Saturday, May 26, 2012

Barrett vs. Walker - The First Debate

Just after the primary election, Tom Barrett challenged Scott Walker to four debates.  Walker would only agree to two.  Tonight's debate shows why Walker was afraid to debate Barrett and why Walker probably wishes he didn't agree to any.

The debate started with each candidate giving an 90 second opening statement.  If I was playing any sort of drinking game, I would have been blotto by the end of Walker's opening statement.  I counted no less than sixteen separate lies in those ninety seconds.  That's a lie every 5 seconds.

The lies went everywhere from his disproved claim of creating jobs to balancing the budget to not raising taxes. To be honest, when he said he was glad for the opportunity, I think that might have been a lie, but I didn't count that one.

I lost count of Walker's lies after that, because I wasn't sure if I should be counting repeated lies or not.

Walker's nightmare started right way when they started talking about the reason for the recall.  Walker tried to paint it as that it's working (it's not, but you already knew that) and saying his own mistake was not talking about it enough before he "dropped his bomb."  Considering that it was recently discovered that he was working on his bomb within days of the election, the only way he could have talked about it beforehand was if he campaigned on it.  And he admitted, under oath, that he didn't do that.

That said, it would've been nice if Barrett had figured out that he needs to stand with the working people of the state if he wants to win this thing.  If he continues to ignoring those that brought him to the dance, he's gonna be in for a long walk home on June 6th.

The next thing, Walker was telling his fable about how he supposedly balanced the budget without raising taxes.  Barrett countered with the fact that not only did Walker raise taxes, he did so on the elderly and the poor by cutting the Homestead Credit Act to shreds.

I missed the rest because I was busy screaming about how Walker's budget cut $5,500 out of my salary, cost my wife her job and our taxes still went up by 5%.  (I would love to see one of his supporters, like Owen Robinson or James Wigderson give up more than 40% of their income, on top of a tax hike, without a say in the matter and  say that it was a "reasonable" share.)

I then got distracted for several minutes by Walker's body language, which was giving the tell that he was lying - things like his eyes becoming hooded, the drop in his chin and the sloop of his shoulder.  I was then distracted by several minutes more by how much his bald spot has grown.  The stress of perjuring himself to Congress, having Walkergate breathing down his neck and trying to spin the entire disaster his administration has been is catching up to him.  It was almost like watching the "The Portrait of Dorian Gray," but through his hair - or what's left of it.

Then John Doe joined the debate.

Walker tried desperately to spin it, claiming he did nothing wrong, that he asked for the investigation and that  he had the high integrity of an Eagle Scout.  Barrett countered with the fact that he is the only sitting governor with a legal defense fund and the secret router. (That brought a cheer from me!)  But there was a few points that I had tweeted regarding Walker's claim:

  • We know that the investigation started before Nardelli met with the DA, so that is a lie.
  • We also know about Walker's email to Tim Russell, showing that not only did he know what was happening, but he was directing it.
  • Why would he initiate an investigation into the veterans fund when he knew he was violating the Ethics Board directive to get the fund away from his control?
  • Was it's Walker's Eagle Scout integrity that got him kicked out of Marquette University for violating the election laws and displaying his boorish behaviors when he unsuccessfully ran for student body president. (He lost that race in a 4:1 ratio to a guy running as a write in candidate.)
The rest of the debate was much like this. Like when Walker was trying to spin something, like adding money to Medicaid and Family Care and Barrett pointing out that the federal government had to order Walker to put the money back in and that he was still kicking tens of thousands of people off of Medicaid.  Of course, this doesn't mention all the tax dollars going to social workers like myself as we put in overtime to clean up Walker's mess.

One last thing from the debate stood out to me.  In his closing statements, Walker gave his usual spiel about putting the power back into the hands of the taxpayers.  I found this very odd, since Walker has put the control of the state directly into the hands of his corporate sponsors and under his budget, they don't pay taxes.

Overall, Barrett owned Walker at almost every step of the way.  Barrett's greater experience and formal education as a lawyer shone against Walker's innate corruptness and poor understanding of what was going on in the state, outside of the talking points which are spoon-fed to him.

Barrett was able to successfully state his positive image for the future of the state and calling Walker out on his wrongful acts, whether it was the damage done due to Walker's policies or Walker's breaking the public trust with his criminal acts.  

Walker on the other hand, failed to respond to any questions in a forthright manner, ducking them or ignoring them completely as he went on a talking point tangent.

Barrett clearly send the more positive message and showed a lot more leadership than Walker did.


  1. Barrett lost me when he likened his leadership to FDR and Juliani. Give me a break, I thought. Maybe if Walker loses enough hair he will look more like Doyle and worse yet begin bending over for the unions like Doyle.
    I tried to picture either one as presidential material, I couldn't see it.
    More debates will be a waste of time, if you don't know where these two stand on the issues then you should stop vacationing in Illinois. Wait, there's only 14 Wisconsinites that do that!

