MADISON, Wis. (AP) — President Barack Obama will visit Wisconsin three times during the five days before the election to lock up votes in a battleground state where polls now show him leading Republican Mitt Romney.
His trips also could help another Democrat locked in tight race: U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin. She plans to appear with Obama at every event, including a Monday rally in her hometown of Madison with rocker Bruce Springsteen that's certain to attract the biggest crowd of the campaign season.
Their rivals, Romney and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, haven't conceded the state and appeared together Friday at State Fair Park outside Milwaukee.
Baldwin and Thompson are vying to replace longtime Sen. Herb Kohl in a seat held by Democrats since 1957. The winner could help determine which party has majority control of the chamber, and money has poured into the campaign, making it the most expensive Senate race in Wisconsin history.
History is on Baldwin's side. Wisconsin has not voted for a Republican for president since Ronald Reagan in 1984. And no Democratic Senate candidate on the ballot in a presidential election year has lost since 1980, when Gaylord Nelson was unseated by a Republican wave led by Reagan.
The last time a Wisconsin Senate race coincided with a presidential election was 2004. That year, Democratic incumbent Sen. Russ Feingold got 143,000 more votes than Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, even though both won the state.
Baldwin is unlikely to outperform Obama like Feingold did Kerry.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Prosecutors can proceed with a case against four Milwaukee police officers charged with conducting illegal strip searches of suspects, a judge ruled Friday.
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner heard about three hours of testimony from Milwaukee police detective Justin Carloni, who recapped testimony that nine alleged victims gave at secret proceedings that led to the charges last month. The judge decided that prosecutors had sufficient probable cause to move forward with their case.
According to the criminal complaint, several men alleged that Officer Michael Vagnini stopped them and performed a cavity search, saying he was looking for drugs. Vagnini is charged with 25 counts, including conducting an illegal strip search, misconduct in office, sexual assault and conducting an illegal body cavity search.
State law and police procedures prohibit officers from conducting body cavity searches. Only medical personnel are allowed to perform them, and police must first obtain a search warrant.
Attorneys for the other officers argued Friday that the charges should be dismissed because what their clients are accused of doing — sometimes just being present at searches — doesn't rise to the threshold of party-to-a-crime liability.
District Attorney John Chisholm argued that the officers' mere presence, on duty, reasserted to the suspects that they were not free to leave and had to comply with the searches.
The judge denied the motions to dismiss the complaint, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported (http://bit.ly/SzbghM). The four officers remain on paid leave. Arraignment is set for Nov. 15.
APPLETON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin man accused of fatally shooting his mother so he could collect on her life insurance policy has been convicted.
The Appleton Post-Crescent (http://post.cr/TZjMFf) reports that 35-year-old Randal Rosenthal was found guilty Friday night of first-degree intentional homicide. The charge carries a life prison sentence.
Rosenthal claimed that his mother, 52-year-old Kathleen Remter, was fine when he last saw her after they went fishing in Buchanan.
But prosecutors say he killed his mother to collect on her $586,000 life insurance policy. Prosecutors say Rosenthal was unemployed and expecting his second child at the time.
His mother was found dead in the Fox River in July 2011. Investigators say she'd been shot in the back of the head.
Information from: The Post-Crescent, http://www.postcrescent.comhttp://www.postcrescent.com
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has one wish for his 45th birthday — for Wisconsin to help elect Mitt Romney the nation's 45th president.
Walker spoke at a Romney rally Friday in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis. After a rousing ovation, the crowd of at least 1,000 sang "Happy Birthday" to the governor.
Walker was elected on his 43rd birthday. He told the crowd that on this birthday, he doesn't want gifts or cards — he wants volunteers to work hard to get out the vote for Romney.
He joked that since the Wisconsin Badgers don't have a game on Saturday, volunteers have no excuse not to work hard then too.
Walker also noted that he's Wisconsin's 45th governor, and that Romney could be America's 45th president.