Sunday, July 23rd

State

A rendering of the Milwaukee Streetcar.(Photo: Milwaukee Streetcar)

Leaving aside arguments over how much a downtown-area streetcar line now under construction might spur economic development, is it in effect stealing money from city services such as police?

That's the attack from a group that is seeking to recall Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

More specifically, Save Our City, Milwaukeeans Can't Wait says Barrett “has directed that tens of millions of City of Milwaukee tax dollars be used for the construction of a downtown trolley at the expense of: health and public safety; repair and replacement of public infrastructure; public education; and, job creation and economic development.”

PolitiFact Wisconsin finds that the tens of millions is accurate. But the rest of the attack is off target.

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Members of a swift water rescue team walk near a dam on the Fox River in Burlington. Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency and called up the National Guard to assist residents in parts of Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties in dealing with flooding after Wednesday's historic rains.(Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

BURLINGTON - Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday declared a state of emergency for Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties and activated the Wisconsin National Guard a day after torrential rains caused widespread flooding. 

Eighty-five National Guard members were deployed in the areas, including flood-ravaged Burlington, where the American Red Cross set up an emergency shelter in the Burlington High School gymnasium.

The shelter will provide meals for those who stay and offer recovery resources and information.

Guard members in Burlington were stationed at flooded roads and four bridges in the city that were closed for safety reasons.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.(Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images)

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Thursday he would approve a procedural motion to allow the new GOP health care bill to head for a vote next week in the Senate.

But Johnson has not yet committed to voting for the revised bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Republicans already face an uphill struggle to bring the bill to the floor. Two GOP Senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky, said they would vote against the motion to proceed. One more GOP defection would block the bill, for now.

Johnson said there were some "good aspects" to the new bill but he wanted to wait to see how it is scored by the Congressional Budget Office.

"I want to work with the CBO to actually get better numbers and some breakout numbers as well," Johnson told reporters in Washington, D.C.

Kevin Nicholson.(Photo: handout from candidate, handout from candidate)

A super PAC backing potential Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson said Thursday that it raised $1.5 million from April through June.

Overall, Solutions for Wisconsin has raised $3.5 million this year, with all of the money coming from GOP mega-donor Richard Uihlein.

Uihlein, who lives in Lake Forest, Ill., is founder of the Pleasant Prairie-based Uline company. Uihlein and his wife, Elizabeth, contributed $23.6 million to federal candidates and other groups during the 2016 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Nicholson, a U.S. Marine veteran and businessman, is expected to make the plunge into the GOP race to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018.

Other potential Republican candidates include state Sen. Leah Vukmir of Brookfield, Madison businessman Erick Hovde, state Rep. Dale Kooyenga of Brookfield and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau.

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Members of a swift water rescue team walk near a dam on the Fox River in Burlington, Wis. Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency and called up the National Guard to assist residents in parts of Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties in dealing with flooding after Wednesday's historic rains.(Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

BURLINGTON - Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency and called up the National Guard to assist residents in parts of Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties in dealing with flooding after yesterday's historic rains.

Eighty-five National Guard members were helping at various areas in southern Wisconsin, including Burlington, which was heavily flooded.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the flooding,” Walker said in a statement. “I have instructed state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard to help those affected by the flooding and to continue to provide resources to assist with the response and recovery efforts.