Tom Barrett defends himself against AFSCME attack video

Tom Barrett defends himself against AFSCME attack video

By Charles Benson. CREATED Apr 4, 2012

MADISON- Wisconsin Democrats say they want to be united in their effort to recall Governor Walker, but not everyone is on the same page.

Mayor Tom Barrett was in Madison picking up endorsements from Democratic lawmakers but he's also caught up in a controversy with a union that doesn't want him to be governor.

AFSCME -- the state's largest public employees union posted a video accusing Barrett of not fighting for the unions in the collective bargaining battle.  They're mad Barrett suggested on Charlie Sykes' radio show that the controversial bill would easily pass if the Republicans made some technical changes.

Barrett is heard on the video saying: "you could vote on those tomorrow"

Barrett says the video misrepresents his comments and tries to confuse voters about his position.

"I have said I want to restore collective bargaining rights. So there's no confusion, I support the restoration of collective bargaining rights in this state," said Barrett.

AFSCME is backing former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, she says she won pay cuts from unions through negotiations.

"I sat down with unions and I bargained those concessions and got the job done and that's why I'm honored to earn their support," said Falk.

Candidate Doug La Follotte doesn't think this debate is good for the party.

"I think people stood in the cold and rain and collected a million signatures to say we need something different than Mr. Walker."

State Senator Kathleen Vinehout is also running in the Democratic Primary which is May 8.

The winner will face Governor Walker on June 5.


Charles Benson

Charles Benson

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Charles Benson is one of the most reliable, trusted and experienced reporters in southeast Wisconsin. If there's a big story going on, Charles is usually there leading the way.