You would think a good economy would mean clear sailing for Wisconsin incumbents. But the coming midterm elections could turn that notion on its head. This year's elections could be "nationalized,'' being more about President Donald Trump and emotional trends rather than the bread-and-butter issues that in the past would have seemed to be the driving issues. The recent Marquette University Law School poll shows 50 percent of the state's registered voters think the state is headed in the right direction. That's down from 53 percent in August.
Mike and Mary Sue Shannon each gave the maximum contribution to Gov. Scott Walker's campaign in June 2017. The same day Walker's campaign reported the $20,000 donations from the Denver couple — both are UW-Madison graduates, and Mike Shannon went on to found a multibillion-dollar private equity firm — the state GOP registered $125,000 donations from each of them. Those donations wouldn't have been allowed under previous Wisconsin campaign finance laws that were first struck down by the courts and then affirmed by a GOP overhaul of the regulations.
While the attack ads fly in the races for governor and U.S. Senate, another battle is quietly taking place in Madison. The battle is over wedding barns. A legislative Study Committee on Alcohol Beverages Enforcement has met twice on this controversial issue.
A Republican senator targeted by Democrats in this fall's election. A major employer considering the closing of plants and the layoffs of hundreds of workers. Lingering skepticism surrounding big state subsidies to Foxconn. It all adds up to a sticky situation for the Republican-run state Senate, which is mulling a push to give Foxconn-like incentives to Kimberly-Clark to save jobs in the Fox Valley.
The case of a Marquette University professor could have impact far beyond the Milwaukee campus. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which handled the case for John McAdams, a conservative political science professor at Marquette, said universities everywhere should take notice.
When election-year politics start heating up, some government pros look the other way and focus on the upcoming state budget. The state budget is a two-year document, which gets started well before it's introduced to the Legislature by the governor early in odd-numbered years. Two pieces of recent news — plus a healthy state economy and a record-low unemployment rate — could set the stage for a positive revenue picture entering 2019. Out-of-state online retailers to be taxed
The Democrats' loss of Wisconsin in the 2016 presidential election could prove to be a winner for the state come 2020.
Sometimes, it's more interesting to note what elected officials say on the way out than when they're in office, constantly electioneering, posturing and pleasing all sorts of people. So, let's take note of the reflections of low-key Republican state Assemblyman Ed Brooks of Reedsburg. Brooks is passing on a re-election bid because of health issues. He announced his retirement May 14 due to his ongoing battle with leukemia.
OSHKOSH — More than 23 percent of Democratic Party of Wisconsin conventioneers voting in a WisPolitics.com straw poll favored former state Rep. Kelda Roys for the party's 2018 gubernatorial nomination.
Milwaukee attorney Matt Flynn will remain among the field of candidates for Wisconsin's Democratic gubernatorial primary, despite calls for him to drop out because of his role defending the Milwaukee Archdiocese in sexual abuse lawsuits. Women's March Wisconsin recently called on Flynn to withdraw from the race, but Flynn's campaign manager, Bryan Kennedy, said the criticism amounts to an attempt "to take someone who is a likely frontrunner out of this race, and to attack him for priest sex abuse when he's the one who actually cleaned up the problem."