Category “2014 Elections”

WI-06">Initial Ratings in from WI-06

With the retire­ment of Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac), nat­u­rally comes the horse race aspects of the new real­ity.  Long has the race been marked either “Safe Repub­li­can” or “Solid Repub­li­can” when Petri was there.  That is no longer the case, but it hardly the “great oppor­tu­nity” many out-of-state lib­er­als believe it to be.

Here’s Cook:

Mov­ing the race from “Solid Repub­li­can” to “Likely Repub­li­can.”  All-in-all, a drop of one level, but about a 75 per­cent chance the GOP is hang­ing on to the seat.

Here’s Sabato:

As men­tioned, Rep. Petri’s (R, WI-6) retire­ment opens up his mar­gin­ally com­pet­i­tive dis­trict, but this is prob­a­bly not the right year for Democ­rats to flip it. Obama won about 46% in this dis­trict in 2012 (after very nar­rowly win­ning it in 2008), and there are only five cur­rently Demo­c­ra­tic House dis­tricts where Obama did worse. So this doesn’t really fit the pro­file of a dis­trict the Democ­rats could win in 2014. Petri’s dis­trict is very sim­i­lar to that of another retir­ing Repub­li­can, the afore­men­tioned Rep. Camp (R, MI-4). In fact, Obama’s 2012 per­for­mance in the dis­tricts was almost iden­ti­cal: He got 45.5% in Camp’s dis­trict and 45.8% in Petri’s. So it’s rea­son­able to make the same rat­ings change we did when Camp retired: WI-6 goes from Safe Repub­li­can to LIKELY REPUBLICAN.

And finally, Rothen­berg:

After explain­ing who the likely can­di­dates are on both sides of the aisle, they come to this conclusion.

For now, we’re main­tain­ing our Rothen­berg Polit­i­cal Report/Roll Call rat­ing of the race as Cur­rently Safe for Repub­li­cans.

Nat­u­rally, this could all change.  Lib­er­als seem to be hop­ing and pray­ing that Glenn Groth­man wins the GOP Pri­mary, see­ing his ten­dency to make gaffes their only chance of get­ting a win here.  As I’ve said before, I don’t believe Glenn will win this primary.

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Leibham Considering Run for Congress

Would have had this up sooner, but I’ve been hav­ing server issues for the past week.  It’s made updat­ing a real “joy.”

She­boy­gan, Wis. — State Sen. Joe Leib­ham (pro­nounced: LĪ–päm) announced Fri­day that he will take the next few days to con­sider run­ning for Con­gress in Wisconsin’s 6th Dis­trict after hear­ing that U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., will not be seek­ing re-election.

Con­gress­man Petri con­tacted me this morn­ing to inform me of his deci­sion to retire,” Leib­ham said. “I expressed my appre­ci­a­tion for his years of ser­vice to our area and nation, and I wished him well as he com­pletes his term.

Out of love and respect for my fam­ily and coun­try, I will take time over the next cou­ple of days to con­sider, dis­cuss and pray about how and where I can best use my time and tal­ent to improve the qual­ity of life for our state and nation.”

Leib­ham, a res­i­dent and tax­payer of the 6th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict, lives in She­boy­gan with his wife, Heather, and their three young children.

Leib­ham has rep­re­sented por­tions of She­boy­gan, Man­i­towoc and Calumet coun­ties in the State Sen­ate and the greater She­boy­gan area in the State Assem­bly. Prior to his years of pub­lic ser­vice, Leib­ham worked in the pri­vate sec­tor for Sar­gento Foods in Ply­mouth and the She­boy­gan County Cham­ber of Commerce.

Some­thing to con­sider come sum­mer parade season…Joe is one of 13 kids.  Even if he isn’t there, one of his sib­lings def­i­nitely will be.  Hav­ing won his first elec­tion to the state sen­ate by a mere 46 votes (after recount) in 2002, he is more than capa­ble of fight­ing a cam­paign on any level.

Yes, he might be labeled as “The Estab­lish­ment Pick,” but he may also be the only Repub­li­can in this race who can say with cer­tainty that four years ago he lived in the dis­trict and wasn’t redis­tricted in.

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Petri to Announce Retirement on Monday

Con­grats to Amer­i­can Majority-Wisconsin and Media Track­ers.  Now go find us can­di­dates who can hang onto the state Senate.

Joe Leibham’s going to win this.  Count on it.

Wash­ing­ton, D.C. –U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tom Petri (R-WI) will make a state­ment on Mon­day, April 14, at his town hall meet­ing in Neenah, Wis­con­sin, announc­ing that he will not be a can­di­date for reelec­tion to Congress.

The town meet­ing will be held from 4:00 — 5:00 p.m. at the Neenah City Hall (211 Wal­nut St.), in the City Coun­cil Chambers.


