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Tom Barrett
Tom Barrett
In the second and final debate of the Wisconsin recall election, Gov. Scott Walker seemed less content to sit back and absorb Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's rhetorical punches than he had in the first. Since Walker's passivity in the first debate was generally interpreted as the frontrunner's desire to freeze the race, avoiding mistakes rather than attempting to gain ground, the question is whether his relatively aggressive stance in the second debate signals that he's feeling less secure in the election's outcome.

Walker attempted to counter Barrett's pressure on the John Doe investigation that has led to criminal charges for three former Walker aides, an appointee, and a major donor by questioning the record of the Milwaukee police department under Barrett, and calling on Barrett to release police records as Barrett has called on Walker to release emails sent over the secret system his aides set up in the county executive's office.

In perhaps the line of the night, Barrett said, "I have a police department that arrests felons. He has a practice of hiring them."

Less quotable, but probably of more concern to voters, were exchanges on Wisconsin's jobs situation. At issue are Walker's claims that federal jobs numbers that show Wisconsin having gained, rather than lost, jobs but that have not yet been released by the federal government are verified; the Bureau of Labor Statistics has told reporters it can't comment on the numbers until after their official release, leaving Wisconsin voters to have to rely on the Walker administration's claims. But "the fact is even with your numbers, we’re dead last in the Midwest," Barrett pointed out. "If that’s what you’re proud of, and you want to be mediocre, we’re dead last in the Midwest."

Help get out the vote against Scott Walker by making calls to Wisconsin voters.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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