- Associated Press - Saturday, October 18, 2014
Walker, Burke disagree on Wisconsin’s economy

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Democrat Mary Burke argued during a debate Friday in Wisconsin’s hotly contested governor’s race that Republican incumbent Scott Walker mismanaged Wisconsin’s finances, leading to a projected $1.8 billion budget shortfall, and enacted tax cuts that benefited the wealthy over the middle class.

Walker firmly defended his record, pointing to an unemployment rate that’s the lowest it’s been since 2008, amid the Great Recession, and the addition of more than 110,000 jobs on his watch.

“Overall, Wisconsin is much better off than it was four years ago,” Walker during a debate in Milwaukee 18 days before the election.

Both candidates largely played it safe in their second and final debate, mostly sticking to their talking points and avoiding making any mistakes or new accusations.

Which candidate would be better for Wisconsin’s economy is a central part of the race that’s attracted national attention both because it’s close and because Walker is widely considered to be in the mix for a 2016 presidential run should he win re-election.

The latest Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday showed the race tied with less than three weeks before the Nov. 4 election. Marquette polls since May have shown the race to be nearly even, other than one on Oct. 1 that showed Walker with a narrow lead.

Burke, a former state Commerce Department secretary and executive at Trek Bicycles, stood behind her jobs plan that she says brings together the best economic development ideas available to come up with an approach that will work for Wisconsin.

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Burke, Walker play it safe in final debate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke break little new ground in their second and final debate.

Walker and Burke largely played it safe in Friday’s debate in Milwaukee, sticking to their well-worn talking points honed over months on the campaign trail. The debate comes just 18 days before the Nov. 4 election.

Again, they disagree over whether Walker has turned the state’s economy around or made it worse. Walker points to the creation of more than 100,000 new jobs and 5.5 percent unemployment, while Burke says Wisconsin is lagging its neighbors and the middle class are hurting.

Burke also defends her jobs plan, even though portions of it were copied from other proposals.

She says Walker is using that issue to distract from his own jobs record.

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Issues raised in Wisconsin governor’s debate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke met Friday for the second and final debate before the Nov. 4 election. Here are some of the issues they discussed:

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JOBS PLANS:

Burke built her campaign around her jobs plan, which she unveiled in March and touted as a culmination of her experience as a Harvard Business School graduate and executive at Trek, the company started by her father in the 1970s.

But last month it was revealed that sections of Burke’s plan were identical to what appeared in proposals by other Democratic gubernatorial candidates. Burke blamed a consultant and cut ties. Walker seized on the issue, running ads accusing her of plagiarism, and saying she can’t be trusted to come up with her own ideas.

Walker said Friday that Burke was wrong not to credit the copied sections, while Burke said he was raising the issue to distract from his own record on jobs.

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Former governor looms over Burke, Walker debate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle isn’t on the ballot, but his name came up a lot during the final debate in the Wisconsin governor’s race.

Gov. Scott Walker frequently referred to Doyle during Friday’s debate against Democrat Mary Burke.

At one point, Burke quipped, “From the number of times he’s mentioned Jim Doyle, it’s clear he’d rather be running against him than me.”

Walker frequently tries to tie Burke to Doyle, given that she spent nearly three years as Doyle’s Commerce Department secretary from 2005 to November 2007.

Walker points to the state’s loss of 133,000 jobs under Doyle’s watch, saying Burke’s policies would take the state down the same path.

Burke has tried to distance herself from Doyle in recent days, saying she disagreed with many of his policies.

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