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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

 7:08 PM 

Barrett views verified job numbers with suspicion

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Wednesday evening that he's waiting until the official release of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to respond to claims that the feds have verified the Walker administration's 2011 job estimates.

"There's no reason to believe what he's saying until it's finally confirmed because of all the suspicion and the way he's released these," the Dem guv candidate told reporters following a rally in downtown Madison. "So I'm waiting for the official confirmation. ... If he's going to start releasing his emails, that's long overdue."

A spokesman for the Department of Workforce Development said BLS made only a slight change in the numbers released by the DWD earlier this month. The numbers show the state gained 23,608 jobs rather than the 23,321 initially reported by the administration.

During the rally at the Majestic Theater, Barrett told supporters that even if those DWD estimates were accepted, the state would still be "at the bottom of the Big Ten" in jobs created last year.

Barrett vowed to focus on Wisconsin jobs and ensure any tax credits for businesses are tied to job creation.

He also accused the governor of putting his political interests ahead of the state, again calling on Walker to turn over emails related to the John Doe investigation in Milwaukee.

"We are going to make sure we have a governor that tells the truth to the people of this state," Barrett said.

The mayor again appeared with former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, who has joined Barrett on the campaign trail this week. Feingold called Walker's decision not to disclose John Doe documents "cynical" since voters cannot recall him again in his first term.

"If we do not prevail ... Scott Walker will have committed the perfect political crime," Feingold said.

-- By Andy Szal

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