A union-led advertising campaign lampooning Gov. Scott Walker over road funding is expanding amid a close governor’s race in which transportation has become a big topic of debate.
The union-aligned group Safe Transportation Over Politics announced on Wednesday it was releasing a series of video advertisements that would play on at TV screens at gas pumps at nearly 100 gas stations throughout the state. The group — known as STOP for short — is closely affiliated with Local 139 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, the biggest construction union in the state.
Even before this latest expansion of its campaign, STOP had spent more than $350,000 on a series of radio ads attacking Walker over his alleged neglect of infrastructure. A website, billboard and other ads paid for by the group use the derisive term “Scott-holes” to deride the deteriorating roads the group contends have become far more common during Walker’s time in office.
STOP’s latest ads against Walker come after the governor released his own set of spots that would be playing at gas pumps. In those ads, Walker tells viewers that his Democratic opponent, Tony Evers, plans to raise the gas tax by as much as $1 if he’s elected. Evers has called any notion of that sort “ridiculous,” but has declined to say how large of an increase he’d support.
STOP, in its recent ads and public statements, has been hitting Walker on his air travel. In a press release on Wednesday, Terry McGowan, president of Local 139, referred to a report from the liberal group One Wisconsin Now that found Walker had spent more than $800,000 on flights on a state-owned plane between September 2015 and April 2018.
“Governor Walker has nowhere to hide on transportation and fixing our roads and bridges,” McGowan said in the statement. “He can fly over the problem on the taxpayers’ dime or he can charge gas customers extra at the pumps and hope nobody understands, but we feel it is our responsibility to inform the taxpayers.”Follow @natebeck9