Updated March 23, 5:45 p.m. ET
The Republican Governors Association is wading into the Wisconsin recall against Gov. Scott Walker, with a new TV ad attacking the two most likely choices for the Democratic nomination: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.
Falk is already officially in the race. Barrett is not in at this time, but has said he will make his decision shortly before the April 3 election day in Milwaukee for the mayoral race, in which he is widely expected to be re-elected. Once state election officials trigger the recall at a special meeting on March 30, the Democratic primary will be held on May 8, and the general election on June 5.
The ad features an elevator theme, with the voice of a male announcer alternating with a woman’s recorded voice from the elevator, as it stops on different floors.
“(Going up.) Under Tom Barrett, government spending went up $300 million. Taxes went up every year but one. And jobs? (Going down.) Unemployment got 27 percent worse. And what about Kathleen Falk? Property taxes up every year, unemployment tripled. Barrett and Falk — taxes and spending up. And the economy? (Going down.)”
Late Update: Barrett’s mayoral campaign released this statement Friday afternoon, in response to the RGA ad:
Campaign aide Patrick Guarasci states “Shadowy, right-wing special interests are so afraid of Scott Walker being held accountable for his extreme, divisive agenda, they are launching false attacks in a desperate attempt to divert attention away from Walker’s failure.
No amount of false attack ads can hide the fact that during Walker’s first year in office Wisconsin lost more jobs than any state in the union, and he divided our state like never before.”
Falk’s gubernatorial campaign released this statement from the candidate herself, in the early evening:
“I have a proven record of bringing people together, finding solutions and getting the job done. My self-imposed cap kept property taxes low and over my 14 years as county executive of the state’s second-largest county, I balanced 14 straight budgets and my area had the highest job growth in the state - over 50,000 more jobs. Gov. Walker’s way has failed Wisconsin and he tore our state apart. Under Gov. Walker, we had the highest job loss in the nation last year and he made the largest cuts to public education in our state’s history, while handing out new tax breaks to the few. While I have a record of fighting for the values and needs of the middle class, Gov. Walker raised taxes on seniors and the working poor by $70 million. Wisconsin is ready for a new governor because Gov. Walker has failed us, and all the millions of dollars in attack ads from Gov. Walker’s corporate-funded allies won’t change that.”