Tag Archives: gubernatorial

Walker’s gubernatorial campaign ends 2015 with $20K in bank

New campaign finance reports show Republican Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign finished 2015 with a little more than $20,257 in the bank.

Walker’s campaign released reports late last week that show the governor raised $6.4 million during the past year. He spent almost $6.7 million to finish with $20,257 on hand.

Walker does not face re-election until 2018.

He has not declared his candidacy but has hinted he plans to run for a third term. 

The governor spent much of the last year campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination. He dropped out of the race in September, leaving his candidate committee with a debt of more than $1 million as of October. 

His federal campaign finance reports aren’t due until Jan. 31.

Burke picks up endorsements from AFL-CIO, teachers unions

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke has picked up endorsements from the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the Wisconsin AFL-CIO and Madison Teachers Inc.

WEAC president Betsy Kippers, in a statement released on April 2, called Burke a “leader who values and respects the important role public education and educators play in our state.”

She continued, “The teachers and education support professionals who work in Wisconsin’s classrooms are convinced Mary Burke is committed to the long-term success of our public schools and will lead change through collaboration and fairness. Mary Burke will work together with all education stakeholders, parents, community and business leaders — with the best interest of children at heart.”

The WEAC said its top education issues in the race between Burke and incumbent Republican Scott Walker are investing in public schools, stopping the siphoning of tax dollars to private schools and restoring respect to educators.

The release from the union also said the race is “winnable.”

Madison Teachers Inc. executive director John Matthews said MTI believes Burke is “by far the better candidate because of her unparalleled commitment to education and her commitment to improve the lives of children and families of Wisconsin residents. An excellent education is not only the foundation of a strong democracy, but opens the door to success for all children.”

The endorsement from the Wisconsin AFL-CIO said it endorsed Burke after “after a collaborative and democratic process involving workers and leaders across the state.”

The union said Walker has attacked workers’ wages and collective bargaining rights, dismantled voting rights and “enacted hyper-partisan redistricting lines” while failing to create “good jobs for hard-working Wisconsinites.”

Burke, said Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the state organization, “has a proven track record of creating good jobs with family-supporting benefits for Wisconsin workers.”

He added, “We know Mary Burke is the best candidate to represent working people across Wisconsin.”

Rick Perry to announce ‘exciting future plans’

Right-wing Texas Gov. Rick Perry promised friends and top fundraisers on July 2 that he’d reveal “exciting future plans” next week in San Antonio, sparking wide speculation he will announce if he’ll run again for governor.

In a campaign email, Perry doesn’t provide further details or even a location for next week’s gathering, saying simply that more details will be forthcoming. But in recent weeks he has said an announcement about whether he plans to seek a fourth full term in office next year will come soon.

The Republican is already the longest-serving governor in Texas history, taking over when George W. Bush left for the White House. Perry’s also the longest-sitting governor in the U.S.

A second run for president in 2016 is also a possibility for Perry, who hasn’t ruled out another White House bid but has said he won’t decide on that matter until later this year. His previous bid for the GOP presidential nomination fizzled in 2012.

Perry’s email begins with the greeting “Howdy Friends” before quickly advising “Please save the date.”

“Governor Rick Perry, Aggie, the longest-serving Governor of the great state of Texas and friend, will be making an announcement around mid day in San Antonio concerning his exciting future plans!,” the email continues. “Please join his family and closest friends on July 8th.”

It was sent by some of Perry’s friends from his alma mater, Texas A&M University – hence the “Aggie” reference – and concludes by saying “details to follow.”

Ray Sullivan, who was communications director for Perry’s presidential campaign, said, “I think this is probably the announcement about his gubernatorial future.”

But when pressed on what Perry might say, Sullivan responded, “The only real way to know what Rick Perry’s political future is involves listening to Rick Perry.”

“There will be, and should be, some mystery to the announcement until he actually makes it,” he said, adding that Perry “has historically shown the ability to change on a dime his political ambitions.”

If Perry opts to run again, it could mean a primary dogfight with fellow Republican and state Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has a formidable $18 million in his campaign war chest – more than three times what Perry has raised.

The governor has said he and Abbott have agreed not to run against each other, but Abbott hasn’t confirmed that. Matt Hirsch, an Abbott campaign spokesman, declined to comment except to say his candidate “will be making his intention clear in the coming weeks.”

Making the announcement in San Antonio puts Perry in a heavily Hispanic city at a time when Battleground Texas, a group led by former staffers from President Barack Obama’s successful re-election campaign, is trying to turn Texas Democratic – given the state’s surging Hispanic population.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro spoke at the Democratic National Convention last year and has often been mentioned as a future gubernatorial candidate, though he hasn’t confirmed any future plans.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said of Perry: “I hope he decides to run. We would love to have our candidate run against him. His negatives on so many issues statewide are very high.”

Perry’s email went to such a small group that many top fundraisers and even former campaign staffers said they didn’t receive it. Steve Heinrich, treasurer for the Republican Party of Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, was surprised when told of next week’s announcement.

“One of the hardest things to do in politics is to know how to quit while you’re ahead,” Heinrich said.

Whatever he decides, the announcement may give Perry a chance to steady himself politically after a tough week.

Perry called a 30-day special legislative session after the regular one ended May 27 and put passing sweeping new limits on abortion statewide on lawmakers’ agenda. But Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, a former teenage mom, filibustered for more than 12 hours on the final day to block the wide-ranging abortion bill while hundreds of abortion rights activists packed the Capitol.

When Republican senators used parliamentary tactics to silence Davis, protesters screamed and chanted so loudly that all legislative work halted and the bill wasn’t passed until after midnight and the end of the session.

Davis became an overnight national political sensation and is now being urged to run for governor. Perry called a second session that began Monday and says he’s confident lawmakers will pass the abortion bill. He was roundly criticized, though, for subsequently wondering aloud what might have happened had Davis’ mother chosen to abort her given the future senator’s tough upbringing.

Meanwhile, convening the second special session forced Perry to delay previous plans to make an announcement about his future. He had suggested he would divulge his re-election plans last week, but then said sending lawmakers back to work would make him “push it back some.”

Ill. gov. says civil unions are good for the economy

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn says it would be good for Illinois’ economy if lawmakers, when they return to work in Springfield, passed legislation allowing gay couples to form civil unions.

In an Associated Press interview, the Chicago Democrat said he hopes lawmakers will tackle the civil unions bill proposed by openly gay state Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago.

Quinn called it a “good” bill and said Harris was close to having enough support to pass it.

“To have a strong economy you embrace diversity,” Quinn said.

Quinn won re-election as governor on Nov. 2 by fewer than 20,000 votes. His opponent, right-wing Republican Bill Brady, had vowed during the campaign to veto civil unions legislation if he was elected governor.

Quinn said allowing civil unions sends companies the message that Illinois has laws that respect the diversity of the state.

Harris, who was still counting votes to see if enough support was there, said Quinn’s win will help. Lawmakers who may still be on the fence can look to the victory of Republican U.S. Senator-elect Mark Kirk, who also supports civil unions, Harris said.

“People sense there is really movement for this. This is not gay marriage,” Harris said.