Barrett makes campaign pitch, garners endorsements in SuperiorMilwaukee’s mayor and gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett said he couldn’t just sit back and watch the civil war Gov. Scott Walker launched when he decided to roll back collective bargaining rights for public employees.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Milwaukee’s mayor and gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett said he couldn’t just sit back and watch the civil war Gov. Scott Walker launched when he decided to roll back collective bargaining rights for public employees.
If elected governor, Barrett said he’ll end the war, restore collective bargaining rights and get Wisconsin back on track to create jobs.
Barrett brought his message to Superior today as state Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, and former Democratic Congressman Dave Obey announced their endorsement of the man defeated by Walker in November 2010, when Walker carried 52 percent of the vote.
“Then 37 percent of union households voted for Walker,” Obey said. “Let me repeat that — 37 percent of union households voted for Walker. That ain’t going to happen again.”
Obey threw his support to Barrett because he’s the candidate most capable of defeating Walker in the recall election, he said.
“Tom is the only one who has put together a budget under what Walker has done to the state,” Obey said, adding he’s the strongest because he will be able to deal with that “snake pit in Madison” and “restore a progressive laboratory.” During his political career, Barrett has demonstrated that he supports workers, Obey said.
It was “without hesitation” Jauch threw his support behind Barrett, he said.
Jauch served with Barrett in the Wisconsin Senate from 1989 to 1993, when Barrett started his 10-year tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, before being elected mayor of Milwaukee, a post he has held since 2004. Barrett also served in the Wisconsin Assembly from 1984 until he was elected to the senate.
“I cannot think of a person who is more capable, who has demonstrated as much integrity and decency in his years of public service,” Jauch said. “It is better suited to help bring Wisconsin back together.”
With only a little more than three weeks left until Wisconsin’s recall primary, Barrett, who made several stops in northern Wisconsin, likened this election to “political speed dating.”
Barrett is one of Democrats who have declared their candidacy, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
Others include former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Secretary of State Doug La Follette and Wisconsin Sen. Kathleen Vinehout and Gladys Huber of Mequon, Wis.
Two Republican candidates, Arthur Kohl-Riggs of Madison and Michael Mangan of West Allis, have also declared their candidacy for the seat now held by Walker.
The primary election is May 8, with the recall election slated for June 5.
Wisconsin has faced a political civil war for the last 15 months and there is no question who started the war, Barrett said.
While Wisconsin celebrated the Packer’s Super Bowl victory in February 2011, Barrett said Walker was meeting with his cabinet in the executive residence and telling them he was preparing to “drop the bomb,” which ended most collective bargaining rights for public workers in the state.
“Those are his words, not mine,” Barrett said. Several days later, the governor introduced legislation to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights and prompting tens of thousands to protest in Madison, he said.
“I will end the civil war,” Barrett said. “I will restore our values. I will restore Wisconsin values. I will heal these divisions in the state, and I will do what Gov. Walker said he was going to do but didn’t … which is focus on creating jobs in this state.