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Most of the Democrats running for governor showed a reluctance to raising the state's sales tax to pay for schools in a Friday night debate broadcast by Wisconsin Public Radio and Television.
But all were open to reversing tax cuts signed into law by Governor Scott Walker.
Candidates were asked specifically if they would support raising the sales tax by a penny per dollar to pay for schools.
"I will not raise taxes on working families," said former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, one of the four Democrats running for governor, and the most firm in her opposition to a sales tax increase.
"I don't think right now is the time to look at raising the sales tax for education," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
"I'm not in favor of raising the sales tax by one percent," said State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, adding that when it comes to funding schools, "I believe that the money...

Joy Cardin talks with Isaac Weix, a businessman from Menominee and Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

In western Wisconsin’s 23rdSenate District recall primary, a familiar face is up against a political newcomer running as a protest candidate.
Democrat Kristen Dexter has been involved in state politics before. In 2008 she was elected to the state Assembly and represented the 68th district until she was ousted by a Republican in 2010. She's been on the Altoona School Board and was the Eau Claire County Democratic Party Chair until announcing she would run against Republican Terry Moulton in a recall election. Dexter says she’s running because people are demanding a better economy and Republicans haven’t delivered, “Despite the big promises that were made during the 2010 campaign, this fundamental issue has not been addressed. In fact, I would say it’s been a pretty dismal failure.”
Dexter also takes issue with Sen. Moulton's vote to limit collective bargaining for public workers and his recent efforts to repeal the state's equal pay law.
Dexter’s primary challenger is...

The four Republican U.S. Senate candidates have some differences over what it takes to defeat likely Democratic nominee Tammy Baldwin.
Polls indicate that former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson is leading the GOP Senate primary. Thompson suggests that defeating President Obama might be difficult in Wisconsin this fall, and Thompson would help the GOP presidential ticket, "We haven't carried the state of Wisconsin as a Republican since Ronald Reagan's second term. You're gonna have to have somebody able to bring the votes back to the Republican side and I've carried the state of Wisconsin five times."
Former Wisconsin Congressman, and now homebuilder Mark Neumann says he has the conservative backing needed to defeat Baldwin.
Businessman Eric Hovde says he has the private sector background that would win in November.
Hovde also says he can win more younger voters and female voters, though he didn't explain that remark other than to say he would work hard to get...

There are three Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor on the ballot for next Tuesday's recall election primary. But only two of them really want the job.
The candidate with the most name recognition is the president of the Wisconsin Firefighter's Union 35 year old Mahlon Mitchell of Fitchburg. The 15 year veteran of the Madison fire department made a name for himself by taking the podium to speak against Gov. Walker's efforts to strip public employee unions of their bargaining rights.
He's been a speaker at almost every protest rally in Madison for the past year, "We didn't start this fight but if it’s a fight they want it’s a fight they're gonna get. We have to be ready armed and equipped for the battle we have to bring everything to the game like I used to say back in the old days money marbles and chalk everything it takes to play. I see it as our calling...

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett says new fundraising and poll numbers bode well for him with the general recall election about a month away.
Barrett pointed not to his own fundraising totals, but to the money Gov. Scott Walker has raised. Walker's latest campaign finance report showed he raised $13 million in the first few months of this year--shattering all previous records. That meant Walker had raised $25-million since taking office and spent roughly $20 million of it. By contrast, Barrett said his campaign had spent less than $1 million, "So I am being outspent by Scott Walker probably to the tune of 20 to 1. And yet the polls are showing that I am now leading him in this race."
Indeed, a poll released this week by Marquette University showed Barrett leading Walker by one point among registered voters with Walker up by one among likely voters. It's essentially a dead heat, with both candidates well within...

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is trying to keep the focus on Scott Walker, ahead of next Tuesday's Democratic primary in the gubernatorial recall election.Just five weeks ago, Tom Barrett's only official campaign was running for re-election as Milwaukee mayor. He didn't want to appear to take that contest for granted, so Barrett was the last true Democrat to enter the Democratic gubernatorial recall primary. But because of the statewide organization Barrett set up during his failed bid for governor in 2010, supporters of Barrett were out just two days later collecting nomination signatures for him. Melissa Warner circulated papers on April 1st, at a Democratic party dinner in Racine. "He's the best candidate to oppose Walker because my feeling is, don't you wish you'd voted for him the last time?" she said.
A few days later, Barrett joined the other Democratic candidates at a forum in Milwaukee, and with a passion some observers didn't hear in Barrett two years...

Here and Now

State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, a democrat from Alma, joins Here & Now for an in-depth interview about her campaign in the upcoming recall against Gov. Scott Walker.

Here and Now

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee political science professor Mordecai Lee weighs in on the most recent events in Wisconsin politics, from the recently concluded presidential primary to the upcoming recall elections.

Here and Now

Finishing her four-part series interviewing democratic candidates, anchor Frederica Freyberg interviews Secretary of State Doug La Follette about his campaign to recall Gov. Scott Walker.

