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Capitol Notes

Wisconsin Public Radio

There's never a shortage of political news in Wisconsin, from the governor's office to the Legislature to the state's elected officials in Washington, DC. Join WUWM's Marti Mikkelson and Wispolitics.com editor JR Ross each week as they highlight and provide context to the latest developments.

There's never a shortage of political news in Wisconsin, from the governor's office to the Legislature to the state's elected officials in Washington, DC. Join WUWM's Marti Mikkelson and Wispolitics.com editor JR Ross each week as they highlight and provide context to the latest developments.
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Milwaukee, WI

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There's never a shortage of political news in Wisconsin, from the governor's office to the Legislature to the state's elected officials in Washington, DC. Join WUWM's Marti Mikkelson and Wispolitics.com editor JR Ross each week as they highlight and provide context to the latest developments.

Language:

English


Episodes

Capitol Notes: First Eric Holder, Now Barack Obama Group Involved in Wisconsin Fall Elections

6/19/2018
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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...

Duration:00:08:01

Capitol Notes: Will Special Elections Tuesday be Litmus Test of “Blue Wave” in Wisconsin?

6/11/2018
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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...

Duration:00:09:52

Capitol Notes: Straw Poll at Democratic Convention Asks Delegates about Gubernatorial Hopefuls

6/4/2018
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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. WisPolitics.com Editor JR Ross says the poll wasn't scientific, but the results could be...

Duration:00:07:38

Capitol Notes: Democrats Gear Up For Weekend Convention, Another State Lawmaker Calls it Quits

5/29/2018
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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 Walkerin 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...

Duration:00:08:39

Capitol Notes: Field Set in June Special Elections, Barca Passes on Run For Ryan Seat

5/21/2018
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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. Jacque defeated a well-financed business consultant in the primary. WUWM's Marti Mikkelson talked about the contests with JR Ross of wispolitics.com, for this...

Duration:00:08:58

Capitol Notes: Vukmir Gets Crucial Endorsement, Primaries Held Tuesday in Special Elections

5/14/2018
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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. WUWM's Marti Mikkelson and JR Ross of wispolitics.com talked about the endorsement, in this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation. Marti...

Duration:00:10:45

Capitol Notes: More Dustups in Wisconsin's GOP Senate Race

5/7/2018
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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. Nicholson is a former Marine who's running against state Sen. Leah Vukmir in a Republican primary in August. The winner will face Democratic...

Duration:00:13:41

Capitol Notes: How Ugly Will It Get Between The Republican U.S. Senate Candidates?

4/30/2018
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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. In this week's "Capitol Notes"...

Duration:00:11:40

Capitol Notes: Would Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett Really Run For Governor Again?

4/23/2018
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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.

Duration:00:11:40

Capitol Notes: Who's All Going to Run For Paul Ryan's Seat?

4/16/2018
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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...

Duration:00:08:57

Capitol Notes: Internal Polling Shows Nicholson Ahead of Vukmir, Bryce Rakes in Impressive Numbers

4/9/2018
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The U.S. Senate race between Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir and Delafield businessman Kevin Nicholson heated up late last week. The two will face each other in a GOP primary in August. The winner will take on Democrat Tammy Baldwin in November. Nicholson released the results of internal polling, that shows he is 18 points ahead of Vukmir. In this week's Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM's Marti MIkkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, whether he thinks the Vukmir camp should be worried.

Duration:00:12:12

Capitol Notes: Walker Schedules Special Elections, Voters Decide Whether to Dump State Treasurer

4/2/2018
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It was a wild week at the State Capitol, as Gov. Walker scrambled to get a court to overturn a Dane County judge's order that he call special elections to fill two vacant legislative seats. A second Dane County judge and a Wisconsin Appeals court refused to delay the order. Walker was thinking about getting the state Supreme Court but in the end, decided not to, and went ahead and scheduled the elections. In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson wondered why it...

Duration:00:11:43

Capitol Notes: Ryan Blasts Trump Tariffs, Walker Mulls Special Session on School Safety

3/12/2018
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After much hand-wringing, President Trump last week announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized the move -- calling it risky, amid fears it could spark a trade war. This was the first time that Ryan has wavered in his support for Trump's policies. In this week's Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com if Ryan's backing away from Trump could be an issue, in the congressman's...

Duration:00:13:59

Capitol Notes: Will The Assembly Come Back to Take Up Public Safety Agenda?

3/5/2018
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Gov. Scott Walker says he opposes President Trump's idea to arm teachers. Instead, he talked last week about calling a special session to pass a comprehensive school safety agenda. This would mean the state Assembly, which has already adjourned for the year, would have to come back into session. In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com -- what are the chances of that happening?

Duration:00:10:11

Capitol Notes: Votes on Straw Gun Sales, Aid Package for Kimberly-Clark

2/26/2018
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JR Ross of Wispolitics.com talks about developments in Madison each Monday with WUWM's Marti Mikkelson. This week, they discuss the recent flurry of activity in the Legislature. One significant measure lawmakers approved was the passage of tighter restrictions on so-called "straw" gun sales. Those are sales to people buying guns for others, who are forbidden from owning the weapons. Some Milwaukee leaders have fought for the restrictions for years. Marti asked JR what tipped the scales in...

Duration:00:08:46

Capitol Notes: Senate Poised to Take Up Welfare Reform, Handicapping The State Supreme Court Race

2/19/2018
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The state Senate could soon take up a sweeping welfare overhaul package. The Assembly approved it late last week and the package consists of ten different measures. One would increase work requirements for welfare recipients. Another would require drug testing and treatment for people who live in public housing. The proposed overhaul is a result of Gov. Walker's push to revamp welfare programs. He called a special session, for lawmakers to take action on the items. But, just why is Walker...

Duration:00:12:32

Capitol Notes: Walker Pushes August Tax Breaks, Kimberly-Clark Proposal Might Not Go Anywhere

2/12/2018
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Gov. Scott Walker continues to plug away in tax breaks for Wisconsin families. Last week, he and Assembly Republicans announced a deal for families to receive a $100 credit for each child -- and for the state sales tax to be waived the first weekend in August. Senate Republicans haven't gotten on board yet, and Democrats blasted the proposal, calling it an election year gimmick. In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com about...

Duration:00:11:15

Capitol Notes: Likelihood of East-West Freeway Project, More Signs of Foxconn Presence

2/5/2018
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Some Republican lawmakers want to revive the I-94 east-west project in Milwaukee County. Gov. Walker didn't fund the stretch in the state budget. But, two Milwaukee area legislators have proposed putting $25 million toward it. In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, whether shovels will be turned on this part of the freeway any time soon.

Duration:00:12:34

Capitol Notes: Unpacking The State Of The State, Shakeup At The Ethics And Elections Commissions

1/29/2018
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Gov. Scott Walker used last week's State of the State address to boast about his accomplishments in the past year. They include securing the huge Foxconn deal and pouring more money into K-12 education. And, Walker called on the state Legislature to pass a slew of welfare reform measures -- and approve a $100 per child tax credit. Walker is running for reelection this fall. As many as 17 Democrats hope to unseat him. In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked...

Duration:00:14:52

Capitol Notes: Walker Rushes to Pass Welfare Reform, State of the State Preview

1/22/2018
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Gov. Walker made headlines last week when he called for a special session to pass a number of welfare reform measures. That includes one that would require parents of children on food stamps to work, or get job training, in order to receive at least three months of benefits. The proposal immediately touched off a barrage of criticism. In this week's Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM"s Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com -- why this is such a hot button issue. Ross also tells us...

Duration:00:10:23