MON AM Update: Late contributions in 64th AD; Trump rally coverage; ‘UpFront’ recap

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— The state Dem and Republican parties continue to provide financial support for their candidates running in tomorrow’s special election to fill the Kenosha-area 64th AD.

Republican Mark Stalker has reported $12,704 in contributions of $1,000 or more since the close of the last reporting period April 15.

That includes: $2,800 from the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee along with $1,000 from the campaign of Rep. Dan Knodl, R-Germantown; $750 from the campaign of Rep. Mike Rohrkaste, R-Neenah; and $250 from the campaign of Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine.

He also reported in-kind contributions totaling $7,043 from the state GOP.

Meanwhile, Dem Tip McGuire reported $10,000 in late contributions, including $5,000 from the state Dem Party and $1,000 from the campaign of Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison. He also received a $1,000 donation from Jeff Neubauer, a former state rep and Dem Party chair whose wife, Lisa, ran for the state Supreme Court this spring.

Committees are required to report donations of $1,000 or more in the two weeks leading up to an election.

The state GOP’s report shows a $500,000 donation from Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks and $25,000 from Jay Jensen, a Madison businessman.

— Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin did a $100 Facebook ad backing McGuire, according to a filing with the Ethics Commission.

It was the only independent expenditure that had been reported in the race as of last night.

— President Trump’s claim that mothers and doctors now have a choice to “execute” a baby once delivered is drawing blowback from Dems, who charge the claim is false and inflammatory.

Addressing a rally Saturday night in Green Bay, Trump took a swipe at Dem Gov. Tony Evers, who has said he would veto legislation Republicans have proposed that would require doctors to transport to hospitals babies who survive failed abortions.

Evers has said there are already protections in existing state law.

“The baby is born,” Trump told the crowd. “The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby. I don’t think so.”

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes tweeted in response Saturday night, “We also cannot accept this. This is the kind of dangerous rhetoric that encourages the violence carried out today.” The tweet referenced the shooting at a California synagogue.

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., called the comments “dangerous and sickening.”

“We have seen religious fanatics bombing clinics and threatening women, this will fan the flame of violence,” she tweeted.

But former Gov. Scott Walker tweeted Trump used the same language as Dem Gov. Ralph Northam as he discussed late-term abortions.

“It’s murder & it must stop,” Walker tweeted in response to Omar.

See more coverage of Saturday’s rally:

— U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, defended the president calling FBI agents “scum” during Saturday’s rally, though he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” he “would use different words.”

He also suggested there was “definitely corruption at the highest levels of the FBI.”

“From my standpoint, there has been a concerted effort, since the day after the election, to sabotage this administration. So I completely understand his frustration,” Johnson said on yesterday’s show.

Johnson said the Obama administration briefed him and others about Russian interference in the election in September 2016, but the message was for members of Congress to say the election results will be legitimate.

“That’s what they wanted us to say, but then the wrong person got elected,” he said.

He also said he understands the frustration of Trump supporters for the media “continuing this witch hunt” and said the Mueller report found no evidence of collusion on the part of the president. Host Andrea Mitchell pointed out the report found investigators couldn’t prove a conspiracy, not that there was no evidence of collusion.

See the transcript of yesterday’s show:

— The immigrant community feels there is an “urgency” to restore driver’s licenses to people living in Wisconsin illegally, and doing so will save lives and reduce accidents, an immigrant rights advocate said.

“Regardless of how you feel about immigration, it is logical and proven that the more people you have on the road that have been tested for driving skills, have passed a vision test, know the rules of the road, have access to insurance, makes for much safer roads, of which everyone benefits,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera in Milwaukee.

She said the lack of driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants has contributed to a labor shortage in Wisconsin, which has hit the dairy industry hard. Neumann-Ortiz appeared Sunday on “UpFront,” produced in partnership with

Wisconsin issued driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants until 2007. In his budget earlier this year, Dem Gov. Tony Evers proposed allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses once again.

The issue will be featured at the annual “Day Without Latinos and Immigrants” march Wednesday at the state Capitol. Neumann-Ortiz said the demonstration is a general strike that will see dozens, perhaps hundreds, of immigrant-owned businesses close for the day, and thousands of people attend. She said buses from 19 Wisconsin cities will be bringing people to Madison.

