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Walker, Vukmir talk elections during Onalaska stop

Brad Williams

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Senate nominee Leah Vukmir stopped in Onalaska on Friday, as special guests at the Salon Professional Academy.

It was Walker’s 51st birthday Friday.

The two will be back in La Crosse again today, the day before the midterm elections.

Incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin campaigned late in the week with fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren, while Vukmir followed President Donald Trump’s lead in calling Warren “Pocahontas.”

Vukmir justified the action, saying disparaging nicknames are part of the game.

“This is a tough business to be in,” Vukmir said. “If I sat and told you half of the nicknames that people have given me. You’ve got to get through this. This is how elections are.”

Vukmir has accused both Warren and Baldwin of exploiting certain groups  either Native Americans or U.S. veterans  in order to get votes.

Recent polls have shown the 60-year-old Vukmir trailing the 56-year-old Baldwin by double digits. Vukmir said she thinks the media have been going easy on Baldwin.

“You know, sometimes screaming at the top of our lungs, wishing that you and the media would ask some of the tough questions of Tammy Baldwin,” Vukmir said. “We do the best that we can. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get that message out there.”

Vukmir describes Baldwin as a career politician who “cancels out” the votes of Wisconsin’s other Senator, Rep. Ron Johnson.

As for Walker, he describes his race against Democratic challenger Tony Evers as “razor-thin” and knows his party could be in trouble around the U.S.

“This state is not unlike — and this election — is not unlike those of the past,” Walker said. “So, for us to win, we have to break through. We have to remind people how much better it is today with more people working than before and some of the best schools in the country.”

Walker also told reporters Wisconsin National Guard members will be on active duty during voting hours around the state but just a precaution.

“These are not people in uniform,” Walker said. “I just want to make sure people understand that so they’re not concerned out there.

“This is a part of the National guard that focuses on cyber security. It’s part of a coordinated effort that we do statewide”

Walker told reporters over the weekend visit that he has seen no evidence of any attempts to tamper with the election through computer hacking.

The state elections commission says troops are being activated, in case they are needed.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.