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Rep. Barca won't endorse Dems chair accusing Walker of crimes

CREATED Jun. 11, 2012

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  • Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON - The Wisconsin Assembly minority leader said Monday that he refuses to publicly support the comments made by his party's state chief that accuse Gov. Scott Walker of committing a crime.

"Scott Walker will see the inside of a jail cell before he sees the inside of another term!" yelled Wisconsin Democratic Party Chariman Mike Tate to great cheers at his party's state convention this past weekend.

When Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Wisconsin's Morning News asked Kenosha Assemblyman Peter Barca about whether he would endorse those comments, he said, "No.  Obviously not.  Everybody's innocent until proven guilty.  The court process and the John Doe involving many of his former appointees will work itself out over the course of the next few months."

Barca did not neglect the fact that many staff members Walker employed when he was Milwaukee County Executive have been under investigation by the Milwaukee County District Attorney, and a number of those staff members have either been charged or convicted of various crimes including possible election activity while on the clock in a government office.

During the recall election campaign, gubernatorial recall election opponent and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett often called for the release of e-mails connected to those alleged crimes.

"Obviously, there was great concern.  People felt he could have been more transparent by releasing e-mails during the course of his campaign," explained Barca.

Now that the recall election is over, there have been calls by both Democratic and Republican leaders to begin a more bi-partisan approach to government in the state.

Gov. Walker even called for the upcoming "Brat Summit" on Tuesday, where leaders from both parties would spend time together.

"I don't expect there'll be any real discussions there," predicted Barca. 

"The goal is to set the tone.  We know that there's a lot of important business that's still to be done.  My goal is will be to have it done yet this year."

Barca said the process of getting business done over the past 17 months has been largely partisan, but he hoped Democratic leadership in the State Senate would lead to a more bi-partisan culture in Madison politics.

"Up until now, it's been strictly the Republicans that make those decisions.  They controlled both houses.  It wasn't a matter of us bending.  We put forth ideas that unfortunately were stalled.  Now, the Democrats are  in control of the State Senate, so both sides are going to have to give in order to pass anything.  Certainly, we're more than willing to do that."