Walker vs. Barrett, the sequelWisconsin News
-- Wisconsin voters set up a rematch of the 2010 governor’s race, when they nominated Democrat Tom Barrett yesterday for the June fifth recall election against Scott Walker.
Wisconsin voters set up a rematch of the 2010 governor’s race, when they nominated Democrat Tom Barrett yesterday for the June fifth recall election against Scott Walker. The Democratic primary was no contest, as Milwaukee Mayor Barrett crushed former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk 58-to-34-percent. Alma Senator Kathleen Vinehout finished third with four-percent, Secretary-of-State Doug La Follette had three-percent, and fake Democrat Gladys Huber had one-percent. Capitol protestor Arthur Kohl-Riggs got three-percent of the Republican vote, and he apparently succeeded in getting Republicans to vote for Walker and not vote in the Democratic primary to try and give him a weak opponent. Walker got 94-percent of the total number of Democratic votes. Falk lost her third statewide race by 24 points – more than most polls had projected – even though the state’s largest employee unions backed her early, and she received four-million-dollars in outside union support. Now, Falk and the unions have said they’ll support Barrett – who has clashed with unions as Milwaukee’s mayor but has promised to try and restore their lost collective bargaining privileges which were the main reasons for the Walker recall effort in the first place.
During his primary victory speech in Milwaukee last night, Barrett promised to unify Wisconsinites, and improve an economic climate that saw the state lose 24-thousand jobs in the year ending in March. Falk told supporters in Madison that Barrett would quote, “focus on the real needs of the state, jobs and education.” Walker, speaking to supporters in Waukesha, asked voters if they wanted to go back to the days when special interests controlled government – or move forward with the reforms he said quote, “rightfully put the hard-working taxpayers of Wisconsin in charge.” About one-point-three million Wisconsinites cast votes for governor yesterday. The state expected around one-and-a-half million.
Democrat Tom Barrett wasted no time kicking off his general election campaign against Scott Walker in the governor’s recall election on June fifth. Just hours after his primary victory from yesterday, Barrett is calling for four debates in the next four weeks with the Republican Walker. In a statement this morning, Barrett said quote, “Scott Walker loves to launch misleading attacks on jobs – so let’s meet face-to-face and compare our records and our visions on jobs for the people of Wisconsin.” There’s been no response from the Walker camp yet. Barrett’s statement indicates that the Democrats will continue to hammer away at Walker’s record of creating jobs, while downplaying the original reason for the recall – the virtual elimination of public union bargaining in Wisconsin. Later today, Barrett will host a unity event at his Milwaukee home with the three Democrats he defeated in yesterday’s primary – Kathleen Falk, Kathleen Vinehout, and Doug La Follette.
Governor Scott Walker predicted this morning that Democrat Tom Barrett would quote, “pick an issue a day to attack him” between now and the June fifth recall election. After speaking to a manufacturing conference in Milwaukee, the Republican Walker told reporters his administration has been attacked by critics for 15 months and quote, “I expect that will intensify even more in the future.” Walker had almost five-million-dollars in his campaign fund in late April, after raising 25-million in all to defend the recall effort. But the governor said quote, “I wouldn’t have to raise or spend a penny if this recall had not been fueled by out-of-state special interests – They fueled the protests, the recalls, the attacks.” After winning yesterday’s Democratic primary, Barrett came right out of the chute this morning and accused Walker of launching misleading attacks on Wisconsin’s job picture. Walker retorted that Barrett wanted to repeal a seven-and-a-half percent tax credit he approved last year to manufacturers that create jobs. The governor said a repeal would be quote, “devastating.” And he said it would be a tax increase on Wisconsin factories. Barrett said he wants four debates with Walker over the next 27 days. Walker said he would follow the same pattern that the Democrats in the recall contest used for their debates. They had one major statewide televised debate the Friday night before the primary – plus several forums put on by Democrats and labor unions.
A U-W Milwaukee professor says Wisconsin is about to embark on one of its most significant political journeys ever. Mordecai Lee calls the June fifth recall election between Governor Scott Walker and Democrat Tom Barrett an “unbelievably important moment.” Lee, a former Democratic state senator, says it ranks with the epic political battles that involved legendary Wisconsin U-S senators Joe McCarthy and “Fighting Bob” La Follette. Some analysts say the recall contest is the second-most important election in the country this year, behind the presidential race. That’s because it’s regarded nationally as a referendum on the public union bargaining privileges that Walker and his fellow Republicans generally cut off in Wisconsin a year ago. Polls indicate that a Walker-Barrett contest is extremely close. Last week’s Marquette Law School poll called it a dead heat. Walker led Barrett 48-to-47 percent among likely voters – but Barrett had a 47-46 edge among all registered voters. Recall historian Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he gives Walker the edge, at least for now. He says many voters see recalls as a drastic process and quote, “I think people have a hesitation about ousting their governor in mid-term.” Still, Walker would make history if he wins on June fifth. Only two other gubernatorial recall elections have ever been held in the U-S, and the incumbents lost both times – Lynn Frazier of North Dakota in 1921, and Gray Davis of California in 2003.