VIDEO: Burke campaign releases new ad attacking Gov. Scott Walker

On Thursday Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke released a new ad attacking Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The splices newscasts from various sources to highlight last week’s revelations prosecutors are investigating Gov. Walker’s involvement in a “criminal scheme” to illegally coordinate Republican political campaigns with third-party groups. The ad also highlights recent news that Wisconsin’s job creation record lags other states over the past three years.

Here’s the ad:


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19 thoughts on “VIDEO: Burke campaign releases new ad attacking Gov. Scott Walker

  1. Zach, thanks.

    I thought it was terrific. Splicing coverage from newscasts makes it a lot tougher for Walker to paint it as “partisan.”

    The, “Scott Walker isn’t working for you,” line is brilliant.

    Every Doe mention in the media is bad for Walker. Since it’s a national story, the local media are under a lot more pressure to print what sources give them. If they don’t there’s now more of a market for those stories outside Wisconsin.

  2. The ad seems like an impulsive retort to a Walker attack ad with an attack ad. Not really very productive. Meanwhile I read a positive letter for Walker’s Act 10 accomplishments from a lady named Westerbrook in Eau Claire. The letter was a glowing report on the economic accomplishments of the 4.something Billion dollar turnaround in Wisconsin’s state debt with bullet points on what that did for the state as opposed to the “coffers of union bosses.” It was a professionally written and formatted article, which couldn’t have been achieved without professional formatting knowledge not publicly available on the quirky letter submission form of the The last sentence states that “even Mary Burke doesn’t contest Walker’s Act 10.” I have to say that letter was more productive for Walker than this ad is for Mary Burke.

  3. Yes, a years long politically driven witch hunt abusing our criminal justice system at taxpayer expense has culminated in this ad…and not much more.

  4. It is posted as a letter to the editor:

    Might be more than one person with that name, Westermann NOT Westerbrook, unless I have the wrong EC L-Telegram link. An instructor at the, “Rush,” Limbaugh Institute of Advanced Learning, LOL or just a coincidence?

    There is a January news article of a 50th wedding anniversary and a a FaceBook entry of someone appearing younger with no other info.

    Someone there will surely respond with the tiny little point that Walker borrowed near $4Billion for the effect of having not and schools limited by Republican legislation, cannot tax enough with property tax limitations imposed from “smaller,” government, i.e. control from Madison over local needs, to keep adequate public schools minimally functioning.

    Thanks for the story. Had a good laugh with the search on the character submitting the letter.

    1. Yes, right link, Non. Excuse my laziness. Hope all of us are using the Letters to Editors with succinct, strong points mentioned above. Not sure we can count solely on Mary’s ad agency or campaign manager. General sentiment seems to move back and forth. So neck and neck. Keep the faith.

      1. Cat,

        Google the Limbaugh Institute, first two items suggest it is a joke, as I’m guessing this letter to the editor was given a fictitious name for submission. Nothing neck and neck about Republican operatives possibly operating under the guise of a legitimate educational institute submitting a letter to the editor such as this which is obviously straight from something like the FSW/CFGrowth playbook.

        Suggesting several people join me in requesting the paper check on the identity of the letter writer and pull the damn thing with a clear and immediate apology in the paper if this is what I suspect it is. Call a couple of your friends in the area and check around.

  5. This is well done. Strong tagline, good use of local media clips featuring his two biggest weaknesses and smart targeting with a Daily Show-style ad. To Cat Kin’s point, the Burke campaign will have to figure out how to attack Act 10, although I’d stick with TV/video and targeting early middle-aged and younger voters. They should focus on the dollars removed from public education (only second to Alabama) and emphasize that nothing was solved – Walker’s fiscal policy also condemns our kids and grandkids. Since the local media seem completely unable or just plain unqualified to review and report on the work of the DOA’s bond-selling activities, perhaps the campaign should. It could make for a smart, emotive animated TV spot – plane takes off from Madison to NY, cut to Wall Street conference room where sweating Madison bureaucrats and their clueless (yet smirking) leader are getting fleeced, plane lands in Madison and the state debt projections pop up and forecasted tax burdens coming in just a few short years.

    1. Emma!!!!


      Excellent context and narrative drive with all your ideas!

      Thank you.

      Love the comparison to Alabama on dollars for education.

      Hope Burke4WI reads your stuff.

      1. Thanks! I just hope Burke4Wi has a really good digital strategist on board. Walker’s record offers a veritable treasure trove of material for apps, videos, video spoofs, infographics, etc. for that younger middle-aged and young voter audience. I also like the not giving the Republicans a target thing until closer to November. All they can do is burn through cash running ads against Doyle.

