- Associated Press - Monday, July 21, 2014
Elections board rejects allowing cameras in polls

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin’s election board rejected the request of Republican lawmakers on Monday and decided to keep in place a ban on using cameras at polling stations after the NAACP and others raised concerns about voter intimidation.

The Government Accountability Board, on a 4-2 vote, went along with other changes affecting election observers - including requiring them to show photo identification at the polls - and sent the proposed rule to the Legislature.

Republicans in control could choose to rewrite the rule, including allowing cameras, but it won’t be done in time for the Aug. 12 primary or the Nov. 4 general election barring a special legislative session.

Republican co-chairs of the state Senate and Assembly elections committees had requested the changes, including allowing cameras. Messages left with those lawmakers - Sen. Mary Lazich of New Berlin, and Rep. Kathy Bernier of Lake Hallie - were not immediately returned.

The rights of poll watchers have been hotly debated in recent years, as supporters say they play an important role in making sure the law is followed on election day. But critics say they can be distracting or intimidating to people voting.

Gov. Scott Walker earlier this year signed a law allowing poll observers to be as close as 3 feet away from where voters check in.

The board decided against lifting the camera ban after hearing testimony from both supporters and opponents. Those against cameras included Andrea Kaminski, director of the Wisconsin chapter of the League of Women Voters, Rock County Clerk Lori Stottler, and Greg Jones, a representative of the Dane County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.


Wisconsin train crash hurts 2 people, spills fuel

SLINGER, Wis. (AP) - A Canadian National Railway Co. train struck another freight train as it rolled through a small village in southeastern Wisconsin, causing cars to derail, injuring two people and spilling thousands of gallons of fuel that prompted the evacuation of dozens of homes.

The southbound Canadian National train struck several Wisconsin & Southern Railroad cars around 8:30 p.m. Sunday at a rail crossing in Slinger, according to Patrick Waldron, a Canadian National spokesman.

Three engines and 10 railcars derailed, Slinger Fire Chief Rick Hanke said. Slinger is about 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

An engineer and conductor on the Canadian National train were taken to a hospital, treated for injuries and released, Waldron said Monday.

About 5,000 gallons of diesel spilled from a locomotive fuel tank, Hanke said. Hazardous materials crews placed booms around the spilled fuel and crews worked to upright the derailed cars Monday morning.

Some 100 people who live near the crash site were evacuated from their homes as a precaution, but they were allowed to return around 1:30 a.m. Monday, Hanke said.

The Wisconsin & Southern engineer applied the brakes after an onboard computer sensed something was wrong before the collision, said WSR spokesman Ken Lucht.


GOP outraises Democrats in major statewide races

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republican candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general all reported having significantly more money than their challengers Monday, another sign of the challenge facing Democrats this fall.

Republican attorney general candidate Brad Schimel reported Monday having about $400,000 cash on hand, more than twice as much as two Democratic opponents.

Gov. Scott Walker had more than twice as much as the leading Democratic challenger Mary Burke. And his running mate Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch raised more than 13 times more than the expected Democratic nominee.

Schimel is the Waukesha County district attorney and the only Republican in the race to succeed current Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who is not seeking a third term. Three Democrats will square off in the Aug. 12 primary, with the winner advancing to face Schimel in November.

Schimel and other candidates in races to be decided this year faced a midnight Monday deadline to submit reports showing how much money they had raised and spent in the first six months of the year.

In the attorney general’s race, Schimel reported raising nearly $367,000 in the first six months of the year, with $400,000 on hand as of July.

Democratic state Rep. Jon Richards, of Milwaukee, reported raising $190,000 and having nearly $170,000 cash on hand. Susan Happ, the Jefferson County district attorney, reported raising $170,000 and having nearly $121,000 cash on hand.


Burke: Walker ad reveals lack of global knowledge

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke says an ad in which Gov. Scott Walker criticizes Trek Bicycle Corp. shows he doesn’t understand how the global marketplace works.

Burke, a former Trek executive, continued her criticism Monday of the ad Walker’s campaign launched last week. It says she got rich from a company that sent jobs overseas, where women and children are paid as little as $2 an hour.

Burke says Walker is dragging a great Wisconsin company through the mud for political reasons. She says if he knew more about global economics he’d understand how companies are supposed to compete worldwide.

Walker told reporters Monday he’s not criticizing the company, but is instead pointing out Burke’s hypocrisy. He says she’s profiting from Trek’s actions even as she says Wisconsin needs to create more jobs and improve wages.



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