By SCOTT BAUER, ASSOCIATED PRESS
(AP) MADISON, Wis. â Nearly one-in-five of the jobs listed on a state website touted by Gov. Scott Walker as a resource for unemployed Wisconsin residents are actually located in neighboring states, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.
More than 32,000 job openings were posted on the Job Center of Wisconsin's website as of Tuesday, but about 18 percent of them were in Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan. It was unclear how many of those roughly 6,000 jobs could be filled through telecommuting, though many appeared to require on-site work.
Walker ran on a promise to add 250,000 private sector jobs in the state by 2015, and the Republican repeatedly referenced the website â the state's official jobs site â in his radio address last week as a place for Wisconsin's unemployed to find jobs and quickly connect with employers.
Filling any of the out-of-state jobs wouldn't help Walker keep that campaign promise, but his spokesman said Tuesday that the jobs were worth pointing out.
"Residents who live in our state and work elsewhere create a positive impact on their local communities," spokesman Cullen Werwie said. "They spend their money back in their communities, create economic activity and ultimately help create an environment for job creation in those areas."
A search of the website Tuesday afternoon showed 32,253 job listings. Of those, 3,104 were in Illinois, 2,078 were in Minnesota, 737 were in Iowa and 136 were in Michigan.
It wasn't clear how many of the out-of-state jobs would allow someone to work from home, although a spot check showed many required on-site work, including multiple hotel housekeeper jobs just across the state border in Rockford, Ill., and farther south in the Chicago suburbs. It also was unclear how many would require workers to move out of Wisconsin.
But it's not unusual for people living near the Wisconsin border to work outside the state. The Twin Cities are only about 30 miles from Hudson, Wis., and downtown Chicago is about 50 miles from the state line and just a 90-minute train ride from Milwaukee. Dubuque, Iowa, is just across the Mississippi River and attracts workers from many rural Wisconsin communities.
The out-of-state jobs listed Tuesday included a corporate attorney in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest; an electrical technician at John Deere just across the western Wisconsin border in Dubuque; and a Home Depot sales associate in Rochester, Minn., about 75 miles west of the border.
Patricia Frey, 51, of Madison was searching for jobs online Tuesday at the Dane County Job Center. Although she has family in Madison and would prefer to stay in the area, Frey said she's open to moving out of state and had no problem with the site listing jobs outside of Wisconsin.
"I think people are desperate the economy is so bad," she said. "You have to be open."
But Jim Walser, 66, of Madison said he has no plans to leave the area even though he's been searching for work as a delivery truck driver for two years. He comes to the job center once or twice a week to search for work on the website but he never looks at possibilities out of state.
"The jobs should be here," he said. "If they get a job out of state and move out of state, that's somebody who's not living in Wisconsin and spending money in Wisconsin."
Walker has repeatedly urged the unemployed to use the website to look for work. During a news conference in Milwaukee two months ago, he claimed there were 30,000 job listings on the site and said "we need people who are looking for work in this state to click on, to get connected."
A major part of Walker's successful campaign for governor was his job-creation promise. He's used the pledge as the backbone of many of his proposals designed to spur job creation and make Wisconsin a more attractive place for business.
Earlier this year, he unveiled a marketing campaign to lure Illinois companies to Wisconsin. Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said the state's job website is now attempting the opposite.
"I think it's unfortunate that he's touting a job creating program in Illinois," Tate said. "The governor should be focused on creating jobs in Wisconsin."
Not emphasizing that a good chunk of the jobs are actually in other states leaves the impression that all of the roughly 30,000 listed jobs are in Wisconsin and available if residents simply work hard enough, "and I have a problem with that," added Democratic state Rep. Louis Molepske of Stevens Point, which is in the center of the state.
The jobs website started under Walker's Democratic predecessor, Gov. Jim Doyle, in 2008, and is operated both by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and the Wisconsin Job Center system. Users can search the site in several ways, including by job type, education required and geographic location.
Job seekers also can post their resumes; the website claimed to have 27,606 on file Tuesday.
Wisconsin's unemployment rate for August was 7.9 percent, up from 7.4 percent when Walker took office in January. Over his first eight months in office, Wisconsin has added 41,700 jobs, according to the state Department of Workforce Development.
People who live in Wisconsin but work outside of the state are counted as being employed in Wisconsin.
AUSTIN, Texas -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has revoked the blind trust that holds the majority of his investments, revealing for the first time in 15 years where his money is invested.
The Texas governor provided a range for the number of shares he holds in each of 25 different stocks that together are worth between $108,000 and $319,000. His portfolio was well-diversified, with holdings in major corporations from the United States and Europe.
Perry also listed eight municipal bond holdings, all of them from outside of Texas. No value was given for those bonds. He also listed a money-market account worth more than $10,000. He also owns a home in College Station valued at $214,000 that is rented out.
At 61, Perry is nearing retirement and a conservative broker would have moved most of his assets into bonds and cash to protect the value of the trust. Perry reported that his broker has recently sold 12 stocks, with half of them posting losses on the initial investment.
