New ad for Democrat Burke focuses on "criminal scheme" - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

New ad for Democrat Burke focuses on "criminal scheme"

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke launched a new television ad Thursday that attacks Gov. Scott Walker for being a part of what prosecutors have called a criminal scheme to evade campaign laws. 

Burke's campaign released the ad less than a week after the candidate said she would not make the accusations a focus of her campaign.

Walker has not been charged as a part of the investigation, which federal and state judges have ordered to a halt. Prosecutors are appealing those decisions to stop the John Doe probe.

A court filing written in December and made public June 19 first revealed the case against Walker.

"I'm going to focus on getting my message out to the people of Wisconsin," Burke said in an interview with WISN-TV that was taped on June 20. "The type of governor I'd be, what I believe in, how I'm going to move Wisconsin's economy forward - so it's not going to be a focus of my campaign."

However, Burke's new 30-second ad is titled "June 20" and includes footage of television anchors talking about the allegations from prosecutors, as well as a federal economic report released last week that showed Wisconsin ranked 37th among states in new job creation in 2013.

Burke's spokesman, Joe Zepecki, said the ad isn't about the alleged criminal scheme, but instead about Walker's decision to launch his own negative ad the day after that news and the latest jobs report broke.

Walker campaign spokesman Tom Evenson said the ad was "yet another desperate attempt to distract voters from her failed record as Jim Doyle's commerce secretary."

Burke is a former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive and was Wisconsin Commerce Secretary under former governor Jim Doyle for two years.

Also on Thursday, the attorney representing lead prosecutor Francis Schmitz issued a statement saying that no determination had been made about whether to charge Walker or anyone else with a crime in relation to the investigation.

At the time the investigation was halted, Walker himself was not a target and had not been issued a subpoena, the attorney said. However, court documents show that Walker's 2012 recall campaign and a host of conservative groups were under investigation.

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