Thursday, March 21, 2013
The rent-to-own industry has fought for decades to free itself from some provisions of Wisconsin law, spending money on campaign donations and lobbying to do so—and it appears the work may be paying off.
For more than two decades, the rent-to-own industry, which leases such goods as televisions, appliances and furniture, has been fighting to free itself from certain provisions of Wisconsin law. Throughout, it has lubricated the gears of change with campaign donations and lobbying outlays. “It’s something you have to do — what everybody does,” says Jeff Lebakken, president of the Wisconsin Rental Dealers Association, the main group pushing this change. Lebakken, the owner of an Eau Claire-based rent-to-own company with 11 state stores, has given more than $33,000 to Wisconsin political candidates since 1999, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s searchable database. Overall, an analysis shows $235,000 in donations of $100 or more…
Monday, February 18, 2013
Most of the cash in high court campaign will spent by conservative and liberal outside groups — not the candidates themselves.
On Tuesday, Wisconsin will hold a primary election for state Supreme Court, narrowing the field from three candidates to two. Then the race will begin in earnest. Justice Patience Roggensack, who has already served one 10-year term on the state’s highest court, is expected to survive the cut. Her challengers are Ed Fallone, a Marquette University Law School professor, and Vince Megna, a Milwaukee lawyer specializing in suing auto companies. The general election is April 2. Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 4, according to the most recent reporting, Roggensack had raised about $200,000, compared to Fallone’s $75,000 and Megna’s $0. Roggensack reported having $219,154 cash on hand, compared to Fallone’s $63,713 and Megna’s $5,340. Most of Megna’s …
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Backers and opponents of mining legislation filled a more than 100-seat hearing room and two overflow rooms in the Capitol to be heard on the prospect of a mine in the state.
Last March, one Republican lawmaker held up passage of a GOP-backed bill that would have paved the way for construction of an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin. With a majority in the state Assembly and Senate this legislative session, GOP lawmakers labeled mining legislation a top priority and began their push with an all-day public hearing Wednesday. Backers and opponents of the mining legislation filled a more than 100-seat hearing room in the Capitol and two overflow rooms to be heard on the prospect of a mine in the state, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Those backing the legislation say it would bring jobs to a local economy that currently doesn’t offer many opportunities, while the opposing faction says the bill …
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Republican governor doubles down on goal to create 250,000 jobs by 2015 in his State of the State address, but Democrats remain skeptical.
Vowing to "put more money in the hands of the hard-working taxpayers," Gov. Scott Walker Tuesday night promised to push for middle-class tax cuts and double downed on his pledge to create 250,000 jobs by 2015. Addressing the state Legislature in his annual State of the State message, Walker acknowledged that Wisconsin is still a long way off meeting the jobs goal that he campaigned on in 2010. He noted that others have pointed out "plenty of reasons" why job creation in the state has been difficult, including the slow recovery at the national level and well as ongoing concerns about the impact of the Affordable Care Act. "But in Wisconsin, we don't make excuses... We get results," the governor said. To move in that direction, Walker urged …
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Even though Republican governor raised the idea last month, he said the cost of eliminating same-day voter registration makes it a non-starter.
Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday apparently drove the final nail into the coffin of calls to end same-day voter registration in Wisconsin, vowing to veto any such bill that imposed additional costs. “If it has a price tag, absolutely,” Walker told the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism in an interview at the Executive Residence, when asked if he would use his veto pen. “There’s no way we’re spending money on something like that." The idea of ending same-day voter registration gained currency after Walker made a speech in California last month in which he suggested ending the state’s practice of letting voters register on Election Day, citing the burden it placed on poll workers. Two Republican lawmakers began seeking sponsors on a…
Friday, December 7, 2012
Democrats received more votes statewide in the November elections, but Republicans won more seats. What does that say about redistricting?
The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board’s Nov. 29 certification of the official results of the Nov. 6 election made it, well, official: Democratic candidates got more votes than Republicans in state races for president, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, state Senate and state Assembly. But the Republicans were able to keep a 5-3 lead in the U.S. House of Representatives, reclaim control of the state Senate by a margin of 18 to 15 seats, and secure a commanding 60-39 advantage in the state Assembly, despite getting fewer votes overall. How can that be? Mike McCabe, the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan elections watchdog, has a theory: “The outcome of this year’s U.S. House as well as …
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Walker maintains he had nothing to do with the ongoing investigation, and says he would have done the right thing if he had knowledge of any misconduct.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday confidently stated that he has no worries when it comes to the ongoing John Doe investigation. Walker maintained he has done nothing wrong, and has no knowledge of illegal campaign activities that may have occurred on the taxpayers' dime during his tenure as Milwaukee County executive. Walker distanced himself from the investigation while visiting Tailored Label Products in Menomonee Falls. “We’ve been told repeatedly, if there were bigger concerns, they would be coming to us,” Walker said. “Remember, we were the ones asking for this two years ago, and brought it to their attention.” Walker is of course referring to blowing the whistle on his former aide, Timothy Russell. Russell is accused of …
Monday, November 19, 2012
Democrats blast comments made by Republican Gov. Scott Walker that it would be "much better" if registration was only allowed before Election Day.
Wisconsin Democrats are jumping on comments made by Republican Gov. Scott Walker that the election process would be "much better" if voters didn't register at the polls on Election Day, something that has been allowed in the state since the 1970s. Speaking at a Reagan Foundation event Friday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library near Los Angeles, Walker initially answered an audience member's question about the need to protect the vote by reiterating his support of the state's Voter ID law. Then he brought up the state law that allows voters to register on Election Day: "States across the country that have same-day registration have real problems because the vast majority of the states have poll workers who are wonderful volunteers who…
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Former Republican governor says his Democratic opponent in U.S. Senate race is too liberal; she claims he represents special-interest groups in Washington.
Trailing in the polls, former Gov. Tommy Thompson went on the attack Friday night against U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in their first debate for the U.S. Senate race. Republican Thompson portrayed his Democratic opponent as a “taxer and a spender” who is outside the mainstream, according to WisPolitics.com. My opponent is so far to the extreme even her party doesn’t pass any of her legislation," Thompson said. The Associated Press reported that Thompson spent most of the debate on the attack, casting himself as a visionary reformer and branding Baldwin "a taxer and a spender." "When you don't have a record, you attack the other person," he said. "I get things done. I don't criticize the other side. I make sure things happen." Baldwin wasn't shy…
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Wisconsin governor says he wants Republican presidential candidate to talk directly to voters — with a feisty Paul Ryan firing up the crowd for him.
- Jim Price
Thursday, September 27, 2012
“Passion” is at the heart of the presidential campaign, Gov. Scott Walker believes, and he said Thursday Wisconsin Republicans have enough of it to carry the state for presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But, he said, Romney needs to show more of that passion — and one way to bring it out would be to campaign more with a pumped up U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan running at his side. Walker said he knows Romney to be a man of passion, and now, with just less than six weeks left in the campaign, he needs to get out and show it. “I love seeing Paul Ryan on the stump,” Walker said. “I want to see more of the enthusiasm I saw in Waukesha the day after he was announced, when I saw Mitt and Paul together — because I not only saw Paul pumped up, I saw Mitt …