Friday, October 29, 2010

Barrett Creams Insubstantial Walker In Final Debate

Tom Barrett, as he did in the earlier debates, offered voters facts and plans and compassion, while Scott Walker had nothing to offer except word salad, talking points, Boy Scout memories and more promises of tax cuts for business - - without any way to pay for them.

Some highlights:

Twice, Barrett asked Walker to name a single job he'd created in the central city of Milwaukee, and twice Walker had no response.

Twice Barrett reminded viewers that Walker had raided county sales tax collections to pay for routine operating expenses, rather than using them for capital projects as required by county ordinance.

Twice Barrett nailed Walker for borrowing $400 million to make required contributions to keep the county pension fund solvent - - rather than making the tougher budget decisions and funding pensions with budgeted revenue, as does the City of Milwaukee.

Meaning that Walker's fund-raiding and credit-card borrowing practices more closely resemble policies of the Doyle administration, whom Walker routinely condemns.

And Barrett came out strongly for stem cell research - - as a moral, medical and jobs' imperative - - to which Walker offered no rejoinder.

And there was one almost-moment - - a punch line left unverbalized, so I'll do the honors:

In response to an audience question about the job market for graduates up north, Walker said he had recently been at UW-La Crosse, and upon learning that few graduates had job offers in hand, thought it would help if out-of-state businesses were awarded two years income tax forgiveness if they moved business to Wisconsin.

I thought Walker was going to suggest that those UW-La Crosse seniors should drop out before graduating - - as he did from Marquette - - but neither candidate made the connection.

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