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Walker Oops-- Praises Felon/ Sex Offender in Televised Speech

State

It is unlikely that Gov. Scott Walker will keep his top campaign promise of adding 250,000 private sector jobs during his first term. How did Walker deal with that situation during his State of the State address Wednesday? Well, he used human props, including welder Christopher Barber, to tout his job creation record. "These are the faces of an improving economy in our state," Walker said of Barber and others. "Wisconsin is going back to work."-reports Journal Sentinel reporter Dan Bice. Turns out Barber has a long rap sheet, though. Bice informs us that Barber has been in and out of jail and prison for various offenses. Barber's probation was revoked at least twice and he is a registered sex offender. If Barber has turned his life around, I wish him well and hope he doesn't lose his job. Evidently, Walker was ignorant of Barber's criminal record. "Obviously, if we had been aware of this individual's prior convictions, he would not have been invited to participate," contends Walker spokesman Tom Evenson. (But as Fox News reminds us, "It doesn't take much to do a simple background check using the Wisconsin State Circuit Court website or CCAP. Barber's criminal history is there for the public to see.") Walker put Barber on the Assembly podium with him for the televised speech. The failure of Walker's administration to fully vet this guy, demonstrates incompetence. And Walker's reaction? We are told he was "frustrated" to learn that background checks weren't done on all the workers at the speech. No doubt, this episode has been quite embarrassing for Gov. Walker. Bice tells us Walker's staff was quick to place the blame for the snafu on Barber's employer, Ariens Company, which has strong ties to the governor. Ariens' company officials have long been Walker backers. In 2011, Walker appointed company CEO Dan Ariens to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, where he is now vice chairman. Walker's State of the State address got local and national attention, however, it wasn't the kind of buzz he'd want. Note these headlines: 1. Journal Sentinel: Welder Lauded By Scott Walker In Speech Is Sex Offender 2.Washington Post: Gov. Scott Walker Hails Man Who Turns Out To Be Sex Offender 3.Talking Points Memo: Scott Walker Praises Sex Offender In State Of State Address 4.Associated Press: Welder On Stage With Walker A Sex Offender 5.USA Today: Wis. Gov. Walker Hails Sex Offender In Speech 6.Wisconsin State Journal: Scott Walker Upset Sex Offender Allowed On Stage With Him 7.Salon: Scott Walker Praises Sex Offender Christopher Barber In Major Address 8.Green Bay Press Gazette: Walker Irked That Sex Offender Shared Stage With Him 9.Fox6News.Com: Gov. Walker Under Fire For Touting Sex Offender During State of State 10. Newsmax: Sex Offender Inadvertently Shares Stage With Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker

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