Home  |  BGA Mission  |  Government Affairs  |  Services  |  Power of BGA  |  Contact Us  |  Capitol Report  |  Congressional Roll Call
           
Getting Results is the Bottom Line! Clients We Serve


CAPITOL REPORT

Bernie Sanders


Wisconsin Dems seem to be feeling the "Bern," too. The self-described socialist-turned-Dem presidential hopeful got a boost earlier this year when a WisPolitics.com straw poll at the Dem state convention found him nipping at the heels of Hillary Clinton among party activists. Since then, Sanders has packed the house in progressive enclaves and watched his poll numbers nationally and in other states steadily climb. Now he can include Wisconsin on the list of states where he's closing the gap. The latest Marquette University Law School Poll finds him at 32 percent among Wisconsin Dem and Dem-leaning registered voters, while Clinton has slipped below the 50-percent mark to 44 percent. In the Marquette Law poll five months ago, Clinton was at 58 percent, while Elizabeth Warren - who has since passed on a bid - was at 14 percent. Republicans take delight in yet another sign of Clinton's issue. Between questions about her use of a private email server and other baggage, some conservatives see Clinton's numbers in a freefall. Just look at her favorable-unfavorable rating in the Marquette poll, they add. Almost 53 percent of respondents viewed her unfavorably, while just 38 percent had a positive review of her. Those aren't the kind of numbers that show you're connecting to voters, they add. Still, Clinton continues to lead several of her likely GOP opponents - even besting Scott Walker by 10 points in his own state.



Talgo



The Spanish company is going to get paid and keep its trains, too. The settlement with the state is the latest twist in the battle over high-speed rail in Wisconsin and leaves partisans pointing fingers at who's to blame for the $9.75 million the state is set to shell out. It all began with the push by former Gov. Jim Doyle to use an $810 million stimulus grant from the feds to build a high-speed rail line between Madison and Milwaukee. As part of that, the state agreed in 2009 to a no-bid contract with the Spanish manufacturer for two new train sets to run on the line between Milwaukee and Chicago as well as additional trains for the planned extension to Madison. But after train opponent Scott Walker won, the state later canceled the order for the two trains slated to run between Madison and Milwaukee as well as those that were already under construction for the Milwaukee-to-Chicago line. That prompted Talgo to file suit seeking to retain ownership of the trains already under construction and for $10 million as final payment on them. Under the deal, Talgo can seek to sell the trains with the state receiving a cut of the net proceeds.



GAB


The long-awaited follow-up audit on the state's elections agency finds no major problems with how it handles complaints, and Director Kevin Kennedy declares it should put an end to questions on whether the judges who comprise the board exercise independent judgment. But insiders don't expect GOP lawmakers - hopped up as they are to overhaul the agency - to back off. To some, the damage had already been done to the Government Accountability Board before the latest audit. Following a string of disputes with GOP lawmakers, an earlier Legislative Audit Bureau review detailed a string of issues that Republicans adopted to bolster their calls to overhaul the board. But that review didn't dig into how the agency handles complaints because then-AG J.B. Van Hollen opened the GAB could not hand over those confidential records under state law. Undeterred, lawmakers changed statutes to make clear the LAB could access the documents, and the agency took another look. But all it found this time was the GAB could do a better job closing complaints in a timely manner and should adhere to state statutes requiring the agency to provide the board with the names of three qualified individuals who could be retained as a special investigator; at times, staff gave the board only one name.



Scott Walker


The guv is looking to reset his presidential campaign. The guy who lit up the GOP primary seven months ago with a passionate speech in Iowa is fighting reviews that he lacks fire. There's also those dipping poll numbers - nationally and back home. But his backers are hoping to see more of the guy who showed up at the Iowa State Fair and declared he is "unintimidated." National media have noted Walker's almost robotic performance on the stump since his official announcement, often using the same stock answers and stories to introduce himself to GOP voters. The crowds may love his Kohl's story, but he largely hasn't broken from his standard script. That changed Aug. 17, when a protester with a sign in his hands moved to the front of the crowd at the fair, where Walker was speaking at the Des Moines Register's soapbox. "I am not intimidated by you, sir, or anyone else out there," Walker said as someone knocked the sign out of the man's hands. Liberals grumble Walker was all but inciting his supporters to assault the man. But the guv's campaign can't tweet out video of the exchange fast enough, and it reminds some of just who Walker has promised to be while on the stump: a fighter.



Russ Feingold


The Dem's quest to return to the U.S. Senate suddenly doesn't look like a coronation anymore. When the April Marquette University Law School Poll found Feingold with a 16-point lead over GOP U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, some insiders cautioned those numbers would come down. But the now-five-point gap at 47-42 is a bit closer than they'd expected. The numbers come amid a run of negative headlines for Feingold about how his Progressives United operated, his break with a past pledge to collect most of his donations from Wisconsin and the honoraria he collected after leaving office. Feingold backers have downplayed them as much ado about nothing. But some believe the stories have taken the sheen off Feingold. Some point out the polling shift comes even though there hasn't been a significant ad buy to help the negative headlines penetrate with the average voter. Still, the Club for Growth announces it plans to spend $2.5 million on the race, and more is expected to come. Feingold's camp continues to chide Johnson for refusing to sign a pledge meant to keep third parties out of the race, but the Republican keeps shrugging it off while attacking Feingold as a hypocrite.







Bentley Government Affairs. We are making a difference.

Join TODAY!






Archived Capitol Reports

The McCoy Group

Wisconsin Engine Manufacturers & Distributor Alliance

Roehl Transport

WEL Companies
Schuette, Inc.
Wisconsin Engine Manufacturers & Distributor Alliance
Wisconsin Truck Rental & Leasing Association
Schneider National, Inc.
Marten Transport
Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association
Freight Lime Asphalt Sand Hauler, Inc
Murphy Oil
Coalition for Lower Gas Prices
       7 North Pinckney St.   Suite 1   Madison, WI. 53703   Phone 608-698-0707            Copyright 2011 Bentley Government Affairs