Tag Archives: general election

Wisconsin Business Leaders for Hillary launches today

Hillary for Wisconsin on Aug. 23 announced the launch of Wisconsin Business Leaders for Hillary. The statewide coalition of business leaders is uniting around the Democratic candidate’s economic plan.

A campaign announcement said business leaders across the state are rallying in support of Clinton’s “new plan that includes proposals to support small businesses from their creation to their day-to-day operations. Small businesses continue to be the primary generator of new jobs in America, and Clinton’s plan would support them at every step of their life cycle — from starting up to getting a loan to having one less form to fill out.”

A member of the coalition, Alex Lasry, vice president of the Milwaukee Bucks, said, “I know Hillary Clinton understands Wisconsin business owners because her economic plan presents thoughtful solutions for the obstacles we face each day.”

Lasry continued, “If we’re going to continue building an economy that includes every American, it’s crucial that the next president have a fundamental understanding of the issues and the calm judgment to solve them. Hillary Clinton has both — it’s exactly why she must be our next president.”

Kyle Weatherly, former president of Solaris, Inc. of Milwaukee, added, “America will be making an investment in our next president. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate with a plan that will help grow, not hurt Wisconsin’s businesses. Her proposals show that small businesses and entrepreneurs will have a seat at the table in her administration and that she will listen to our concerns and work to address them. Donald Trump has made it clear that he only has one economic priority — himself.”

The coalition was to debut at a morning news conference at the Milwaukee Public Market with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Cordella Jones of ASAPk!ds LLC and Leonard Sobczak of Eastmore Real Estate. Sobczak also is CEO/principal of WiG Publishing, publisher of the Wisconsin Gazette.

Later in the day, a roundtable was to take place at Kavarna Coffeehouse in Green Bay with state Rep. Eric Genrich and local business leaders.

“No one is more qualified to lead the greatest economy in the world than Hillary Clinton. I trust her personal commitment to make sure small businesses have opportunities to prosper,” said Mary McComb of Sugar Doll Chocolate & Cards in Stevens Point. “I know that as president, she’ll make sure that our economy works for everyone. With Hillary Clinton as president, the American Dream remains within reach.”

Other leaders in the Wisconsin business community issued statements on the launch day:

“It’s alarming that we might put the economy in the hands of a self-professed ‘King of Debt’,” said John W. Miller, former CEO of Miller-STN in St. Nazia. “The last thing business owners need is the lengthy recession that could result from Donald Trump’s plans. Hillary Clinton will cut red tape and simplify taxes, ensuring that Wisconsin has the support to take businesses small and large to the next level.”

“I wouldn’t hand Donald Trump the keys to my business, much less the keys to the American economy,” said biotech CEO Kevin Conroy of Madison. “From entrepreneurs who are just getting that great idea off the ground to CEOs, a Donald Trump presidency puts American success at stake. Hillary Clinton has a record of success and an economic plan that speak to the clear choice in this election.”

Small businesses create nearly two-thirds of new American jobs and fuel innovation but small businesses were hit hard by the Great Recession. New business formation has fallen 15 percent since 2007 and the gains seen have been isolated. The campaign said between 2010 and 2014, just 20 counties represented half of the growth in new businesses for the entire country.

Business leaders across the state are joining the Wisconsin Business Leaders for Hillary launch, include:

