Capitol Notes

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Gov. Scott Walker spent much of last week trying to downplay some photos that surfaced, of him and the woman now charged in an alleged Russian plot to interfere with U.S. elections.  The photos were snapped in 2015, as Walker was announcing his presidential bid. 

In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, whether this will be problematic for Walker, as he seeks reelection this fall.

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The eight Democrats vying for the chance to take on Gov. Walker this fall shared the stage at UWM last week for their only broadcast debate, with just weeks to go until the Aug. 14 primary.

In this week's Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com what he found interesting about the discussion, and whether there was a clear winner.

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Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin's campaign could get a shot in the arm, as former presidential candidate and fellow U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders stumps for her in Eauu Claire this weekend.  Republicans are targeting Baldwin's seat in November and Sanders is considering another run for President himself in 2020.  In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, what it means for Baldwin to have a heavy hitter like "Bernie" rallying for her.

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The Foxconn groundbreaking last week on Foxconn's huge LCD screen factory in Racine County was a big deal for Gov. Scott Walker. He pushed hard for the Taiwanese electronics giant to locate the plant in Wisconsin. 

The day after the groundbreaking, Walker celebrated the news that Foxconn plans to create at least 200 jobs in Green Bay.  Those workers will develop applications for Foxconn's display screens.

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After months of anticipation, groundbreaking will be held Thursday on the huge Foxconn complex in Racine County.  And President Trump, who advocated for the Taiwanese electronics giant to locate in Wisconsin, will be on hand for the festivities. 

State and local governments committed $4.5 billion in tax incentives to land the massive LCD screen manufacturing plant, and it could create up to 13,000 jobs. 

Althouse

A group led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder worked to elect Democrats in last week's special elections in Wisconsin.  One of the two open legislative seats went to a Democrat, while a Republican captured the other.  

Now, another big Democratic national organization is getting into the mix.  It's a group formed by former President Obama.  The organization says it's targeting Republican Gov. Scott Walker in November.  It's also trying to get a Democrat elected to the seat currently held by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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Voters in De Pere, WI will select a new state senator Tuesday. Meanwhile, voters in Lodi will choose a new member of the Assembly. Special elections are being held to fill two vacancies.

Observers are wondering whether the elections could be a litmus test for the “blue wave” in Wisconsin, in this midterm election year.

Democrats are campaigning hard to win the seats, while Republicans are fighting just as hard to keep them.

Wispolitics.com Editor JR Ross talked about the special elections and other issues in this week’s Capitol Notes segment.

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The August primary elections are coming up quickly. Yet there's still no Democratic front-runner in the Democrats' bid to prevent Republican Gov. Scott Walker from winning another term in November.

The number of candidates is in the double digits. However, a few of them could be pulling ahead, according to a straw poll that WisPolitics.com conducted at last weekend's state Democratic Party convention.

Althouse

Hundreds of delegates are expected to gather in Oshkosh this weekend for the annual state Democratic Party convention.  This year's focus will be on the governor's race, as more than a dozen Democratic candidates have announced their intention to run against Republican incumbent Scott Walker in November.  But first, they'll have to get through a crowded Democratic primary in August.

In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, just how fired up delegates at the convention will be.

The slate of candidates is set in special elections for two vacant seats in the state Legislature, after primaries last week.  Republican Jon Plumer advanced to take on Democrat Ann Groves-Lloyd for an Assembly post, north of Madison.  GOP state Rep. Andre Jacque will face Democrat Caleb Frostman, for a Green Bay area Senate seat.  

After weeks of suspense, U.S. Senate hopeful Leah Vukmir won the endorsement from delegates at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention over the weekend.  She snagged the party's backing from her opponent in the GOP primary -- Delafield businessman Kevin Nicholson.  The two are vying for the chance to face Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin in November.

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson caused a stir last week, when he refused to apologize for remarks he made regarding veterans who support the Democratic Party.  A group of Republican veterans demanded an apology, after Nicholson told a local radio host he doesn't understand the "cognitive thought process" of democratic veterans.  

Althouse

The contest between the Republicans hoping to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is getting ugly.  Sparks flew late last week, as state Sen. Leah Vukmir and political newcomer Kevin Nicholson met for their first debate.  

The two argued, when Nicholson accused Vukmir of not respecting his military experience.  Nicholson is a former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Vukmir accused Nicholson of dealing a low blow, and demanded an apology.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett raised many eyebrows last week when he said he's thinking of running for governor -- again.  It would be his fourth bid, and Gov. Walker has beaten him twice. 

Barrett would also be getting into a crowded Democratic field, as at least nine candidates are running active campaigns.

In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, about the likelihood of Barrett entering the race for governor this fall.

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Speculation is swirling over who'll run for Paul Ryan's seat -- now that the longtime Wisconsin congressman has said he is not seeking reelection this fall. 

Two Democrats, Randy Bryce and Cathy Myers, already were actively campaigning before the Republican's announcement last week. 

But, now that it's an open seat, more people from both parties are testing the waters.  In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, how he thinks the race will shape up, in coming weeks.

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