- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015
Walker sends out fundraising plea in face of debt

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker has sent out a fundraising plea to backers asking for their help as he faces an estimated $1 million debt from his failed presidential campaign.

Walker says in the email he “incurred a campaign debt” before seeking donations as low as $10 to “end this campaign in the black.”

Walker says in the email he is disappointed the presidential campaign “didn’t turn out the way we wanted,” but says “there are always new ways to serve others and plenty of conservative reforms to enact in Wisconsin.”

Liberal group One Wisconsin Now director Scot Ross said Friday that instead of “shaking down donors” to pay off campaign debt, Walker should be focusing on Wisconsin’s economic problems.

Walker quit the presidential race on Sept. 21.

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Senate approves mandatory sentences for gun felonies

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The state Senate has passed a bill that would impose mandatory minimum prison sentences for violent felons who illegally possess a gun.

The Senate passed the bill Friday on a bipartisan 23-9 vote. It previously passed the Assembly and now goes to Gov. Scott Walker for his consideration.

Under the bill, the felon would face a mandatory minimum of three years in prison. If a felon uses a gun to commit a violent felony, he or she would face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison plus the three years for possession.

Felons who commit less severe violent felonies with a gun would face a mandatory minimum of three years for possession plus a minimum of one-and-a-half years to three years depending on the crime.

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Senate GOP says they have agreement on elections board

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republican state senators said Friday they are ready to vote on a bill that would put retired judges on a commission overseeing ethics and campaign finance laws, but were still undecided about whether to require donors to disclose who they work for.

The rare Friday Senate session, which was expected to go deep into the night, is focused on bills doing away with Wisconsin’s nonpartisan elections board and rewriting campaign finance law. If the Senate makes changes to the bills, as planned, the Assembly will return on Nov. 16 for a final vote.

That would send them both to Gov. Scott Walker.

Republican senators said they were confident the elections board bill was ready to be voted on, but negotiations were ongoing about whether to require donors to campaigns to disclose who they work for. Amendments spelling out changes to the bills had not been made public, a sign that negotiations were fluid.

The campaign finance bill passed by the Assembly did away with the requirement that people giving money to political campaigns disclose who they work for. Under current law, anyone giving more than $100 has to disclose that information.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said senators were still debating whether to require disclose for donations over $200, or some variation of that.

Fitzgerald said that was the only outstanding issue in either bill.

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Kraft Heinz looking for buyer of Oscar Mayer plant

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Kraft Heinz is searching for a buyer of the Oscar Mayer plant in Madison that’s slated to be closed by 2017.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Friday (https://tinyurl.com/oj4rcdmhttps://tinyurl.com/oj4rcdm ) that Kraft Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen says the company is working with Wisconsin officials to find a buyer to keep the site open.

Mullen says the company did not reach out with Wisconsin officials prior to the closure decision because it was based on need to “reduce operational redundancies and eliminate excess capacity” across the country.

Gov. Scott Walker says in a letter to a Democratic lawmaker Friday that both Republicans and Democrats “need to work together to help the workers and families being hurt by this corporate decision.”

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says he hopes Kraft Heinz reconsiders closing.

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