Walker’s Job Numbers Confirmed, Second Debate Coming

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 at 6:55 am

Gov. Scott Walker’s administration says the job-growth numbers he made public earlier than normal have been verified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development spokesman told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the BLS has confirmed Wisconsin jobs grew by 23,608 in 2011.

Walker had released the preliminary job numbers two weeks ago before BLS confirmed them, a highly unusual move.

His Democratic opponent in Tuesday’s recall, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, accused Walker of “cooking the books” and trying to spin the numbers to his advantage.

Walker says the BLS confirmation shows that the preliminary numbers were accurate. He says Barrett owes people an apology.

Walker’s record on jobs has been a major focus of the recall campaign.

That campaign takes another step forward on Thursday night as Walker and Barrett will meet for one final debate before Tuesday’s recall election.

The debate begins at 9 p.m. and is being broadcast statewide from Milwaukee.

Walker and Barrett held their first debate on Friday night. Barrett was aggressive in his attacks on Walker in that contest, but Walker stood his ground in defending his record as governor over the past 18 months.

Turnout in Tuesday’s election is predicted to be as high as 65 percent, which is nearing levels normally seen in presidential contests.

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