Governor Scott Walker
Gov. Walker said a Republican administration in Washington gives him “great interest” in seeking a third term as governor, although he hasn’t yet announced his intentions. “I’ll still do any sort of announcement after the budget, because I think I need to focus my time and energy on that, but I’m having a fundraiser tonight and I’ll be having more next year,” Walker told reporters after speaking at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce’s Future Wisconsin Economic Summit. Walker first signaled his interest in seeking a third term at the same event last year. He had a fundraiser Dec. 15 at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, with ticket prices ranging from $250 to $5,000.
Source: Capital Times
Representative Reid Ribble
Outgoing Republican Congressman Reid Ribble said President-elect Trump’s selection for secretary of state needs to divest all his holdings in Exxon Mobil before he leads the nation’s diplomatic efforts. Ribble said on CNN it’s incumbent on Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil, to avoid any signs of conflict of interest. Given Exxon Mobil’s business dealings in Russia, that should be done immediately. “The whole Russian connection with Mr. Tillerson is something everyone needs to be a little bit cautious of,” he said. “It does throw up some red flags. Certainly, Mr. Tillerson should divest himself of his holdings at Exxon so there’s no conflicts of interest at all.”
Source: The Washington Examiner
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Sen. Baldwin joined 22 Democratic senators, in sending a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump urging him to follow the advice of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), an independent, nonpartisan ethics agency, and divest his business holdings in order to resolve potential conflicts of interest and deal with constitutional requirements before he assumes office. “As a businessman with interests in the United States and around the world, your holdings have the potential for serious conflicts between the national interest and your personal financial interests,” the lawmakers wrote. “Whether the President of the United States makes decisions about potential trade agreements or sending troops into war, the American people need to know that the President is acting in their best interest. Divestiture of your businesses and the establishment of a blind trust controlled by an independent party would provide assurances that you will put the interests of the American people first and are fully committed to the success of your presidency.”
Source: Baldwin press release
Senator Ron Johnson
Sen. Johnson would not say whether he would direct the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee to review allegations that Russia meddled in the presidential election. As head of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Johnson said he would investigate general cybersecurity threats from other countries, but would not comment on whether he specifically supports a Congressional investigation into whether or how Russia may have interfered in the presidential election. “These are serious challenges, and they should not be politicized or viewed through a partisan lens,” Johnson said in a statement. “I will continue to investigate and hold hearings based on fact – not innuendo – for the sole purpose of informing effective policy and appropriate countermeasures.” Several Republican lawmakers have endorsed multiple Congressional reviews into reports from U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the presidential election. President-elect Donald Trump responded specifically to a recent CIA report that showed Russia had interfered, calling it “ridiculous” on a Fox News talk show and saying that reports were attempts to undermine his victory.
Source: Capital Times
President Barack Obama
President Obama, heading toward the exit, is working to punctuate his record on race. He told Trevor Noah on The Daily Show that the country has “by no means overcome the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow and colonialism and racism.” Speaking to Ta-Nehisi Coates for an Atlantic magazine cover, Obama said he “never doubted … my ability to get white support” during his two presidential campaigns. And talking with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, he alleged some of his opponents were “absolutely” feeding off bias. Obama is undergoing a farewell tour of interviews, many focused on his experience and legacy as the nation’s first African-American president. It’s a topic he’s grown more comfortable discussing candidly as his term winds to a close. And it’s one that’s only gained more prominence since Donald Trump – who flamed the racially tinged birther theory – was elected President. Obama hopes to provide a positive summation of his time in office while acknowledging centuries-old racial tension was never going to be resolved by his historic election.