She said the demonstration recognizes the contributions immigrants make to the economy.

“Immigrants are good for Wisconsin, and they are good for this country,” she said.

— Also on the program, Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm said she is “more optimistic” Wisconsin will end up taking federal dollars to expand health care coverage to low-income residents.

The Evers administration says the governor’s plan to take federal money available through the Affordable Care Act would provide coverage to an additional 82,000 people.

But Republican legislative leaders have opposed it. Over the weekend, GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos tweeted “#never” in response to a published report that some Senate Republicans are open to compromise with Evers on the issue.

“UpFront” host Adrienne Pedersen asked Palm how the administration would get Republicans on board.

“We are really trying to have a new conversation, and a governor who has put on paper what happens when you save $324.5 million and draw down $1.6 billion in new federal money, what kind of investments you can make in health care, long-term care, behavioral health, dental access. And I think that those conversations, once you see in black and white what you can do with investments, have opened up opportunities to move stakeholders, to move legislators, to get to yes on a budget that expands the Medicaid program to benefit the entire state of Wisconsin,” Palm said.

See more from the show:

— Lawmakers last week circulated 19 bills for co-sponsorship, including a Dem bill to prohibit food and beverages from being served in foam polystyrene packaging and a GOP one to create an income tax exemption for cash tips paid to an employee.

See the Association of Wisconsin Lobbyist’s summary of last week’s bills circulated, including links to the co-sponsorship memos:

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WI GOP seek compromise with Evers on Medicaid expansion
[Evers won’t bend from full expansion, determined to reverse Walker policy, GOP looking for compromise that doesn’t look like a sell-out] … $324 million in federal funding that could be invested in other programs to tap even more federal dollars and result in a $1.6 billion investment in health care priorities [higher provider reimbursement rates, upping county aid for crisis mental health, expanding women’s health services. About 82K newly eligible would come half from uninsured, half from replacing private insurance.] …. “I honestly think we have to take it,” said Republican Sen. Luther Olsen of the Evers Medicaid expansion proposal. “Whether we do or not, I don’t know. We need to look with an open mind what it does for the state of Wisconsin.” Evers: “It brings in the revenue we need in the state of Wisconsin to a point where we can make a significant difference in people’s lives. It’s something that 70 percent of Wisconsinites support, so that’s where I am at.” VOs remains adamant, “I don’t know why people are talking about that because we’re not doing it.” Some GOP, like Olsen, seek an expansion that does not replace private insurance, using AR, UT as models. JFC co-chair Darling: “I’m open to talk about it. I’m not saying we’re going to go there because there’s been such a strong ‘No.’ But I think Utah was a bit of a game changer and that, on top of Arkansas, I think we need to look at it.” Testin seeking health care expansion without the “tough sell” Medicaid expansion. JFC Dem Erpenbach sees GOP brewing a rationale, “If there’s a way for the Republicans to take it under the guise of something else, they’ll do it.” Olsen: “You never say never.”

WI Dems Rally In Green Bay Ahead Of Trump Visit
Lieutenant Governor Vows State Won’t Vote Red Next Year … [union hall] crowd of about 100 heard from a union leader and current and former state lawmakers, including Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. … “(Trump) is here because he is desperate. He knows the importance of the state of Wisconsin,” he said. … “The same way we beat Scott Walker is the same way we are going to beat Donald Trump,” Barnes said. … “When Donald Trump gets off the plane and goes and spews his hatred, we know that we will win when we lead with love,” he said. … “We are going to get this right. I promise you, Donald Trump will not win Wisconsin in 2020,” he said. … Speakers at the rally addressed concerns about tax cuts that they say benefit the rich, health care, gerrymandering, the environment, immigration and gun violence.

