On the same day that the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker said it, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Monday released its first TV ad directed at the Republican governor.
In the ad, which was scheduled to begin airing Monday night, Democrats compare the current John Doe investigation into Walker's aides with the Watergate scandal of the 1970s that resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
The 30-second spot intermingles segments of newscasts from today with those from the Watergate era, including a couple with legendary newscaster Walter Cronkite.
The ad ends with a scene from a 1973 Congressional hearing into Watergate in which former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker asks: "What did the president first know and when did he first know it?"
That's then followed by MSNBC's Ed Schultz asking: "What did Scott Walker know and when did he know it?"
The ad centers on the John Doe investigation that has already resulted in charges against six of Walker's top aides. The probe by the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office is reportedly focusing on whether staffers who worked for Walker did political work with taxpayer money. Walker previously served as Milwaukee County executive.
"Our thirty-second television spot notes the similarities between the Watergate scandal that resulted in Richard Nixon resigning in disgrace, and the vast criminal network being uncovered by the ongoing John Doe criminal corruption probe," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate said in a statement Monday.
"This ad will run in multiple markets across Wisconsin and will represent a rolling-buy supported by the small-dollar donations that have sustained our effort — in stark contrast to the sleazy piles of corporate cash on which Walker relies and, ironically, which highlight our belief that at the core of our 'Walkergate' scandal is the idea that rules need not apply," Tate added.
In an e-mail to the HuffingtonPost, Tom Evenson, a spokesman for the Friends of Scott Walker Campaign, said:
"The Democrat Party and the big-government union bosses funding them are using lies and distortions in their negative attack ad to discredit Governor Walker in an attempt to take Wisconsin back to the failed days of billion-dollar budget deficits, double-digit tax increases, and record job loss. The truth is, Governor Walker immediately addressed any issues of misconduct when brought to his attention. The character assassination being conducted by Madison Democrats and big-government union bosses in this ad, shows they are grasping at straws to deflect from the fact that Governor Walker’s reforms have laid the foundation for a more successful Wisconsin."