Wisconsin recall elections: Kapanke attacks opponent’s behavior in new ad

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Wisconsin State Senator Dan Kapanke, considered that state’s Republican most in danger of being recalled, has come out swinging against his Democratic opponent in a new ad, attacking her for taking part in the labor union protests in Madison.

“Jennifer Shilling has acted differently in Madison. Yelling, shouting, standing shoulder to shoulder with special interests. Shilling’s behavior is out of line; it’s not the Wisconsin way. Just when we stopped the craziness, why would we go back to that?” says a voiceover as the ad shows images of Kapanke’s Democrat opponent, State Rep. Jennifer Shilling, protesting and holding signs.

One image, depicting Shilling with a raised fist, is juxtaposed with one of Richard Trumka, the inflammatory president of the AFL-CIO.

“Dan Kapanke knew something had to be done,” the voiceover continues. “So he went to work, balancing the budget, creating new jobs, fighting for us. Dan Kapanke: That’s real leadership.”

Kapanke, the new ad implies, did what was needed and behaved in a way appropriate for a state senator. And by joining the protests, the ad suggests, Shilling’s deportment was not that of a state leader.

Democrats see Dan Kapanke as the Republican state senator they have the best chance of recalling. His district, SD-32, leans Democratic and supported President Obama at a rate 5 percentage points higher than the state’s average. Conversely, Walker got a lower percentage of the vote in SD-32 than he did in the state as a whole.

Moreover, Shilling’s district is contained within the senate district that elected Kapanke, meaning she has already succeeded at winning a majority in a district that comprises one-third of Kapanke’s.

The race has attracted a significant amount of money from outside the district. The conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth began running ads early in the race, and the liberal Emily’s List is running an ad attacking Kapanke.

The recall election is scheduled for August 9.


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Alexis Levinson