which will officially be repealed on June 11th

– State hosting meeting on Highway 104 work

– Lafayette bridge is coming down: township begins demolition on buckled bridge Wednesday

– CT Editorial: WBA gubernatorial debates must begin by giving all candidates a fair hearing

– Paul Fanlund: What if America never was that great?

– Will Flanders: Fordham study shows Catholic schools lead to better self-discipline

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