Government and Political News: Gov. Walker asks for federal disaster aid for southern Wisconsin countiesWisconsin News
-- Governor Scott Walker will visit two farms near Burlington and Dodgeville today, to view some of the crop damage caused by the summer-long drought.
Governor Scott Walker will visit two farms near Burlington and Dodgeville today, to view some of the crop damage caused by the summer-long drought. He’ll then meet with cabinet members and emergency management officials in Madison this afternoon, to chart the state’s next course of action. Yesterday, the governor asked for federal disaster aid for 23 counties in southern Wisconsin that have been hardest-hit. The U-S Drought Monitor has classified most of those counties as being in an extreme drought – the second-worst status possible. And about the southern half of Wisconsin is in at least some stage of drought. If Walker’s disaster request is approved, farmers could be eligible for low-interest emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency. A number of areas had heavy downpours and lighter showers this week. State climatologist John Young said they only provided temporary relief. But U-W Extension agronomist Joe Lauer said it might have been enough to give farmers at least one more cutting of hay to help feed their cows into the winter. Young said the forecast for next week calls for more hot weather in southern Wisconsin, and not much rain.
Those counties are: Adams, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Kenosha, Lafayette, Marquette, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha.
Janesville Republican Paul Ryan has the largest campaign fund of any U-S House candidate in the country. Federal election reports show that he has five-point-four million dollars in his war-chest. And the Center for Responsive Politics said Ryan raised the fifth-highest amount among House candidates since the start of 2011, with four-point-two million dollars. Ryan’s Democratic opponent this fall, Rob Zerban, has raised over a million dollars. But Zerban only has about one-tenth of the war-chest that Ryan has. Ryan is ending his seventh term in the House, and he expects to raise over a million-dollars more than he did in his 2010 re-election campaign. That’s because he has gained national notoriety as the House Budget Committee chairman. He has crafted two budgets that called for major cuts in federal spending – and they triggered a national election-year debate between the two parties. Also, Ryan has been a possible candidate as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate. Ryan credits the Republicans’ message for his success in fund-raising. In his words, “The country is so ready to be talked to like adults.” G-O-P Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio has raised the most among the House candidates – just over 18-million dollars.
Wisconsin Senate Democrats will soon get to learn more about how Republicans secretly drew the state’s new legislative districts last year. The law firm of Michael Best and Friedrich has approved the Democrats’ request to turn over its redistricting files. But Senate G-O-P leader Scott Fitzgerald says you should not expect any bombshells. He said so much information came out during a trial over the new maps, that there’s not a lot the public doesn’t already know. Getting the G-O-P’s redistricting strategy was one of the first requests by Mark Miller, after he became the Senate’s new majority leader this week. Democrats won control of the Senate as the result of the June fifth recall elections – and they’ll keep the majority at least until the November contests.