Exclusively for WisPolitics Subscribers
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Quotes of the week
- Political stock report
- Nicholson outspent Vukmir 20-to-1 on direct mail in final quarter of 2017
- Dallet raised $92,000 for state Supreme Court campaign in first month of the year
- Wisconsin Alliance for Reform praises Screnock in new TV ad
- Mitchell says his race, Act 10 don’t define his campaign
- Week ahead
- Political TV
- Names in the news
- Lobbyist watch
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
It’s pivotal to the paper industry here in the Fox Valley, absolutely vital, that we retain the presence of Kimberly-Clark here and the 600 families that these jobs support.
– State Sen. Roger Roth, who said Kimberly-Clark would get “Foxconn terms” to keep 600 jobs the paper manufacturer plans to eliminate in Neenah under legislation he’s working on with Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna. Roth, R-Appleton, said the bill could send up to $10 million in state assistance to the company.
Retaining outstanding Wisconsin companies like Kimberly-Clark is just as important as attracting new companies to our state, which is why I’m proposing we offer larger tax credits to ensure the company keeps those 600 jobs where they belong — in Wisconsin.
– Gov. Scott Walker.
A 280-character tweet isn’t an economic development plan, and it’s clearly too little, too late.
– Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, slamming a tweet Walker sent pushing to help the company. Dems criticized the move as reactionary and said it underscores his administration’s failure to adequately work with the company before last month’s announcement the plants would close as part of a global restructuring. Dems this week unveiled two bills to help the paper industry with a $60 million state investment in revolving loan funds.
Do you support tax credits for Kimberly-Clark? Weigh in by responding to our new WisOpinion poll: https://www.wispolitics.com/2018/should-the-state-provide-up-to-10-million-in-incentives-to-retain-kimberly-clark-jobs/
Frankly, I am OK with any opportunity we that have to reduce the taxes that people pay in Wisconsin, because we are overtaxed, period. I think this is a creative way to stimulate the economy.
– Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, on a deal he reached with Walker on the guv’s proposal to return part of a $385 million projected surplus to taxpayers. The agreement calls for making Walker’s proposed permanent $100-per-child credit a one-time rebate. It would be accompanied by a one-time sales tax holiday on the first weekend of August and apply to most purchases of $100 or less.
This is an election-year bribe. The governor might as well save money on postage and just hand these checks out at polling places in November.
– Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh.
[W]hen polling showed she had no path to success, suddenly the first campaign ad we get shows Donald Trump in its first frame with an attack on Donald Trump. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind attacks on Donald Trump. What I don’t like are candidates who will say anything to be elected.
– Supreme Court candidate Tim Burns during a Milwaukee debate knocking primary opponent Rebecca Dallet for a campaign ad that opens with an attack on President Trump. The Middleton attorney said Dallet, a Milwaukee County judge, talked about not politicizing the judiciary when she began her campaign, and this summer said the candidates shouldn’t mention Gov. Scott Walker or Trump.
From day one, I’ve understood that judges can and should talk about our values. And I have been talking about my values from my very announcement speech of my campaign.
As a judge, my fidelity is to the law and to the law alone. The role of a judge is to set aside whatever personal beliefs you have about an issue and decide the case only on the law and on the facts.
– Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock answering attacks about his work for Republicans and the Walker administration while he was an attorney at Michael Best & Friedrich.
These bills are all so similarly written that they put people who are low income or who are struggling in jeopardy. And that saddens me, to throw a lot of money away to demonize the poor.
– Rep. Lisa Subeck, also saying during a committee meeting a GOP welfare overhaul package is unnecessarily costly. The Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform signed off on the bills, with Dems in opposition.
I think this is absolutely paramount to our success when we have 3 percent unemployment and jobs to fill yet.
– Committee Chair Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, who said the package continues to ensure the state acts as a national leader in welfare reform.
With this agreement, we are breaking the logjam on a number of priorities for the American people.
– House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, on a bipartisan Senate deal to keep the government funded long term.
I am committed to getting the job done and moving these bipartisan solutions forward in the Senate and it’s important that the Republican House and President Trump step up and do the same. It’s time to deliver results for the American people.
– U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, on the funding deal.
For more news about Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation, sign up for the weekly DC Wrap newsletter: ” >http://bit.ly/2GZOLm0
We all need to do more. Each of us needs to step up and do our part in creating a culture that helps to prevent sexual assaults and harassment from happening in the first place — and also to encourage and empower survivors of such acts to come forward.
– UW System President Ray Cross at a Board of Regents meeting Friday saying the system must do more to combat sexual harassment. Cross’ comments come after media reports showed at least 11 complaints of sexual misconduct against system employees since 2014.
