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— In the race to fill an open Assembly seat, Dem Tip McGuire outraised GOP rival Mark Stalker in the pre-election period by better than 6-to-1, thanks largely to a big investment by the state Dem Party, according to his campaign finance report.
McGuire reported $88,755 raised between March 19 and April 15. He spent $82,381 over that period and had $28,785 left in the bank.
Committee contributions accounted for $76,705 of what McGuire raised in the period, including a $13,840 contribution from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The party also made an in-kind donation of $55,655.
McGuire reimbursed the party for the donation, listing it as consulting fees in his report. A party spokeswoman said the donation covered the party’s field operation in the race to replace Dem Peter Barca, who resigned the seat to join Gov. Tony Evers’ administration.
His other top donations included $1,000 each from: Operating Engineers 139 PAC; the Tavern Industry PAC; the campaign of Rep. Deb Kolste, D-Janesville; and Wisconsin Laborers District Council. McGuire also made a $1,000 donation to his campaign.
Stalker raised $13,838 and spent $3,905. He finished the period with $12,474 in the bank.
Stalker’s haul included $7,500 from RACC. He also has amended the report he first filed last week to add a $2,299 in-kind contribution from the state GOP. Stalker reimbursed the party for the donation, which was for mail.
The special election is April 30.
See McGuire’s report:
See Stalker’s report:
— Assembly Republicans are looking to add electric vehicle charging stations along freeways and help cover the cost of homeowners’ bills if they buy renewable energy.
The proposals are two of five pieces of an environmental package GOP Rep. Adam Neylon unveiled at a Capitol news conference this morning, which fell on Earth Day.
Neylon, R-Pewaukee, said the bills would help improve Wisconisn’s environment while protecting the state’s heritage and upping citizens’ quality of life.
Gov. Tony Evers in his budget has already proposed spending on grants for electric car charging stations.
In all, the funding for the plan — which also includes distributing worker training grants for those who install renewable energy systems and bringing awareness to residents about electronics recycling opportunities — would come from existing revenue sources, Neylon said.
Under the renewable energy plan, Neylon said all energy providers and utilities would have to offer customers the option of purchasing renewable energy. Consumers could choose to have 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent or 100 percent of their energy come from renewable sources. The state would then offset that cost by covering 50 percent of the higher rate, he said.
The funding would come from the state’s Focus on Energy program, Neylon said. He expects it would cost between $7 million and $8 million per year.
“One of the major obstacles to people using renewable energy is the high upfront cost,” he said.
Meanwhile, under the electric vehicle charging station expansion, Neylon said the state would give grants to businesses to install the stations near freeways, likely starting along I-94. While he ideally would like to see every interstate in Wisconsin covered with the privately owned and maintained stations coming every 65 to 70 miles, he said it depends how much funding is made available.
Neylon expects it would cost $10 million to cover every interstate in Wisconsin. That funding would come from the Volkswagen settlement agreement under the plan.
Evers in his budget called for allowing the Department of Administration to spend the remaining settlement dollars on grants for public transit vehicles and electric car charging stations, though the plan doesn’t provide details.
But Neylon said the $20 million in remaining funds should be enough to cover both Evers’ and Assembly Republicans’ plans.
“I think you can still get both of those objectives met, where he can still get his amount for upgrading the buses and we can do our amount for the EV charging stations, so I think those plans can work together,” he said. “If the bus money takes a little bit more, we’re willing to draw down some of the spending at first.”
Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback called the announcement “a missed opportunity” for bipartisanship.
“If Republicans are finally ready to get serious about protecting our environment despite eight years of failing to conserve our natural resources, repealing environmental protections, cutting the Stewardship Fund, and disinvesting in the DNR, then the governor looks forward to having Republican support for his budget,” she said.
The package also includes:
*A plan to use funding from the state’s Fast Forward Worker Training program for grants to employers who provide education and training in solar and wind energy systems. Both schools and businesses would be able to apply for funding, Neylon said.
*A proposed extension of the Knowles-Nelson stewardship program through the length of the budget. The program, which is used to purchase lands for public use, is currently set to expire in 2020. Evers in his budget also proposed extending it over the next two fiscal years, though it’s traditionally been funded on a 10-year cycle.
