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Walker, Barrett spar again over jobs as recall nears

By   /   May 17, 2012  /   No Comments

By Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON — With the recall election less than three weeks away, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is getting some help from musical friends.

Hip-hop artist Jasiri X is rapping “You’re Fired” to Gov. Scott Walker.

X will shoot the remix to the music video Saturday in Milwaukee’s Washington Park as part of the  Rebuild Wisconsin Festival. Liberal activist and former White House green jobs czar Van Joneswill host the event.

Could events like this have led professor of history at New York University and lifelong Democrat Jonathan Zimmerman to opine in the LA Times that he’s “appalled by the recall campaign against Walker by Wisconsin Democrats?”

Zimmerman calls the recall effort “petty” and “vindictive.”


Another day, another jobs report, another flurry of accusatory news releases from political candidates.

Wisconsin lost 5,900 jobs in April — a 6,200 drop in private-sector jobs partially offset by 300 new government positions.

“Perhaps if Scott Walker had spent more time focusing on jobs instead of dividing-and-conquering or jetting around the country as a right-wing rock star to the rich, Wisconsin wouldn’t be bleeding jobs,” said Barrett’s campaign in a statement.

Walker’s campaign responded by turning the spotlight on Milwaukee.

“Today’s numbers are just another indication that under Governor Walker, Wisconsin is headed in the right direction,” Walker campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews said in a statement. “While the unemployment rate has been on the steady decline — today dropping to 6.7 percent — since Governor Walker took office, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has presided over a 28 percent increase in unemployment. “

“Unemployment rate” doesn’t measure the number of people who are out of work. It measures the number of people who are out of work and looking for a job.

So Wisconsin can lose jobs and have a lower unemployment rate in the same month, if there is a drop in the number of people who stopped looking for jobs.

Thursday’s report kicked off the latest play in the monthly game of political football surrounding the jobs report, as each party vies to take credit or assign blame, depending on whether unemployment falls or rises.

On Wednesday, the state Department of Workforce Development released what it called the actual 2011 jobs data, based on reports from 160,000 employers.

The data show Wisconsin’s economy actually added 23,000 jobs between December 2010 and December 2011.

That differs greatly from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, which estimated a net loss of 33,900 jobs in 2011 — a swing of 57,221 jobs.

Also Thursday:

  • Employees of the Miller Compressing Co. recycling company, which has a no-bid city contract, donated more than $10,000 to Barrett’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, theMilwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Thursday, adding that company employees also have donated to Walker and others. The state Republican Party revealed the Barrett donations and accused the mayor of “pay-to-play” politics, which a top Barrett aide denied.
  • Walker told the Associated Press that, if he wins the recall election, he will govern in a more inclusive way. One of the most persistent criticisms of Walker is his take-no-prisoners approach to governance.In a Marquette Law School poll of 704 of Wisconsin’s registered voters, released Wednesday, 37 percent said they liked what Walker has done as governor, 38 percent said they didn’t and 22 percent said they liked what he has done, but not how he did it.