MADISON (WKOW) -- The four Democratic candidates for governor met Wednesday night for their first forum in Dane County.
We're less than a month away from the May 8 primary election, so voters are listening closely to what candidates have to say at these forums.
In fact, so many people showed up at the Concourse Hotel, people had to stand in the back or sit on the floor.
The major issue that sparked this recall was Gov. Scott Walker taking away some collective bargaining rights of public employees.
All the Democratic candidates have said they'd work to restore them, but Wednesday night they had to explain how... especially without a Democratic-controlled legislature.
State Senator Kathleen Vinehout and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett say they would work on getting the support of some Republican Assembly members.
"I would call special session because I agree, if I or one of these other individuals is elected for governor, we are going to have a Democratic senate," Barrett said.
"There are ways to bring a bill to the floor even if the speaker of the Assembly doesn't want to have it brought to the floor if there are enough votes in Assembly," Vinehout said.
Former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk and Secretary of State Doug La Follette have other ideas.
La Follette says it's not likely bargaining rights will be restored even next year without electing progressive Republicans and Democrats to the Assembly.
"In the meantime, as governor I would have the Department of Administration sit down with state employees and talk to them. We don't need bargaining rights to start this. We can say, what are you interested in? What can you afford?" La Follette said.
"The only way to restore it is to put it in a budget bill, and unless you're willing to say how you're going to get it done upfront then you won't have the bargaining power to get it done," Falk said.
The Democratic Party of Dane County hosted the forum Wednesday night.
Members took a straw poll.
It showed Falk ahead with 118, Barrett with 93 votes, Vinehout with 46 and La Follette with two votes.
The primary is scheduled for May 8, and the winner will challenge Gov. Walker on June 5.
MADISON (WKOW) – Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett released his first television ad Wednesday while former Dane Co. Executive Kathleen Falk got another big union endorsement in the recall campaign against Gov. Scott Walker.
Barrett and Falk are scheduled to appear with the other two Democratic candidates for governor at a forum on Wednesday night the Democratic Party of Dane County is hosting. Secretary of State Doug La Follette and State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout are also vying for a spot to take on Walker in the June 5 recall election.
Less than a month away from the May 8 primary election, Barrett doesn't mention his Democratic opponents in his ad. Instead, it accuses Walker of creating a civil war in Wisconsin.
Falk landed the endorsement of the AFL-CIO, which has 250,000 members through its affiliate unions in Wisconsin.
All the unions that have endorsed so far are backing Falk.
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