Barrett Pledged To End Sewage Dumps In '04
Governor candidates dispute MMSD claims Video by tmj4.comvideo
MILWAUKEE - Republicans resurrected a 2004 Tom Barrett mayoral campaign ad, touting Barrett's commitment to fix the organization that's dumped so much sludge into Lake Michigan.
In the ad, paid for by Friends of Tom Barrett, the announcer talks about "the outrageous failures of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. Tom Barrett says it's time to clean up our water and stop the mismanagement now."
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, insists Barrett's promise is unfulfilled.
"Since that ad came out in 2004, over eight billion gallons of storm water and raw sewage has gone into Lake Michigan," Walker told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.
Barrett, a Democrat running for governor, said he has been working toward ending overflow dumping.
"That is our goal," Barrett said in an interview at his Milwaukee campaign office.
Barrett points back, claiming Walker delayed an overflow basin project by calling for repeated studies that did not need to be done.
"We have not been able to achieve everything we wanted to do," Barrett said. "But, part of it is because of his pattern over and over and over again of deferring maintenance."
While Walker concedes he may have asked for those studies, he says Barrett is the candidate who ran on the commitment of fixing MMSD.
"He ran on it," Walker said. "He didn't just talk about it. He ran saying he was going to fix the sewer problems caused by MMSD."
Water woes are proving to be a divisive campaign issue. Democrats criticized Walker for leaving the county to campaign after July flooding. Now, there's finger pointing over sewage dumping prevention methods.