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Sunday, May 6, 2012

 8:26 PM 

Barrett says Walker's money edge could sway voters against him

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett today said he thinks Scott Walker's fundraising advantage will end up hurting the governor by the end of the campaign.

"I think, at the end of the day, that money is going to turn around and bite him in the butt," Barrett told reporters in Bay View. "I think the people in this state don't want to have their government dictated and run and dominated by out-of-state money."

Barrett said some people that had supported Walker are changing their minds after hearing where the governor's money was coming from.

"Whether they're liberal, conservative or independent, I think they're offended that this much out of state money is flowing into this state," he said.

Barrett was in Bay View for the 126th anniversary of the Bay View Massacre, when five people were killed during a labor demonstration in 1886. (See background from the Wisconsin Historical Society)

Many at the event wore buttons promoting an eight-hour work day. There didn't appear to be many in the crowd displaying support for any particular Dem candidates. Rather, there was clear support for recalling Walker. Barrett and other politicians in attendance only each spoke to the gathering briefly.

Former Rep. Peter Bock, D-Milwaukee, was also in attendance. Bock is married to former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, one of Barrett's opponents in the Dem primary.

"We cannot let them declare war on us," Bock told the gathering. "This is a class war they have declared on us."

Barrett told those in attendance that Walker ultimately wants to make Wisconsin a right-to-work state.

"You can see what the roadmap is," Barrett told the crowd.

Speaking to reporters, Barrett also connected the governor's fundraising to his argument that Walker ultimately wants to make Wisconsin a right-to-work state. Barrett said he wants to hear the governor say he will veto any right-to-work legislation that reaches his desk.

"Quite honestly, I don't know if he can say that because so much of his money comes from out-of-state interests," Barrett said.

Last week on ""UpFront With Mike Gousha," Walker said he won't pursue right-to-work legislation if he retains office and praised private sector unions as major partners in business development.

"I think it is clear after all that we've been through this past year our state needs to move forward and having a big battle over something like that's not something we'd be interested in doing," Walker said of right-to-work.

Barrett reiterated his position that given Walker's fundraising advantage, the governor should be leading by more.

"By all objective criteria, Scott Walker should be crushing me like an elephant's crushing an ant," Barrett said.

He added later, "If this is based on out-of-state money I lose, but I have a lot of confidence in the people of the state of Wisconsin. I think the people of the state of Wisconsin are smart i think when they see something that doesn't seem right they react to it."

Despite keeping his focus on Walker, Barrett said he is not looking past Tuesday's primary.

"I've been doing this long enough to know that what happens on Tuesday is going to determine what happens on Wednesday," Barrett said. "But I'm taking it very seriously, both Tuesday and then Wednesday morning we'll start looking at the next step. But this is not a situation where you look passed anything. I'm asking people to get out and vote on Tuesday, its very important that people vote on Tuesday."

Asked if anything about June's general election could be learned from turnout on Tuesday, Barrett said it was hard to tell. He noted that the state is in "uncharted waters," when it comes to elections. He added that turnout will be important for the June election.

"Frankly, in 2010, a lot of Democrats stayed home," Barrett said. "I think now though you have situation where the Democratic base is fired up and the Republican base is fired up. I think both camps are fired up in a huge way."

-- By Arthur Thomas


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