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Falk attacks Barrett during visit to MATC Tuesday

Kathleen Falk
Kathleen Falk

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - For the first time in her campaign for governor, Kathleen Falk attacked her fellow Democratic primary opponent Tom Barrett Tuesday.

She told students at Milwaukee Area Technical College that she filed the first legal challenge to the Republican law which virtually ended collective bargaining for most public unions.

Falk said Barrett actually asked Governor Scott Walker to expand the bargaining limits to police and fire unions – who remain exempt from the law. Falk also said Barrett was reluctant to sign a Walker recall petition – even he though he ended up doing it.

Barrett – who’s been leading recent polls – was endorsed Tuesday by Wisconsin’s largest police union and Assembly Democratic leader Peter Barca. After announcing that, he wouldn’t criticize Falk directly. But he said, “Shame on any Democrat that criticizes any Democrat in this race – My focus is on Governor Walker.”

Barrett promised reporters a month after the petition drive began that he would likely sign a recall petition, and he later did so.

As Milwaukee’s mayor, Barrett had said that police and fire employees should pay the increase in health insurance and pension benefits that other public workers had to pay. He also called for a different type of limit on collective bargaining for Milwaukee officers, saying one group of public employees should not be pitted against another.