Controversy and the race for governor: Mary Burke's jobs plan, vs. Governor Walker's jobs record

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- In the race for governor in Wisconsin, Republicans think they've found the issue that will help them to win in November: the Mary Burke jobs plan plagiarism controversy. Republicans started airing two new ads on the topic on Tuesday, September 30th. Meanwhile, Burke's campaign is countering -- saying the election isn't about the author of Burke's jobs plan, but rather, Governor Scott Walker's record.

With exactly five weeks until election day, Republicans believe they have an issue that can break the deadlocked race: the so-called plagiarism scandal involving Mary Burke's jobs plan.

"It's a legitimate issue," Governor Walker said.

Two new TV ads released on Tuesday, September 30th underscore the point. One is from Governor Walker's campaign.

The other comes from the Republican Governors Association.

The Burke campaign is attempting to counter the ads with this explanation: "Scott Walker is attacking my jobs plan saying it takes ideas from other states.  Well you know what, of course it does," Mary Burke said.

"Saying it was your plan and finding out it was someone else's makes people think, 'here's another politician,'" Governor Walker said.

Governor Walker is using the controversy as a way to pivot to his strongest issue in the polls: that nearly 70 percent of people believe he gets things done.

"I hope what people know about me is that whether they like everything I've done or not, I say what I mean and I mean what I say.  If I tell people I'm going to do something, I stand by that, even to the point of having 100,000 protesters in and around the Capitol. I stand up for the things I believe in," Governor Walker said.

On a campaign stop in Green Bay, Mary Burke attempted to shift the discussion from her jobs plan to Governor Walker's jobs record.

"That's what this race should be about right now: our economy. We're dead last in the Midwest in terms of job creation. We can do better than that. We have to do better than that, and I bring in to this my business experience, a track record of creating jobs," Burke said.

Is all of the attention on the Burke jobs plan controversy -- both from news reports and from political advertisements having any effect on voters' opinions? We'll find out on Wednesday, October 1st -- when the latest Marquette University Law School poll is released.


In a little over a month, voters head to the polls in the November general election. On Wednesday, October 1st, all eyes will be on the latest Marquette University Law School poll. Will the gubernatorial race remain a statistical dead heat?

Finding an undecided voter this close to election day isn't easy. While few in number, they are out there, and the political ads are designed to win them over.

"Most of the polls show under 10 percent.  I don't know if that is the right number or not, but we are going to go out and fight for every single one of them," Governor Scott Walker said.

"There's a lot more attention. People are getting to know the candidates, so I think with each day that goes by there are certainly fewer," Mary Burke said.

On Wednesday, we may get a better idea how many undecided voters are left. The Marquette University Law School Poll has had the two candidates, Governor Scott Walker and Mary Burke in a statistical dead heat since May.

Since the last poll was released, Burke has been on the defensive, deflecting criticism over accusations parts of her jobs plan were plagiarized.

Governor Walker has taken heat over his jobs record. Walker promised he would create 250,000 jobs by 2015. Burke has repeatedly reminded voters that Wisconsin is dead last in the Midwest when it comes to job creation.