Sunday, January 21st

State

Democratic candidates for Wisconsin governor (clockwise from top left) Tony Evers, Dana Wachs, Andy Gronik, Paul Soglin, Kathleen Vinehout, Matt Flynn, Mahlon Mitchell, Mike McCabe and Kelda Roys.(Photo: Journal Sentinel files)

MADISON - The Democratic challengers to GOP Gov. Scott Walker reported fundraising totals Tuesday, with several raising enough money to mount serious campaigns. 

Firefighter union president Mahlon Mitchell raised $310,000 and has $242,000 in cash and in just 18 days former state Rep. Kelda Helen Roys raised $163,000 and has $151,000 on hand. 

Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik raised $554,000 and had $98,000 on hand, but $450,000 of that came from Gronik's personal wealth. The money was a straight contribution, not a loan. 

State Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) raised $514,500 in the second half of 2017 and has $163,200 in cash, his campaign said. But Wachs, a trial attorney, loaned himself almost half of the money, or $235,000. 

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, and the Democrats who are challenging him have to report fundraising totals by Tuesday evening.

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Lincoln Hills School is seen in this 2015 photo.(Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

MADISON - Amid Democratic criticism, GOP Gov. Scott Walker is moving up his plans to close Wisconsin's problem-wracked teen prison by urging the Legislature to adopt his proposal this spring rather than 18 months from now. 

It is the second time in less than two weeks that Walker has embraced a Democratic approach to dealing with Lincoln Hills School for Boys, the juvenile prison north of Wausau that has sparked a criminal investigation and multiple civil rights lawsuits.

This month, Walker announced he wanted to convert Lincoln Hills to an adult prison, open five regional teen lockups around the state and expand a mental health facility in Madison so it could provide treatment to female teen inmates along with the males it already serves.

RELATED: Lincoln Hills: Scott Walker to close troubled teen prison and open five regional centers for juvenile offenders

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Wisconsin's Capitol.(Photo: Michael Sears / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

MADISON - Assembly representatives would have to take mandatory sexual harassment training, under a proposal before lawmakers Tuesday.

Assembly Resolution 22 comes amid growing concerns about sexual misconduct in the fields of politics and business and would require training for lawmakers and their staff in the Assembly at the start of each two-year legislative session.

In addition, lawmakers will be undergoing a training in the coming days since they didn't receive one at the start of this session, said Kit Beyer, spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). 

The decision follows disclosures that there have been at least four sexual harassment complaints in the Legislature over the past decades — two in the Senate and two more in the Assembly. In one case, taxpayers shelled out $75,000 to resolve a sexual harassment and racial discrimination claim made by an aide to then-state senator and now City of Milwaukee Treasurer Spencer Coggs.

Democratic candidates for Wisconsin governor (clockwise from top left) Tony Evers, Dana Wachs, Andy Gronik, Kathleen Vinehout, Matt Flynn, Mahlon Mitchell, Mike McCabe and Kelda Roys.(Photo: Journal Sentinel files)

MADISON - Democratic candidate for governor Dana Wachs raised $514,500 in the second half of 2017 and has $163,200 in cash, his campaign said. 

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, and the Democrats who are challenging him have to report fundraising totals by Tuesday evening. 

The Democrats have a crowded field, so their individual fundraising will be closely watched as one signal of their viability as candidates. 

The other Democrats running for governor include: state Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers; Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik; Madison Mayor Paul Soglin; former state Rep. Kelda Roys of Madison; statewide firefighter union leader Mahlon Mitchell; former state party Chairman Matt Flynn; Sen. Kathleen Vinehout of Alma; and political activist Mike McCabe.

The group Post Cards to Voters has been contacting voters in Tuesday's special legislative elections. The group is using an innovative approach to reaching voters - handwritten cards sent by volunteers who draw on the power of the Internet.(Photo: Post Cards to Voters)

MADISON - In an era of dark money and political vitriol, a new group is trying to use color markers and the power of the internet to influence elections here and around the country. 

Postcards to Voters has taken its innovative approach into all three of Tuesday's special legislative elections in Wisconsin, sending handwritten cards from activists to thousands of voters in the state. 

The unusual tactic has gotten attention from voters, candidates and even a better-funded conservative group that has jumped into the game. 

Assembly candidate Greta Neubauer said the group has send two postcards each to 1,500 voters in her Racine district. Neubauer, a Democrat, said she thinks the colorful, handmade cards grab the attention of voters who are barraged with negative ads and mailboxes full of glossy lit pieces.