(Update) State Political and Government News: Santorum in Hudson today for a campaign stopWisconsin News
-- Three of the four Republican presidential candidates will criss-cross Wisconsin today, as Tuesday’s primary gets closer.
Three of the four Republican presidential candidates will criss-cross Wisconsin today, as Tuesday’s primary gets closer.
Front-runner Mitt Romney will step on Wisconsin soil for the first time, after hitting the phones this week. Romney has a mid-afternoon economic speech planned at Lawrence University in Appleton, where he’s expected to get a key endorsement from House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan. Romney will also be in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Fitchburg, and Muskego the next two days. Rick Santorum will appear today in Hudson, Chippewa Falls, and Weston. Santorum’s making his third trip to the Badger State in the last week, hoping to win his first key Midwest industrial state. He’s second behind Romney in Wisconsin’s major polls and the national delegate count. Newt Gingrich remains in the Badger State for a second straight day, with three appearances planned in Oshkosh and Green Bay. Gingrich cut back his campaign schedule and laid off a third of his staff this week, as money gets tight. He’s third in the state’s polls and fourth in the delegate count – but Gingrich vows to stay in the race all the way until the GOP convention. Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum all plan to be at a forum in Waukesha tomorrow put on by the Wisconsin Faith-and-Freedom Coalition. The fourth Republican candidate, Ron Paul, has no more appearances planned in the state after he held a town meeting last night at UW-Madison.
Republican presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul made their first Wisconsin appearances last night, with the state’s primary just four days away. And Vice President Joe Biden helped Democrats raise money for this fall’s elections with an appearance yesterday in Milwaukee. Gingrich visited the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, and later spoke to about 300 people at Marquette University. He cited Harley as an example of the American innovation that Gingrich said he wants to rekindle. He said America was excited about its future when Harley was created more than a century ago but quote, “You have a government today dedicated to the avoidance of innovation.” Meanwhile, Paul courted young voters at a town hall meeting attended by 5,200 outside the Memorial Union on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. He said young people are interested in his candidacy because the national debt gives them a bad deal. He spoke at length about the need to end the Federal Reserve and return to the gold standard. Biden told about 150 Democratic supporters at Milwaukee’s Italian Community Center that he wished them luck in their effort to recall Governor Scott Walker. Former Governor Jim Doyle – who’s held a low profile over the last year – introduced Biden.
Paul Ryan made it official this morning. The House Budget Chairman from Janesville endorsed Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential nominee. Romney leads both the polls and the delegate count among the four GOP hopefuls going into Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary. Ryan says Romney has earned the top spot on the ticket against President Obama – and he urged conservatives to quote, “coalesce” around the former Massachusetts governor before the primaries take a major toll on the party. Ryan says the GOP’s effort to win back the White House will be counter-productive if the primary battle drags on – to the point where it will become much harder to beat Obama in November. Romney talked up Ryan during his telephone town hall meeting with state voters this week. The former Massachusetts governor said he and Ryan see “eye-to-eye” on fiscal conservative issues like cutting taxes and spending. Ryan’s been trying to downplay speculation that he wants to be Romney’s vice presidential running mate. He said he would consider it – but he’s not thinking about it because it’s not his call. And Ryan denied discussing the possibility with Romney.
State elections’ officials threw out about three-percent of the petition signatures to try and recall Governor Scott Walker. And the Government Accountability Board decided today to let you see the names of those who were crossed out. The Board approved the public release of two databases. They’ll show the names of the signers who were both counted and rejected – but they won’t show addresses. In January, the Board posted all of the original recall petitions with the names-and-addresses of the signers – but they were not searchable. The Board ruled this morning that there were more than enough signatures to order recall elections against Walker, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and four GOP senators. And the Board scheduled the elections for May eighth. Those contests with primaries will have their general elections on June fifth. Nomination papers must be filed by April 10th. The Board said it only found four names on the Walker petitions that were obviously fakes – Adolf Hitler, Mick E. Mous, Donald L. Duck, and I Love Scott Walker Thanks. They were stricken, along with about 26-thousand others for various reasons. About four-thousand signatures were struck because they duplicated others – and in those cases, one signature was counted while the others were crossed out. And the board was going to delete the name of Fungky Van Den Elzen, until someone called the agency yesterday and said a person by that name had a Facebook page.
A second poll shows that President Obama would easily carry Wisconsin in November. The NBC-Marist poll gives the Democrat Obama a 52-35-percent lead over Republican front-runner Mitt Romney. Almost 28-hundred state voters were surveyed, with an error margin of one-point-nine percent either way. Earlier this week, the Marquette Law School poll gave Obama a 48-33 edge over Romney. It shows that Republicans have some work to do if they want to carry one of their own to the White House for the first time since 1984, when the Badger State helped give Ronald Reagan a second term. The NBC-Marist poll also gave Romney a 40-33 percent lead over Rick Santorum in Wisconsin among Republican voters in Tuesday’s primary. Seven-hundred-40 likely GOP voters gave their primary selections, with an error margin of three-point-six percent either way. The poll also gave U.S. House Democrat Tammy Baldwin a 45-40 percent lead over the eventual Republican nominee for the Wisconsin U.S. Senate race in November. The NBC-Marist poll also gave GOP governor Scott Walker a 48-percent approval rating, with 48-percent disapproving. And it gave the Democratic nominee a 48-46 edge over Walker in the June recall election.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended a prosecutor and a defense lawyer for 30 days each today, for the way they acted in a case involving a traffic death. Dane County Assistant District Attorney Paul Humphrey and Oregon defense attorney Joseph Summers had accused each other of withholding evidence and misconduct in their trial tactics. The case involved the death of a passenger in a traffic crash 11 years ago, when the driver was 17. Adam Raisbeck was eventually acquitted of negligent homicide. The Supreme Court said Humphrey made misleading statements in the evidence discovery process – and Sommers had engaged in improper pre-trial publicity, disrupted at least one court hearing, and said a judge was running a kangaroo court. Sommers also claimed an investigation by the state’s Office of Lawyer Regulation was done in bad faith. Besides the suspensions, the justices told Sommers to pay half of a 94-thousand-dollar bill involving the case. Humphrey must pay over 16-thousand dollars in costs.