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Union head files OSHA complaint over Scott Walker ad

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is taking heat from unions again — but not over what you'd expect.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks with a reporter in Washington, Feb. 22, 2014.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks with a reporter in Washington, Feb. 22, 2014.

Scott Walker can’t stop digging himself into a hole with union workers.

After stripping public-sector union members of collective bargaining rights in 2011, one might think that there wasn’t more the Republican governor could do to anger workers. But Walker, who is locked in a tight race Wisconsin against Democratic challenger Mary Burke, ran afoul of the president of a local steelworkers’ union over a recent campaign ad.

In the ad, Walker speaks to the camera from a deep hole. Jeff Kaminsiki, head of the United Steelworkers Local 2006, filed a complaint with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration over the unsafe working conditions depicted in Walker’s commercial. 

What did Walker get wrong? He’s not wearing any safety gear, such as a hard hat or safety glasses, and his ladder – which he climbs as a metaphor for his time steering state economic policy – isn’t positioned correctly, nor is it long enough to meet safety standards.

“It’s clear Gov. Walker’s never worked a day of his life in this field," Kaminiski said, while also calling for the ad to be pulled from the air. "This is someone in a leadership position setting an unsafe example for workers.”

Burke’s campaign quickly responded to Walker's ad with its own spot. Liberal PAC American Bridge also ran its own reaction pointing to new figures that show Wisconsin faces a $1.8 billion budget shortfall by the middle of 2017.