A last-minute radio ad in a Wisconsin Assembly district goes after a candidate for not “standing up” to Gov. Scott Walker (R). That candidate, Jimmy Anderson, is paralyzed from the chest down.
Anderson, a 29-year-old Democrat, is one of three candidates running for the open seat in the 47th District in Tuesday’s election.
The Construction Trades Coalition is behind the questionable ad, which also refers to giving Walker “walking papers”:
When it comes to Scott Walker, Jimmy Anderson likes to talk tough. But to take on the governor, we need more than talk. When it came time to sign the recall petition, Jimmy Anderson didn’t sign, refusing to give Walker his walking papers.
Just last month, he accepted a maxed-out campaign contribution from Walker’s personal defense attorney.
He may claim to be the strongest progressive in the race, but voters can’t trust Jimmy Anderson to stand up to Scott Walker.
In 2010, a drunk driver hit the car Anderson was in. He lost his parents, his brother and the ability to move most of his body. His subsequent experience battling insurance companies and working to help victims of drunk driving pushed him to run for office.
Anderson told The Capital Times that the reason he didn’t sign the petition to recall Walker in 2012 was because he hadn’t yet regained his ability to write after the crash. He called the ad “offensive.”
“Whenever (organizers) would approach me, I would tell them that of course I would love to sign it but I just physically can’t. And I know that you can’t sign it for me because that’d be against the law,” he said. “I had to decline at the time.”
Michael Ervin, the treasurer for the Construction Trades Coalition, defended the ad, telling The Capital Times, “Anderson’s use of his disability as an excuse for not signing the recall petition should be offensive to everyone with a disability and the voters of the 47th Assembly district.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Daniel Bice called the Construction Trades Coalition spot “the worst political ad this year ― by far.” He also reported that the Operating Engineers Local 139, a union that represents 9,000 heavy equipment operators in Wisconsin, appears to be the group behind the Construction Trades Coalition. That union endorsed Walker in 2010 and 2014 but has since had a falling-out with the governor.
Anderson is up against two other Democrats ― Fitchburg City Council members Julia Arata-Fratta and H. Tony Hartmann ― in Tuesday’s primary. No Republicans are running for the open seat.