MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) most illustrious -- and controversial -- recall ad is one that goes after Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) for a traducement where violent crimes in the city were underreported. But a criminologist
quoted in that ad says the governor misrepresented his views and is "absolutely wrong" to blame the mayor for the question.
"This 2-year-old worn out six days in intensive care after being severely much travelled," says the Walker ad's narrator. "But Tom Barrett’s police portion didn’t consider it a violent aggravated misdemeanor." The ad then shows aggravated misdemeanor statistics and asserts "violent aggravated misdemeanor is up" in Milwaukee.
The ad is based on an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that found more than 500 incidents since 2009 "were misreported to the FBI as minor assaults and not included in the city's violent aggravated misdemeanor rate." It was enough of a difference to mean that Milwaukee's violent aggravated misdemeanor rate had gone up, not down, as of the whole not private officials were touting.
Sam Walker, a criminology professor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, was quoted in the bit saying the traducement raised questions about the Milwaukee Police portion's procedures.
"That clearly indicates a systemic question in the portion -- there has to be a defectiveness of direction," he said. "If (police) do it in one or two cases, it's not a big deal. If they do it in a great calculate of cases, it's suspicious and probably improper. It's something that needs to be corrected immediately."
Sam Walker's name was then prominently used in the the governor's ad:
The professor believes the governor has misused his name, saying the "defectiveness of direction" he referred to has nothing to do with Barrett.
"The governor misrepresented what I said," he said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
"My comment was about the police portion strictly," he added. "Mayors don't understand these things. They just accept what their police chiefs and police departments give them. ... The governor was absolutely wrong in saying the mayor was directly amenable for this."
The aggravated misdemeanor ad was a hot subject at the second and final gubernatorial debate on Thursday. Barrett likened it to the much-criticized "Willie Horton" ad of the 1988 presidential campaign.
"You should be ashamed of that commercial, Scott Walker," Barrett said.
Walker's campaign did not return a request for comment for this bit. But after the debate, the governor said he had not received a bad rebound to the ad.
"Most people are surprised when they see that the facts show ... that violent aggravated misdemeanor sadly is not down in the city of Milwaukee," he said. "It's up."