MADISON — There are just two weeks left until the gubernatorial recall primary election. Despite Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s calls to keep the focus on winning the Capitol and defeating Governor Scott Walker, Tuesday, April 24th, Kathleen Falk’s focus was on Barrett.
Falk spoke with students at Milwaukee Area Technical College Tuesday. “The choices we have in this election could not be more stark. This is about choices and who’s going to take on Scott Walker in 41 days,” Falk said.
Falk made some of her sharpest comments yet in an effort to distinguish herself from Barrett. Falk said she supported the recall petition drive from the beginning, but portrayed Barrett as “late to the party.”
“I was out there not only helping gather those signatures and enthusiastically working around the state, unlike my friend Tom, who reluctantly signed that recall petition only after being questioned by the media a month after the recall started,” Falk said.
“Sometimes people say there’s parade and a politician jumps in front of the parade. This was a parade of citizens and I was happy to be part of it, but I didn’t want to grand stand and jump in front of anything,” Barrett said.
Falk said Barrett sought to expand Act 10, not defeat it. “I filed that very first lawsuit, challenging Act 10. Instead, my friend Tom wrote a letter to the Legislature saying they ought to broaden it and include police and fire, too,” Falk said.
Barrett said that is a distortion. He said his stance was about equity. “I was never, have never been and will never be an advocate for eliminating collective bargaining rights. What I can’t have is a situation where employees are pitted against each other,” Barrett said.
Barrett said with just two weeks until the primary, the Democrats can’t waste time beating each other up. “Shame on any Democrat who criticizes any Democrat in this race. I will not level any criticism against any Democrat in this race. My goal is to have a new governor in this state and I know some want me to go after someone. My focus in this race is on Governor Walker,” Barrett said.
Meanwhile, state Senator Kathleen Vinehout continues a spirited underdog campaign across the state. “This governor has to take office 10 days after that election is certified. We need a governor who knows where the bones are buried, who can hit the ground running, who knows how to get to work. That’s the contrast that I provide with the other candidates,” Vinehout said.
Secretary of State Doug LaFollette is critical of both Barrett and Falk. “This campaign has come down to one candidate who’s supported by big, out-of-state super PAC money. The other is the endorsed candidate of the good old boy’s club. The two of them are sparring, and then there’s Doug LaFollette,” LaFollette said.