Neylon said the GOP plan wouldn’t make any changes to the existing program.
*And a bill to expand and bring awareness to opportunities across the state to recycle electronics. Neylon said the state would partner with counties and others offering the services in order to draw attention to the programs.
But he said lawmakers are “still working through details on what the right amount” of funding for the plan.
“We’re present this as we’re affirming our commitment to protecting and growing these programs,” he said.
— Former Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper is criticizing a new report that shows at least seven university employees or students have accused her husband of sexual harassment.
But she’s not knocking the document for its findings related to her husband, Alan “Pete” Hill. Rather, she says the UW System investigation is “rampant with speculation” in how it characterizes her.
The report, released Friday, shows investigators didn’t find direct evidence Kopper interfered with the investigation against Hill, retaliated against the women who made the allegations or knew of his behavior in the first place. That’s in spite of “a large number of complaints” that signal Hill’s actions were “pervasive and well known.”
That, the document notes, “suggests that Hill’s behavior was a blindspot for the Chancellor.”
In all, investigators found potentially up to 10 women who said Hill sexually harassed them. That includes claims: Hill grabbed one woman’s shoulders and demanded she kiss him; another who said Hill would kiss her on the neck; and others who called Hill’s conduct “unprofessional and unwanted.”
Kopper wrote a four-page response dated March 29 that her attorney mailed last week to WisPolitics.com. For example, it takes issue with the report stating there is “no direct evidence” to suggest she was aware of her husband’s actions. In doing so, the response argues, the system implies there may be “some type of undiscovered evidence” to suggest she was aware of or culpable for her husband’s actions.
“The report invites readers to doubt Chancellor Kopper’s statements to investigators, yet it cites no evidence that contradicts her statements,” Kopper wrote.
She also alleged the report amounts to a performance review, thereby going “beyond the scope” of its purpose.
That includes language noting that several people said Kopper didn’t understand budget documents.
“The investigative report is an unreliable basis on which any responsible employer — much less a public university — could or should base any personnel decisions,” she wrote.
UW System spokeswoman Mark Pitsch said in a statement President Ray Cross “immediately called for investigations” into the sexual misconduct allegations at the university once they were brought to light.
“After he was briefed on the findings of this report, he counseled Chancellor Kopper to resign,” he continued. “She did, and the report speaks for itself.”
Kopper resigned her post Dec. 31. She’s set to return to campus this fall as a professor.
The latest investigation of Hill’s behavior, which was completed Jan. 1, followed two other independent investigations into allegations against him.
See Kopper’s response:
See the original report:
— Bernie Sanders’ polling has him leading President Trump by 10 points among likely Wisconsin voters.
A memo on the survey shows the Vermont U.S. senator with leads over Trump of 8 points in Pennsylvania and 11 points in Michigan, the other two states that along with Wisconsin formed the “blue wall.”
All three, which had voted Dem in the previous election cycles for nearly two decades, went to Trump in 2016. They’ve also been an early focus for Sanders as he has launched his campaign.
Forty-three percent of voters surveyed approved of the job Trump is doing, while 55 percent disapproved, and 35 percent said the nation is headed in the right direction, while 56 percent said it’s on the wrong track.
The polling also showed 57 percent of Wisconsin voters support “Medicare for All,” while 37 percent were opposed.
Tulchin Research conducted the surveys of 400 likely 2020 general election voters in each state from April 14-18. The data was collected from online panels and then matched to the voter file. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
See the polling memo:
Thursday: WisPolitics.com luncheon with JFC co-chairs
Join WisPolitics.com for lunch at The Madison Club, 5 East Wilson St., Madison, on Thursday, April 25, with the veteran Republican co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.
Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, will discuss Gov. Tony Evers’ budget plan and GOP budget priorities.
Check-in and lunch begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program going from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
WisPolitics.com subscribers and members as well as 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.
To register, visit: https://eventbrite.com/e/wispolitics-with-alberta-darling-john-nygren-tickets-56595231862
LRB-0294/1: Creating the Wisconsin Renewable Energy Development Authority to participate in and guarantee certain energy-related loans, implement other energy-related programs, and make certain grants and making an appropriation. By Rep. Shankland and Sen. Miller.
