Michael Horne

Barrett rips Walker at Milwaukee fundraiser

By - May 4th, 2012 04:00 am

Mayor Barrett looks on as County Executive Abele works the crowd. (Photos: Michael Horne)

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told hundreds of supporters that Governor Scott Walker “has declared civil war on the people of Wisconsin.”

The charged rhetoric was just the sort of red meat that appealed to the crowd gathered for a fundraiser at the Milwaukee Public Market, 500 N. Water St. on Monday, May 1st 2012. The campaign said in its Facebook page that “300+ Pack Milwaukee’s Public Market for Tom Barrett.”“

Since recall elections depend on a highly motivated electorate, it appears Barrett has ramped up his message to stress immediacy — a call to action.

“This is political speed-dating,” he said of the recall election, with a “The history of the state changed the day the Packers won the Superbowl,” the mayor said, adding a sure-fire sports championship reference to his statement.

These children pose with the mayor showing off their latest “Recall Walker” finery while campaign aide Patrick Guarasci looks on at a Barrett for Governor fundraiser held Monday May 1st 2012 at the Milwaukee Public Market.

It was a few days after the Superbowl victory that newly-elected governor Scott Walker announced the details of his Budget Repair Bill and began an ideological war that’s still raging in Wisconsin.

Barrett said, “The governor has successfully put us at each others’ throats. … The first casualty of the Civil War was jobs. … This is not an applause line,” he cautioned the attendees, “but we are the only state to lose jobs. … Mr. Governor: You created this mess.”

Walker, he says, has “this desire to become a leader in the national conservative ideological movement.”

Walker, he says, “loves traveling around the country. ‘Where’s Waldo?’”

Barrett cited the so-called “War on Women” in his battle cry, saying “women want to make their health decisions in consultation with a physician, not in consultation with her legislator.”


Barrett campaign aide Patrick Guarasci listens to his boss speak.

The event was held the day that campaign finance reports for the first three months of the year were released by the State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

The Barrett campaign finance statement showed receipts of $831,508 were added to the fund’s starting balance of $475,492. Expenses were a little over $800,000.

Governor Scott Walker, during that time, raised an unprecedented $13,000,000 for his campaign.

“If this election is about money, we lose,” Barrett cautioned. This election is about getting out the vote through grassroots means.

Toward that end, campaign aides circulated papers announcing the “Barrett for Wisconsin Online Phone Bank,” “an exciting new feature. … Now you can help Tom defeat Scott Walker from the comfort of your own home.”

Still, the vast majority of campaign spending went to the Shorr Johnson Magnus firm of Philadelphia for media buys.

Barrett also shelled out $2,000 to former Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton for her mailing list, and paid $3,500 on April 20th 2012 to G. Strategies, whose head, Patrick Guarasci, was much at the mayor’s side during the event.

The Barrett campaign also paid $33,000 to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin for “campaign staff.”


Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele arrives at the Milwaukee Public Market Monday May 1st 2012 to introduce the evening’s guest of honor, Mayor Tom Barrett.

Barrett was introduced by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Walker’s successor in that office who has just begun his first full term. Abele cited his close working relationship with the Milwaukee mayor. Among the attendees were a number of figures from the Barrett administration, including his chief of staff Pat Curley who was joined by his son David Curley, a firefighter-in-training. Attorney David Gruber paid a call, as did Attorney Craig Mastantuono, a Barrett appointee to the Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Bill Radler, former head of the Boerner Botanical Gardens, whose retirement career as a rose hybridizer includes the spectacularly successful Knock Out rose (25 million sold), also dropped by to lend his support.

UCC head Ricardo Diaz made his way through the group, as did Ald. Nik Kovac, freshly registered for the Riverwest 24 bike race. Sen. Lena Taylor made an appearance, as did Northwestern Mutual Investment Services CEO and President Daniel A. Riedl and his partner Rick Stabler, a close observer of the current political scene.

Aladdin Restaurant, conveniently located on the first floor of the market provided an abundant and healthy buffet, while a cash bar helped the campaign minimize its expenses.

Categories: News, News & Views, Politics

0 thoughts on “Barrett rips Walker at Milwaukee fundraiser”

  1. Anonymous says:

    You guys are going to lose – ala Dick Cheney – “big time” on June 5. Over 90% of businesses think the state is moving in the right direction and breaking the WEA Trust monopoly is saving school districts hundreds of thousands of $$$ all over the state (over $500K in lefty Shorewood for goodness sakes).

    The lack of enthusiam for Barrett and Falk is telling. The enthusiam for Scott Walker on our side is HUGE.

    Shrinks will see a surge in biz starting June 6 as you folks line up for your Prozac prescriptions. Wasting all this time and money and then losing……yeh, that’s depressing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We’ll see if 51% of voters find it in their interest to accept the recommendation of “over 90% of businesses.” .

  3. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “journalist” weigh into the comment section of his own article.

    One word…….LAME.

    Man you folks are going to be fun to beat!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This “journalist” weighs in when he sees fit, and your “comments” provide a suitable opportunity. If you have some substantive comment about my column, let’s hear it. So far, there has been nothing but prattle.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The so-called “civil war” was declared when 14 state senators shirked their responsibility to debate the issues and serve the people, and instead fled to Illinois to hide out until the coast was clear. Instead of doing what they are paid to do, these 14 left one of their own, poor Rep. Peter Barca, holding the bag as their spokesman, turning him into a raving lunatic. Barrett’s claim that Gov. Walker started the “civil war” is patently false.

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