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UPDATE: Race for Governor: Tom Barrett's Candidacy

UPDATED Tuesday, August 24, 2010 --- 11:14 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett is turning up the attacks against his Republican rival Scott Walker with 10 weeks to go before the election.

The last three television ads Barrett's campaign has run have all been attack ads aimed straight at Walker.

Barrett's campaign started paying for the ads after Democratic-friendly groups have remained on the sidelines for months in the race. Walker has benefited from the Republican Governors Association spending more than $1 million on TV ads attacking Barrett, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor.

Outside groups are prohibited by law to coordinate their messages with candidates but their ads help shape the debate, and most importantly, influence voters' opinions.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, August 23, 2010 --- 3:55 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett wants to make hunting, fishing and entering state parks free for two weekends a year to bolster tourism.

Barrett unveiled his "Take 2 on Wisconsin" idea Monday in Green Bay. He wants to make all tourist-related permit and registration fees free for both for state residents and visitors one weekend in the summer and one in the winter.

He says that would entice people to the state and result in them coming back to spend more money on tourism.

The first weekend in June is already free for fishing under state law. Waiving other fees would likely take approval by the Legislature.

Barrett says he would also be committed to having a strong tourism marketing campaign for Wisconsin, but he didn't propose any increase in spending for it.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, July 20, 2010 --- 1:42 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett says if elected he will require all of his appointees to report any contact they have with a lobbyist within 48 hours.

He also proposed Tuesday that top staff in the governor's office including cabinet secretaries be barred from lobbying for one year after leaving their positions.

Barrett previously made a similar proposal requiring reports be filed within 38 hours anytime a lobbyist meets with a state lawmaker.

Barrett says his proposal would also extend to the governor and cover phone conversations as well as face-to-face meetings. He says he believes the Legislature would pass a bill making it law, but if not he would enact it as an executive order.

Barrett is the only major Democratic candidate for governor.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, July 15, 2010 --- 3:19 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett says he has raised $2.4 million in the first six months of the year and has $2.9 million cash on hand.

Barrett reported the numbers just hours after a new poll was released showing him trailing his Republican rivals Scott Walker and Mark Neumann by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Walker and Neumann have not released their fundraising totals for the year yet. The deadline is Tuesday.

Through the end of last year, Walker reported having $1.9 million cash on hand and Neumann had $1 million. At that point, Barrett reported having $1.5 million.

Barrett entered the race in November, four months after Neumann. Walker has been shoring up support for a run ever since he dropped out of the 2006 Republican primary.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, July 12, 2010 --- 2:25 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett wants to change the way political districts are drawn in Wisconsin to make more competitive races.

Barrett announced his plans on Monday after he submitted the required 2,000 signatures needed to be put on the ballot to run for governor.

Barrett wants to put the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board in charge of approving redistricting plans. The Legislature will start that process next year based on new population numbers.

The past three times that happened federal courts had to determine the final legislative lines because state lawmakers couldn't agree. Barrett says his idea would make the process less partisan and result in more evenly balanced districts.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 7, 2010 --- 7:30 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is endorsing Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for governor of Wisconsin.

Bloomberg, an independent, issued a statement through Barrett's campaign touting Barrett as an effective problem solver and hard worker. Bloomberg says America needs more leaders like Barrett who set aside ideology to come up with solutions.

Barrett says he's worked with Bloomberg on a number of issues, and he's proud to have his support.

Barrett is the only major Democrat in the governor's race. His Republican opponents are Scott Walker and Mark Neumann.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, June 21, 2010 --- 12:35 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he will back stem cell research just like Gov. Jim Doyle if he's elected governor.

Barrett says it's wrong for opponents of embryonic stem cell research to suggest the work is unethical.

Barrett says he will be a champion for stem cell research being done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will stand up to attempts by lawmakers to limit it. He praised Doyle's record in that regard.

Barrett spoke after touring the Waisman Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Monday.

His Republican opponents, Mark Neumann and Scott Walker, oppose embryonic stem cell research but support other forms that do not involve the destruction of human embryos. The facility he toured uses a mix.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 8, 2010 --- 10:35 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett's second television ad focuses on his cost-cutting plan.

The ad released in markets across Wisconsin on Tuesday features Barrett sitting in a diner talking about how politicians in Madison need to go on a diet from spending.

He says there are more than 200 state boards and commissions that should be eliminated. Barrett also says that convicted felons should not receive what he calls "Cadillac health care."

Barrett directs viewers to his website where they can view his plan for cutting more than $1 billion a year in state spending.

