WISCONSIN - Political experts believe Wisconsin's candidates for governor could see increases in out-of-state donations during the 2014 election cycle.
A new report from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign shows that Wisconsin legislators and candidates received $ 4.1 million from out of state donors in 2013.
That's down from the record setting $17.1 million that flowed in during the 2012 election cycle.
UW Madison Professor of Political Science Kenneth Mayer credits the decline to the 2012 recall.
"State politics in Wisconsin became national symbols and they attracted lots of attention and lots of effort and lots of campaign money from out of state because the fate of Scott Walker and the recall became a symbol for very important national issues," Mayer said.
Governor Scott Walker raised $3,726,041 from out-of-state last year, while leading Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke raised $159,784 from out-of-state.
Mayer believes out of state donations will increase again because of the national significance of the race for governor.
"The amount that comes in from out of state, the amount that candidates raise and spend, and the amount of independent activity whether they're state groups or out-of-state groups is going to increase quite a bit," Mayer said.
Out-of-state campaign contributions could impact voters influence in the race. Political experts say a candidate's interest can shift when they get large amounts of money from a certain few groups or people.
"The concern is that people outside the state are not necessarily affected or even all that interested in what happens inside the state," Mayer said.
Mayer says candidates could use that to claim the other side isn't focused on Wisconsin voters, he doesn't believe that will happen in this fall's race for governor.
"It is actually quite rare for this to be a significant factor in a race where there are other major issues as there will be here," Mayer said.
Those include labor rights, mining, job creation and many more issues. Walker has survived two elections since 2010. Mary Burke is favored to represent Democrats this fall.
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
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