Barrett attacks and LaFollette's little cow
By Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON — Want to catch up with Wisconsin recall election news? Here are some stories from Tuesday's campaign files.
Barrett's new buy
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, presumed Democratic front-runner in Wisconsin's gubernatorial recall election, rolled out another campaign ad, attacking Gov. Scott Walker on the state of the economy.
The commercial points to Walker’s pledge to create 250,000 jobs in his first term as governor, and that Walker has “delivered nothing.” Walker is less than a year and a half into his four-year term.
Barrett notes recent headlines screaming that Wisconsin’s economy lost the most jobs in the nation between March 2011 and March 2012.
That wouldn't happen on Barrett's watch, the 30-second ad suggests.
“He’ll be the jobs governor that Wisconsin needs,” Barrett’s political ad declares.
What Barrett doesn’t mention is that the Milwaukee metropolitan area shed 4,400 jobs in March, 100 more than the total private-sector jobs cut statewide, according to the state Department of Workforce Development. The ad also doesn’t note that Wisconsin added more than 15,000 private-sector jobs in the first two months of the year.
Falk tries to educate Dem faithful
Former Dane County Executive and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Falk bashed Walker on Tuesday, too, as she laid out her vision for Wisconsin education — a “pathway to a better economy and jobs,” the recall election contestant told supporters and reporters.
Falk stopped at Milwaukee’s Phillis Wheatley School on Tuesday.
She pointed to the deep cuts Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature made to education funding, which exceeded $1 billion.
She did not mention the combined tens of millions of dollars in savings most school districts recorded through the implementation of Act 10 that reformed collective bargaining for unionized public employees and required them to pay more for health insurance and pensions.
Act 10, many have stated, first galvanized Democrats in the recall movement, although Falk, Barrett and their party now point to other reasons like education spending cuts and the economy.
Endorsement for the underdog
Some may call it a bold stance, others may liken it to throwing away a vote.
The Wausau Daily Herald has endorsed state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, in next week’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. Vinehout has run well behind Barrett and Falk in the polls, and has not amassed the kind of political war chest of her competitors.
Barrett and Falk have picked up the lion’s share of the big-ticket endorsements — Falk nabbing much of the union support, and Barrett gobbling up support from big-name Democrats such as retiring Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, and state Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, of Kenosha.
The newspaper praised Vinehout, a dairy farmer and former college professor, as the “only candidate in this compressed gubernatorial campaign to dig in with both hands on the thorny challenges that the state’s next governor will face.”
The Daily Herald also acknowledged that Vinehout is not the leading candidate, nor the candidate with the weight of organized labor behind her. But the newspaper contends Falk is too tied to the unions and Barrett has “resorted to political platitudes.”