Republicans have said he's being disingenuous, since he approved higher spending throughout his career as a state lawmaker, congressman and mayor of Milwaukee.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, June 7, 2010---11:25 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett wants to eliminate the secretary of state and treasurer's offices as part of his plan to save more than $1 billion.

Barrett unveiled his cost-saving plans at a Monday news conference outside the Capitol.

He says he can save nearly $340 million by combining state and local government purchasing statewide and save $200 million by creating incentives for BadgerCare Plus enrollees to choose lower-cost plans.

He says eliminating the secretary of state and treasurer's offices would save $1 million. However, that would require passing a constitutional amendment.

Barrett is the only major Democratic candidate for governor.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 25, 2010 --- 3:45 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has released his first television ad in the governor's race.

The Democratic Barrett has been off the air while the two main Republican candidates have been running ads across the state since February. Barrett has no major primary opponent, which has allowed him to run a more low profile campaign so far.

But his first ad began airing statewide on Tuesday.

In the minute-long spot, Barrett focuses on his record as mayor creating jobs. The ad features clips from television news talking about new jobs created in the area. Barrett also touts the plan he released last week for how he would create jobs as governor.

The main Republicans running are Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, May 20, 2010 --- 11:15 a.m.

VERONA, Wis. (AP) -- The two major Republican candidates for governor say Democratic candidate Tom Barrett's plan for job creation will not work.

Barrett unveiled the 67-page plan on Thursday.

Republican Scott Walker's campaign manager Keith Gilkes says Barrett's plan relies too much on government to turn the economy around. Walker supports repealing recently passed business tax increases and a tax hike on people earning more than $300,000 a year, while Barrett does not.

Barrett's plan relies in part on targeted tax cuts for businesses that create jobs in the state and a reorganization of economic development programs.

Republican Mark Neumann says Barrett hasn't proved that he can create jobs as mayor of Milwaukee the past six years.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 9, 2010 --- 11:27 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is discounting Scott Walker's claims that he can create 250,000 jobs within four years if elected governor.

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate said during a campaign tour of Madison businesses on Tuesday that the Republican Walker picked an arbitrary number for the sake of a campaign statement.

At the same time, Barrett says it's reasonable to expect the state can add 180,000 jobs over the next three years. To do that, Barrett says Wisconsin must accept $810 million in federal stimulus money to build a high-speed rail line between Madison and Milwaukee.

Walker, who is Milwaukee County executive, has spoken out against the rail line saying it will cost taxpayers too much in ongoing costs and not create enough jobs.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, February 23, 2010 --- 3:40 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says his strategy as governor will center on two priorities: jobs and responsible spending.

The Democrat says he's running for governor because it's time Madison "had some adult supervision."

Barrett's comments came Tuesday at the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce business day in Madison. One of his Republican rivals, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, is slated to speak later in the day.

Barrett says he'll attract jobs the same way he persuaded Republic Airways to keep 800 jobs in Milwaukee County and bring hundreds more after it acquired Midwest Airlines. He says the key is to offer tax credits for job creation.

The mayor also says he'll face budgetary decisions head-on, even if it means making tough and unpopular choices.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 18, 2010 --- 12:02 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Milwaukee mayor and candidate for governor Tom Barrett says a clean energy proposal that's one of Gov. Jim Doyle's top priorities in his final year in office needs to be changed significantly.

The bill is being backed by Democrats in the Legislature but has drawn fierce opposition from some in the business community, including the state's largest business group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Barrett said Thursday that he didn't think the bill should be passed until significant changes were made. He specifically singled out its call for auto emission standards modeled after California law.

Barrett says the bill should be scaled back closer to the original intent of a task force that first made the recommendations.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Sunday, January 17, 2010 --- 11:50 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will make his first statewide campaign tour as a Democratic candidate for governor this week.

Barrett will stop at Western Technical College in La Crosse on Monday to meet with students. He'll make stops at a high-tech business in Eau Claire and a business development center in Wausau on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Barrett will stop at Orion Energy Systems in Manitowoc and meet with small business owners in Sheboygan.

The tour comes as the campaign to replace Gov. Jim Doyle seems to be heating up.

Republican Mark Neumann said last week he has put $1 million of his own money into his campaign. He is running for the Republican nomination against Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Wednesday, January 6, 2010 --- 3:25 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he raised more than $750,000 in the final weeks of 2009 after announcing in November he was running for governor.

The Democrat told supporters he now has $1.5 million in the bank for his campaign to replace Gov. Jim Doyle, who is stepping down after two terms. He said the fundraising came in the 47 days after his Nov. 15 decision to run after months of speculation.