POLITICAL STOCK REPORT
–A collection of insider opinion–
(Feb. 3-9, 2018)
Michael Screnock: The Sauk County judge is the conservative candidate in the race for the state Supreme Court. WMC is trying to make sure conservative voters know that ahead of the Feb. 20 primary. The liberal One Wisconsin Now, which tracks TV buys, tallies $470,000 the WMC Issues Mobilization Council is spending on TV, including broadcast, cable and satellite. The cable portion of the buy includes an emphasis on the Fox News Channel, a sign the group is trying to motivate conservative voters to turn out for the primary. That’s a particular concern among some Republicans after seeing what happened in the special election for the 10th SD with a supercharged Dem base and GOP voters not matching their intensity. In that environment, some believe anything is possible Feb. 20 and won’t rule out the possibility that left-of-center candidate Rebecca Dallet and liberal Tim Burns could make it through the three-way primary. Insiders say a Dallet-Burns finale is unlikely and would send a shockwave of epic portions through the political circles. Thus the WMC buy and another $75,000 in TV and radio from the conservative Wisconsin Alliance for Reform. Better to spend the money now and feel better about Screnock’s chances in the primary than be shocked come Feb. 20 and spend the rest of the election second guessing yourself, some say. There are also conservatives who aren’t that thrilled with the need for such an investment upfront by outside groups. They complain the Screnock campaign got off the ground late following Justice Michael Gableman’s announcement in June that he wouldn’t seek re-election. They gripe that he wasn’t a well-known quantity and still hasn’t hit his stride. While the Sauk County judge up on radio, his fundraising has lagged. Meanwhile, Dallet and Burns have both gone up on TV with their own ads. In Dallet’s spot, she shows video of President Trump as the narrator promises she’ll protect our values. Burns, meanwhile, makes an overt pitch as a progressive and a Dem, promising to stand up to Walker’s “extreme” agenda. The two have also been increasingly going after each other in the lead-up to the primary. That suggests to insiders that their polling shows they’re fighting for a slot opposite Screnock. There are also those who question whether the fighting is getting bad enough that either would emerge from the primary as damaged goods. But progressives are confident the environment is so in their favor that any damage would have little impact on the April election. Further, both sides say Gov. Scott Walker can’t afford the narrative of a Dem win in the Republican 10th SD and a conservative loss in a state Supreme Court race going into his own re-elect. So if Screnock gets through, expect a battle for the seat.
Per diems: Lawmakers in 2017 collected more to cover their lodging and meals while at work in Madison than they did the last time they dealt with a budget. While the process dragged on longer in 2017 than 2015, members collectively claimed fewer days of work last year than two years prior. But with rates bumping up in both houses, legislators pulled in $1.3 million in per diems last year, an increase of about $139,000 compared to 2015. Since then, the per diem rates in the Senate have climbed to $115 per day, compared to $88 previously. The Assembly, meanwhile, tied its per diems to the federal rate and saw its reimbursements go up to $157 for an overnight stay in Madison and $78.50 for a single-day visit, compared to $138 and $69 in 2015. Even with the longer budget debate, the days claimed dipped to 13,645 between the two houses, compared to 13,878 two years ago. Members of the Assembly topped $1 million as they claimed 10,091 days of per diems, compared to $922,478 for 10,368 days in 2015. Joint Finance Committee Chair John Nygren, R-Marinette, claimed the most per diem in either house at $19,841 for 148 days, while Rep. Rob Hutton, R-Brookfield, claimed the least in per diem at $1,850 for 74 days. Members of the Senate, meanwhile, claimed $339,204 for 3,554 days compared to $284,988 and 3,510 days two years earlier. Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon and a member of JFC, claimed the most per diem in that chamber at $16,100. Meanwhile, Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, claimed the least at $4,550 for 45 days. Per diems typically drop off in non-budget years, and the Assembly’s cap on the maximum number of days that can be claimed reflects that. While the chamber allowed up to 153 days in 2017, it will be a max of 90 in 2018.
See the full Assembly list: ” >https://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/acc/media/1270/perdiemranking-2017.pdf
See the full Senate list: ” >https://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/180205Senate.pdf
Low-income families: UW-Madison announces “Bucky’s Tuition Promise,” a new program that will cover four years of tuition for students who come from families making the state’s median household income. The program will begin with this fall’s incoming freshman class and will be offered to each new freshman class after that, amounting to about 800 newly eligible students per year and $825,000 in newly committed funds. When the program is fully implemented, the university expects the annual cost to be around $3.3 million. Chancellor Rebecca Blank says it will disproportionately affect people in smaller towns and rural parts of the state because incomes are lower there. Blank said the program will not use any state tax dollars, but will instead get funding from private gifts and other institutional resources. UW-Madison Director of Financial Aid Derek Kindle said some potential sources of revenue for the plan are funding from vendor licensing agreements as well as gifts from large contributors such as John and Tashia Morgridge, who recently gave $10 million to match donors who establish need-based endowed scholarships. Financial aid programs from the university already cover full tuition for about 70 percent of eligible students under the newly announced program, meaning about 30 percent, or 250, would be newly eligible for full coverage.