Richard Abdoo, R.A. Abdoo and Company, LLC – Milwaukee
Chris Abele – Milwaukee
Masood Ahktar, Clean Tech Partners – Middleton
Mark Bakken, HealthX Ventures – Madison
Rick Bechen, Bechen Forestry – Brooklyn
Donna Beestman, Career Success Strategies – Madison
Cindy Brown – Menomonie
Jack Cameron, Jack’s Cafe – Waukesha
Deb Carey – New Glarus
Richard L. Cates Jr., Cates Family Farm LLC – Spring Green
Maurice Cheeks – Madison
Ryan Clancy and Becky Cooper-Clancy, Bounce Milwaukee – Milwaukee
Fred Clark – Madison
Peggy Coakley – Milwaukee
Don Colber – Grafton
Virgis Colbert, Retired Miller Brewing Co. Executive – Milwaukee
Heather Colburn – Madison
Kevin Conroy – Madison
Martha Davis Kipcak, Mighty Fine Food LLC – Milwaukee
John DeWitt, Dewitt Real Estate Development – Madison
Helen Dixon, Helen Dixon & Company – Milwaukee
Russell Doane – Menomonie
Jane Donaldson – Tomah
Bernie Fatla, Le Dame Footwear – Verona
Louis G. Fortis – Milwaukee
Alex and Linda Galt, Kavarna Coffeehouse – Green Bay
Mark Gehring – Madison
Patrick Guarasci – Milwaukee
Marcos Guevara – Sheboygan
Betty Harris Custer – Madison
Charles Harvey, Retired Johnson Controls, Inc. Executive – Milwaukee
Mohammed Hashim – Madison
Natalie Hinckley, Hinckley Productions – Madison
Tom and Sue Holmes, Glenville Timberwrights – Baraboo
Martin Huennekens, Pilgrim Imports, Inc. – Milwaukee
Wendy Sue Johnson – Eau Claire
Cordella Jones, ASAPk!ds LLC – Milwaukee
Mickey Judkins – Eau Claire
Linda S. Katz – Milwaukee
Juli Kaufmann, Fix Development – Milwaukee
Erin Klaus, Tangled Up in Hue – Eau Claire
Julilly Kohler, JWK Management LLC – Milwaukee
Laura and Sachi Komai, Anthology – Madison
Jamie Kysler, Tangled Up in Hue – Eau Claire
Alex Lasry, Milwaukee Bucks – Milwaukee
Lindsey and Lynn Lee – Ground Zero and Cargo Coffee – Madison
Steve Lipton, WIPFLi Consulting – Fitchburg
Sheldon Lubar – Milwaukee
Darcy Luoma – Madison
Linda & Dan Marquardt, Hillside Pastures LLC – Spring Green
Mary McComb, Sugar Doll Chocolate & Cards – Stevens Point
Phyllis Mensh Brostoff – Milwaukee
Tom and Peggy Metcalfe, Clancy’s – Eau Claire
John W. Miller – Milwaukee
Kari Miller-Cameron, A Little Bit Country – Waukesha
Brian Mitchell – Menomonee Falls
Wendy Moore Skinner, Wendy Moore Designs – Madison
Thad Nation, Nation Consulting – Milwaukee
Cory Nettles – Milwaukee
Tim Padesky – La Crosse
Khary Penebaker, Roofed Right America – Waukesha
Jeff Perzan – Whitefish Bay
Rollin Pizzala, Pizzala Trucking – Kenosha
Scott Resnick, Hardin Design and Development – Madison
Jeff Rochan, Rochan Investments, Eau Claire
Anne E. Ross, Foley and Lardner LLP, Madison
Kelda Roys, Open Homes – Madison
Jacqui Sakowski – Barneveld
Ron San Felippo, Three Bridges Development Group – Milwaukee
Thelma A. Sias – Milwaukee
Leonard J. Sobczak, Eastmore Real Estate – Milwaukee
Chris Spah – De Pere
David Walsh – Madison
Kyle Weatherly – Milwaukee
Debbie Werra, Robin’s Next Gifts – Stevens Point
Todd Wickus – Baraboo

Courts, commissioners should put voters 1st as they sort out election law

Federal courts in Wisconsin and four other states recently came to the same conclusion – that restrictive voting laws do nothing to improve elections, while making it difficult or even impossible for many eligible citizens to vote.

In one of two Wisconsin rulings, federal district judge James Peterson wrote: “The Wisconsin experience demonstrates that a preoccupation with mostly phantom election fraud leads to real incidents of disenfranchisement, which undermine rather than enhance confidence in elections, particularly in minority communities. To put it bluntly, Wisconsin’s strict version of voter ID law is a cure worse than the disease.”

The Wisconsin attorney general is appealing both Wisconsin rulings on their merits. No one will be surprised if there are more changes before the November 8 election.

The ruling by Peterson, in One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen, makes it easier to obtain a free ID. It also resets the residency requirement for voting back to 10 days (from 28), eases restrictions on student voting and absentee voting, and allows clerks once again to hold early voting in the evening and on weekends.

