Walker goes negative in a big way

Compares opponent Mark Neumann to Nancy Pelosi.

Uppity Wisconsin has a copy of the postcard Walker’s campaign has mailed:

(I’d love to get my hands on that mailer. If you have a copy let me know.)

Besides being downright negative, it looks like it’s wrong. Wasn’t the “infamous Bridge to Nowhere” appropriated in 2005? Neumann was in Congress 1994-1998. I’m sure the fine print holds a clue, but right now I’m not getting it.

In addition Walker will be rolling out a similar television advertisement on Tuesday.

Here’s a story WBAY did on Walker’s decision to go negative. They pulled the story almost immediately after publishing it, but a screen capture is below. (Click to enlarge.)

I suspect in a week and a half I’ll be able to look back and call this advert Scott Walker’s public jump over the shark. Maybe as a conciliation prize Walker can have his photo made with the Bronze Fonz.

I’ll get an update to the congressional bill referenced as soon as I can read the fine print.

Updates are now in the comments.


  1. I cannot fathom a believable link between Neumann and Pelosi.

    It is nearly laughable, but zeros in on pathetic for me, that Walker would try this.

    I am fascinated by what goes on behind closed doors for the Walker campaign to come to the conclusion they need to send out a card like this.

    What is the logic? Was it sent to supporter they already have? A mass mailing to certain districts? Where? And most importantly,

    Do they think voters are stupid?

    This just reveals to me a raw, desperate ambition in Walker and his handlers.

  2. Randy in Richmond says:

    Yes, the “Bridge to Nowhere” was an earmark attached to the Highway Bill in 2005. It would be interesting to be able to read the ‘attributed’ line on the Walker postcard. I tried magnifying it but it’s too fuzzy.
    And what does the $9 billion refer to ?

  3. I am told this concept is another copy via his media consultants. The original was used by Meg Whitman against Steve Poizner. Hopefully I’ll have more next week after I find the original.

  4. I bet this is it: H.R. 2400 aka TEA 21. Here’s the voting list showing 297 Ayes, 86 Nays, and 50 not voting from May 1998. Neumann and Pelosi both voted Aye.

    In 1998 the House and Senate were under Republican control, and Bill Clinton, a Demorat, was President. So technically, in terms of the way we think of things today, Pelosi supported the Republican agenda with that vote. (Granted the Republican propensity to spend eventually trashed their Contract with America.)

    Now I’m going to go look for that “infamous Bridge to Nowhere” in this bill.

    (Update) Here’s the summary. Alaska is mentioned four times, but for ferries and railroads.

  5. I knew this sounded familiar! I remember hearing about the Whitman/Poizner ad!

  6. I nailed it, too. TEA 21 is what they are citing. I now have a high res scan of the front and back of the mailer.

    Silly Walker. He’s faulting Mark Neumann for voting AYE on a Republican bill. I guess it means it’s all they could find.

    It also screams that Walker knows it’s over. Be sure to catch another opinion.

  7. Disingenuous to say the least. The Alaskan Bridge to Nowhere was funded in 2005, but there’s been a number of federally funded Bridges to Nowhere (including our own Hoan Bridge – note: the postcard doesn’t say Alaska). The Freshman Congress ushered in by Gingrich and the Contract with America was heavily criticized for a significant increase in pork barrel spending, versus a reduction (http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reports_porkbarrelreport#trends). I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some pork barrel transportation projects in there.

    Wonder why WBAY yanked the story, I’d love to see the higher quality scan.

  8. Jonas Wilkerson says:

    I think this plays well for Mark Neumann.

    Mark should do an ad with him holding up the post-card, doing some kind of gray scale repeat of Walker’s new commercial – then cut to Neumann – “It’s just business as usual for Career Politician Scott Walker.” A quick summary of how Walker’s assertion are untrue or misleading would also be helpful.

    The final line of the ad should be – “Come on Scott, stop hiding behind those gloves. Debate me like a real man.”

  9. Jonas Wilkerson says:

    Actually, finding a copy of the Whitman postcard would be helfpul too… it plays into Walker using the brown bag gimmick from Sen. George Voinovich’s campaign too. Neumann should hold up both versions in the ad. That would be powerful.

  10. Randy in Richmond says:

    Brkfld Dad
    I noticed it didn’t say Alaska too, but it does use the adjective ‘infamous’. It would be a stretch or a lie to say that description applied to any bridge other than the one to Gravina Island.

  11. Reviewing TEA 21, the funds were available for bridge appropriation until September 30, 2005. The “bridge to nowhere” was authorized on October 20,2005. I wonder (and given the passage of time it’s not a stretch) if that appropriation date of 9/30/05 was extended?

    It’s such a huge stretch on Walker’s part, but if the above is correct, technically Neumann voted to spend the money that was seven years later earmarked for the Bridge to Nowhere.

    Like I said disingenuous. It’s factually correct is saying that he voted for the spending bill that included funding for the Bridge to Nowhere if my assumptions are correct. However, there’s no way Neumann could have known that at the time.

    I’m surprised Whitman’s team would have done the same. Was Poizner in Congress with Neumann?

  12. Randy in Richmond says:

    Whoever told you Meg Whitman used a similiar concept against Steve Poizner is mis-informed. Poizner has run unsuccessfully for national office and recently was elected as California Insurance Commissioner. He’s never been in the House but Bush appointed him to several positions.

    More research shows that Poizner linked Whitman to Barbara Boxer so it may be Whitman linked him to Pelosi but I doubt it was on a vote for the bridge to nowhere–maybe another issue.

  13. Randy – See below:

    It’s linking the candidate to Pelosi that’s similar from the same media consultant. It seems she doesn’t sell very well in conservative circles.

  14. I’m doing a brown bag recap next week.

    Was there a postcard from Whitman? I just know about the TV spot.

  15. Randy in Richmond says:

    Ah yes, it was taxes. I searched quite a few sites and found no postcard, but it may be those kinds of ads aren’t fodder for the net. Apparently the Whitman–Poizner primary was quite nasty. Whitman killed him 64% to 26%. Given it is California Whitman will most likely have a better chance against Brown than the more conservative Poizner.

  16. California Republicans are still feeling the burn of Aaaahhhnold. I doubt they are exceptionally hopeful with Whitman.

  17. Here’s more on the “infamous Bridge to Nowhere.”

    Again, the funding trail starts in 2005.