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NEWS STORIES

Walker leaves state often; may hint at presidential runSubmitted: 07/12/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


NATIONWIDE - Republicans across the country want to hear from governor.

Scott Walker has spoken to mostly Republican audiences in at least 12 different states in the past five months alone.

Earlier this week, Walker headlined a major fundraiser for the Indiana Republican Party.

On that same day, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was meeting small business owners in Rhinelander.

We asked her why the Indiana fundraiser trumped his time at home in Wisconsin.

"The Governor is a very in-demand speaker because the Wisconsin idea is one that has captured the imagination of this entire country. We have done really wonderful things in Wisconsin," Kleefisch said.

Here are some of the places Walker has appeared since March: Virginia Beach, VA; National Harbor, MD; Washington, DC; Dallas, TX; Coral Gables, FL; Fayetteville, AR; Carson City, NV; Indianapolis, IN; Stamford, CT; New York City; Des Moines, IA; and Beverly Hills, CA.

That's according to sources including the Wisconsin State Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Capital Times, TheRun2016, and Wisconsin Reporter.

It might look a little like a presidential candidate's travel schedule.

Presidential ambition is likely driving Walker's schedule, at least in part.

David Catanese created TheRun2016, a website that tracks presidential maneuvering.

He's a former NBC and Politico contributor.

"This is a guy who wants to get to know Republican party activists in every state, all over the country, to get familiar with them, to start forging relationships, that is looking toward a 2016 presidential run," Catanese told us.

TheRun2016 reports Walker will headline a golf outing next Tuesday in Newport Beach, California.

It's hosted by the Republican Governor's Association.

Catanese puts Walker's chances of running for president above 50 percent.

See the link below for more on 2016 presidential projections.

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That's why former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) is encouraging people to vote on August 9th.

He faces another democratic senate candidate Scott Harbach from Kenosha.

"I wouldn't say I'm nervous but I take nothing for granted," Feingold said at a Wausau event on Wednesday. 
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If Feingold wins the election, he faces incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) in November.

A recent Marquette University Law School poll shows Feingold leading. The link is posted below.

But Feingold said he doesn't want to get too hung up on the numbers.

"I don't want to get really serious about polling, that isn't the way that I've ever conducted myself," Feingold said. "What I do is go out to listen to people and find out directly not through polling what people are thinking and how they're feeling."

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Unless you travel to a ranch in Florence County, where the Rock family thinks they've tapped into a special and healthy food source.

Raising bison has always seemed normal to Michael Rock. His favorite is Badaxe, who is 25 years old.
"He became my baby and I feed him maple syrup and apples all the time, that's his favorite treat," said Michael.

But the Rock family knows their livestock are rare for these parts.

"We got into it for the health issues because now we know what we're eating," said David.
David started the business about 10 years ago. These days, the Rocks have around 130 bison on their Florence County ranch.

"For me this is enjoyment because I'm outside and I'm with my family. And I like to be outside and work with them on that," said David.

Two of the Rocks' four children live and work on the ranch.

"Being able to tell them what to do. I'm still the dad, so I rule the roost. They are a big help and they do have good ideas. You do have to watch the younger generation," said David.

Their daughter, Josie, and son, Michael, help with feeding and maintaining the herd.

"My favorite are the babies. The babies when they're younger, they like fighting and playing. And they'll just be running around and playing," said Josie.

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"Bison is about the only other meat out there that they can eat. It's healthier than chicken, it's healthier than salmon, pig, beef, anything. It's the top of the line," said Karen.

Raising an animal is a large project, one that Michael would like to do for a long time.

"I like bailing hay with the tractors, I like taking care of the animals. I have a future goal, to have big barns full of them," said Michael.

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