Wisconsin Recall Roundup – May 25, 2012

Firefighters Trash DNC for Lack of Aid in the Recall

For weeks Democrats in Wisconsin have been putting pressure on the national Democratic Party to do more for the upcoming June 5 recall election. The Republican Governor’s Association and the national Republican Party, headed by Wisconsinite Reince Priebus, are “all in” on the Walker campaign, bringing in a string of Republican governors to campaign on behalf of Walker and spending millions on fundraising and TV ads. In response to the pressure, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, sent an email to Democrats around the country on May 23 asking for help for Walker’s challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. But with less than two weeks before the election, Democrats and labor leaders are steamed. Today, the fight broke into the open when International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger, told The Hill: “I’m very disappointed that the DNC has not seen fit to make a dollar investment,” Schaitberger said. “When you’re facing $25 million or more in super-PAC funds, you need money. The campaign needed funds to get up on the air to fight back. … I think that would have been a good investment going into November.”

New Poll Shows Certain Voters Split 49-49 in Recall

A poll released yesterday shows Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat, with each candidate garnering support from 49 percent of voters “certain” to vote in the June 5 election. The poll was conducted of 635 likely Wisconsin voters between May 22 and 23. The poll shows Walker getting 50 percent of “likely” voters and Barrett getting 48 percent, a statistical dead heat. The poll also shows that Barrett’s ads raising questions about the John Doe criminal investigation of Walker’s former staff are having an impact; Barrett is now leading by 6 points on being honest and trustworthy when he was trailing by 3 points two weeks ago. The poll was conducted by Fred Yang for the Barrett campaign, previously the pollster for former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold. An earlier poll of likely voters was also released yesterday. The St. Norbert College/Wisconsin Public Radio poll, conducted between May 17 and May 22, shows that 50 percent of likely voters plan to vote for Walker, and 45 percent plan to vote for Barrett. In recent days, more ads have been on TV in support of Barrett than ever before. These ads appear to be making a difference, bumping up Barrett’s numbers.

Local Fox News Questions Walker on Congressional Testimony Inconsistencies

Fox 6 Milwaukee asked Governor Scott Walker about inconsistencies between the official records and his April 2011 testimony to Congress about the origins of Act 10, Walker’s controversial collective bargaining bill. The inconsistencies were first uncovered by Madison radio station WTDY. From the Fox 6 report:

In April of 2011, Walker was invited to testify before Congress. Walker appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, where he was asked when he got the idea for Act 10. “In December, after the elections, but before I was sworn into office,” Walker said. Records obtained by FOX6 News show it was actually November when the Legislative Reference Bureau – the state office that essentially creates bills – was directed to start drafting what would become Act 10.

See the video here.

Tonight is the First of Two Debates Between Walker and Barrett

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett are set to have the first of two debates today, Friday, May 25, at 8pm. It will be broadcast live on Wisconsin Public Television. Barrett challenged Walker to four debates, and Walker’s campaign agreed to have two; one today, and one on Thursday, May 31. The debate will last one hour and is sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcaster’s Association.

Barrett’s Campaign Releases New Ad Before Debate

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s campaign released a new ad yesterday with “an important message for Wisconsin.” The ad was released in anticipation of tonight’s debate between Barrett, and Governor Scott Walker, the first of two debates before the June 5 recall election. Barrett’s ad is a challenge for Walker to release more information about the secret “John Doe” criminal investigation being run out the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office, which has led to 15 felony indictments against Walker’s former staff and associates. The ad poses two questions: will Walker release emails between himself and his former staff who have criminally charged, and, will Walker release information about who is funding his legal defense fund? The debate between Walker and Barrett will be broadcast live at 8pm tonight on Wisconsin Public Television.