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Walker announces Milwaukee economic plan; Barrett claims political stunt

Gubernatorial Candidates Tom Barrett (D-Milwaukee), Scott Walker (R-Wauwatosa).

Walker announces Milwaukee economic plan; Barrett claims political stunt

By Melissa McCrady. CREATED Apr 30, 2012

MILWAUKEE - With the Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial recall primary more than one week away, Governor Scott Walker made a stop in Milwaukee on Monday to announce a new initiative.

He insisted it was not political in nature, but one of his opponents has cried foul.

"For the state to be successful, Milwaukee has to be successful," said Gov. Walker as he announced a large scale joint effort to invest in the city.

"The unemployment rate has dropped to 6.8 percent, the lowest it has been since 2008.  That's good news, but the unemployment rate in the City of Milwaukee is still at 10.4 percent."

With that, he announced "Transform Milwaukee," a plan to focus on Mitchell International Airport, the Port of Milwaukee, the Menomonee Valley and the Century City area.

Although Milwaukee Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett is involved in the project, he calls Gov. Walker's announcement a political stunt.

That announcement came 36 days before the recall general election, one in which Barrett hopes to be the Democratic candidate.

Barrett is on the ballot in Tuesday's primary election, along with former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Secretary of State Doug La Follette and Alma Senator Kathleen Vinehout.

"(It) raises the question whether this is about creating jobs in the City of Milwaukee, or (whether) this is about saving Governor Walker's job," said Barrett.

He said that when it comes to job creation in the inner city, he wants to know where Walker was as Milwaukee County Executive.

"There was never one instance when he showed any interest in creating jobs in the central city," claims Barrett.

But the Governor insists this project has been in the works since last April, well before the recall election.

"This is not a political statement.  This is not a political partnership.  This is an economic partnership," said Walker.