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Government and Political Roundup: New landlord laws expected to be approved

MADISON - The Wisconsin State Assembly is expected to vote tomorrow on a bill to let landlords dispose of any property left behind by evicted tenants, unless both sides agree otherwise in writing.

Lobbyists and attorneys for landlords say the measure would create standard statewide rules for dealing with what tenants leave behind if they're evicted. Opponents say it could create violent confrontations between landlords and evicted tenants. Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says the state measure takes away tenant protections under his city's regulations for landlords. Assembly Republican Duey Strobel of Saukville is the bill's main sponsor. The Wisconsin Realtors Association and Housing Alliance support the measure, along with the Apartment Association of South Central Wisconsin. Legal Action of Wisconsin - a group that provides legal help to the poor - is among the bill's opponents. They say the bill has been rammed through the legislative process with very little debate.


Hillary Clinton would almost certainly get the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination if she wants it. That's what New York Times' statistician Nate Silver said at Ripon College yesterday, where he took part in a panel discussion and spoke to graduates. Silver accurately predicted the winners of all 50 states in last November's White House contest. In answering an audience question, Silver said the next Democratic nomination is Clinton's for the taking. She lost her party's bid to Barack Obama in 2008, but Silver says her stature is higher after her four years as secretary-of-state. Clinton has been under fire for the Benghazi incident in Libya last year, in which four Americans were killed at their embassy. Silver does not believe the controversy would seriously damage her political chances. He said Clinton's success against a Republican in 2016 would depend on the state of the economy and Obama's popularity at the time. Silver told a reporter that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker should be taken seriously as a potential G-O-P White House candidate. He said Walker has succeeded in pushing the agenda to the right, in a state that has voted for Democrats for president since 1988.


The state Natural Resources Board is expected to adopt rules next week for carrying out the new mining incentive package approved by Republicans. A scope statement will be up for approval on May 22nd. Governor Scott Walker gave his blessing to the statement soon after he signed the mining bill. It gives a general list of objectives, plus the expected economic impact on small businesses. DNR staffers say the new rules should not have such an economic effect. The new mining law sets a time limit for the agency to act on requests for mining permits. It also relaxes certain environmental rules. The law was designed to help Gogebic Taconite open a new iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties. Last week, the firm applied for a permit to conduct exploratory drilling at the site.