GOP billboards welcome Dems with the ‘Truth on Wisconsin Jobs’


By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. – As Democrats gather in Wisconsin Dells this weekend for the party’s annual convention, you can expect this partisan mixer will be a Gov. Scott Walker-bashing party.

But the Republican Party of Wisconsin has a big, bold message for participants driving westbound on Interstate 94 to the city of waterparks. The Grand Old Party has paid for billboards along the stretch of interstate that, Republicans say, is meant to set the record straight.

The billboards proclaim the “Truth on Wisconsin Jobs,” painted in blue and red. On the blue side, an arrow pointing down, and the message “Jim Doyle and Mary Burke: 133,000 jobs lost,” noting Wisconsin’s economy under Walker’s predecessor, Democrat Gov. Jim Doyle and his commerce secretary, Mary Burke. Burke, of course, is the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s anointed candidate in this year’s governor’s race.

ROADSIDE READING: The Republican Party of Wisconsin paid for billboards along Interstate 94 proclaiming the “Truth on Wisconsin Jobs.” It’s a counter message to the Gov. Scott Walker bashing scheduled for this weekend at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s annual meeting in Wisconsin Dells.

On the same blue strip is a red arrow pointing up, declaring, “Scott Walker: 100,000 jobs created.”

In bold red, the GOP-sponsored sign pitches the Walker campaign slogan, “Moving Forward with Scott Walker.”

“Mary Burke was a central figure in the failed Doyle-Burke Administration that left Wisconsin in a tailspin after massive tax hikes and record job loss,” Joe Fadness, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said in an email to Wisconsin Reporter. “It’s clear which direction Burke would take Wisconsin – backward. Over 133,000 jobs and 27,000 businesses fled the state under Democrat control, and a $3.6 billion budget deficit was left behind from budgets that Burke called ‘smart’ and ‘responsible.’”

The Democrat’s convention undoubtedly will lob a lot of rhetoric bombs on Walker’s 2010 campaign pledge that the state would create 250,000 jobs in his first term. While the Republican governor, to date, is a long way from hitting that mark, you probably won’t hear Dems talking about a national economy sputtering in contraction in the first quarter of this year, or that the U.S. labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, is at the lowest rate in decades. And you definitely won’t hear about multiple surveys that show Badger State business believes Walker’s reforms and $1 billion-plus in tax cuts are putting Wisconsin on the right path.

In all fairness, the GOP’s billboards don’t mention that Doyle was governor in one of the worst recessions in U.S. history – but these, after all, are campaign days.

An official with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin could not be reached for comment.

Contact M.D. Kittle at