Debate over Wisconsin’s roads features high-altitude attack ad over Lambeau Field

GREEN BAY -- The debate over bad roads in Wisconsin has hit new heights, with an airplane flying around Lambeau Field with a banner that says there are too many "Scott holes."

Terry McGowan

Union groups are calling on the state to spend more money on roads and bridges, and among those who have noticed their message is Gov. Scott Walker, who says that airplane banner is distorting the facts.

"We're not giving political opinions. It's all about roads," said Terry McGowan, chairman of Safe Transportation Over Politics. "The person who's in charge should have to answer for it."

In what may be the highest-altitude attack ad in state history, McGowan said the union-funded campaign isn't picking sides in the governor's race. To emphasize the point, he called Democratic challenger Tony Evers' plan to fund roads "ambiguous."

"We want the new governor or the existing governor to realize what an important issue this is," said McGowan.

Walker smiled when FOX6 News asked about the ad that borrows his name. The governor then attacked his Democratic predecessor, Jim Doyle, who famously took money from the state's transportation fund to pay for other priorities.

Governor Scott Walker

"I think that's a good example of special interests are paying to try to distort the facts, but the facts show we've made significant investments in transportation, and we will do so going forward," said Walker.

Walker said he's spent $3 billion more than Doyle over two terms as governor. His critics have said that is itself a distortion of the facts, because it doesn't account for inflation.

"The facts are clear. We gave local governments the biggest increases to fix roads and bridges they've received in 20 years," said Walker.

The debate ensures Election Day will be about red and blue -- and orange, the color of road construction.

"That little plane's going to be flying around, reminding people that there's a serious problem going on in the state of Wisconsin with our transportation program," said McGowan.

The Marquette University Law School Poll has found Wisconsin voters do care about roads. In the August survey, road conditions were fourth on the list of priorities behind jobs, K-12 education and health care.