‘Filled with hatred and anger:’ Gov. Walker bemoans attack ads in new spot blasting Evers

Governor Scott Walker, Democratic challenger Tony Evers

MADISON — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is bemoaning the volume of attacks in the race for governor in a new ad released Thursday, even as he blasts his Democratic opponent in the same spot.

The latest Walker ad comes two days after a poll showed Democrat Tony Evers, the state superintendent, with a slight lead in the race, seven weeks before the election. Walker and his allies have themselves spent millions of dollars in attack ads.

The Republican governor has claimed that Democrats are “filled with hatred and anger”and said that he is running “an extremely positive campaign.” On Wednesday, Walker tweeted that Evers was “bought and paid for” by unions and cited spending by unions to help Evers in his earlier campaigns.

Unions and union-affiliated groups spent $1.5 million to help Evers on his three races for state superintendent, while Walker received nearly $43 million from outside groups for his three past gubernatorial runs, according to a tally from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which tracks spending on campaigns.

Evers’ spokesman Sam Lau accused Walker of trying to rewrite his record as part of a “scorched earth campaign of false smears.”

Walker, the Republican Governors Association, the state Republican Party, a conservative group that’s part of billionaire David Koch’s network and the state chamber of commerce have poured an estimated $10 million into TV ads into the governor’s race since Evers won the Democratic primary on Aug. 14.

Many of the ads have focused on a teacher who was caught viewing pornographic images on his school computer. Evers did not revoke his license to teach, saying the law didn’t allow him to do so at the time.

One Walker campaign ad this month refers to oral sex while showing images of young girls on the screen. Another Republican Party spot showed the image of a man unbuckling his belt. The state party has also sent full-color, print mailers referring to teacher discipline cases where Evers did not revoke licenses to argue that he “can’t be trusted to protect our kids.”

In the latest Walker TV ad, he speaks directly to the camera and says: “With all of the attack ads these days, it’s easy to forget” positives like lower property taxes, strong schools and that more people are working now than ever.

Walker then goes on to criticize Evers, saying he’ll raise property, income and gas taxes and that this “would put our jobs at risk.”

Evers says all options, including raising the gas tax, should be considered to help improve the condition of the state’s roads. This week, he called for a 10 percent increase in state aid to schools and said it could be funded without raising property taxes.

Evers was scheduled to detail his budget proposal in his annual state of education speech at the Capitol on Thursday.

Under Walker since 2011, Wisconsin’s taxes have been cut about $8 billion. Walker is calling for about $200 million in tax breaks in the next state budget, which the Legislature would consider if he’s re-elected.