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And it will only get more intense overnight.  This story, from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, already has quite a few comments, far too many of them pro-Walker.  This is exactly the opportunity I was talking about for we out-of-staters to play a role in Wisconsin.  

The story itself is pretty good and fair:

Barrett said the June recall is "not a rematch or do-over" of his 2010 loss to Walker but a referendum on Walker's polarizing tenure as governor.

"You decided to use a budget crisis to try to divide and conquer this state. That's what happened. That's what led to all of this," Barrett said, often looking at the governor as he spoke.

...Barrett also argued the economy has faltered because Walker strayed from his promise to focus on jobs and instead sparked a "civil war" with his union legislation. He pointed to a string of monthly jobs reports that says Wisconsin lost about 34,000 jobs last year, making it the worst in the nation.

Walker called those jobs reports unreliable and pointed to more complete jobs numbers released by his administration earlier this month that he says show the state actually gained jobs - about 23,000 of them - last year.

Most economists agree the quarterly figures are more reliable, though normally those figures are released by the federal government after the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reviewed them. The quarterly figures were not slated to be released until three weeks after the June 5 recall election, but Walker's administration last week decided to release the data used to compile them.

Incidentally, none other than Forbes has trumpeted Politifact's assessment that Walker's jobs claim is "mostly false."

Based on the census numbers, Walker argues that—contrary to the monthly numbers—Wisconsin did, in fact, show significant job gains.

The problem is that the quarterly census numbers Walker relies upon to pursue his argument have not been vetted by the BLS and won’t be until well after the election. Needless to say, using such unverified numbers is, to be kind, an unusual choice.

But none of these facts stops Walker's supporters, and you can see the sad evidence of this in the Journal Sentinel comments section:
That was a great performance by Tom (I don't have a plan) Barrett. I especially liked the repeated lie about the jobs number. The state released the proper numbers and Barrett knows it. Too bad he isn't man enough to admit it. That's ok, he wants to run the state into the toilet just like he has the City of Milwaukee. What a tool.

...I wondered when Barret was gonna break into tears ...... I was laughing as I watched the "debate" (I use the word loosely since only one adult showed up) .. All I could think of was the Andy Griffith episode where Aunt Bea was debating Howard Sprague for county clerk ... When asked about situations Howard gave thoughtful answers and Aunt Bea just kept saying the same thing each time .. "If it's the will of the people it shall be done!" ...... and I love the way this article starts with the race is "tight" .. The polls show Walker up by 8 points .. I think after tonight it will rise over 10 ....... ON WISCONSIN! .. FORWARD!!!

Thankfully, there is some pro-Barrett sentiment and pushback, like this gem:
I want to see what was on Walker's doodle pad because he just wasted an entire pen of ink drawing pictures because there is no way he was writing any ideas. Pretty easy to see why he flunked out of college - won't pay attention to what's going on and answers as if he didn't understand the question.
Hahaha!  And we need lots more where that came from!  Use the Forbes article; better yet, use the Journal Sentinel's own article against Walker's job claims!  If you find good reporting on the debate, please share the articles on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also share this infographic. Interestingly, Walker's Facebook page makes no mention of the debate.

Leave pesky questions in comments sections and across Facebook, like this one:  Walker said Milwaukee, their schools in particular, benefited from his budget.  He then claimed the money went "right back into the classrooms," so how did they "save money," then?  It also can never hurt to push the public lands versus private hunting issue, of course.  But most importantly, please participate in newspaper comment sections.  And absolutely please write LTEs in response to debate coverage, especially if you are a Wisconsinite!  

Originally posted to Cedwyn on Fri May 25, 2012 at 08:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, German American Friendship Group, and Letters to the Editor.

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