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WPR/St. Norbert Poll Shows 15-Point Lead for Walker">WPR/St. Norbert Poll Shows 15-Point Lead for Walker

Since this is the St. Nor­bert Col­lege Poll, I’m very prone to be cyn­i­cal about this num­ber.  It’s just too small a sam­ple (401), done over too long (two weeks), and is usu­ally a school project (not kid­ding there).

Still, since it’s Wis­con­sin Pub­lic Radio spon­sor­ing the poll, a ton of lib­er­als are going to have to eat these num­bers because so many in their base get this news only from WPR.  Wish I was lis­ten­ing to Brian Schim­ming face off against Mike Tate this morn­ing on the Joy Cardin Show as they talk about this poll.

That alone would be fun to hear.

If the elec­tion for Wisconsin’s gov­er­nor was held right now, Repub­li­can Gov. Scott Walker would most likely win another term, accord­ing to the results of a new Wis­con­sin Pub­lic Radio-St. Nor­bert Col­lege sur­vey.

Mean­while, the survey’s results sug­gest Walker’s Demo­c­ra­tic chal­lenger needs to intro­duce her­self to voters.

Most of the survey’s 401 respon­dents say that they believe Wis­con­sin is headed in the right direction.

The sit­ting gov­er­nor also has a strong approval rat­ing, the sur­vey found. Walker is seek­ing a sec­ond term and is run­ning against Demo­c­rat Mary Burke.

Wendy Scat­ter­good, a polit­i­cal sci­en­tist and an asso­ciate at St. Nor­bert College’s Strate­gic Research Insti­tute, said that 55 per­cent of respon­dents said they will vote for Walker while 40 per­cent said they’d back Burke.

There’s a cor­re­la­tion there with how peo­ple feel the gov­er­nor is doing, which is his approval rat­ing, but also peo­ple feel the state is going in the right direc­tion,” she said. “And 57 per­cent of our respon­dents think the state is going in the right direc­tion, so it’s very close to the num­bers with the vote choice. And then, if you look at the governor’s approval rat­ings right now, it’s at 59 percent.”

UPDATE — Appar­ently Mike Tate no-showed on Joy Cardin.  They had to sub-in for­mer DPW chair­man Joe Wineke at the half-way part of the hour.

In my hon­est opin­ion, Joe was sound­ing like he wants his old job back.

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Grothman to Challenge Petri

Well…how to begin.

State Sen. Glenn Groth­man says he plans to run for Con­gress, chal­leng­ing fel­low Repub­li­can Tom Petri for the seat rep­re­sent­ing east-central Wisconsin.

Groth­man on Thurs­day called Petri a “very good human being” but says he rep­re­sents a time when Repub­li­cans stood for expand­ing government.

Petri is a 73-year-old mod­er­ate who’s held his seat for 35 years. He won most of his elec­tions hand­ily, fac­ing lit­tle or no com­pe­ti­tion from fel­low Republicans.

But Groth­man says Repub­li­cans in Con­gress have been lack­ing. He says he’s con­cerned about a cul­ture of depen­dency in the U.S., and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is over­reach­ing into every­thing from health care to education.

At least two other Repub­li­cans are con­sid­er­ing chal­leng­ing Petri, includ­ing state Rep. Duey Stroebel and John Hiller, a close con­fi­dante of Gov. Scott Walker.

As any­one who’s read this blog since 2003 knows, I’m no great fan or cheer­leader of Tom Petri.  That being said, I respect him nonethe­less hav­ing known him since high school and the years since.

I also feel that we who grew up in the 6th Dis­trict have more than earned the right to replace him with a can­di­date of our already exist­ing bench.  This entire stunt feels like a grand scheme from south­east Wis­con­sin to push its weight around with those of us here have been more than patient over the years.  That redis­trict­ing and a desire by Ozau­kee Co. to spread its wings since it is no longer under the thumb of the Wauke­sha Co. GOP machine have more to do with it.  That this might be Grothman’s only oppor­tu­nity to push for­ward his career since he clearly is not loved by the 5th Dis­trict estab­lish­ment (i.e. Sensenbrenner).

Let’s be clear here.  There are going to be many peo­ple out in the tra­di­tional 6th who feel the way I do about this.  They don’t “love” Petri, but they also feel this isn’t needed.  That’s going to be in She­boy­gan Co., that’s going to be in Man­i­towoc Co., and that’s cer­tainly going to be in Fond du Lac and Win­nebago Cos.

Trust me, it doesn’t take a rocket sci­en­tist to fig­ure out who I would pre­fer as my next Con­gress­man.  That being said, it sure as hell isn’t Glenn Grothman.

