Desperate to stand out in a lackluster field for 2018, Wisconsin Democrat gubernatorial candidates are relying on crass, opportunistic, and false attacks. But their smear tactics have quickly backfired, drawing condemnation from Wisconsin media outlets and independent fact-checkers.
Democrat candidate Dana Wachs was shredded by a column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for trying “to take a cheap political shot” at Governor Walker over addressing sexual harassment issues in Wisconsin’s state capitol, with the column calling Wachs “crass” and “wrong on the facts.” Not only was Wachs unable to provide a single concrete example to support his criticism, but it was also revealed that he never once contacted the Wisconsin Assembly’s leadership to discuss updating its sexual harassment policies.
And another Democrat candidate, union boss Mahlon Mitchell, was also called out for his attacks by Politifact Wisconsin after pushing bogus claims about Wisconsin’s middle class, earning him a “mostly false” rating from the publication. But given Wisconsin’s record-breaking economic growth under Governor Walker, it’s no surprise that Mitchell would resort to making things up to attack his record, since the facts don’t help his case.
In their desperate attempts to smear Governor Walker’s successful policies and results, Democrats are resorting to factually inaccurate attacks to bolster their fledgling campaigns. Unfortunately for Wachs and Mitchell, their attacks are falling flat as the Wisconsin press corps calls out their cheap political opportunism.
The Journal Sentinel: The Crass Politics of Dana Wachs
On Monday, Wisconsin saw another strain of political opportunism when gubernatorial candidate Dana Wachs issued a news release tying Gov. Scott Walker to the recent spate of sexual harassment allegations around the country. Wachs, a Democratic state representative from Eau Claire, said Walker had "failed to take proactive steps to create a more responsive, transparent system for addressing sexual harassment at Wisconsin’s Capitol," suggesting Walker "can’t be ignorant to the admissions of sexual harassment and assault all across the country."
Wachs' attempt to link his Republican political opponent to the misdeeds of Franken, Conyers and Moore comes as sexual assault and harassment are being treated with the gravity they deserve. Yet Wachs has decided to take a cheap political shot.
And Wachs is wrong on the facts. While Walker does set the state's political agenda, he has nothing to do with crafting the Legislature's rules on sexual harassment. On Monday, both the State Assembly and Senate announced plans to update their sexual harassment policies, with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos pitching a plan requiring additional training for legislative staff members. Tuesday morning, Assembly staff attended mandatory sexual harassment training, and afterward Vos was joined at a news conference by Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz to announce plans for future training sessions.