Tony Evers: A Dane County judge declines to issue a new order making sure the state schools superintendent doesn’t have to submit his agency’s rules to the Walker administration for review. But part of the rationale is there’s no real threat the administration or the state DOJ would try to force Evers to do that. It’s the latest episode in a long-running conflict stemming from a 2016 state Supreme Court decision and a 2017 lawsuit over the state superintendent’s constitutional authority in the rulemaking process. The high court ruled in 2016 that Evers could not be forced to submit rules written by his agency to the guv for review, because he is elected to a separate, constitutional office. Republicans last year pushed through the REINS Act, which added a new layer to the rulemaking process for state agencies. Citing the 2016 decision, the Department of Public Instruction has declined to abide by that law, saying the previous decision makes clear it is exempt from such requirements. But the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed a lawsuit late last year seeking to compel compliance. That action also includes a dispute over whether Evers should be allowed to select the attorney who will represent DPI, because AG Brad Schimel, a Republican, supports the WILL position. So far, the state Supreme Court has not said whether it will hear the case directly as WILL has asked, and Dane County Judge Richard Niess says during a court hearing he’s not inclined to issue any new orders. That’s largely because he says there’s no indication the Walker administration planned to violate the injunction that was issued as part of that 2011 lawsuit that resulted in the 2016 Supreme Court ruling. Still, attorney Susan Crawford, who represents the teachers who asked for the order, said she was still satisfied by the outcome of the Dane County hearing. She adds that’s because the Department of Justice indicated it did not plan to seek compliance with the new law on the rulemaking process until the state Supreme Court takes action in that separate suit. Conservatives, meanwhile, are hoping a reconfigured court could mean a different result in that 2016 decision. Since then, conservative Justice Daniel Kelly has replaced David Prosser, who had sided with Evers in the 2016 decision.
Scott Walker: Republicans say they don’t like policies that pick winners and losers. But they also don’t see losing 600 Kimberly-Clark jobs in the Fox Valley as a good thing for the guv in a re-election year. So a week after the company announced plans to shut down two plants — and right before Dems announced their own plan to help the paper industry — Walker calls for Foxconn terms in an attempt to persuade the company to keep the Wisconsin jobs. Dems howl it’s another election-year gimmick from the guv to shore up his poll numbers and compensate for his administration’s decision to sink so much into the Foxconn deal. Even the guv’s backers are surprised Walker tied what he wants to offer Kimberly Clark to the Foxconn incentive package, saying they figured Dems would try to do that for him. Still, Walker pushes for the Legislature to approve job retention tax credits of 17 percent rather than current law of 7 percent, the same percentage used to attract Foxconn. It’s a little hard for some of Walker’s conservative backers to swallow the pitch. For one, they fear, it sets a poor precedent. What happens if and when employers like Harley-Davidson or Johnson Controls go through a round of layoffs? Won’t every major company come to the state seeking the same deal? And how could the Walker administration then say no? Some look at this and the lengthy list of bills Walker wants lawmakers to approve before adjourning as a sign he’s in panic mode. Facing national headwinds, his to-do list has something for almost every group of voters Republicans are struggling to keep on board, some say. Some critics also see signs that Walker is struggling to make Foxconn a winner with the public. Public polling has already shown the farther you get away from the plant site in Racine County, the less popular it becomes. And if a major employer in your backyard shuts down a plant, it’s not going to help your view of the incentive package the state laid out to land a company from Taiwan, some add. Still, the guv continues to sell Foxconn, and he proudly touts the company’s decision to buy a Northwestern Mutual building in Milwaukee to establish its U.S. headquarters as part of its investment in Wisconsin. The seven-story building has a capacity for 650 people and will include business incubators and start-ups along with Foxconn staff. It’s one example of the ripple effect Walker has been talking about beyond the manufacturing plant in Racine County. Some backers believe there’s still time for Walker to win the PR battle on Foxconn. He has taken a page out of Tommy Thompson’s playbook to portray Wisconsin as the bright, shiny state on a hill with an optimistic future, some say. He also continues to cite positive economic news as part of his pitch that his administration’s reforms are working, including the announcement that state exports were up 6 percent last year. Backers say Walker should be telling voters Foxconn was such a unique deal that the state had to do anything to land it and then declare a bright line on offering anyone else similar incentives. But the fact Walker is using Foxconn as a benchmark suggests to insiders that he knows it’s a political problem with the public right now. Meanwhile, his agenda for the final days of the legislative session is up in the air. He agrees to last-minute changes to his $100 per-child credit in an attempt to persuade the Senate to go along. Arm twisting in the Legislature has never been Walker’s strong suit. But some believe he’s going to have to put in a first-class effort over the closing weeks if he wants new agenda items to tout to voters come fall.