The trust was established in 1996, while Perry was agriculture commissioner, and was managed by a broker. Perry was not informed of what the trust held until last month. In a letter to the Texas Ethics Commission dated Aug. 12, he amended his annual personal financial disclosure to reflect that he now knows where his assets are invested.
Blind trusts are used by politicians to avoid appearances of conflicts of interest in making important decisions. The Associated Press obtained the letter and the new disclosure form in an open records request.
While blind trusts are legal in Texas, candidates for federal office must report all of their holdings to the Federal Election Commission. Perry launched his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination last month. and will be required to file a federal candidate disclosure form by Oct. 15.
"This action is consistent with previous candidates and office holders and fully complies with federal law," said Mark Miner, a spokesman for Perry.
The most valuable holdings were in Donaldson Inc., a Minneapolis-based adhesives company. Other large holdings include payroll services company Automatic Data Processing Inc., industrial manufacturer Dover Corp. and cleaning and pest-control services company Ecolab Inc. The filing also discloses that the trust sold large amounts of stock in MDU Resources Group, a natural resource company, and Del Monte Foods Co.
In 2009, a Perry spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the entire blind trust was worth more $896,000. According to the governor's tax returns, the trust lost $308,496 between 1996 and 2009.
Perry also owns part of two companies, one a partnership with his father called J.R. Perry Co. The other is a working interest in a Weatherford company called MKS Natural Gas Co., which earned him between $10,000 and $25,000 last year.
TRENTON, N.J. — It's not a "shore" thing yet.
Gov. Chris Christie is considering whether to stand in the way of a $420,000 tax credit for MTV's "Jersey Shore."
The state Economic Development Authority approved the film credit last week. It covers production costs for the hit reality series' inaugural 2009 season.
Christie suspended the film tax credit program in 2010 to close a budget deficit. But the 2009 season still qualified.
The governor's spokesman suggested last week that Christie couldn't stop the tax credit. But Christie now says a veto is possible and that he's reviewing it.
The show centers on the cast living and partying along the beach and boardwalk in Seaside Heights.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie has joked that only his suicide would put an end to the demands that he run for president. His aides continue to shoot down rumors that he is mulling a last-minute parachute jump into the middle of the GOP field. Just a few weeks ago, he accepted the post of vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, a prestigious position that he would have to abandon immediately if he were to enter the race.
But there are signs the governor may be privately reconsidering. Paul Gigot, editor of the Wall Street Journal, told Fox News Sunday that according to his sources Christie is “very carefully” rethinking his opposition to running for president. “There are enough people who have gone to him now and said, ‘Look, this field is weak, and none of them may be able to beat the president . . . Now is your moment . . . ’” A top Republican donor to Christie told me he is convinced the man has already decided to run. A prominent New York political figure is equally certain he will enter the race.
Keep reading this post . . .
Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan, has a story she likes to tell about the Chinese. Granholm visited China in March. At one meet-and-greet, a Chinese official buttonholed her and asked when the U.S. was going to implement a national energy policy. By her own account, Granholm hemmed and hawed, mentioning the rise of the Tea Party and the inability of the current Congress "to get its act together."Granholm and I are sitting in a corner office of a building on the University of California at Berkeley campus, where Granholm is spending a year of "sabbatical."...
Former Wisconsin governor and Bush Cabinet secretary Tommy Thompson is laying the groundwork for a run at his state's open U.S. Senate seat. But as Thompson prepares for his return to politics, the onetime standard-bearer for Wisconsin Republicans appears to be facing a conservative backlash.
Former Wisconsin governor and Bush Cabinet secretary Tommy Thompson is laying the groundwork for a run at his state's open U.S. Senate seat. But as Thompson prepares for his return to politics, the one-time standard bearer for Wisconsin Republicans appears to be facing a conservative backlash.
Many in the media and in politics have gone ballistic over the fact that Texas governor Rick Perry called Social Security “a Ponzi scheme.”
Keep reading this post . . .
Mitch Daniels isn't running for president, but his new book ends with a policy platform that would befit him if he were."Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans" is being released Tuesday, and the governor of Indiana concludes it with a chapter titled "Change That Believes in You" -- 38 pages that would amount to a blueprint for his campaign had he waged one. The chapter title is a slogan he uttered multiple times earlier this year while pondering a run for president, and it morphs the 2008 Obama campaign's "Change...
Hardly a day has passed since Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his presidential candidacy that Austin-based writer Jim Moore hasn’t found himself made up, miked up and holding forth to a national television audience.Moore is the co-author, with Jason Stanford, of the forthcoming “Adios Mofo: Why Rick Perry Will Make America Miss George W. Bush,” one of at least three new books about the Texas governor. Perry’s late entry into the presidential race has created a sudden hunger for information about a politician whose career has been spent away from the...
The blunt, brash governor with a Texas drawl says he's not worried about the flood of scrutiny that has greeted his emergence as an instant front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. News organizations and political opponents are mining his decade-long gubernatorial record in Austin, investigating everything from cozy ties with business interests — supporters have been the recipients of aid and appointments — to his stances on immigration and Social Security."I've taken the heat before, and I'm not particularly worried about this...
