Barrett calls on Democrats to run clean campaigns

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Tom Barrett sent a letter to his fellow Democratic gubernatorial candidates Sunday, asking them to run clean campaigns in the primary for Wisconsin's recall election.

According to a statement, the Milwaukee mayor's letter asked candidates to take responsibility for negative attacks in the primary, including attacks by independent groups that support them. "As Democrats, we must be united in the only mission that matters: recalling Scott Walker and moving our state forward,'' Barrett wrote.

The Government Accountability Board ordered a recall election last week, and Barrett jumped into the race. Other Democrats seeking to unseat Walker include union-backed candidate Kathleen Falk, Secretary of State Doug La Follette and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout.

Barrett signed a pledge saying if his campaign or independent groups supporting his candidacy spend money on ads mentioning another Democratic gubernatorial candidate by name, he would give 50 percent of the cost of those ads to the charity of that candidate's choice.

Scot Ross, a Falk spokesman, said Falk would not sign the pledge. Ross said Democrats need to stay focused on defeating Walker, adding that Walker's allies are already attacking Falk and Barrett. "It seems like a gimmick at this point, but one would have to look at it more carefully,'' La Follette said.