Political Gaze

Poll: Indicators suggest Republican edge

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 07 April 2014 11:26

The latest Associated Press-GfK poll holds bad news for President Barack Obama, but as the November elections draw closer, there are ominous signs for congressional Democrats as well.

A look at the key findings from the March poll on this year’s election and the burgeoning 2016 presidential field.

Man sues Illinois gubernatorial candidate for harassment

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 06:25

A former employee in Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford's office has filed a lawsuit alleging the Republican gubernatorial candidate made inappropriate sexual advances and regularly forced him to do political work on state time.

Ed Michalowski, a former lawyer and director in Rutherford's office, alleged in the lawsuit that Rutherford's sexual advances began in April 2011, shortly after Michalowski began working in the office.

Mary Burke backs boosting minimum wage to $10.10

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 04 February 2014 05:02

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke said on Sunday that she would support raising Wisconsin's minimum wage up to as much as $10.10 an hour, putting her at direct odds with Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Burke made the comments in an interview that aired on the Wisconsin newsmagazine show "UpFront with Mike Gousha."

Congressional scorecard shows tea party loyalty in Wisconsin

Written by Wisconsin Gazette report Wednesday, 29 January 2014 09:09

A high concentration of loyalty to tea party extremism in Congress is found among Republicans in Wisconsin swing districts, according to a new legislative scorecard from Americans United for Change.

Wisconsin’s four Republicans representing statistically swing districts voted with the tea party agenda about 87 percent of the time in 2013, according to the report, “Tea Stained,” from Americans United, a liberal advocacy group.

Elizabeth Warren's autobiography due in April

Written by The AP Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:26

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has written a book chronicling her life story, from her working-class roots in Oklahoma to a seat in the Senate representing Massachusetts.

The publisher describes "A Fighting Chance" as a look at the conflict between large institutions and the needs of everyday citizens.

From immigration to trade, inaction in Congress

Written by DAVID ESPO,
AP Special Correspondent
Monday, 10 February 2014 15:44

Just 10 days into the second month of the new year, the evidence is mounting that federal lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known.

“We’ve got a lot of things on our plate,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said recently when asked what Congress will be busy with this year, but he predicted no breakthrough accomplishments on immigration, taxes or any other area.

For governors with an eye on 2016, a key speech

Written by KEN THOMAS
and SCOTT BAUER,
Associated Press
Friday, 31 January 2014 07:21

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker introduced new members of his state’s workforce and said the proceeds from a projected budget surplus belong to the taxpayers. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, fending off allegations of political retribution by his aides, offered up his state as a model of bipartisan cooperation.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a litany of ideas to help strapped homeowners and school districts while Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley took a victory lap of sorts and vowed to push through an increase in the state’s minimum wage during his final year in office.

5 things to know about the State of the Union

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 28 January 2014 12:04

State of the Union night is coming up on tonight (Jan. 28). Time to set the record straight on a few things: Yup, Bill Clinton really was the most long-winded. Nope, it doesn’t have to be a speech. And, in truth, this “annual” event doesn’t happen every year. Five things to know about what White House insiders call the SOTU:

1. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A SPEECH. The Constitution says the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” George Washington and John Adams did it in person. But Thomas Jefferson thought that looked too much like a British monarch issuing orders to Parliament, so he decided to check in via written report instead. Presidents stuck to that strategy until 1913, when Woodrow Wilson decided it was too impersonal, according to Gerhard Peters, co-director of the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It’s typically been a speech ever since, with the exceptions of Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon: What modern president would give up all that free TV time?

Rand Paul wins right-wing presidential poll

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 10 March 2014 06:47

She was not on the speaking program, but Hillary Rodham Clinton had presence at the nation's largest annual gathering of conservative activists on March 8, as high-profile Republicans launched a dual effort to attack the prospective Democratic presidential candidate and improve the GOP's longstanding struggle with women voters.

It was the closing act of a Republican summit that highlighted acute challenges for a party that hasn't won a presidential election in a decade.

President resists pressure to act alone on immigration

Written by The AP Monday, 10 February 2014 12:41

For a president looking for a legacy piece of legislation, the current state of the immigration debate represents a high-wire act.

President Barack Obama could act alone to slow deportations, and probably doom any chance of a permanent and comprehensive overhaul. Yet if he shows too much patience, the opportunity to fix immigration laws as he wants could well slip away.

Nation's largest LGBT group endorses Wendy Davis in Texas

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 30 January 2014 09:35

The nation's largest LGBT civil rights group this week announced its endorsement of Democrat Wendy Davis in the race for governor in Texas.

The Human Rights Campaign said Davis has a stellar record on LGBT equality and has a history of putting Texas’ families first. Davis has served as senator from Texas’ 10th Senate district since 2009.

In State of the Union, Obama to help Dems frame midterm arguments

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 28 January 2014 07:29

President Barack Obama can only do so much to help his party in this year's midterm elections. Six years in office have taken a toll on his popularity, and aside from raising money, his value on the campaign trail is limited - especially in the states that worry Democrats the most.

But the president can set the tone. In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama will frame an economic argument his party hopes will help carry them to victory in November. Although not explicitly political, the speech gives Obama an opportunity to issue a rallying cry for economic fairness and expanded opportunity - issues Democrats believe will resonate in races across the country.