Recall ad raises questions - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Recall ad raises questions

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Several advertisements surrounding the Recall Walker campaigns have been gathering statewide attention.

Many coming from the Greater Wisconsin Committee, who say they feature Wisconsin residents and teachers from across the state. 

They make claims of 47 students in one Wisconsin classroom and kids being forced to sit on the floor, because of the collective bargaining law and budget cuts.

"My daughter has not enough tables and chairs in her room and she has kids sitting on the floor, 47 in a room, they don't get much attention," says a person in the ad. 

When asked where this is happening, the Greater Wisconsin Committee wouldn't tell us the districts where the claims are being made, or the people making them. 

In a statement to WBAY-TV, Executive Director Michelle McGrorty wrote, "We will not be releasing the names of classrooms as that would violate our commitment to the people in the ads to do whatever we can to protect them from harassment and threats by people who disagree with them politically."

Instead, they pointed to a November survey by the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators and the Department of Instruction, saying the claims you've heard are backed up in this report.

The DPI said in a statement, "there may be classrooms in Wisconsin schools with overcrowding, however the dpi does not collect data specific to this," Patrick gasper said. 

The Greater Wisconsin Committee says if people want to criticize the ads they should challenge the findings of that study, also adding that it's not easy for the people featured to talk publicly. 

We've also asked about the ads running and paid for by the "Friends of Scott Walker." 

Here's part of one that was recently airing across Wisconsin, "I'm not big on recalls and I think that at this point in my opinion, I'm only speaking from the I, it feels a little like sour grapes." 

The ads have featured people who the campaign says are teachers, school board members and most recently a business owner, praising the changes governor walker has made. 

The campaign says each person featured in the ad is who they say they are.

It provided WBAY-TV with full names of the people, where they teach and work across the state, and what city they live in.
Here are the full statements from the Greater Wisconsin committee and Friends of Scott Walker:

"The Greater Wisconsin Committee is not releasing the names or details of the individuals who appear in the ads. They are all Wisconsin residents who are teachers, parents or grandparents from different communities in the state. While their individual stories are important, they mainly serve to provide a human face to the findings of the WASDA/DPI survey. Those facts, which are quoted and cited in the ads, are readily available for people to assess. Unfortunately, in this heated political environment, people who have publicly disagreed with Walker's policies have been the recipient of harassment and even threats of violence. Releasing the names of teachers, parents, students or identifying their classrooms could expose them to similar treatment. If groups want to criticize the ad, they are welcome to challenge the findings of the WADA/DPI study and the factual statements about Walker's record of education cuts and tax breaks, but we will not facilitate their efforts to attack individual teachers, parents and school children.

We will not be releasing the names of classrooms as that would violate our commitment to the people in the ads to do whatever we can to protect them from harassment and threats by people who disagree with them politically. As you know, threats have been made against people who have spoken out against Walker's education cuts recently, so it is not easy for these people to come out and talk publicly about the situations they see in their classrooms as teachers and as the parents of students attending those schools."

-Michelle McGroty 
Executive Director Greater Wisconsin Committee 

"Taxpayers from around the state have reached out to us asking for ways they can help fight back the baseless attempts to recall Governor Walker. The people in our ads are hard-working, tax-paying Wisconsinites who want to help spread the message that the Governors reforms have laid the foundation for a more successful Wisconsin. These are the first of many crucial steps that need to be taken to put government back on the side of taxpayers, improve education, and allow businesses to begin hiring again." 

- Ciara Matthews
Communications Director Friends of Scott Walker
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