    1. IMBR he lost me on that one also. What Guiliani showed in New York during the 911 tragedy could not be further from leadership. How he handled that was sickening and showed what a horrendous person rudy Is./ I would never bring his name up publicly as an example of anything.

  2. Wisconsin Against The FistMay 26, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Anyone else notice that Tom Barrett NEVER EVER says COLLECTIVE Bargining. Even Tom knows that is a a dead issue and he just can't wait for the unions to wake up to the same fact. Barrett offered no substance while acting like a scorned bitter ex girlfriend.

  3. I feel that Barrett did a much better job than Walker!

    I wish Walker would realize what a poor job he has done as governor, and that his legal problems are mounting, and that perhaps it's time for him to just quietly resign.

  4. The threat of Walker's policies is to the homes, the health, the reputation, the kids of Wisconsin and you can't fault citizens for being seriously outraged about it. I don't like hearing Barrett talk about stopping the civil war when the threat to citizens is so great. What I'd like to hear him say is that he will listen to our concerns and advice, not lock the Capitol doors while ushering lobbyists in through the tunnel. I don't want to hear that he can say no to his friends as much as hear him admit that we need to be represented by our government and need to work together for solutions. And Barrett needs to stop saying "this city" and say "Milwaukee." He sometimes speaks as if he's still running for mayor making references that those of us outside of Milwaukee might not be able to understand.

  5. I honestly would much rather have heard Kathleen Falk and Scott Walker debate. Barrett doesn't have a beacon of positive vision, whereas Scottie does have an appeal to those benighted people who don't like too much complexity and can't handle issues analysis. That said, I think y'all know who I will be voting for.

    It was in this week's Isthmus cover story, I think, that I saw the line, "Voters on both sides are looking ahead to June 5 with a mixture of hope and dread." We need to amp up our hope; the dread is too profound and disabling.


    1. We'll amp up our hope knowing that the Barrett lost again, sadly at the expense of the real working people. The Isthmus you might as well be reading The National Enquirer. I'm sure your thinking your vote is right, but you never could be so wrong. Barrett has no plan for the future, he just wants the glory and I'm sure God won't be swinging that direction. Keep reading your Isthmus and I'll stick with reality!!

    2. LOL! So you're saying God is on your side? Nice skewed sense of reality you have there.

  6. Anonymous 10:04: Barrett's references to "this city" were because, well, the debate was in the city of Milwaukee.

    Jeesh, the complaints here!

    Barrett owned the debate.

  7. Hey! I can not believe that Walker brought up senority and union rights and brags about ending collective bargaining rights, can you? By taking away senority, a school can just pick and choose and pay by merit(or whim, popularity, or if they signed a recall petition, perhaps?)and keep outstanding teachers and pay them what they are truly worth. Has anybody else looked her up? Well, I looked her up!! I "googled" her last fall and kept some results before the ad vanished. This outstanding first year teacher (last name Samson ?) was laid off in Milwaukee (senority, or lack of it) Apparently, Ms. Sampson was hired by the wonderful Wauwatosa Public Schools and was teaching English at Tosa East H.S. I discovered that she was offered her old position back at her old M.P.S. school but had quickly been hired by Wauwatosa? The rich get richer, indeed. Sounds a bit biblical..or biblical (take your pick)..take from the poor, give to the..well you fill in the blank. I wonder if the Walker boys got/get to have her as their teacher? Is she still at Tosa East? anyone? anyone? Hmmm Mrs. Sampson, forgive us for googling for the truth, but the "honest" Governor brought it up, but stumbled here or last night on this point, because "from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks" And Scott's puppet script seemed a bit memorized and he "recalled" this wonderful teacher and her story, but did not give the rest of her sad story...It did not go so well for the Governor who wants to move forward..not remember the past..we say, "NOT SO FAST!" And OH yes...there is a God! he he he....and not to shift the blame, but that naughty wife of the Mayor?..I think Mayor Barrett's wifes' e-mails were published and she got laid off and is no longer teaching for the Milwaukee Public Schools??? I wonder if she was offered her job back or what happened there? But tell me why Governor Walker able to block the publishing of his emails UNlike the rest of our public employees? OH, maybe with the "Investigation"? ahh yes, the secret investigation. My apolgies and forgive me if it Looks like we have a Governor "Wolf in sheeps clothing"! Let us pray, OHHHHH Deaaarrr God...I pray for us and our great state of Confusion...I mean Wisconsin. We trust you the great I AM will deliver us and heal us by your divine grace. amen

    1. I'm more confused by your comment than by the circumstances. :P

    2. Here is some information from the Journal Sentinel: Interesting that Walker wants to "Move Forward and Forget the Past"

      School Zone

      The Journal Sentinel education reporters offer news and notes from their beat

      Teacher Sampson "uncomfortable" with Walker's portrayal of her story

      By Erin Richards of the Journal Sentinel

      March 10, 2011

      |(185) Comments

      It's been an awkward and uncomfortable morning for Megan Sampson.

