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Monday, June 4, 2012

 11:53 PM 

Barrett primes supporters for 'biggest day in Wisconsin history'

An animated Tom Barrett, wearing a blue shirt with his sleeves rolled up, told his supporters that "the biggest day in Wisconsin history" is tomorrow.

"We saw the largest grass-roots movement that has ever been part of Wisconsin," Barrett said to wildly cheering volunteers at a campaign office on Milwaukee's near south side.

Citing a John Doe probe that has ensnared former Walker aides, Barrett said, "People in Wisconsin instinctively know when there's something wrong and they know there's something wrong when you've got a governor who has to have a criminal defense fund."

Once again, Barrett raised the question of why Walker won't release emails and other information about the probe.

Barrett also defended Milwaukee.

"He's had a lot of fun picking on this city," said Barrett of Walker. "That's wrong because this is a great city that understands that there is racial diversity, there is economic diversity and we don't turn our back on people. They had their fun but now it's our turn."

Asked if he's noticing a backlash among voters to over Walker's criticisms of the city, Barrett said, "Certainly, I do."

"I think people resent it," he said. "I think it's beneath the dignity of a governor to come after the largest city in the state. I think people understand it's coming within the whole motif of divide and conquer. Even when I talk to people in other parts of the state, they recognize that they may be coming after Milwaukee today, but that's not going to stop them from going after Green Bay or Appleton or La Crosse tomorrow."

Barrett bashed Walker's record on jobs, saying the final figures will show the that Wisconsin "is either last in the nation or last in the Midwest."

"He took his eye off the prize," said Barrett. "I will be the governor who will focus on jobs."

Lt. Gov. hopeful Mahlon Mitchell, dressed in a brown suit and tie, rallied the crowd by saying that even though the Barrett campaign lacks the money of the Walker campaign, "We have boots on the ground, we have people who canvass, we have people who talk to neighbors."

"We can do this," said Mitchell. "We are in the 11th hour, we cannot stop."

"Our resolve has to be stronger, our pain has to last longer, our passion has to run deeper, because this is about our future and this is about history and this is about justice," said Mitchell. "I guarantee you when this is done, justice will be on the right side of history."

-- By Kay Nolan


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