Dems ask Walker to apologize for ‘retweet’

    The most controversial aspect of the Wisconsin gubernatorial race this week involved Twitter postings by two of Republican candidate Scott Walker’s campaign staffers.
    Walker communications director Jill Bader and her assistant, Michael Brickman, “retweeted” a tweet that featured a link to a video that the author cited as President Obama’s response to Walker’s vow to stop the federal high-speed rail project in Wisconsin. The video features several people, most of whom are African-Americans, dancing.
    Here’s a link to the YouTube video cited in the tweet:
    "These two imagined President Obama’s response to Scott Walker as a Detroit dance show that featured primarily African-American dancers. There was nothing subtle about the meaning of this posting, and nothing innocent about its intent," said Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate.
    Stephanie Findley, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s Black Caucus, said, “On the day President Obama visited Milwaukee, the spokeswoman for Scott Walker, the endorsed Republican candidate for governor, posted to Twitter a video meant to mock the ongoing high-speed rail plans of this administration. There are many humorous ways to get the point across. Instead, the Walker campaign reached way back to the 1990s to dredge up a video featuring primarily African-American dancers. It would be naive to suggest that there are no racial overtones in the timing and the content of this communication by the Walker campaign. At best, it is tasteless and needlessly provocative. At worst, it recalls the coded racial program of division that has been exploited in the past. In either case, Scott Walker must apologize."
    In response, Keith Gilkes, manager of Walker’s campaign, issued the following statement: "An honest mistake was made by a staffer that forwarded a message from a blogger that linked to a video rather than a blog post. When it was brought to our attention, she immediately removed the message and apologized to anyone that was offended by it."
    Walker’s Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, said, "I think they compounded matters by saying it was an accident. You don’t have two people, two high-ranking people in your campaign, send out the same tweet, and say it was an accident. Because it wasn’t an accident," Barrett said.
    The incident drew national attention when Keith Olbermann, the liberal commentator on the MSNBC cable network, named Bader as his “Worst Person of the World” Monday night (
    Here’s a news video about the controversy by WISN-Channel 12, a media partner of BizTimes and
    Mark Neumann, who is challenging Walker for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, steered clear of the YouTube/Twitter controversy but expressed his opposition to the high-speed rail project by showing up Monday at Barrett’s office Monday, where he dropped off a copy of his book, “Wisconsin Taxpayers First.” Neumann asked Barrett to deliver it to Obama, who spoke at a fundraiser for Barrett on Monday.
    Neumann asked Barrett to deliver the following message to Obama: “”Endless spending and growing debate are destroying our nation. My book lays out a detailed plan to cut spending and cut taxes and the President should give it a try.”
    – BizTimes Milwaukee

    Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

    Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

    No posts to display