LRB-0032/1: Prohibiting food and beverages from being served in foam polystyrene packaging and providing a penalty. By Sen. Miller and Reps. Taylor and Shankland.
LRB-2332/1: Allowing local governments to regulate pesticides. By Sen. Miller and Reps. Taylor and Shankland.
LRB-2657/1: Proclaiming May 2019 as World Trade Month. By Reps. Hutton and Summerfield.
SB 173: Sex-selective, disability-selective, and other selective abortions and providing a penalty. Referred to Committee on Health and Human Services.
SB 174: Informed consent regarding a certain abortion-inducing drug regimen and reporting requirements for induced abortions. Referred to Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection.
SB 175: Requirements for children born alive following abortion or attempted abortion and providing a penalty. Referred to Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.
Track bills for free:
State Journal: UW grad Dieter Kowalski killed in Sri Lanka bombings
State Journal: DOT chief: State ‘reinvigorating’ study of improvements to Madison Beltline
AP: Link suspected in poisonings of Wisconsin pets, wild animals
Journal Sentinel: Assembly Republicans on Earth Day back plans for electric vehicle charging stations
Journal Sentinel: Investigation underway after inmate dies at Milwaukee County jail
WPR: GOP Bill Would Fund Electric Car Charging Stations
CNN: McConnell vows to be ‘Grim Reaper’ for socialist legislation
CNN: Federal report contradicts EPA chief’s claims that climate change impacts are decades away, environmental group says
CNN: House panel issues subpoena to former White House counsel Don McGahn
Politico: Pelosi tamps down impeachment expectations
Politico: Trump sues to block House subpoena of financial records
– 10 a.m.: Assembly Committee on Mental Health public hearing. Members are to meet for a tour and presentation at Mendota Mental Health Institute.
– 10 a.m.: Assembly Committee on Housing and Real Estate public hearing on AB 123, relating to housing grants to homeless individuals, other bills.
– 10 a.m.: Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions joint informational hearing. The committee has invited industry experts to testify on dairy markets and other production issues facing Wisconsin producers.
– 11 a.m.: Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Trade public hearing on SB 83, relating to retail sales of intoxicating liquor for consumption off the licensed premises.
– 11:05 a.m.: Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Trade informational hearing. Members are to hear from representatives of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation on the 2019-21 biennial budget.
– 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Tech Council Innovation Network: “The Green New Deal: Idealism or inevitable?” Tim Donohue, executive director of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center at the UW-Madison, it to talk about the work of the laboratory and its partnerships with businesses. Following the presentation, Scott Coenen, executive director of the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum, and John Imes, executive director and co-founder of the Wisconsin Environmental Initiative, are to offer perspectives.
– 11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.: Milwaukee Rotary Club. Guest speaker is Jeremy Fojut, co-founder and chief idea officer at NEWaukee. Rotary meetings are open to members, invited guests and media.
– 12 p.m.: Senate Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families public hearing on SB 25, relating to driver education instruction on human trafficking, other bills.
– 12 p.m.: Assembly Committee on Workforce Development public hearing on AB 122, relating to employment and training activities for homeless populations, the Council on Workforce Investment, and local workforce development boards.
– 12 p.m.: Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections public hearing on AB 168, relating to the requirement for stating name and address prior to voting; and AB 64, relating to aids to counties and municipalities for certain special election costs.
– 1 p.m.: Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform public hearing on AB 119, relating to grants to homeless shelters; and AB 124, relating to grants to defray housing costs and for diversion programming.
– 1 p.m.: Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules public hearing on EmR 1831, relating to the Wisconsin healthcare stability plan, other emergency rules.
– 1 p.m.: Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy executive session on SB 85, relating to issuance of conservation patron licenses to certain veterans with disabilities; and SB 125, relating to amounts obligated under the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship 2000 Program for water infrastructure projects in state parks.
– 1:05 p.m.: Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules executive session on EmR 1831, relating to the Wisconsin healthcare stability plan, other emergency rules.
– 1:05 p.m.: Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy public hearing on SB 137, relating to the nitrate testing pilot program.
– 1:30 p.m.: Assembly Committee on Transportation public hearing on AB 132, relating to electric bicycles; and AB 151, relating to penalties for certain traffic violations where highway maintenance workers are present.
– 2 p.m.: PSC hearing.
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