Barrett's Republican rivals, Scott Walker and Mark Neumann, have not released their fundraising totals for the final six months of 2009. As of last July, Walker had $1.1 million in his campaign account.

A spokesman says Neumann, who is expected to put some of his own money into the race, will report his totals soon.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Sunday, November 15, 2009 5:00 p.m.
By: Barclay Pollak

After months of speculation, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett formally announced his candidacy for Governor Sunday.

In front of his home with his wife and kids by his side, Mayor Tom Barrett announced he is once again running for Governor.

But he predicted a different outcome this time around. When asked how this gubernatorial bid would differ from his run in 2002...Barrett says he plans on winning this one.

The Mayor only spoke for a little more than five minutes. He says he's going to run because he cares about the people of Wisconsin and what direction the state is heading.

"I am running for Governor because I believe in the people of Wisconsin, the businesses of Wisconsin, and the future of this state."

Barrett also said he loved being Milwaukee's Mayor, and he hinted that all his time won't be spent in Madison if elected.

He also started laying the groundwork for his campaign. Much of his speech focused on jobs and Wisconsin's economic health.

"We, as a state, are confronting serious economic problems. Our families, our neighbors, our friends continue to lose ground and our state's collective anxiety is high."

Political pundits say Democrats were left looking for a strong candidate once Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton announced she wouldn't run.

Sunday, they may have found one. Tim Roby a local political analyst says, "Well the Democrats have to be very relieved. They have a big name. He's formidable, he's been there before and so they have to be excited about that. Rather than just letting this opportunity pass."

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, who many would consider the Republican front runner in the Governor's race, shared his thought's on Barrett's big announcement.

He says they may both be from Milwaukee. But that's where the similarities end.

Walker says, "Tom's a good guy. Obviously I've worked with him before. But this is going to be an election that is clearly based on issues and the facts clearly show that Tom Barrett spent his entire career in the legislature during congress and now as Mayor of Milwaukee raising taxes."

Our political expert Tim Roby says if Barrett and Walker do meet in the general election it would be the first time a Milwaukee Mayor and County Executive have squared off.

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UPDATED Sunday, November 15, 2009 --- 12:05 p.m.
UPDATED: Sunday, November 15, 2009 --- 1:35 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is running for governor.

Barrett made the official announcement Sunday from his home.

He told reporters Saturday he deferred his decision until he was sufficiently recovered from the attack three months ago that left him with head and hand injuries.

His decision to run was a relief for the Democratic Party. It was without a major candidate after incumbent Gov. Jim Doyle decided not to seek a third term. Others, including U.S. Rep. Ron Kind and Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, chose not to run.

The 55-year-old Barrett says he'll build his campaign around the issues of jobs, education and the economy.

He says he didn't discuss his decision with President Barack Obama, but he says people in the White House encouraged him to run.

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UPDATED Friday, November 13, 2009 --- 5:30 p.m.

WTMJ, the NBC station in Milwaukee, is reporting Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will run for governor in 2010. The mayor will confirm only that he will announce a decision in a press conference at noon on Sunday.

Click HERE to read story from WTMJ TV

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UPDATED Friday, November 13, 2009 --- 4:00 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett plans to announce on Sunday whether he's entering the governor's race next year.

The Democrat plans a news conference at 12 noon to announce his intentions.

Barrett's mayoral campaign manager Steve Chernof confirmed the news conference but said he didn't have any other details to make public Friday.

Democrats are pinning all their hopes on Barrett since there are no other major announced candidates. Incumbent Gov. Jim Doyle decided in August not to seek a third term and U.S. Rep. Ron Kind opted not to get in the race.

Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton ran for 10 weeks, but dropped out last month.

Major Republican candidates include Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, November 13, 2009 --- 1:30 p.m.

WISN (the ABC station in Milwaukee) is reporting that Tom Barrett will make his decision (whether he'll run for Governor) known Sunday at noon.

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Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2009 --- 5:05 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he will make a decision on whether to enter the governor's race as a Democrat by the end of the week.

Barrett's mayoral campaign director Steve Chernof says the decision will come this week but he does not know what it is. Chernof says he does not believe Barrett has finalized his decision.

The Democratic Party is without any major candidates for governor after incumbent Gov. Jim Doyle decided against seeking a third term and current Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton dropped out of the race.

Barrett met last week with President Barack Obama's top political strategist and has been under increasing pressure to run. Madison businessman Kevin Conroy is also considering running as a Democrat.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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