Saturday State News Briefs: GOP Senate debate subdudedWisconsin News
-- It wasn’t a love-fest, but four Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate put any bitterness on hold during their last debate last night. They kept describing very similar positions on the issues.
MILWAUKEE - It wasn’t a love-fest, but four Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate put any bitterness on hold during their last debate last night. They kept describing very similar positions on the issues.
Former Governor Tommy Thompson, hedge fund investor Eric Hovde, former Congressman Mark Neumann and state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald all worked to position themselves as the most conservative choice. The primary election is next Tuesday. The debate was held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and it focused completely on the economy and health care.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eric Hovde released income tax returns today which showed a gross income of over $12-million for the last two years. Hovde, a community banker and hedge fund manager, has promised for some time to release his tax returns. And he let reporters see them today but not copy them. Democratic nominee Tammy Baldwin said her opponents should release 10 years of returns, but Hovde said two years is enough. He said he would have released the returns earlier, if it wasn’t for the complexity of his investments. His returns showed that he paid $316,000 in income taxes last year, and one-point-four-million in 2010. Charitable donations for those two years totaled almost $600,000. Two other GOP Senate hopefuls, Mark Neumann and Tommy Thompson, say they’ve followed federal financial disclosure requirements. Thompson listed assets of over $13-million. Neumann gave a range of between four-to-16-million. The fourth candidate, state Assembly speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, says he’ll release his tax data if he wins Tuesday’s primary.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder tells mourners the mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek was not only an attack on the church, but also an attack on American values. Holder says the Sikh community is inspiring the entire country with its compassionate response to evil. He was one of the final speakers at yesterday’s memorial service which drew thousands of people to Oak Creek High School. The memorial was held to remember the six victims of last Sunday’s attack. Governor Scott Walker, Congressman Paul Ryan and several other dignitaries were in attendance.
The Joint Committee on Finance in the Legislature has approved an additional $25 million in tax credits for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. The future is unclear for the WEDC. Its creation was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature last year, getting very little Democratic support. Now, Democrats control the state Senate. Former Green Bay Mayor Paul Jadin, who is the corporations CEO, was quizzed by committee members in a meeting which was said to be less contentious than others in the past.
Work starts Monday on the Milwaukee area’s Zoo Interchange project, despite a lawsuit filed against it. The first visible signs of $1.7 billion dollars worth of work will show up on adjacent streets. Starting Monday and lasting through November, West Greenfield Avenue will be improved so it can be used as an alternate route while the freeway is upgraded. Starting the same day is work to build a temporary off-ramp from northbound U.S. Highway 45 to West Wisconsin Avenue. Several Milwaukee community groups joined earlier this week to file a suit against the construction project, but they are not seeking a restraining order against this preliminary work.
A Waukesha man apologized in court to the two Dane County deputies he shot at in July of last year, but he still is going to have to spend 22 years in prison. Fifty-two year old Geoffrey Herling was found guilty of two attempted murder charges. His attorney had argued Herling was trying to commit suicide by cop. The incident happened at the Road Star Inn on Seybold Road in Middleton. He had apparently been despondent when he learned his ex-wife was planning to re-marry. Despite the shots being fired, no one was injured July 12, 2011.