A separate ruling by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman allows citizens who have difficulty obtaining an ID with reasonable effort to meet the identification requirement by signing an affidavit – but this is the injunction that has been stayed.

The League of Women Voters hopes both rulings will be upheld.

In the meantime, we advise voters to be prepared and help others prepare to ensure that every eligible citizen will be able to vote and have their ballot counted this November.

Regardless of what happens in the courts, most people will need to show an acceptable photo ID. It could take some time to obtain an ID, so if you need one you should apply right away. You can find instructions on the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin website (lwvwi.org) or the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s “Bring It to the Ballot” website (bringitwisconsin.com).

If you need to register to vote, save time by doing so before the election. Contact your municipal clerk for information. You can also register at your polling place on Election Day.

If there are election law changes to be implemented, it will fall to the newly formed Wisconsin Elections Commission to draft procedures. Fortunately the WEC staff has experts experienced in helping voters and local officials navigate changing laws. However, any procedures the WEC staff develops will have to be approved by the Commission. We urge the six newly appointed commissioners to agree on a solution which puts the interests of voters ahead of those of the party leaders who appointed them.

Elections are not about the political parties or the interest groups or even the candidates. They are about the voters. On Election Day we are all equal, each citizen with one vote regardless of race, creed, gender or economic status. This is how we the people move our country forward and make it stronger for future generations.

We hope the courts and the elections commissioners will remember to put voters first as they work out the future of Wisconsin election law.

Andrea Kaminski is executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government. The league welcomes women and men across the state as members. With 18 local Leagues in Wisconsin and 800 affiliates across the county, the League is one of the nation’s most trusted grassroots organizations. 

League of Women Voters surveying 275 Wisconsin candidates

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin has sent questionnaires to 275 candidates running for state Legislature and Congress.

“The best government is one with strong participation by informed and active citizens,” said Andrea Kaminski, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. “It’s the League’s mission to help voters make well-informed choices in our elections. We call on all candidates to participate in the VOTE411 voter guide, so voters will know where they stand on the issues.”

The league sent the questionnaire to all candidates, regardless of whether their names will be on the ballot in the Aug. 9 primary.

All candidates have the same deadline of July 6.

“We are barraged everyday during election season with ads produced by political campaigns and independent groups, and Wisconsin doesn’t have good laws requiring disclosure of the funding sources behind the independent communications,” Kaminski said in a news release. “Our best advice for voters is to be skeptical of 30-second ads and instead rely on other sources for information about the candidates. VOTE411.org is one place where voters will be able to read candidates’ views in their own words.”

Voters also are encouraged to attend candidate forums sponsored by the league and other nonpartisan groups.

“There is no better indicator of a candidate’s ability to think independently and interact with others than when he or she stands in front of an audience of citizens and answers tough questions,” Kaminski said.

The league will publish the candidates’ answers online at VOTE411.org in mid-July for those candidates whose names will be on the primary ballot.

The league will change the guide after the primary to include the responses from the candidates that advanced to the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

Ready for the election?

Are you registered to vote for the upcoming elections in Wisconsin? Click here to find out about registering or to check your registration status.


Clinton lines up powerful backers in Wisconsin

With less than two months to go before the state’s April 5 primary, powerful Wisconsin Democrats are working behind the scenes to raise money and organize supporters to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign. There are few signs of a similar show of force for her challenger Bernie Sanders.

The dynamic on display in Wisconsin in many ways echoes the fight nationally between Clinton and the independent Vermont senator. Clinton enjoys the support of Democratic Party insiders and activists she’s known and worked with for years, while the lesser-known Sanders is relying on small money donations and an army of younger voters and more liberal backers not as connected with the party.

Neither campaign has any paid staff or an official presence yet in Wisconsin, but a fundraiser for Clinton says it is now “off to the races” to be ready for April 5.

That includes raising money, identifying and contacting supporters and recruiting volunteers, said Clinton backer and longtime Wisconsin-based political activist Heather Colburn.