Trump heralds end of ‘collusion delusion’ in return to battleground WI
… trip to … Resch Center in Ashwaubenon … came just hours after a deadly shooting at a California synagogue celebrating the last day of Passover. “Our entire nation mourns the loss life, prays for the wounded and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community,” Trump told the crowd of more than 10,000 … “We’re going to get to the bottom of it. We’re going to get to the bottom of a lot of things happening in our country.” To a booing crowd, the president took aim at … Evers … for [“shockingly”] pledging to veto [GOP bill mandating hospital care for] babies who survive failed abortions. … “The baby’s born. The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully and then the doctor and the mother determine whether they will execute the baby.” Evers said existing law is adequate protection for a scenario obstetrics experts say “never really happens.” … Lt. Gov. Barnes tweeted, “We also cannot accept this. This is the kind of dangerous rhetoric that encourages the violence carried out today.” Trump is leaning on the economy to keep WI red, “The poverty rate for Wisconsin families has reached its lowest rate in 22 years. The unemployment rate for Wisconsin workers has reached historic — it’s never been this low ever, ever. Think about that,” defended his trade war, cited India’s 100% tariff on Harleys, “we charge them nothing. So, I called up Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi I said, ‘Unfair.’ He cut it 50%, but I said, ‘That’s not good enough because look, 50% to nothing.’ And what we’re doing is changing all of that stuff.” Harley comments came eight months after Trump urged Harley boycott over their shifting production overseas. Trump dubbed Mueller report the “greatest political hoax in American history.” State GOP met Trump as he deplaned with US Sen. Johnson, whom he called “Wisconsin Tough” during the rally and praised by name the Republican members of the federal delegation in attendance, praised the “bright future” of Scott Walker, his WI chairman, who also attended. … * Trump campaign’s McEnany hailed “Trump states. … not Republican states … You’re going to see a lot of President Trump in Wisconsin.” * Priorities USA super PAC spent six figures just on Saturday to answer Trump’s visit, part of a $100M “early spending program” in the “blue wall” states and Florida between Friday and May 3, to highlight failed promises. * DPW’s Laning: “People are noticing he’s made a lot of promises and not delivered,” and this time Dems will show alternative leadership, “‘This is what we’re doing to make your lives better’ — I believe that’s what’s key to us winning Wisconsin.” * RPW’s Jefferson said voters are the same, but Trump is improved by tax cut and Justices, “There is a lot for them to like this time around.” * UW prof. Burden: “However important Wisconsin is to the Trump campaign, it will be even more essential to the Democrats,” cited Walker refusing Medicaid expansion, “Trump is going to spin this issue in whatever ways seem advantageous,” noted low poll approval without equally low Clinton, “His opponent in 2020 is not likely to be subject to such animus and will invest more in Wisconsin than Clinton did.”

Trump wants to work with Evers on getting 13,000 Foxconn jobs, campaign says
… “I don’t know why he isn’t optimistic and hopeful that 13,000 jobs would come to the state of Wisconsin,” [said Trump 2020’s] McEnany … “We encourage the Democratic governor to work with Republicans, work with the president, work with Foxconn, to make sure those jobs come here because this is a deal that was engineered by President Trump, and we would hope that the Democratic governor would be on board to see that through.” … [but] Trump did not mention the project in a speech that lasted more than an hour and touched on the issue of manufacturing jobs. Trump’s visit came as doubts nagged at Foxconn’s job promise. Rehash Evers’ suggesting changes, letter to Foxconn, possible effect on Trump campaign. “Foxconn was engineered by this president,” McEnany said. … remains “hugely important” to Trump and that he “remains committed to making sure they are here and I think Foxconn does, too, with a vow to bring the 13,000 jobs.”

OT for state workers tops $80M, with some employees more than doubling their pay
… [OT] jumped 12% last year … state spent $80.9 million on overtime in 2018, or $8.7 million more than the $72.2 million it spent in 2017 … 64% higher than the $49.4 million the state spent a half-dozen years ago, in 2012. [open records found] … More than three-fourths of the overtime — $63.6 million — was rung up at [DOC, DHS], which have struggled to keep employees at [24/7/365] facilities … including a nurse [CWC’s Sook Bae] who made nearly $217,000 last year [averaging 80 hrs/wk]. In all, 40 state workers doubled or more than doubled their pay by working overtime. … 418 state workers who made $25,000 or more in overtime last year. John Jay prof. Mellow sees safety hazard, “Corrections is already a stressful environment, so you really do need to have your cognitive abilities. And being fatigued, being sleep deprived, will definitely impact that,” warned of burnout, when “all you can think about is clocking in and clocking out and when you’re going to retire. And that is really detrimental for running a prison.” Retired Waupun Correctional sgt. Meehan blamed Act 10 for creating “undesirable” job “nobody is applying for” or quits, “You’re just a piece of meat. Managers do whatever they want. There’s no repercussions for treating staff poorly.” More high earners listed. High pay boost pension in formula calculation. DHS’ Miller defends need to keep staff-patient ratios. Evers believes higher pay will fill jobs, so state isn’t “competing with McDonald’s” for workers. DOC’s Hendricks touts benefits os “competitive wage.”