      The English teacher at Wauwatosa East High School was singled out in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece Thursday by Gov. Scott Walker as an example of why collective bargaining needs to be eliminated in Wisconsin.

      Walker writes: "In 2010, Megan Sampson was named an Outstanding First Year Teacher in Wisconsin. A week later, she got a layoff notice from the Milwaukee Public Schools. Why would one of the best new teachers in the state be one of the first let go? Because her collective-bargaining contract requires staffing decisions to be made based on seniority."

      The back story: It's true that Sampson experienced the effect of what's commonly known in education circles as "last hired, first fired" union policies, which dictate that in times of layoffs, young talent gets cut before teachers with more seniority, no matter how much promise or potential they hold as educators. We featured Sampson's story in an article about the MPS layoffs in June.

      But it's unclear if Walker knew that Sampson, after being laid off from MPS, applied for and received a job teaching English at Wauwatosa East High School. That's the same school Walker's two sons attend. MPS attempted to recall Sampson in August, but she declined.

      Sampson said in an e-mail exchange with the Journal Sentinel Thursday morning that she felt uncomfortable with the governor using her story to push an agenda.

      "My opinions about the union have changed over the past eight months, and I am hurt that this story is being used to make me the poster child for this political agenda," Sampson said. "Bottom line: I am trying to do my job and all this attention is interference and stress for me."

      Sampson said her phone rang four times during evening parent-teacher conferences, and that more than a half-dozen calls from the media have come into her voice mail. Teachers have popped their heads into her class all day as well and students keep asking her about it.

      Sampson said she hoped to soon return to a more low-profile existence.

      "I'm a better teacher than I am a media commodity," she said.

    3. I see Megan must have had a change of opinion and later signed the Recall Scott Walker petition. I wonder why Scott brings up old news if he wants to forget the past?

      PAGE NUMBER 84204
      LINE NUMBER 08
      File GOV 84201-84250.pdf
      Office Governor
      CirculatorName Michael Eells
      Signature Status Valid

      Content Type: Item
      Created at 3/30/2012 5:25 PM by Patel, Jigar - DOA
      Last modified at 4/3/2012 12:32 PM by Patel, Jigar - DOA

    4. It looks like Megan preferred not being used as Walkers' poster child, but maybe Reince Preibus didn't catch up with him since he left Wisconsin for larger fish and upward Republican or Rupublicon games?

      1-2 of 2 results

      MEGAN … 84204 … 08 … GOV 84201-84250.pdf … Governor … Michael Eells … Valid …
      Authors: Patel, Jigar - Doa Date: 4/3/2012 S1/DispForm.aspx?ID=40191
      MEGAN … 77082 … 08 … Lt Gov 77051-77100.pdf … Lieutenant Governor … Michael Eells … Valid …
      Authors: Patel, Jigar - Doa Date: 3/31/2012 GOV S1/DispForm.aspx?ID=56134

      I wonder how may other former Walker supporters may have "changed" opinions since he never campaigned on taking away senority and rights and most importantly R E S P E C T

  8. and...maybe they could publish where all those new jobs were created at and publish the names of the people and job creators and salaries with they published the petitioners names...oh...but that is "Private" a secret...Hmmmmm?

    1. Yeah. Let's make public and private the ARMY of ONE...Why not show what every public and every private employee truly make and contribute with taxes and fringe benefits and "entitlements" and "subsidies" and

  9. Did anyone else notice that Walker was blinking quite a bit during the debate?

    Walker had his usual blank face on, with the occasional hint of a grin creeping around the corners of his mouth. We've all seen this before.

    His blinking evidenced stress, however.

    1. Stress and perhaps "untruthfullness" "guilty of deception?" What is the real story?
      Can we really trust Walkers Fuzzy real Facts?
      Can we afford to "move Wisconsin Forward in such a secretive way with Backward Walker appointees and out of state interests? nope!

  10. I noticed Walker's body language, too. I tried to keep an open mind, bit had a really hard time believing Walker. The blinking, droopy eyes, slight smile, all indicators of a person who is lying. On the flip side, I would have liked Barrett to talk more specifically about how he will handle issues, rather than the general "I know how to be a good leader, for all of the people," unlike "divide and conquer" Walker. I do think Walker got pwned, but so did Bush v. Gore. Let's hope people are paying attention this time.

  11. yes. He, like Senator Johnson have alot of live performace challenges, like all of us perhapse would, especially if we are trying to remember the "circus elephant" notes that were written by "Ring Master Priebus"