Elections get nasty. Mudslinging is the norm. But Tom Barrett, candidate for governor in the recall election has taken it much too far. He is blatantly lying about Scott Walker in an attempt to win votes, and it is not okay.
There are two major lies that the Tom Barrett campaign is promoting:
1. Scott Walker Opposes Equal Pay For Women
Tom Barrett’s ads say that Scott Walker is opposed to equal pay for equal work, specifically as it relates to women. That is simply not true, but it is a sensational headline that is bound to stick with some women voters who don’t know the truth.
The truth: In April, Scott Walker signed into law Senate Bill 202 which repealed an earlier law that allowed victims of workplace discrimination to sue for compensatory and punitive damages. Still intact are workers’ rights to sue for reinstatement, back pay for up to two years, attorneys fees, and court costs. In additions, employees are still able to sue employers in federal court for compensatory and punitive damages.
Essentially, workers are still able to sue for all of the same things in a court of law, and they are protected from discrimination in the workplace. Women were not targeted by this legislation in any way, and this legislation has nothing to do with allowing women to receive lesser pay.
2. Scott Walker is Hiding Things in the John Doe Investigation
A Tom Barrett campaign ad says that Scott Walker is hiding something because he refuses to release 1,000 emails of his relative to the John Doe investigation being led by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office. He is also suggesting that Walker is doing something improper by establishing a defense fund. This investigation has led to criminal charges against former members of Walker’s staff, but Walker himself has not been accused of wrongdoing by the District Attorney’s office.
The truth: Scott Walker was the one who asked the District Attorney’s office to begin investigating. Without him, there likely would be no investigation. He has been cooperating with them, and says that the District Attorney’s office has asked him to not comment publicly on the case, and I find that to be reasonable. Until the investigation is done, the District Attorney’s office does not need a witness talking publicly about the details.
Further, Scott Walker has every right to be represented by counsel in this investigation, even if he has done nothing wrong. Every citizen has the right to be represented by an attorney, and it would be foolish of Walker to NOT have an attorney.
There are other lies the Barrett campaign is telling, but these are the two that seem the most egregious and despicable to me.