    2. Your post has got me thinking… I would like to see an anti-Act 10 commercial from the Mary Burke campaign with the theme “Wrong tools for the job.” I see it as starting with a fast series of situations where people are stuck with some kind of obvious problems — say, a flat tire or an infant with a wet diaper or a jar that won’t open — and someone off screen hands them a tool that is useless (or worse) for solving the problem (pitch fork, tractor, steel wool… not coming up with good connections at the moment). And then we move to the Act 10 “tools” and how they have made life worse for teachers, schools, local governments and the Wisconsin economy in general. And then Mary Burke comes on and states that she has the right tools for the job, and mentions two or three of her proposals, ideally a mix of pro-worker, pro-business, pro-family and pro-education ideas.

      In fact, as I think about it, this doesn’t just have to be anti-Act 10, though of course that’s the one where Governor Walker pretended that he was doing local governments and school boards a favor… right before he ripped out the budgetary State aid rug from under them…

      1. Some better “Wrong tool” scenarios:

        Car with dead battery, off-screen “helper” offers a fire extinguisher

        Smiling, paint-covered child in front of a paint-covered easel, “helper” offers a life preserver or other flotation device, or maybe fins

        Child in baseball uniform is handed a football helmet (or the other way around)

        Office worker is handed a welding torch

        Farmer is shown looking at a steam roller and scratching his head

        Construction worker is handed a chef’s knife, or perhaps some embroidery scissors or tweezers (to my mind this represents the itty bitty tax cuts the working folks got — perhaps it could be paired with a guy standing on his big beautiful lawn next to, say, a cement mixer. Or a single giant section of sewer pipe)

        Just to give you the idea…

        1. Good ideas and theme. Act 10 is such an easy failure to expose rationally and emotively. Given Walker plans to ride it all the way to re-election, I think it would be wise to demolish it soon. Anyone who can read a spreadsheet knows what is coming thanks to his utter fiscal recklessness.

    1. It’s a piece of the puzzle, though. I read your canvassing post and I hear your frustration but the world has changed. Too many of us have so little free time and even then, the prospect of knocking on the doors of potentially well-armed strangers to talk about Progressive politics is not attractive. The good news is there are workaround’s – social and digital media, hosting booths at community events and festivals, developing unique, fun merchandising, and more. I would think door-knocking is still viable and safe when trying to reach the elderly and disabled. Hopefully this is all in the works and they’re not sticking with same old, same old one size fits all script.

      1. here’s how Apple builds consensus in a mature market with a complicated product.
        You need to give Quicktime permision to see the ad.

        We all know the Burke campaign needs to do more without being obnoxious. I write to the LeaderTelegram. You can write to and inform your media outlets.

        Canvassing with more than one person is not dangerous, but it is an imposition and it is cold calling–Not cool these days.

        I just hope Burke will be barnstorming the state as the election gets nearer. Otherwise, people will think she doesn’t really want to win.

    2. You’re implying the Burke campaign hasn’t been doing other things on the ground. You are wrong.

      And guess what, the casual person doesn’t go to those “on the ground” things, but they do watch TV. In addition, doing ads makes the media talk about what’s in the ads, because media loves to talk about their own relevance to politics. Whether we like it or not, the casual voter still gets a lot if his/her info from local on-air media, and you can’t let the Walker spinsters get all of that access.

      I’m not saying you make it a noisy air war, but ads still do matter some in 2014.

  6. Jake,

    When you say ” casual voter ” who are you talking about? Presidential year voters? TV ads won’t bring these voters out unless there’s an inspiring, transformative style orator being featured, like Obama, which is not a good description of Mary Burke. And Obama complemented his media blitz with a strong ground game, designed by prominent community and union organizer Marshall Ganz. And Obama’s media blitz didn’t take the attack tone this ad relies on, but rather went the ” hope and change ” route. And Obama was not up against a well funded incumbent.

    So, this kind of TV ad is not going to get Mary Burke elected. It lifts the spirits of engaged Dem politico’s who are desperate to see anything that looks like fightback, but it will most likely prompt the casual/drop-off voter to hit the mute button or change the channel.

  7. The linked JS piece below is from March. IMHO, it should be at the top of the production list for Burke4Governor’s next ad:

    “County staff shared sex assault victim name with Scott Walker political aides”

    “While Scott Walker was Milwaukee County executive, his staff freely shared the name of a sexual assault victim and details about her case with political operatives, recently released emails show…..”

    AFAIK, this was evidence of a crime. It’s also a bi-partisan issue. It’s just another behind-the-scenes example of what a “loose ship,” Gov. Walker ran as Milwaukee County Executive. As an added benefit, it would put more pressure on Mr. Abele to promptly release the rest of Gov. Walker’s “secret” emails.

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