Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R-It's Not My Fault) probably thought an attack on job outsourcing by Trek Bicycles, founded by the father of his opponent, Mary Burke, would have him soaring in the polls. But, it didn't. The latest poll still has him in a tossup against Burke.
There was a prompt response to Scott Walkers latest childish, whining attack ad.
I'm sure Walkers campaign thought they were clever attacking Trek and associating Burke with outsourcing jobs. But the facts caught up with them. Burke had nothing to do with outsourcing decisions and Trek still employees far more people in the US than any other bicycle manufacturer.
The attack on a prominent Wisconsin business didn't sit well with our corporate media, either.
But there is a difference between answering the demands of competition — as Trek has — and taking a state handout only to turn around and ship some of that same work to an overseas plant.That's right. Walkers own creation, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a quasi-private organization that he established to replace the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, kept on giving tax dollars to businesses that continued to outsource jobs. WEDC not only lost track of loans and subsidies, but didn't review whether or not businesses that received money actually kept the commitments they made.
Walker has been using WEDC, which he appointed himself to head, to funnel money to donors and as a source of patronage jobs outside of state Civil Service regulations.
Walker erred by not acknowledging Trek's contributions to the state even while criticizing one of its former executives. If it was any other company, he'd have been fawning.(bolding is mine)
Trek is the sort of company that Wisconsin needs: It exports products worldwide and brings profits home to the Badger State. It employs hundreds of well-paid engineers and designers in Waterloo and Whitewater but builds most of its bikes in Germany, the Netherlands and China. In 2011, Trek's sales were more than $800 million, according to John Burke, the company's chief executive and Mary Burke's brother.
Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark.
And then there's Burkes new ad hitting Walker where it really hurts; his one and only campaign promise in 2010: creating 250,000 new jobs in his first term. According to Politifact, he's created only 100,313.
Burke's campaign released an ad Tuesday saying that Walker had asked voters to hold him to his pledge and that the state now lags behind nine other Midwest states in job creation.Boom!
"Broken promises. Dead last in jobs. Scott Walker's not working for you," the ad says.
The latest polls have made Walker a desperate man as articulated in a news blog (bad news for Walker barely ever makes the actual newspaper). The whole article and graph showing the big difference between 2012, the 2012 recalls and today are well worth your time.
It shows that this election is quite different than the Red Tide of 2010 that favored Republicans both in the mood of the country, low voter turnout, and mega piles of RW cash.
This time Walker must run on his own record not against a Democratic incumbent or the entire concept of recalling someone from office. And polls continue to show that Walkers unfavorable ratings (47%) still exceed his favorability ratings (45%). And Walkers record is dismal.
He's also not running against the Mayor of Milwaukee as he did in 2010 and 2012. The racism dog whistle blown by Republicans against Milwaukee can't be used. Additionally, Burke has no long political record to attack. Attacking her business acumen, as Walker has done, has drawn the ire of the media including friends at the Wall Street Journal. It's tricky even for the most skillful of pro-business Republicans.
It’s always possible that the governor will re-open a lead in this race, which has tightened since the spring. But right now this contest is following a different pattern than his previous two races.Walkers campaign, the Republican Governors Association, and others have been running a series of ads for months now. Burkes ads have just started and she's gaining in name recognition. Her appearance at Netroots Nation helped.
In 2010, Walker led Barrett in virtually every public poll in the months leading up the election, typically by 5 to 10 points. In 2012, Walker led in every public poll in the three months leading up to the election, and his lead actually grew as the election neared.
The electorate, polls show, has very few undecided voters. Wisconsin is more polarized than ever before due to the extremist legislation Walker and his band of Not So Merry Men have pushed through. This time, though, Walker will be less able to fool people with phony promises he never intends to keep. His record, as much as he tries to lie about it, is there for all to see.
It will, of course, come down to turnout. Mark Belling and Charlie Sykes will be out there on radio and TV ginning up Republicans with scare tactics laced with bigotry. While the state Democratic Party is sending out press releases and fundraising emails, labor will be kicking off GOTV with canvassing this weekend. Healed up from NN and jury duty, I'm ready to go.
And Mary Burkes campaign team is right out front with prompt and biting responses, including ads, to Walkers backfiring attacks. This isn't the Barrett campaign that brought words to a gunfight.
Sometime in August, the first batch of unsealed documents from the original John Doe Probe will be released to the public. It will be another reminder that 6 top aides or associates of Scott Walker were convicted of wrongdoing while Walker was Milwaukee County Executive and running for Governor. More bad news in the run-up to the November elections.
Mary Burke's website is here.
Update: More Bad News for Snotty Edition:
Cargill Corp. is closing its beef slaughterhouse in Milwaukee, resulting in the loss of about 600 jobs effective Friday, the company said Wednesday.So, the Walker administration must have known about this already. It's Milwaukee, though, and, to the bigoted Republican mind, that only means minorities.
"Closing our Milwaukee beef plant is taking place only after we conducted an 18-month-long analysis of the region's cattle supply and examined all other possible options," John Keating, president of Cargill Beef, based in Wichita, Kan., said in a statement.
Outsourcing after receiving tax dollars, layoffs, and business closures are the REAL Walker record.