Transpo funding: First, it was a gas tax increase. Now, it’s open road tolling. As Republicans toss out ideas to raise transportation revenues, insiders say it all points to a single dynamic: If Wisconsin has to bring in new transportation money to attract a piece of a federal infrastructure package, it’s going to be tough to get majority Republicans on the same page about a viable option. What’s more, Gov. Scott Walker is drawing a line in the sand that a gas tax hike or tolling would have to be offset by a tax cut elsewhere. While addressing the Wisconsin Counties Association, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos call open road tolling the most viable option to address Wisconsin’s long-term transportation needs and attract federal funding that could be included in an infrastructure package. Part of that is other options, such as a gas tax hike, would be a tough sell with Walker and in the Senate GOP caucus. Still, Walker is noncommittal about the prospect saying, “To be perfectly clear, I am not in any way suggesting support for tolling …. I’m not taking it off the table permanently, but I want to make it clear just because someone brought it up doesn’t mean I’m proposing it.” Fitzgerald told the WCA the price tag for infrastructure projects in southeastern Wisconsin alone is $6 billion and a gas tax hike of 5 cents or 10 cents would not be nearly enough to address those needs. Vos, meanwhile, says a gas tax boost was better than doing nothing. But he noted with the move toward electric and driverless cars, those vehicles are not contributing toward infrastructure costs through a gas tax and those “that use the roads should pay for them.” Walker vetoed $2.5 million from the 2017-19 budget for a tolling study, writing in his veto message the money was unnecessary because the Department of Transportation could study the issue at its own discretion. During budget negotiations, Walker suggested he would be open to collecting money from drivers entering the state, but it would have to be accompanied by a decrease in the gas tax. Fitzgerald said the dynamic of tolling may have changed with the guv, because a proposed federal infrastructure package would require cities, states and private companies to raise money in order to capture more aid. Still, while Walker opened the door to a gas tax increase, he says ”we’re not even going to think about” a gas tax boost or other source of revenue unless taxes are reduced elsewhere. But he adds “it’s wide open” in terms of where that tax cut could occur. Much of this is being driven by the discussion on a federal tax package. Early reports suggest the Trump administration wants to give out $200 billion for infrastructure, but require cities, states and private companies to raise $1.3 trillion new revenue to grab a piece of it. Fitzgerald says it’s too soon to know exactly how it would work, noting there are questions whether tax hikes some states have approved in the past year, for example, would qualify as new revenue. The guv also predicts the feds wouldn’t give out the new transportation dollars to the states this year, adding that it’ll likely be “something we’ll be accounting for in the next budget.” And that depends upon whether such a sweeping deal can pass Congress.
Unions: The guv’s Act 10 has undercut public employee unions since it took effect seven years ago. The state Supreme Court adds another blow as it rules the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission doesn’t have to release a list of who’s cast ballots in a union certification vote while it’s underway. In doing so, the court also carves out another exemption to the state’s public records law, ruling the presumption documents should be released as soon as possible is outweighed by the need to protect union employees from voter intimidation. Act 10 requires an annual recertification vote for most public employee unions with support from 51 percent of members, not just those voting. Thus, those who don’t cast ballots are similar to a “no” on the question. Madison Teachers Inc. wanted to track turnout during a 2015 recertification vote. WERC rejected the requests, waiting to turn them over until after the union overwhelmingly won the vote. The union then sued, and a Dane County judge ruled WERC had violated the records law. But the Supreme Court overturns that decision on a 5-2 with the conservative majority siding with WERC. Chief Justice Pat Roggensack, writing for the majority, finds union members have a right to cast their votes “without intimidation or coercion.” Justice Ann Walsh Bradley counters the threat of voter intimidation is hypothetical.
Dark-store legislation: Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is predicting “chaos” as majority Republicans try to advance remaining bills before adjourning in a matter of weeks. But the agenda won’t include the bill sought by local officials that would prevent retailers from using vacant, or “dark stores,” in trying to lower their assessments. Appearing at the Wisconsin Counties Association’s meeting, Fitzgerald and Speaker Robin Vos declare the so-called dark-store legislation will not pass this session, with the Senate leader adding it’s too complicated an issue and needs further study before the Legislature takes it up. Beyond that, insiders say it’s hard to say exactly what the Legislature will finish before adjourning in about six weeks. Part of the reason, insiders add, is the Capitol is waiting on Senate Republicans to caucus on Tuesday to figure out what they want to do. Vos can strike a deal with the guv to add a sales tax holiday sweetener to the child tax credit and get his caucus to go along with it. Fitzgerald doesn’t have that luxury, insiders say. That’s because the Juneau Republican has to deal with a caucus that likes to arrive at its own conclusions rather than being led to one. So until the GOP senators hash it out, insiders say, there’s no safe bet on what’s going to clear both houses. The Assembly has already sent dozens of bills to the Senate and will send dozens more during a handful of floor sessions this month. But the Senate doesn’t tend to do calendars with 100 bills on them, insiders note, so that chamber will be the gatekeeper for the typical end-of-session rush. In trying to project what might clear, insiders believe at least some of the bills in the guv’s welfare package will pass, but maybe not all. There are priorities such as more bills on the HOPE agenda to battle opioids and bills to impact the foster care system. Then there’s the wetlands bill, which seems to be picking up steam with a recent compromise that partially appeased sporting groups. The guv’s call for a $50 million rural development fund is an open question, as is the Obamacare reinsurance plan he’s put forward. Don’t bet on the fetal tissue bills making any headway in the closing days, some add, and the $100-per-child tax credit’s prospects are murky. Walker and Vos announce they’ve agreed to make it a one-time sales tax rebate this year and couple it with a one-time sales tax holiday in early August, right after the checks would show up. Vos pitches it as a way to stimulate the economy while having a broader impact than just the per-child credit, which would hit about 671,000 of the state’s 2.3 million households. To critics, both are gimmicks. Senate Republicans already rejected a sales tax holiday in the state budget, and some are having a hard time with the prospect of sending checks out this year rather than putting surplus money toward some kind of more meaningful, long-term tax changes. But budget watchers wonder if they’ll go out of their way to deny Walker his big request in an election year. Things also got tougher in the Senate to get things done between Dem Patty Schachtner picking off the 10th SD last month and Republican Frank Lasee’s resignation to join the Walker administration. It was hard enough to get things done with a 20-13 majority and a conservative wing of the caucus that had a mind of its own, some say. Now it’s 18-14 and Republicans can only lose one vote to get anything passed. There are also some political pressures at play in the final days — just like every close of session, veterans note. The 10th has spooked some Republicans, and insiders see the guv’s frantic last-minute list of bills as an attempt to shore up his standing with voters ahead of this fall. Some conservative groups also fear that this could be a last hurrah for Republicans having control of both houses and the guv’s office after a nearly seven-year run. That’s upped the pressure from some outside groups just in case a Dem wave hits this fall and upturns the GOP majorities.
