RGA Ad, Like AFP Ad, Doesn't Actually Mention Cause of Wisconsin Standoff

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 1 2011 11:08 AM

RGA Ad, Like AFP Ad, Doesn't Actually Mention Cause of Wisconsin Standoff

Last week, I wondered whether the Americans for Prosperity ad asking voters to back Scott Walker in the budget fight was a fluke. The 30-second commercial didn't mention the reason that Senate Democrats had fled the state and union members were protesting inside the Capitol -- the fact that the proposed budget repair bill would end collective bargaining rights for public sector unions, and require them to hold yearly elections to maintain their existence. That's what the fight's about. In the hours I spent inside the 61-hour Assembly debate on the bill, that was the issue.

But here's the RGA with a new ad backing Walker:

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The only mention of the union component of the crisis is a nod at Walker "asking state employees to contribute to their own benefits, just like everyone else." People: The unions have agreed to this . Maybe they'll fight on it again some day, but for now, they have conceded the cuts and pension pay-ins, many times, on the record. They have not agreed to the bargaining and election components of the bill. The implication of the ad is that Democrats fled the state because they don't want to vote on a balanced budget, which is just silly to anyone able to read newspapers or watch TV.

So: Two conservative ads asking voters to back Walker in the fight with Democrats, and neither of them mention the issues that started the impasse. I wonder why that is.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.