By Victor Skinner
MADISON, Wis. – Big Labor is throwing good money after bad with a last-minute $1 million advertising blitz for its chosen candidate in the gubernatorial recall election, despite signs of strong support for another candidate in the primary.
A front group for the Wisconsin Education Association Council and AFSCME, called “Wisconsin for Falk,” announced plans this week to purchase $1 million in television, cable and online ads that will air between today and May 7 on behalf of the chosen union candidate, Kathleen Falk.
The former Dane County executive faces stiff competition in the recall primary from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who has carried a double-digit lead over Falk in recent polls. The huge ad buy comes after a week of silence from the Falk campaign while Barrett surged. Wisconsin for Falk has already spent $3 million on advertizing, TheNorthwestern.com reports.
Falk was endorsed by the state’s largest unions when she emerged as the only primary candidate who promised to veto any budget that doesn’t fully restore collective bargaining for state employees. Barrett’s frontrunner status is a clear sign that Wisconsin residents are interested in a Democratic candidate whose platform extends beyond collective bargaining, which seems to be Big Labor’s sole focus.
“The polls show Tom is the consensus favorite of the people to take on Scott Walker,” Barrett spokesman Phil Walzak told TheNorthwestern.com.