For starter’s Grothman’s too depen­dent on south­east Wis­con­sin media.  That might be great for the Ozau­kee Co. crew, but I’m fairly cer­tain no one in the Green Bay mar­ket has heard much about him. (Hell, the part of the dis­trict that’s in the Madi­son mar­ket sure has heard a lot about him…)

Sec­ondly, Glenn’s a gaffe machine.  That might work for some, but it tends to make me cringe when a head­line is “Groth­man Says Money Mat­ters More to Men than Women.” (It’s actu­ally on his Wikipedia page.)  Trust me, I get, under­stand and sup­port the ideas behind the pol­icy he’s push­ing for, he just seems to find the most asi­nine way to say it.

Hell, I can’t count the num­ber of times I’ve been asked to com­ment on the Joy Cardin Show about a law Glenn’s only proposed.

Amanda Terkel at the Huff­in­g­ton Post just got her dream ful­filled with this announcement.

I’ve already said my peace more at RightWiscon­sin on the entire idea of a pri­mary.  Now I’m just going to cringe as I watch Glenn cam­paign for it, because you know who else is hop­ing for a “Fun Race?”  The press, just to see Glenn crash and burn since he’s a pub­lic rela­tions hand grenade primed to go off.

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SCOTUS Strikes Down Aggregate Contribution Limits">SCOTUS Strikes Down Aggregate Contribution Limits

Good. It’s argu­men­ta­tively stu­pid to cap the total amount of money an indi­vid­ual can give to a group of can­di­dates.  We don’t cap TV adver­tis­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the sta­tions which run cam­paign ads.  There sure as hell isn’t a cap on char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tions or invest­ments, so cap­ping polit­i­cal giv­ing is derivative.

Besides, there sure as hell is no limit on giv­ing to 527 or 501 groups.

A split Supreme Court Wednes­day struck down lim­its on the total amount of money an indi­vid­ual may spend on polit­i­cal can­di­dates as a vio­la­tion of free speech rights, a deci­sion sure to increase the role of money in polit­i­cal campaigns.

The 5 to 4 deci­sion sparked a sharp dis­sent from lib­eral jus­tices, who said the deci­sion reflects a wrong-headed hos­til­ity to cam­paign finance laws that the court’s con­ser­v­a­tives showed in Cit­i­zens United v. FEC , which allowed cor­po­rate spend­ing on elections.

If Cit­i­zens United opened a door,” Jus­tice Stephen G. Breyer said in read­ing his dis­sent from the bench, “today’s deci­sion we fear will open a floodgate.”

Chief Jus­tice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the opin­ion strik­ing down the aggre­gate lim­its of what an indi­vid­ual may con­tribute to can­di­dates and polit­i­cal committees.

The deci­sion did not affect the limit an indi­vid­ual may con­tribute to a spe­cific can­di­date, cur­rently $2,600.

But Roberts said an indi­vid­ual should be able to con­tribute that much to as many can­di­dates as he chooses, which was not allowed by the dona­tion cap.

An aggre­gate limit on how many can­di­dates and com­mit­tees an indi­vid­ual may sup­port through con­tri­bu­tions is not a mod­est restaint at all,” Roberts wrote. “The gov­ern­ment may no more restrict how many can­di­dates or causes a donor may sup­port than it may tell a news­pa­per how many can­di­dates it may endorse.”

There is a sim­i­lar case pend­ing in fed­eral court that the gang over at the Wis­con­sin Insti­tute for Law and Lib­erty is work­ing on.  It effects Wisconsin’s aggre­gate con­tri­bu­tion lim­its which are even more insane than the fed­eral one. It’s called Young vs. GAB.

Young v. GAB is a fed­eral case chal­leng­ing Wisconsin’s aggre­gate cam­paign con­tri­bu­tion lim­its, which are even lower than the fed­eral lim­its.  In fact, Wisconsin’s aggre­gate limit is set at the same level as the indi­vid­ual limit, mean­ing that if a donor gives a max con­tri­bu­tion to one can­di­date, he or she can­not give even $1 to any other can­di­date.  WILL brought this case on behalf of Fred Young, a local phil­an­thropist and busi­ness­man, alleg­ing that the limit vio­lates the free­dom of speech and expression.

The GAB has moved to dis­miss the case, argu­ing that the com­plaint does not suf­fi­ciently allege that Mr. Young is harmed by the limit. The par­ties have agreed to put the case on hold until McCutcheon v. FEC, a fed­eral case pend­ing before the U.S. Supreme Court chal­leng­ing fed­eral aggre­gate lim­its, is decided.

That gulp­ing sound is Kevin Kennedy out of Madison.

Nat­u­rally, the Dems are angry — even though now their donors too can rejoice in giv­ing to as many of them as they please — and have promised “leg­isla­tive rem­edy” to the rul­ing.  They’ve been promis­ing that since Cit­i­zens United but they haven’t done that while Super­PAC spend­ing on both sides of the aisle only goes up and up.

