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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Tom Barrett

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May 31, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Sparks fly in more conversational Wisconsin governor recall debate

Barrett & Walker before Marquette debate

Gov. Scott Walker (right) chuckles at the moderator's quip about the bright lights moments before the debate with Tom Barrett (left) in Milwaukee on May 31, 2012. (Photo by Thor Tolo/UW Election Eye)

We were at Thursday’s debate between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his Democratic challenger, Tom Barrett. It was a case study in face-to-face verbal combat that sets the tone for the final five days before Tuesday’s recall election.

MILWAUKEE — Marquette University political science professor John McAdams saw it coming: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s internal polling shows a tighter race than the Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday that has Walker up 52% to 45% over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett heading toward Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall election.

If that’s true, McAdams said, Walker would go hard after Barrett in Thursday evening’s debate.

Last Friday in a debate across town, Barrett assailed Walker without much push back. Would things be different Thursday?



Comments | More in National | Topics: Collective bargaining, John Doe investigation, Marquette Law

May 31, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Wisconsin governor’s premature exit from college remains mystery to Marquette professors

It has been 25 years since Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker sought the student body presidency of a large private university. Just days before what could become only the third successful gubernatorial recall in U.S. history, UW Election Eye wondered whether polarizing perceptions of Walker were as prevalent back then as they are now.

MILWAUKEE — Polite. Dishonest. Respectful. Conniving.

Only three men have a chance to wake up next Wednesday as governor of Wisconsin. One is Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The others are the two personalities of Scott Kevin Walker.

Marquette Professor Emeritus Boles

Marquette Professor Emeritus Janet Boles archived every assignment score of every student she taught between 1980 and 2009. (Photo by Thor Tolo/ UW Election Eye)

Depending on whom you ask, the embattled Tea Party hero fighting for his political life was either an average, well-intentioned student at Marquette University — or a disillusioned, narcissistic buffoon devoid of any moral compass as he walked over friend and foe alike in repeated failed efforts to become student body president.


Comments | More in National | Topics: Athan Theoharis, campaign violations, Greg Stanton

May 30, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Charge of the Overpass Light Brigade in Wisconsin

In the Wisconsin recall election, people on both sides have found creative ways to communicate their views. Here is a story of one way that politics becomes social — using old-school technology.

The Overpass Light Brigade, a collection of anti-Scott Walker protestors in Wisconsin, display signs with their political positions on a freeway overpass May 26, 2012, in Milwaukee. (Photo by Lucas Anderson/UW Election Eye)

MILWAUKEE – Forty people stood on the Interstate 43 pedestrian overpass in the northern part of this city, clutching three-foot tall, wooden signs dotted with Christmas light lettering. In the receding daylight, all that could be seen was their message. That was the goal.

“Vote Barrett June 5″ spelled out the lighted letters. And then in smaller letters a few feet away: “Recall.”

Self-dubbed the Overpass Light Brigade, these protestors, co-founded by Milwaukee couple Lane Hall and Lisa Moline, were registering their positions for the state’s upcoming vote on whether to recall Governor Scott Walker and replace him with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Among the crew that night of May 26 were Greg Davis and his 14-year-old son Ben. Ben held a “B” while his father held an “R.”

“We’re just regular folks,” Davis said. “Not the people you’d see protesting at anything and everything.”


Comments | More in National | Topics: Interstate 43, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker recall

May 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

As much politics as patriotism in small Wisconsin town Memorial parade

The UW Election Eye team of Kirsten Johnson, Will Mari and Thor Tolo blanketed the Memorial Day parade in Beloit, Wisconsin. We found a few avid supporters of Gov. Scott Walker amidst a sea of blue Tom Barrett signs and stickers along the parade route. BELOIT, Wisc. – No sooner had Gov. Walker’s recall challenger,…


Comments | More in National | Topics: Beloit, control spending, deficit

May 28, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Memorial Day in Wisconsin: Barrett marches in Beloit, finds support

The UW Election Eye team of Kirsten Johnson, Thor Tolo and Will Mari headed to the southern border town of Beloit, Wisconsin for its Memorial Day parade.  BELOIT, Wisc. — Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett seems to have a strong foothold in this home to several manufacturing firms, including Regal-Beloit. At the sun-stained intersection of Grand Avenue…


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: Memorial Day, recall, Tom Barrett

May 24, 2012 at 3:00 PM

For some, Wisconsin’s recall election hits home — starting with the front yard

UW Election Eye is on the road for three weeks, covering politics in the heartland of America. One of our points of focus is Wisconsin’s historic gubernatorial recall election, set for June 5. For some, this election is particularly personal. One union organizer in Elkhorn, Wis., isn’t shy about putting forward her views — on the…


Comments | More in National | Topics: Scott Walker, Tom Barrett, Unions

May 14, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Monday Eye Openers: Walker wanted to “divide and conquer”; protests Romney

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Tom Barrett (D) will go toe to toe in upcoming recall election on June 5, 2012 (Photo courtesy of and

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Tom Barrett (D) will go toe to toe in upcoming recall election on June 5, 2012 (Photo courtesy of and

Walker Caught on Tape
Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) is against Tom Barrett (D) — Milwaukee Mayor who handily won the Democratic primary last week — for his June 5 recall election. The recall has received heavy national attention and national funds — approximately 2/3 of Walker’s $25 million have come from outside of Wisconsin. UW Election Eye has reported on the election before and will be in Wisconsin leading up to the election.

Recently discovered video footage of Walker has him stating a “divide and conquer” strategy against unions. In the video, Walker is speaking with billionaire Diane Hendricks in January 2011, right before he proposed a bill that curtailed unions’ collective bargaining rights. Hendricks asked: “Any chance we’ll get to be a completely red state, and work on these unions, and become a right-to-work — what can we do to help you?” Walker replied, “Well, we’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill. The first step is, we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer.”

Walker has said repeatedly that he is not trying to make Wisconsin a right-to-work state, however, some have noted that his response to Hendricks suggests the beginning stages of a plan toward that end. When asked about the video, Walker has replied in Alberto Gonzales fashion, commenting, “I don’t remember the particulars of that discussion.”


Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Betty White, Divide and conquer

May 7, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Monday Eye Openers: Wisconsin recall; North Carolina Amendment One

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Tom Barrett (D) may go toe to toe in upcoming recall election on June 5, 2012 (Photo courtesy of and

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Tom Barrett (D) may go toe to toe in upcoming recall election on June 5, 2012 (Photo courtesy of and

May 8 = Decision Day
Tomorrow, May 8, voters in Wisconsin and North Carolina will take to the polls.

In Wisconsin, the ballot will include the next round of recall elections for four Republican state Senate seats and the gubernatorial Democratic primary. The recall elections stem from a larger campaign to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R) and six Republican state Senate seats that began in 2011 over Gov. Walker’s efforts to curtail union’s collective bargaining rights. In 2011, two of the six Republican Senate seats were recalled, leaving the four up for tomorrow’s election.


Comments | More in National | Topics: Amendment One, Equality North Carolina, Maine GOP convention

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