1 in 4 WI jobs at high risk in a new age of robotic workers and hyper-automation
… In its drive to manufacture iPhones, TVs and game consoles at the lowest cost, Foxconn systematically has replaced tens of thousands of inexpensive Chinese workers with even cheaper and more productive robots. … But the topic of automation barely came up in Wisconsin after [Foxconn’s] 2017 announcement … “People don’t know what’s going to hit them,” said Patrick Bieser, president of Milwaukee-based Northwoods Software Development Co., which handles automation projects for manufacturers and financial institutions. “We are blissfully naive that we’re at a tipping point into a new automation revolution.” … Brookings estimates that 27.2 percent of jobs in Wisconsin had an automation potential of 70 percent or more. … more than 800,000 jobs at high risk of elimination because of current technologies. … Wisconsin’s rural factory towns and farms are even more exposed … “You can automate cheese-making,” said Bieser at Northwoods. “The people who are most at risk tend to be younger, less educated, and black or Hispanic,” Brookings concluded. … To this day, Foxconn has not specified what sort of skills it will need in the state or what products it will produce. … Whatever it does in Wisconsin, Foxconn and its legions of Asian “Foxbots” are a leading indicator of economic change that analysts say is inevitable. … Foxconn points with pride to its “lights out” factories in China, like its Shenzhen plant in southern China, which are so automated they don’t need any humans. … … But [WMC’s] Bauer says a changing economy also will open up new job prospects. “People assume that automation, robotics and AI will eliminate jobs,” he said. “It will. But other jobs will be created. You will need more programmers.” … [Tech Council Boarder] Bayne calls the promise of 13,000 high-paying human Foxconn jobs a nostalgic “myth.” The only way it makes economic sense for Foxconn to manufacture consumer electronics in Wisconsin is to “automate the daylights” out of its proposed facility. “That’s intuitively obvious,” he said. … “Automation will force the existing workforce into continuous education,” Bayne said. … Commenting on Gou’s public comments in Wisconsin, Bayne said: “He was brilliant in manipulating Walker and Trump with the jobs statement. He knew that’s the song they wanted to hear.”

AG could revoke some concealed weapons licenses because of court decision
… Supreme Court in an unrelated case in December ruled that expunging a record “does not invalidate the conviction.” In light of that, Kaul has determined he cannot issue weapons licenses to those who have expunged records. … alerted lawmakers to the issue in March and sent a follow-up letter Friday asking them to take up legislation … [or] he would have to review individual licenses to determine which ones should be revoked. … issue is also in play for [DOJ] background checks … Records for those checks are kept for a short time, so there is not a way to determine how many people have cleared background checks who have expunged records.

Sen. Ron Johnson: I am ‘concerned’ about Russian interference
… on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” … [rejected the idea of accepting Russian help with election] … “I am every bit as concerned about Russian interference as any Democratic senator.” … doesn’t believe there’s evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia … wasn’t surprised that Russia was “interfering in our elections through social media” because it’s “hard to really police.” … “almost impossible” that Russia could have changed vote totals in 2016 because [DHS] consulted with state and local governments to maintain local control of elections … “Let’s be vigilant, let’s be concerned about it,” he said about potential Russian interference. “But let’s not blow it out of proportion either.”


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– 10 a.m.: Officer of the Commissioner of Insurance preliminary hearing on the Wisconsin Healthcare Stability Plan.

– 4 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.: Marquette University: Discussion with journalist Susan Page.

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