By WILL WEISSERT, ASSOCIATED PRESS
(AP) AUSTIN, Texas â Here's the still-beating heart of the rift between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his predecessor, George W. Bush: When Bush was governor he refused to appoint Perry's brother-in-law to the Texas appeals court bench. With Perry now running for president, the spotlight is shining on the tense relationship between the two Texans and their allied camps.
In public, both Perry and Bush shrug off any friction.
"Between the Bushes and Rick Perry there is absolutely no rift at all," Perry recently told conservative radio show host Sean Hannity.
When Bush was asked in a separate interview about it, he mentioned Karl Rove, one of his most trusted advisers, and said: "Maybe with Karl. Not with my brother, with my dad, not with me at all. I admire him."
Despite all the niceties, Perry didn't hold back when asked during a recent Republican debate about Rove's comments that Perry's 2010 book "Fed Up!" contained such explosive language that it could be "toxic" in the general presidential election.
"Karl has been over the top for a long time in some of his remarks," Perry said.
Bush's vice president, Dick Cheney, also has chastised Perry for branding Social Security "a Ponzi scheme."
Perry responded to that by saying, "If Vice President Cheney or anyone else says that the program that we have in place today, and young people who are paying into that expect that program to be sound and for them to receive benefits when they reach retirement age, that is just a lie."
These were just the latest tiffs in a spat that goes back to 1995. Perry was the state's agricultural commissioner and Bush was the newly sworn-in governor. Perry lobbied for the appointment of his wife's brother, Joseph E. Thigpen, to a vacancy on the 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland. Bush turned him down.
Bill Ratliff, who was Perry's first lieutenant governor, said Perry blames Rove for denying the request. "It created some friction between the two and Karl got blamed."
Bill Miller, a veteran Austin political consultant, confirms Ratliff's recollection.
"The staff always takes the blame," Miller said. "Karl absolutely was the surrogate."
In a letter on commission stationary and dated Dec. 17, 1994, Perry wrote a recommendation to Clay Johnson, Gov.-elect Bush's director of appointments.
"Let me, for the sake of `truth in advertising,' share that Joseph is my brother-in-law," Perry said. "He is an outstanding talent who has the ability to be a distinguished jurist."
The appointment would last only the two years remaining on the vacant seat's term, then the judge would face an election. "I obviously will campaign vigorously for him in 1996," Perry said of Thigpen.
Bush spokesman Freddy Ford did not return messages seeking comment on the matter. Mark Miner, Perry's campaign spokesman, said the request "has no bearing on the good relationship between President Bush and Governor Perry."
"This happened years ago," Miner said, "and people have moved on."
Thigpen, who like Perry grew up in West Texas, served as district attorney from 1977 until 1984 of a rural district that stretched north of Abilene.
He also filled in as needed as a neighboring county's attorney from 1989 to 1993, when he was fired because the county commissioners claimed he wasn't often available when they sought his counsel.
That mark on his record made Bush look for another candidate, and Jim R. Wright was appointed to the Appeals Court in April 1995.
Thigpen, now 65, said he didn't want to discuss being passed over.
"I'm an old man," he said, "and I prefer to be left that way."
Since the appointment flap, the Perry and Bush camps have drifted farther apart. This year, the establishment embodied by former President George H.W. Bush, father of George W. Bush, is pitted against the enraged tea partyers Perry wants to help him win the nomination.
Many who know both former governors say it's little wonder they never saw eye to eye.
The Bush family was patrician. The Perrys were tenant cotton farmers.
George W. Bush went to Yale and Harvard, famously quit drinking and rarely curses. Perry graduated from Texas A&M, enjoys fine wine and frequently peppers his speeches with "damns" and "hells."
The two men share the experience of being college cheerleaders.
It's unclear whether bad blood between the two could make it harder for Perry to attract large donors in Texas and around the country who previously backed Bush.
Contacted by phone, several people who raised more than $200,000 for Bush campaigns indicated that the Perry-Bush relationship wouldn't likely sway which candidate they ultimately support.
Rove and Perry reconciled briefly in 1998, when Perry was in a dead-heat race for lieutenant governor. Rove believed an attack ad Perry was running was too negative, so he asked Perry to ditch it. In return Rove delivered the all-important endorsement of George H.W. Bush, which helped propel Perry to victory.
George W. Bush was already in full national campaign mode while also keeping close tabs on Texas government to ensure it didn't derail his plans to run for the White House. When Bush took Rove and the rest of his inner circle to Washington, Perry built his own Texas campaign team that twice helped him win the governor's post.
The feud further escalated when Rove and many other top Bush advisers went to work for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in her fierce battle against Perry for the 2010 gubernatorial nomination. Bush's father even endorsed her.
Despite the political firepower behind Hutchison, Perry trounced her and cruised to his second re-election.
Some say Perry will want the support of the Bush family and its national political muscle over a long campaign.
For now, though, Team Bush, which left the White House with record-low approval ratings, is an easy target. Austin tea party activist Don Zimmerman called Perry's chiding Rove on national TV "a no-brainer."
"One of the weapons the Democrats will have against Governor Perry is to say, `Here comes another Bush,'" Zimmerman said. "He's going to run away from that image as fast as he can."