UW IT: The Legislative Audit Bureau details weaknesses with UW System’s IT security policies. Auditors say the weaknesses could lead to unauthorized transactions and compromised personal information, as well as unauthorized changes in accounting, payroll and student data. The auditors also suggest an increased risk of cyber attacks, which could cause loss of data or intellectual property, leading to potential financial loss. This year’s audit is not the first to bring up security concerns, which were highlighted in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 UW System audits. After those weaknesses were pointed out, the UW System Board of Regents approved a comprehensive IT security policy, and in late 2016 the UW Information Assurance Council developed five additional systemwide IT policies. LAB noted UW administration and individual institutions have made progress in implementing IT security changes, especially through internal audits. But LAB said the UW administration did not develop a comprehensive plan to implement those policies due to a lack of resources and time. To address the shortcomings, LAB recommended that UW administration work more with the UW Information Assurance Council to continue developing IT security. In his response to the audit, UW System President Ray Cross agreed with the recommendation, noting the system approved detailed security policies that address authentication, security awareness, data classification, incident response and acceptable use. Meanwhile, Joint Audit Committee Co-chair Rep. Samantha Kerkman, R-Salem, says she’s looking for a comprehensive approach from UW officials.
Feb. 22: WisPolitics Luncheon with Senator Tammy Baldwin
Join WisPolitics.com for lunch at the Madison Club, 5 East Wilson St., Madison, on Thursday Feb. 22 with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, up for re-election this year.
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 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.
Kevin Nicholson outspent GOP U.S. Senate rival Leah Vukmir more than 20-to-1 on direct mail and postage over the last three months of 2017 as he worked to develop a network of donors, a WisPolitics.com review of campaign finance reports showed.
In addition to the $320,720 the ex-Marine spent on direct mail, including creative costs and postage, the first-time candidate also spent $59,755 to acquire fundraising lists.
Overall, Nicholson listed $800,037 in receipts, $628,547 in expenses and $516,583 in the bank to close December.
Nicholson’s report listed $446,508 in unitemized donations of $200 or less. Such contributions are often generated off direct mail.
Vukmir, meanwhile, reported $406,317 in receipts, $159,222 in expenses and $481,059 cash on hand.
She listed $64,408 in unitemized contributions.
The campaigns had previously released preliminary fundraising figures. But the reports filed this week add more details.
Some of Nicholson’s other significant costs included $40,536 for media production and $50,599 on digital ads.
Vukmir, a state senator from Brookfield, spent $15,938 on direct mail and postage, along with $17,500 on media services. She also listed $4,614 in costs for flights, car rentals and hotel stays.
The GOP campaigns were vastly outraised by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison. She pulled in almost $2.7 million in receipts, listed $1.1 million in expenses and had $6.9 million in the bank to end 2017.
See Nicholson’s report:
See Vukmir’s report:
Madison businessman Mark Bakken was again state Supreme Court candidate Rebecca Dallet’s biggest donor over the first month of the year, pumping $6,000 into the Milwaukee judge’s campaign.
Bakken, who flirted with a guv bid last year, also gave $14,000 to Dallet during the final six months of 2017.
Other top donors over the pre-primary period include: John Miller, of Kohler, who gave $5,000; Marianne Lubar, of River Hills, who also donated $5,000; Milwaukee resident Dennis Klein, who gave $4,000 total over the period; and Parvinder Jandu, of Whitefish Bay, who donated $3,000.
Dallet also received $2,000 from former state Rep. Jeff Neubauer, D-Racine.
In all, she spent $243,246 over the period, which covered Jan. 1 through Monday.
Among her biggest expenses were $168,497 for four different TV ad buys in the run-up to the three-way primary Feb. 20, accounting for nearly 70 percent of her expenditures over the first month of the year. She also spent $40,813 on surveys through two different firms: Global Strategy Group and Spiros Consulting.
Dallet logged $237,090 cash on hand and $281,000 in outstanding loans.
Her campaign said Dallet did not put any of her own money into the campaign during the period. Dallet previously reported that she gave her campaign a $200,000 loan on June 29, after launching her campaign at the beginning of that month.
The reports for Supreme Court rivals Tim Burns, a Middleton attorney, and Michael Screnock, a Sauk County judge, were not posted at the Ethics Commission’s site as of mid-afternoon.