Here and Now

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Greg Borowski joins Here and Now from Milwaukee to check the facts behind an advertisement slamming Milwaukee Mayor and gubernatorial recall candidate Tom Barrett. Powerful statewide union AFSCME, who has endorsed Barrett challenger Kathleen Falk, directed its followers to watch the ad earlier this week.

Here and Now

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett joins Here & Now to discuss his recall bid for governor.

Here and Now

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Greg Borowski joins Here and Now to check the facts on claims about Governor Walker's recent repeal of the Wisconsin Pay Equity Enforcement Act.

Here and Now

Government Accountability Board executive director Kevin Kennedy discusses the candidates running as so-called fake or protest democrats in the upcoming recall elections.

The latest Marquette University poll on the gubernatorial recall election shows Scott Walker and Tom Barrett in a dead heat. It also shows Barrett continuing to lead Kathleen Falk and other Democrats ahead of next Tuesday's Democratic primary.The latest campaign poll from Marquette University got replies from 700 registered voters during a four day period that ended this past Sunday. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett leads the Democratic gubernatorial primary with a 17 point margin over Kathleen Falk, and Barrett is about 30 points ahead of Doug Lafollette and Kathleen Vinehout. Marquette pollster Charles Franklin says Falk has lost ground, compared to a poll from March.With 19 percent still undecided, Falk's campaign reacted to the poll by saying the people will decide the race, the poll also shows Barrett doing the best in a potential match against Republican Gov. Walker. Barrett and Walker are just one point apart. Professor Franklin says the new poll also shows voters more concerned about job...

We continue our series today on candidates in the Democratic primary for governor with a look at Kathleen Falk. Falk is favored by most unions in this race though not necessarily by Democratic Party leaders.
In a race that was born out of a battle over union rights, Kathleen Falk makes frequent mention of her union endorsements. And union leaders like Bryan Kennedy, the President of AFT-Wisconsin, are happy to praise Falk. AFT is one of the unions that endorsed Falk largely because of her pledge to veto any state budget that does not restore collective bargaining rights for public employees.
"She is telling us exactly what she will do as Governor," Kennedy says. "She is not hiding anything from us. And that is why when we replace Scott Walker with Kathleen Falk, we are going to get a governor who has told us what she is going to do and she's going to go to work on...

Democrats are pressing Gov. Scott Walker to explain why he's spending money on a legal defense fund if he's not the target of a sweeping John Doe investigation. The governor's most recent campaign finance report showed that he transferred $60,000 from his campaign to a legal defense fund. This is permitted under state law---if---a person is being investigated or charged with a violation of election or campaign finance laws. Some of Walker's former aides when he was Milwaukee County Executive have been charged with those types of crimes as part of an ongoing John Doe investigation. Gov. Walker has not been charged and has said he's not personally under investigation.State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate says it begs a question: "If Scott Walker is not a target of the John Doe investigation, as he claims, how is he legally permitted to establish and operate a legal defense fund?"The Democratic Party says it filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board...

Two candidates are on Tuesday's (5/8) Democratic Party primary ballot in the recall election for the 29th state Senate District the assistant minority leader of the state assembly, and a protest candidate who doesn't live in the district. Minority Leader Donna Seidel has served eight years in the state Assembly, after 16 years as the Marathon County clerk of courts, an investigator with the district attorney's office, and a Wausau police officer, "I'm running for the 29th state Senate because we have problems here that I believe I can solve. I have lived and worked in this community for the past 40 years."Her opponent, political activist James Buckley, does not live in the district. He admits that Republicans asked him to run as a Democrat to force a primary election. On two recent Wisconsin Public Radio talk shows, he accused Donna Seidel of being part of a machine led by financier George Soros to form a one world government, "To...

Governor Scott Walker raised two-thirds of his campaign money from outside Wisconsin in his most recent report filed with the state's election agency.
According to an analysis from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, more than $8 million of the roughly $13 million the governor raised this year came from individual donors living in other states. That's 66 percent of all the governor's individual contributions. It follows a reporting period covering late last year where the governor raised 61-percent of his money from out-of-state donors.
Democracy Campaign Director Mike McCabe says it's a huge break from the past when it raised eyebrows if a candidate received 10-percent of his campaign funds from out-of-state, "Clearly this is seen as a national referendum now and wealthy donors with a national agenda see Wisconsin as a domino. And they want to make sure that that domino falls in a direction that favors them."
Among the Democrats running for governor, former Dane County...

Democratic candidate for Governor Kathleen Falk says she has some differences with fellow contender Tom Barrett on the issue of public education.
Falk continues to campaign in Milwaukee, ahead of next week's Democratic recall primary. The former Dane County executive is trying to win over Milwaukee Democrats not sold on Mayor Barrett. Falk spoke Tuesday (5/1) outside a public school that was shut down last year, amid state aid cuts and Gov. Walker's expansion of taxpayer funded school vouchers. Falk says expanding vouchers was a bad idea.
Milwaukee public school teacher Kim Schroeder says he's also concerned about the Milwaukee charter schools chartered to the city.
Mayor Barrett has tried several times to get state lawmakers to fix what he calls a funding flaw that he says hurts Milwaukee taxpayers and helps the private voucher schools.

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