New campaign ads in governor’s race

Two candidates in the race for Wisconsin governor have launched new television campaign ads in the past week.

An investigation involving Gov. Scott Walker is a topic of an ad released Thursday by one of his opponents.

The 30-second television spot is from Democrat Mary Burke, and it’s a direct response to an ad from Walker that first aired last Friday. However, each ad has a different focus.

New economic numbers and an alleged criminal scheme are the center of Burke’s latest ad. On June 19, many details of the case involving Governor Walker were released.

“So what does politician Scott Walker do the next day?” asks Burke’s ad. “He launches more attack ads.”

A federal and state judge blocked the investigation, saying no violations of campaign law occurred. Burke told a Milwaukee television station last week that the investigation is “not going to be a focus” of her campaign.

Burke’s spokesman says the new ad is not about the allegations. Instead, he says it’s about Walker’s decision of when he released his ad.

Meanwhile, Walker’s campaign spokesman says Burke’s new ad is an attempt to distract voters from her time as Governor Jim Doyle’s commerce secretary. Walker’s latest ad focuses on that connection.

“They gambled taxpayer money on dreadful policies, like billions in middle class tax hikes on nursing home beds, gas, phones and garbage,” says Walker’s ad.

Walker’s campaign says its ‘billions’ figure takes into account all tax increases enacted or proposed during Doyle’s eight years as governor. That is not stated in the ad.

Burke was commerce secretary from February 2005 to November 2007, so she was in office when the 2007 to 2009 state budget was created. The budget suggested about $350 million of increased taxes or fees on the four items mentioned in the ad.

According to UW-Green Bay political science professor Michael Kraft, political ads often leave out a lot of background information.

“You don’t hear qualifications about every statement, no foot notes, this is just ‘bam bam bam,’ this is the way it is, and each side will do that,” said Kraft.

He adds the commercials may not even sway voters, but they could mobilize supporters from each party to get out and cast a ballot.

Burke and State Rep. Brett Hulsey are both running for the Democratic nomination. The primary election will be held August 12.

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