The conservative Wisconsin Alliance for Reform in a new TV ad is praising Supreme Court candidate Michael Screnock, saying he has a record of judicial restraint and being tough on crime.
“When judges make decisions based on their personal views, we don’t get justice,” a narrator says in the ad. “Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock understands that. He understands a judge’s role is to say what the law is, not to rewrite laws from the bench.”
The narrator continues to commend Screnock for setting aside his personal views when handing down decisions in more than 500 felony cases for pornographers, murderers and sexual predators.
The group is spending $41,000 on TV ads in the La Crosse/Eau Claire market, as well as $34,000 in radio buys in the Madison and Milwaukee markets, according to liberal One Wisconsin Now, which tracks media buys.
One Wisconsin Now also noted this week that a WMC Issues Mobilization Council ad buy praising Screnock is up to $470,000. The group has added $215,000 on Milwaukee TV and $95,000 in Green Bay. That’s in addition to $160,000 on cable and satellite, according to OWN.
State firefighters union head Mahlon Mitchell says he’s more than the union candidate or the black candidate in the Dem race for governor.
Mitchell became a statewide figure as part of the opposition to the 2011 law that effectively ended collective bargaining for public employees and ended up as the Dem candidate for lt. guv in 2012.
But he told a WisPolitics.com luncheon in Madison this week that Act 10 or his race isn’t defining his candidacy.
Mitchell instead stressed this contest is about “a lot more than Act 10” for him, saying it’s instead about wages, economic development, education, health care for all, infrastructure and transportation.
As the leader of the firefighters union since January 2011, Mitchell also touched on the firefighters’ and police officers’ response to the bill when it was first proposed.
“As firefighters, we respond to emergencies,” he said. “In our opinion that was an emergency that we had to respond to. People were under attack, and there was a definite conquer-and- divide going on. And we decided that we were not going to let that happen to us.”
Still, he said that should he be elected governor, one of the first things he would do is set up wage commissions for the private sector to foster conversations about “lifting everyone’s wages,” not just for union members.
As for the public sector, Mitchell said he wanted to ensure municipalities and their employees had the ability to talk once a year about wages, hours and working conditions.
And he pushed back on the state GOP for labeling him a “union boss,” saying that the term is one the right uses “to defame us and make us look bad.”
“If a union boss is being the person that represents men and women running into burning buildings, men and women responding to medical emergencies, or teachers that teach our kids — our greatest commodity — or men and women that actually take care of our sick and injured by way of being a nurse or a CNA or an RN. If we’re talking about police officers who respond and protect us everyday, then if that’s what a union boss is, then I guess I am,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell is also known for becoming the first African-American leader of the state firefighters union, as well as the union’s youngest president. He was 35 when he took over. He turns 43 on Feb. 24.
And should he become governor, he would break another barrier and become the state’s first African-American leader. Only one African American has been elected statewide in Wisconsin — Vel Phillips as secretary of state in 1978.
But Mitchell downplayed the historic significance of his candidacy, saying he thinks it’s “more important to be a good governor than to be a black governor.”
“My point is: yes, history is important, but I’m not running to be the black governor; I’m running to be governor of the state of Wisconsin,” Mitchell said, adding people across the state — black, white, Hispanic and others — feel they’ve been forgotten and “those are the people that I’m running for.”
And he noted he hadn’t sought to be the first black president of the firefighters union, adding he didn’t “get into the fire service because I wanted to be a black firefighter.”
“I ran and I wanted to be a firefighter, because I wanted to help people,” he said. “Not just black people, not just white people, I wanted to help everybody.”
Still, he said the “elephant in the room” at past events he’s spoken at is whether the state’s ready for an African-American governor.
But he pointed to Barack Obama’s 14-percentage-point margin of victory over Sen. John McCain in 2008 and Obama’s 7 percent win over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012.
Those wins, Mitchell said, proves a candidate’s success “depends on your message and how you convey that message.”
“My point is and my correlation is that when you look at President Obama and his message and how inspired and the energy and passion that he brought, that’s what got people out to the polls and got people to vote. And that’s what we’re trying to do in this campaign,” he said.
Order the 2018 WisPolitics.com Directory & Almanac now
The big 2018 election year already is underway with campaigns for state Supreme Court, U.S. Senate, governor and Legislature.
Get a preview of the political landscape and catch up on all of the changes in Gov. Scott Walker’s cabinet and the Legislature by buying the new 2018 WisPolitics.com Directory & Almanac.
This glossy, 20-page booklet will be an essential item throughout the year but especially now with a revamped and aggressive agenda from Walker and legislative leaders.
The booklet includes photos and contact information for members of the Assembly, the state Senate, legislative leadership, and the Joint Finance Committee, plus the Walker administration and Wisconsin members of Congress.
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— Single copies of the Directory will be available for $5 apiece at upcoming WisPolitics.com events.
Tuesday: State of the Tribes address, delivered by Menominee Chairman Gary Besaw.
– 1 p.m.: Assembly chamber, State Capitol.
Tuesday: Assembly floor session. Members will take up a number of bills from the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care aimed at improving the child welfare system. That includes funding for child abuse and neglect prevention grants.
