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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Governor Scott Walker

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June 4, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Wisconsin governor finds shaky constituency in law enforcement

Walker toasts Lt. Gov. Kleefisch

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch toasts her boss, Gov. Scott Walker, inside Stevens Point Brewery as if nothing extraordinary is going on outside the iconic building on June 4, 2012. (Photo by Thor Tolo/UW Election Eye)

UW Election Eye is in the middle of Wisconsin after reaching every corner of the state over the past two weeks. What we saw today south of Wausau is a governor spinning tumbling poll numbers and drinking beer for a photo op on the eve of only the third gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history.

STEVENS POINT, Wisc. — It is the ultimate political paradox.

The people ultimately responsible for protecting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are not anywhere near his strongest constituency.

In fact, a few police officers from this charming Midwestern town joined with state patrol in joking with protesters angrily opposed to Walker and passionately in favor of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in Tuesday’s statewide recall election.

One officer initially told protesters he always separates his personal opinions from work duties, but then laughed: “Get back to me Wednesday and we’ll maybe have something to celebrate.”

Dave Kratzke remained silent a few feet away, at one point staring at the ground prior to Walker’s arrival. “I’ve heard he’s a really nice guy, and some friends of mine who’ve met him say the same thing,” Kratzke told me later after a hundred protesters dispersed. “Whenever [Walker] is around people, he seems to be super friendly so I’m not sure what the deal is.”

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