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Like a pinata, and where's Obama?

By   /   May 23, 2012  /   No Comments

By Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON — Sometimes you're the pinata, and sometimes you're the stick.

Just ask Nikki Haley.

All part of the weird and wonderful in Wisconsin Reporter's latest dispatches from Recall Land.

I'll have what he's having

The city of Milwaukee’s unemployment rate was 10.2 percent last month, down two-tenths of a percent from March but still clocking in at the third-worst jobless rate among Wisconsin’s major cities, according to the state Department of Workforce Development.

The Milwaukee metropolitan area lost 2,100 jobs in April compared to March, and 8,400 jobs between April 2011 and April 2012, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The latest data is derived from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly employment estimates.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett earlier this month stood by that monthly survey, as Gov. Scott Walker’s administration rolled out data showing Wisconsin added more than 23,000 jobs last year. That quarterly information, also taken from BLS data, included a wider universe of employer workforce information, about 96 percent of Wisconsin employers versus a sample size of about 3.5 percent of businesses.

Barrett and Democrats blasted the administration’s numbers. Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate called the report “miracle math,” even as BLS officials and economists said the governor’s numbers were more accurate and comprehensive.

A union beating

Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s first female governor and a rising star of the Republican Party, is expected to stump for Walker in Wisconsin next week.

Both governors bear their political scars from organized labor — Walker in the fight of his political life in a recall election backed by state and national unions, and Haley, most recently, beaten in effigy by a bat-wielding AFL-CIO leader.

Republicans have asked President Barack Obama to condemn a video showing Donna Dewitt, outgoing president of South Carolina’s AFL-CIO, smashing a piñata with a photo of Haley’s face.

“I will say, she looks like a tough old girl here,” Dewitt says right before she takes a whack at the piñata.

“Hit her again,” someone screams off camera.

Dewitt complies.

The Republican Governors Association is making some political hay, countering with a video asking, “Does President Obama condone this kind of behavior from union bosses?” Haley sent a request via Twitter seeking donations from those who would stand with her against “bullying” from union bosses.

Dewitt told ABC News that she meant “no ill intent.” She said organized labor has grown tired of the governor picking on them over the past two years.

An AFL-CIO official has denounced the actions in the video.

Obama MIA in Wisconsin

Speaking of stumping, where’s Obama?

Conspicuously missing is Obama — or any national Democratic star — campaigning for Barrett.

The Barrett camp has been critical of the Democratic National Committee’s lackluster support in Wisconsin, according to Politco.

On Wednesday, the Daily Beast asked where in the world Obama, facing a tough re-election campaign of his own, is in the Wisconsin fight.