Politico lists some of the pro­pos­als, admit­tedly, only one of them sounds appeal­ing to me.

Mean­while, Maine Sen. Angus King, an inde­pen­dent who cau­cuses with Democ­rats, said he intro­duced leg­is­la­tion intended to make dona­tions more trans­par­ent by requir­ing all con­tri­bu­tions of $1,000 or more to be dis­closed to the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion within 48 hours. A cam­paign bill in the House will be intro­duced by Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas).

Why does this not bug me?  Well 1) I’m alright with instant dis­clo­sure over the Inter­net.  Makes sense.  2) Cam­paigns already have to do this any­way in the final days between their “Pre-Election Report” to the Fed­eral Elec­tions Com­mis­sion and Elec­tion Day.  That typ­i­cally is the last week to ten days of a campaign.

Heck was dur­ing that time in 2010 that I dis­cov­ered Bruce Sping­steen dropped a max dona­tion to Russ Fein­gold dur­ing my daily exam­i­na­tion of his finance reports.

Ah…good times.

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Burke: I Won’t Self-Finance My Campaign

Except for that $400,000 starter loan naturally…

This has got to be a blow to the Demo­c­ra­tic state estab­lish­ment.  Part of what they were said to be push­ing about Burke as a can­di­date was she was a “business-minded woman who was rich.”  All code words for “She can cut checks to over­come Walker’s fundraising.

Now, it appears that avenue is being closed.

Demo­c­rat Mary Burke says she won’t be able to self-fund her cam­paign for gov­er­nor, say­ing she does not have that kind of wealth.

When Burke first floated the idea of run­ning for gov­er­nor, her per­sonal wealth made her an appeal­ing can­di­date to some Democ­rats and made oth­ers think twice about enter­ing the race. The for­mer Trek exec­u­tive, whose father founded the com­pany, has not dis­closed her net worth, though she did donate more than $400,000 to her cam­paign in just its first few months.

But Burke says peo­ple should not expect her to spend as much as some of Wisconsin’s most famous self-funded candidates.

I will put into this race what I can, but I can’t self-fund it,” said Burke. “I’m not a Ron John­son or a Herb Kohl. I don’t have that type of wealth.”

John­son con­tributed nearly $9 mil­lion to his suc­cess­ful U.S. Sen­ate cam­paign in 2010. For­mer U.S. Sen­a­tor Herb Kohl gave his cam­paigns more than $19 mil­lion over the course of his polit­i­cal career.

Burke says she’ll be rely­ing on tra­di­tional fundrais­ing to get her mes­sage out.

Her “tra­di­tional fundrais­ing” hasn’t been going so well.  While she raised $1.3 mil­lion $1.79 mil­lion for the sec­ond half of 2013, remove the $400,000 loan and it was only around $900,000 $1.4 mil­lion in just six month.  Not the kind of num­bers that tend to help you in a polit­i­cal fight these days.

(Cor­rected from ear­lier comment.)

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Walker Partially Vetoes Early Voting Reform Bill

Hon­estly, these are changes I can live with.

Gov. Scott Walker has qui­etly signed into law a bill that lim­its in-person absen­tee vot­ing to no later than 7 p.m. dur­ing the week and no week­end hours.

Walker vetoed a por­tion of the bill Thurs­day that lim­ited the hours of early vot­ing to no more than 45 in each of the two weeks prior to an elec­tion. He kept the pro­hi­bi­tion on week­end voting.

Democ­rats strongly opposed the mea­sure, say­ing it was tar­geted at tamp­ing down turnout in the heav­ily Demo­c­ra­tic cities of Mil­wau­kee and Madi­son which held extended hours dur­ing the 2012 pres­i­den­tial election.

Walker also vetoed a por­tion of the bill that would have reim­bursed local gov­ern­ments for costs asso­ci­ated with early voting.

The bill was one of more than two dozen that Walker acted on Thursday.

Haven’t seen the exact par­tial veto, but my take on this is that Walker has added 1o hours to the oper­a­tional week of early vot­ing in Wis­con­sin.  The orig­i­nal word­ing was that clerks offices could allow early vot­ing hours between 8 AM to 7 PM, Mon­day through Fri­day, but not sur­pass­ing 45 hours. In essence it gave clerks the lib­erty to deter­mine which hours between 8 AM and 7 PM they would con­duct early vot­ing — aver­ag­ing nine hours a day for five work­ing days.

(9 times 5 is 45 last time I checked…)

So, by elim­i­nat­ing the 45-Hour cap, this pretty much gives you 11 hours (8 AM to 7 PM) where you can early vote, Mon­day through Fri­day, two more hours each day, for a total of 55 hours a week.

You’d think the Left would applaud get­ting 10 more hours, of course, they’re going to sue to kill this law nonetheless.


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