The results are in on this month’s UW-Green Bay Student Government Association election. Newly elected to executive positions for 2015-16 are Hannah Stepp, president, and Lorenzo Lones, vice president. They finished with 384 votes to claim a statistical majority and wide margin over the Murphy-Nichols ticket (196 votes) and Spaulding-Osteen (159). Stepp is currently chair of the University Governance subcommittee. She’ll formally take over from Vanya Koepke on passing-of-the-gavel day, May 1.
We told you here yesterday about the growing number of UW-Green Bay alumni now serving in the state Legislature. We erred, however, by omitting yet another Phoenix alum, Tyler Vorpagel ’07. Vorpagel, an aide to retiring U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, was elected Nov. 4 to the state Assembly seat for District 27. He joins alumni Scott Krug ’09, R-Rome and Romaine R. Quinn ’14, R-Rice Lake in the state Assembly. Fellow alums Dave Hansen ’71, D-Green Bay; Rob Cowles ’75, R-Allouez; and Frank Lasee ’86, R-Ledgeview, are serving in the state Senate. Our thanks to Assistant Prof. Aaron Weinschenk for catching the omission.
Assistant Prof. Aaron Weinschenk talked turnout for a Saturday (Nov. 8) Green Bay Press-Gazette recap of Tuesday’s midterm election. Despite record turnout statewide (for a regular gubernatorial election), numbers were not as robust in Brown County, the story said. Northeastern Wisconsin is considered a swing area, and saw plenty of visits from Gov. Scott Walker and challenger Mary Burke. “Turnout isn’t all driven by campaigns,” Weinschenk said. “They can do things and try to mobilize voters, but there are other things at play, such as the political awareness of the area or just the time of the election. Candidate appearances, although they get a lot of media attention, won’t send participation through the roof.” Full story.
UW-Green Bay Prof. of Democracy and Justice Studies Harvey Kaye appeared on the national Thom Hartmann Show last week to conduct a radio post-mortem on the Democratic Party’s poor mid-term election showing. Kaye repeated his assertion that Democrats lose when they aren’t progressive enough. He also pointed to passage of several liberal ballot initiatives across the country, saying, “The real contradiction is that Americans want progressive action…” You can view the segment at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNJq-EqzCW0&app=desktop .
State Sen. Frank Lasee, R-Ledgeview, was re-elected to the 1st Senate District seat in Tuesday’s election, outpolling challenger Dean DeBroux by better than a 3-2 ratio. Lasee, a 1986 graduate of UW-Green Bay, was first elected to the state Senate in 2010 after serving in the Assembly for 14 years. He rejoins fellow Phoenix alumni Dave Hansen ’71 and Rob Cowles ’75 — midway through their four-year terms, they weren’t on Tuesday’s ballots — to give UW-Green Bay three grads in the 33-senator upper house. Also winning reelection to the Legislature was Rep. Scott Krug, R-Rome (Wisconsin Rapids area), who will take a third term as District 72’s State Assembly representative. Krug owns NEW Opportunities, an employment and training company. He studied psychology and graduated from UW-Green Bay in May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Prior to joining the state Assembly, he worked for the Juneau County Sheriff’s Department and as a discharge planner at the Wood County Jail. Read more on Krug, and his win.
Coverage of Tuesday’s midterm Congressional elections stretched far and wide. The German radio station Südwestrundfunk (SWR), based in Baden-Baden, interviewed Prof. David Coury of Humanistic Studies and German early Tuesday morning. The focus was student interest in the elections on campus as well as expected voter turnout in the campus-based precinct at UW-Green Bay. The German radio reporter was also interested in student support of, or frustration with, the Obama administration and the impact that might have on the 2016 presidential elections.
NBC 26 reporter (and 2014 UW-Green Bay grad) Brooke Hafs was on campus in the wee hours Tuesday (Nov. 4) morning, reporting live ahead of the Election Day polls opening at 7 a.m. Hafs staked out her spot at the voting area in the University Union, telling viewers what to expect as the midterm elections got under way. You can check out her 5:30 a.m. segment, here: http://www.jrn.com/nbc26/news/Voting-Guide-281418661.html.
Assistant Prof. David Helpap was called on Wednesday (Oct. 29) to provide context for the last Marquette Law School Poll before Tuesday’s election, speaking with WLUK, Fox 11 and the Green Bay Press-Gazette about what the latest numbers show. Incumbent Gov. Walker’s lead among likely voters (now 7 points statewide) suggests a significant turnout gap between conservative and liberal voters, Helpap told the newspaper. “This is a historic problem for Democrats — having trouble getting turnout in midterm elections,” Helpap said. “The numbers are showing that.” He echoed the statement in an interview with Fox 11’s Bill Miston, adding that “ …because the race is so close, even among registered voters, you still have to spend some time focusing on independents, as well.” You can check out both stories.
Green Bay Press-Gazette
WLUK Fox 11
Part two of a Local 5 News story featuring two UW-Green Bay faculty members aired Tuesday (Oct. 28) evening, with Prof. Phil Clampitt and Prof. Emeritus Mike Kraft continuing their analysis of television advertising in the hotly contested gubernatorial election. The story from reporter Jenn Sullivan focused largely on the visual images chosen for TV ads, as well as the use of various news clips that help each candidate make his or her point. The manipulation of images can be a powerful tool, the story says. “The challenge I think we have as viewers is, unless we’re aware these techniques are going on… then we tend to form these impressions,” Clampitt said. Added Kraft, speaking about the use of news clips and incumbent Gov. Scott Walker’s jobs promise: “It’s a weak point for the governor, because he made a very explicit promise that he would create 250,000 jobs in his first four years.” You can watch both segments of the report (the most recent appearing first).
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke made an hour-long stop at UW-Green Bay Wednesday (Oct. 29), greeting students, talking with news media and taking a campus tour just six days before the November election.
Flanked by campaign staff, Burke arrived on campus around 11 a.m. and shook a few hands before a brief meeting with members of the local news media in the Gathering Room of MAC Hall. Burke made no statement but went directly to answering questions from the press, which ranged from the latest Marquette Law School Poll (due out just as she was leaving campus) to recent allegations she was fired from Trek Bicycle (“baseless”) to campaign funding and the importance of higher education in the state.
“Our university system is at the heart of Wisconsin’s future,” Burke told a half-dozen reporters who were on hand.
After the 5-minute media Q and A, Burke took a brief campus tour led by Assistant Prof. Alison Staudinger, Democracy and Justice Studies, along with Student Government Association leaders and others. She stopped in the SGA offices to greet students there, and posed for selfies and other photos with students outside the University Union as she prepared to depart.
Burke’s visit was the latest in a series of Northeastern Wisconsin campaign stops for the candidate and her opponent, Gov. Scott Walker (who was last on campus Sept. 9). The region is widely considered to be politically important due to its reputation as a critical swing area.
“Every voter is important in this race,” Burke told media as the visit began. “It’s going to be tight.”