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Reality Check: Republican Group Runs Pro, Anti-Barrett Ads

Published On: Jul 19 2010 07:41:41 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 20 2010 07:25:54 AM CDT
MADISON, Wis. -

With the Wisconsin gubernatorial race heating up, WISC-TV performs a "reality check" on political ads centering on the race and explain the story behind one ad that seeks to tie job losses to one candidate.

While it may not be surprising that the Republican Governors Association is running a negative political ad that denounces Democratic candidate Tom Barrett, it may come as a surprise to learn that the group is running another ad in another state that praises him.

The ad claims that Milwaukee lost dozens of businesses and thousands of jobs under Barrett, but the claim needs clarification. Between when Barrett took office in 2004 and April of this year, about 5,000 jobs were lost and 30 businesses shuttered in Milwaukee.

In another ad running on Colorado, however, the RGA credits Barrett as a job creator in a negative campaign advertisement focusing on a Democratic candidate in the state.

"One candidate for governor has a record of bringing jobs to Wisconsin," said the ad, which uses footage taken directly from a Barrett ad.

Even so, the group's advertisement running in Wisconsin claims electing Barrett would mean less jobs.

"More taxes, less jobs -- like Jim Doyle, only worse," the Wisconsin ad claims. "Since becoming mayor, Barrett has raised Milwaukee taxes every single year and increased spending by $300 million."

While it is true that the tax levy did increase every year and spending has increased by about $300 million since 2005, the spending in Milwaukee County went up by the same amount over the same period and the county executive is one of Barrett's main challengers -- Republican Scott Walker.

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