Saturday State News Briefs: Over 182,000 absentee ballots issued for recall electionWisconsin News
-- The state of Wisconsin reports its has issued more than 182,000 absentee ballots for next week’s recall election. That seems to suggest a heavy turnout for Tuesday’s vote.
The state of Wisconsin reports its has issued more than 182,000 absentee ballots for next week’s recall election. That seems to suggest a heavy turnout for Tuesday’s vote.
The Government Accountability Board says not all local election clerks track absentee voting through the statewide computer system, so the total could eventually top the 231,000 absentee ballots cast during the 2010 race for the governor’s office. Thursday was the last day to request absentee ballots by mail for the general public. In-person voting at clerks’ offices ended yesterday.
Former President Bill Clinton says states now coming back from the economic downturn are states where members of both parties are working together. Speaking for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett Friday morning, Clinton said conflict, quoting here, “is a dead-bang loser.” Clinton’s comments were a direct jab at current Governor Scott Walker, whose successful effort to end collective bargaining for most public workers brought on protests at the state Capitol. Clinton said real leaders get involved parties together, listen to their concerns, treat each with respect and makes sure everyone moves forward together. Barrett faces Walker in an historic recall election next Tuesday.
The Tea Party Express bus will remain in Wisconsin through next Tuesday’s election. It made a stop in Madison at the Alliant Energy Center yesterday. Organizers with the bus say the effort to recall Governor Scott Walker and other Republicans is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Tea Party officials say you don’t recall somebody because you don’t like their policies, saying that’s why elections are held. The Tea Party mobile phone bank bus gives volunteers a place to call voters no matter where that bus is parked.
New high parking rates in Madison will help pay for replacing aging parking garages in the Capitol City. Those parking rates go into effect Monday. The change was approved twice, by the Transit and Parking Authority last April and the Common Council last month. The new charges will be phased in over the next two months. Parking rates around the city will go up by a nickel an hour, while special event parking increases a dollar, to five dollars per event. Rates in downtown parking lots will also go up.
Everyone who lives near West Arrow and South 20th Streets on Milwaukee’s south side knows John H. Spooner. Most know the 75 year old had been the victim of burglars several times recently. Three days ago he reported someone had stolen three thousand dollars worth of shotguns from his home. He said he was frustrated police had made no arrests in the case. That frustration may have led to the death Thursday morning of 13 year old Darius Simmons. Spooner apparently was convinced Simmons was the burglar. He confronted the teenager and his mother and shot him in the chest. The boy died a few minutes later as he tried to run away. Spooner now faces several charges, including first-degree intentional homicide.
An attorney for one of Governor Scott Walker’s former aides has filed a motion to suppress evidence gathered in the John Doe investigation. A ruling could come Monday in Milwaukee. Timothy Russell is accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a county fund which was meant for military veterans. Russell worked for Walker in the Milwaukee County executive’s office. Russell’s attorney argues the law says a John Doe proceeding can’t keep collecting evidence against a person once he has been charged using that legal process. He alleges that is what the prosecutor is doing. He moved for the judge to dismiss the case.
People who shop at the Petro Mart in Waukesha where Nayyer Rana was killed say they are happy to hear police have a suspect in custody. Brookfield and Elm Grove police made the arrest, but haven’t released the name. Robbery is the likely motive. For now, police are deciding whether to recommend charges be filed by the Waukesha County District Attorney’s office. Investigators say they have sent a handgun to the Wisconsin crime lab for analysis to see if it is the one used to shoot Rana to death. The Petro Mart robbery was committed two weeks ago.