Republican Gov. Scott Walker's campaign has a graphic new TV ad in the Wisconsin recall, attacking Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett over a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story that found the city's police department under-reported its violent crime rates to FBI crime statistics, classifying some incidents as minor assaults.
"This 2-year-old spent six days in intensive care after being severely beaten," the announcer says. "But Tom Barrett’s police department didn’t consider it a violent crime. Tom Barrett claims [audio of Barret] 'violent crime is down 15.5 percent.' But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that hundreds of beatings, stabbings, and child abuse cases were never even counted. Violent crime in Milwaukee is up, and Tom Barrett isn’t telling the truth."
The ad strongly suggests the beating of the 2-year-old was not treated as a violent crime — in fact, as the newspaper report also showed, the assailant was convicted of felony child abuse.
Barrett campaign communications director Phil Walzak told TPM: "Taking the story on the crime statistics wildly out of context, by suggesting some intentional manipulation of the crime statistics is a marked departure form the Walker campaign's messaging thus far. I think what it shows is that they know our arguments on Walker's integrity are resonating with the people."