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Monday, June 4, 2012

 5:33 PM 

Barrett sees 'heavyweight fight' in final hours of campaign

Tom Barrett told a crowd of supporters in Portage this afternoon that the last 30 hours of the campaign was a "heavyweight boxing fight" between him and Walker and urged them to get those who didn't vote in 2010 to return for a 2012 vote.

Barrett, who was introduced to a crowd of just under 100 by Rep. Fred Clark, said turnout was crucial to the tight race, which he described as a boxing match.

"In one corner, you've got Scott Walker with his millions and millions of dollars," Barrett said to a chorus of boos. "Money from billionaires from Texas, developers from Missouri, millions of dollars from out of state. And in the other corner, you've got Tom Barrett. And he's got you."

Barrett once again hit Walker for his connection to the John Doe investigation, this time highlighting the immunity deal granted to former Walker spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin. He said that McLaughlin took the deal because she would have incriminated herself with testimony otherwise and that it says a great deal about what was going on in Walker's administration as county executive.

"Twenty-five feet, from here to that back wall, there was a secret illegal computer network that was set up to do campaigning and fundraising in his office," Barrett said. "People in Wisconsin are smart people. They're smart people. And they know there's something fundamentally wrong when they have a governor who is the only governor in this nation to have this own criminal defense fund."

He reiterated to the crowd that the election was not simply about him but about support for the state's middle class.

"Scott Walker has divided the state, but we will never allow him to conquer the middle class," Barrett said.

Barrett also said he was encouraged by the high level of participation both for early voting in his home city of Milwaukee and for volunteer shifts in local field offices across the state.

-- By Jason Smathers

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