Clinton has locked up five of the state’s 10 party insiders, known as superdelegates, who will vote for a nominee at the convention in July. Among them are some of the most well-known and powerful Democrats in Wisconsin — U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, of Milwaukee, and longtime Milwaukee-based activist and former state party chairwoman Martha Love.

Their support for Clinton is rock solid.

“I’m in it for Hillary Clinton until the end,” Love said. “Just so you know, as long as you call Martha Love, as long as she’s got breath, she’s in it for Hillary Clinton.”

Four of the other five superdelegates are uncommitted and the fifth, state party chairwoman Martha Laning, said she would support whoever wins the state’s primary.

After the Democratic debate last week in Milwaukee, advocates for Clinton in the spin room had a definite Wisconsin focus and included Baldwin and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The Sanders team focused on national surrogates, but Wisconsin-based supporters are preparing for him in the upcoming primary as well.

The Working Families Party, a national coalition of labor groups, has endorsed Sanders, and its recently formed Wisconsin chapter is also behind him.

“We think he can win in Wisconsin, and we’ll be getting our members activated in the campaign here,” said the group’s state director, Marina Dimitrijevic, a member of the Milwaukee County Board.

Sanders’ appeal in Wisconsin likely will be centered in liberal hubs like Madison and Milwaukee. Sanders’ only visit to Wisconsin during the campaign was to Madison in July, when he attracted 10,000 people for his largest rally up to that point.

More recently, Sanders’ backers have organized debate-watch parties, volunteer phone banks and other similar activities through social networking sites such as Facebook.

The “Wisconsin for Bernie Sanders” page had about 3,500 “likes,” as WiG headed to press.

Colburn, who also managed Clinton’s Wisconsin campaign in 2008, said Clinton has similar support groups organized regionally across the state. One pro-Clinton group on Facebook had about 3,000 “likes.”

Colburn said the moving of Wisconsin’s primary from mid-February to early April changes the dynamic in the state, and also allows the candidates more time to organize. Clinton lost to Barack Obama in Wisconsin by 17 points in 2008.

Sanders ‘most trusted’ candidate in new poll

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders beats the most popular Republican White House hopefuls by margins as big or bigger than Hillary Clinton, according to a new Quinnipiac University Poll released on Dec. 2.

“The survey demonstrated Sanders’ remarkable strength as a general election candidate based on his enormous popularity among young voters, his standing as the most trusted candidate and his strength with independents,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, in a news release. “This is the latest evidence that Bernie is the most electable candidate the Democrats could nominate.”

Sanders “does just as well, or even better, against top Republicans” than Clinton, according to Douglas Schwartz, the Quinnipiac poll director.

Sanders led Donald Trump 49 percent to 41 percent. He held a 49 to 39 percent lead over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a 47 to 41 percent advantage over Ben Carson and a 44 to 43 percent edge over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

When voters are asked whether they have a favorable or unfavorable view of candidates, Sanders is viewed more favorably than Clinton, Trump, Carson Rubio or Cruz, according to the independent pollster.

Sanders also gets the best honesty grades among top candidates. American voters say 60-36 percent that Clinton is not honest and trustworthy.Trump is not honest and trustworthy, voters say 59-35 percent. Sanders honesty grade is 59-28 percent, with Carson at 53-34 percent, Rubio at 49-33 percent and Cruz at 43-39 percent. 

Still, Clinton has widened her lead over Sanders 60-30 percent, compared to 53-35 percent in a Nov. 4 survey. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has 2 percent, with 6 percent undecided.

On the GOP side, the poll showed Trump is the undisputed leader. Carson, in a virtual tie with Trump four weeks ago, dropped to third place in the national survey. 

Trump gets 27 percent of Republican voters, with 17 percent for Rubio, 16 percent for Carson and Cruz and 5 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Among Republicans, 26 percent of voters say they “would definitely not support” Trump, with 21 percent who would not back Bush.

“It doesn’t seem to matter what he says or who he offends, whether the facts are contested or the ‘political correctness’ is challenged, Donald Trump seems to be wearing Kevlar,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

He added that, at this stage, Clinton and Sanders should be hoping Trump is the nominee.

U.S. voters shift would shift to Clinton or Sanders if Trump won the Republican nomination.

Clinton beats Trump 47-41 percent.

