Democratic Recall Candidates Must Be United, Former Congressman Says

With Kathleen Falk going on the offensive against leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett, Dave Obey calls for a cease-fire.

With media reports indicating Kathleen Falk going on the offensive against Tom Barrett, a leading Wisconsin Democrat called for his party to show a united front against Gov. Scott Walker.

Former U.S. Rep. Dave Obey, speaking in a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning, called Walker "belligerently confrontational" and said the Democratic candidates in this spring's recall election need to be concentrating their fire on him, not each other.

Obey spoke in response to a Politico report Tuesday that said the Falk campaign planned to ratchet up the rhetoric against Barrett in the next two weeks in hopes of gaining in the polls. The report said a Falk staffer criticized Barrett for hesitating to sign a recall petition, while a Journal Sentinel story quoted Falk as challenging Barrett's views on the governor's collective bargaining legislation.

Obey, who has endorsed Barrett, said the notion that one of the four Democratic candidates is not sufficiently opposed to Walker is "grasping at straws."

"No one candidate is more opposed to Walker than any of the others," Obey said.

Obey said the candidates must keep their "eyes on the prize" and earn the trust of voters by treating each other in a fair-minded way.

He said a divided party would be akin to a "suicide pact."

"The chances of unseating the governor are not so outrageously good that we can waste time attacking each other," Obey said. "Stretching facts to score points ... needlessly divides us."

In a statement through campaign spokesman Scot Ross, Falk said she has been attacked for her labor support and determination to stand up for working men and women.

"I'm talking to voters about important differences between Tom and myself," Falk said. "I've been part of this movement from the start. We'll beat Walker with the movement that started a year ago, a strong grassroots campaign with labor, women, environmentalists and community organizers.

"The real suicide is if elected officials ignore the grassroots, the labor unions, women and the environmentalists who are supporting my campaign because of my commitment to undoing Walker's harms."

The Democratic primary is May 8, while the general election is June 5.

Adam Wienieski April 26, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Poor confused Bren, personal and corporate income is not a natural resource that belongs to everyone like air, water and sunshine. Rich people and successful companies pay all the taxes. When an individual or company gets to keep more of their own money it's not a tax cut, its stealing less from the people who earned it. The tax cuts Walker has initiated amount to 3 percent of the state's deficit. So how would Barrett (D-WEAC) and Falk (D-AFSCME) have balanced the budget and eliminated the $3.6 billion deficit Scott Walker inherited from his predecessor? Both are on record saying they wouldn't ask public union employee's to sacrifice a thing so where would the savings come from? Barack Obama has finally laid to rest the silly notion that democrats are good for the economy so how do Falk (D-AFSCME) and Barrett (D-WEAC) plan on controlling education and medicare costs without massive tax increases? Let's hear the intelligent, workable plan that Scooter missed, I'll make the popcorn. btw, ALEC stands for free markets, limited government and individual liberty.
Steve ® April 26, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Nope. I could argue that it is the largest city and job growth should be the highest. Job losses are concentrated on the plight that is Milwaukee. Wonder why. Barrett couldn't even get Kohl's into the city. Why are all of the job losses only in one city? Population, nope try again.
Luke April 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Q: What's the difference between Barrett and Falk? A: Falk has balls.
David Tatarowicz April 26, 2012 at 07:32 PM
@Gearhead --- Republicans and Democrats BOTH supported the stimulus packages, they actually started under Bush and He Did the Right Thing !!! Thank God Obama followed Bush's lead --- we had the Great Recession and only with the actions of DC did we not have another Great Depression --- like back in 1929 when the government sat on its hands in a Laissez Faire attitude.
morninmist April 27, 2012 at 10:23 PM
John Nichols ‏ @NicholsUprising Kathleen Falk, #wirecall candidate, announces she has raised $1M. New theme: "Who better than a woman to end Scott Walker's war on women?"


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