The clearest distinction in the recall race? Tom Barrett would never have put himself and the state in the position that Scott Walker laid on Wisconsin:
* Civic strike and an historic recall election triggered by Walker's surprise release of a secret plan (Act 10) to end public employee collective bargaining rights, union status and income.
* An unfolding John Doe criminal probe already dragging down Walker aides and associates, with a fresh disclosure.
After more than two years of raids, subpoenas and closed-door courtroom testimony, the John Doe investigation into activities during Gov. Scott Walker's time as Milwaukee County executive is now faced with this:Barrett can say with confidence that he has not, or would not have done this to Wisconsin.
Determining the significance of a private email exchange in the spring of 2010 between Walker and his longtime campaign adviser John Hiller over a potential county real estate contract in which Hiller had a financial stake as deal maker.
Those familiar with the exchange - the emails were among the documents seized by authorities - say it has to do with the county's efforts to find private or public office space for its Department on Aging. Milwaukee County prosecutors have been investigating whether there was an attempt at bid-rigging in that case.
Sources have given varying descriptions of the emails, calling them everything from "legally inconclusive" to "a bombshell." One insider said the private messages contradict Walker's discussions with his county staff.