Sanders beats Trump 49 – 41 percent.

Election 2014: PFAW endorses Kelly Westlund over Sean Duffy

The progressive group People for the American Way has endorsed Kelly Westlund, the Democrat challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District.

PFAW political director Randy Borntrager, in announcing the endorsement, said, “Kelly Westlund is a fighter for fairness and equality, and she’s a strong voice for Wisconsin’s working families. Kelly is fighting for a Congress that represents all people instead of just millionaires and corporations. We’re proud to endorse her candidacy for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District.”

Westlund, in a news release, said, “I am honored to receive the endorsement of People for the American Way, they are dedicated to the promise of equality, freedom of speech, justice under the law, and making sure everyone can achieve the American dream.”

Westlund has been an outspoken advocate for increasing the minimum wage and for expanding opportunity so that anyone can succeed based on talent and merit, not their family net worth or their ability to exploit tax loopholes, PFAW emphasized.

The organization, in its announcement, said, Duffy refuses to support raising the minimum wage to a living wage “and then he complains that he struggles to get by on his salary of $174,000 a year.”

Westlund served on the Ashland City Council from 2011-14. She is the owner and operator of a consulting firm that partners with local farms, small businesses, local governments, and civic organizations to work on economic and community development projects.

Westlund previously served as executive director for the Alliance for Sustainability and was an adjunct professor of sustainable community development at her alma mater, Northland College. 

The general election is on Nov. 4.

Wisconsin voters also will go to the polls on Aug. 12 to cast ballots in primary contests.

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Poll gives Walker slight lead over Burke

Polling on a likely general election matchup for governor in Wisconsin shows Republican Gov. Scott Walker with a small lead over Democrat Mary Burke.

Burke is the frontrunner in the Democratic primary.

The poll by Public Policy Polling showed Walker with 48 percent of the vote and Burke with 45 percent. She gained slightly since September, when she had 42 percent support.

Walker, in the poll, had an approval rating of 50 percent and a disapproval rating of 47 percent — proving how divided the state has become.

PPP said the incumbent has the GOP base on “lockdown” with 93 percent support and a disapproval rating of just 4 percent in his party.

So, PPP said, Burke must win with independents — a group she currently has a narrow advantage with.

PPP found Democrats have a slight edge on a generic legislative ballot at 45/41, including an advantage with independents.

Voters in the poll were divided over U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s job performance. Her approval rating is at 42 percent. Her disapproval rating is at 41 percent.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s approval rating is at 34 percent, 2 points lower than his disapproval rating.

On other questions:

• 45 percent approval of Barack Obama’s job performance, 50 percent disapprove.

• 36 percent have a favorable opinion of Burke.

Also, on April 24, Time magazine announced that it included Walker in its list of top 100 influential people in 2014. The tribute to the governor was written by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Walker wrote the tribute to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan when he made the list several years ago.

For governors with an eye on 2016, a key speech

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.

“Not only is Maryland stronger than before — Maryland is cleaner, smarter, safer, healthier, more entrepreneurial and more competitive than she was before the recession hit,” O’Malley said.

All governors look forward to an annual address before state lawmakers and the public, a mini-bully pulpit that offers a televised platform to publicize their accomplishments and rally support for their agenda. For a group of governors with White House aspirations, the speeches offer a framework for how they might appeal to early voting states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and how they might one day govern.

Other prominent governors will command their state’s spotlight in the coming months. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is seeking re-election this year, will outline his legislative priorities on Feb. 24 while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will address lawmakers at the open of his state’s legislative session in March.

Governors with an eye on the White House have tried to draw a results-oriented contrast with Congress, which has been gripped by gridlock and poor approval ratings during President Barack Obama’s tenure. Among Republicans, lawmakers like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan could compete for the party’s nomination in 2016 against a group of governors and ex-governors that includes former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

“Governors have a real political advantage in this climate. They’re the ones who can tout achievements in their states,” said Matt Moore, the chairman of the South Carolina GOP.

Among Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton remains a prohibitive favorite for the party’s nomination if she decides to run, an enviable position that could force O’Malley or Cuomo to the sidelines.

But for now, an upcoming legislative session offers opportunities.