– 1 p.m.: Assembly chamber, State Capitol.
Wednesday: Senate Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations Committee executive session on eight of the 10 special session welfare overhaul bills.
– 10:01 a.m.: 201 Southeast, State Capitol.
Wednesday: Assembly Jobs and the Economy Committee executive session on a bill that would exempt rent-to-own companies from the state’s consumer protection act.
– 2:30 p.m.: Assembly Parlor, State Capitol.
(Check local listings for times in your area)
“UpFront with Mike Gousha” is a statewide commercial TV news magazine show airing Sundays around the state. This week’s show features interviews with the three state Supreme Court candidates: Milwaukee Judge REBECCA DALLET, Middleton attorney TIM BURNS and Sauk County Judge MICHAEL SCRENOCK.
*See viewing times in state markets here: http://www.wisn.com/upfront/
*Also view the show online each Monday at WisPolitics.com
“Rewind,” a weekly show from WisconsinEye and WisPolitics.com, airs at 8 p.m. on Fridays and 10 a.m. on Sundays in addition to being available online. On this week’s episode, WisPolitics.com’s JR ROSS and WisconsinEye’s STEVE WALTERS discuss Gov. SCOTT WALKER’s plan to give Foxconn-style tax credits to Kimberly-Clark; the end-of-session push for controversial bills; and the Joint Finance Committee’s vote on a $6.4 million sparsity aid bill this week.
*Watch the show: http://www.wiseye.org/Video-Archive/Event-Detail/evhdid/12191
Wisconsin Public TV’s “Here and Now” airs at 7:30 p.m. Fridays. On this week’s program, anchor FREDERICA FREYBERG talks with Neenah Mayor DEAN KAUFERT about efforts to keep Kimberly-Clark in the state; WisContext’s SCOTT GORDON on his story about governors calling special elections; and ANN ZECK of the Wisconsin Hospitals Association on the continuing IV bag shortage in the state.
“For the Record” airs at 10:30 a.m. Sunday on WISC-TV in Madison. Host NEIL HEINEN talks with Kids Forward Executive Director KEN TAYLOR on the potential implications of policies at the state and national level for Wisconsin children.
“Capitol City Sunday” airs at 9 a.m. Sunday on WKOW-TV in Madison, WAOW-TV in Wausau, WXOW-TV in La Crosse and WQOW-TV in Eau Claire.
“The Insiders” is a weekly WisOpinion.com web show featuring former Democratic Senate Majority Leader CHUCK CHVALA and former Republican Assembly Speaker SCOTT JENSEN. This week, the two discuss potential outcomes of the Wisconsin gerrymandering case.
*Watch the video: https://www.wispolitics.com/2018/wisopinion-com-the-insiders-discuss-potential-outcomes-of-the-wi-gerrymandering-case/
*Listen to the show: https://soundcloud.com/wispolitics/wisopinioncom-the-insiders-discuss-potential-outcomes-of-the-wi-redistricting-case
NAMES IN THE NEWS
Send items to email@example.com
Upcoming WisPolitics.com events in Madison and D.C. include:
*A Feb. 22 Madison Club luncheon with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, up for re-election this year.
*A March 7 DC breakfast with U.S. Rep. MIKE GALLAGHER. Register: https://www.wispolitics.com/2018/march-7-wispolitics-dc-breakfast-with-u-s-rep-mike-gallagher-and-the-millennial-action-project/
*A March 8 Madison Club luncheon with Dem guv candidate and state Sen. KATHLEEN VINEHOUT. Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wispolitics-luncheon-with-kathleen-vinehout-tickets-41390911330
*And hold April 12 for a special election-year preview at the Concourse Hotel in Madison sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association along with Charter Communications. The evening event will feature Marquette Law School Poll Director CHARLES FRANKLIN plus Democratic strategist TANYA BJORK and GOP strategist KEITH GILKES. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
The state Assembly will consider the GOP wetlands bill when it meets on Thursday, according to a proposed calendar from Assembly Majority Leader JIM STEINEKE. Also on the calendar is a bill that would add criminal penalties for fraud in obtaining unemployment insurance benefits; and another that would make sex with an animal a felony. See the proposed calendar: https://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/180209AssmCal.pdf
Gov. SCOTT WALKER will be among the state and local officials the president will host Monday after releasing the principles of his infrastructure plan, the White House said today.
Walker today also announced plans to sell the state office building in downtown Milwaukee and build one elsewhere, saving the state an estimated $1.2 million a year in rent, maintenance and energy costs. The target date for site selection is May 28. The state office building has been at 6th and Wells streets since 1963.
ABC of Wisconsin’s advocacy campaign, including Director of Legal and Government Affairs JOHN SCHULZE, has been recognized as a “Best Practice” by the national Associated Builders and Contractors organization in Washington, D.C.
