Political Gaze

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.

Primary races to watch in Wisconsin

Written by Graeme Zielinski,
Special to WiG
Saturday, 11 January 2014 20:22

COWBOY DRAG: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. rides his horse in 2010. –Photo: AP/John Kkein

This year, Wisconsin Democrats aren’t only facing the possibility of a primary in the race for governor between business executive Mary Burke, who’s announced her candidacy, and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, who’s reported to be leaning toward running. The state also will see races for key seats in progressive strongholds such as Milwaukee and Madison, as well as for statewide office and for Congress.

For Obama, Congress, a last grasp at immigration

Written by The AP Wednesday, 08 January 2014 14:39

His agenda tattered by last year’s confrontations and missteps, President Barack Obama begins 2014 clinging to the hope of winning a lasting legislative achievement: an overhaul of immigration laws.

It will require a deft and careful use of his powers, combining a public campaign in the face of protests over his administration’s record number of deportations with quiet, behind-the-scenes outreach to Congress, something seen by lawmakers and immigration advocates as a major White House weakness.

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.

Watchdogs put spotlight on Wisconsin millionaires in Congress

Written by WiG Wednesday, 15 January 2014 08:26

An analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics shows that a majority of members of Congress are millionaires.

The study, released this week and based on 2012 personal data at opensecrets.org, shows that 268 of the 534 members of the current Congress are millionaires — and several have worth of hundreds of millions.

Study: Genetics influence liberal, conservative views

Written by The AP Thursday, 09 January 2014 19:25

Genetics might not determine who you will vote for, but people might be born predisposed to liberal or conservative views, according to two University of Nebraska-Lincoln professors.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that John Hibbing’s and Kevin Smith’s research suggests genetics predict political attitudes to some extent, although they say life experience plays a big role in shaping beliefs.

Dems seek to elect more women governors in 2014

Written by Steve Peoples,
AP writer
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 08:40

The Democratic Party claims to be the natural home for women. The numbers tell another story when it comes to the nation’s governors.

Republicans, four women: Jan Brewer in Arizona, Susana Martinez in New Mexico, Mary Fallin in Oklahoma and Nikki Haley in South Carolina. Democrats: Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire.

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?

Plenty in play: Races to watch in 2014

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Saturday, 11 January 2014 20:29

The irritation voters feel today might be the six-year itch that has plagued many second-term presidents and their political parties. Or maybe it’s an itch to scratch the majority out of the U.S. House.

Early primaries in 2014 may reveal how the high-stakes midterm elections will look. Voters in November will decide majorities in the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate and 36 governorships, including Wisconsin’s.

Outside money can be key factor in 2014 elections

Written by The AP Thursday, 09 January 2014 04:50

Terry McAuliffe’s successful campaign for governor in Virginia might provide a playbook for fellow Democrats in 2014 — and a warning for Republicans.

Outside money makes a difference.

GOP-leaning money machines kicking out less cash

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 22 November 2013 15:09

The biggest Republican-leaning money machines are spending dramatically less this year to help the party ahead of the 2014 Senate elections, two years after millions of dollars in early advertising by outside groups against Democrats backfired in embarrassing losses in otherwise winnable races.

Groups such as American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce no longer are willing to risk major investments on hard-line conservatives who embarrassed GOP leaders last fall and rattled the confidence of party donors. Many remain concerned after last month's government shutdown highlighted Republican divisions.