- Associated Press - Monday, November 9, 2015
Walker gets up, dusts off and drops in on presidential race

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - Scott Walker is back on the presidential campaign scene in Wisconsin, seven weeks after dropping his own Republican bid.

The Wisconsin governor, who hasn’t endorsed a candidate for president, appeared alongside rival Republican hopefuls Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio at separate events Monday, a day ahead of the next GOP debate in Milwaukee.

The debate in his backyard gives Walker, who once hoped to be on the stage rather than watching from the audience, a chance to rehabilitate his political image after his short-lived candidacy. That could give him a shot at becoming the vice presidential pick of the eventual GOP presidential nominee.

“When God closes one door, another one opens,” Walker wrote in a fundraising email to supporters Friday. “While I don’t know exactly what the future holds, trust me, we will continue leading the fight for big, bold conservative change in Wisconsin and across America.”

Walker has said he has no interest in serving as a future Cabinet member. But he has not ruled out seeking or accepting an invitation to be the nominee’s running mate.

Former rivals Bush and Walker appeared together on Monday and had nothing but nice things to say about one another. Walker called Bush a “great leader” both for Florida and the country, while Bush said he admired Walker for fighting to expand the state’s school voucher program.

As a politician with a national following who won three elections as governor in four years, Walker’s backing will be highly sought-after, said Wisconsin state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

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Legislator proposes free tampons in schools, state buildings

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Tampons and sanitary napkins would be available for free in state buildings and publicly funded schools under a bill a Madison legislator has introduced.

Democratic Rep. Melissa Sargent’s proposal would require that the state stock all women’s restrooms in buildings it owns, occupies or leases with free tampons and sanitary napkins. Any school that receives public funding also would have to place free tampons and sanitary napkins in their women’s bathrooms as well. The requirement would extend to University of Wisconsin System campuses as well as private schools in the state’s voucher program, which subsidizes private school students’ tuition.

“Half of the world’s population is familiar with this terrifying moment, looking through your bag and realizing that you do not have a tampon or pad,” Sargent wrote in a memo to her fellow legislators seeking co-sponsors. “Middle and high school students are often shocked and embarrassed by their first period and should have access to these products immediately without the long, terrifying walk to the nurse’s office.”

Sargent said in a telephone interview Monday that she doesn’t know how much the bill would cost and she’s still waiting for an estimate. But she said she’s not worried about the expense, whatever it might be. The government can afford to supply such a vital hygiene product, she argued.

“If we’re in such dire straits in the state of Wisconsin, maybe we should start charging for soap and toilet papers in bathrooms,” she said.

Sargent introduced the measure Friday and is still looking for co-sponsors. She faces an uphill fight in the Legislature, though; Republicans control both the Assembly and the Senate. Spokeswomen for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald didn’t immediately return an email message seeking comment on the bill’s prospects.

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Madison mayor wants state to help pay for public market

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - With Oscar Mayer leaving town, Madison’s mayor wants the state of Wisconsin to help pay for a public market to spur economic development.

Mayor Paul Soglin says he spoke with Gov. Scott Walker by phone Friday. Soglin told a news conference Monday that he also asked the governor for assurances that the state would help the 1,000 employees who face layoffs find jobs that pay as much or more than their current jobs.

Oscar Mayer’s parent company, Kraft Heinz Food Co., announced last week it will shut down the Madison headquarters. The plant is slated to be closed by 2017.

The Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1WJoqh1http://bit.ly/1WJoqh1 ) reports Soglin said he and Walker discussed setting up a meeting with Kraft Heinz.

Walker’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsjhttp://www.madison.com/wsj

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Rubio promises to re-shape education, rebuild military

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) - Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio is telling Wisconsin supporters that he’ll re-shape post-secondary education and rebuild the military.

Rubio gave a short speech to a couple hundred supporters at a Pewaukee hotel Monday, a day before he was slated to appear in a debate with the other GOP candidates in Milwaukee.

He promised to let high school students attend vocational schools in the afternoons so they’re ready to work upon graduation. He also pledged to strengthen the military, warning the country faces dangerous enemies in the form of the Chinese, North Korea and jihadists.

He didn’t mention any of the other Republican candidates.

Rubio planned to host a fundraiser Monday for Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and a number of other Assembly Republicans. Gov. Scott Walker is expected to attend.

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