The Wisconsin Bankers Association has announced PETER KNITT as the 2017 Community Banker of the Year. Knitt recently retired as president and CEO of the Peoples State Bank in Wausau, after serving in those roles since 2006. See more: https://www.wispolitics.com/2018/wisconsin-bankers-association-wausau-banker-named-community-banker-of-the-year/
Focus on Energy has a new program director: ERINN MONROE. Monroe previously worked as the group’s director of strategy and innovation. She started in her new role on Feb. 1. See the release: https://www.wispolitics.com/2018/focus-on-energy-erinn-monroe-named-focus-on-energys-program-director/
The UW System Board of Regents has announced the recipients of its annual Regents’ Diversity Awards. They include: BEE VANG, the program director of UW-River Falls’ Upward Bound program; UW-Eau Claire’s Upward Bound Program, which is under the direction of KIMAMO WAHOME; and UW-Milwaukee’s Sociocultural Programming, led by CLAUDIA GUZMAN. See more: https://www.wispolitics.com/2018/uw-system-regents-diversity-awards-recipients-announced/
The Wisconsin Farmers Union recently awarded two recipients the Friend of the Family Farmer award. That includes Rep. KATRINA SHANKLAND and the farm bill biologists at Pheasants Forever, who work with landowners in designing and funding habitat improvements on private land. See more: https://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/FoFF_020318.docx.pdf
The State Bar of Wisconsin has announced its Golden Gavel Award winners. The recipients, who were selected for their reporting on the law and justice system, are: KATHERINE PROCTOR, COBURN DUKEHART and DEE HALL of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism; ERIC LITKE and DOUG SCHNEIDER of USA Today Network-Wisconsin; and ZAC SCHULTZ, MAKE BARON, JAMES PARKER and JENNIFER HADLEY of Wisconsin Public Television. See their winning submissions: https://www.wisbar.org/NewsPublications/Pages/General-Article.aspx?ArticleID=26150
The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association has recently named STEVE WEXLER as board chair. Wexler, of Milwaukee’s E.W. Scripps Company, replaces DICK RECORD, of La Crosse’s Family Radio, who finished his term as chair and will now serve as immediate past chair for the coming year. See more: https://www.wi-broadcasters.org/wexler-named-wba-chair/
UW-Madison’s Center for Journalism Ethics has announced the five finalists for the Anthony Shadid Award in Journalism Ethics. They are: KRISTEN GELINEAU, of the Associated Press; BRIAN GROW, JOHN SHIFFMAN and the Reuters team; MAGGIE MICHAEL and MAAD AL-ZIKERY, of the Associated Press; MIKE REZENDES, of The Boston Globe; and GERRY SHIH and HAN GUAN NG, of the Associated Press. The winner will be announced Feb. 20 and will presented the award at a ceremony April 5 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. See the release: https://www.wispolitics.com/2018/center-for-journalism-ethics-announces-five-finalists-for-2018-anthony-shadid-award-in-journalism-ethics/
The fifth annual Wisconsin Tech Summit, a day that features a series of 15-minute company sessions, will also include the following speakers to start and end the day: UW-Milwaukee Chancellor MARK MONE and ERIK IVERSON, the managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The event, which gives emerging companies the change to be eligible for “speed dates” with major firms, is slated for March 19 in Waukesha. See more details: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=390077
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce’s upcoming Business Day in Madison will include featured speakers: SHARYL ATTKISSON, a Washington, D.C. investigative journalist; GUY BENSON, political editor of Fox News contributor Townhall.com; and GREG GUTFELD, co-host of Fox News’ “The Five” and “The Greg Gutfeld Show.” Gov. SCOTT WALKER has also been invited to speak. The all-day event will be held at Madison’s Monona Terrace on Feb. 28. See more: https://www.wmc.org/event/business-day-in-madison/
The state’s AFL-CIO is hosting a Madison rally later this month on the Working People’s Day of Action. The event, which will occur at the Capitol Square, is set for Feb. 24 from 1-3 p.m. See more: http://www.itsaboutfreedom.org/?link_id=1&can_id=b5720fe9c3a03bb22fd9ba72300d1ab4
ENDORSEMENTS: The following is a list of endorsements made for statewide and congressional district elections in the last week, based on emails received by WisPolitics.com:
— U.S. Senate:
LEAH VUKMIR: UW-Platteville student ABBY ALDERSON; UW-Whitewater students JAKE BALISTRERI and ZACH BAUREIS; UW-Madison students ANDY BLINK and PAIGE CAMERON; and more than 100 others. See the full list: https://www.wispolitics.com/2018/vukmir-campaign-students-choose-leah-vukmir-for-u-s-senate/
— State Supreme Court:
REBECCA DALLET: Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge KITTY BRENNAN, along with a series of other judges across the state. See the full list: https://www.wispolitics.com/2018/dallet-campaign-wisconsin-judges-back-rebecca-dallet-for-supreme-court/
MICHAEL SCRENOCK: Wisconsin Family Action PAC.
— Attorney General:
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin: JOSH KAUL.
— Lt. Guv:
MANDELA BARNES: U.S. Rep. MARK POCAN.
For more Names in the News, see subscriber products from earlier in the week plus the press release page at WisPolitics.com: https://www.wispolitics.com/
For upcoming events, see the “Week Ahead” in this product and in your e-mail Monday morning. Click here for the online calendar: https://www.wispolitics.com/category/events/
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(from the state Ethics Commission)
Forty-one changes were made to the lobbying registry in the past 10 days.
Follow this link for the complete list:
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