Friday, April 6, 2012

Erroneous attacks on candidates won't help recall movement

Web video wrongly pits Barrett as anti-worker

A new web video that's making headlines across the state erroneously attacks Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for supporting Act 10, the bill that ended collective bargaining rights for state workers.

Barrett, a Democratic candidate to take on Gov. Scott Walker in this summer's recall, is quoted as giving in to Walker's ideas about the bill, and even suggests a scenario in which the gridlock from the departure of 14 state senators last year could be broken.

The sad part about this video is that it comes from a union website, a constituency that's supposedly in favor of any Democrat, even Barrett, defeating Walker.

But even worse than that is that this video is taken largely out of context, and omits Barrett's criticism of the bill from the very same interview. Conjecture over political options of state senators doesn't equate endorsement of those views, and the words the video quotes seem to be simply that: observations from a Democratic leader who was available to comment at that time.

Indeed, Barrett has received a strong endorsement from Jon Erpenbach, who was among the more outspoken of the Wisconsin 14 members. And while Barrett my like financial concessions that were in the bill, he's been a consistent critic of the move to strip rights of workers from day one.

Barrett seems to be the frontrunner for the Democratic Party's nomination to take on Gov. Walker come June 5. As the frontrunner, it's only natural that he receives some criticism from time to time, especially from the base of this newly-energized progressive movement.

Yet, we needn't do Walker or Republicans any favors by shooting ourselves in the foot and providing future campaign fodder, for Barrett or any other recall candidate who gets the nod.

Each Democratic candidate has strengths; each has vulnerabilities as well. We should scrutinize each potential nominee to ensure we have the best candidate running against Walker in June. However, there's no good done for the recall movement by promulgating false information against ANY of these candidates.

The video with misinformed content ought to be removed from the union website, and a proper, truthful discourse ought to be encouraged among all elements of the recall campaign.

1 comment:

  1. I am for collective bargaining, but there is by far more important issues to recall Walker. I think the best way through the primaries is WITHOUT negative attack adds. We are all on the same side. I let WI AFSCME know that I stand with them but was disappointed with the negative campaigning in the primaries. Let them know what you think.