Government and Political News: The fake Democrats will returnWisconsin News
-- Wisconsin Republicans have put up fake Democrats to guarantee that there are primaries in all six recall elections this spring.
Wisconsin Republicans have put up fake Democrats to guarantee that there are primaries in all six recall elections this spring. The G-O-P says Gladys Huber will be on the Democratic primary ballot for governor, and Isaac Weix for lieutenant governor. Tamara Varebrook, James Buckley, James Engel, and Gary Ellerman will be the fake Democrats in the May eighth primaries in four Senate districts. Republican officials face recall in all six contests – and the G-O-P says it does not want to run the risk of those incumbents losing on primary day, when Democrats will turn out in droves to pick their challenger to Republican Governor Scott Walker in the June fifth general election. Party spokesman Ben Sparks says the G-O-P will not spend any campaign money for the fake Democrats. But last year, that didn’t stop Weix from getting to within 10-percentage points of defeating real Democrat Shelly Moore – who ran in a recall contest against Senate Republican Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls. Harsdorf survived. Besides Walker, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch faces a recall challenge along with Senate Republicans Scott Fitzgerald, Van Wanggaard and Terry Moulton. Pam Galloway stepped down before she could face a recall, and Assembly Republican Jerry Petrowski of Marathon is running in her place.
According to new state figures, it only cost 200-thousand dollars to clean up and repair the damage from last year’s pro-union protests at the State Capitol. The Walker administration told a judge at the time that the protestors caused seven-and-a-half million dollars in damage – mostly to the Capitol’s sensitive marble walls when they taped up hundreds-of-signs. The larger figure was meant to get the judge to uphold temporary public entry restrictions that were in place at the Capitol. The judge refuse to buy the state’s argument – but the restrictions continued, and a settlement was eventually worked out that re-opened all eight Capitol entrances and removed the metal detectors that were in place. Actually, the biggest clean-up cost was to replace the damaged bushes and shrubs outside the building – and to re-seed the lawn. That cost around 65-thousand-dollars. Another 43-thousand was spent to clean the Capitol walls and remove the tape residue left by the protest signs. The state’s biggest cost during the month-long demonstrations was for security. Local law enforcement officers from throughout the state were paid around nine-million dollars for their service.
A Republican state lawmaker says he’ll try again next year to give residents the choice of stopping those automated “robo-calls” from political candidates. Freshman Representative Andre Jacque of the Green Bay area says if he’s re-elected, he’ll re-introduce a bill that adds “robo-calls” to the popular do-not-call list for telemarketers. His measure went nowhere in the most recent session. And Jacque said folks complained about getting up to a dozen calls a day leading up to Tuesday’s presidential primary. Jacque said the attacks were so vicious that people were often afraid to answer their phones – and he says that’s unacceptable. He says the automated calls have little accountability – and if a candidate or party wants to make a nasty attack, Jacque says a live person should do it. Live political calls would still be allowed under Jacque’s bill. And with four more statewide elections this year, Jacque says people will be anxious to see his bill move forward when lawmakers return in January. Two-point-three million phone numbers are on Wisconsin’s no-call list – which also has exemptions for charities, public opinion polls, and business calls to present-and-past customers.
If it wasn’t for the Milwaukee T-V market, Rick Santorum would have won Wisconsin’s Republican presidential primary. The former Pennsylvania senator won in almost two-thirds of the state’s 72 counties on Tuesday. But Mitt Romney took the Badger State by crushing Santorum in the Milwaukee media market with a 22-point edge – while Santorum won by three points in the rest of the state. According to the Journal Sentinel, Romney used the same Wisconsin playbook Scott Walker wrote in the 2010 governor’s primary – when Mark Neumann won 42-of-the-72 counties, but got hammered in the Milwaukee metro and lost the statewide contest. Newspaper analyst Craig Gilbert said the G-O-P is more highly mobilized in the Milwaukee area, in part because of popular conservative talk radio – and partly because of two long-time Republican congressmen from that region, Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner. Both endorsed Romney and appeared with him, as the former Massachusetts centered his Wisconsin campaigning around Milwaukee and Waukesha. Three Milwaukee area counties had the highest voter turnouts in the state on Tuesday. Ozaukee was the biggest at 32-percent, followed by Washington and Waukesha. Gilbert said those turnouts were almost exactly the same as in Walker’s primary win for governor.
Wisconsin Rapids has joined La Crosse and Manitowoc in electing young mayors. 24-year-old Zach Vruwink got a whopping 68-and-a-half percent of the vote on Tuesday, in defeating three other challengers for an open seat. About half of Wisconsin Rapids adults voted, which was almost twice the statewide turnout. Vruwink started the firm of ZAXX Technology Specialists, and he said his experience as a business owner would help him lead the city. Vruwink also said his huge victory margin proved that Wisconsin Rapids residents wanted youth, energy, and enthusiasm in their mayor’s office. Manitowoc and La Crosse went in the same direction in 2009. Fifty-five percent of La Crosse voters gave Matt Harter a chance at age 24. And Justin Nickels was 21 when 58-percent of Manitowoc’s voters made him the youngest full-time mayor in the country. And that was after Nickels served two years as an alderman since age 15.