In his speech, Republican Christie pointed to job growth and declining unemployment rates under his watch and pledged to hold the line on spending increases.

Christie, who sailed to re-election last year but has been dogged by a political scandal, said “no state has shown more bipartisan cooperation” during the past four years than New Jersey. He outlined plans to bolster student achievement in the state’s K-12 system and is proposing changes to the state’s tax system next month that won’t include a tax increase.

Walker, meanwhile, outlined an economic plan that would fit neatly into a presidential bid.  

Cuomo and O’Malley have put themselves in step with the Democratic Party’s progressive wing by championing issues like gay marriage and gun control.

Cuomo reiterated his push for expanded full-day pre-kindergarten, a top priority for Obama, and said he would seek a $2 billion tax relief proposal that would include property tax rebates for certain homeowners. Under Cuomo’s plan, school districts could pay for technology upgrades through a $2 billion bond referendum while top performing teachers would be eligible for a $20,000 bonus.

Cuomo also wants to allow medical marijuana for patients at 20 hospitals, an approach that pot advocates call overly cautious.

Like Obama, O’Malley wants to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour by 2016. His Annapolis speech also touched upon one of the president’s biggest political liabilities, the health care overhaul. O’Malley acknowledged the bumpy rollout of his state’s health care exchange as “a source of great frustration” but said his administration would keep trying.

Al From, who worked with Bill Clinton at the Democratic Leadership Council when Clinton served as Arkansas governor, noted that Obama remains an anomaly as a former senator who reached the White House. Before the 2008 election, four of the past five U.S. presidents had been governors.

“Governors are like the president in that they get judged on their performance, not their votes,” From said. “They deliver a policy and live with the consequences — good and bad.”

Elsewhere, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who has generated quiet but persistent national buzz among Republican donors, made a pitch for attracting highly educated immigrants to his state. The plan aims to help revitalize Detroit, which is trying to emerge from the nation’s largest public bankruptcy.

“A comprehensive solution would be fabulous … but while that discussion is going on, why hold everything else up?” Snyder said in an interview. “It’s an incredibly stupid position to say, ‘Let’s tell these brilliant people to leave.’”

Democrats have made Snyder, Kasich and Walker among their top targets in the November elections, and their defeat would damage their national ambitions. Christie’s presidential prospects could be hurt if several investigations, including those of lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, undercut his pitch as a bold, bipartisan leader.

After Walker outlined his agenda in Madison, the Democratic minority leader in the state assembly, Peter Barca, faulted the governor for cutting education funding and rejecting the federal Medicaid expansion. He said Walker’s pitch on jobs was overblown.

“It is all misleading talk, no action,” Barca said.

Not every speech goes to plan. One of the newly hired workers Walker brought out for his speech, a welder who wore his helmet and fire-retardant gloves, was later revealed to be a registered sex offender with two felonies and three drunken driving arrests.

Walker said he was frustrated that the man’s employer, snow blower manufacturer Ariens Co., had not done a background check before recommending him as an example of how Wisconsin’s economy is turning around.

“There were thousands of other examples we could have used,” Walker said, “and that would have been preferred.”

Nation’s largest LGBT group endorses Wendy Davis in Texas

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.

“Wendy Davis has been a champion for equality for all, whether it is the working poor or LGBT Texans,” said HRC president Chad Griffin in a news release. “Her dedication to the underdog and commitment to fairness for all Texas families make her the right choice for governor.”

The statement said Davis has authored and sponsored legislation that would prohibit employment discrimination in Texas and protect LGBT students from bullying.

Meanwhile, her likely opponent in the general election, current Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, has a history of taking anti-equality positions. Last year, Abbott argued that Texas cities offering domestic partner benefits to their workers are violating the state Constitution. He also was a vocal opponent of the San Antonio ordinance that protects LGBT people from discrimination in city employment, housing and public accommodations

“Wendy Davis’ energy and courage are needed in Austin,” said Julie Johnson, a Texas attorney and HRC board member emeritus. “I’m proud to be one of the tens of thousands of HRC members in Texas, and I know that Wendy will fight for all our families when elected. Wendy has proven herself an effective leader — and that’s exactly what the people of Texas need.”